Sunday, September 9, 2012

Teachers Notes-Curriculum choices 2012/13

As we are getting back into our school routine around here, I thought I would post about the curriculum we are using this year.
To start with, our oldest is just finishing up her grade 3 work as we planned, due to moving and having a new baby all last fall, we extended her school work into the summer and early fall. However I do have most of her new curriculum purchased.
So for 4th grade
LA-Bob Jones English and Grammar (this is new-I wanted to try it and see-looks good so far!)
Reading-Christian Light Publications (I used their reading, English, social and bible last year, I LOVE their readers!!!! But their English although on target academically, was a little dry for her)
Math-Purposeful Design ( We have used their math since 1st grade-still really happy with it, however this year she moves from a work text style to a hard cover text book)
Bible-Christian Light Publications
Social Studies-Christian Light
Science-Bob Jones (Love their science,would like to try Exploring creation, but for now gonna stick with Bob!
A reason for handwriting (cursive, book E)

Now we also do piano/violin and we are starting voice this year as well. In the past we have done ballet-this year we are looking into something a little closer to home-a local dance studio offers Cape Breton Step, which would be really neat as their new violin teacher was trained in Ireland, and plays lots of Celtic music, so that's a thought, as well we do a round of home school swimming lessons over the winter and we try to get to some of the home school swims as well. The three kids will also be in AWANA this year again, Julianna in Truth and Training, Hailey in Sparkies and Benjamin in Cubbies, this is an excellent program and we love going. Julianna took a few knitting lessons last year and I would like her to do a few more, and she would like to do some sewing lessons so I am looking into that as well.

Now on to my kindergartner
I had purchased the Horizons kindergarten program, and after looking through it, realized that their readers are at a grade 2 level after the first book! So the very next day, my friend whom had borrowed my Sing, Spell, Read, and Write program returned it! So we will be using that for learning to read, and we will use the Horizons kindergarten math this year.

I thought I would give you an overview of our days.

We get up and everyone gets dressed and we have breakfast together and do our family devotions and prayer time. Then brush hair and teeth and we go about getting our morning chores done (clearing table, washing dishes, making beds, feeding/watering the chickens etc.) Then we do a calender time, where we add the day of the month, talk about the days of the week, the season, the weather etc...
Then we branch off into each grades work. Julianna usually starts with Math, LA and reading, then has a little break by doing her handwriting (cursive) and heads over to moms to practice piano/violin. She continues with bible, and does social or science on rotating days. She is USUALLY done by lunch or just after. Then she continues on with her chore list ( wipe down bathroom, put away her clothes, sweep or tidy)
I get out Hailey's books and kind of get her started while I also get out some preschool like stuff for Benjamin, the baby is usually happy playing with her toys (getting into mischief!) Then I return to Hailey and we listen to the Cd that came with SSRW.  She does some work book pages and some math, we also play alphabet bingo with her and Benjamin and then she heads over to grandmas to practice piano and he heads outside to play for awhile. After lunch, the baby naps, I do a tidy of the kitchen and make sure supper is thawing and organized, I may also do some baking, depending on the day (I usually do the bulk of my cleaning and laundry on Mondays, Tuesdays are violin/preschool for Ben days, Wed I try to do all my baking and AWANA that evening, Thursdays we school in the morning and then the afternoon the new piano/voice teacher will be coming for lessons, and Fridays I try to get to a bigger center for groceries etc.)

Also in the afternoons I think we are going to be practicing voice together and I do some read alouds. After that comes the free time and then the start of  "happy hour"-getting supper ready and eating, bath time/stories/jammies and waa hoo bedtime at 7:30!! After which I do the necessary dish washing, sweeping, tidying etc... then try to squeeze in some me time for knitting, or sewing lol! Anyway that is how things are going for our little family this year. I would like to keep you posted on our progress, so stay tuned for more "teachers notes!"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On answered prayers, surprises and more homesteading adventures

This past week has been filled with exciting and new things around our little homestead. To start off this past weekend we got a call from my hubby's mom saying that her sister and brother in law were out visiting from the coast and wanted to come for a visit. So we said sure, come on over. In true Russell time they showed up 6 hours later than they said, but with a HUGE surprise-the aunt and uncle visiting was a ruse, all though they did come along too-this is what showed up with them

My girls were SOOO excited!!! It is even decorated inside and has a four piece kitchen! The flower boxes are real, and filled with real flowers! We are so spoiled by my mother in law, who happens to be a cabinet maker by trade!!

Next on the list of happenings is some new little critters here at the homestead!
Remember how I had mentioned that we were supposed to be getting another batch of little chicks, this time Barred Plymouth Rocks? Well they had a bad hatch and cancelled our order, but said they would have another order filled for us in a month. Well we said no thanks as that is putting us butchering in Dec. Well they never got the memo to cancel our order so Tuesday morning I got a call from the hatchery wondering if I would like my order filled a week early and if I would be interested in some extras as they had several people not want there chicks. I went gulp, umm well, sure! So Wed we went and picked up 150 little babies!!! These ones are black with a little yellow spot on their heads and little yellow bums-so cute!
Needless to say I spent Tues running around trying to get the brooder all in order etc!
I haven't taken any pics yet-gasp I know-but I will soon I promise!

Now on to the answered prayer!
Being as how we live an hour from a major centre, we have to do a lot of driving to get anywhere and do just about anything. So I have been driving the girls in once a week for the last three years to the city for piano/violin and ballet (one year we went in twice a week for ballet) Well we had decided that we just can't justify the cost of gas, wear and tear on our vehicles etc any more so my hubby really wanted to see if we could find these things closer to home. When I had looked the first year I couldn't find anyone willing to teach either instrument closer than 45 minutes and they were in opposite directions from each other. So that was why I chose the teacher we did, because she taught both piano and violin. So I have been praying and asking God to provide teacher closer to home, in the same direction. Meanwhile I had been hoping to put the girls in voice lessons and have them in a choir. But I knew that the only way to do that was to drive to the city. I was so tormented over wanting these things for them, and wanting to be at home more and driving less.
Well I am so happy to share that God is a God of miracles! He provided a violin teacher, who also teaches in a style I want and like, only ten minutes from here. And then yesterday my mom was in getting her hair done and the lady beside her started chatting, and it turns out she teaches piano and voice! AND she cleans a house for a lady a mile up the road from us on Thurs mornings so she is going to come to my house and teach the girls!!!! Isn't that amazing!!! I was just beside myself all week marveling at the work of His hands! I will only have to drive one day, and only ten minutes from home!! I am sooo blessed!
Well it is getting late here, I better head for bed, blessings!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Yarn Along

I am finally joining up with Ginny's Yarn Along again! There has not been much knitting going on in the last month, but I do have some progress on my longies! I also crocheted up a pair of baby ballet slippers for a friends little girl. She bought the yarn to match the babies dress and I whipped them up in an evening! I love the instant gratification that a quick project provides! I forgot to take a picture of what I am reading, I ordered in the 30 heirloom baby knits book from the library-which I love! Can't wait to work on some of them-definitely going to try my hand at cables one of these days! I am also reading up all the homeschool books and such that we finally got this week! Definitely enjoying my tidbits of reading this week. Stay tuned for some exciting adventures happening over here at the homestead!
So without further ado-the pics!
I am going to use the lovely lilac color for the skirty and I think a matching Milo

The sweet little ballet slippers, sorry for the poor pics the morning light was not cooperating!

Oh and a little flower that she is going to put on a clip for her hair!