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Evie and Lily~

Friday, May 31, 2013

Today two precious ones that once lived far away from each other in China~
 Met and began a forever friendship in a very small town in Georgia.
Evie and Lily... BFFs Forever!!!

Snorkeling~

Thursday, May 30, 2013

 These just take my breath away...
and this was Amelia's tweet today...
I'm moving to Maui so I can work on a boat the rest of my life.  
Somehow this doesn't surprise me. :)

The Hawaiin People~

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I still really haven't wrapped my head around my 4 big kids being in Hawaii but they ARE and having a ball!
I made a couple of collages from their Instagram photos~
 So far they have enjoyed the beaches, sunsets @ dinner, a sunrise at the top of a volcano~
 Last night they went to a Luau~
 Today they went out on a boat snorkeling and I feel sure there will be photos in my Dropbox tomorrow. :)
I LOVE you Hawaiian People and miss you terribly!

Memorial Day~

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Holidays are SO awesome... 
We spent our day working in the yard 
{The kids LOVED picking up sticks}~
 Swimming all day long 
{Payne learned to swim on his own, thanks to EK!}~
 LOVED having cousins here to play 
{Picnic lunch by the pool}~
 Grilled out with mama, daddy, Jason, Amy, and kids 
{Scott made our very first churn of ice cream for the summer}~
 And just when the day should be done, they wanted to do a little fishing so we loaded the golfcart and headed to the dock
{EK and SJ have learned to cast and let the little littles reel in}~
 All were safe in life jackets and puddle jumpers
{Although SJ ALMOST fell in casting one time}~ whew
Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. We thank every single fallen soldier that helped give us the freedom we enjoyed so greatly today. 
God bless America!

If We Can't Be in Hawaii~

with the bigs, then we will bring Hawaii to us! :)

The summer school schedule I shared here began today along with a new idea I thought of yesterday. Since the bigs are in Hawaii and the littles have so many questions... why not take a couple of weeks before vacation to learn more about one of our 50 states!

SO today we did just that and where to start than a couple of videos to jumpstart our curiosity then on to geography~

 We located on the globe, a flat map, and then printed our own. We learned about reading map keys and what info we could gather. We glued our map to a blue ocean and got painted it. The kids all dressed in swimsuits as if they were at the beach and we made up a song of our own~
Hawaii, Hawaii, a group of islands in the big blue sea.
Hawaii, Hawaii, a group of islands in the big blue sea.
SJ danced the hula... sort of. :)

Here are a few photos the Bigs have shared via Instagram~

 I'd say they are pretty much in paradise having the time of their lives! 
We may not be there in person but we are in Heart and Mind!

If We Can't Be in Hawaii~

with the bigs, then we will bring Hawaii to us! :)

The summer school schedule I shared here began today along with a new idea I thought of yesterday. Since the bigs are in Hawaii and the littles have so many questions... why not take a couple of weeks before vacation to learn more about one of our 50 states!

SO today we did just that and where to start than a couple of videos to jumpstart our curiosity then on to geography~

 We located on the globe, a flat map, and then printed our own. We learned about reading map keys and what info we could gather. We glued our map to a blue ocean and got painted it. The kids all dressed in swimsuits as if they were at the beach and we made up a song of our own~
Hawaii, Hawaii, a group of islands in the big blue sea.
Hawaii, Hawaii, a group of islands in the big blue sea.
SJ danced the hula... sort of. :)

Here are a few photos the Bigs have shared via Instagram~

 I'd say they are pretty much in paradise having the time of their lives! 
We may not be there in person but we are in Heart and Mind!

Happy Memorial Day~

Monday, May 27, 2013

An awesome day with this little crowd... so tired, more tomorrow!

The 'Longest' Friend~

Sunday, May 26, 2013

EK came home in April of 2006 ON her very first birthday. Right before we left China to come home, we ran into sweet friends, Beverly and Shane, about to get their sweet daughter Emma~
 Not long after we were home, we went over for a shower and this was the first time EK and Emma were together~
{EK and Emma} The 'Longest' Friend EK has known. 

Today they were about 75 miles away for a soccer tournament and drove up to visit. It was so wonderful to get these sweet friends together again. LOOK at them now~
 Amazing really! and sweet Jing got in on the action too~
Thank you Beverly for giving our girls this wonderful time together! LOVE the amazing China connections we have made these last weeks... hoping to see SJ's foster sister in a couple weeks when we head to the beach!
 

 

On the Way to Hawaii~

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My bigs that is... Josh, Nan, Mill, and Gig~
 Josh and Savannah went to Maui on their honeymoon and then back for their first anniversary last year. This year as they planned to go back for their second they agreed it would be fun to bring friends... boy did Mill and Gig luck out. Can't think of a sweeter sister and big brother!!! 
They will soon be on their last leg arriving around 8pm their time. Look forward to a week of beautiful photos as I go to Maui via Instagram. :)

Curriculum Review and Update for next year~

I really think our school year went very well considering it was our first official one and we brought home two new littles with no language and experiences... very successful actually.

When I began this home school journey, I really didn't know where we were going or how we would get there.
I just knew God gave me a calling to pull my children into our home and allow them time to become a family of learners.
I knew each one needed time to love each other, learn how to be friends, and be each other's greatest advocate/helper.
 
I had to make a concious effort to make home our school... not bring school into our home {big difference} and huge for a public teacher of 18 years.
I had the priviledge of teaching to my indiviual children's learning style and not the middle of the group.
I chose if we hit the curricululm hard or maybe needed a slow free day of art/music/nature. 
I gave myself time to grow and learn from my own children... boy have they taught and taught and taught.

I do not take this time lightly~ I am savoring every moment {even the ones when the girls are trying to read, the boys are too loud, and little bit is in a crying fit on the floor}
    {First day of school}

2012-2013
Our curriculum choices were pretty strong:
Bible~ read through 3 different ones and wrote in notebooks
BFIAR & FIAR~ Loved the book/activity format
Writing~ wrote in journals all year
Grammar/Language~ First Language Lessons 1    
Spelling~ All About Spelling 
Explode the Code ~ Level 1, 1a, 2
Math~ Math U See: Primer and Alpha

{Last day of school!}

Next Year:
EK~ 2nd and SJ~ K
Switching to Beautiful Feet {History through Literature} (Both)~ Early American History ... EK and SJ have LOVED learning the states and presidents so much I think they will LOVE this curriculum!
Grammar/Language (EK)~ First Language Lessons Level 2
(SJ)~ Writing in journal again
Reading (EK)~ continue reading level with various books
(SJ)~ BOB books
Explode the Code (EK) 2 and 2 1/2, 3
(SJ) 1 and 1 1/2
Math~ Math U See (EK) Alpha
(SJ) Primer

 

Summer School~

Friday, May 24, 2013

Today was the LAST day of regular school for this year... how can it be? I have declared Fridays this summer as Free Fridays. Choose whatever you love and do it: make books, read books, sticker stories, centers, puzzles, playdough, any art project, chores around the house, computer time, IPad time, etc...
I had the girls get their clip boards and make a list of what they chose to do~
  To begin, SJ chose IPad {school apps} and EK chose computer {Starfall and Reading Eggs}... boys and Evie pretty much did what they usually do on a school day.
 Favorite computer programs~ Reading Eggs, Mathseeds, Starfall
Favorite Apps~  Best Apps For Kids {great place to start}
They also chose reading, writing, and helping me with chores!
 
With them occupied and happy, I was able to get my house cleaned and laundry finished! That is huge. Since coming home from China I have tried to do one cleaning chore a day and it takes me all week to get my house clean... don't like that. Want to get it done in one sweep and be done for a week.  
SO my week goes like this:
Monday~ mine and Scott's laundry, sheets, and towels
Wednesday~ boys' laundry, sheets, and towels
Friday~ girls' laundry, sheets, and towels {Cleaned today!}
Saturday~ iron
 
NOW for Summer School~
I set up one shelf to house all our materials as we will concentrate solely on Bible, reading, writing, and math.
Top basket~ the books we will read and an art activity for each day.
Middle shelf basket~ EK's reading and math materials.  
Middle shelf drawers~ book making materials.
Bottom shelf basket~ SJ's reading and math materials.
Bottom shelf drawers~ center activites.

Schedule: Mon~Thurs
Bible/Calendar
Storytime with Art
Reading and Book Making
Math {book work and technology}
Fri~ Free Friday

Maybe you're wondering WHY summer school... my kids just do SO much better when we stay on a somewhat schedule. Mornings will be spent taking a leisurely start to school with afternoons spent resting and swimming/playing. 
Happy summer to all~ May it be the best ever!!!