Monday, September 26, 2011

Some homeschoolin' fun!

This week in Apologia Astronomy, we are learning about the sun. We learned how sunspots are cooler than the temperature of the sun (but still a scorching 7,000 degrees!) and that the more sunspots the sun has, the hotter our weather here on earth is! For fun, we concentrated the sun's heat using a magnifying glass and melted a hershey's kiss. Yum! The kids liked that one.

The Story of the World took us to Scotland where we learned about the life of Mary Queen of Scots. Now that could be the making of a novella! Locked up by your power hungry husband, who later on is mysteriously strangled to death in his garden. Of course, all eyes and accusations are on you, the bitter wife, making  you just as popular in the polls as Obama is now! You run for safety to your cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England, but she is beyond paranoid being as she has no heir to inherit the throne and you are next in line! She locks you up for 19 years fearing you are plotting her death, which seems to be confirmed as true when spies intercept your outgoing letters that seem to lean that way! After 19 years of accumulating numerous dogs and birds (think animal hoarders style), you are finally executed by the very one you had run to for refuge. Talk about drama! The kids made a "tartan" representing their clan (remember, we're going for a Scottish theme here!)

In our yard, the kids stumbled upon this strange mushroom growing in our grass. Very alienesque! The kids were more brave than I-I wasn't going to get near that slimy looking thing!

And what day would be complete without having first row seats to Monster Bug Wars? Looks like you don't want to mess with a wasp, no matter how tiny it is, if you're a spider!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bringing in the Sheaves

A common response I get from people when I tell them I home school is usually something like, "I could never do that....I  don't have the patience....I wish I could, but I just don't have what it takes." Although I truly sympathize and understand where these women are coming from, the bottom line is neither do I! I could never do that, I don't have the patience and I don't have what it takes. Notice all those statements emphasize and are focused on "I."  I definitely don't have what I need to faithfully serve my children in this capacity, but Jesus does and He freely gives! (2 Peter 1:3)

We would't dare approach any ministry at church with the idea that we are serving God because of our own abilities or talents, and yet we so often approach homeschooling with that mindset. (2 Corinthians 3:5) The bottom line is that homeschooling is a ministry, and as with any ministry, God does the calling and equipping. We come poor and empty and he in turn fills us and gives us all that we need to perform our service for Him. (1 Timothy 1:12).

God supplies all we need to fulfill any task that He calls us to. As obvious and simple as that sounds, we are in constant need of reminding. (Philippians 3:1) We quickly get run down, overwhelmed and discouraged when we lose sight of Him who performs all things for us by the power of His Holy Spirit. (Zechariah 4:6) How suddenly our calling can become a burden if we allow it to.

Remember, God is standing ready to supply the guidance (Psalm 16:11), wisdom (James 1:5), patience (Revelation 2:3) and love (1 John 4:8). It won't be easy, but it will be possible (Matthew 19:26). It will require sacrifice (Romans 12:1), diligence (Romans 12:11) and obedience (Isaiah 1:19), but to those who do not grow weary, a harvest is promised! (Galatians 6:9, John 15:16, Psalm 126:6).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Give up, Ben-Hadad!

We finished our first week of school! A long week, but a successful week! Not only that, but we finally got to use our timeline :) Charles V was the first "entry" and Sammy got to do the honors.

I have to say that I am really enjoying the overview of history we are getting with the Story of the World. I especially love the suggested library books that go along with it so you can delve deeper into whatever historical event or people interest you. The extra activities also make it so fun and interactive. To wrap up week one in which we learned about Charles V, Philip II, and Spanish conquistadores, we played a great game called "Steal the Spanish Gold".
One player is the pirate and the other is the Spanish.  On a paper, the Spanish player designates a certain amount of it's 12 daubloons between it's 6 ships. The Spanish player tries to get all 6 ships across without taking too much loss from the pirate. The victor of each encounter is determined by the roll of the dice. The game ends when either the pirate steals all the gold or the Spanish ships get across to "Spain". As you can see by the pics, the kids had a blast playing this game and I had a blast watching them! More funny to me than it would be to you is when Sammy (who was the pirate) yelled out upon approaching one of the Spanish ships, "Give up, Ben-Hadad!" which was NOT from our history lesson but rather our bible lesson from this morning. He quickly realized his error when Alyssa started laughing at him. (Although later it was me laughing at her when, during our science lesson, she said the 7th planet was "Urine".)
Pay up! The pirate won this roll of the dice.