Category Archives: Homeschooling

An Easy Homemade Eclipse Viewer

Solar Eclipse 2017. It’s a once in a lifetime experience. Well, maybe if you’re in the path of totality, which, we aren’t. Here in Houston, we’re looking at maybe 60-70% of the sun being blocked. But, once in a lifetime or not, hi, I’m a homeschool mom. I still think it is a great learning opportunity! So, assuming the clouds move out of the way in time, we will be watching.

We were given 2 pairs of Eclipse Glasses. But, I’m still hesitant to encourage my children to look directly at the sun.

Protecting my little ones’ vision is very high on my list of priorities today. Protecting your vision should be too. But, I keep reading comments on Facebook from adults wondering how much harm it would really do to “just take a little peek.”

DON’T DO IT. Just don’t. Okay? Permanently damaging your vision, or your child’s vision is so not worth it. (Check out this article.)

There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to make a projection viewer. And, I’m going to give you another one… It’s quick, it’s super simple, easy to make at the very last minute, and unlike the ones made with Pringles cans, paper towel rolls, cereal boxes and aluminum foil, you probably have enough of everything on hand to make one for every member of your family.

Here’s what you need:2017-08-21_10-10-54_548

Index cards, and a hole punch. That’s it.

2017-08-21_10-11-29_894You will need 2 index cards for each viewer.

2017-08-21_10-12-28_551Punch a hole in one.

2017-08-21_10-13-19_961That’s it. Done.

Then, when you observe the eclipse, hold the card with the hole above, and slightly off to the side, of the other card, so the sun can shine through the hole. We’ve found it works best if you lay the card without the hole on the ground. The eclipse will be projected on the bottom card. And you, and your children, can safely observe this solar eclipse!

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Filed under Homeschooling, Mommyhood

Watching History

This morning, we watched the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States.

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As we do every 4 years, we watched history being made.

I have watched every Presidential Inauguration of my adult life (in addition to several before I was of legal voting age). And, since becoming a mom, my children have watched with me.

I am not proud to be an American. I am thankful. And, I want to my children to understand the blessing of the freedoms we have been given, and to be grateful for the privilege that it is to grow up in this country.

Over the years, I have watched the Inauguration of Presidents that I have voted for, agreed with, or was happy to see take office. I have also watched the inauguration of Presidents that I disagreed with, did not vote for, and did not want in office.

But, I have never once feared a violent, militaristic, governmental take over. I have never once feared a total disregard for the transfer of power. I have never feared a brutal and unjust tyrannical regime.

Maybe I should. But, I haven’t.

We have been blessed with peace, with security, and with freedoms unknown in most of the world. Regardless of who our President has been. Regardless of whether or not we deserved it.

The majority of the campaign season, through election night, and even up to the inauguration itself, has been frustrating, disappointing, and divisive, on so many levels.

But, today was a day of ceremony, tradition, and patriotism. We once again witnessed a respectful, peaceful transfer of power. From one political party to another. We heard lofty promises, and were painted a picture of an administration that would be vastly different from the one preceding it.  And yet, we witnessed several of our country’s past leaders, of differing convictions and political affiliations, sit side by side, to witness the inauguration of this country’s newest leader.

President Trump may not have been your choice. (He wasn’t mine.) But, as the President, he deserves our respect.

But, even more than that, he needs our prayers.

After the Inauguration Ceremony concluded, we took some time to pray for our country, and its leaders. We prayed that the Lord would graciously grant wisdom, discernment, integrity, and humility to President Trump and Vice President Pence, as they seek to lead a deeply divided country. We prayed for their protection. We prayed for the men and women they have chosen, and surrounded themselves with, who will advise, counsel, and help to lead this country. But, most of all, we prayed that their hearts that would be softened to the truth of Scripture, and for genuine repentance and salvation.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. (Romans 13:1-5)

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Filed under Biblical Womanhood, Homeschooling, Life, Mommyhood, Thinking Biblically

First Day of School!

I spent the majority of August planning and praying over our new school year. And, ready or not, we started on Tuesday! Since Jason is off on Monday’s we don’t “officially” do school. We occasionally use it as a make up day, but mostly, we try to keep it free for family time…and the occasional field trip.

img_5812wmI have some very eager learners this year! (Rachel is included in the picture because, while she may not have an official “grade” designation, but she is learning so much every day, right alongside her brother and sisters!)

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Hannah: 6th Grade

(I am told that is middle school here. But, that sounds a little too much like junior high, and this mama isn’t quite ready for that.) She is looking forward to Zoology (of course) because “we finally get to study land animals,” and learning to play the flute!

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Titus: Kindergarten

I think his excitement for the first day may have rivaled (or probably exceeded!) mine. He was so excited! He is only 4, so he is still a little bit young, but this boy is ready! I know I should say that our plan is to go slow and keep it low key…but, it’s not. He is not having any of that. He is looking forward to everything!

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Rebekah: Pre-School

In addition to doing “official” pre-school work, we will be including her in our Bible and Zoology lessons, and Tapestry of Grace art projects and read aloud times. She is looking forward to learning to read, but, mostly, she is just excited to be part of our school days!

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And, ready or not…here we go!

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A selfie was the only picture I got with all of my “students” on the first day!

 

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Filed under Homeschooling, Mommyhood, Traditions & Celebrations

First Day of {Home}School

I have spent the last several weeks planning and praying over our new school year, and this morning, we hit the ground running. My original plan had been to start last week, but, as we were still waiting on a number of books to arrive (thus rendering my yearly lesson plans woefully incomplete), we decided to put it off a week.

Planning

Planning

We made some big changes to our curriculum this year. We have been using a traditional textbook format for the past few years, from BJU Press. The material is great, and has been exactly what we needed as our family grew (unexpectedly!) over the past few years. And, I have had no complaints about it.

But, it has always been my hope to go back to a classical approach…someday. And, as I began to assess Hannah’s abilities, and needs, as well as mapping out the next…well, 18-20 years of homeschooling (yikes!), I realized that textbooks probably weren’t going to be the best approach with 4 students at vastly different developmental, emotional, and academic levels. And, because of those differing academic levels, I wanted something that they could still do together. Enter our return to Tapestry of Grace! I fell in love with this curriculum before Hannah could walk! And, as our family’s dynamics and needs have changed over the past few years, it is now a perfect fit, and I couldn’t be more excited!

So, this year, our style is what I have termed “classically eclectic.” Tapestry of Grace will be our “spine” for History, Literature (Reading), some Bible, and some writing. We are still using BJU Press to fill in Math, and Language Arts (Spelling, Handwriting, and English). We will be using Apologia’s Worldview series to fill in a little extra Bible. But, I think Hannah is most excited about our new science curriculum. My little wannabe zoologist was thrilled to learn that there was actually a Zoology curriculum, written from a literal, 6-day creation perspective! We are using Aplogia’s Zoology, and learning about the Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. I think Hannah may have read the entire textbook the day I brought it home from the homeschool convention!

The other big change we made was adding another student to the mix! Yes, Titus has officially started “Titus School,” as he calls it. One morning as I was working on Hannah’s lesson plans, Titus asked, “Mommy, I do school too?” Well, how could I resist!? I wasn’t really planning on doing much formal school with him until next year, but he was so excited. I don’t want to push him too hard, or too fast, so we are going to try to keep it simple, and low key…we’ll be covering a letter/sound each week, plus numbers, colors, and shapes…as well as lots of time for puzzles, coloring, and Legos!

So, here are my students, ready for a new school year:

1st Day of School

1st Day of School 2014 ~ Hannah: 4th Grade, Titus: Pre-School

 

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Filed under Biblical Womanhood, Hannah Elisabeth, Homeschooling, Life, Mommyhood, Titus Ryle

Flowers and Friends

arboretum

3 moms, 3 double strollers, and 8 kids.

We spent the day at the Arboretum…just strolling around, enjoying the beautiful weather, the lovely flowers, and our friends. Titus didn’t quite understand that he wasn’t supposed to pick the flowers…and I ended up with a few sweet (but forbidden) bouquets.

We finished up with a picnic and some playtime at the park before heading home. I think everyone in my car was asleep before we made it back to the main road!

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Filed under Hannah Elisabeth, Homeschooling, Life, Mommyhood, Rebekah Ann, Titus Ryle