Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
-
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This-n-That

There's not a lot going on this week, besides schooling the kids. We now have about 9 weeks left, and I can't wait! That means we'll be able to move into our new curriculum, Bigger Hearts for His Glory, by Heart of Dakota publishing. It's sitting on the shelf, just waiting for us to pick it up and get started...and it really bugs me that we can't just do it now. But, I realize we need to finish what we're doing for this year, so I'm trying very hard to exhibit some patience and self-control.

I'm just so ready to have a shorter school day...having two completely separate programs is very difficult, at least for me. There's so much reading involved; we love to read, but Mom's voice does give out after a bit! When we start the new curriculum, Logan and Hailey will do History, Science, Art, Music, Bible, Geography, Poetry, and Storytime together. Logan will have some extra reading in Science and History each day. Language Arts, Math, Spelling, Handwriting, and Copywork will be separate because they are at different levels, but they will be using the same publisher for each subject, and will do the same subject at the same time. We will also be using Drawn Into the Heart of Reading, which is a reading program written by the same author (Carrie Austin) for 2nd-8th graders. This program has the children read aloud a portion of the selected literature to the parent/teacher, then work in the student book that comes with it to answer questions about the story, the characters, etc. I am hoping that by switching all the kids to HOD, which makes for a shorter school day, we will be free to pursue afternoon activities, and add other subjects some days, such as Spanish and Typing. Logan would like to take art classes, and I would like them to take piano lessons...so we'll see how that all pans out.

I ended up shelving Little Hearts for His Glory for Corbin, and ordering the pre-school program, Little Hands to Heaven. We're still gonna call it Kindergarten, but this program suits him better. He will work on each letter for five days, using various activities to re-enforce the letter sound and name, he will learn a number a week, and although he knows his basic colors, he will also be practicing color recognition and learning to recognize the color words. We do plan to continue with his reading lessons, even though that's not incorporated into the plans. Our storytime will be from The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes, and I really think we're gonna love it. The stories are short, the scripture reference is given, and there are a couple of questions included as well. The pictures are beautiful....and I'm very excited about using this book to help instill the Christian values we want him to have as he grows. The whole program each day is only supposed to take about 30 minutes, which is better for him at this stage. To find out more about all the HOD programs, visit http://www.heartofdakota.com/. Corbin wants to do school, but does not want to spend a long period of time with it. He does enjoy the Mommy time, as do I, and we always end our time with a book or two. Right now his favorites are Who Wants a Dragon?, Arthur Babysits, and Dazzle the Dinosaur. Of course, he still spends much time building with his Legos, which is very good for fine motor skills. He even follows the picture instructions on many of the manuals he and Logan have kept from their purchases!

The weather here has been very nice lately. We've kept our windows open most days, the kids have been wearing their shorts (Hailey saying it's hot!), and I've been running the AC at night (because I say it's hot!). The cats are overjoyed to be able to sit in the window sills again, and watch the squirrels and birds longingly. I often hear them meowing, and see them swishing their tails back and forth quickly when watching out the window. Oh! to be an outdoor cat....

Karl started in his new department this week. I believe he feels he's going to enjoy it. He is in Product Management right now, trying to learn all he can about that area. I think he's made a great impression on the folks at work so far, and I'm confident it will be the same in this department. He's very professional, good with people, and has a great work ethic. I think his parents may have had something to do with that. :) Grandpa Karl, too! A great legacy to leave....

I am enjoying the freedom of driving again....no more fear of sliding in the snow into another car! At least not until winter....

Seriously, though, that's been tough for me. I don't mind staying home, but I dislike being fearful of something so ordinary as driving. So if you all could keep me in your prayers I would appreciate it. I know, in my head, I need to get back out there and try again. But, my tendency is to stay away from things I am uncomfortable with, and I know I need to work on that. I'll be praying too. For now, I'm loving the sunshine, the flowers, walking to the 'Y' in just my workout clothes...instead of bundled in 3-4 layers. It's nice. We're planning to go to the Lilac Festival in May, and plan a couple of camping trips near the lakes sometime in Spring or Summer. And, when my parents come back to visit, they've agreed to keep the kids while we travel to New York City for 2-3 days. Yeah! I'm excited about that. Karl went for a day last year, right before he moved back home from Maryland, and he can't stop talking about how he wants to go back with me. And it's been something I've always wanted to do!

Well, I'm gonna go for now. I haven't had a lot to add lately. I'll try to post more often as we get out and do more things. Take care.

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