For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Hym

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery

Come behold the wondrous mystery
In the dawning of the King
He the theme of heaven’s praises
Robed in frail humanity
In our longing, in our darkness
Now the light of life has come
Look to Christ, who condescended
Took on flesh to ransom us
Come behold the wondrous mystery
He the perfect Son of Man
In His living, in His suffering
Never trace nor stain of sin
See the true and better Adam
Come to save the hell-bound man
Christ the great and sure fulfillment
Of the law; in Him we stand
Come behold the wondrous mystery
Christ the Lord upon the tree
In the stead of ruined sinners
Hangs the Lamb in victory
See the price of our redemption
See the Father’s plan unfold
Bringing many sons to glory
Grace unmeasured, love untold
Come behold the wondrous mystery
Slain by death the God of life
But no grave could e’er restrain Him
Praise the Lord; He is alive!
What a foretaste of deliverance
How unwavering our hope
Christ in power resurrected
As we will be when he comes
What a foretaste of deliverance
How unwavering our hope
Christ in power resurrected
As we will be when he comes
- Matt Boswell, Michael Bleecker, Matt Papa 2013

Friday, September 26, 2014

Random 5 on Friday

The Pebble PondWeek 4 of school is over. What did we do this week?

1. We had our outdoor time. Yea for mommy to actually taking those boys full of energy outside 3 times this week. Now to keep this up.

2. We covered most of our subjects this week: Vocabulary, Handwriting, History, Math, Science, Latin, French, spelling and Writing.

3. Our History/Bible Survey topic this week was on Egyptian Gods and mythology, as well as a study of the exodus and the plagues. Interesting discussions going on.

4. I am enjoying the book we are going through for our Art study this semester: A Child's Introduction to Art

5. My oldest son's activity on his free time:

Soccer has been his new obsession since the beginning of soccer. This is but a small fraction of hat he has been up to.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Hymn - He Will Hold you Fast

This week-end I came cross a song I had never heard and was touched by the lyrics, so I thought I would share it: 

He Will Hold Me Fast

When I fear my faith will fail, 
Christ will hold me fast; 
When the tempter would prevail, 
He can hold me fast. 

He will hold me fast, 
He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so, 
He will hold me fast. 

 I could never keep my hold, 
He will hold me fast; 
For my love is often cold, 
He must hold me fast. 

I am precious in His sight, 
He will hold me fast; 
Those He saves are His delight. 
He will hold me fast. 

He’ll not let my soul be lost, 
Christ will hold me fast; 
Bought by Him at such a cost, 
He will hold me fast.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Random 5 on Friday

The Pebble PondIt is week 3 since school started and we are already behind. Tell me I am not the only one. Anyway I am fine with it. We did some catch up this week, along with some of our regular subjects. It would seem that I have packed our week a bit on the heavy side, so I need to spend some time this week-end to rethink our whole schedule.

Here is my random 5 for this week ( and last week as well, since I missed last week):

1. We got some hands-on projects in, and started on a timeline, yeahhhh

2. Last week Friday we had a field trip on a ship. It was really cool and the boys learned a lot.

3. So thankful for the discussions our Tapestry of Grace curriculum allows Zach and I to have. Such questions on the afterlife, how we know the Bible is true and more.

4. Our library crate is getting fuller.

5. I got to meet another homeschooler this week. How exiting! On that note I am in the process of starting up a homeschool group with a friend of mine. Lots to pray about and consider.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Student Logbook - TOS Review

I have always struggled with planning and keeping a schedule. My youngest son, on the other end, thrives on schedules and check marks. So, that is why I was more than happy to try a new system for his school organization that catered to his bent. 

Here comes My Student Logbook. My Student Logbook is a student planner of a kind, put together by a homeschool mom to help her and her kids keep on track of what needed to be done in their homeschooling. She talks about accountability and peace in the home. She then created her product which she sells at My Student Logbook. You can read her story on her website.

So what is My Student Logbook? It is a fold-over logbook where you list all of the tasks, topics, subjects that you want your child to do, and then he/she proceeds to mark them off as he completes them. The genius of it is that as you move along in the weeks, all you have to do each week is flip the page, and you can replace the list page very easily as well by folding over a new one on the week page you are starting it on.

The author offers My Student Logbook in different formats and different covers:

Sample covers
****Printed dated or printed undated. These can be purchased in 9 different cover options.
  • 2015 Dated ($15)
  • 2014 – 2015 Dated ($15)
  •  Undated ($15)

****Instant Download dated.
  • 2015 Calendar Year Single Use License ($10)
  • 2015 Calendar Year Family Use License ($20)
  • 2014 – 2015 School Year Single Use License ($10)
  • 2014 – 2015 School Year Family Use License ($20)
My Student Logbook can be used by anybody from Grade 2 to adult.

We received the PDF dated version of my Student Logbook for review and I used it with my 4th grader (8 years old).

 How did we use this?

The PDF comes in two PDF files. One explains the setting up and has all the extra sheets. The other file has all the dated pages for you to print.
First off I read all the instructions and then printed the required pages for our logbook. Next I put it together as explained on the files and as shown on the video on their website. The only difference being that, because I was going to put it on a wall, I only printed one week to start off. Next I wrote down all of the subjects that need to be completed for the whole week, and marked off the days that he does not have to do a particular subject.

It was actually pretty easy to put together. Now, I only made use of the actual dated planner pages as this is the only thing we needed at the moment.

My son is like me and likes to have his planner on the wall, so I did not bother actually making a book. I stuck the logbook page on the wall. Every week I add the next page to fill in the check marks. This is done by printing that week's date page and then slipping it on top of the previous one. It actually slips in right inside/under the topic list.

Everyday, my son goes over to his logbook and sees what he needs to do, and as he completes them he puts a check mark next to it. He genuinely enjoys checking things off.

Among the extra pages you get with the logbook, which I did not make use of yet, are:
  • A cover page
  • An all about me page
  • Prayers and goals page
  • Bible verses memorized pages
  • Books read pages
  • Events, projects, Field trips, presentations, activities
Overall both my son and I like this planner. It is straight forward and easy to use. At first I was a bit annoyed by the presence of Saturday and Sunday since we do not school on those days, and it meant that I had to cross them out. But then, my son decided to do some of his subjects (uncompleted) on Saturdays. So, as it turns out, it is a good thing it is on there.

I also like the flexibility that the planner offers. You can change the list at will, all you have to do is print a new page and put it on top. You also have a column for you to use as you wish, ie. to put time frames, how many days, how many hours etc....Finally, you can also use this organizer for anything else beside school that need to be done by your child.

So, interested in the concept, check My Student Logbook and find out more.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Vacation Pics Part 1

Daytona Beach

Random at a restaurant on the road

Loved the mountains of NC

Friday, September 5, 2014

Random 5 on Friday

The Pebble PondA new school year has started and it is time to resume Random 5 on Friday as my way of summing up our week.

1. School got done 3 days this week, due to Monday being Labor Day here in Canada.I am pleased to report that our new school schedule held up, hooray!!! I mean not without any hiccup, but held nonetheless.

2. My parents offered me an iPad recently and the boys have been enjoying doing some educational activities on it. Zach's new French program, Duolingo, is done on it, and he is very happy with it. They've also enjoyed watching the free daily video from Brainpop.

3. We had a playdate on Thursday with a  new homeschooling Friend. Gym and swimming for the kids and good chatting for the moms. Don't I love those?

4. We've decided to do Transparency maps for our geography map work with Tapestry. This is going to be interesting. New territory for us.
Zach working on his base map of Ancient Egypt

5. We enjoyed our discussion of Tapestry accountability and thinking questions over dinner with daddy. We all enjoyed it. I figured this was a good way yo get dad involved in it and lessen the load on me.

Have a great week-end!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Planning Summer Series - Week 11 - Planning Our Homeschool Year

For our last post in the Summer Planning Series, we have Kemi Quinn talking to us about how she plans her homeschool year around her DVD curriculum.

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Planning Our Homeschool Around our DVD Curriculum

We’ve been using Bob Jones University Press DVD Homeschool program since our daughter was in preschool. We're getting ready to enter the 4th grade and through the years I’ve experimented with ways to fully use this great program while not overdoing it for the family. I say overdoing it because BJU Press makes sure you get a COMPLETE homeschool program for your child. They basically try to accommodate every learning style from visual to ESL and more. And make sure that anything you may need to overcome in teaching your child is addressed in the program. Phew! I think it took me two years before I realized I didn't HAVE to do everything. That I needed to take note of my daughter's learning style and customize her learning experience. I also noted how they said to combine the classes if you need to work the program a little faster.

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The BJU program is a KJV Bible based Christian curriculum and I think it’s worth every penny. It’s visually appealing, informational, and very effective. When I was first reviewing their catalog all the elements they said she would learn in preschool I guffawed and said “right!” I thought surely there was no way my teeny tiny peanut would learn all that in the space of one school year. Well she went on to learn that and more. Her reading and writing took off like a shot and she just keeps excelling. Math, a notoriously scary subject for most children, has given her a few anxious moments but the difficult items are always re-addressed later in the program and their summer worksheets help her to move into the next school year with ease. And yes momma has also learned plenty with this program. From science, to history, and even some grammar. It's two for one!

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But although I speak the wonders of this great homeschool program doing absolutely everything suggested in the Teacher’s Manual and in the order suggested can cause big burnout in my family. Remember I didn't realize I didn't have to do EVERYTHING! So now this is how I go about planning our homeschool year around the BJU press DVD homeschool program.
  • The absolute first thing I do is browse through the included Lesson Plan Guide as soon as our package arrives. This is a day by day course by course guide with basically everything you will need for each day’s class. I’ve worked through different ways of using this but as my daughter gets older the way to use this changes. In the beginning I would read the week’s lessons in advance and prepare all the materials Sunday night. This was because there was so much cutting and setting up for all kinds of crafts and whatnots. Now in the 3rd and 4th grade not so much. It’s more of maybe print an extra worksheet or add in a book also included in the package. or pull out the encyclopedias (which are all online now). So now when I read through the lesson plans it’s mostly to see how the day is organized. We actually take a very relaxed approach to the Bible lessons because my husband does those and is not always able to complete the year’s work. Since we also have Sunday school lessons from church and regular Bible study that our daughter attends along with morning devotions those lessons are more of something fun she does occasionally with dad.
  • Next, because we have a 4 day school week I merge some classes .
  • We start our school year on the same day as our school district. That’s because I need a method to my madness and it helps to keep me on track. After that our schedule doesn’t really stay on schedule with the local schools except for holidays.
  • Since I also do homeschool reviews another thing I may do is swap out our regular course with a program we need to review. Depending on how well it works out for us I may add it in as a supplement program throughout the rest of the year.
  • As we go through the school year I read about a month ahead to know what’s coming, what I may want to leave out or what I may want to add. 
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Do I write all this up? I keep two schedules in addition to the highly edited Teacher's Manual. First we post our daily schedule on the wall. My daughter likes to do this so I let her at it. Next I also keep track of our days in my planner. This lets me know where we're at so we can take vacations and such. Each year is a learning experience not only for our daughter but also for me. I’m learning how my daughter learns best. I’m learning not only how to manage our time but that I need to get better at it. And mostly I’m learning that I don’t have to follow a lesson plan to the letter to get the most out of it for our homeschool year. 

Kemi Quinn is a Christian, stay at home, homeschooling mom. Formerly of the library world until 2005 when she came home to care for the Sweet Peanut. Together with the Nicest Man on Earth she spends her days learning, playing the piano, cooking for and with her family , and making home a comforting place to be. She feels strongly about a clean home for family AND guests. But understands that this stuff is not intuitive for everyone, not necessarily easy, and not easy to find time for. Homemaking Organized is a place to find tips to keep the home fires burning.She blogs over at Homemaking Organized.

In This Series:
Week 1: Who Plans Homeschool?
Week 2: Planning an Eclectic Homeschool School Year Type A Style
Week 3: Planned Unshooling . . . Why?
Week 4: Meal Planning Made Easy
Week 5: Managing Your Home When You Have an Irregular Schedule 
Week 6: Block Scheduling in Your Homeschool