11 February 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: 35


It's my birthday. I'm trying to pretend that I'm only 34 because being half-way through my 30s puts me closer to my 40s than I currently want to believe (go ahead and frown upon me readers who are wisdom filled with more years than I under your belt). My Mom became a grandmother at 42. I'm so not there yet, so can I just stay 34? Nah. I'm so not that girl. I've always believed women should embrace whatever age they are. It's another year which the Lord has given me. I'll be 35, and I'll do it boldly!

Making me feel extra special on my birthday is this beautiful mini rose plant from my sweet friend, April. It has nothing to do with school, but I wanted to post it here anyway.

This year I decided we would do lots of Valentine crafts because we never seem to do enough. Here are photos of the fun crafts we've done this week(note: "Lots" of crafts didn't quite happen because of personal issues which I won't share in this post):

 This idea can be found HERE. The kids wrote the names of people they love or typical Valentine greetings on the hearts. Mine is in the center since they love it when I do a craft with them. Plus, it just made the door look prettier to hang all three.

 This idea came from my friend, Stacy's, blog, which you can find HERE. She's well worth a visit!

We also began a project which was supposed to be finished two weeks ago, but I don't have a copier at my house and I had some miscommunication with my principal who is in charge of copying duties. We're creating scale models of the Biblical tabernacle. I am grateful to My Father's World for providing all that we need to create this project, but I can't tell you the last time I so desperately did not want to finish a project. If I hadn't heard my children say at least 10 times, "This is the coolest project ever," it would so not be done. When we get it finished, we will feel accomplished. I'll post pictures for your viewing delight.

On Wednesday, our principal filled in as a substitute teacher. The children were delighted by this, especially when he pulled out the Book-it certificates that I continuously(i.e. we haven't used a single one before this week) forget we have and treated them to a lunch of free personal pizzas. Do you know that homeschooling families can participate in the Pizza Hut Book-It program? If you don't know about the program, it's so much fun! Basically, you determine how many books your children should read each month (or you can do it by the number of hours or whatever works for your kids), and they get a free pizza certificate once they accomplish it. It is for grades K-6 and runs from October through March.

I remember loving Book-It when I was a kid (when it first began in the 80s!). It wasn't really about the pizza. It was about the Saturday lunch date with Mom. We went to Pizza Hut, and we had girl time (back then, Dad wouldn't touch pizza, though he succumbed to eating it by the time we were in high school). I loved those moments. That's the kind of moment my kids got to have with Daddy on Wednesday. The program is almost finished for this year, but go to the website and read about it so that you can get signed up for the next school year!

Using the Sonlight readers that I mentioned last week is going well for Ava (and there were great sighs of relief from every corner, nook and cranny of the McHousehold). She has been reading Little Bear this week, which, incidentally, I somehow never realized is illustrated by Maurice Sendak. She loves that it is a "chapter book." Her desire to read more grown-up books is appeased, and my desire to not have to deal with her bad attitude every single day is also appeased. Ava is also reading from The Growing Reader Phonics Bible a couple days each week. She loves it, and it's quite humorous for us grown-ups to listen to as well.

I decided to nix the Latin vocab that Lukas was studying all year. At first, he thought it was an acceptable task each week. By mid-October, he was hating it. He doesn't enjoy using the dictionary at all (is that a skill anyone is supposed to enjoy?). We actually nixed the Latin vocab a while ago, but I was still building his dictionary skills in other ways. This week, I decided to google 4th grade vocab lists and have him use the dictionary to actually build a usable vocabulary rather than the Latin vocab. Don't get me wrong. There's a time and place for a Latin study. We're just so not there this year. It's been one crazy school year around here. 

Anyway...I gave Lukas five words which I found from a random list HERE. I made sure they all started with a different letter so that he had to flip all over the dictionary to find them. He defined them at the beginning of the week, and later in the week, I had him write sentences with them. Today, I verbally quizzed him. Yep. He knew them. I think we'll keep doing this for a while because he needs to grow those dictionary skills. Isn't it fun how we homeschooling moms get to force our kids to do all the things that are their least favorite? Yeah. Not so much, but this too must be accomplished!

Back to my birthday...My children worked hard to show me love today. If Ava told me "Happy Birthday" once, she said it 50 times. Lukas showered me with hugs. They indulged my desire to have them help me bake. They decorated their Valentine crafts in "Valentine colors" to appease me only because it was my birthday, and Lukas didn't complain about my choice of dinner entree only because it was my birthday. Heehee! Those are the kinds of lessons our kids need to be learning. Loving one another is one of the greatest lessons I will ever teach them. Today, I am confident that they are well on their way to knowing how to love someone and to make them feel super special. I love my kids...so very much!

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