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5 Stages of Writing~

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

We are moving through 5 stages in teaching the kids to get a story written in their journals.
So far the boys have made it the 4th stage so let me explain each one...

1. Tell me a story then I write the words for them to TRACE~

SO many skills came with this one step:
American name, letters, fine motor skill of copying, learning to draw something, having the control to stay focused, and vocabulary development.

2. Trace and write under name and words for a story~
Again a big step in diligence and perseverance and one that lasted over a year.

3. Tracing and Copying on Magic Lines~
Once the boys have their picture drawn I ask them to tell me the story.
As they speak I write the words and draw Magic Lines on the page to teach them one line for one word spoken.
They go back and copy each word learning good handwriting, capitals, and punctuation~
{I also tell all my kids when drawing and adding color to anything requires
the same number of colors as their age. aka: Payne is 6 so he must use 6 colors}
Amazing how that makes them more aware of details in the picture!

4. Speaking what they want to write, me drawing magic lines, and them sounded out the words with invented spelling~
I have an ABC chart up to use as a sound board {Giving them a picture for a sound they are sounding out}~
 I am so proud of them moving to this step and as you can see, they are as well!

5. The last stage of course is writing their own words independently and I have no doubt they will make it there. 


They have two pretty awesome role models to follow~

EK always writes non fiction and SJ loves writing true stories or cute tales~
{Both take after their bigs with that awesome drawing!}

And NOT to leave the Bitty girls out... they are hovering between stage one and two~

I read an awesome quote today:
"Instead of holding each student up to the same blanket standards, ask "Is this child making progress?" 

I can definitely see all 6 making huge strides on their own educational path
and for that I am super thankful!!!

Beautiful Spring Weather~

Makes for wonderful things like...
Hanging our Hummingbird feeder and Birdhouse~
 Drawing on blackboards in the garage~
{They don't even realize they are learning while playing}
LOVING this Beautiful Spring Weather!

FIAR: The Dutchess Bakes a Cake~

Monday, March 30, 2015

The kids continue to learn how we are Royalty in God's family at church
and we loved watching our videos from Sunday today at home~
We are using the theme of Royalty this week with our FIAR book,
 We were SO blessed by the best neighbor ever, Ms. Judy, with Easter surprises and cupCAKES!.
After reading this sweet adorable book, we enjoyed a yummy snack of cupcakes and tea.
The little kids focused on locating United Kingdom across the Atlantic while
EK and SJ made a Story Map little book~
Our first day of this super cute story was awesome!!!

A Weekend Outside~

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Working in our garden~
 Playing cornhole, making a rock wall with rocks from the garden, blowing milkweed~
Learning to push a wheelbarrow, watching ants, decorating an Easter tree, and golf lessons.
A Wonderful Weekend Outside!!!

ZTA Formal~

Saturday, March 28, 2015

This time last weekend Rosie was off to her ZTA formal with Hayden
so Amelia went over to shoot these beautiful photos~



Everyone had a ball and this first year as a ZTA has been amazing!
Thankful Rosie is surrounded by so many sweet friends!!
Thank you for the photos Amelia!!!

Happy Forever EllaKate~

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ella has been home 9 beautiful years and has blossomed into the most exquisite little girl ever~
 Full of wisdom and humor~
 Growing up way to fast~
Just look how she's grown through the years~
We celebrated with a little cake and candles~
I chose a rainbow cake because EK was the Rainbow given to us
after a time of clouds and rain.
I can't remember life without you EK
and you make our family FULL with that beautiful smile and dimples!!!
Happy Forever!!!


Reading Eggs and Mathseeds~

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ALL the kids are doing Reading Eggs and with a renewal right now,
you get a year of Mathseeds as well~
I am teaching the bitty girls so many new skills from mastering the Macbook finger pad
to the new apple mouse we just ordered as well as reading/math skills.
Evie really loves this new experience and is doing awesome!!!

Ben Curtis Day~

SO excited to be out loving Ben Curtis today~
 He is always SO stunned when we all walk in
but it is usually NO time that he is down and in the middle of everyone~
 This visit found him crawling super fast, standing up, AND walking~
 Savannah had received an Amazon package in a huge box and it became the best toy of the day!
They even wrapped SJ up like a hornet's nest with the packing~
 He was super cuddly~

Just couldn't pick photos so share so just posting them all~

 After rest and nap,  we took a little walk in the neighborhood and BC loved riding in his car~
 After a beautiful day, it was so sweet to bathe him and play in his room~
Goodnight sweet BC... we can't WAIT to come back!!!!

Simplicity Parenting~

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I am reading a very enlightening book called Simplicity Parenting~
Here are a few of the amazing thoughts just in the first chapter~

~"By simplifying, we protect the environment for childhood's slow, essential unfolding of self."

~"Our society- with its pressures of "too much"- is waging an undeclared war of childhood."

~"The pace of our daily lives is increasingly misaligned with the pace of childhood."

~"A protected childhood allows for the slow development of identity, well-being, and resiliency."

~"Like any work of art, families need inspiration, fresh infusions of hope, and imagination."

~"Our daily lives can become disconnected from the hopes and dreams we hold for our family."

~"Simplification signals a change, a realignment of our hopes and our everyday lives."

~"Too much stuff leads to too little time and too little depth in the way kids see and explore their worlds."

Last evening I sat on the breezeway listening to the shrieks of laughter and joy
coming from our children playing in the backyard as the sun set
and this morning I peer into the sunroom to see them reading a book.

There is NO greater gift we can give our children than a beautiful childhood
and time just playing outside and being together.

3 Whys for Whimsical Wednesday~

I have a sweet homeschool BFF that I talk to every single day
and we have never met in person.

How can that be?

We have lots in common like adoption, big families, amazing husbands, believers, homeschooling moms...

We LOVE talking adoption and homeschooling.

If we need encouragement, we talk.
If we need to vent, we vent.
If we need prayer, we stop what we're doing right then and pray over each other.
If we need advice, we share experiences.

Yesterday we both found ourselves feeling a little down in the homeschooling arena
and maybe a little short with our sweet children.

Right as we were talking through some hard things in our lives, 
I happen to read this thought by Lisa TerKeurst~
"When to give grace? I'd rather stand before God knowing I loved others too much 
than regretting that I judged too harshly."

I was immediately convicted of more orders and corrections than gentle words and hugs... 
sometimes life just becomes a big management game instead of growing hearts.
{Yes, the name of my blog!}

Today I woke up and spent my quiet time praying God would just give me second by second
what I needed for my day and what my children needed for their day too.
HE gave me the word Whimsical...

1. Why Whimsical Wednesday? because God lead me to it~



After reading a few books together, I asked the kids if they had ever heard this word.
EK had on a show. :)
We looked it up with Siri and she said, "Determined by chance or impulse or whim 
rather than by necessity or reason."
Okay!
On a whim, I asked the kids what they wanted to READ and they picked these three~

2. Why Whimsical Wednesday? because my children need to experience a whim~
We decided for our day we would each Read, Write, and do Math.
As they chose their books to read in their chosen reading spot,
I went to each one and asked what I could read to JUST them... THRILLED!

The bitties chose bunny books, EK science, and the rest follows~
 Beautiful stories flowed out of them into their journals too and math was a breeze!

I just have to share a WONDERFUL podcast I have learned so much from...
Read Aloud Revival... it's NOT just for homeschooling families!
Go check it out!!!

3. Why Whimsical Wednesday? because I needed it just as much as they did~
{Sorry there are only photos of the girls... the boys were always where I was not:}
Everyone loved being on a whim freely choosing what their heart desired
and I was able to read myself a book I have been aching to read: Simplicity Parenting~

A few "Whimsical" I quotes read~

~"By simplifying, we protect the environment for childhood's slow, essential unfolding of self."

~"Our society- with its pressures of "too much"- is waging an undeclared war of childhood."

~"The pace of our daily lives is increasingly misaligned with the pace of childhood."

~"A protected childhood allows for the slow development of identity, well-being, and resiliency."

~"Like any work of art, families need inspiration, fresh infusions of hope, and imagination."

~"Our daily lives can become disconnected from the hopes and dreams we hold for our family."

~"Simplification signals a change, a realignment of our hopes and our everyday lives."

~"Too much stuff lead to too little time and too little depth in the way kids see and explore their worlds."

~"Stress can push children along the behavioral spectrum. When you simplify a child's life on a number of levels, back they come."

OKAY... I could go on and on but I think you get the picture... 
or let me give you a picture~
Last evening I sat on the breezeway listening to the shrieks of laughter and joy
coming from our children playing in the backyard as the sun set.

There is NO greater gift we can give our children than a beautiful childhood
and time just playing outside.

Anyone care to share a Whimsical thought...





Together~

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The beauty of home education is that it gives a family more time together
- time to solidify relationships, to communicate values, 
and to focus on each child's individual needs in a consistent and unhurried atmosphere.
~ Kimberly Hahn

The Bird Box~

EK and I put together all the necessary items needed for superb bird watching~
 A tackle box with art supplies, Bird Logs, and Bird guides~
Today they watched for birds right outside our windows~
 And recorded observations in their logs~

There is something of the Marvelous in all things of Nature.
~ Aristotle