Thursday, November 20, 2014

Something Pretty... and how it affected our homeschooling.

As some of you may know, I scrapbook and make cards for our troops. I have taken some custom orders in the past and created some shabby chic baby keepsakes. You can see all related posts HERE as well as check on the right side bar for my most visited posts.

Now how is that related to homeschooling
Please read to the end of the post to find out. 

Last summer, I finished something pretty. J. contacted me for the first time a few years back and I made her a keepsake box to hold photos of the baby she lost. Unfortunately she went on to lose another baby after Phillips. But thanks to God she found a wonderful doctor who helped her finally get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby this past August.

A couple of years back, she had a stillborn baby girl and wanted an album to hold 100+ photos she had been able to get of her baby before burial. It reminded me of the beautiful box and prayer book I made for Julia. 

Today I am sharing with you the treasure I made for her. It's a comfort to us mothers that lose babies to miscarriages or other circumstances that we will one day see them again.

I have lost 3 babies myself. The last one was this past spring. I didn't share about it here because it's just so hard. Most people don't understand when mothers say that their arms feel empty and they have a house full of children. I didn't...until I miscarried this last baby. He was due this November. There should have been a brand new baby in my home right now. :(

Here is the album cover.... The album is 12x12" and filled with page protectors that hold 4x6" photos. I can't remember now but I put about 13 of them in there. There's room for 130 photos.

I added lots of details to the cover with chipboard frames, Prima flowers, rub ons and doillies.

It turned out very mixed media because I gesso the fabric cover and then used acrylic paint to create the background. I adhered a huge doilly (12") to the center and then painted over it. 

The dots were created using modeling paste. I don't own any stencils, but still I was able to create texture and interest with bubble wrap and modeling paste.

I recycled old books and corrugated cardboard to create this side of the cover.

White paint always goes a long way to make anything look shabby. :)

Lots of my favorite stamps.

Below I added the baby's name using white chipboard letters that I stamped over with a script stamp I had. Again added some white paint for the shabby look.

Inside there are photo protectors, each side has a 4x6" card that has been embellished with stamps, and images from Iralamija etsy shop. There you can find the most beautiful digital images. The 4x6" card can be used as a journaling place or just decorating the page.

Some of the digital downloads I used were Sentiment and BannersAdore TicketsSongbird Cards, Bella Rose Background, and Old Tickets
There may be others because I really love Beatriz' stuff.
Now how is this related to homeschooling?

For a week, after I lost my baby, I was basically bedridden. We don't have any family close (my parents live in Brazil) and my children and husband had to fend for themselves and take care of me while I recuperated from the miscarriage.

During this time, I was able to see how homeschooling provides the perfect environment for maturing and testing the waters within protective boundaries. My DD11 was able to cook and serve her siblings. My DS8 was able to help around the house more and read/ teach his sisters. My 2 youngest got to take care of Mommy by fetching water and bringing other items in the bedroom.

Everyone learned about what happened. We were able to talk about the preciousness of life, Heaven, Jesus, the Bible, our loving Heavenly Father. The kids got concerned about Mom. It was a lesson for us all to appreciate one another and not take for granted what we have.

I believe homeschooling is one beautiful thing in our lives.

I had wonderful friends who went grocery shopping for me; who brought meals; who prayed for me; who sent me flowers and a card; who babysat my kids so I could go to the doctor. My parents live far away, but God has provided a generous support group right here where I live.

There wasn't much desk work done that week but there was a lot of learning.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. - Romans 8:28

As I finished J's custom order this summer, my heart healed. I still long for my baby but I know where he is. I am full of hope. As I worked on this album, joy flooded my heart again.

Have you lost a baby? How did you cope?



Friday, November 7, 2014

Learning Log of October 2014

My parents went back to Brazil on the 22nd of October. The month was full of park visits, picnics, last minute doctor appointments and new discoveries.
I shared about the new math curriculum called Mathematical Reasoning that we have officially adopted.
I tried canning for the first time and put to use lots of my homegrown jalapeno peppers.
Homeschooling is hard work but it's so worth it!

Read aloud Books

* Down the Long Hills by Louis L'Amour - We finished our first Louis L'amour book.

* Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Nell - We really enjoyed learning more about Navajo culture and history. This book is really worth reading. We have added some picture books about the Navajo and other Native American tribes for the little ones.

* The Skin you Live In by Michael Tyler
* Shades of People by Shelley Rotner

Audio Books

* My kids, one time or another have the files below in their mp5s to which they listen to every night at their choosing: Fairy tales and classic stories , worship music, Story Hour files, The Piano Guys, Jonathan Park and The Brinkman Adventures, The Chronicles of Narnia and Story Nory (lots and lots of FREE audio goodness: Bible stories, Classics, educational stories even ones for non-English speakers wanting to improve their English. We love this website!).

* DD11 is listening to Cat of Bubastes 
* DD9 is also listening to Cat of Bubastes
* DD7 is listening to Jonathan Park episodes on her mp3.
* DD4 is listening to Story Nory - Aesop Fables

DD7 reading to Grandpa while he eats breakfast.

DD7 independent reading list: 

DD7 did a lot of reading. She read to Grandpa and Grandma at any time there was an opportunity.
Continuing this month, DD7 is reading by leaps and bounds. Below her list of reading 100 books. She is also reading aloud  Read with me Bible to us all during lunch time.

81) Young Cam Jansen and the Lost Tooth by David A. Adler
82) Young Cam Jansen and the Baseball Mystery by David A. Adler
83) Young Cam Jansen and the Dinosaur Game by David A. Adler
84) Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman
85) Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
86) Letters from a Desperate Dog by Eileen Christelow
87) Calvin and Hobbes comic books - DD7 found out she didn't have to read 100 books to be able to read Calvin and Hobbes. :)
88) Mildred and Sam Go To School by Sharleen Collicott
89) A Proper Little Lady by Nette Hilton

Listening and following along books on Storyline Online.  DD4 sits in and watches with her sister. :)

DD11 is conquering math with Mathematical Reasoning curriculum.

DS9 independent reading list:  

* DS9 is reading the Action Bible on his own. For a boy who likes comic books, this is as close to Heaven as you can get.

* Calvin and Hobbes - DS9 still his favorite choice to fall asleep to.

* Harry the Poisonous Centipede by Lynne Reid Banks
* Runny Bunny by Shel Silverstein
* Letters from a Desperate Dog by Eileen Christelow
* Jupiter by Elaine Landau

* Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute - Book #1 by Jarret J. Krosoczka
* Sandra Boynton's Amazing Cows - the funniest book for kids.
Read Aloud to his sisters:
* didn't record the name of the books, but there were a few. It's part of my everyday routine to make him read to his sisters 1) to keep him still for a while, 2) to practice his reading skills and 3) just to serve. :)

Show and Tell about Pets.

DD11 independent reading list

* Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
* The Mystery of the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks - from the Indian in the Cupboard series
* The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

* The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
* Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute - Book #1 by Jarret J. Krosoczka
* Sandra Boynton's Amazing Cows - the funniest book for kids.
Easy breakfast: cottage cheese with fruit!
On the Kindle:

* The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang -  a collection of fairy tales
* The Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
* The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
* The Lilac Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
* The Orange Fairy Book by Andrew Lang- Can you tell she loves fairy tales??? :)

** Take one or two or three (i.e. reading these yet again!)
* The Dragon's Eye by Dugald A. Steer - Dragonology Chronicles - Vol. I
* The Dragon Diary by Dugald A. Steer - Dragonology Chronicles - Vol. II
* The Dragon's Apprentice by Dugald A. Steer - Dragonology Chronicles - Vol. III
* The Dragon's Prophecy by Dugald A. Steer - Dragonology Chronicles - Vol. IV

* Wings of Fire series - The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland - Book #1
* Wings of Fire series - The Lost Heir by Tui T. Sutherland - Book #2
Read Aloud to her siblings:
* Dancing Cloud - The Navajo Boy by Mary Marsh  and Conrad Buff
A typical homeschooling day: everyone outside enjoying the sunshine!

Activities at Home
* First time canning our jalapeno peppers. I use this recipe to make escabeche of carrots, onions and jalapenos. I also canned homemade hot sauce.

* DD11 still playing the Irish whistle. Her repertoire has increased to Amazing Grace and one of The Hobbit's soundtrack songs.
* Playing chess with Grandpa, reading to Grandpa; playing soccer; riding bikes with Grandpa.
*Planting spinach, collards, kale, cilantro, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Cleaning out the remains of summer crops, but we are still enjoying tomatoes, eggplants, basil, jalapeno, green beans, bell peppers and okra because I refuse to take them down until the frost comes.

* We closed our pool for the season. It's always a sad event. :(
* Prepping to put up a new green house. Getting plants transplanted to pots to go into the green house.

* WE have been busy with the Grandparents and haven't added anything new to our list of things selling on Ebay.
* Cooking lots of Brazilian dishes like tapioquinha, bolo de milho cremoso and sagu. Grandma loves her a little sugar. :)

* Playing MInecraft. Playing a lot of Minecraft.This is fixing to end as soon as the grandparents leave. :)
Picnic at the Park in the middle of the week. :)

 Field Trips/ Activities Outside Home

* Homeschooling Meeting. Presentation about Pets. Playdate at the park afterwards.

* Lunch and visit to a friends' house.
* DD11 and DS9 had their first visit to the orthodontist and I was so very pleased. Thank you Jesus for always providing above and beyond what I can think or ask for.
* Lego Club - Grandparents got to take them to this one. DH and I went on a date!
* Soccer practices and games.The kid's team participated in a soccer tournament and was out after the first game. Soccer season is over!
* Taking Grandparents to the airport. Seeing them off as they return to Brazil.
* Our first Book Club meeting geared toward Middle aged homeschoolers. We will be reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and using the study guide by Progeny Press. Look out for a review post coming soon!
* Playdates at the park.
* Visit to the eye doctor
Enjoying the Fall weather with other homeschoolers!

 Websites/ Links we found and used/ Apps

* - Used this site to study vocabulary words for Singing Down the Moon. Fantastic resource for creating your own vocabulary/ spelling lists or perusing others.

* Inspirational Christians - Missionaries, Pastors and Christian Workers' Biographies. Short and concise biographies, perfect for a quick research or just to know more to find out if you want to read more.

GF Pumpkin Pie: no sugar, no wheat! :P
* Council of Indian Nations - a wonderful website full of information on different tribes, their culture and history. We used it to complement our reading of Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Nell.

* Khan Academy - We watched videos on exponential numbers; long division; multiplication and division with decimal point. DD11 and DS9 are also learning code on the site.

* Minecraft - we purchased the game and the kids are now fully capacitated to create their own worlds, and play in adventure maps and servers. Will they ever do anything else but minecraft???? :(

* Easy Peasy Website -  DD11 is doing the 6th grade curriculum. DS9 is doing the 4th grade and DD7 is doing the 2nd grade one.

* Storyline online - DD7 leads the way logging on to this site to listen to a read aloud story read by actors. Everyone else will join in. Who can resist a read aloud book?

* Online Academy of Irish Music - DD11 decided to learn Irish Flute and she is using this site to learn to play. She can play Amazing Grace, Are you sleeping, Brother John? and a song from the movie The Hobbit.

The 4 y.o. artist!!!
TV shows/ Videos/ Movies/ YouTube

*MOms' Night Out!

* Rio 2

* The Boxcar Children - animated movie on Netflix

* The Little Men - episodes of the series on Netflix

Books, blogs and other things I am reading...

 * The Lost Boy - A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family by Dave Pelzer  

* Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

* Teaching Self Government dot com - Nicholeen Peck

* The Hidden Children by Howard Greenfeld

* The Brainy Bunch by Kip and Mona Lisa Harding - I don't agree with everything they say, BUT (and that is a huge but) if your kid is ready for High School level work why wait?? Why wait until 18 to go to college, when you could do it at 14 or maybe at 15??? Take a look. There are many YouTube videos on the family. Check them out. We will be changing the way we do school because of this book. Thank you, Harding family!

What new discoveries have you made this blessed fall?? Share in the comments below.