Friday, August 15, 2008

Bible Lessons

School officially began after the 4th of July and Tom just went back to NIU this week. He worked through the summer, but we had many fun family days in between. Most importantly, the month of July gave us some time to figure out how we are going to do this year's schedule. So, after a month of tweaking, I think we are REALLY ready to begin our school year.

We try to have conversations throughout the year about how to squeeze as much family time and Mommy/Daddy time into our schedule. Our revision this year has been to take every Sunday that isn't "owned" by NIU for family stuff at home. For as much as I hate to miss a field trip opportunity, we have vowed to go to church and then home on Sunday's to take care of the family. Actually, we take two cars to church now since Tom and Rhea go shopping for dinner supplies for the week. She is just as happy doing this with her Daddy as Stephen is going golfing or to the baseball game. Stephen and I come home to work on 3R stuff in our quiet house before his sister comes home. We then spend the remainder of the day cooking meals and curriculum for the week, and if we are lucky, a movie. The kids and I then head off to Lifetime Fitness for me to work out and for them to play in a wonderful childcare facility. We usually go swimming to, but that will soon be replaced by Kindermusik for Rhea while I teach Stephen how to play the piano in another room. Tuesday's are library days with a bike ride around the nearby lake while the temperatures are still favorable. Stephen will do the 3 mile trail and Rhea enjoys riding along as long as we stop to throw rocks down the waterfall and check out the Mulberry Trees. Wednesday's are spent back at Lifetime and we will soon join a homeschool playgroup through our church as long as Rhea can stay awake into the afternoon. We stay home on Thursday and Friday followed by a Sports class for both kiddos back at Lifetime on Saturday. The best part about the class, is that I get to get a work out in while they are having a blast. They always have fun in the childcare center, but I think they are really going to enjoy the class when it starts.

When we are not out and about, we have been enjoying our Bible curriculum. It fits both kids perfectly. Stephen still does his own lapbooks, but Rhea enjoys he crafts that go along with the lesson pages.

Creation Week

This is our collage of the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Knowledge, and the desert where Adam and Eve were then told to go.

Adam/Eve and Families

Noah's Ark
We talked about how Noah obeyed God and made necklaces with "I will obey" on the heart. Boy, did I ever get weird looks in the store with these. Oh well, at least the kids understood the concept.... We also talked about promises and made our own rainbows.

Dress-up Night
These masks were originally craft projects for the kids, but I then remembered that they hate glue on their fingers. They will make a mess with anything else, but they are a little funny about the glue. So, I made the masks to ensure a happy evening of play. All I used was a blank mask from JoAnn's and some animal print felt that I found at Michael's. The snake mask was made out of leather strips that I also found at Joann's. This was the one that I was sure I was going to have to make on my own anyway.

Netflix Picks

Bedbug Bible Gang: Creation Celebration - I can't stand these but the kids loved them

Bedbug Bible Gang: Big Boats of the Bible - There is a line in their opening song that if you like the song, then you will love the bedbugs. Well, the kids loved it.....

Noah's Ark: The Story of the Biblical Flood - This was actually a little scary for Rhea, but Stephen enjoyed it.

Go! Diego Go! The Great Dinosaur Rescue - Stephen wanted to know more about Dinosaurs and had been viewing the Usborne Encylopedias. We included Dinosaurs in our creations talks. This was one of Rhea's favortie movies!

Art Adventures

We have recently been experimenting with different art supplies since the kids were getting tired of splatter the same paint on the same ol' paper. This project is from the Noah's Ark unit and we used droppers to apply food coloring to coffee filters to make rainbow parachutes. The parachutes didn't have anything to do with Noah's Ark, but it was a cute rainbow idea that I found in our Bible Curriculum. We also decided to do "blow" art since I already had the food coloring out. You are supposed to use ink, but I thought the food coloring would have the same effect. I was mostly right. The food coloring soaked in pretty quick and I think the ink would have spread better for them; not that I am going to run out and buy the kids ink to blow at each other.........
Stephen's favorite art activity is mixing paint. This begun after this first lesson pictured below. We did a color triangle/wheel to show him basic colors and he now spends 1-2 hours in the floor mixing paint. He will actually paint to test the color, but mostly enjoys just mixing.
Besides painting in the afternoons, Stephen has been using McRuffy Phonics and Singapore Earlybird Math. Yes, Grandma Rose, your grandson is being taught how to read by a dog :-) The picture below is one of our first lessons with Singapore Math. Stephen really enjoyed searching around the house for solid shapes and played with them for the next three days. We worked on less than/ greater than today by filling up different sized bowls, pots and vases. We made a pretty big mess, but he is really enjoy his math program. The phonics program was purchased after he sulked around for 2 weeks since he could only read his Bob books and not "real" books. He is doing really well in such a short period of time and smiles more when it comes to books. It's nice to see that excitement back.
These last pictures are of an impromptu Blueberry Pie night. The kids had been asking for blueberry pie all summer and we had planned to go pick our own. All of our crops are so far behind up here due to a cool start to the summer which means we never had the chance to get our own. So, Stephen saw that we had blueberries in the fridge and was already making plans for a pie before I even knew if I had enough ingredients for the rest of the pie. We did, but the crust was a bit of a challenge. We didn't actually have 12 hours to refrigerated the crust, so we decided to give it a try. Well, the reason for refrigeration, if anyone else is wondering, is because you can't work with the crust otherwise. We managed to piece it together and it turned out great, but it would have been easier if we would have actually followed the directions. Yes, the kids had as much fun eating the pie as they did making it.

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