Friday, January 30, 2009

Saint Germaine Cousin.

Today I had a hard time getting the kids to be cooperative about cleaning up and getting chores done. This happens frequently, I'm sure, in every family. Either the kids do their chores while complaining or whining under their breath, or they go about doing them slowly and dragging their feet.

I figured this was the perfect opportunity for me to introduce Saint Germaine Cousin to the kids. She is a new saint to them, but a perfect example of accomplishing daily tasks and chores cheerfully regardless of the hardships she had to endure. Catholic Heritage Curricula has a wonderful coloring book on Saint Germaine. You can find it here and it's free!

It was nice for them to compare themselves to the saint and it made them realize how their behavior towards their chores was wrong. They spent part of the day coloring pages from the book and then talked about ways they can imitate Saint Germaine.

I hope this lesson doesn't wear off too soon, but I'm glad they are now familiar with the story. It will be an excellent reminder that I can use whenever I see little feet dragging to do their chores!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Baby!!

So I guess that if it's not obvious by my new application on my sidebar, I really do need to spell it out. Baby #5 is due August 1st!!! Yay for us!!!

It's been slow in getting the word out. After all, I am only 13 weeks along. Not only that, but I find that once you hit higher numbers in children, the responses aren't always the joyous "congratulations" you are expecting.

As for me, I'm starting to feel a little better. I still have morning sickness, but I'm hoping that will subside within the next week or two. My energy levels are coming back and up as well. It was a difficult first trimester in terms of energy and nausea. I suppose that explains my lack of blogging as well as my slowness in getting our lessons done. But this week I'm off to a great start!! From getting up extra early on our co-op day, to completing ALL our lessons. I'm excited!

So if you aren't sure if you should congratulate me about the upcoming addition, go ahead!!! We are blessed abundantly by God and celebrate His love for us every day!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Update on our Literature Selections From Angelicum.

As you all know, we are using The Angelicum Academy for our curriculum and lesson plan provider. It is a challenging program with LOTS of choices that could easily overwhelm anyone. Heavily based on the Good Books program, part of our school days consist of reading from their literature selections.

I must admit that we are a bit slow at getting through the books. Many are long (Alice in Wonderland), while others can be nicely accomplished in a week or so (Just So Stories). I have come to the realization that we will probably not get through all the books that are suggested and that's OK. They even suggest picking a few and going from there. No pressure!

The best and easiest to start off with are Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. This book is great because it's just a bunch of short stories that you can easily spread out into a 2 week (or more!) period. There are some language issues with some, but I like to keep everything uncensored for Marco in the fine literature department.

Aesop's Fables is another good book to begin with due to the short stories. The moral is many times beyond the understanding of the kids, but they get the gist of it. They'll remember something about it later on and say something like, "It's not good to be greedy, right?" I also bought an Aesop's Fables coloring book by Dover to accompany the reading and the kids like to color while I read and explain.

The Fairy Tale books by Andrew Lang are also a favorite around here. These are sometimes good as bedtime stories, although some may be a little scary. A very doable book!

As for Alice in Wonderland, Water Babies, and Jungle Book...we haven't exactly started on those yet. I'm planning on beginning the Jungle Book first within the week. We'll see how it goes!

The links to the left of the page provide a direct link to the books on Amazon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Co-op, etc.

Our co-op is such a success and I'm absolutely thrilled at how organized and smoothly things are running. Last week we worked on prayer pockets for Catholic arts & crafts and this week was stitching. I laugh at the thought that this "rowdy" group of K-2 graders are so quiet during class, that I can hear a pin drop in the room!

Our co-op class working on arts & crafts.

Making sure everything looks good!

As for homeschooling at home, things aren't as active as they usually are. I haven't been feeling 100% for a while and it has been showing with the amount of activities we do. Not only that, but my blogging has taken a back seat to all this as well. For today, I'm just glad that I'm beginning to feel better and I'm starting to plan more "fun school" with the kids. I'll make sure I post more as we get into the swing of things as well as when I get back to many of the projects I have on hold.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Only in a Catholic Home.

DH and I were busy cleaning the house the other day. We moved furniture to vacuum underneath, steam-cleaned the floors, etc. I kept a little pile of all the things I kept finding, and left it on our dryer. Over the course of 2 more days, I went adding to my pile as I kept trying to unclutter and clean the house. Of course, we both found major dust bunnies and random little toys. But here were some of our treasures.

1. A St. Anthony medal in full color. Very pretty.
2. A child's scapular.
3. A small gold crucifix broken off from a rosary.
4. A pair of Good Deed Beads with St. Therese and Our Holy Mother medals attached.
5. A lost copy of "Little Acts of Grace," a book about Catholic customs and devotions for young children.
6. A plastic rosary. (I had wondered where it went!!)
7. A wooden bracelet with Our Lady of Guadalupe on it.

There you have it! I found it so funny that I had to take a picture. Only in a Catholic home!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

First Day of Co-op.

Monday was our first day of co-op and it was awesome!!! I really can't say enough about how wonderful the day went! We started off with Rosary in the chapel. It was so beautiful to have a room full of kids reciting the Rosary! I was also so impressed by how well behaved the children were.

After Rosary, classes begun and everyone went to their designated rooms. It was a blessing to be able to have the babies in a nursery while the older kids were in class. And although I enjoy teaching part of the preschool class, I can tell that I'm going to love teaching Catholic arts & crafts with the kids.

We followed our schedule and made Holy Water Fonts this week. They turned out great and I couldn't ask for better behaved children than were in my class! I'm looking forward to our next project (Prayer Pockets) and I know that the kids will enjoy making them as well.

Holy Water font made by me and Isabella to use as a sample for the class.

Marco's Holy Water font.

I'll keep updates on our co-op adventures!

New School Room Tour.

It's back to school time and it seems like everywhere in the homeschool blogosphere, people are giving tours of their learning spaces.  ...