Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Vine Academy is open

So starting tomorrow the public school kids are in school. I always use that time to reevaluate my decision to home school. I always look back and think is this where we need to be and want to be. Am I fulfilling God's purpose for our lives. Am I on the right track? Are the kids happy and where they need to be?
So I'm going to attempt to dissect those questions here.
When I think of last year and our homeschooling journey I am often reminded that I am blessed to be there to teach my daughter. She has learned to read way above her grade level. Her listening skills have exponentially exceeded. And she is most importantly learning to love Christ. She is growing in God and she is learning to show that love to others. Often reminding her momma that God's love should be shown to others.
But that's only part of what we have learned. Those are the intangible things that can't be measured. Those that don't understand homeschool  think that schooling is all that we do. So I'll touch on that. Tater can successfully skip count. We have worked on that for a long while and we have finally mastered it. Tater worked hard on that concept and I'm glad she mastered it. Tater also mastered her reading on a first grade level. She is now reading books on her own. In Bible studies Tater is able to recite, live, and speak her Bible verses. This is major for Tater. Not only her, but Jr Bug has learned his Bible verses. He is able to recite his Bible verses. These verses are not simple sentences but chunks of Scripture that speaks of how we should live, behave, and be disciples of God's word.
So now we are on to a new year. A new change, a new challenge. Tater is officially a 2nd grader. Jr Bug is now a preschooler. I have both of my little ones in school. Its daunting to me to have both of my littles in school. But I'm excited at the challenges it will hold. This is the year that we are going to use school books to teach. In years before, my Tater has learned using Google and my imagination. But this year and in years to come we are focusing on school books. This will be not because of a lack in my creativity but as she gets older she need the experience. Jr Bug still gets my creativity seeing as he is young. He will get my imagination for 3 more years. So I still get to have fun with him.
Am I doing God's will in homeschooling my children? That is often the question that I struggle. Doing His will over doing mine. I can cite Biblical scriptures that point me in homeschooling. Train up a child...Be not conformed to this world...Be ye not hearers of the Word, but doers also. But there is more that points me to homeschooling. I want my children to be so filled with Christ's love that no matter how many holes the world puts in their buckets they will NEVER run dry from His love. My job is to show them God's love on everything we learn about. Whether its learning about how God loves order and therefore math teaches us order. Where God loves us singing and saying His praise so we must learn our grammar so that we can eloquently wax His praises. Or something as simple as learning about how we fit on our community and how we can show God's love in the places that we live. I want to show them how GREAT God is. And all that He has created shouts His glory. This is why I homeschool. As important as the public schools are, they do not teach these things in the classrooms. They don't care for the grace of God. And I refuse to limit God to the weekend. He didn't limit me to the weekend and I REFUSE to do the same to Him. For all that He has given me I MUST give my children  back to Him. There is no choice in this. I must shape them to be ready to fight the battle for their souls. God has required that of me. And I will obey.
My homeschooling them is ultimately me teaching them to obey God's ultimate calling on their life. Am I willing, yes. Am I capable, yes. With God I can, am, and will be able. After all He is the vine and I am the branch. I can do all things in Him. Apart from Him I am nothing.
Thus with this...the Vine Academy is open for another school year.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Reading Program

This summer the Jonesborough Library had the summer reading Program. My kids participated by keeping track of the number of books that they read this summer. At the end of the summer the library threw an end of summer party.  Tater and Jr Bug both read/listened to 221 books. Jr Bug received a medal for coming  in 2nd place. He won a medal. Tater came in 3rd for her reading. I am a very proud mother for my babies. Very proud.

The story time leader Ms Carey announcing the reading winners. 
Jr Bug getting his award for coming in 2nd. 
Tater told,me next year we are going to read 250 books. That's my girl. Always ready for the next challenge. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Counting to 25

So while working on English with my oldest JrBug says momma I do cards. So we got his math cards out and started counting. Jr Bug not only counted from 0-25 with little help he also was able to name the pictures on each card. I am constantly amazed at how much he is able to comprehend and able to learn. He is truly an amazing child. I am so excited about going through preschool with him. It will be a fun and exciting time. I can't wait to see what he's able to teach me this year.

Friday, July 18, 2014

An Astronaut poster

This was the final day of learning about living and working in outer space. Tater and Jr Bug had so much un learning and working on the space theme this week. We have gained a new appreciation for those brave men and women who work for NASA. 
Today, we ended our lessons by making our own astronauts. We used black paper as the background since space is black due to the lack of air. We also learned why astronauts had space suits (to keep them warm and to help them breathe). Then we made our own space suits using tinfoil, glitter, glue and white crayons. We also added celestial bodies by using craft materials. The kids had so much fun. 
Afterwards, Tater shared what she thought being an astronaut and being in space would be like for her. These are her thoughts: "I think it would be like living on the moon and you would have to stand up and sleep. I feel like if I were an astronaut it would be fun to be in outer space. I think you could do what you want to do. And it would be really cool to cook with bags in outer space."
She has learned alot from this weeks experiments and from our gathering knowledge from our books and video time. I am excited to see that she enjoyed the cooking food experiment. Well I don't know how much more I will be posting as we are still technically on our summer slow down school schedule. But stay tuned because school starts in 6 weeks for us. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Astronaut cooking

So in keeping with our living and working in outer space science lesson plans, today we learned about how the astronauts cook and make their food So today, we made banana pudding the astronaut way. We even watched a you tube video on how astronauts cook and live in space. 
Here we are making our pudding to eat. 
Here is the freeze dried pudding mix that needs to be reconstituted. 
Here Tater is adding the milk to the pudding. Now the mixing process begins. 
Mix it up, or in our house the famous words uttered by my son...SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE. 
Even Momma got involved in the mixing of the pudding. 
Now after the mixing is the most important part...THE EATING OF THE PUDDING!!
So this part of our schooling is done. Tomorrow we will be making our own astronaut picture complete with the kids being the astronaut. Stay tuned as we finish our exciting adventure of learning about living and working in space.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Living and Working in Outer Space

So even though we are in summer school and there are no "official" science classes, we are still studying science via American Heritage Girls. We are working on badge work and this week Tater is working on achieving her Living and Working in Outer Space badge. 
For this badge, part of the requirements is that Tater create a STS. A space transport system. Tater decided to make an edible STS. This required her using peanut butter as the glue, bread as the orbiter, celery as the rocket boosters, and carrots as the fuel tank. We learned about each part of the STS and how each part is important to the successful launch of a rocket. Here are some pictures of Tater making her STS.   
Tater cutting the "rocket launchers" to make them equal in size. 
Tater "gluing" the fuel tank together. The carrots were pretty small so she had to make them longer in order to fit the length of the orbiter.  
This is Tater's finished project. Her edible STS. She was so happy to have made her own STS. Then the next and best part of making her own STS is to eat her STS. She ate her STS in the order that they work in a "real" launch. First she ate the rocket boosters, then the fuel tank, and finally the orbiter goes into space. 
Celery rocket boosters
Carrot fuel tanks
Bread orbiter shuttle

The other part of Tater learning about the STS is her actually watching the STS launching off. I you tubed a video of the "Atlantis STS launching into outer space. She was able to visibly watch the parts of the STS fall off and visibly see how the parts fit together.