|This is a normal day at my house, folks.|
|I'm so thankful.|
|It's been a ghost town here at Holland Happenings! We are fully in the swing of the 2013-2014 school year and we are staying busy! We are already 13 weeks into our school year! It's flying this year. Everyone is doing well with their school and so far attitudes have been great too! Jonathan has finished a full phonics program and has now moved on to emerging readers and I'm so happy with his progress. He has struggled a great deal with learning how to read which is completely unlike my first two boys. Jonathan and I both have had a learning curve with this reading thing!|
|She can make me crazier than all three boys put together - and yet she can have me laughing and crying tears of joy within 10 seconds. This girls is a truly a bundle of joy. She can hold her own with the boys and can play soldier games like none other - but she is as girly as they come and tenderhearted to boot. She is quick to challenge me when she doesn't what to do what I ask, but is just as quick to say how sorry she is for how she acted. I'm so blessed that she is mine.|
|This is a normal day at my house, folks.|
|I'm so thankful.|
|This is just a bonus picture...because she's just so darn cute.|
We've had a busy couple of months. School is intense this year in the amount of time required of me. It's good, though. It's so very good. I do have days that I wish that I did not have to teach - and we have plenty of days when attitudes are not the best. I struggle with my own attitude on days like that and I have urges to chase the school bus down, so that someone else can assign them their dreaded work. All that said - when my attitude is as it should be - I am always so grateful that my children are at home with me. They are the blessings ... I am the blessed.
My sweet girl feel asleep on the way to the restaurant on my birthday. She stayed asleep when Rich pulled her out of her carseat. She's getting so big. We cherish the times when she falls asleep like this - it's a "little" moment. She is growing up so quickly! We are so blessed by her sweet and happy spirit!
|We have lived in North Carolina for over 10 years now. It's hard to believe it's been that long. We all love it here and can't imagine living anywhere else. We love our home, our yard, our neighborhood, our church, and our friends. One of the main ministries of our church is the Small Group Ministry. It took us a while, but we found a small group within our church that has been an excellent fit for Rich and myself, but also for our children. Once a week, we gather with our small group, share a meal at a home of one of the families, study our Bibles, have accountability, and prayer. Our children experience community and fellowship with the other children in the group.|
|The idea behind the small group ministry is to "do life" with your small group. On this particular day, we all gathered together on Labor Day and went swimming and cooked out. It can take a long time to develop relationships within the church. It requires a commitment to seek out those relationships and time to develop them to the point at which it's comfortable to seek out prayer and counsel for whatever it is that is going on in your everyday life.|
|We are so thankful for our small group. We love the people in our small group and are continually blessed by them as we share our lives with them. Our entire family looks forward to going to small group each week. Years ago, after we were first married we were a part of a small group ministry and Rich began a small group ministry at the church that he pastored. We have missed this ministry so much over the years! Our children are blessed by the friendships they are forming.|
|I am not only thankful for the relationships that I see my children forming - both within our church at large - and with the other people (both young and old) in our small group, but I am also thankful for the women in the small group who have become my dear friends.|
|We gathered as a church at Falls Lake to worship the Lord through song, prayer, and baptism. It was a beautiful day! Aaron prayed to receive Jesus as his savior about two years ago, and it has been an on-going conversation since then. He has been asking and desiring to be baptized for the past year. He wrote down his testimony of faith and trust in Jesus and why he wanted to be baptized. He bravely got up in front of a large crowd from our church that had gathered together and he read what he had written down. Rich also spoke to the church about Aaron's journey in coming to know and trust in Christ as his Savior.|
|My heart was already overflowing to hear my child child publicly profess his faith in Jesus! Then our church family walked to the waters of Falls lake and gathered on the shore to witness Rich baptize our son Aaron.|
|It was a glorious moment to observe the symbolism of being buried in baptism and raised to new life in Christ. We have great hope in Christ!|
|Our family and church family rejoice with Aaron on his new found life in Christ. God is good and greatly to be praised!|
|Aaron is reading about the Desert in Science, and he came up with this fabulous version of a cactus! I was so impressed with it. He used air dry clay and tooth picks.|
|In History, Aaron is learning about Egyptian hieroglyphics. He used air dry clay to carve his own hieroglyphic. Aaron is a very independent student. He reads through his curriculum guide and easily follows the instructions and often has the projects done before I can even explain them to him. His independence is an enormous blessing to me since I have the younger two that need a great deal more attention from me.|
He loves 4th grade. So far he is enjoying the content a great deal more than what we did last year in 3rd grade. I am so happy about that because it causes him to have a much better attitude!
|I have thrown Rosalie into our crazy homeschooling schedule this year for several reasons. First, she is able to identify all of the letters both capital and lowercase, she is able to write most of them, and she is so enthusiastic about being a student in the Holland School! Secondly, it's easier for me to include her than to hold her off for one more year. Thirdly, by starting her now, I am able to combine her with Jonathan on History, Bible, Science, and other activities making it easier for me to implement our family schedule. So, we are calling it Pre-K and getting this show on the road. If at any point she shows signs of not being able to keep up with the work, we will slow it way down and re-evaluate. She will be doing the orange Handwriting Without Tears workbook, Singapore earlybird Mathematics, and a couple of Rod and Staff workbooks that will help her with her fine motor skills. (tracing, cutting, pasting, etc.)|
|Jonathan will be doing the yellow Handwriting Without Tears workbook, Singapore Primary Mathematics Textbooks and Workbooks 1A and 1B, and a couple of Rod and Staff workbooks that will continue to work on his fine motor skills.|
|I am using the Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory curriculum guide this year with both Jonathan and Rosalie. So, they are combined on all the history, science, Bible, and read a-louds. However, as you saw above, they have different levels of handwriting, reading, and math. |
History - History for Little Pilgrims, 101 Favorite Bible Stories, History Stories for Children
Science - The World God Made
Bible - The children work on a memory verse each week and have Devotions scheduled throughout the week using Devotions for the Children's Hour
Reading - The Reading Lesson pictured above is the reading curriculum that they are both using, however Jonathan is almost finished with the book while Rosalie is just starting. Once Jonathan finishes The Reading Lesson he will begin reading a large set of emerging readers so that he can continue to practice his reading skills. I did not take a picture of those readers. Even though he hasn't finished The Reading Lesson, he has already started reading the first book in the Emerging Readers set. You may have noticed that the Heart of Dakota Beyond Little Hearts For His Glory is also pictured above. I am using that guide to follow the hands on math plans, the light grammar plans, and the spelling plans with Jonathan. As much as he has struggled in learning how to read, I am surprised at how much he LOVES spelling!
|My highest priority for Kindergarten and 1st grade is not reading, writing, or math, it is teaching the children how to listen well to read a-louds, and be able to retell/narrate back to me what they heard. This is a pretty difficult skill to learn! Rosalie is not getting the gentle introduction to it that the others got since I have combined her with Jonathan, however, she is getting the idea from listening to Jonathan retell the readings back to me. She is going to learn a lot from him this year. She is already a pretty good listener and probably doesn't need as gentle an introduction to it that Jonathan needed. I started slowly with Jonathan using books that were smaller and had pictures, and eventually ended the year reading chapter books to him ... and he was able to narrate back to me in excellent detail. I love having the two of them together this year. They are already used to doing everything together anyway that it seems perfectly natural for them to do school together too.|