Category Archives: Hannah Elisabeth

Back to {Home}School

Once upon a time, I said I would never homeschool my children.

IMG_7011awmAnd, yet…here we are, embarking on our 8th year of homeschooling!

This year, I have 4 students…ranging from pre-school to junior high! That should keep me busy and out of trouble…or, not.

Rachel is in Pre-School this year:

IMG_6983wmShe is only 2, but loves being at the school table with her big siblings. I’m not entirely convinced that “pre-school” is an academic necessity. We tend to cover the content of most pre-school curriculum naturally, as we live life. So, while I am hesitant to push my littlest one into too much of an academic experience before she is really ready (something that, I’ve found, is very easy to do in the homeschooling world!), we decided to, cautiously, go ahead with a more formal pre-school time for our youngest this year. We are using Preschool Pathways by BJU Press. (We used this with Rebekah last year.) It can be set up for school time every day, or just a few days a week. It is colorful, fun, and laid back with a big emphasis on learning through play. But, at the same time, it will also give a little bit of structure and direction to her days, and hopefully help to keep her purposefully busy and engaged while I am “doing school” with her older siblings. I love that it gives us some special one-on-one time during our busy school days. And, even though their lessons are different, there are enough similarities that I will be able to combine some of her pre-school time with Rebekah’s!

Rebekah is in Pre-K this year:
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I know. I just said that it is very easy for homeschoolers to push our kids academically, or to assume that they are more advanced than they are. But… (There’s always a but.) One of the things I love about homeschooling is the ability to know my children, and to know their needs and abilities, and somewhat customize their education to match. Some of my kids have shown true interest and academic readiness “early.” But, we have generally tried to keep to a more traditionally accepted schedule. But, Rebekah will be 4 in October, which means that, if she were in the public schools here, she wouldn’t be eligible for Pre-K (or “Transitional Kindergarten”) until next year…and not eligible for real Kindergarten until just before she turns 6! This girl spent all of last year begging for more work. (So much so that I almost considered just putting her in Kindergarten alongside Titus!) So, waiting 2 more years would be tough on her. And, probably a little tough on her mommy too. We are going to be using Footsteps for Fours, by BJU Press. We do lots of playing, and coloring, and reading together. And, my goal is to keep things low key for her, and not push her into something she is not really ready for…but, at the same time, I don’t want to hinder a genuine desire to learn right now. So, this is a great fit. It will give us some focused learning time each day, but in a developmentally and age-appropriate way. Yes, she is almost 4…but she is still only 3. So, we are taking a similar approach with her, as we did with Titus, and we will just take it at her pace. Right now, she is all about school! And, I could definitely see her going through this much faster than the year-long plan that I have laid out. Or, her enthusiasm may wane a bit, and we may slow down as things get harder. And, you know, that would be okay too! For now, she says that she is looking forward to school (all of it!) this year!

Titus is in 1st Grade this year:

IMG_6992wm Again, according to our local school district’s calendar, he “should” be only starting Kindergarten this year. I had to put off teaching him to read a little longer than either he or I wanted (due to the demands of a job change for my husband, a new baby, a move, and my own health issues). He deemed this cruel and unusual punishment! So, my original plan to possibly stretch Kindergarten over 2 school years flew out the window before our last school year even started. He was more than up to every challenge I threw at him! Especially reading! Over the past year, he has become the family bookworm. He devours books, and reads above his grade level with incredible inflection and comprehension. Some of this may just be his natural bent…he is serious, analytical, and just loves to learn. But, I also credit a lot of this to how reading and phonics skills were approached in his Kindergarten curriculum.  So, we will be continuing with BJU Press for 1st grade. I pray that this will only continue to increase his knowledge, and strengthen and improve his skills and love of learning.  He said he is looking forward to all of first grade, but thinks that math is going to be his favorite subject this year.

Hannah is in 7th Grade this year:

IMG_7003wmI have a junior higher!! Speaking strictly as her teacher, I’ve dreaded this moment. But, as I looked over her curriculum, and planned out her lessons, I was surprised to find myself looking forward to it all! I am excited about what she will be covering in her different classes this year. Of all of my kids, I think she is facing the biggest changes, academically. After some serious consideration, prayer, and discussion, we decided to take a step back from the somewhat classically-eclectic approach (mixing classical, textbooks, and unit studies) that we’ve used in past years. We decided to go back to a more cohesive, unified curriculum, with a traditional, textbook approach. It just seems to be what works best for our family dynamics and schedule, and for the variety of personalities, learning styles, and abilities represented in my children. So, like her siblings, she will be using BJU Press for 7th grade. On one hand, her classes are still the most intimidating to me, because I have never taught them before. (Poor thing. As the first child, she is our homeschool guinea pig.) But, the school that I attended from 7th-12th grade used a lot of BJU Press materials. So, although they have been updated quite a bit in the past several years, I am actually very familiar with her curriculum from my own experience as a student! So, this year will definitely be a challenge, for both of us, but, I think it will be a very good one! After looking over her new textbooks, she says that she is most excited about her Literature book, and thinks that will be her favorite subject this year.

 Ready…Set…Go!

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Filed under Biblical Womanhood, Hannah Elisabeth, Homeschooling, Mommyhood, Rachel Susannah, Rebekah Ann, Titus Ryle

Bon Anniversaire, Hannah!

043Hannah loves all things French. She is constantly checking out whatever books she can find in the library on France: the country, culture, food, and language.

So, a (somewhat) “French” or “Parisian” themed birthday party was her obvious choice. We decorated in her favorite colors…pastel turquoise, pink, and purple…with gold accents.

We decided to stick with family birthdays this year, so we FaceTimed with Grandma and Grandpa in California, in the afternoon so that she could open their gifts “with” them. Then Grammy and Grampy joined us later in the evening for dinner, dessert, and more gifts.

Our sort-of-French menu was entirely chosen by the birthday girl: Croque Monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwiches), decidedly not-French pasta salad, and Passion Iced Tea-Lemonade. Instead of a traditional cake, she opted for an assortment of treats: Macarons (her new favorite treat!), cream puffs, Madeleines, and Mini-Palmiers.

It was a quiet day, but we had fun celebrating our sweet 12-year-old!

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Happy 12th Birthday, Hannah

06Happy 12th Birthday, Hannah!

My sweet Hannah girl. How is it that each year seems to go faster than the one before it? You continue to amaze me, as you become more grown up each day.

You love being in the kitchen. Baking is your favorite. You made a wonderful chocolate chip pecan pie for our family Thanksgiving, and even took on the task of making your own birthday cake to share at our church fellowship lunch! But, you are also willing to help with the less glamorous tasks…like making everyday meals, and washing a sink-full of dirty dishes without complaint.

You started playing the flute this year, and you really seem to have a natural talent. You have learned and improved so much. I love hearing you play, and seeing your discipline and hard work pay off.

Your brother and sisters absolutely adore you. (With good reason!) You entertain them endlessly with stories and creative games. You are patient with them, are constantly looking after them, helping them, and comforting them…even when you don’t “have” to. And they enjoy your time, the special one-on-one attention you give them, and especially your toys. “Sleep-Night-Overs” in your room are probably the biggest treat you could give them!

You are reliable, and competent, and more than able to handle all that we ask you do. And, we do ask you to do a lot. And, you do it with a good attitude, and you try to do it well.

But, I love that you are still my sweet, creative, artistic, dreamer. You entertain your siblings endlessly with your creative stories and spontaneous games…which I think you enjoy just as much as they do. Your room is a treasure box of potential craftiness…beads, ribbon, stamps, tape, crayons, paper, pens, yarn… Pretty much anything you see has the possibility of being turned into some artistic creation.

It is a privilege to watch you grow into such a sweet, beautiful young lady. We are so thankful that the Lord gave you to our family.

Happy 12th Birthday, Hannah!!

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Filed under Birthdays, Hannah Elisabeth, Life, Mommyhood, Traditions & Celebrations

Christmas Day

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I took hundreds of pictures. Yes. Hundreds…with an s. But, I won’t subject you to all of them (unless we’re friends on Facebook, then you’ve already seen them all!). Here is just a little glimpse of our day…

img_6041wmBefore…complete with Christmas music and a fire in our TV fireplace.

We started out the morning opening stockings…

Christmas Stockings 2016

Then, after breakfast, we were off to church…

2016_12_251{Aren’t they adorable?!}

I love that Christmas fell on a Sunday this year! I wish it always did. We had a sweet time, worshipping, and celebrating the birth of our Savior together with our church family!

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I know that Christmas isn’t about the presents. But, I just love picking out special gifts for my family, and watching the excitement on my children’s faces as they open their presents! This year, I especially loved seeing them choose gifts for each other, and truly experiencing the joy of giving.

2016_12_253Favorites this year included books (of course!),
Transformers, American Girl accessories, a Minnie Mouse outfit, and a bike!

The kids had some time to enjoy their presents…

img_6258wmTitus explaining his new Transformers.img_6280wmRebekah on her new Minnie Mouse bike!

Then, we continued the celebration into the evening with Grammy and Grampy!

2016_12_255It was a busy, busy day. But, so fun.

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Merry Christmas, from our family to yours!

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Filed under Christmas, Hannah Elisabeth, Just for Fun, Life, Mommyhood, Rachel Susannah, Rebekah Ann, Titus Ryle, Traditions & Celebrations

Hannah’s Jamberry Birthday Party

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed my obsession with Jamberry Nail Wraps. I love them! And, I seem to have passed this little addiction on to my oldest girl. So, a Jamberry birthday party was the perfect way to celebrate her 11th birthday!

Her actual birthday was on April 4th, and we had a simple family celebration that evening. But, we had a Parenting Conference at church that weekend, so we planned to have her party the following week. But, it had to be postponed. More than once. Of course, my sweet birthday girl handled the delays graciously. And, we finally got to celebrate last weekend.

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Hannah is my little party planner. Many of the details were her doing. She picked out the wraps that she and her friends got to put on, helped set up the table, and even made place cards for everyone.

And, she had very specific ideas about her cake…as usual. This year, she chose Angel Food Cake, with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. (She made it very easy on me!)IMG_3960

And, instead of ice cream, we made strawberry Greek yogurt popsicles.

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Rebekah wasn’t a fan of the cake, but she really liked her popsicle!

After a lot of rain, the weather was perfect for enjoying their treats outside on the patio!

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She received some very thoughtful gifts…and had a very enthusiastic helper!

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Hannah has some very sweet friends, and we were so thankful to have them, and Grammy & Grampy come celebrate with us! (And we missed the ones who were unable to make it!)

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Happy 11th Birthday, Hannah!

 

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