Thursday, September 30, 2010

Anna's 'William Bradford' Rough Draft...

William Bradford was an extremely influential person in American history. He grew up in Austerfield, England with his grandfather after his father had passed away. His grandfather was a yeoman, a shepherd, and owned the greatest farmland in Austerfield.  William’s grandfather taught him to love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. William would stick to those words for the rest of his life.
The nightly ritual in Grandfather’s household was reading a chapter of the Bible before bed. During these times, William learned to revere the Bible and the Lord. When Grandfather and his mother died, William had to live with his aunt and uncle. They sent William to school and he found that he loved academics almost as much as God. Sam, a boy from the school, invited William to go to a Puritan church with him. His aunt and uncle disapproved, but he went anyway and was punished for it. William went every week from then on, being scolded and punished each time. Finally, after a month of that, neither of his guardians tried to reprimand him. William’s faith had won again. 
At the age of sixteen William decided to go with the Brewster’s, a family he met at the church, to Holland because the law would not let them worship differently than the Church of England. William agreed at once to go, again letting his faith guide his actions. Earlier, Mr. Brewster had been sent with a handful of others to jail for two weeks, because they went to a Puritan church. Having just been released, the police were still watching them, and this made it that much more difficult to escape to Holland. While boarding the ships that would carry them to Holland, William and the other families that had decided to come were found out by the king’s officers. Their hard work went plummeting down the drain as they were carted off to jail. Because of William’s young age, he was pardoned and fearlessly made his way to Holland, a free land where he could worship in any way he would like.
In 1609, William, the Brewster’s, and the rest of the families arrived in Leiden, Holland. William married Dorothy May and had a son whom they called John. Since there was no farm land in Holland, William learned to be a weaver. It was slow and tiring work, nothing like farming. He longed to feel the dirt between his fingers again, but so far, that wasn’t an option. William endured this sluggish occupation because he knew he was free to praise the Lord there. 
Soon, a ray of light shone onto William. He now had the chance to go to America, the New World! There, he could do anything he desired! He could farm again! England and its church would have no hold on him in America! It would be challenging; he realized that as he was crammed onto the Mayflower with a hundred and one other people. But William had been through much more problematic situations. God had always helped him through things and guided his path, and now the Lord was directing him again.
Growing up in a God fearing household undeniably impacted William Bradford’s life. “From my years young in days of youth, God did make known to me his truth, and called me from my native place for to enjoy the means of grace...” --William Bradford. William didn’t know what was around the corner. He had no idea what would happen to him in jail, but he still put all of his trust in the Lord. “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.” (Psalm 40:4) William couldn’t see what was going to happen, but had faith anyway. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
William’s father, mother, and sister all died before he was twenty. William never doubted the Lord for a moment. God told William to move to Holland, and then to America, and that’s what he did. His aunt and uncle did not approve that William attended a Puritan church. Because he wanted to go to church so deeply, William walked the eight miles there and back every Sunday, no matter what. He was sent to jail more than once along with others, because the king didn’t approve of the way they worshipped. William knew that the Lord would always watch over him and had a plan for William in jail, Holland, and America. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1) In America, the colonists elected William to become Governor of Plymouth Colony thirty-seven times, every year until he died. William was blessed in so many ways once he arrived in America because he never wavered from the Lord’s path and had the faith to do what he could not see. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not-So Wordless Wednesday

Random photos from the last week...


The girls called me downstairs to the schoolroom and had me close my eyes 
so they could surprise me with this message on our white board....

Our kitchen school-desk...

Nature study down at the river...

On our boat last Saturday...

 Shurley grammar...
Abi loves classifying sentences. 

Abi's favorite reading nook...

Monday, September 27, 2010

'Classical Conversations'

We love our new CC group which meets weekly on Wednesday mornings from 9 - noon. What a blessing to learn and study with a precious group of kids and committed parents -- who all believe in the timeless wisdom of a classical education.  We cover these topics each week:  Bible, History, Science, Grammar, Latin, Art & Geography.  The students give a 2-minute oral presentation each week to help build much-needed communication & public speaking skills. 

Aly's class taught by our wonderful tutor, Mrs. Cochran...

 Abi's presentation about her family...  
She brought a picture of her big brother, Andrew.

 Geography lesson...

 Latin chant...

 Aly's presentation, also highlighting Andrew...

 Mr. Beaver interviews the students.

 Abi's class in their Science lesson...

 Aly's class receives the same Science lesson.

 Back in the classroom for memory-work review games...

Lunch with new friends...

Abi's new friend, Laina...

All the CC kids...

Playtime outside after class...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Anna's 'Favorite Place' rough draft....

When I need to find solitude from my fanatically crazy life, I head straight to the piano. Once I am seated on my piano bench and I start to play, calmness spreads throughout my body from the tips of my fingers to the bottoms of my toes. Playing the piano is one of the most important ways I get in touch with God. Going a whole day without laying a hand on the piano, I feel separated from the Lord. I love music, and I always want to be around it. If I don’t take a few minutes here and there, I feel uninspired, as if my life-cup is not filled up completely. The piano is like a vehicle, taking me to an undisturbed place where I can praise the Lord wholeheartedly. Quietly playing though my favorite worship songs opens my heart and lets my Heavenly Father’s peace come flowing in and quenches my thirst for Him. Music is one of my greatest loves. Playing the piano is like breathing. If I did not breathe, I would most likely die from lack of oxygen. Without my piano, I would probably become insane from lack of music. When I eagerly settle myself in front of my favorite instrument, my heart suddenly feels as if I could fly to the moon and back. I can do anything. I love challenging myself to play more complex music. If I cannot figure out how to play a certain song, I practice it over and over again, trying to master it. Once I have accomplished my mission, I feel powerful. Knowing that you can play any of the eighty-eight keys, in any order you would like, and make whatever sound you want, gives you an unmatched sense of freedom. I feel like I’m soaring jubilantly through the clouds with no one to distract me, and I find the Lord up there with me. Sitting at my piano, I encounter the tranquility that God bestows and nothing can ever tear that away from me. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekly Report, September 20 - 24

Week 3 concluded with our first "Shakespeare Friday" and a family viewing of The Taming Of The Shrew starring Elizabeth Taylor.  Watching Netflix movies on the iPad in our school room is so convenient.  The girls loved the movie and all of Kate's stubborn antics.  We read a few lines of the play in our poetry book entitled Music Of The Hemispheres. The chapter on 'alliteration' referred to Shakespeare's use of alliteration in Taming Of The Shrew.
Here is Abi's impression of Kate's behavior.  
We read about Eleanor of Aquitaine and her son, Richard The Lion-Hearted.  
Below is Abi's narration (in her own words) from a chapter in Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall.

Aly's copywork from First Language Lessons...

Here are highlights from Week 3. I am enjoying all our curriculum and outside activities.  The girls love art class and Wednesday-night crafts at church.  Anna is in a groove in her online classes.  God is so faithful.  I'm still navigating the Singapore math curriculum and trying to get my brain around this new paradigm which involves minimal 'me' time and a plethora of 'kid' time.  I'm reading The Scarlet Letter and looking forward to some great discussions with Anna. 

Bible:   CLE Bible 2 daily lesson, nightly reading from Taylor’s Bible Story Book

Hymnody:  He Leadeth Me

Math: Singapore Math (money), TT (rounding/estimating/place/money/mult), MM blue (mult), Mind Benders

Reading: On The Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town On The Prairie, CLE Reading 3 (2 lessons), CLP Nature Reader

Read-Aloud with Anna: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Writing: IEW SWI:A (Key Word Outlines), Writing With Ease (3 lessons)

Grammar:  Shurley 3, subject/verb agreement, subject pronoun, understood ‘you’

Spelling: SWR List L-3, daily phonogram/spelling rule review, Spelling City

Cursive: daily cursive copy work

Poetry & Shakespeare: Music Of The Hemispheres: Alliteration, Taming Of The Shrew

History:  ‘Our Island Story’ chapter on Richard The Lion-Hearted, Story Of The World: Visigoths

History Memory Work:  discuss/memorize Eleanor of Aquitaine & King Richard

History Time Line Cards & Song (CC):  Veritas Press cards 1 - 22

Geography Memory Work: European River, Waters & Countries

Science Memory Work: Biomes (Grasslands, Deserts, Scrublands, Tundra, Deciduous Forests,  Coniferous Forests, Tropical Rain Forests), Consumers (Herbivores, Carnivores, Omnivores)

Science topics:  Mud Wasp, Sea Snakes, Saturn's rings

Latin:  1st Conjugation—Present Tense: AMO, Song School audio, Latina Angelica songs

Spanish: one video lesson

PE: Soccer

Drama: Christian Youth Theater class, rehearsed for Showcase

Piano:  Met new piano teacher

Art: local art class

Composer Study:  Mozart

Classical Conversations:  Love it all!


Bible:  daily reading with Mom

Hymnody:  He Leadeth Me

Math: RightStart daily lessons (place value, addition, tens, hundreds on abacus), Singapore Math (parts & wholes), MM blue (subtraction)

Reading:  BOB Books daily, Magic Tree House

Read-Aloud with Anna: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Grammar & Writing: Explode The Code (10 pages), Writing With Ease (3 lessons), Shurley jingles, classifying simple sentences with subject noun/verb, First Language Lessons (Nouns)

Spelling: SWR List C, daily phonogram/spelling rule review, Spelling City, Victory Drill

Cursive: daily copy work

Poetry & Shakespeare:  Robert Louis Stevenson, Taming Of The Shrew video

History:  ‘Our Island Story’ chapter on Richard The Lion-Hearted

History Memory Work:  discuss/memorize Eleanor of Aquitaine & Richard The Lion-Hearted

History Time Line Cards & Song (CC):  Veritas Press cards 1 - 22

Geography Memory Work: European River, Waters & Countries

Science Memory Work: Biomes (Grasslands, Deserts, Scrublands, Tundra, Deciduous Forests, Coniferous Forests, Tropical Rain Forests), Consumers (Herbivores, Carnivores, Omnivores)

Science topics:  Mud Wasp & Sea Snakes, Saturn's rings

Latin:  1st Conjugation—Present Tense: AMO

Spanish: one video lesson

PE: Soccer

Drama: Christian Youth Theater class, rehearsed for Showcase

Art: local art class

Composer Study:  Mozart

Classical Conversations:  Love it!


Bible:  Daily Bible reading, More Than A Carpenter

Math: Chalk Dust Algebra 1 daily lesson

American Lit: The Scarlet Letter

Writing/Grammar: The Potters School English class

Vocabulary:  Word Within The Word

History: The Potters School US History class online, finished reading William Bradford, Pilgrim Boy, outline/rough draft on William Bradford paper

Science:  Bob Jones Physical Science class, 3 experiments

Spanish: Spanish 2 Class, daily reading, conversation & grammar study

Music: Piano (daily practice 1 hour), Choir class w/ daily practice

Drama: Improv class at CYT

Community Service:  Keyboard for kids’ worship team, Sunday 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mama Mud Wasp....

Due to our chilly & wet autumn, our nature studies 
will most likely be done via books & youtube.  
Abi & Aly copied their narration after Abi read to us from CLP Nature Reader #1.  We spent the afternoon watching youtube videos of the Mud Wasp.  Our creative God chose to give unique qualities to this little creature.

Abi, 7

Aly, 6

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday-Afternoon Art Class

Abi finished her charcoal project today.

Aly is still working on her charcoal.

We love our art teacher, Miss Sandra.

Warning: Camera in the Classroom

A Typical Morning...

Grammar outside....

Grammar inside....

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Our RightStart Math supplies & Base-10 Blocks....

Marble jars....
When the girls fill the jar by earning marbles for good behavior, random acts of kindness and/or just being cute, they receive a 'marble party' which 
always consists of a trip to DQ.  I'm lobbying for Yo Cream. 

Have you ever seen a more glorious red stapler?

A tub of dry-erase markers.  Heaven.

On our white board...

My desk...