Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Highlights of our year from Sept. 2013 - April 2014

Dear Sarah, Hannah, Julia & Joshua, I had good intentions when school first started to write letters to you each month on this blog. Well, it is already the last week of Classical Conversations and I didn't do it. I am sorry! I will try to summarize or recap our school year- and life in general of highlights from each month- so this post will be more lengthy than others but please sit down and read it all when you have time. September: We went to your great- grandmother Snow's 90th birthday October: For Halloween, Grammie made Hannah's Dorothy costume from Wizard of Oz and Sarah's Mandie costume from the Mandie books, Joshua was Spider-Man &Julia was a princess. November: We spent a few days at a cabin in Oklahoma December: First Christmas in Texas. Sarah had a solo in the Christmas play you all did with Choir & Hannah had a dance/jazz part. January- It snowed (just a tiny bit) but you still had fun. We made snow cones. We got a new member in our home! We bought a bunny that you named Chestnut. In the Spring, Daddy made an awesome rabbit cage that you helped him put together. February- Valentines Day- the girls went on a daddy/daughters date March- mold was in the vents in our home and everyone was sick! You also LOVE watching the movie Frozen and singing all the songs. We also planted a spring garden. April- Daddy's birthday and memorizing for Memory Master's! We spent Easter on your cousin Levi & Avery's land and had so much fun in their woods. Highlights of Classical Conversations~ HISTORY: You memorized 24 history sentences starting from Charlemagne's time period in 800 AD, Renaissance period, French & Industrial Revolution, WW1 leaders & countries, WW11, Korean, Vietnam, Cold & Gulf wars. You learned these facts through fun songs. ( Do you still remember them)? LATIN: You memorized the 1st Conjugation Endings! Present, Imperfect, Future, Present Perfect, Pluperfect, & Future Perfect tense. The big girls also started workbook number 2 of Latin is not so tough. ENGLISH GRAMMAR: Here are some things you memorized: 8 parts of speech, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, verb, gerund, appositive, conjunction, adjective, interjection... etc. TIMELINE: You memorized a timeline starting with creation all the way to the present! You love to sing and do the hand motions to the timeline song! Plus you memorized all the Presidents by learning a fun song. BIBLE: You memorized all of Ephesians 6! I will admit in the beginning of the year I was skeptical that you could memorize a whole chapter. I'm so very proud of you for memorizing God's word in your heart- especially since you memorized the chapter without singing a song! Also, in addition to all of Ephesians 6- you have memorized many bible verses out of your Awana books each week. I am so very proud of each of you!! Hannah- I want to tell you that you really amaze me. Each week you (on your own) diligently memorized bible verses from your Awana book. So even though this is our first year in Awana you finished two books! Most kids finish one book a year. You have an incredible gift from God of memorizing. I am often asking you where I put something or what our new zip code in Texas is because you have such an incredible memory! Sarah- I am proud of you for trying your best each week and not giving up. I know Awana wasn't your favorite since you say you hate to memorize and I am so proud of you for sticking with it all year. You have a beautiful, fun spirit. I am proud of you for memorizing scriptures in your heart even when it isn't your favorite thing to do. Julia & Joshua- I am proud of you for memorizing Ephesians 6 and your bible verses for Awana. You earned many lights on your vests. Great job! GEOGRAPHY: This is another subject that I am so impressed by what you accomplished this year! I really can't believe all that you memorized from the Europe map & world map. You know all the European waters, countries, rivers, cities, mountains& peninsulas. Then on the world map you know the continents/oceans, Carribean, Asia, Central & South America & Southern Africa countries! I am really proud of you!! You know more geography this year than I ever learned! Yesterday during review time, I gave you mini chocolate chips to put on your maps to locate the places. You liked that- especially eating the mini chocolate chips afterwards. SCIENCE: This was a fun subject that you learned this year. You memorized 24 weeks of Science such as- biomes, food chain, natural cycles, astronomy- planets, phases of the moon, five kinds of stars, some parts of the sun... (During this time we went to the Space Center in Houston), states of matter, Newton's laws of motion, the laws of thermodynamics... etc You also had fun each week in class with learning the Scientific method and doing experiments. My favorites were the rocket, egg drop, building bridges... You are all so creative! MATH: I am also very amazed at all you memorized for Math this year. Especially hearing 5 year olds say these facts is truly impressive. You memorized all the tables from 1-15, squares, cubes, teaspoons & tablespoons, liquid & linear equivalents, metric measurements, area of a rectangle, square, triangle & circle, circumference of a circle, associative law, commutative law, distributive law & identity laws for addition and multiplication! Joshua & Julia can also count to 100- your homeschool kindergarten graduation is coming up on May 10th! FINE ARTS: You learned about different ways to draw the first 6 weeks in class. Then you learned how to play the Tin Whistle. Next, you learned about a new artist and painted from their style. The last 6 weeks, you learned about the Orchestra. On the last day of Classical Conversations, during fine arts time, Sarah & Hannah played their guitars and sang a precious song they wrote back in Ca. with your friend Madyson before moving away called- Always be together. I have also taught you a little piano this year. Hopefully, this summer I can be more consistent with teaching you Piano lessons. ;) Whew that is a lot you learned this year just through Classical Conversations! The little ones are doing great learning to read! We use Explode the Code workbooks plus the book, Teach your child how to read in 100 easy lessons. For math Joshua & Julia are doing grade 1 Saxon. Sarah & Hannah are in Teaching Textbooks grade 5 (I heard both Saxon and TT are a grade behind so that is why they are doing a grade ahead) The big girls are using IEW Phonetic Zoo for spelling. Next year the older girls will do Essentials. All of you have been doing so well! Sarah & Hannah are trying out for Memory Master next week. (They have to say all the facts for each subject with no hints or help). I know that you have it all memorized and am so very proud of you for trying your best. So if you make it or even if you don't, please know that as long as you try your best- that is what matters most! I truly believe your diligence and time practicing your memory work will pay off. Sarah- don't give up. You love to sing and are doing excellent with Classical Conversations because you are an auditory and visual learner. You also have become such an excellent reader. In one of my previous posts on this blog, I was worried you could be slightly dyslexic and I am so very proud of you for all you have accomplished even though it doesn't come as easy to you as others. God has given you a beautiful gift of singing. I am so thankful to find a group like Classical Conversations where you can learn memory work by songs. I am thankful you can learn this way instead of the traditional public school way. I am praying you and Hannah will make memory masters next week. This is a hard accomplishment to achieve. I believe you both can do it! All four of you kids like to ride your bikes on our driveway. You also signed up to help a girl in the Philippines through compassion international. So each month we send her letters and you give part of your allowance to pay for her monthly contribution. You all have such a giving heart. This year has been a busy one! We attend Classical Conversations every Tuesday, Club Explore classes and AHG (American Heritage Girls) on Thursdays, First Steps of Faith & Guitar lessons for Sarah & Hannah on Fridays, Julia & Hannah take ballet on Saturdays, Church, Awana & choir on Sundays. This summer I want the little ones to take swim lessons at the YMCA. We also plan to go back to CA. in June to see your cousin John graduate from High School! We miss our family and friends in Ca. so much. I'm thankful for technology like FaceTime to keep us connected. It will be nice to go back to visit though. In a way I wish I could freeze time to keep you 9 & 5 years old! This is a fun stage- although I do miss not having babies... I know each age has its challenges and advantages. I am so thankful God gave me you to teach and raise! I'm hoping these letters will help you to remember your fun & crazy childhood as you grow up. Lately, I have been working on character training. The older ones have started becoming sassy. I heard this happens with nine year olds... There is apparently a nine year change in childhood. You have changed and are growing up so fast! I am trying to stop the sassiness now & teach you to say kind words and be slow to anger, to develop good, godly friendships with others and not compare with one another or others... The most important thing I pray for is that you will always love God and follow Jesus. I want to spend eternity with you in heaven. I love you with all my heart. We have to leave now to meet some homeschool friends at a park play date. :) Love, Mommy

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Friday, August 30, 2013

Classical Conversations Cycle 2 Week 1

Dear Sarah, Hannah, Julia & Joshua, This year we are homeschooling using Classical Conversations and we are so excited about it. I'm a tutor for Foundations- Journeymen class (8&9 year olds). At first I was a tad overwhelmed since I never saw a CC class before. Everything I learned in training was different than what I learned in college to be an elementary school teacher. We had our first class this week and it went well! I absolutely love being a tutor(teacher)! You are having so much fun learning all the songs, especially the Timeline song. I'm reading a diary of Eleanor from Aquitane to you. I think this will be our best year of homeschooling. I love how we start our CC day with chapel, singing praise songs to God. You also do a presentation each week. Then we went to our classes. We started our day learning memory work for all the subjects. We looked at the whiteboard and learned many songs. Then we went outside to conduct two Astronomy related Science experiments. Next, was class presentations & snack. I'm super nervous about public speaking so I'm so grateful you get a chance to speak each week while you are young! Then, we did an art lesson. Joshua & Julia's teacher for the 5 year old class said they drew very amazing, detailed lions. Good job! Last, we ended the class with review games. I had a beach ball with the subjects written on it with a permanent marker. We stood in a circle and passed the ball from person to person while the timeline music was playing. When the music stopped, I would call out left hand or right hand. Whatever subject that the ball said from where the child was holding it- is which review question I would ask. That was a fun game. Then we played another one that I made from CC connected (talk like a cowboy, etc...) After classes ended we had lunch and then recess. A few families met at the library for homeschool book club so we went also and met some new friends. You loved playing educational games on the library's computers. :) I am so proud of you and your eagerness and willingness to work hard memorizing and learning this week! I love you. Love, Mommy

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy 9th Birthday- Sarah & Hannah!

Dear Sarah, Hannah, Julia & Joshua, This summer has been busy for our family. We moved from Northern Ca. to Texas! Miss Mimi & Miss Ashley, our wonderful babysitters from Sacramento helped us move across country. We have enjoyed playing with your cousins that live nearby, Levi & Avery. So far we have been a part of a Beth Moore Summer bible study, many Vacation Bible Schools, Awana Club and American Heritage Girls Club is starting soon. We also are going to participate in Classical Conversations and a fun history class at the Training Center with other homeschool families. We have made a few great friends. It is nice being driving distance to Oklahoma and plan to see your Great Grandmother Snow for her 90th birthday next weekend. We do miss our family and friends in Ca. a whole bunch! So far you all have transitioned nicely and are great kids. I am so excited about this new journey in Texas. :) Love, Mommy