Thursday, April 28, 2011

Butterflies and New Creations

It isn't a coincidence that our first Monarch Butterfly made it's way into the world on Easter Sunday, leaving behind an empty chrysalis home, like our Lord Jesus!

I find it amazing that the life cycle of a butterfly illustrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus so perfectly. his life (as a caterpillar) his death and pain and suffering (the caterpillar splitting his skin and becoming the pupa) and the empty Chrysalis (tomb) He left behind and continued in life!

It's also an awesome live example of the change we take on as we become Christians and live for Jesus!

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefor if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone and the new is here!" 

The kids brainstormed about how the life cycle of a Butterfly is like becoming a are their answers:

  • The two are different many ways, the caterpillar has to crawl around while a butterfly gets to fly!
  • Caterpillars aren't very pretty, a butterfly is beautiful.
  • Caterpillars eat leaves while butterflies get to drink flowers!
  • If a caterpillar doesn't turn into a butterfly, it dies. When it turns into a Butterfly it gets to live! (I thought this one was very profound)
  • A butterfly is a caterpillar that has "chosen" Jesus and new life!
  • A Butterfly leaves behind it's old life in every way and becomes something completely different!
We've been enjoying watching the life cycles. Each time Dave finds us more Crown flowers to feed the remaining caterpillars we are gifted with a few stowaways! So far we've had 3 Butterflies let go, we have 1 chrysalis in waiting and 4 more caterpillars lunching and growing!

I love homeschooling.......I love learning right along side the kids! I'd miss this if they were in school somewhere!


New Life!

Drying our Wings

Captain of our Catch and Release Program

Warming up on the Plumeria Tree

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - 7

.In my life this week…
I survived watching all 6 kids again AND we had a successful homeschool week! Friday we added 3 more kids to the bunch and did some fun Easter activities, played in the pool and ate pizza and it wasn't even a Birthday Party!

Liora took her first steps this week, she is taking her time compared to my others! I'm enjoying a little more baby-time with her than the others gave me! 

Been doing a whole lotta reading about next year's curriculum. So many great choices!
In our homeschool this week…
We have been watching Caterpillars become Pupas and are awaiting our first Buttterlies of the season! Here in Hawaii companies won't send you the Butterfly eggs so we hunt down Indigenous "Crown Flowers", look for eggs and Caterpillars and then bring those home. It's always such a neat experience for the kids (and who am I kidding, myself!) Next week we are planning to make Cells out of Jello and candy! Can't wait!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We went to the Park this week, had a picnic and did our read alouds under the trees. Such a nice break from the norm! We had a play date Friday, Soccer Saturday morning and Egg dying this evening! Tomorrow morning brings Easter Sunrise service and time with family!

My favorite thing this week was…
Watching Liora (11 months) take her first steps into toddler-hood! I can't believe she's been in our lives for almost a year, these years go by so very quickly! 

What’s working/not working for us…
Our pocket (workbox) system is working great for us, and the kids are really doing great with having Bella and TJ with us. We are all learning flexibility and patience! 

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
Have any of you been to a Homeschooling Confrence or curriculum fair? I want to host an online Curriculum Fair (a cyber fair of sorts) but wondered if any of you would be interested in sharing your experiences and opinions about your favorite resources! I think it would be extremely helpful to all Homeschoolers out there. If you are interested in a blog hop/Carnival or being a part of it, comment below and let me know! I have the end of May/Early June mapped out, your thoughts???
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Love this quote from John Taylor Gratto this week:

"The "Curriculum of Family" if at the heart of any good life. We've gotten aay from that curriculum-it's time to return to it. It's time for a return to democracy, individuality and family."

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Finds

Hopefully it's not too late to share some Easter activities and ideas! I'll probably be doing Easter activities all week (like I did for Valentine's Day) after all, why just celebrate on one day? Hope you find some fun things in this group!

Resurrection Cookies (I can't wait to try this one!)






Photo: teachkidsart

Photo: Little Wonders days
Shaving Cream Easter Eggs

** all photos were taken from the various websites listed. NONE of the photos are mine, please visit the links to see more!

Reading in Math

One thing (relatively) recently that has been the inclusion of Reading in Math. I love the idea since reading is such an important part of learning in general, why not add a few more books in Math as well! On an impromptu trip to the Library last week we found a book entirely on accident that we fell in love with!

How High can a Dinosaur Count? By Valorie Fisher   

This book is an absolute treasure to have! It is geared towards grades 1-4 and is filled with fun and silly Math-word problems. The book covers topics such as Time, Addition Subtraction, Multiplication, Money and Odd and Even numbers.

The illustrations are fun and original, the problems include silly named characters and things like Pickle Ice Cream! The back of the book has even more problems for each pages as well as an answer key!

Another great series of books we've found is by Mathstart! The books cover just about every Math subject you could imagine! Our recent favorite is:

More or Less By Stuart J. Murphy
A great number story about a boy trying to guess the ages of contestants using his knowledge of numbers!

So if you are looking for a way to spice up your Math with a little fun a reading along the way, check these out at your local library! You won't be sorry!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Freebies and Feild Trips

I love taking advantage of the Freebies we find around the Island. Although getting out of the house with 5 kids isn't always the easiest. Sometimes escape is just what we need! For a few years now we've been going to the Preschool Program at the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens. It's a gorgeous location over on the Windward side, up against mountains that take your breath away. This time we learned about Butterflies, and did a great little craft on the life cycle from egg to Butterfly!

First we all met to read books about Butterflies and to make a craft!
Somewhere in that drippy glue are hole punched paper "eggs"

The final product all 4 stages of a Butterfly from egg, caterpillar, pupa and Buttterfly!

Most of the Crazies, minus the babies
The Gardens are right up against these mountains
 We usually picnic lunch and then take a long walk to the "pond" to feed the ducks and fish and climb trees of course!

Lots to explore!
This program is totally free and I love it! It's once a month (I believe the 3rd Tuesday of the month) at the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens!

We'll be headed there on May 17th to learn about the Sun!

What freebies do you have in your state that you love to frequent?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Looking Back as we look ahead

I've been absent, I've been blog-delinquent, I know. Life has totally taken all my free time and like a magic trick (POOF) it's gone. My days are literally full of kids, and crying and needs. While taking on 2 more kids daily (by myself) hasn't been horrible, it's been busy! So far we've made it through each day with everyone alive! And learning has happened! But it has been hard to adjust to not having any free time, or being so tired I don't even want to do anything  besides sleep. But just like adding a new baby or a new schedule, I'm sure this too will pass.

So looking ahead at a new school year, new curriculum, new's exciting isn't it? And a wee bit stressful! I've been looking at a few new things including My Father's World, Galloping the Globe, Apologia Science......Trying to decide if I should stay with some programs like Sonlight for Language Arts and Calvert for Ellie, or if I should scrap it all and start anew!

In all the looking (and being frustrated and confused about which path to choose) I've been trying to focus on the immense positive that there is in choosing your child's math, science, history, _________. Having a degree and some experience in Special Education, I realize my children each get their own IEP's! I am literally able to look at science and ask, "Hey Jonah, do you want to learn about animals next year or Astronomy?" How amazing is that? In all the stress and worry about what to order and who to order from, I can turn around and look at my child and decide, is this a right fit? Ellie would really enjoy that, Jonah would think that is totally boring. A perfectly tailored education to each individual child!

Now I realize that is a complete obvious advantage to homeschooling, and you may be rolling your eyes. But sometimes the weight of taking on my child's education is heavy. I worry I'm not doing enough, giving each one enough attention, maybe their learning style isn't being matched by what we are doing......and then I feel the freedom. The true freedom we have been given to learn and grow in our own way, in our own time, of our own choosing .

And while I peruse websites, read up on different programs, I actually look forward to a new year. Even now while wrapping up this year is near and we are all in need of summer. Ending the year on a good note, even though we are in the middle of great changes. I welcome the chance to do it all again. Where once change terrified me, now, it looks brilliant and beautiful and exciting.

Each year we homeschool it gets better, we get better at it. I can't wait to start it all again, even though we aren't quite done with this year.

So looking ahead, are you making changes? Big ones or little ones? Adding a new student? Going with a new curriculum? What's next year looking like in your home school?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - 6

In my life this week…

I turned a year older!! And so did my lovely Elliett Anne! (I am still astounded she turned 5!) I was completely and totally spoiled with a new camera. After using my Canon Digital Rebel for the last 10 years, my husband decided it was time for an upgrade! Hello Canon T3i all 18 megapixels of you!
In our homeschool this week…

We managed to push on through! Can't say it's been very exciting this week, but just accomplishing some of assignments have satisfied both me and the kids! Also took the kids to MBTA on Friday to learn all about measuring!
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

Last week Friday I packed all the kids up (5 of them) and we spent the entire day at the Zoo! It was a day out I really needed. Is it just me or do you just need to get out sometimes! And for some reason, taking them all out is easier than trying to run interference here! We packed bento lunches and just had a great time. Jonah played navigator and led us all around the Zoo using the Zoo map. We saw each and every animal in that park! And God blessed us with very active animals that day!

I also found some amazing deals at Goodwill this week, A Children's Encyclopedia for $.99? Yes thank you! As well as the Read Aloud Handbook for $.50.....I love their book section!  

My favorite thing this week was…

Do I even have to say my camera? Okay I'll say it, my camera!
Although a tie for first has to be making Ellie's Birthday Cake this year. My sister and I stayed up until almost 2am working on it!
What’s working/not working for us…

I'm still pretty excited about planning 4 weeks out. These last few weeks have been a breeze getting each day ready. I've had a nice break from the planning and am getting ready to do it all again!
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…

What are all of you planning for summer? I think I may use the "Galloping the Globe" curriculum as a way to keep a little of everything in. And the kids love LOVE learning about things from other countries! Have you used "Galloping the Globe"?
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

The girl asked for butterflies! She got them made of candy melts!

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Momentum 1

 Let's link up! I'm starting a blog hop! I don't know about you but I need some extra motivation for the week sometimes. I'm hoping that posting goals and ideas will help with that and just maybe you need that too? One important thing I've found about the homeschool community is just how encouraging and uplifting we can be to each other!

This week I am really looking forward to.......

My Elliett's 5th birthday! I canNOT believe she has been with us for 5 years, making us giggle and laugh and cry too. Time is entirely cruel when it comes to your children growing up! I have plans to make Thursday special for her!
I could really use some prayer this week for......

Peace. There is a lot going on in my family and home right now, I would love for things to hit a routine and norm soon! Next week I'm going to attempt to watch 6 kids ages 6 to 3 months and I'd be completely lying if I said I wasn't stressed OR nervous about the whole arrangement! I'm not sure what our homeschooling day will even look like at that point! Or if I'll throw in the towel and call us unschoolers all together!
I'm not looking forward to......

My own birthday! Ha! I'm going backwards folks, I gonna keep getting younger!
We've got this fun trip/activity this week.......

I canceled my Dr.s appointment to check a hernia, so we'll make that appointment next week. We've got a soccer practice today with some "real" soccer players from Bangladesh, Egypt and Russia! The kids are going to learn about Measuring at MBTA on Friday!
A special quote or Bible verse that I want to focus on this week is.........

Romans 12......all about the Love which I need a lot more of!
I need to accomplish this around the house this week......

If I could just keep up with the little things this week that would be great. I need to make a special Birthday cake for Ellie on Thursday......first she wanted Mermaids, now it's flowers and butterflies.....we'll see what it will be!
HELP! I need a link or an idea, do you have one to share about ________?

I'm thinking about switching over to My Father's World for next year. It's a huge matter or prayer right now. Has anyone used that curriculum? If so what did you think? We are currently using Calvert Kindergarten and Sonlight for 1st grade. Even though I bought the whole Core 1 for Jonah we barely use it. He is so advanced in the science part, what we have bores him! So I'm looking for something that will really perk his interests!

Grab the code below and link up! Don't forget to place the button on your side bar and encourage others to link up too! And give some linky love to those around you!

Monday Momentum