Category Archives: Rachel Susannah

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:
IMG_6986wm

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!

2017-09-05_09-27-54_924wm

Comments Off on Back to {Home}School

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

Rachel’s Minnie Mouse Birthday

IMG_0744I like to save the “big” decorations for birthday party time. But, I do like to a few fun decorations up when the birthday boy or girl wakes up on their birthday. Once they are able to express an opinion about it, I more or less let them choose the theme of their birthday parties. But, until then, it is always fun to surprise them with something that I think they would like. And, this year, I was rewarded with sweet squeals of delight when this birthday girl saw her Minnie Mouse decorations at the breakfast table.IMG_0746

We had our traditional “Birthday Biscuits” and Strawberries for breakfast.2017_03_231After breakfast, Rachel had fun opening some gifts from her brother, sisters, and mommy and daddy. The Minnie Mouse toy makes noise when it is touched…but…I forgot to turn off the “test mode” before I wrapped it. So, when she grabbed one of the smaller packages in front, it was just enough to set it off! It started singing, and lighting up under the wrapping paper! Oops. But, even if the surprise was slightly ruined, she was still very excited about it!

2017_03_232Dinner was the birthday girl’s choice: Tacos! And, that top picture? Not chocolate. This is what happens when this girl eats black beans. She loves them.

2017_03_233After dinner, it was time to open gifts from her grandparents… A Minnie Mouse suitcase, a wooden dress-up Minnie, a kitty book, and a super soft kitty!

Then it was time for cake!

2017_03_19

Happy 2nd Birthday, Rachel!!IMG_0750

Comments Off on Rachel’s Minnie Mouse Birthday

Filed under Birthdays, Just for Fun, Life, Mommyhood, Rachel Susannah, Traditions & Celebrations

Happy 2nd Birthday, Rachel!

2017_03_23Happy 2nd Birthday, Rachel!

The days are long (and the nights may have been even longer), but the years truly are short. You might be the baby of our family. But, you are definitely not a baby anymore.

You are so much fun! You love to make people laugh! And, your laugh is absolutely contagious! Even on the hardest, most exhausting days, your giggle can always make me smile. And, you still give the best hugs.

You love to play outside…especially if it involves the swings, water, or Rebekah’s bike. You love bath time! You love food! You love ice! You love kitties! You love going to visit Daddy at work!

Yes, you really do love just about everything!

You want to be just like your big brother and sisters. (And, I don’t blame you. They are pretty cool.) It is so cute to hear you say “I do school too!” Mostly, you just sit at the table and peel the papers off of the crayons while your big brother and sister are working on their lessons. But, you are listening. And, I am always amazed at what you pick up while you sit there with us.

You are such a happy little girl…with only one big exception. You get quite frustrated if you cannot communicate what you want or need…or rather, if we don’t understand what you are trying so very hard to communicate. You know, and use a few signs. But, you would rather talk. I love seeing your vocabulary expand exponentially on an almost daily basis! You repeat difficult words as though you’ve been saying them forever. You shock us with complete, complex sentences. And, you definitely don’t “do” baby talk.

No. You are not a baby anymore. Yes, the days are long, and your energy certainly exceeds my own! But, my goodness these days go by so very fast. I absolutely love this stage…watching you as you learn, and explore, and change so quickly.

I pray that as you continue to grow and learn this year, that our Lord would draw your little heart to Himself. I pray that one day, your contagious joy would come from Him. And that you would love Him more than anything else.

Happy Birthday, my baby girl. I am so thankful for the sweet gift that the Lord gave our family in you. I love you.

Comments Off on Happy 2nd Birthday, Rachel!

Filed under Birthdays, Life, Mommyhood, Rachel Susannah, 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!

2016_12_252

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.

img_6116wm

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours!

1 Comment

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

Resurrection Sunday

We had a lovely day celebrating the resurrection of our Savior with…

2016_03_27_134wm

Special Music

2016_03_27_136_2wm

Biblical Preaching, from my favorite preacher! Although, I have no pictures of that.

2016_03_27

Believer’s Baptism!
A perfect picture of our Savior’s death, burial, and resurrection!

And…Fellowship!

2016_03_27_160wm

2016_03_27_182wmFriends: Sophia & Rebekah

2016_03_27_194wm

2016_03_27_205wmI wish I had been able to get more pictures of our friends.
We love our church family!

***

2016_03_27_200wmOur Family – Resurrection Sunday 2016

2016_03_27_217wmHannah – Can you believe this beautiful girl is almost 11?!

2016_03_27_210wmTitus – My handsome little guy

2016_03_27_222wmSweet Rebekah Ann

2016_03_27_236-cropwmRachel Susannah – Our just-turned-one-year-old!

2016_03_27_233-cropwm
I love these sweet kids! They’re my favorites.

***

 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~Romans 8:31-39 (ESV)

Comments Off on Resurrection Sunday

Filed under Hannah Elisabeth, Life in Ministry, Photography, Rachel Susannah, Rebekah Ann, The Lord's Day, Titus Ryle, Traditions & Celebrations