Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend

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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Little House Party!

We had so much fun at our Little House party. We met some friends at the park for food, games, and for some, costumes! We had old fashioned popcorn, johnny cakes, birch beer; we played button, button;catch a shadow, chase, doll making, knot tying and even hide-n-seek. It never ceases to amaze me how much "simple" is still wonderful. When we finish up our next history unit, we're going to have kind of a double party! Since we're in this timeframe of history, we'll continue with a frontier unit celebration filled with an entire meal, more games and presentations of school projects in the subject area. I CAN'T WAIT!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our House LOVES The Little House

Little House on the Prairie, the Musical is coming to David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (formerly the TBPAC), Carol Morsani Hall in Tampa, March 2 - 7. Melissa Gilbert who played Laura Ingalls in the television series is starring as “Ma” in this stage show. Very fun!
Our family is going to the musical on opening night and we are so excited! As part of my involvement, I get to offer my friends and family special discounted tickets. If you’d like to enjoy this musical with your family, be sure to use the discount price code FAITH when purchasing your tickets. Tickets are starting as low as $30.00 when you buy 3 or more*!

*Limit 6 discounted tickets. Not applicable to prior sales. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Applicable service charges apply.

For more information or to order your tickets go to:
, or call 813-229-7827

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter is not so Wonderland

I'm trying to get into this whole winter thing. You see, I've lived in the Sunshine State for 95% of the last 20 years and it doesn't usually get, well, even feel like winter. I've been in jeans and long sleeves for days! To get in the spirit, I finally changed my background from my wishfully thinking falling leaves (b/c we don't get those here either) to a little winter wonderland. I wish it would just snow already. I mean, if I have to be cold, I should be able to enjoy it, don't you think? Plus, I'd love to have the excuse and take a snow day :) Hey, since we've heard global warming is an email scam, why not? TX and AL got snow! Okay, now I'm just whining! Anyways, enjoy the new background. Hope it makes you feel all warm and winter cheery made me smile!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Day in the Life of Phonics Road Level 2

Obvious yet necessary to mention, my use and love of The Phonics Road is my, personal golden ticket. You may prefer to take another train. Hey, as long as we both reach our destination, I'm cool with that.
Now that we've gotten the lovin' and respect out of the way, let me tell you about my mornings with The Phonics Road Level 2. First, I shall identify my students.
The Ax man.
7 years old
2nd grade
Late reader
Math strong
Still says /w/ for /r/ (grrrrr - that's me growling)

His companion, The Ant
7 years old
1st grade
Early reader
Not so mathy
Still says /th/ for /s/ but no all that often :) imagine the shiny white teeth in that smile.

Now, put those two together and what do I have? Come on, you know....wiggly little boys, who would prefer to play than write at any time, during any day. Even so, they are also good students; their teacher has trained them well. (insert the shiny teeth again).

After praise and worship, I meet with big kids for about 10 minutes, so I send the the leaders of the Little League (Ax Man and The Ant, superiors to Alexander the Great, and The A-Bomb)to complete two important tasks: get papers ready for Holey Cards (a math speed drill) and get their papers ready for spelling.

I enter the school room and the LLL (not La Leche League, but Little League Leaders) are waiting for me, standing while writing, but ready for spelling.
"I'm going first!" exclaims The Ax Man.
"Okay, but we need to do our review, first. The first word from yesterday is, offer." While they write out the word, I'll explain.

Daily you introduce around 5 words. We'll get to that part in a minute, but so you know, you review the words each day via mini-tests, no pressure; we don't call them tests, so shhhh. If they mispell a review word, they have to write it five times and I review the word the following day. Only once did I revisit a word the third time and it was for markings, not spelling...I'm a stickler.

"Are you ready? Okay, Axel, you can go now. Offer. The couple accepted the offer on their house and happily sold it to the highest bidder. Offer"
"/o/-/O/, /f/, syllable, /f/ er-her. Underline er-her." I write as he speaks. I start to sing a song, "Always divide syllables," they join in, "......comes at the end of a base of word."
"That's right. Let's see." I glance at their paper to make sure they correctly spelled and marked the word. "Next word, offering. The offering to help clean the cupboards was appreciated greatly. Offering." ...hint, hint...waiting for them to write
"Ready? Antonio, go ahead."
"Just write offer the same way, then add, syllable -ing."
"Okay. Any markings?"
"Underline er-her and -ng."
"Good job."
We follow the same process for suffer and suffering. We note the same Rule Tune applies here and we sing the song, in super speed b/c we're so cool. We're like Spelling Super Heroes these days. We are, after all, The Little League. time expired: 5 minutes

After reviewing, we introduce the new words.
"Center. We walked to the center of the park. Center. Axel?"
"/k/-/s/, put a 2 over the "c", /e/-/E/, /n/, /t/..(I pause and don't write the "t;" he sees me pause)No! syllable, then /t/, er-her. Underline er-her" If they forgot about the c saying /s/, we'd sing the song related to the "c before e, i, or y" Rule Tune. He remembered.

We continue this same model for 5-7 words per day. I prefer to get all the words in M-Th and Test on Friday. PR does spread it out over 5 days. We have a light lower grammar schedule on Fridays, so that works for us.

After getting all the words on the board and on paper, we read down the list. Axel starts, Antonio follows, then we switch, so they both read all the words. They then each put the sentences into complete sentences, orally.

We finish up all of our spelling in 10 minutes, for a total of 15 min. of spelling time. On occasion we take 20.

We switch to Holey Cards. This takes 10 min. I like the spurt of energy they use b/c they're racing and it gives me a chance to prep for breakfast between the buzzers going off every two minutes.

Back to Grammar. We take out our Grammar. "Boys, take out your song sheet and find Rule #23." I listen to their shuffle while I write the definition for object pronoun on the top of the board. We'll be working on this for the next 6 days, so I'll leave the definition on the board the entire time frame.

I hear they're ready b/c they're already singing the song. I come in to where they are in the song. "Let's talk today about Object Pronouns. An object pronoun is a word that takes the place of noun that is NOT the subject; its usually in the predicate. {I underline "pronoun" and "a word that takes the place of a noun.")Now, you already know half of this definition because you know what a pronoun is, right? Who can tell me the definition of a pronoun? (hands go up) Antonio?" {note that I have a bulletin door with definitions visible to them. They use it for new things, but tend not to need it as we practice, practice, practice. He didn't need it to define pronoun, but would have for verb phrase :))
Antonio responds, " An pronoun is a word that takes the place of noun."
"That's right. Did you notice what I underlined in blue?"
"That's the definition of a pronoun." Axel tells me.
"That's right. So you already know half of this definition. Let's say the definition of object pronoun and let's see if we can find the rule in the song. All together, 'An object pronoun is a word that takes the place of noun that is NOT the subject; its usually in the predicate.' Antonio, what is an object pronoun? (He reads the definition from the board). Good. Axel, what is an object pronoun? (ditto). Boys, what do we call a word that takes the place of noun that is NOT the subject; its usually in the predicate?
In unison, "Object Pronoun."
"Let's sing the song again." As we sing, I point to the parts of the definition that correlate to the lyrics of the Rule Tune.

I write the Subject Pronouns on the board in red. We sing the song again and I start to write the Object Pronouns in blue, next to the Subject Pronouns on the board, where they correlate in number and gender. At this point, they understand singular, plural, and phrases that identify 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person (because of another Rule Tune), so when they see me fill in the familiar list, they see there are blank spots for "you", "it" and "you (pl.)". I explain the reason they are blank is b/c we use the same words for object pronouns that we use for subject pronouns. They understand. I fill in the repeats in our Object Pronoun list and put an asterick next to them. We read through the list of object pronouns. We sing the song and as we say the object pronouns, I point to each of them. I use each of the object pronouns in a sentence for them.

"Turn to Framing Code _____."
They pull the FC out of their 3-ring binder. We sing the song as they are pulling out their papers. I point to the chart on the bottom of the page and say, "Let's fill in the object pronouns on this chart." We go through them one at a time and they write the words from memory b/c they can spell them already from spelling lists.

We sing the song one more time as we return the paper to the binder. We're finished with grammar. time expired: 15 minutes. Notice how many times we sang the song and definition -- they didn't notice all the repetition, but by the end of class, they both could sing the song. We practiced the song sitting and moving around :) There are 4 scheduled days of Grammar.

The layout at this point is very easy. Scheduled are 4 days of reading, about 1 1/2 -- 2 pages from The Little House in the Big Woods. The Fifth day is meant to complete the Literature Notebook. Most of the time, we discuss vocab. as we go. Not the case in older groups, but in 1st and 2nd grade, if we need an explanation we talk as we go and I follow up with a photo search after the reading lesson. Back to lit.
They each read aloud or follow along while the other reads aloud the assigned pages. Literature is finished. Time elapsed: less than 10minutes.

Now, how might today be different? The next day for grammar, I'll be dictating four sentences containing object pronouns. We'll end up creating sentences for all the object pronouns. Then we'll dictate 4 new sentences and they will rewrite the sentences substituting object pronouns were appropriate.

On other days, they'll be asked to receive dictation, then mark the sentences. At this point, they can identify sub/pred division in the sentence, simple subject, simple pred., verb phrases, objects, articles, adjectives and I always show them markings we haven't come to for good measure. They now mark conjunctions even though we haven't really covered them thoroughly. I think that exemplifies their confidence :) Maybe, I'm just partial.

At the end of the week, the lit notebook focuses on setting. We'll recall what it means (they learned in PR1), then I'll dictate an 8 line dictation about sap and how it moves. They'll then color a tree, making lines to show how sap runs. Next weeks lit assignment is to about paraphrasing. They'll paraphrase their own ideas about what a Sugar Snow is. By the end of this year, they will have worked on paraphrasing, outlining, summaries, parts of a story, story order, character outlines, sketches and comparisons, lengthy dictation and copywork, recipe directions, and snacks and crafts to go along with the story. The quality of the selection is a whole 'nother post!

We follow with science/history read aloud, PE, the other science/history, math/computer (different maths), math/computer (other LLL) and they are finished. Usually by noon, sometimes by 1.

Now, it's on to PR3, but's that's for tomorrow. I need to go and educate My mind now and plow through The Well Educated Mind. I've owned it for years, but am just now ready to enjoy the journey.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm a terrible blogger

I just never get here!
We're good. I'm starting to stress about high school again. Can't wait, but can't stop time enough either....the though of 2 boys entering high school next year (JJ will be academically ready), honestly, seriously, makes me feel like vomiting. Yup, I want to throw up! I can't believe I'm on my way to the next step already. I'm hardly ready for middle school. It's all waaaay too fast for me!


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