Monday, October 26, 2009

Meditating on God's Word

Occasionally, we gather our crayons, our bibles, and our Draw to Learn Psalms books and head outside.

Once we are all on a blanket, I open my bible and read from God's Word.

Psalm 1...

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

The girls begin to sketch in their books, drawing trees planted by streams of water.

And we take some time to consider the passage together.

What kind of fruit would be on that tree?
How can we be like that tree?
What fruit would grow on us?
What does God promise us?

And we continue drawing.

It seems so appropriate to me that as we began this task of drawing our Psalms that Psalm One would remind us the value of time spent meditating on God's Word.

K finishes first and we talk and play.

T takes another 15 minutes, at least. It appears that her streams of water have developed into waterfalls pouring down the page.

May the presence and Word of God be so plentiful in our lives as well!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Science Center

Each September, our first field trip is usually to the Science Center. (last year) Free admission is offered to homeschoolers for three weeks! We could spend all day there, but the two year old isn't usually up for it...*wink

Thankfully, my father gladly joins us on one of our trips. This year, his help is the ONLY reason I was able go. And he is the reason that I was able to take some pictures on one of the trips. We even got a group shot, which makes it obvious why I love having help!

The best part of this situation is that my kids KNOW that Poppy comes with us when we go to the Science Center! In fact, as soon as I told them that we were meeting some friends there that day, their first response was, "...but what about Poppy?". I think it is wonderful that they wanted to make sure he'd be there even though their friends were coming!

It is such a blessing to have my parents close by and so willing to be involved with the kids. From a homeschooling perspective, this offers us such unique opportunities for the kids to have great memories with Grandmom and Poppy built into their schooldays! For that, I am so very grateful!

Apparently punishing her on a bed of nails isn't going to be much of a punishment...

Did I mention that it helps that Poppy is such a fun guy?

This is definitely one of the highlights of our school year!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Galloping the Globe

It's about time to begin recording this school year!

We have been using Galloping the Globe to study the continent of Asia. We'll also do Antarctica and Europe this year. We picked these specific continents because Jolanthe did an extraordinary job of recording her journey through them last year, so we are relying on her as a great resource.

As we travel through the countries, I am trying to remember that THIS IS EXTRA! My oldest child is only in first grade, so our core goals revolve around math, reading, and writing. Our History and Geography studies are often the fun in our days and we love them! But I am trying to remember that a working knowledge of Asian geography is not a requirement for first graders and kindergartners.

Because there are days that I must just let some things go and not stress me out.

That being said, our goals are:

1. A basic geographic knowledge of the continent and countries. We'll talk about the countries, prominent physical features, well-know cities, and some historical sites and people.

2. A basic understanding of the culture, religion, and people in various countries in Asia and Europe. We talk about things such as housing, clothes, school, money, and language as we study the various people groups.

3. A literary experience from other countries. This is a very important one for me because my children are so young. A curriculum based in literature is so important at these ages! We have absolutely loved reading books from various countries that we would NEVER come across otherwise. As you begin searching for literature from specific places, it is amazing what you find! We have read and enjoyed fairy tales, folk tales, non-fiction, biographies, and fiction stories from all over Asia so far. It has been a great opportunity to dive into literature and we are loving it!

Of course, I pray that as we learn, we will develop a heart for the people of God's Kingdom all around the globe. I try to remember that singing the names of the countries of Asia might sound impressive for a first grader, but without a heart for the people living there, the knowledge only "puffeth up".

It's easy to "puff up" our kids with knowledge, but I pray that this year God will use our knowledge to draw us closer to Him and lead us to have a heart for His people!

So that is where we are with our historical and geographical journey this year! It's been a blast so far and I can't wait to record some this week!