Monday, August 30, 2010

It's All Good in the 'Hood

After our whopping 10-minute hail storm we had some months back, Ryan got offered a job with the company that fixed our roof.  Over the past few months, we have decided that the roofing gig was like beating a dead horse.  He got a few jobs, but we are all about a more reliable source of income. :) Seriously, these roofing companies are like roaches (lots aren't even local...they set up shop where there has been storm damage..pretty crazy) and a lot of homes with damaged roofs were snapped up pretty quick.  Anyway, while Ryan was a seasoned soldier he also become a seasoned pizza man. ;) It was always nice to have some loose cash on hand, so he's taken on a job with Domino's and is working his delivery magic.  He's currently in the application process with the Davidson County Sheriff's office (just recently passed the PT test and interview!), so while we are waiting on that we will just truck right along as usual.

On the homeschool front, Hannah and I read about North America and did the coordinating GeoPuzzle.  I feel like we should do a small unit about North America.  I mentioned what states we were all born and where we used to live, but I don't know anything about Canada.  I guess we'll look and see what we can find at the library tomorrow. :D Maybe I'll teach Hannah to sing "Oh Canada" and the "Star-Spangled Banner" Fun, fun stuff.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Minus the Locker Room Drama

This week we had ourselves some P.E.  Since the weather is starting to cool off I've started taking the girls for rides in the wagon again.  I am so excited.  I just wish Clarksville had more sidewalks so we could venture out of our neighborhood.  I'm not too keen on pulling a plastic Radio Flyer on the shoulder of Madison Street. Anyway, Hannah can't seem to sit still anymore and would prefer to pull the wagon, walk beside me, or even run a little ahead which is what she did here.  I almost can't describe what she was doing as running--more like a gallop or a trot. She was sure red-faced by the time we got back to the house.  I ignored the girls' pleas for apple juice and quickly forced water on them.  I am such a horrible mom. ;)

On Friday we had first hand experience of the true freedom homeschooling brings.  We went to Nashville Shores for the day! A friend has a season pass and had some really awesome coupons.  Our family went with my brothers, my mom, Traci (our coupon liason ;D), my sister and her husband and my niece, Emma. We all had a great time and I am pleased that my (very fair-skinned) girls did not turn into lobsters by the end of the day.  They were a little pink, but that's to be expected.  Ryan went on the half-pipe and it was officially the most hilarious thing I ever saw in my life. I myself sure loved that wave pool, but I forgot how much that things wears a person out! I am a bit sorry I didn't take any pictures from the day, but Ryan and I took full advantage of my mom and had her watch the kids so we could go on some of the rides. :P  But the picture on the right is Autumn on the way home.  She had such a great time.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekend of Changes

Yeah, okay, so these are not life-altering changes but it stuff that keeps things interesting. Last night we made it official that Autumn is no longer sitting in a high chair. While it frees up some room in the kitchen, it makes me a bit sad.  We slacked off real bad with Hannah since she was at least 2 and a half before we put her in a booster seat. :p Although I don't think any permanent damage was done.  Lots of changes are coming Autumn's way.  For her birthday we are getting her a toddler bed and bedding set! Then sometime after two we will start potty training. 
Ryan also took it upon himself to completely shave his head last night.  I was really liking him with hair.  I don't think he's had this 'do since we were living in KS.  He said he needed something different.  It wasn't until after all the hair was said and gone, that we remembered Autumn flips out even when Ryan just gets a regular haircut! This morning as we were all eating breakfast and getting ready for church, Ryan kept his ball cap on.  That was the only way Autumn would go to him! Eventually Autumn did warm back up to him, bald head and all. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Week in Review #2

This isn't so much about our subjects covered (we pretty much did the same stuff :p), but just the in's and out's of the week. 

Monday - I took the girls to the park at the Riverwalk.  The weather was about 10 degrees cooler than it's normally been, but that didn't help by a whole lot.  We were there for only an hour and I had plenty of water on hand.  We were the only people at the park, which was surprising. I guess there will be moe once fall sets in.  I also informed Hannah that this was the place her daddy and I had our first date, a long time ago before she was born.  She seemed intrigued.

Tuesday - I have declared Tuesdays our library days.  Right before we were about to leave Autumn had a major meltdown that required an immediate nap.  Thank goodness Ryan was home, so Hannah and I went.  I found another line drawing book for her.  The temperature was still on the lower side for summer, so while I went to the gym Ryan took the girls for a ride in the wagon for the first time in a while.  When I came home, the three of them were cooling off in the sprinkler.

Wednesday - This particular day I was praising the Lord for the opportunity to homeschool!  Around 8 AM Hannah was starting to look a little glassy-eyed, so I sent her back to bed.  Of course she claimed to not be tired, but what did she do--sleep for almost 3 hours!  Obviously, this would not have been an option in a regular classroom and I would have had a horrid little girl coming home. This night we went to church, where I went to the homeschool group and Hannah went to TeamKid, where she learned about being kind and drew a picture of her sharing a ball with a friend in her class. :) Although I think this current silly band craze seems to be helping kids with sharing since they're literally a dime a dozen.  Once again, Autumn did not go to church with us because she was looking a bit sleepy and was not exactly being pleasant so I can only imagine how she would have been if I dropped her off in the church nursery (every Sunday morning is wailing to some extent).  So Autumn got to hang out with her daddy, and hopefully next week will be better.

Thursday - Hannah really wanted to play with her Inchimals, even though we haven't gotten to addition in her math workbook.  I figured why not. Homeschooling should also involve Hannah taking the reins sometimes.  We had such a great start to addition! Hannah loves animals of all kinds so maybe I should have done this from the very first day! :) Later in the day the girls got a treat by going to their Grendy's house and having pancakes for dinner.  The actual reason for their visit was so I could go to the gym (which I might add I ran 5 miles! Trying to train for the Clarksville half-marathon, but more on that later...).

Friday - We picked up Grammie (my grandma and, obviously, the girls' great-grandma) late in the morning to run some errands.  Grammie uses the store's motorized wheelchair when shopping, so I pushed Hannah and Autumn around the store in her manual wheelchair.  It was quite a sight.  I do wish I had a picture.  Afterward, we stopped at McDonald's for lunch.  Hannah was more interested in playing in the Play Place than eating, but no matter.  Hannah also stayed the night at Grammie's new apartment.  Turns out she stayed up until midnight and woke up around 6, so she was not the sweet girl I have come to know over the past 5 years.  Eh, it happens. When she stays the night with one of her grandparents, it's pretty much a guarantee she will be due for a good nap the next day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Week in Review

Our first week of homeschooling has come to a close! I took the kids to TCBY on Friday to celebrate our first week (also on Fridays you get a free kids scoop with any regular purchase :p)  Here is what we accomplished in the past 5 days:

Math: The first lessons are reviews of counting and writing numbers before we get into the nitty gritty of it all.  This is something I really like about this curriculum that I got--the pace is not too fast and you're constantly reviewing what you previously learned along with new material.

Reading: Hannah can read 'at', 'cat', 'sat', and 'cot'. She is so excited about learning how to read! Her reading lessons don't start out at the beginning of the alphabet--it starts out with the most common letters and sight words.  Obviously these are the first 5 letters. :) I tell her that when I read her a story to point out any of these words, and eventually she'll be reading to me!

Geography/World Atlas: The first lessons were what a map was and how things look from a bird's eye view.  While the first couple lessons were fairly simple the last one we did was a bit startling since it seemed to require a seasoned reader.  There was a simple map with street names and to name what streets the various buildings were on.  Before we started I told Hannah what the streets were, and she did so well! I was honestly anticipating to become frustrated. :/ I guess if I did become frustrated that it would have been more my fault, since I had been expecting it.  The possibilities of frustrations should probably be left at the door when homeschooling, or at least kept in check as to not discourage your child.

Language: The curriculum for this subject has a "Charlotte Mason" flavor, as so stated on the workbook.  Charlotte Mason is a method of homeschooling which I guess all homeschoolers use to a certain extent. The first page in the workbook had a painting that Hannah had to make up a story about off the top of her head (the painting was of some sheep and chickens in a barn).  Hannah threw in some dialogue between the animals telling each other to not be afraid of the hay or something like that. LOL I really enjoyed that exercise.  I should just do that when we see random pictures.

Thinking Skills: Through doing these exercises, I finding out what a great memory Hannah has! Very impressive! We have four workbooks to go through, so it will be exciting to see how far she comes.

Art: We don't have an actual curriculum.  After we do the first part of school in the morning, Hannah enjoys painting.  I give assignments such as making pictures of us going to big church and spending the night at Papaw's house--just whatever is going on in our lives.  Through a local online homeschool group, I learned of some art classes at Advantage Learning Center I can sign her up for.  My goal for this coming week is to get details on that and, depending on how much it is, sign her up.

I can guarantee every week won't be so exciting I will post a summary of it. :) I'm just really thrilled that the first week went so well!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tentative Schedule

I've been a homeschooling mom for a whole three days, but I like to think we are developing somewhat of a schedule (which will undoubtedly change over the next several weeks).  Here is a sample of our ever evolving routine:

5 AM - My alarm goes off.  All this week I have yet to actually get out of bed at this time, but I usually don't fall asleep until 11 PM. I just can't seem to make myself go to bed early. The reason I have my alarm set at this time is so I can get up, having some coffee, read my Bible, and get my mind and heart set for the day.

6 AM - I finally drag myself out of bed and have coffee and a quiet time. Just in the the nick of time, too, since Hannah is an early bird as well.

6:20ish - Hannah wakes up and comes downstairs, her hair looking ratted as it does every morning.  She goes to bed between 7 and 7:30, so I can't expect her to sleep much later than this. :p

9 AM - We start our school work.  Ryan is usually still home at this time, so he can entertain Autumn while I impart wisdom onto our eldest.  We start the day with the subjects that take the shortest amount of time such as language, thinking skills, and geography (since we don't have to do each subject every day this does not take much time)

9:30 - We are done with the first part of school work.  Ryan leaves for work by this time, so it's just me and the kids.  Hannah will either want to watch cartoons or draw/paint.  I try to keep Autumn involved and occupied by having her play with Play Doh or scribbling with crayons. This morning Hannah wanted to paint, so I told her to paint a picture of her going to "big church" since she started going to service with me and Ryan this past Sunday.  She painted the four of us in our Durange driving to church. :)

11 AM - Lunch.  The girls have been kind of finicky lately, so this generally doesn't take long.

Noon - Autumn goes down for nap, so Hannah and I tackle the rest of her subjects for the day (Reading, Handwriting, and Math, depending on what the day is calling for).  The one subject that requires absolute undivided attention is Reading, which is going very well so far.  We only have to do a couple pages of the workbook a day.  She can read the words "cat" and "sat" now. It's very exciting.  "I can read!" she said. My daughter is learning how to just thrills my soul! :) Can't wait to start breaking out the Beverly Clearys and Judy Blumes!

1 PM - Hannah goes to her room for quiet time where she has to sit on her bed for an hour and play with something quietly.  She prefers Littlest Pet Shops or reading stories to her bears. Once or twice a week she will take an actual nap.

2 PM - Hannah and Autumn are up and raring to go.  From there we will run any errands that need to be done, make a trip to the library, or visit my grandma.  Sometimes we might just stay home (especially these days when we're under a heat advisory).

5 PM - Dinner then bath.

7 PM - We start bedtime routines (teeth brushing, stories).  We're probably going to move this up since we don't have to get up around super early to make it to school (which I am LOVING!).

There's our day! Last night we started going to Wed. night church again.  Hannah went to TeamKid and loved it! Autumn didn't go with us because she was congested and sounding a bit croupy, so she hung out with her Grendy.  I went to the homeschool group which was really great.  There were a couple of "veteran" homeschoolers, I guess you could say, and we all just talked about the positive aspects of homeschooling which I found to be very encouraging.  I feel so blessed to be doing this and can't believe I was resistant to the Lord's calling at first.  I'm hoping on Friday we will have a chance to go out for a treat to celebrate getting through the first week of school! Can't wait!

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Day!

Hannah's official "first day of school" pic
Today was our first official day of homeschool!! I've been so anxious and nervous all weekend, one would think I was getting ready to stand in front of 30 kindergarteners and teach rather than sit at the kitchen table with my own child.  We did one page from each of three subjects this morning--Geography, Motor/Thinking Skills, and Language.  All went smoothly.  For math and reading we waited for Autumn to go down for a nap since those two required more attention.  Thankfully right now math is a review of counting and numbers and then it moves on to addition/subtraction, money, and telling time.  Reading will definitely be the tough subject for us to get through, and we were both getting frustrated.  Reading was the first thing Hannah said she wanted to do, so I'm sure she was expecting something a bit easier.  I have only been reading to her since before she was mobile! I wasn't really sure what to expect myself.  This is just something we have to spend more time on each day.  At least we got through the lessons we were supposed to for the day.  Hate to get behind already! :)
We even did some art! :)

The whole day was kind of surreal.  Even though I know there are several homeschooling families in Clarksville, I felt like we were the only ones not out in the hussle and bussle of trying to get our kids to school on time. :P  We probably didn't even spend two hours on school work (which is fine for only being Kindergarten), but this is still going to be a whole new way of life.  Something definitely to get used to. I know over time we will get into a good flow. :)  When I made a run to the store, I passed by one of the 384575 elementary schools there are in this town.  There were miles of cars waiting to pick their kids up.  If Hannah was going to public school we were prefer to drive her rather than take the bus, so we would be right there with them.  I have to admit, it is really nice not to have to worry about that anymore!

Some outtakes from this morning when I was trying to get that perfectly adorable "first day" pic:

I guess Autumn wasn't feeling the homeschool love.

Friday, August 6, 2010

It came!

The curriculum arrived last night!!! I am just so excited and ready to start! Well, not quite yet.  Monday will officially be the big day. Over the weekend I'm going to figure out a schedule of sorts.  I'm sure it will be bumpy the first few days, but in no time we'll be on a great routine. There is a set of four workbooks called Developing the Early Learner and it helps in developing thinking, visual, auditory, and motor skills.  I flipped through it and it had a lot of similar activities we have been doing over the summer! :D There is a science kit (which Ryan seemed more excited about! He proclaimed that he will be the science teacher!).  The math portion of the kit was back ordered, but it's on it's way.  I found a little beginning addition and subtraction workbook at the Dollar Tree that we've been doing to get a good start.  Even though this is only Kindergarten level stuff, math has never been my forte.  I'm hoping Hannah will have better ease with numbers than I did.

Can't wait to let everyone know about our first day! Here's to a good one!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quality Time

On Sunday night we attended the preschool open house at church so the kids could meet their new Sunday school teachers (the new year starts this coming Sunday!).  All their teachers seem perfectly wonderful. :) Autumn is in a completely different hallway than before, which my mom proclaimed she could not possibly be old enough for!  There aren't even any cribs in her classroom--so grown up.  Hannah is pretty much in the same place...right next door to her prior class. Mr. Leroy told her to be sure to come by and say hello when she walks by.
There was also a Bible ceremony for those kids entering and leaving Kindergarten.  Each child receive their very own Bible signed by the pastor.  It's the Adventure Bible, which I distinctly remember having when I was 11 (a different edition obviously).  I wonder if I still have it somewhere.  With the beginning of a new Sunday school (and regular school) year, I figure this would be a great time for us to start going to church on Wednesdays (starting tonight of course).  They have gobs of stuff for the kids to do, so I'm really excited. 

Last night we went to the dealership to pick up Ryan's truck from being fixed (thank you warranty! :D) and decided to stop at Cici's for dinner.  We decided that Autumn could not possibly be our child since she was pushing away the cinnamon rolls and apple pizza Ryan would offer her.  Crazy girl.

She preferred to stand up in the booth and say hi to the people behind us.  Hannah rode home with Ryan because she loves "Daddy's loud truck" and when we pulled up next to each other at a red light.  Ryan revved the engine like he wanted to race. What a goob. While I got ready to go to the gym a little while later, Ryan was gracious enough to bathe the kids and get them ready for bed.  He also makes story time more exciting than me, adding his own little tidbits here and there. I should have taken a video last night, but I'll have other opportunities no doubt.
He also tends to read with a lot of emotion.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Knot Forms

While I was on the internet the other morning ordering Hannah's homeschool curriculum, my stomach became one big knot.  Like, wow am I really going to do this? With all the back to school hoopla going on around us, I realize that the time is getting closer (not to mention I want to buy all the cute "college" stuff at Walmart.  I'm all for a purple coffee maker!).  Hannah is quite excited about school.  I wasn't sure how she would feel about it, since she had so much fun in PreK.  When we talk about it she keeps asking "Can we do school now!?" But she has done various workbooks and activities to keep her mind sharp. ;) I guess you can say we've been homeschooling a bit all summer.

This summer has gone by so fast, and I have truly enjoyed the time I spent with my girls. I can't wait for the curriculum to arrive and then we can dive into everything! Although I am hoping the curriculum will be here before Friday since that's the first day of public school. Being a newbie to all this I will probably start having thoughts of Hannah falling behind. :P


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