Boo at the Zoo 2014

One of the kiddos’ favorite fall traditions is going to Boo at the Zoo! To be completely honest, Jeffrey and I don’t really understand all the hype–it’s crowded, you can’t see many of the animals, and you really don’t even get all that much candy. But nevertheless, the kids get so excited about going, and it’s definitely become something we look forward to each October. Today they couldn’t wait to wear the new Halloween costumes for the first time. They were so happy and proud! We, of course, had a wonderful time with our friends Todd, Maria and Sarah. The kids danced, ate candy, watched a magic show, did lots of trick or treating, and even got to see a few animals before they went “ni-ni” as Carson says. It was a perfect fall evening to be outside, and I must say that Dorothy, Jake and Captain America make every experience so worthwhile! Happy Halloween, everyone!

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Broadwell Academy, Weeks 1 and 2

I can’t believe that we have now finished up 7 weeks of school, but yet it still all seems a little surreal! We are settled into a really good routine. There is a lot of flexibility, which I love, but we also have a good flow through our days. We are loving co-op, and Reecey is loving his last year at preschool–but he also really enjoys doing some “school” at home on Thursdays and Fridays too. I’ve learned that the best way to keep Carson occupied is play dough, coloring, snacks, or rotating the toys he plays with right on next to us on the rug. Earlier this week Sarah Ann asked me if I could homeschool her until she went to college, so I guess it’s safe to say that she is enjoying it too! My days are busier than I could have ever imagined, between taking care of our home, planning and teaching, small group, and the kids extracurricular activities, but I am so very thankful for this precious and busy season. Sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself because I am getting to do all that I have ever wanted to do–be a Mommy, be at home with our kids, and loving and serving our family!

But enough jumbled thoughts about how much I love homeschooling…

Here’s a little bit of what homeschooling looks like for us so far this year. I decided to use a curriculum for math and reading/language because I wanted to ensure that I was covering what I needed to. For math we are using Saxon 1. It is very well laid out and very to the point. Sarah Ann really likes using all of the manipulatives. This summer we finished up “How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons,” so we started the school year with Abeka’s first grade language and letter sounds books. It has been a great review of letters and sounds, but also really challenged Sarah Ann in her reading comprehension, writing, and so much more. Lastly for handwriting, we are using “A Reason for Handwriting,” which uses new Bible verses each week.

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For Bible, Sarah Ann is attending Awanas so we are memorizing two to three new Bible verses each week. We are also doing a weekly geography/map activity, which just involves a couple of questions each day. My big focus for the year was definitely having her read, read, read. So I decided to use Social Studies and Science as one of the big platforms for that. I looked through the SC SS and Science standards to help me come up with weekly themes, so that we could incorporate lots of books from the library for Sarah Ann to read. And so far, so good–it has worked out wonderfully, and we have had a great time learning so much!

And now here’s a quick peek into our first two weeks…

During the first week we focused on back to school and getting into a routine. All of our books were about going to school and kindergarten. We also did some fun beginning of the year activities like an “All About Me” information sheet, a beginning of the year self portrait, making bookmarks for all of our school books, and doing our first science experiment with magic paint. We also snuck in some swimming while it was still so warm! It was a great first week with lots of excitement and figuring this whole homeschooling thing out!

Our second week was all about Apples! We learned an apple poem, made apple prints, learned about Johnny Appleseed, read lots of apple books, studied the life cycle of an apple, and did a really fun apple volcano experiment that the big kids absolutely loved! We also ended our week with our first official field trip to Sky Top with Daddy!

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sweet snippets

here are some sweet snippets from our day…

sarah ann and reece got into a bit of trouble when they decided to completely rearrange the living room while i was putting carson down for his nap. they were suppose to be playing with with mini-dinosaur figures. so i came out and told them to clean up by the time i came back out of carson’s room. i guess they wanted to make sure they were on my “good side,” so when i came out they said, “we’re just reading a book and eating some healthy, delicious carrots.” and can i just tell you how much i love that sarah ann can read anything and everything? i am so proud of her!

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we enjoyed a breezy afternoon outside, and i love that the kids were so excited about wearing their hoodie jackets. hoodies are my favorite too, and i’m so happy that it’s cooling off so we can wear them!

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reece is loving karate, and i love seeing him in his element there. he does such a great job listening, doing his memory work, working on his self defense and skills. he is growing and learning so much. we are so proud of him!

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carson is such a trooper through all of the running around town to get sarah ann and reece to and from wherever they need to be. as long as he has music or a movie and a snack, he’s pretty good to go! i sure do love my little car companion!

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and this sweet girl–always reading, always reading–even when she’s suppose to be falling asleep! i love her excitement, and i love seeing her learning. i’m so very thankful to be both her mommy and her teacher!

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Four Generations

We had a very special visit today from MeMe and NaMe (Jeffrey’s grandmother)! This was the first time that Sarah Ann, Reece, Carson and NaMe have seen each other in person! It was such a fun and sweet visit! They came down from NC this morning and we spent some time giving a tour of the house, and the kids wanted to show off all their toys. Next we went to lunch at Lizard’s Thicket, one of NaMe’s favorites from when she lived in Columbia several years ago. We also took her down to see Daddy’s office and then came back home to read books, play with all our toys, and spend some more time together before they headed back up the mountain! We are so thankful for such a sweet and special day of four generations being all together for the first time!

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SC State Fair 2014

We started off our morning with a trip to CVS to get flu shots for the whole family. Sarah Ann and Reece were not looking forward to the trip, but they both did a great job and were super patient and super brave. Sarah Ann and Carson both had a few tears, and Reece got upset when he was poked but then he was over it in no time! And Momma and Daddy are glad that we are done with it all until next year!

And the perfect treat for surviving our flu shots was definitely a family trip the fair! It was such a fun (and hot) day, and I am so thankful for this sweet family tradition! We ate lots of yummy fair food, rode lots of rides, visited all the exhibits and watched the pig races, which Reece said was his favorite part. Sarah Ann’s favorite is always riding the skylift with Daddy and being able to see all of the sights! Carson really wanted to ride more of the rides, but he wasn’t tall enough yet. Poor guy! But he sure did love seeing all of the animals, especially the 3 day old ducks!

We are so grateful for a fun family day, and we loved having Daddy home with us all day! He even got in on some of school and pumpkin investigation this afternoon! It’s bean a great day, and we are looking forward to lots more fun this weekend!

Adventures Outside

We have so been enjoying our time outside this week! The weather has been absolutely beautiful, and we are loving spending time with our friends and each other!

On Tuesdays we always meet some of our sweet friends at Corley Street Park to have lunch and play! I am so thankful to spend time with another homeschooling momma, and the kids all love playing together. Carson really tries to keep up with all the big kids, but he also likes being by Mrs. Lil too! And also every week the kids would much rather play in the woods than on the actual playground! But it’s so fun to see their imaginations at work–they have built campfires, fought bad guys, played princesses and tried to catch lizards!

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We also got to spend sometime outside with AC and Charlie on Tuesday afternoon, and we are always thankful for some play time with our best buddies! We miss them during school! The kids had a great time playing as always!

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Today we enjoyed a picnic lunch outside in the beautiful weather and then had some play time at the sand and water table. Today they were creating sand pancakes and cooking up some delicious meals for me! There might be sand all over our back deck now, but it sure was lots of fun!

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