My other job

My readers here know me as homeschooling mom, but elsewhere I take on a different role in life! Up until 1 year ago I was the Children’s Ministries Director at our church where we are staff missionaries (meaning the church itself can’t afford to pay us). I passed this official title on last year after MUCH prayer and a very hard year of realizing I can’t do it all. I decided to put my family and homeschooling first and see where everything else fell. It has fallen in place nicely now that I have stopped trying to do it all. Praise God for helping me realize this.

There is one thing I still do and am in charge of at our church and it just wrapped up last night! Each summer I, along with a team of a few other wonderful women, lead a summer reading program called Reading Rocks. We developed this program at Cornerstone 4 years ago and it has been a highlight of the summer for our inner city kids ever since! This year was no exception, I feel it was our best year yet!

Last night was our finale party where each child got to choose a brand new backpack, new socks, new underwear, and a BIG bag of school supplies.

The party was a lot of work, it always is. But it is SO worth it. A bonus is that Pac-Man gets to participate and loves it so very much. AND it has him reading TONS in the summer months!Even Krash got a little backpack last night…he was SO proud of his red bag that he picked out himself!!! As fun as it is and was, I am glad it is over so I can go back to my #1 role as wife, mom and homeschool teacher!

New Tot Books!

I got 2 of the new Tot Books up on the site! We aren’t using these personally, yet, but I made them up so I could take photos! If you make these, be sure to send me your blog link, I’d love to see them in action!!! I made these both from email requests I received from the site, thanks for the great suggestions!

My personal fav is Chicka Chicka, I can’t wait until it’s time to use this one with K–he’s just not ready yet!

Our 2nd (sorta) Day…

Our 2nd day…was off from the start. Table Tot School was set to begin at 9 and the tot wasn’t even awake!!! He had a bit of a rough night, awakening around 5:30am and being up for a bit. Daddy convinced me to forgo the schedule and let him sleep in.

Pac-Man enjoyed some computer time and was thrilled. I worked all day yesterday to get my old laptop cleaned up. After hours of updates, de-fragmenting, and deleting– it is running well enough to be a simple computer for us in the schoolroom. He has been asking me about it forever so this was a real treat for him. I think it will prove to be a treat for me as I can get some blogging (writing and reading others) during some of my school day (like when the boys are outside for recess but I have to stay in the schoolroom so I can see them out the back door).Krash finally woke up around 9:30 and we just went through the morning schedule without really timing it, just trying to go in basic order. K wasn’t really into table Tot School, so we quickly moved onto the floor. My favorite part was the fact that he FINALLY gave me a cheese smile, and even did it a few times!!!He even posed with Pac Man!!! Nothing to do with school, but made the morning great for me!!!
(he added the hat to his wardrobe when he woke up this morning :) )

After nap Pac and I did his Bible lesson, we are finishing up the timeline overview this week before the actual lessons begin. Then we worked on the final steps of his dolphin/whale lapbook. He only has one more thing to complete and it will be done! Those are our only 2 goals for this week, so we’re doing great as they both should be finished tomorrow!!
Here’s our schedule, for those interested. I too would love to see other daily schedules as I have a hard time scheduling by time with the young ones. I think when they are older it will be easier but last year we didn’t follow a course schedule at all, I just made sure the work was completed for the day. This year I am doing certain subjects at certain times, hoping it will reduce some of the “Do I have to??????” whining (from Pac). For those of you who are new readers, Pac Man is 6 and he is 1/2 way through first grade, Krash is 27 months old. K’s schedule is not *set*it’s just a general idea. I basically have a schedule for him to help me figure out P’s schedule and how K fits into it!!!Here’s the actual rules posted I have up on the wall, I make these things in Microsoft Publisher.

Our 1st (sorta) Day…

We are in transition week…to prepare for the actual first day of our homeschool on Aug 11. I was debating about beginning today but I decided to make this a transition week, sort of a behavior and schedule boot camp so the boys know what to expect when the real work actually begins :).

I have had the schoolroom set up and I finally got around to printing up our rules, our schedule and our first Bible memory verses (for P’s Old Testament Overview curriculum). I began our day with this, having Pac Man read it all to us (minus the verses-they are for next week). Krash just had to participate, as usual…The schedule worked well and I think we’ll stick with it, I am hoping to make any modifications by Monday so we can get into a routine.

One thing I added this year was a set read aloud time, now that Krash is a bit older I really wanted to make this a part of our routine and not just something we did at various times throughout the day. It began like this–isn’t this a beautiful moment…Within minutes, it looked like this (imagine the screams of protest)…
Needless to say, we had some bad moments in our boot camp of a day. I am having to be tough with K (and P) to get it in their heads that the rules WILL be followed and we will all be happier if they are! K is in the terrible 2 stage of wanting HIS way, ALL of the time (you know-juice on demand, snacks all morning long, tv when he wants it, etc.). Not happening.

I am now glad, very glad, that we are in transition week, so I will have the time to deal with behavior episodes as they arise. Hopefully I can nip some of this before Pac Man’s intense school work arrives on Monday :).

For anyone interested, these are our rules…
1. Be Like Christ
2. Show self control
3. Show honor and respect
4. Do your best work
5. Love one another

Pac helped me decide on them, it was a joint effort a few weeks ago as we talked about the type of school year we wanted to have. They are mainly for P, but obviously some apply to Krash.

Do any of you have a transition week? Anyone starting school (or already started) soon? What does your first day look like? I would love to hear any one’s comments about this!!!

Tot School

This was settling in week, we arrived home from a 9 day vacation on Monday evening. I have had a hard time getting back in the swing of things-thus no other blog posts this entire week! Thankfully my camera was sitting around a lot so I managed to grab some photos of some Tot School moments! We are hoping to begin *school* either on Monday (P’s request) or Aug 11 (my desire). We’ll see how I feel on Monday :).

K loves P’s Sansa Shaker MP3 Player. P got this for Christmas and he likes it, but K loves it just as much and uses it often! It plays music without the headphones, but lately K has been into wearing the headphones!! This is a great, inexpensive, and easy MP3 player for kids if you are looking for one!

We got this Water Symphony set at a consignment sale and they stay up in a bag mostly. K asks when he wants them down. He is finally into making them play their sounds (they are musical).
K learned to actually ride his scooter the right way!!! We are so proud of him!!!
He can hang with big bro now! And yes, we keep scooters in the house (aren’t I lucky) since we live in the inner city-there’s no where really to ride them outside much so they ride them all over downstairs!
K had his first experience with a glue stick this week. He did well, but kept wanting to put glue on top of the shape he just stuck down!!!He LOVES scissors and is determined to learn to use them ALL BY HIMSELF. He will not let me show him how and spends lots of time learning his way. This is the first time he actually got them to cut anything!!!He played with our Latches BoardThe boys used the Cardboard Blocksas dominoes. K did well playing with P instead of just knocking things over. P has really enjoyed that!They also set our small Wood Blocks up as dominoes…I was shocked when K took apart and put this McQueen (from the Mega Brands Cars Dinoco Stage) together. He worked and worked until he got it, all by himself! We went to our church picnic and K wanted to play basketball with the big kids…I convinced him to play a bit on his own :)
He also got to swing, a lot!!!

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