Friday, October 30, 2009

Introducing cinquains

One of my goals this year is to introduce the kids to different styles of writing poetry. (Quick side note: I always dreaded having to write poetry in school, so I approach this particular genre of writing with much trepidation.) Anyway, this month we learned about cinquains . . . and since we were studying about Christopher Columbus at the time, this is what Lael came up with:

Strong, magnificent
Sailing quickly, smoothly
Like to watch them


Helpful, supportive
Royal, faithful, Christian
Kind to other people

Not bad for a first time, don't you think!

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Monday Motivation . . .

. . . for homeschooling from Steve and Jane Claire Lambert. Jane Claire is the author of the Five in a Row curriculum that we use here at God Seekers Academy.

We're not trying to do ‘School at Home’; we're trying to do homeschool. These are two entirely different propositions. We're not trying to replicate the time, style or content of the classroom. Rather we're trying to cultivate a lifestyle of learning in which learning takes place from morning until bedtime... seven days each week...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mmmm . . . apple dumplings!

That's right . . . warm, cinnamony (is that a word) apple dumplings with a scoop of Turkey Hill Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Bean ice cream . . . does it get any better than that? Probably not!

Now, before I go any further, I should offer this disclaimer . . . the recipe that follows is absolutely scrumptious but should NOT be a part of your daily diet -- it's definitely a "special treat" kind of dessert! Okay, having said that, let me share:

I found the recipe here -- there are some amazing recipes (and photos) on this website . . . I get hungry every time I visit there! And yes, her pictures are better than mine -- but you won't get to see my beautiful children there! ;)

First, you wrap apple wedges in crescent roll dough as Lael is so expertly doing here:

Put the wrapped apple wedges in a greased pan . . .
Cover with a mixture of sugar and melted butter (I told you this is a special treat) . . . Then pour in some Mountain Dew (or in our case, Sierra Mist) and sprinkle with cinnamon, then bake!
When they are done, they look like this: . . . and taste like this!
Let us know if you try these apple dumplings . . . so we can come and help you eat them!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Crossing a river

We are having such fun in our homeschool co-op group! Both kids have a history class -- Jaden's is studying famous Americans with five other "early learners" -- who are preschool and kindergarten age.

As anyone who works with young children knows well, active play is an important part of their day, and the teacher of this history class is excellent at interspersing active play with quiet listening. Two weeks ago, the historical figure the children were learning about was William Penn. The children colored a map of Pennsylvania and traced some of the major rivers. Then, we "crossed" some "rivers" -- otherwise known as a jumprope waving on the floor! They LOVED it!
Yes, that's Jaden in motion! So then this week, when we were talking about George Washington, we had to play our game again -- after all, everyone knows about George Washington crossing the Delaware River ;) Here is "George Washington" leading his troops across the Delaware -- sporting a nifty tricorn hat!
They're all up for the adventure! (And so very cute!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

We had a fun field trip to the fire station with our homeschool co-op group the other night . . . it was an excellent presentation, and the kids got to do some things I never did when the fire department visited our school when I was a kid!

Lael was very glad when we finally got there -- the GPS had a bit of trouble locating the little town fire hall that was our destination (so we were a bit late).
There was a neat display outside of antique fire trucks and fire fighting equipment that Jaden really enjoyed looking at!
After the presentation and a time of Q&A, the firefighters took the kids in small groups to a back room that was completely dark. There they were able to look through a special heat-sensitive "camera" to find where some firefighters were hiding in the room. In case of a fire, fire fighters can use this equipment to find people who might be trapped in a smoke-filled room where it's hard to see anything or anyone.

Then they took the kids outside and gave every child an opportunity to hold the fire hose and spray some water at an old car! This was a definite highlight of the night for both Lael and Jaden! (Sorry that the pictures are so dark -- it was a nighttime field trip).

Here's Jaden with the hose . . .
. . . and here's Lael taking her turn!
When they were done outside, they came back into the fire station -- there were all kinds of gifts waiting for them . . . fire hats, coloring and activity books, rulers, mini flashlights, crayons! They even received certificates for learning about fire safety! What a great field trip!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time for a "new do"

After about a year and a half of growing out her hair, the day finally arrived for Lael to get her hair cut to donate . . . she's been beside herself with excitement ever since I told her I had made the appointment! We decided to go to a real salon (Sweet and Sassy) for this momentous event -- and they made it so special for Lael. Here she is before the stylist got started . . .
Next it was time for my favorite part of having my hair done -- the shampoo!
Then the cutting began! The stylist took off an 8" ponytail that will be sent to a program that makes wigs for cancer patients.
Then the new hairstyle began to emerge . . .

Once the cutting was finished, Lael had her hair styled -- including hair glitter and a spray that smells like vanilla cupcakes (she smells so yummy right now)!
And here's our princess! Isn't she lovely!
And to celebrate, we went out for a sweet treat -- of course!
Lael, you look so beautiful . . . and I'm so proud of you!

Monday motivation!

Here's a quote I just love:

Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.
~ W.B. Yeats ~
This is what I want to always remember as I homeschool my children . . . my goal is to kindle a love of learning that will last them a lifetime!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Homeschool co-op has begun!

We are now a part of a homeschool co-op! This is such an answer to prayer . . . probably two years worth of praying! We've had two weeks already, and the kids are both loving it!
The morning begins with "opening exercises" -- some stretches, Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, prayer, a Scripture passage and devotional, and a song. Then it's off to classes . . .

First period is a history class -- Lael's class is learning about heroes of the faith, while Jaden's class is looking at important people in American history. The kids made headbands and clay beads after learning about Pocahontas.

Second period for Jaden is a math class -- things like finding patterns in the world around you, so it's very hands-on. Lael is learning square dancing for her gym class (and she loves it)!

The final class of the morning is soccer for Jaden, and an art class for Lael where she is learning about different cultures and time periods and some of the things different people groups have made.
Coming up this week is a field trip to the fire station . . . stay tuned for more pictures to come!