Monday, May 31, 2010

School is Going!

I realize that it's almost summer and we are still going with school. With so many friends finishing up their school year, I feel like that is a far-off thought in our home. Quickly coming to an end, however, are a few subjects. Grammar, saint studies & religion, writing, reading (from our Good Books list), and science.

But on the other hand, I feel like we are just getting started as well. Math is a subject we do year round, so there is no end to it. History is still going strong as we will be doing some fun History Pockets in the weeks to come. On top of that, I'm planning on just plowing through the summer with new material. We are definitly a year-round homeschool family. I like the flexibility of it and it's nice to beat to your own drum.

One thing that I am looking forward to is unit studies. We'll be leaping into the new school year with a study on the 50 states. The kids are excited after seeing all the neat new books we'll be using. I'm also planning on doing some fun science units (dissecting owl pellets, anyone?) that hubby really wanted to get involved in. On top of that, we have the collection of Catholic lapbooks available through Lapbooks for Catholics that I'm dying to do with the kids!

Sounds like a fun, schoolish summer is ahead of us! I plan to keep it fun-filled for the kids.

What are your plans?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Getting Married.

There is some news in our neck of the woods! Our fabulous babysitter, Melissa, is engaged and getting married next year!! Yes...I was totally expecting this; and we are so happy for her! She is a pretty amazing girl!!



She looks so young, you say? She's a baby (only 18!)!! But she is one of the most mature young women I know. I'm so glad that we found her almost 2 and a half years ago. She's been coming over twice a week since then and we love her. A homeschool graduate and college student, she is so wonderful with the kids and is a beautiful, Godly girl. {And no....I don't share her number! ;) }

So I wish her and her future hubby, Jeremy, the best! Congrats "Missa"!!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting Ready for Convention Book Fair!!

Well, this weekend will be the NCHE Homeschool Convention and I am completely ready to go! I normally skip out on the talks/sessions and head straight to the book fair...but this year, some of the talks are looking like they might be of interest to me! Whether or not I get to attend them is a different story.

If you've never been to a homeschool conference/convention...I highly recommend going to one! Not only do you get to attend sessions and talks given by veteran homeschoolers, but many times there are vendors who showcase their products through talks as well (one of my favorites is the talks given by the Hazell's for My Father's World). Take some comfortable walking shoes, a notebook to write with, some snacks and you are ready!!

Of course, my favorite part of any homeschool conference/convention is the actual book fair. This is the perfect time to peruse through the all the books you might even think of getting. There is something to be said for being able to thumb through books and compare curriculum. It's great! Be beware of wanting to get everything!!

Tonight I'll be spending some time really thinking about all our options for curricula. I'm still deciding what we'll be doing for history and whether or not to continue with what we are doing (most likely, yes!). It always helps me to write things down, make a list, and revisit what we have used in the past. I'll make sure to post my thoughts on curricula tomorrow!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Preparing for Co-op...In Advance!

Our planning meeting has come and gone, and it seems that we are all set for our co-op to start it's fall 2010 term. I'm blessed to be able to say that our co-op has a wonderful group of women! For the upcoming year, I will be teaching a preschool version of Before Five in a Row (BFIAR) and a science class for the kindergarten to grade 1 kids using The Magic School Bus Back in Time with the Dinosaurs science kit.

Lucky for me, I've been doing BFIAR in a row with my own kids, so changing things up to fit a small preschool class is no problem! This will also be my second time doing BFIAR in a co-op setting, so I know what to expect and how to make things smoothly. If you are interested in looking through my old BFIAR links, just click under BFIAR under the Labels section to the right. Or click here!!

In the past, I have had several moms ask for a copy of my syllabus and what materials I use. Just to make things easier for anyone who might be curious, I use lots of materials from HomeschoolShare.com. You can see my syllabus for the class below. Super simple!!


The Magic School Bus science kits are a great way to introduce science to your co-op as well. Each kit comes with everything you need (minus a few ingredients you get from home) to explore a science topic. We chose dinosaurs for our co-op's kindergarten through first grade science class. Each child will get their own box full of experiments (which I will hold until they are needed). This makes it easy for everyone in that kids don't have to share materials and everyone gets to take their experiment home! The kits also come with a teacher/parent's guide and the experiments themselves don't seem difficult to do.

So "YES!" I'm all ready for co-op! But for the time being, I'm glad I get to enjoy the summer without having to plan anymore for my classes. I'm having enough of my time going into planning for our new homeschool year!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Field Day Fun. *Updated 05/24/2010*

We just have settled down from our 2nd annual field day. It was a blast and I must send the most wonderful thanks to all the moms who made it a success. The kids had a wonderful time and I'm beat. Is it time for a nap yet?

On the down side, regardless of how late I stayed up last night downloading old pictures onto the computer and cleaning my disk for field day pictures today....I don't have anything to show for it. My camera decided not to join me today and stayed at home sitting neatly on the shelf. Perhaps it thought the weather would be too hot. This means I'll be waiting to steal some pictures from my friends once they get posted. I would hate for the memories of such a fun day to be forgotten!!

Anyways, I'm blessed to count myself as part of the amazing group of Catholic moms who make so many awesome things happen in our community! Homeschooling is definitely more fun with all of them around! If I never brought this up before, I suggest that if you would like to be inspired to start your own Catholic homeschool group of any sort, you should read Haystack Full of Needles by Alice Gunther.


**Update**
Here are finally some pictures that show off the fun everyone had!!


Find more photos like this on ARCH-Triad

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Catching Up Part 2.

My dear friends and family, it seems that Tempus Fugit (time flies). Here we are in our new home, boxes still lining up many of the rooms. School lessons are piled up on my desk and many books are still lost in our temporary storage room. Appointments and meetings are abundant this month and we have been stricken with one illness or another. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner still need to be fixed and the house just isn't cleaning itself. On top of that, we have had the privilege of hosting family and friends from a morning play-date to an entire week.

My apologies for not posting updates! But today I have made it a point to take some time to catch you all up on what's going on in our neck of the woods. First off, I want to say that we had a great time with my sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew, and mom. They all visited for a sacrament filled weekend and it was truly a blessing to be able to celebrate together!!

Dearest hubby and I are now the proud GODPARENTS of two adorable babies!! My sister's twins, Sebastian and Sophia, were welcomed into the Catholic church on May 1. It was a whirlwind of a morning getting all the children ready, but we made it on time and the celebration was beautiful!



Another wonderful event was MARCO'S FIRST COMMUNION!!!
It was so exciting to see him reach this milestone in his life and we are sooo proud of him! After learning and studying the importance of it for 2 years, we knew he was really ready to receive Our Lord. We are truly blessed!


Of course, with all the celebrations there has also been lots of bumps along the way. Christian was sick with croup, who then passed it on to Little Jimmy. Not only that, but we missed our co-op's end of year celebration because of it. And there has also been a case of "Where's Liz?" going around; that although I know where Liz is...seems like there are some who don't.

With all the good, the bad, and the ugly, I come to think of a saying that might seem to fit where I am in this time in my life...El tiempo da buen consejo (Time is the wisest counselor of all).

**A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults.**