Always Learning

We have been enjoying our breakfasts and lunches together so much these days. For one, you have been eating SO much better since you decided to stop eating gluten once and for all. Also, we have been having green drinks together every morning with kale, spinach, and apple or pear, and banana or yogurt. They are delicious and SO good for our bodies and minds. 

Our current favorite breakfast is GF Sammi's bread French Toast with cinnamon sugar butter (I mix mine with a little warmed cream cheese. It's AMAZING!!! 

For lunches we have discovered GF Sammi's bread with a little pizza sauce and cheese (plus chopped bell pepper and onion for me) on the Pizzaz until crispy. Delightful, and we can't get enough. 

School has been taking on it's own form, as Homeschool does. We've been selecting and learning one math concept until mastery, and then keeping each mastered concept on a line up of review problems for end of week. We've also changed L.A. to free writing with outlines, while we are diving deeper into full understanding each individual grammar concept, one at a time. I have learned SO much, too! 

Our Bible times have been God led, and sometime happen right in the middle of any subject. I especially love being able to get back to being a leader or guide for you in your walk with God. 

Today, at lunch we were talking about tonight being video game night. You have 12+ tickets saved up, and you were saying that you could turn them in and start two hours early tonight. I suggested that you consider keeping them for tomorrow or Friday when you don't have a free four hour session with us for gaming night. 

You explained to me that you would like to hold off on playing Thursday and Friday because you are starting to form a little bit of an addiction and need to get it taken care of. I told you how proud I am of you recognizing that yourself and having your own desire and know-how to correct it. You said, "well yeah Mom. It's like, you can kind of feel it when that happens. It like sort of hurts in your chest." 

SO STINKING PROUD OF YOU RIGHT NOW. And even of your Dad and myself for teaching you like that so early. To know yourself and to know how to take care of you when it comes to compulsions and addictions is SO huge. Awesome victory for all of us! 

You rock. :) 


Amazing Artwork

We've been having so much fun learning our way through the elements of art.

We've made some really cool stuff together and individually. 

But nothing has compared to what you've been working on the past couple weeks.

Combining the elements of line, shape, color, value, and space 

you worked away, day after day, 

amazing me with your style and eye...

And then today, when you had added the tree 
(which you decided in the last minute to go with three instead of one)

you took as step back and said you would like to add cherry blossoms.

I had no idea what you meant, but it turned out brilliant.

I love this art work. It is my favorite you have ever made. 
And I believe it is your own favorite too. 

You told me that you might paint for a living. 
Then you told me that someday this painting might be worth a lot of money, 
but that you would never sell it. 


Homeschool is So Cool

Our school room is starting to look alive!

With the art work we've created...

and even some of the schoolwork... 

I love to look around and see evidence of our hands on learning 
and progression through our curriculums and lessons.

I like the way your Chemistry curriculum gives us experiments 
in every single lesson.

And you can not get enough.

I LOVE that chemistry can also be learned in our day to day life.

Like the way vinegar and baking soda can clean the glass on the front of the oven.

And I especially appreciate the way that our Math Curriculum
taught you to understand Math on such a greater level
(thank you common core math)

and still continues to keep you moving right along 
with mastery and amazing retention.

Nothing's more fun than seeing a little Leonard and Sheldon
action on our own little dry erase board. :)

Making Our Way

One month in and we're already revamping our homeschool agenda and schedule a little bit. I always try to remember that we are free to do that, and that it can make all the difference in our experience, productivity, and enjoyment of our learning. 

As usual, I had way too much crammed into the plan for this first half of the school year. Unfortunately, our Mini-Courses (electricity, cooking, sewing, woodworking, poetry, body science, etc…) had to be put aside for the year. Fortunately, they will be fun, hands on, continued learning to conquer over the summer together. 

Once all is said and done, without Mini-Courses, we are actually doing about 5+ hours of school a day. And that is surely enough. I had forgotten how much learning goes on outside of the classroom. My memory is being refreshed as we get further into reforming our home, life, and schedule back to the way things used to be. 

I love that you have football, piano lessons, fall fitness, ice-skating, technology, and often even larger art projects during times you would consider "after school". It's amazing to me what you can get done and be included in without tiring or getting bored of learning time. 

While we've also taken out the style of writing class we have been using for years, we didn't just take away from our schedule - we did make room for more of the good stuff too! 

Diving back into the Bible with you has been incredible. Your ability to memorize things is crazy good. And with the many different resources we are drawing from this year in Bible studies, Window on the World, History and even your church group on Sundays, it's been awesome to see how they have all correlated with one another, unplanned, and totally Holy Spirit led. 

We've also incorporated memory work and a great, homemade timeline for History and Bible. 

Lastly, I am loving to learn right next to you all the more this year after spending a year without that unique part of HS, and with the material being two grades up from our last year together. It seems we have our best days when we take it slow, enjoy our time, cuddle and take in short video lessons, listen to music, take a walk outside on a break, snack, and make more spontaneous decisions about our direction. Even though those days take us closer to 4pm than 1pm, I often wonder why we don't always take our time. It seems like on our tightly scheduled days we hurry up to wait. There's nothing in our life we'd rather do than this - so why not savor it and make it last? 


Round Two - Birthday Party Time

When we woke up this morning, you crawled into my bed
and asked me to go for a walk with you outside. 
You wanted to test out how your knee was feeling in preparation
for tonight's big football game - against another undefeated team.

It was a nice, cool, quick walk. 
And you decided your knee was feeling alright.
(You've been having a lot of growing pains)

Uncle came over around 10, just as I was heading out 
the door for some last minute shopping. 
He joined you and your Dad for some gaming.

Then it was time for partying! 
We had Papa Murphy's Pizzas, and cakes! 

Uncle treated this Birthday somewhat like Christmas,
excusing his pile o' presents with a story about how 
he doesn't have kids, and he has to spoil someone.
Plus he really still likes to play with toys. :)

You enjoyed opening all your gifts from him.
There were posters for your gaming area, 
a minecraft movie maker (which you are in love with)
extra movie maker figures,
and a remote control airplane!!!

The two of you did everything in your power to fly this plane, 
though it was too windy out to really enjoy it yet.

It was another fun celebration of your birthday.
Happy 10th, my sweet little one. 


Fall Fitness

This year we are doing Fall Fitness for the second time. 
The first year, I think you were five years old. 
It wasn't quite for us at that time. 

While I love the outdoors, I'm not a "fitness" kind of person - 
I'm more of a woodsy, chopping, burning, car fixing, woodworking, 
fishing, gardening, taking a WALK, playing with the dogs, kind of person. 
I've never been someone who wants to go outdoors to participate in sporty activity.

So when Tad, the director of Fall Fitness, took one look at me and said,
"You look sporty. How would you like to lead in coaching one of our groups?"
I could not for the life of me figure out why and how my head was nodding up and down
and my lips were forming the word "yes". 

But I checked with God, because I do NOT like to say yes to anything. 
Especially without great deliberation and certainly without checking with Him.
And He was gently moving me along with the nodding and the yes-ing.
And so I went (but not without a little inner grumbling)

Two hours later I was wrapping our first Friday of what I already knew
would be a game changer for me. 
I have the 3rd thru 5th grade group.
We play football, kickball, capture the flag, baseball, 
and sometimes even hula-hooping for fun.

I love leading and being with these kids.
I would have never thought it was for me, 
but I'm so grateful for Tad's encouragement
and God's lead.