This…..

I’m teaching Jonathan to read and as we sat down to practice what he has learned so far he says “Can we cuddle while I read?  It helps me read better.”

LOVE this kid.  So blessed to be his mom AND his teacher!

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A New School Year Begins

It’s that time of year already!  But really, doesn’t learning take place all the time?  For homeschoolers, we consider most of our day as school time.  Whether it’s book learning, cooking, cleaning, laundry, diaper changing, grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, raking leaves or serving others, it’s all learning.

Our oldest, Natasha is starting 8th grade.  WOW!  It’s hard to believe we’ve been homeschooling her for 7 years.  I have learned so much about being a mom from being her mommy.  We love her dearly.  She’ll be busy with math, science, Spanish, geography, Bible Road Trip, spelling and history with added reading assignments throughout the year.  She is about 75% independent and is taking charge of her own schedule for her day to day lessons.  She has really taken a liking to baking and can be found in the kitchen often making her daddy’s favorite gluten free chocolate chip cookie.

N 8th Grade

Next up is our sweet Belle.  As a 6th grader she will be studying similar subjects as Natasha.  Belle’s reading ability has really taken off in the past year and she has 1 more level to complete with our All About Reading curriculum.  She continues to expand her knowledge and expertise in crafts and loves to show others how to make something.  She has such an amazing imagination and loves to share her creations with others.  She too, enjoys learning how to cook and often asks to help me with meals.

Belle 6th Grade

Next is our Alex.  Alex is starting the 2nd grade and is VERY excited to finally learn cursive.  Can you believe many public schools don’t even teach cursive any longer?  Anyway, she’s excited to learn to do something her two older sisters can do.  She’ll also be studying math, science, Spanish, geography, spelling & reading, history and Bible Road Trip.  Although she really only likes to help in the kitchen with daddy’s pizza or cookies, she loves to WATCH in the kitchen.  One of these days I would imagine her cooking skills will take off!

Alex 2nd Grade

Finally, Jonathan gets to start Kindergarten.  He has been quiet eager to start more school to be like sisters.  We will be focused on reading and math mainly.  He’ll be learning other subjects as well but not on a rigid schedule.  It’s fun to have a kindergartner again!

J K 2016

As for Katherine…. well enjoy the pictures!

Mischief!

Mischief!

Katherine's first ride in the bike trailer.

Katherine’s first ride in the bike trailer.

Sleeping angel!

Sleeping angel!

First Day of School – 2015

Wow, it’s almost November and I’m just now sitting down to post about our school year starting.  No, we aren’t just now starting but life has been crazy busy so blogging has taken a bit of a back seat.

We started the 2015 school year in mid August with a reduced schedule.  After Labor Day we ramped up and added in more subjects.  We also joined a new homeschool co-op that our 2 oldest participate in every Friday.  Our co-op is so much fun and the girls look forward to it each and every week.  It does not take the place of any subject but is an enrichment program.  It’s such a blessing to find like minded families on this homeschool journey!

This year Natasha is doing her own science with Apologia.  The course is preparing her for more independent work as she moves into high school in a couple of years.  It’s been a great experience for her so far and she really enjoys all the experiments.  She can do most of them on her own and invites her siblings to join in whenever possible.  She has lab reports to complete after each experiment and this course is also helping her to get used to the amount of reading and writing that will be needed in high school.  For those wondering, yes Apologia teaches science from a creationist, young earth view.  We have no problem interpreting the days of creation in Genesis to be literal days and don’t believe that evolution is settled science.  Don’t get me started…. that could be a blog post all by itself.

The girls still do history, geography and spanish together.  With Natasha doing her own science I’m only teaching Belle and Alex the swimming creatures this year.  We didn’t get far with it last year but what I’ve learned is that they basically repeat everything in middle and high school so I’m not worried about it.

We’ve really kicked it up a notch this year and have stayed on a consistent schedule.  We’ve had fun and accomplished a bunch already.

Without further delay here is what each amazing and wonderful kid is studying!

Natasha – 7th grade… I know!  I can’t believe it either!

Natasha 1st Day of School 2015

Natasha 1st Day of School 2015

Science – Apologia General Science
Math – RightStart Level E
History – Mystery of History
Geography – Exploration Expedition
Spelling – Spell to Write and Read
Typing
Spanish – weekly class with 3 other families
Writing – Institute in Excellence in Writing
Language Arts – First Language Lessons
Co-op – they have short lessons in science, history, art, theology, peacemakers and medieval games.

Mikayla – 5th grade

Belle 1st Day of School 2015

Belle 1st Day of School 2015

Science – Apologia Swimming Creatures
Math – RightStart Level C
History – Mystery of History
Geography – Exploration Expedition
Spelling – All About Spelling
Reading – All About Reading
Typing
Spanish – weekly class with 3 other families
Writing – Institute in Excellence in Writing
Language Arts – First Language Lessons
Co-op – short lessons in science, history, art, theology, catapults

Alexandra – 1st grade

Alex 1st Day of School 2015

Alex 1st Day of School 2015

Science – Apologia Swimming Creatures
Math – RightStart Level B
History – Mystery of History
Geography – Exploration Expedition
Reading – All About Reading
Language Arts – First Language Lessons
Spanish – weekly class with 3 other families
Daily Notebook – calendar work, handwriting, math and reading practice, weather graphing, clock work

Jonathan – PreK

Jonathan 1st Day of School 2015

Jonathan 1st Day of School 2015

Daily Notebook – calendar work, handwriting, math and reading practice, weather graphing, clock work, letter sounds, art.  Jonathan also loves to sit in on the girls science, history or geography lessons.

And of course I have to include random pictures of Katherine!

1st Day of School 2015

1st Day of School 2015

Katherine did not want to take off her new Minnie Mouse robe!

Katherine did not want to take off her new Minnie Mouse robe!

Pumpkins!

Pumpkins!

Katherine riding in a shopping cart.

Katherine riding in a shopping cart.

Katherine got into the chalk!

Katherine got into the chalk!

Jonathan is working on his daily notebook.

Jonathan is working on his daily notebook.

We Are Done!

After lots of reading, math, science, history, language arts, spelling and geography we have completed the 2014 – 2015 school year.  We did our annual testing this past week and will receive the results in a couple of weeks.  I view these tests as an indication more of how I am as a teacher rather then how smart my children are.  We came across a few things we had not yet studied but I’m confident the girls were able to figure out enough to answer the question… at least with their best guess!

So, the Wilson household now has a 7th grader, a 5th grader and a 1st grader officially on the books.  We will take a couple of weeks off and will then start with a light schedule which will include reading and math.  We will most likely add the rest of the subjects the 2nd week of August when we start school full time.  We are adding a couple of new curriculum this year and I’m excited to get started!

During our break we will go swimming, visit parks and playgrounds and just enjoy the summer.

What are your plans for the summer?

Katherine July 2015

Katherine July 2015

Katherine July 2015

Katherine July 2015

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Alex, Natasha, Chris (family friend), Jonathan and Belle

Alex, Natasha, Chris (family friend), Jonathan and Belle

Jonathan June 2015

Jonathan June 2015

Mommy with Natasha and Belle at the annual family conference.

Mommy with Natasha and Belle at the annual family conference.

Homeschool Day At The Capitol and a GREAT Movie!

Today marked the 20th Annual Homeschool Day at the Capitol sponsored by Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC).  We woke up to snow and about 30 degrees but I was determined to go to the Capitol and take a stand for our rights as parents to home educate our children.  Phil was unable to get today off but Natasha, Mikayla and I headed out the door at about 8:45am to join other homeschoolers in celebrating our freedom at the Pillar of Fire Church downtown.  We were blessed to hear Bold Reflection (a young mens choir) sing a couple of songs before listening to a few speakers and watching a skit put on by fellow homeschoolers.  From there we grabbed some lunch then all gathered outside the church to begin the march around the Capitol.  By the time the march started the rain had stopped.  It was still chilly but we are Coloradoans or Denverites, not wimps!

I recorded the Bold Reflection songs today but I cannot figure out how to upload the video to this blog post.  But, here is a link to a video of a concert they did last year.  They have many songs posted on youtube if you search for their group name.

The band that starts the march.

The band that starts the march.

The band that ends the march.

The band that ends the march.

The crowd in front of us beginning the march around the Capitol.

The crowd in front of us beginning the march around the Capitol.

Out in the cold on the steps of the Capitol, April 17, 2015.

Out in the cold on the steps of the Capitol, April 17, 2015.

Anyway, after praying together on the steps of the Capitol we listened as Bold Reflection sang the National Anthem.  We listened to our featured speaker and some legislative updates on education, parent rights and social issues.

Again, I can’t figure out how to upload video but here is a link to Bold Reflection singing the National Anthem at the Rockies game a few years ago.  Personally, the anthem they sung today was better but I can’t upload the video… argh!

CHEC was hosting a special screening of a new movie called Beyond the Mask this afternoon.  This movie was made by the Burns family… a homeschooling family!  We decided to take Natasha and Mikayla to this showing and boy was it an enjoyable movie!  It had action, humor and even some romance.  But it was refreshing to watch a movie that did not have bad language, blood, gut and gore, nudity or even sexual content.  Wow, to think a movie can be entertaining while still being appropriate for the entire family to watch…. and it didn’t have cartoon characters or talking animals!  We all enjoyed it immensely and will be buying it once it comes to DVD.   Check out the Beyond The Mask website to watch the trailer!

Whales, Piano, China and Baby

Pictures from where we take piano lessons and where we meet for church.

The view from where we take piano lessons AND where we meet for church!

The view from where we take piano lessons AND where we meet for church!

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We’ve been studying whales with Apologia Science and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science just happened to have a whale exhibit.  Great timing!  The girls have never been to an IMAX movie so we decided to stay for the showing of the PANDA movie.  The girls were amazed and, of course, loved wearing their 3d glasses.

Ready for the field trip with our science workbooks.

Ready for the field trip with our science workbooks.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Waiting for the IMAX movie to start.

Waiting for the IMAX movie to start.

In geography we’ve been studying China and one of the projects assigned was to build a model of the Great Wall of China.  Originally, we were going to use sugar cubes but instead I found a 3D puzzle on Amazon.

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Building the Great Wall of China.

Building the Great Wall of China.

And finally the latest pictures of our sweet Katherine!  My goodness she’s such a happy baby!

Love this face!

Love this face!

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Daddy and Katherine sleeping.

Daddy and Katherine sleeping.

 

First Day of School!

So, I’m a little late in getting this posted but we had our first day of school a few weeks ago!  Below is our first day of school pictures and a summary of what each is working on.

We start each day with bible and character time where we are all curled up on the couch or chairs and read the bible and discuss various Godly characteristics.  We usually sing a song or two as well and finish up with each of us praying.

Natasha started 6th grade and is growing into a quite a young lady.  She is studying swimming creatures with Apologia Science, The Mystery of History – Creation to the Resurrection, math with RightStart Math, Geography with Expedition Earth, typing (when I was in school it was called typing; I guess now a days it’s called keyboarding!) Spelling with Spell to Write and Read and reading lots of other great books.  She takes weekly piano lessons with the wonderful Miss Rebecca and weekly Spanish class with a group of close friends.

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Mikayla started 4th grade and continues to amaze us with her incredible imagination.  She is also studying swimming creatures with Apologia Science, The Mystery of History – Creation to the Resurrection, math with RightStart Math, Geography with Expedition Earth, typing and lots of reading.  Mikayla also takes weekly piano lessons with Miss Rebecca and the same Spanish class with Natasha.

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Alex is starting 1st grade but is still finishing up some Kindergarten studies.  I’m not big at pushing academics to 4 and 5 year olds so I’m ok with where she is at.  She will be studying the same science and history as her older sisters as well as her own level of RightStart Math.  She still likes to do the letter of the week activities that Jonathan works on although she doesn’t need them as she knows her letters and all the sounds they make.  She continues her weekly speech therapy sessions and has shown incredible progress over the last 2 years.  She and I spend lots of time cuddled up on the couch reading together.  She takes weekly piano lessons with Miss Tori.

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Jonathan is in Prek and absolutely LOVES doing school with his older sisters.  He has lots of fun games, puzzles, crafts and activities to do as he learns letter names and sounds.  He also has fun math activities along with shapes and patterning.

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Katherine isn’t in school yet but isn’t she cute???  And can you believe she is already 6 months old?  We just started giving her mashed up avocados mixed with a little of her milk once a day and she loves it.

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I absolutely love homeschooling.  I can’t even imagine dropping my kids off at a building each day and let others get the experience of watching their eyes light up when they learn something new.

Gaylene