Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Potty Peril

Sam's potty training is going GREAT! I'm so pleased with how well he is doing, and I'm especially pleased that he will go on his own, without being told! No timers, no reminders, nothing...he just GOES! However, the key to all of this potty training bliss is that he has to have HIS own potty chair, in HIS own little room (the laundry room), and it has to be easily accessible 24/7. He will go, on his own, and now he's to the point that he won't even announce it anymore. You would think that this is a good thing, but I have a very mobile and curious 9-month-old who seems to have a knack for knowing when his older brother just "went". He has really been keeping me on my toes, and we've had a few close calls. Easily accessible potty chair and silent stealth-like baby = an accident waiting to happen!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hands-on Science

We have been using the "God's Design for Science" curriculum from Answers in Genesis, and it has been great! This week, we have been learning about how to tell if something is alive, how living things are classified, and the different characteristics between plants and animals. We took a trip to the Minnesota Zoo (that is a membership worth having!) for more in-depth studies. We also made a game on poster board with "clue cards" describing a characteristic of a living thing, and the kids had to decide if the card belonged under the plant, animal or "both" category. It has been great fun, and we are all learning so much! :-)

Becca and Sam loved this new "Tropics" exhibit!



Christy really liked these black-and-white monkeys, but I thought they were skunks at first glance! ;-)



A diver was cleaning the rocks in the aquarium, and that was fun to watch!



Here is Daniel...happy in his swing while we set up the game!



Here is a close-up of the books we are using this year:



Some of the clue cards for the "plant" category were: Chlorophyll, photosynthesis, needs sun, cannot move around, needs carbon dioxide, created on the 3rd day of creation, etc.



Some of the clue cards for the "animal" category were: Moves around, cannot make food, carbon dioxide is a waste product, no chlorophyll, etc. Some of the clue cards for the "both" category were: Alive, cells, reproduces same kind, needs oxygen, designed by God, eaten by animals, etc.



All done!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ahh...Autumn

I know that I have posted before about the fact that Autumn is my favorite season, but I just HAVE to say it again! ;-)








Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Morning Snuggles


Eric and the kids had fun this morning just snuggling together on the couch. What a great time to rest, relax, and reflect on how good God is to us!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Early American History

The girls really like their new History curriculum! Since Becca is just starting 2nd Grade, and Christy is just starting 4th Grade, I chose an Early American History Program that can be used with both of them at the same time. The curriculum is literature-based, and covers approximately the last 1,000 years of American History. Right now, we are learning about when the Vikings came to explore North America (Greenland). The book we are reading describes the events from the perspective of a young boy, Leif, who sailed across the ocean with his father, Erik the Red. The book is written and illustrated in a way that is captivating to children, and entertaining for grown-ups also! ;-)

The study guide also gives tips for helping to incorporate character development into the lessons. We have been learning the "Principle of Individuality" which describes how God designed us all to be unique, and has a special plan for our lives. It is good to remember that we are not all the same, and God's will for me may not be the same as it is for another person.

Here is a picture of the girls with the book, the study guide, and pictures from the story that they colored this morning:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Encouragement


My wonderful husband wanted to give me some extra encouragement as I started our new homeschool year, so he bought me these beautiful flowers! He knows that I love fresh flowers (any kind), and it really does help me to feel refreshed every time that I look at them! Homeschooling is certainly my personal calling, and God blesses us every day with exactly what we need when we need it, but it is always nice to have a generous husband who supports me and provides for me all that I could ever need (or want)! I thank God every day for giving me such a loving husband and great children so that we can learn together about all of God's magnificent creation!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Spring Cleaning in the Fall

Since we are starting school on September 7th, I decided that this week would be a good week to get the house really organized and clean. I started on the kids' rooms, since they were in the worst shape. It took a couple of days, but now almost everything is back in order. All the game pieces and puzzle pieces have been found, the playsets have been reunited with their people and animals, and just about all the missing toys have been found. The books are all vertical again, and set up in a way so that the Titles can be easily seen. The "real" clothes have been separated from the dress-up clothes, and put in their proper places. We boxed some items up to give away, and we also threw away broken or otherwise useless toys. It feels so good to get this type of cleaning done! I know that it will help with everyone's attitudes, especially when we get cooped up for months at a time during the Winter.

Here is the girls' room. They did help, so I can't take ALL the credit! ;-)






Here is the boys' room, although Daniel will not be sleeping in here until we get a bunk bed or trundle bed: