Saturday, April 5, 2014

Homeschool Update!

For the past couple of years we have being using MFW as our core curriculum. We have enjoyed it thus far, the teachers manual has been extremely helpful to me with all that we are juggling. In order to make things "easier" I used all the recommended material for english, spelling and math. For english primary language lessons was suggested, spelling is Rod and Staff, and math is Singapore. The primary focus with MFW is cultivating a Charlotte Mason approach. While I admire the Charlotte Mason approach I have found that it may not be the best fit for our family. This was a hard conclusion to come to but when you find that both yourself and child are frustrated things may need to change to better suit your family.

With this realization and relocating to a new state I have begun to contemplate what I would like our school year to look like next year. The potential state we are moving to is very open and flexible with homeschooling. With this in mind I have begun to consider our curriculum for next year. The biggest change I will be making is to piece together a curriculum versus using a boxed curriculum. In another post I will share more of what we plan to use. A couple of small changes we have made are switching math curriculum. When I was taught math a strong emphasis was placed on math facts utilizing tough math once those were memorized, we would then build upon those facts. I found using Singapore Math Pic Pic was not grasping the basic math facts with this realization we began to make some changes. Although we tried using flash cards for math facts this was often interpreted or we would just altogether leave it out. After some online searching I found a website with online flashcards. This has been such a handy tool so that she can practice while I tend to other matters. This is usually done during meal prep times. We have also switched to Horizons Math. Another change we made is to use only copy work versus dictation and narration.

One question I have for your homeschooling Mama's what do you using for language arts once your child is reading? My thoughts are to use explode the code, handwriting grammar (still researching), continue with rod and staff spelling, and schedule daily reading. I have also considered using pathway readers. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also do you teach your children cursive handwriting?

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's Time....

After a long hiatus I thought I would considering blogging again. You may ask yourself what ignited me to come out of my long hibernation? This is simple; I have enjoyed belonging to a group on Facebook and have come to the realization that as a Matushka in the Orthodox Church you can be somewhat isolated. Being a stay at home homeschooling mother can also contribute to this isolation. Having this online relationships have been such a joy to me and I would like to be able to share  more than a few lines you share on Facebook. 

Without further ado I would like to get you a little caught up with our family's happenings. We are in our third and final year of seminary. There is so much to say about the seminary experience it truly is a spiritual blessing albeit a struggle at times. We have an idea of where we are headed but is no official yet. I hope to share our relocation with you if time permits. 

Hubby just celebrated his year anniversary as clergy. Since the whirlwind of that first ordination we have also celebrated his ordination to the priesthood. He is still discerning where his furture lies in the military. He's looking forward to graduation and what the furture may hold for him. 

The children are all growing and changing so quickly it's hard to capture it all. My goal is to use this blog to document some of these changes so that I can look back at these memories. Having four children has really given me a case of mommy brain and I can't seem to remember all that I would like to. We are continuing to homeschool and are making progress.

There are lots that I would like to share on this blog. If time permits I will try to post on a regular basis. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

8 months


Where to begin? Let's start with hubby. Hubby finished his second year of seminary this May. Soon afterwards he left for his chaplain training. He will be gone for 11 weeks which is the longest we will have been apart. However, by the Grace of God, he will be home in a few weeks for his ordination to the priesthood. It will be a short visit but such a blessing.

As for myself I slowly adjusting to the busyness of life with four young children. I am also continuing along with my masters program. After the completion of my current class I will only have three more classes left.

The kids are all doing well growing so fast. Pic Pic is working on completing this years homeschool curriculum. We anticipated having to work in the summer with taking a break when the baby arrived. In of a couple if months she will be seven. It has flown by so fast. She has also started to losing some if her baby teeth. The count is at five now. Dan Dan is doing well we will be starting kindergarten work with her this fall. She is extremely excited and reminds everyone daily. Ice Man has adjusted very well to the baby. However he has a strong case of the terrible threes. I find that the three year old stage is worse than the two year old stage. His potty training is coming around. I think if I devoted the time to take him consistently every 15 min or so we could have him trained but at this point I take him throughout the day and when he asks. The baby is growing so fast. He is 8 months today. He has the chunkiest thighs, I call them his ham hocks. He is slowly trying to figure out how to get on all fours to crawl. For the most part he sleeps well at night but is not much of a napper. He only takes little catnaps throughout the day.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Books, Books, Books

At Martha's request, I thought I would share some of the books I have read this year.

Orthodox Books:
  1. Diamonds on the Bosphorus
  2. The Illustrated Life of the Theotokos for Children
  3. A Trace in the Sand
  4. Bright Faith: Father Artemy Vladidimorv Talks with Western Orthodox
  5. Letters to Saint Lydia
  6. Christ is in Our Midst: Letters from a Russian Monk 
  7. Father Arseny: A Cloud of Witness

I enjoyed reading all of these books. More than likely I will reread these again in the future. The Fr. Arseny book I had already read and is one of my favorites. If I had to narrow this list down I would definitely read books 1, 3, 4, and 7 again in the near future.

Fiction Books:
  1. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency 
  2. Tears of the Giraffe 
  3. The Hunger Games Trilogy
  4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  5. Smoking Seventeen (Stephanie Plum Series) 
  6. Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum Series)
  7. The Help
The most recent books I have read are the the first two books in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these books (as suggested by Martha)  and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I also enjoyed reading The Help. As far as the others go they are really based of personal preference. I was pleasantly surprised with the Hunger Games Trilogy they were a quick read and compared to some of the other popular fiction they are mild in regards to various undertones you can find in other books. The Stephanie Plum series books I began reading with my mom when I was expecting Pic Pic. There is not much substance to the books and are rather quick reads. I continue to read them as a bonding experience with my mom. We also read James Patterson books together as well. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a difficult read. Although I enjoyed the suspense factor it was rather risque at parts and I found myself having to skim over some chapters.

Non - Fiction
Getting Started in Homeschooling
One Thousand Gifts

Both were books I have read previously, good little reminders of things we may forget when we get caught up with our day to day tasks.

Currently I am reading Raising Them Right an expert from a Path to Salvation. Some of the Orthodox books l would like to read in the future are Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Everyday Saints, Path to Salvation, The Other Side of the Bonfire, and the Scent of Holiness. As far as fiction is concerned I want to continue reading the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, The Tudor Court Series by Philippa Gregory, classics. I am not much of a history person and thought that reading a historical series might peak my interest. I also have not ready many classics and thought that it might be good to read them. Does anyone have any  recommendations on which classic would be best to start with? I don't read much non fiction books but ones that I would like to read are centered around a Charlotte Mason education.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October Goals

I finished a number of my goals for this month already. The remain goals are to:
  1. Create Month Budget Notebook and complete September Budget
  2. Organize Jacob's Clothes 
  3. Transition kids summer clothes with fall clothes
  4. Update all cell phone photos to snap fish
  5. Read three books (so far I have finished two).