Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 6 in review

This week we are finshing up our week 6. This has been a great week.  In language arts,  in science, and especially social studies. 

In language arts we have learned about verbs.  We are working on action words.  Tater has worked really hard at being able to distinguish between a noun and a verb.  We have worked on making sure that our nouns and verbs are making proper sense in our sentences.  Also since we are working on verbs We have been doing lots of jumping, clapping, and movement to help us learn about verbs.

In math,  we have moved from the 1 family to the 2 family. Tater has had some problems with her 2 family.  We've been dealing with temper tantrums in math. We've dealt with her learning that temper tantrums  we are learning about community helpers.  The helpers this week are fire fighters.  We will be taking a field trip to the fire fighters on next week.  The kids have made pictures and a thank you cards for the firemen.  They are looking forward to this trip and so am I.

In spelling we are testing on our short i words. She did not do well on her pretest. Tater could not distinguish between the sound of e and  i.  So we've worked hard to learn the difference.  We will see if our hard work has paid off. 

So that's about it for week 6. Stay tuned for week 7.

This is the thank you letter we are giving to the fire fighters on our visit to the fire station. 
Tater, Jr Bug and Lady Bug holding the  THANK YOU note. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why do you homeschool?

This was a question asked of me by my Facebook likes. Why do I homeschool?  My answer to that question be obedient to what is required of me by God.  Now yes I know that answer is more than sufficient but it doesn't truly answer the question.  Yes I am being obedient but there's so much more.  So I will appropriately answer the question...

Why do I homeschool?

I homeschool first and foremost because I want my children to know and love God more than they love me.  With all of their beings I want them to know who God is.  I want them to know God as their personal savior.  As the Almighty God who rescued them from the pit of hell and gave them life by sending His only Son to die on the cross for them.  So all that I teach and all that I do is centered on that one fact.  That God is our center and without Him we know nothing and are nothing without God's saving Grace.  Learning and practicing Deuteronomy 6:1-7.

I also homeschool because I am selfish. I enjoy watching my kids learn.  I enjoy the experience of teaching my babies and watching as that fact of knowledge sinks in and becomes one more grain of truth that they can count on and use in  life. Why would I give that up and give that to anyone else.  No one will love my children the way that I do,  therefore I'm not willing to give their learning experience to anyone. 

I am a product of public school.  So while I don't think that public schools are inherently wrong
I believe that they have become the accepted norm.  And yes, some families need public schools,  my family does not.  Now that is not to say that they won't ever need it,  but for the stage that we are in,  we do not and therefore I choose to school my babies at home. 

My Tater is extremely smart.  She takes after her momma in that fact.  She is 4 and completing first grade work.  In public schools, she would not be offered that opportunity.  Thus we homeschool. 

I am also a diabetic with erratic sugars.  There have been times when I have gone so low I have gone into a diabetic coma.  This normally happens during the night.I get so low that I have not been able to wake up come morning light. If my daughter was placed in public school, she would be considered truant through no fault of her own.  To prevent this from happening I have chosen to take on the responsibility of teaching her at home.  This is not to punish her but to protect her from a system that does not understand the intricacies of being a single parent with a debilitating disease.  This is not an excuse for us not to do school, yet rather an explanation as to why we homeschool instead. 

I believe that in life you do not only interact with those who are only a year younger or older than you.  But we interact with people of all ages,  all socioeconomic levels,  of all races, of all types.  Why would I allow my children to only be subject to those who are exactly like them.  If real life is not like this then why should school be like this.  My children have friends who are older and younger than them.  My children have friends who are of all ethnicity,  who come from 2 parent homes,  1 parent homes, children who are raised by aunts, grandparents, and from foster parents.  This is real life.  And this is what my children are used to.  So what about socialization is often the argument after I state my point.  What people should really ask is what about learning to get along with their age group.  I often point out that my babies again interact with everyone.  They have yet met a stranger and thus can interact with their age group and higher.  Plus, my children have opportunities to be with children their own age in co-op, in dance class, in American Heritage Girls, and in nursery at church. 

I also homeschool because I believe in being an individual.  I was different in school but forced to be like everyone else.  Because of this I wanted my children to not be conformed to the world's standards.  But being transformed by learning about God and His amazing standards.  Romans 12: 1-2. Plus you can't learn about God in public school.  So while they are in their formative years I want to make sure their buckets are full of Christ and His love before the world can poke holes and try to drain them dry. 

That's about it.  These are the reasons why I choose to homeschool.  I'm sure that many of these reasons will change just as I'm sure that these reasons will somewhat not change.  But as for me and my house,  this is how we choose to serve the Lord.  By doing and being obedient to what is required of us. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Preparing for Week 6

Week 6 is upon us...30 more weeks to go and this school year is officially over. 3 more weeks and we will be on our first break.

Language Arts we are picking back up with verbs. We have studied nouns, so now we are moving on to verbs. Verbs are action words, so we will be doing lots of action oriented things to help explain verbs. Also going to be using Youtube to find some music to help explain verbs.

Math is moving on to the TWO family. We worked on the ONE family, and now we are moving on. Tater is using M&M's and blocks to learn how to add. It keeps her fingers moving and she is engaging more of her body. She's a kinsthetic learner, so using her whole body makes the learning process easier.

In science we are still learning about the 5 food groups, but now we are learning about the food pyramid and how to make a healthy plate. So, we will still be learning how to eat healthy.

In social studies, we are going to learn about community helpers. This lesson will take about 3 weeks to complete. This will take us to the end of the our first 9 weeks. Kinda did that on purpose. I love when lesson plans come together to make things easier on us all.

So stay tuned for week 6 as we travail along.

**You may be wondering why I've not mentioned anything about Jr Bug or Lady Bug. Well its simple, they are babies and as much as I want them to learn, I want them to play and grow more. So with that in mind, I am consciously not planning on teaching them. I will of course involve them in Bible study, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and they will sit in for part of the lesson plans, but that's it. If they want to participate I'll let them, but they don't have to. **

Week 5 Review

So we have ended week 5. Wow... was this week busy, 2 field trips and the start of co-op. We have been incredibly busy.

Our 2 field trips included going to see the Jonesborough Repertory Theater and going to Walmart. See earlier posts for both field trip. But lets just say that we were excited about both and have learned allot. Also, Tater has been talking about Shrek non stop.

Tater has worked really hard on her spelling words and her math assignments. She is on the short "E" words and as had 2 challenge words for spelling this week. She is doing great by working hard and trying her "best." In math, she is working on the "ONE" family. We've had allot of tears and crying and frustration this week, but we are persevering.

Science, we have studied the 5 major food groups; and we had a surprise field trip  to Walmart to put action in our studies. And in social studies, we are learning about the state we live in. So we have been talking and learning about the state of Tennessee.

Co-op has officially started. So Tater and Jr Bug get to play with their friends, learn other things that I don't teach, and get some art practice. Co-op only meets on Monday, so they get their extra day of school in on Saturday. Saturday is an abbreviated version of school. We only hit the highlights...spelling, math, and language arts. Unless we are doing a special activity then we do that activity as well.

Week 5 has come and gone and now we are onto week 6. Time is really flying by when you have fun.

Walmart... a surprise field trip!!!!

Know what I love about homeschooling...the fact that you can go to the supermarket and it can count as a field trip. We went to Walmart today to get some groceries. As we were shopping in the produce section, Tater said Momma a banana is a fruit. I sad yes it is. What other food groups can you find. We went around the produce section looking at fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. She was able to accurately pick out what food group each item belonged to. We even briefly touched on sweets and fats.

I love impromptu  field trips, I mean grocery store visits. Thanks WALMART.

Oh and since  couldn't get a picture in time, here's a picture of Walmart.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre put on Shrek for our viewing enjoyment.  So guess what our field trip was. We went to go see it with our co-op friends.  What a great field trip.
The kids are waiting for the start of the theater. 
Me, Tater, and Lady Bug
Me and Jr Bug waiting for the show to start.
The stage of the Theater
The" S" in Shrek. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Tater

So I put the kiddos down for a nap and guess who decides she's too old for a nap. Yes my big girl decided that naps aren't her thing. So I ask her "why no nap?" She says momma I'm not a little girl, only little kids need naps. So I look at her in wonder and amazement...When did my baby get older. She's really growing. She is a big girl. She helps me with both of my little ones. She watches over her brother, she helps me clean, wants to cook, and is doing amazing things in school. When did I get so busy living life that I forgot to LIVE life.
My oldest is my heart. She takes after her momma and is growing. She is a fighter, a champion, an abundant child filled with Grace and Mercy. She is my gift from God and even though life has dealt her tough things to deal with in her little time on earth she is resilient.
She has been the reason why I have accepted my diabetes, my time being single, my reason for getting up, and my reason for surviving, no living, WELL. And all of that realization from one conversation at nap time. So Tater, if you are too big to take naps, then ok. I accept and I'll let you grow. But please don't ever get to big to remind me that living life is not just surviving from day to day, it is often LIVING life by watching and capturing the little moments that I'll look back and say, hmmm....that was a good day. Today, was a good day!

Monday, September 9, 2013

First day of co-op

So today is the first day back to co-op. Co-op is a fun place of mass chaos that that allows the kids to play with their friends and interact with others. Tater is in kindergarten (yes she is a year behind in co-op but right on schedule at home...oh the joys of homeschool). Jason is in the nursery until after his birthday in which he will move to preschool. So here are some pictures of the kiddos before we headed off to school. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

The lake

So after a week of studying the lake and learning about a body of water we spent the day at the lake.  We had a blast.  The kids played and had fun.  It was hot out.  We played in the water and then we ate lunch.  Then to end the day we played at the park. What an awesome field trip. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Week 5

Week 5, wow 1 month and 1 week into school. I am so amazed at how time flies by when you are having fun. This week we start co-op and we are doing a complete week of school which means that school now moves to Saturday. I don't count co-op as a part of school because while she is learning, I use co-op for a chance for Tater to learn how to interact/socialize with others. Therefore, she attends school on Saturday as well.

In Language Arts, Tater is going to work on writing, and reading comprehension skills. Tater was supposed to work on learning about verbs, but our books did not come in at the library so I changed up lesson plans. This is the reason why I love homeschooling. I can pretend its on the lesson plan. Flexibility is such an awesome thing. So instead we are going to read The Berenstain Bears and Corduroy books and work on reading comprehension and coloring. Always coloring.

In math we are going to start with addition of the ONE Family. I found an awesome book on adding families using the number families. So we are going to focus on this until our first 9 week break.

Social Studies is looking and studying at the state of TN. I figure that since we live in TN we might as well learn about the state. Going to be fun and interesting.

Spelling is learning the short vowel 'E' sounds. Can't wait to help Tater learn 6 more new words.

Science is nutrition/health studying. We  are going to be studying this series for about 2 weeks. I want Tater to have a good grasp on why we eat certain foods, what food groups are there, and how/where are food gets to us. I'm very excited about this topic. Having diabetes means that this subject is close to me, so maybe we will learn something together.

In Bible class we are still learning Romans 12:1-5. Tater has managed to get verses 1 down, so now we are learning verse 2.

Jr Bug and Lady Bug started with colors last week, blue and yellow. We are still continuing down that path. They are also still working on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. So we are still plugging away at that.

Stay tuned for more adventures from The Vine Academy...

Week 4 in Review

So this week has been pretty busy. We started our dance classes this week. Our first spelling test, and a myriad of other things, including a field trip to the lake tomorrow.

Dance class is now upon us. Tater and Jr Bug both have dance lessons on Wednesday morning. Tater has her ballet, tap, and tumbling class. Jr Bug is taking a preschool class. This now means that PE is covered.

The spelling test prep has been wonderful. Tater has worked really hard at learning her spelling words. She will be taking her test on Friday, so keep posted for how it turn out.

Speaking of Friday, we are taking our first field trip of the year. We have been studying about lakes in science, so what better than to experience a real lake. We are going to Boone Lake tomorrow. We will have lunch out at the lake and have a great time. So excited, pictures will be posted as well.

This has been a great month in school. Can't wait to see what Week 5 will bring.