Thursday, September 30, 2010


The week after we studied the Sun (and the concept that Jesus is the light of the world), we began to study the moon (and I am the light of the world).  I was so amazed at how my four-year-old was able to catch on to this concept so well when it's such a hard spiritual lesson to grasp.  First, we locked ourselves away in our upstairs bathroom that doesn't have a window. (What? You didn't know that we had an upstairs bathroom? That's because we've lived in this house for 4 years now and it's still not finished with the remodeling phase and so only immediate family members have ever been allowed to enter it.)
A random school picture brought to you by the letters d-i-e-g and o. 

Anyway, back to being locked away in a dark room.  I took a globe, a flashlight, and a mirror into the room with me.  Yes, I had to bring a mirror into the bathroom because our bathroom doesn't have one... not finished yet, remember? We talked about how the sun gives light to the world like the flashlight pointing on the globe.  Then we discussed how the mirror didn't make light of its own, but how it could reflect light from the flashlight.  We talked about how this is why the moon isn't as bright as the sun and only gives us a little bit of light and then we talked about how we are like the moon and can't make our own light, but if we are close to Jesus then we can reflect his light in our lives.  And then we sang This Little Light of Mine about a million, we didn't stay in our dark, unfinished bathroom for the singing bit.  In the evening or over lunch break, I often have the kids share with Jesse what they're learning... (it's my way of evaluating what they've actually learned and what I need to repeat again).   I was amazed at how well Diego could explain these concepts to Jesse right away. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to teach both of my kids about the Lord and I pray for the days when they will both make personal decisions to follow Jesus.  Sometimes, I begin to wonder: How long is it going to take Diego to grasp it and make that decision?  But Jesse and I met through an organization called Youth For Christ and one of the things I love about that ministry is their vision- part of which says they want young people: to make an informed decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  So, when I'm in a hurry for Diego to make a decision, I remind myself of the importance of not making a rushed decision that isn't carefully weighed.  I want Diego to understand what he's committing to and Who he's giving his life to- so in the mean time, I am so thankful that he is learning so many great concepts of who God is and what it means to live in Him.

Wow, this post just took a much deeper turn than I had originally intended.  But my main goal is to record my thoughts and our days to (hopefully) one day share with my kids.  (I don't scrapbook... and the kids baby books' are dreadfully underfinished.) So, I guess it's okay.

M is for Meatloaf... I know, not very exciting, but really easy to do and throw in the oven while we venture off for 30 minutes of soccer practice. 

And Mosaics... I loved how careful and thorough Eliana was when making her Letter M Mosaic.

And of course the Moon- which we had to figure out how far it was away from earth and then how far away that was from the sun.  Do you see our green earth in one corner of our paper and our moon down at the bottom right of the paper?

Eliana and I held the sun down on our picnic blanket (and may have taken a short nap)  While Diego and Jesse took the earth and moon paper and measured out 300 some yards at the park.  Another excuse to get outside and also a perfect way to get Jesse involved in a piece of our school- which we really like since he can't be there for the whole thing.  Why must Papi go to work?  Oh, we have to eat?  Oh, yeah... thank you, Papi!  We love you and miss you when you're at work!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

S is for Sun and Soccer!

Well, I'm utterly behind and have so much to show you!  I'm going to try to lump days by weeks... and since it seems that my weeks wrap around letters right now, that's what you get.

Have I told you that I love the My Father's World curriculum?  I really do!  I love that I can pull Eliana in for much of the lesson and that she has fun learning at her own level.  I love that there's a spiritual lesson that wraps around our letter of the week. Sun- Jesus is the Light of the world.  (Even 2-year-old Eliana can tell you this- I love that!)  I love that lessons only take about an hour and a half- sometimes two depending on how focused the kids are in the morning -sometimes just an hour.  I love the outside projects that it forces us to do... especially now that it's getting cooler. I'm grateful for the excuses reasons to return outside again.

Unfortunately (or fortunately- we  were really dry and I acknowledge that), it did rain for most of the week we were studying the sun... which means we never got around to making a sundial.  (Maybe when Eliana hits Kindergarten we'll have better luck.) And we couldn't lay our grapes outside to make raisins... which meant they stayed in a bowl in a sunny window... which wasn't too sunny so by the time they actually had attained a raisin like status, they also had molded.  Ew!  ( I don't have a picture of them... we threw them away and I gave the kids a handful of raisins from the pantry to eat instead.  I guess you kinda have to make do.)

So, we made spaghetti and sun tea and practiced making the letter s in shaving cream (which was a much happier experience than trying to write s with a pencil... his little four-year-old hands really struggle with keeping a pencil under control). 

As you can see, playing in shaving cream is fun (once you get past the mess). Eliana loves the tactile letter projects we do, even though sometimes she gets a bit off subject.  She was much more into smearing it around the table than actually making an s, but that's okay because she was involved in school, which makes my life easier when I'm not having to come up with something else to keep her occupied.

And we also started Diego's Soccer during S week... very appropriate. Right?  And let me tell you, as much as I was pushing to get him involved in some kind of sport this fall, I was with hesitation that I would be bored out of my gourd having to watch practices and games.  But I am having so much fun!  Four-year-olds trying to play soccer is about the best you can get.  Between kids picking up the ball, scoring on their own goal, or ending a game a couple minutes early because of on-the-field meltdowns (er...other people's kids, not Diego) we've had our share of laughs. 

And Diego is having fun, whether it's running up and down the field rather aimlessly (as he has a tendency to forget to watch the ball)

or his new favorite activity while not on the field.... practicing writing his letters in the dirt with a stick. 

He likes the kids on his team, the Gorillas, and if you have a chance, you should ask to hear his team cheer... funny little monkey sounds.  Brings a smile to my face every time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Puzzles and Creation

We finished our third day of school today.  Okay, calling it a day may be a stretch at this point because I put a load of laundry into the dryer before I started today and we were finished a few minutes before the buzzer on the dryer went off, but still.

My Father's World Kinder curriculum starts off slow with 10 Intro Lessons.  I've decided to condense them into 7 days since the main thing we're learning about is creation.  We'll end with Rest on Sunday.  Sound good?  (I at least hope I get some rest that day!) 

Here's one of the things Diego and Eliana have been working on the past few days.  (That's Diego's 2... he's working on cutting.) Or maybe I should say: I'm working on letting him cut.  Our Parents As Teachers' Rep, Ms. Michelle, has been after me for quite some time to buy the boy a pair of scissors.  So, for school I bought him a pair.  Of course, Eliana wants to cut out her numbers too, and I (of course) am a mean momma and tell her "no!" (I chalk it up to seeing way too many bad, self-inflicted haircuts on kids and I am bound and determined that's not going to happen to mine.  Nope, if any one is going to give them a bad haircut it will be their father!)

So, obviously there are parts of the lessons that Eliana does with us but there are times when I need to work one-on-one with Diego for reading and calendar math. (The reading lessons so far have been fairly easy-letter recognition things which he pretty much has mastered- this is one of the reasons our little school moves so quickly.) So, at the home school fair I picked up some puzzles and activities specifically for Eliana to work on while I am working with Diego.  So far, this has worked out not so well.  He would like to do her puzzles and she would like to do his calendar work- especially the straws! "I yike straws!"

However, today after nap, I did let him work on her number puzzles and pegs that I picked up for her and this made him happy.  (And tomorrow, I will let her put the straw into our place value chart so that she can be a happy camper, too!)

I think we're going to try and head for the zoo tomorrow.  It's been such a long time since we've gone- I just can't handle the heat of summer!  Tomorrow is Home School Day at the zoo (if you go, this will explain the large number of denim jumpers) and we're going to meet our new home school group there.  I'm sure looking forward to getting to know that group.  Growing up, our own home school group, The Lighthouse Fellowship, was an invaluable resource to my mom (and her sanity!) and such a great source of fun and friendship for the kids, too.  We met the group last Friday night for the first time and I'm already excited about the friendships to be formed- such a smart and sweet group of kids, and such a nice group of ladies (two of whom will be providing playmates for Cruz in the next couple of months)!