Learning through giving…

We are missionaries, and have been since our oldest son was not even 2, so it’s all he’s really known. We live and serve full time in the heart of the inner city. We moved here almost 4 years ago from a quiet southern suburban neighborhood, living the “American Dream.” This is not the life I had intended to have for my children and family but it is certainly the life God has chosen for us and I love it. Being in full time ministry, you’d think it would be easy to teach my son about those less fortunate than us. We live amongst great poverty, crime, and filth. But I have noticed (at least at this age) he doesn’t even notice the differences around us, probably since it’s where he lives.

Recently a co-worker of ours went to Africa (Kenya) for 3 weeks to serve and P learned all about this since he is very close to her. This spurred an interest in Africa and for some reason he became very prayerful and concerned about people living in Africa who struggle to have clean water. We began reading about this and learning bits and pieces. I began praying about what to do with his interest.

Our family sponsors a little girl through Compassion. She lives in Rwanda, she is 11 years old right now, and we have sponsored her for over 5 years. As P became so interested in Africa it occured to me that sponsoring another child would be great for him. I decided to go with World Vision this time, just to change it up a bit, and I selected a boy, also in Rwanda, hoping we might be able to visit them someday. I found a boy with a birthday only 2 months apart from P, whose main chore is carrying water! I received the wonderful sponsorship packet in the mail a couple of weeks before Christmas and we gave it to him as one of his Christmas gifts this year. Our kids get very spoiled by the grandparents on both sides, we don’t buy them much at all, as we don’t believe in having tons of stuff. We felt that giving P the gift of sponsorship and a relationship to develop with another child would be one of the best things we could give him.

I’d like to introduce you to Albert, here is a tiny bit of info about him… (from the WV website)
Albert lives with his grandparents and has no brothers or sisters. His grandparents struggle to provide for the family.
Albert and his family live in a community severely affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis. In some communities, AIDS affects the entire social structure as a generation of hardworking adults is being wiped out. Frightened children and exhausted grandparents rarely have money for food, school, or medical care.

Albert is not in school at this time. He likes to play ball games. He helps at home by carrying water. He is in satisfactory health.


I am planning to begin a lapbook focusing on Rwanda, where Albert lives. I want to teach P all about the country and the life children like Albert live. If anyone has done anything like this, please let me know!

Educational & Spiritual Gifts

We spent Christmas down south visiting our family. It was a fun filled week, and very busy for our family. We have safely arrived back home and I am looking forward to getting back into our routine! Our kids were blessed with some really cool stuff this year, I love it when our kids get cool gifts that can help them in both their spiritual and educational growth! I am posting a widget on my right sidebar (I can’t get it to post in my current post for some reason, oh well.) to share some of these neat things! I always love to see what other kids got for Christmas, especially things to use for homeschooling!

1st, our son who is 5 1/2 right now…
I LOVE the Sansa Shaker MP3 player, which I preloaded with 2G of Christian children’s music. It clips to his belt loop and has an external speaker so he can listen all the time! We are also really excited to put up the space explorer set (which we got at Costco for $29.99!) in his room, our next lapbook is all about space!

And our baby, who is 19 months…praise God for Melissa and Doug toys! The ABC stacking blocks were a HUGE hit with him! He got tons of cool wooden toys, as well as puzzles, and other fun things. I plan to keep most of them put up and use them during school time to keep him entertained with “new” things each day. I also don’t want to lose all of the wonderful pieces to the many wooden items! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas Crafts

My son LOVES to do crafts and Christmastime is always a wonderful excuse! I like crafts, but am not very talented in this area so the craft kits are a big hit at our house. Here are the 3 big ones he made this year so far (which will all be given as gifts to family members).

The Nativity (my favorite!) I found a link for this one at Michaels.
The other 2 we got at JoAnn, I couldn’t find them online, but I’m sure they have something similar in the stores now!

The Train…and the Gingerbread House…

Telling Time

In math we are working on telling time and this book Tell Time with The Very Busy Spider (The World of Eric Carle) which I have had for a long time finally came in handy! It was perfect for our lesson today! He’s been telling time to the hour for about a year now, but now we’re building on that. Today’s lesson was about am and pm, I had him organize our day and then we read this book together, as he moved the clock around. I added in am and pm as we read to help with that too. I love books and hands on learning, thus my love for this great book!

In the Works ~ Weather Lapbook

Keep Moving Forward.

Not long after our family watched the movie, Meet the Robinsons we used the book Wild About Weather: 50 Wet, Windy & Wonderful Activities to conduct a lightning experiment to go along with our weather unit. Daddy is in charge of most experiments, his contribution to homeschooling!

I got my camera all ready, excited to see lightning!!! P and baby brother eagerly awaited the results, only to find out that we couldn’t create enough static electricity in our home to actually make it work. My husband tried the carpet, a santa hat, his hair…nothing worked. We did manage to get the little piece of tin foil to move, it just wouldn’t create a shock. We all felt a little defeated, but we remembered the motto form the movie, which was “keep moving forward.” We all laughed a bit and tried to muster up a smile, despite the letdown.

If you haven’t seen Meet the Robinsons, it is a great family movie, kinda weird, but has a great message. It’s not perfect (we’re pretty picky about what we let him watch), but overall it was good.