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Friday, January 28, 2011

We've Got Batter Control Issues...

No comments about this being unbelievably dangerous, please. I ate batter when I was a kid and look how....oh, wait...nevermind.My dad says every picture he takes of Lillie is magical. It's true. She can be doing the most mundane things and there's just something beautiful about her...

My boy's growing up! This is his first loan agreement! Kid cannot wait to make enough allowance to buy a lego plane set (about 3 months of work, IF he doesn't get money taken away for bad behavior.) So, Jody decided that he would offer him a loan. We buy the plane now and he's our slave til he works off the debt. When Lillie was asked if she wanted us to front her some money for something, she said "Ummm, no. I'll just save up my money." Smart girl. Doesn't Jack look thrilled though. He's probably wondering what he's gotten himself into.
There is no shortage of love around here for Ty GUy.

Human Body Unit Week One

Actually, we've managed to turn one week into two somehow. We've still had some sickness off and on and it's been hard to accomplish anything more than the basics. But I would like to share what we are doing as far as a current unit study and what we're using right now in school. So, this is another one of those catch-up posts filled with randomness.

If you decide to do a human body unit, you must purchase this resource by Teacher Created Materials.

My sister gave me hers. But even if you aren't that fortunate, it's only 7.99 .It's very neat and very affordable. It's 100 percent reproducible so you can use it over and over
again, which I'm sure you will do. It's well worth the money.

I love Let's Read and Find Out Books and the ones we are using for the first two weeks are:

Use Your Brain by Paul Showers (this can be a hard one to find, for some reason)

I faced a dilemna. I would've liked to have done a lapbook, but felt it was too much work placed on me, and more planning than I have time for. So, I decided to make them a dry erase anatomy folder. Basically, it contains pictures and blank label me type diagrams for all parts and systems of the body that we'll be studying. I put them in sheet protectors and then they can use their dry erase markers to label the worksheets over and over. It's been a really nice compromise: Something they can practice with over and over and also something they can hang onto that will help them later on.

Here's the sites I used to get the diagrams:

Crayola Human Body Worksheets

Label Me Body Enchanted Learning

How The Body Works by Kids Health (this site is awesome and has so many resources we will be using. Just click on the system or body part you want and it will list some movies, worksheets and activities.)

We made paper mache Thinking caps to remind us of the lobes of the brain...

Oh, gosh! I think I misspelled Occipital????? I wish God had given me built in Spell Check...

Oh, if only they really worked...

Used these diagrams for our body books...

Label the Neuron

The Brain

Will be making a beaded neutron...

Lots of different nervous system activities

Watch This

Well, as we cover more, I'll link up more resources.

I have said on here before how much I love Nancy Hall's Explode the Code. It really turned Lillie onto reading after I about destroyed any love for it she might have had. So, I bought Nancy Hall's SpellWell for Lillie and so far, it's just as much a hit. Like, ETC, it's super affordable, nothing too complicated or fancy. I'm supplementing with worksheets off Super Teacher

Lillie is still working on her addition facts, she's up to the 3's. These two games have been highly effective.

She's currently finishing up ETC 2 1/2 and has aced both the spelling tests I have given her, so I'm convinced more than ever that she is going to be just like me and love history, english, writing, reading and be really good at spelling, but is going to despise math. But God made her that way for some reason, so who am I to change her? I don't know much advanced math, but the basics have served me well.

One neat thing I've been doing with Lillie is using a tape recorder for her reading practice. See, if I'm sitting with her then she feels like she doesn't have to work at sounding out unfamiliar words, she just asks me and knows I'll help her. So, the other day I found my grandpa's old tape recorder and told her to pick a book, go to her room and record herself reading the book. Then I go in and listen to the tape and correct any mistakes she made and helped her with any words she was unsure of. It has worked great.

Jack has started ETC 1, is working on adding and subtracting on a numberline, and is practicing writing his numbers and letters. He can use both his hands, always going first for his left when he writes. He is still reversing some of his letters, but I'm hoping that will iron itself out.

Have a Blessed Day!

Oh Brother!

I can't tell you how blessed I am to have two boys and two girls. I worried for awhile about Jack feeling left out or lonely with just him and the two girls, but the LORD knew what we needed. Jackson is gonna be a great big brother, I can just tell. There's enough age difference between them that he sees himself as Tyler's protector. And Tyler really loves Jack, you can see it when they wrestle. Tyler looks at Jack like he's the King of the World. Took these pictures while the two of them were cuddlin' on the bed.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Looking Back...

Well, another year has slipped by and I feel like I've done less with this one than the previous one. I realize that upon the dawn of a new year, people focus on the future, putting the old year behind them...out of sight and out of mind. And it's probably better to do that in actuality. However that is also easier said than done.

I was reading a blog post and the author was writing about all the false notions and mistakes she had made in the past, when she was much younger and not as seasoned in the trenches. I can totally relate. How much time and money and resources have I wasted in my life. Sometimes I look back on all the mistakes I've made and it literally I the only one that feels this way. How life would have been different and better if I had been smarter...

But I am also keenly aware that God is great...and for every mistake I have made, HE has taught me a lesson. For every wrong turn, HIS mercy has been there to guide me back. So the Bible is true when it talks about all things working for good to them that Love GOD. There have been times when I couldn't see the good until much later and there are still things I'm waiting to see the good that will come from the struggle and I am also very much aware that I may never see the good in some trials until I come to HIM face to face. So New Year's are always bitter sweet... an odd mix of regret and hope. If God sees fit, I'll have one more year to Love HIM more, love Jody and the kids more, be above and beyond in ALL my relationships God has so blessed me with.

I've never been much on New Year's Resolutions. I've never found myself able to accomplish any that I set for myself. Not to say I don't want to accomplish some things this next year if God lets me have another year, it's just that listing them doesn't help me DO any of them. But what do I really want to do this next year?

I want to draw closer to get back some of the fire I had when I first was read more (because I want to and not out of duty) to pray and actually feel that I got through when I get up. To be more loving and forgiving of Jody and my children. To teach my children, not just how to read and write or do word problems, but to teach them through my words and my example that Jesus is the answer to every problem, the way out of every temptation, the best friend you'll ever have, the only person you won't be able to get rid of no matter how hard you try, the water when you're thirsty and the hope when there seems to be none lying around. To help them see their purpose and guard over their souls till the time I have to step away and let Jesus take over.

I want to get rid of more me and give it away to others...letting God use me as HE wants.

So here's bidding farewell to 2010 and looking forward to 2011!

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."'

Benjamin Franklin

Have a Blessed New Year!