W is for Whale, Homeschooling Boys at 3 and 4 years old.

In all, our “school time” looks different day-to-day.  Today we did worksheets, but I prefer to teach in context.  For example, when driving next to a train loaded full with cargo containers two-high to a car, I explained to the boys how we can count by two’s.  This made it easier for them to see a real-world application of this mathematical principal.

We also work collaboratively with two other family’s in a co-op that meets weekly.  We teach on a rotating basis and follow this free curriculum.  So far, we have all really liked it.  But, in the spirit of adventure, I find myself supplementing the curriculum often.

JUST BECAUSE I CAN 🙂

Homeschooling is so RAD in this way.  We can do what we want when we want.

Hank loves school because its his way of getting out of “quiet time” (nap)  and doing something one-on-one with me.  I prefer keeping the definition of school loose so as to incorporate real world learning and supplement with worksheets as needed.  I don’t know if I’d say we are Un-Schooling , but perhaps a little.

I expect our homeschooling journey to morph and take shape as we go along through the years.  I love that there’s no pressure to get it all right on the first try.

Together we are LEARNING.

W is for whale

W is for whale 2

We started homeschooling in September (2014). While we’ve only been at this a few months I have to say its off to a good start. I love how we can tailor it to our day.

Today the boys worked through “W is for Whale”. In this lesson we traced big “W” and baby “w”, colored a whale, and practised a worksheet on matching capital A, B, C and D to their lower case pair. Then we talked about the letter W and practised saying the “wahhh” sound several times alone and in words. I find repetition is super helpful for my boys. I don’t worry about them wiggling or getting up and sitting down a bunch at this stage.

I have VERY active boys so I feel it is unneccessary to spend our learning time focusing on mastery of impulse control (I have a neurology background and know that it’s a futile effort with such young minds). Instead, I use short and frequent phrases to bring their attention back to the task at hand. I intentionally give praise and attention in response to desirable behavior (thank B.F. Skinner and his theory on Operant Conditioning for that wisdom) and move along when I see they are no longer able to attend.

A friend of mine (who has a teaching background) told me that children can attend to a task 1 minute for each year they are old.  With that in mind our focus on a given task is only 3-4 minutes!  Then we move along.  Its fun and pretty fast paced.

I love that today, Hank told me to leave him alone while writting his letters because he wanted to do it all by himself.  Big boy!  Just two weeks ago he wouldn’t try unless I did hand-over-hand with him.

I’m really enjoying leading them but letting them experience the feeling of doing things as they are ready.  I don’t pressure them but I do encourage them A LOT. 😉

Dear Jesus, please help us to learn with joyful hearts.  Please help me to have wisdom to teach what you want the boys to know.  I pray for great mentors and above all a passion and thirst for learning.  Amen.

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August 4th Celebration & Why To Suffer And Serve Well

 August 4th, 2012 I nearly died from blood loss.  In the months that followed God showed up in big ways sending His gracious gifts through so many people.  Some we know well, some we have barely met.

August 4th, 2013 is now a day we will celebrate each year because it marks the anniversary of God moving mountains and pouring out abundant grace upon us.  Only a year after hemorrhage, I am strong and enjoying life.  It was only fitting that we celebrate the blessing many were to us.  The servant hearted should be celebrated, they are a crown radiating God’s glory.

Here are some pictures compliments of Mary Bingham, from our celebration:

 running hank people milling about joyful Hank

Paul and Hank :)

Paul and Hank 🙂

Hank and Logan in sandbox

Left to Right: Paul,Mary,Boe,Judy,Logan,Max,Susanne,Bart,Erica,Hank,Janae,Declan,Si,Avery,Rachel and Ben.

Left to Right: Paul,Mary,Boe,Judy,Logan,Max,Susanne,Bart,Erica,Hank,Janae,Declan,Si,Avery,Rachel and Ben.

 Several people could not make this celebration, so you get the idea…

God’s provision is sufficient!

Here are the two verses we shared with the group as we thanked them for their service and honor to Jesus:

John 11:3-4, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”  But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death.  It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

All of you who served us through the 50 plus days I spent in the hospital last year, you were “for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified..”

Thank you!

As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and I feel pertains since my portal vein is still completely occluded by clots and my liver is very large,

“But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Friends, we are in the mighty care of the sovereign King, Jesus!

I also wanted to tell you that we received the August publication of the Puget Sound Blood Bank’s newsletter, The Benefactor.  We are overjoyed to have our story on the front page.  I will never personally get to thank the 21 or so people who saved my life through blood donation but this comes pretty close! 🙂

The Benefactor, Puget Sound Blood Center

At this time it is not yet on-line but here’s a picture of the cover:

Puget Sound Blood Bank Publication

Dear Jesus, thank YOU and please abundantly bless your servant hearted.  Thank you for your grace and love.  Thank you for everything. Amen.