Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Catholic Hack

Take a moment to visit a local homeschooling dad's podcast on Catholic Apologetics. Very well done, Joe!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Have I ever mentioned

how much I love Charlotte Mason and homeschooling? As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are falling into a nice flow to our days, no, not perfect, far from perfect, but for us, it is working and we are learning.

Foo was very inspired by a physics demonstration that he saw at our First Friday session. Of course the instructor is full of passion for the subject which would make ANYONE love physics, but especially my son. He has been completely immersed in finding out more and more about physics each day.

In the meantime, I've yet to pick a true science curriculum for him. He's never had a formal course in science, yet our years of hit and miss nature study, botched fun experiements, and his own curiosity have somehow provided him with a working knowledge of science terms and situations.

I would not have required him to have a formal course in science until High School and only then if he was thinking of a science background in his future. He, however, has been asking for one. He wants a fun one, one with experiments and "cool stuff!"

So, the hunt had begun but nothing was meeting his criteria, nor mine. Not only must it meet his ideals, but it must be living. It must be passionate. I decided that if it takes me several months to find a program, so be it. In the meantime, I'd let him pick different books, websites, etc to read and explore. Today, something happened. I found a website on Newton's Laws that was quite fun. He shelved History for the day (with my permission) and worked on demonstrating all three of Newton's Laws and then writing a brief conclusion. He is not completely satisfied with his conclusion and wants to try a few more experiments before he finishes his conclusion. At first he said, "I already know how this is going to turn out, but I want to prove Newton wrong!" I laughed and wished him luck. Several hours later, I found he had created a "vortex generator" out of an empty fruit can, balloon, cardboard, and duct tape. (Is there an engineer anywhere in this world that does not own duct tape??)

He went around the house all night lighting candles and using his vortex generator to blow them out. He was in heaven.

Tonight, after asking for some suggestions for a "conceptual physics" program that I might be able to do mini-unit studies with, I found a book that looks perfect for us.
Touch This: Conceptual Physics for Everyone appears to be exactly what we are looking for. If nothing else, I think it will give us a nice overview to each concept which we can then explore on our own. You can read a nice review on it here.

We have had so many years of imperfect homeschooling around here, in fact, every single one of them have been imperfect. I dare say, most of them haven't turned out anywhere near to the "plan" that I sweat and labor over for weeks on end before school begins, yet, somehow, through the grace of God, my children learn. My children are finding their own passions. It is a wonderful process to watch and to know that I haven't crammed anything into them. They have absorbed it instead.

I am so excited to watch each of them grow into the people they are meant to be. Every moment is an exciting journey that has me begging for more.

So on the days when we think, "I am doing a lousy job. I can't do this. They hate me. I'm not giving them what I should be. They'd be better off if I put them in school." Stop. Remember that HE is the one that is educating them. He is using us as the medium. We just need to listen to the needs of each child and not try to fit the child to the curriculum. As my dear friend, Cindy told me time and time again, "Do not be a slave to the curriculum (or the schedule), let the curriculum (or schedule) be a slave to you!" I am seeing the fruits of this every day. And it is sweet!

Friday, September 21, 2007

When mom has to leave the room...

and no one else is home, except the dog, be advised that the almost two year old can now open the pantry door.

(can't you just hear that dog saying, "I didn't do it, I didn't do it!")

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Weekly Recap

Another week going by in a blur! This was the week of the "almost Hurricane", which I really thank God passed us by because I didn't even know about it's existence until it had passed. Talk about not being prepared!

We did have some drizzle one morning this week and I was able to capture this beautiful spider web complete with it's designer. We took several shots from many different angles and it is amazing how intricate and delicate these webs are, yet they are so resilient and hardy at the same time. Reminds me of the faith I see in so many people around me. Beautiful, never-ending, and stronger than anything else on earth.

We also captured some shots of Boo in his favorite pose, shirtless. He loves to take off his shirt especially right after he has been dressed!

Here is a shot of Fish and Boo riding their cars around and around and around and around and around (you get the idea) the house...

(you can also catch a glimpse of the tiling that Mark worked so hard on)

We are settling into the school year quite nicely. There seems to be a nice ebb and flow to our days. Of course I can always find places to improve, but for now, I am content with what we are doing and I'm not going to raise the bar just to say I can check a few more boxes off in our day.

Trying to live our day as a prayer. That is the true focus of my life right now. I think this is my biggest challenge and probably the most important. If someone can see me, but they don't see Christ, I am not doing things right. I strive to do this not to "be good" but rather because I love Him. And I fail everyday. But I awake again every day to try again. I suppose much like the spider who spins her web over and over and over again, never giving up hope, but knowing that one day, the project will be done and she can rest.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Business of Life

Life is in full gear here, well, honestly, it is in overdrive. We are so busy, too busy it seems, but in the quiet moments, we try to savor the stillness and blogging is just to much of an intrusion. So the posts are fewer and farther between. I know you all understand.

In less then a year, I've gone from a busy homeschooling mom to an even busier, homeschooling mom running a business full-time from home! We are so blessed to be in this postion and we are even more blessed to be doing what we feel God has called us to do. In fact, I believe He orchestrated all of this for us.

In efforts to recap the events of the last week or so, I'll try to recall the highlights...

First, I must mention how hard my husband has been working the past two weekends to replace our flooring in the kitchen and guest bath. A few weeks back, our dishwasher leaked, actually, it flooded our floor UNDER the laminate which caused it to curl up and separate. It was a mess that he had to deal with all on his own while I was at a church meeting. When I came home, I had a lovely shade of concrete floor.

We were beginning to get used to the concrete, but decided we should probably go ahead and tile anyway. Being the frugal (read that "cheap") person that I am, I laughed at the bid from our local Home Depot. I reminded Mark how much we would save if WE did it OURSELVES...(read that, if HE did it!) He agreed, and spent last weekend with Foo laying tile. It made for a very tiring weekend and then week. He finished the job this weekend. It looks so beautiful. He and Foo did an amazing job, but now, WE (did I mention how much I love my husband?) must replace the countertops... they just don't match!

Last weekend was also Fish's birthday! We celebrated at Mickey Miss's house. It was a tough day for the family because of some things that had been going on, but all in all, it was a good day.

who is that masked man??

We've also been busy trying to keep up with Boo. He is really an active little guy now! His vocabulary is increasing every day with important words such as
1. Cookie
2. Mommy -there is just something about him saying this that melts my heart everytime I hear it!
3. Cookie
4. Daddy
5. Cookie
6. Go!
7. Cookie
8. Bye Bye
9. Cookie
10. Hi!
11. Cookie
12. George (as in Curious)
and many more. He is growing up so fast. I can hardly believe he is almost 2! One of the funniest things he is doing is at bedtime. He loves to remove his shirt, throw the blankets out of the bed and then scream because he is too cold to sleep. He also manages to get his leg stuck in between the rails of the crib and we have to help him get it out. He has some lovely bruises on his legs now as a result.

Godbaby came for a visit the other day. She and Boo decided to compose a few pieces. They were heavenly!

We had a very odd visitor as well one night last week. Mark had made burgers on the grill and as we were beginning to retire for the night, we looked out the patio door to find a little friend enjoying the leftovers...good thing the grill was turned off!

Saturday, September 01, 2007