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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Designing sentences from note taking PR3

This week, we read about Bob's first day in the Little Quaker Schoolhouse. Our assignment was to take notes and have the teacher write them on the board for the descriptions of the schoolhouse by the author. After generating the list to follow, we generated our own sentences to make a paragraph describing the schoolhouse in our own words. The paragraph that follows was designed by my 2nd grader, The Ant. The only necessary corrections were 2 reminders to capitalize and one sentence needed to have the verb form changed. I would point to the notes we took on the board, then have them come up with a sentence. When appropriate, I encouraged them to combine notes into one sentence. I was quite impressed with The Ant's skills here. He's only in second grade :)
  • paper windows
  • dozen goose-quill pens
  • dozen students with copybooks
  • schoolmaster's desk in center of the room
  • bundle of birch rods used to spank
  • damp cold air in schoolroom
  • children sat on log benches
  • noon recess for playing and mealtime
  • bell rang
  • looooong afternoon
  • hourglass to keep time
  • discussed mottoes
  • schoolmaster asked a lot of questions
  • children wrote mottoes in copybook
   The window on the schoolhouse are made of paper. A dozen students scratch their copybooks with quill pens. The schoolmaster's desk is in the middle of the room and with it is a bundle of birch rods and an hourglass. The children sit on log benches and the air is damp and cold. After discussing mottoes and answering many questions the children wrote mottoes in their copybooks. When the bell rings, it's time for noon recess and mealtime until a long afternoon ends when the sun goes behind the clouds. 
Not too shabby for my little guy :) He makes his pseudo-grandma proud :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Letter of the Day: b bubbles

I decided to head of some B and D confusion this time around by choosing very specific key words. D is or drumstick...the letter is written with the drum first, then the stick. We started B today and did bubbles b/c you first need the handle, then you blow the bubble. It worked for today. We'll see if it sticks!

We started our lesson with a review of /u/ /U/. It didn't stick as solidly last week, and I'm sure it's because we did not do the repetitive gluing. So, I cut out some umbrellas and unicycles this morning and we glued them on our paper.

Then we headed over to B.
  1. We started with the bumpy letter tracing three times. We talked about needing the stick to blow the bubbles.
  2. Then we wrote and repeated the sound, "/b/ bubbles" in rice.
  3. Next up, pasting and repeating the sound, /b/ as we glued a girl blowing bubbles all over our letter b.
  4. From there, he pulled down tiles to spell a few words: bag, bad, bit, job. 
  5. Since he was kinda tired today and processing slowly, I took the opportunity to have him practice listening for vowel sounds. I used our flashcards and place consonant-space-consonant down and said a word. He had to pull down the vowel cards and put them in place as I formed a variety of words: cob, bat, bud, bid, jab, big, but, tab, tub, bug
  6. I skipped dictation today. I think tomorrow, instead of Starfall, I'll do dictation of the following sentences: Bob lit the log. The bag is big. Bob and Kim chat a lot. 
That's it for the day. We're moving along!

Wordless Wednesday 1/26/11 Teen Boy Chill Zone

Complete with marshmallow gun, paint ball mask, favorite clothes and guitars :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Writing via Dictation in PR 3

Here is an example of a day's dictation in PR3, week 24. This should give you a nice idea of the progression of writing skills. From this dictation, we remembered quotations, nouns of direct address, comma placement and conjunction usage. Extracted from Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin:

"Benjamin, does thee know that color is not necessary to thy well-being? It is not like the sun that warms, or the rain that freshens, or the bread that nourishes. Does thee know that?"
"Yes, Mamma, i know."
"Very well then. I shall give thee a stick of my indigo blue. With red and yellow from the earth and blue from my dye pot, thee can blend all the tints in the rainbow."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Some inspiration from a wise and beautiful friend

One of my favorite things about being a part of an online community is seeing the glory of God work all over the world. During a recent conversation with such a friend as is dedicated to the Lord, serving her large family well through home schooling, and via online communities, spreading godly, womanly wisdom, she shared something with me. It's a quote about a Catholic Saint, Therese of Lisieux, who, as my friend put it, "was cannonized not for anything huge and drastic that she did. It was because of the exact opposite. She is known for her "little way." She believed in doing little things well for the love of God. (in the quote below, her "flowers" are her small ordinary acts that she offered to the Lord out of love for him).
She knew as a Carmelite nun she would never be able to perform great deeds. " Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love." She took every chance to sacrifice, no matter how small it would seem. She smiled at the sisters she didn't like. She ate everything she was given without complaining -- so that she was often given the worst leftovers......These little sacrifices cost her more than bigger ones, for these went unrecognized by others. No one told her how wonderful she was for these little secret humiliations and good deeds.

Therese continued to worry about how she could achieve holiness in the life she led. ........"Unfortunately when I have compared myself with the saints, I have always found that there is the same difference between the saints and me as there is between a mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds and a humble grain of sand trodden underfoot by passers-by....... So I sought in holy Scripture some idea of what this life I wanted would be, and I read these words: "Whosoever is a little one, come to me." It is your arms, Jesus, that are the lift to carry me to heaven. And so there is no need for me to grow up: I must stay little and become less and less."

Therese's "little way" of trusting in Jesus to make her holy and relying on small daily sacrifices instead of great deeds .......[and] to find holiness in ordinary lives. ......

Therese of Lisieux is one of the patron saints of the missions, not because she ever went anywhere, but because of her special love of the missions, and the prayers and letters she gave in support of missionaries. This is reminder to all of us who feel we can do nothing, that it is the little things that keep God's kingdom growing.
 This is how I want to be remembered. I'm so encouraged. Thank you, 8FillsTheHeart

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Longing to be MORE of the Proverbs 31 woman

It's been impressed upon my spirit to make some additions to my daily life in order to serve others and to better manage my home. Since my plate is pretty full already, I know this will require three -tions: attention, intention, and meditation.  You see, too many times I've heard something from the Lord and let it slip by, unsure if it was me or the Holy Spirit. The ramifications go well beyond my own household and I just don't want to be a part of the regrets crowd anymore. It's time for Tina Gilbert to step up and glorify God a little more each day; it's time to grow. As we all know, growth is good, but it generally requires a little pruning and the shears are a little sharp.

So, I am led to study, walk, and exemplify the strength of God. In my life, when I think of God's strength, it has been generally focused on finding spiritual rest in Him, but this time, I feel a call to understand having physical strength in Him, too. I have already requested, ala WTM friends, a list of their favorite scriptures on strength, and I additionally offer this post as my request to my Blogland friends.. Do you have a go to scripture when you know you need the Lord's strength to get through the activities of daily life? My hope is to offer my life a living sacrifice, daily, and to stay awake and keep the hours of the Proverbs 31 woman,
"  She rises also while it is still night
 And gives food to her household
  And portions to her maidens."
I plan on making some dietary changes. Pretty simple really: more salad and water, less meat, way less sugar. I plan on walking more, as I'm preparing for the Appalachian Trail anyways. I plan on using my time more wisely by not over doing computer or tv time and I plan on getting myself on a pretty tight regiment of sleep (which is failing right now, as I've been up since 2:18, over thinking many things). I plan to pray for friends more, too, especially as a source of strength during chores and times of service I preform within my home. I know I will never be all encompassing of that woman who is "worth far above jewels," but I am certain I feel the urge to push forward and to proclaim the goodness of God, yet the proclamation will come less from my mouth and leadership roles, and more from behind the scenes efforts. This is not about me (sincerely...and sincerely shocking ;)). This is Completely about glorifying God through this vessel. I have long turned to Proverbs 31 for encouragement, now I turn to it as....a lesson plan for my future.
Description of a Worthy Woman
10An excellent wife, who can find?
         For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
         And he will have no lack of gain.

12She does him good and not evil
         All the days of her life.

13She looks for wool and flax
         And works with her hands in delight.

14She is like merchant ships;
         She brings her food from afar.

15She rises also while it is still night
         And gives food to her household
         And portions to her maidens.

16She considers a field and buys it;
         From her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17She girds herself with strength
         And makes her arms strong.

18She senses that her gain is good;
         Her lamp does not go out at night.

19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
         And her hands grasp the spindle.

20She extends her hand to the poor,
         And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
         For all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22She makes coverings for herself;
         Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23Her husband is known in the gates,
         When he sits among the elders of the land.

24She makes linen garments and sells them,
         And supplies belts to the tradesmen.

25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
         And she smiles at the future.

26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
         And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27She looks well to the ways of her household,
         And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28Her children rise up and bless her;
         Her husband
also, and he praises her, saying:
29“Many daughters have done nobly,
         But you excel them all.”

30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her the product of her hands,
         And let her works praise her in the gates.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday 1/19/11 The Gang's All Here - Family Night

Bottom Left, clockwise: The Ant; The Ax Man, Alexander the Great, The A-Bomb, Rockin' out Guitar Dude, Darling, yet Diva, Lil' Mother Serious and True, Bard and Book Devourer
We also look like this at breakfast and lunch M-F.

Letter of the Week...or day :) u U

After a review of all sounds via flashcards, we added the first 2 sounds of the letter U today. (Insert: if he forgets a sound or needs a reminder, he flips through his notebook to find the sound and see the "hint" words. Today, he reviewed /ch/ by looking at his chocolate chips). After introduction with bumpy letters (crossstitch pad) and shaving cream, we went straight to spelling words with magnets: gum, tug, hut, gut, jug, up. Although the spelling words and order thusfar come from Sensational Strategies, I decided to move along into PR methods a little more today by spelling to write and read using the white board as the teacher; he already uses the white board. We did our first "write it out" dictation after spelling out words together.
  1. I said the sentence 3 times: Chad got a mug and a cup; then he repeated it back to me. 
  2. I went to the white board and we went sound by sound for each word. I'd write the word on the board, he'd write it on his paper. I had to give him the sound, /n/, as we haven't learned it yet. 
  3. After spelling it out, I'd have him sound it out as I pointed to the sounds on his paper.
  4. It helped him to take his tiles and spell along with me, so as I wrote, he moved around his tiles.
  5. I told him about capital letters and punctuation, limiting our discussion to the stop sign, aka, period.
  6. After writing the sentence fully, we sounded it out together one more time. He's getting faster at sounding out words. The method is working!
AtG is very excited to have written his longest sentence yet. He spelled it, wrote it, and read it! I'm so happy for him! You may notice the colors on the lines. As he learns letters, we place them in a house. The attic is blue like the sky; the living space is read like the body heat of where the people are and the basement is yellow for no real reason. I color his lined paper this way without drawing the house so he will relate letter size correctly. It's working well. The house idea came from Sensational Strategies, and I use the PR words for writing the letters.

Next time, I'll write a little larger and see if he still prefers to use the tiles in front of him. I will say, it is nice to apply handwriting practice to actual sentences and Not just arbitrary tracing.
The lesson was a little too long (30 min.) since we spelled six words then did the sentence dictation, so I think I'll alternate between spelling lots of words, 10-12, and completing dictation. He's not quite fast enough to put it all in one day and I don't want to exasperate him at all. Remember, reading instruction with tears MUST stop! I can't believe how wonderful this method is. We cried so much with other dc trying to use another program. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Letter a Week...catching up with Blogland

Time is not always on my side, at least so far as blogging. We have slowly chugged along with our letter of the week. I have been pretty slack, as my focus has been more on settling into high school, than worrying too much about teaching reading to a pre-Ker. I was convicted to get on the ball after Christmas, because Alexander the Great is so eager to learn. I don't want to miss the opportunity. You have to grab tight when a child is ready to learn, as they don't always operate in eagerness! Today's materials, chocolate chips, motivated me to blog.
When AtG saw there were some chips leftover, he asked, "What are we gonna do with those?" I responded, "You're going to eat them." "I AM?" "Yes, you are." Eyes as big as saucers, he shouts for the household to hear, "I get to each chocolate chips!"
To date, we know the sounds of c (2 sounds), d, g, m, l, h, t, j, k, p, ch and all the sounds for a, o, and i.
So, here we are. As you can see, we know quite a few sounds now. My joy, though, is following through with the method of reading instruction and watching how well it works. I have never spelled to read before! We all used, 100 Easy Lessons to Teach Your Child to Read (100EZL), to knock reading out and then picked up the pieces and filled in the gaps. This time around, we're starting strong out of the gates and I can see the future! I am trusting in the method and getting the impression that while it will take us a little longer than it did with 100EZL to read abundantly, that already, there is so much we can read, AND write AND spell. I'm thrilled. I think we have a head start on spelling and writing with this approach and we have a WHOLE lot less tears than I ever had with 100EZL. AtGs joy is simple...he's reading!

As a result of sticking to the spell first philosophy, we can sound out to spell, then read the following words: dad, had, am, cat, at, hag, tag, ham, dog, mad, mat, hat, dot, got, hot, cot, cod, tom, cog, mom, lad, lot, tot, log, hit, lid, it, tim, dig, dim, mid, hid, him, did, lit, jam, jim, jag, jig, jog, jot, kid, kit, kim, pig, gap, pad, pam, hip, cap, hip, cap, pat, tap, pot, hop, mop, top, cop, lip, lap, chad, chat, chip, chit, chop, chap, chit-chat. AtG can spell them, write them, and read them if I write them. He is still sounding them out, nothing is memorized, so it's not like he looks and says yet, but that isn't the point for us. He is sounding out well and remembering the sounds as he goes.

He can also make the following sentences, learning dictation in the process: Tom got hot. The log got hot. Dot had a hot mat. Dad got mad at the lad. Mom got mad at the cat. The hog got the ham. Time hid the lid. Did the lad hit it? Dad got a cat for Tim. Jim hid the jam. Did Tim jig and jog? Mom had a lot of jam. Did Kim hi the kit? A kid kid jog. Did Kim pat the pig? The top of the pot is hot. Did the kid tap him? The chap had a cap. Chad and Tom had a chat. Did dad chop a log?

I have been using magnetic tiles more than writing for sentence building. I have him write one sentence a day and then we build three per day. It is a slow process, but it is working and he never stops smiling.
We don't use capitals or punctuation  yet, so here's our sentence: did dad chop a log Vowels are colored red to stick with the Phonics Road model, and we underlined our first consonant team
We're at the point where a letter a week has turned into 3 letters per week, or 1 letter per day. We do instruction together on M, W, and F. On T and Th, he plays on for 30 minutes. We're doing fine and I'm pleased. He the above sentence for his momma this morning and she was smiling pretty widely, too. God is good!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

PR3, Week 27, Day 5

*For Katrina* who works hard to best serve her family and whom I hope can find rest and peace in PR.

Today, DyD, grade 5 and I spent 50min. total together time for language arts. Since she's old enough to stand that much time consecutively, that is what we did. We started with Designing Codes, the word study + vocabulary + spelling + part of speech identification (grammar) 5th day of each scheduled week.

We start with a 5-min. drill of pre/suffixes and roots previously learned. Then, we take each word, one at a time by DyD building them with her cards. As she builds the word, we agree on a literal definition. For example, advent ad+vent (written in syllables on the DC) = come to. She identifies the part of speech easily and writes it down. We move on through the list of 6 words. Diva will go back and write down the best definition from the dictionary as her independent work for this subject.

Then we went to the other portion of word study, focusing on suffixes. 2 new suffixes were taught today, both of English origin. You discuss how the suffix forms a new part of speech and then what the suffix means. For example, -ship is added to a noun, forms a noun meaning "the condition of...;" so friend + ship = friendship, the condition of being friends. Via dictation, we added the rest of the Designing Code (the first half of the page was completed on a previous week. 

This half of PR3 incorporates grammar into the literature study; however today, the lesson is a continuance of re-modeling. This process covers grammar, spelling, dictionary/thesaurus use, descriptive writing and paragraph writing. Yesterday, DyD picked out key words and wrote sentences using these words, as applicable to the story. Today's assignment had me write her sentences on the board, then together, we used a syllabus to replace the key words and encouraging descriptive sentences.

She went back and completed her independent work in an additional 12 minutes (I was timing). That means DyD spent 1hour and 2 minutes covering all language arts categories, including word study (Latin roots to some).

When The Elders were here age, we used Rod & Staff Grammar, several spelling programs (different ones for each dc), Writing Aids, and literature via unit studies w/ or w/o TOG (history). Just doing RS took us 45 minutes total time (teaching and working). This is why I Know we save time using PR. There is no way we finished the rest of our studies in 17 minutes. No way.

Wordless Wednesday 1-5-2011 My Latest Attempts at Organizing Grammar Stage Boys.

drying a putting away duties needs an example

I just can't handle the loose papers and falling spirals/pocket folders anymore, so I borrowed from the file system by simply putting whole materials in there, not daily lessons.


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