Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Homeschooling Schedule

My life has turned a 180 this year and I love it!!  With homeschool twice a week and working from home I have had my hands full but it has been amazing!  Here is a glimpse into our schedule during the week.  

Aidan goes to school on Mondays and Wednesdays.  That leaves me with the two munchkins.  I typically do a play date on Mondays for them in the morning.  If we can, we also go to the park or at least spend the time in our backyard.  12:30 is nap time and I work during this time.  I make 12 of my 32 meals.  I get done just in time to go get Aidan from school.  Cliff goes to the gym on Monday evenings after dinner and I do one more meal and then take some time for myself.

Tuesdays is our first homeschooling day.  We enrolled Noah in pre school but just on Tuesdays.  It was too difficult to get everything done with Aidan and Ryla and he was acting up since he wasn't getting good attention.  Cliff takes him to school, since its at the church, and my good friend Stacy, who works at the school, brings him home.

This is what our Tuesdays and Thursdays look like on a homeschool day.  I do preschool curriculum with Ryla on Tuesdays and she participates in geography, memory work, history, and science with Aidan.  All of these subject are done with poems and songs so she is learning right along with him!

Aidan and I do spelling and reading in the afternoons while the younger two sleep.  This is good because he requires all my attention during that time.  One of the benefits of being home is that we get to work around Aidans schedule.  Aidan has always been my sleeper.  Even at five years old, he still sometimes naps.  In the picture below we were doing our reading and he asked if he could rest for a minute.  I thought he was trying to get out of doing school but he laid down and fell asleep immediately.  He woke up 30 minutes later and whipped out his reading in half the time as usual.

Right now Friday morning is also a homeshooling day but he usually just has math and sometimes reading.  I work on Fridays so Cliff tackles the school on that day.  I love that Cliff wants to do this and that Aidan gets to experience this time with both of us.  

My dad was here about a week ago and got to help out to.

Here is a fun moment I captured where he was doing his history in between his ninja moves.  

This video was taken several weeks ago on the day that we were to start having Aidan read words for the first time.  So excited that I was able to capture it.  Now, he is already reading in sentences!

Here is one of the poems that was assigned to Aidan as part of him memory work.  Ryla knows it to :-)

Overall, I am loving the time spent at home with them.  There are some ups and downs but we are taking it one day at a time.  My favorite part of the schedule is that we can still have our family Friday together.  I get to choose when I work so I have already reserved two Fridays in October for Pumpkin Farms!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fortis Academy

A lot of people are asking about Aidan's school and trying to understand why he's got a uniform on one day and is at the dinning room table the next.  That's a great question, and to be honest, it has been hard for us to figure out as well.  We have a great public school across the street from us, which we were really excited to send Aidan to.  But as the summer approached, we just didn't feel right about.  So, we started asking a lot of questions to friends about the schools their kids went to.

That's when we stumbled onto Fortis Academy.  We'd heard of it, but the only thing we knew about it was that it was a private school with a weird schedule that taught kids Latin.  Ok, honestly, first impression was, "That's kinda lame."

But, the more we talked to families who sent their munchkins to Fortis, the more curious we became.  It seemed like siblings had these fantastic relationships, kids enjoyed their parents, and learning wasn't something that happened "out there."  Instead, it happened everywhere.  All these things were appealing.

Technically speaking, Fortis is a Classically based, University Model School.  Translation:  Aidan will be in Grammar School through 5th grade.  Then he would enter Logic School in 6th-8th grades.  Finally, it would be time for Rhetoric School.  That's the Classical part.  he goes to school all day on Monday and Wednesday.  While at school he works his tail off. On those days he leaves school with a metric ton of homework assigned by his really awesome teacher. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday he works his tail off at home to be ready for the next in class day.  There's the University Model.  What he learns is just like any other school: reading, spelling, math, history, science, etc. As he gets older he'll pick up some different stuff- like Latin.  Turns out, they teach Latin because roughly 80% of our language is built on Latin.  And Spanish and French are more than 90% built on Latin.  So if he knows Latin he has a working knowledge of 3 languages- pretty cool, huh?    And for the record, if they didn't have a good reason for Latin, there was no way Cliff was going to go along with Fortis as an option.

The hardest thing for us was that in our journey toward Kindergarden, we found some lights out options for public school, traditional private school, and classical school.  We could see each of our kids  thriving in any environment.  What really sold us on Fortis is that fact that our kids are just getting old enough to all have relationships with each other.  Education aside, it was almost troubling to think of breaking up our little chaotic bundle of joy to send Aidan to school just as things were getting so fun.

Fortis is the place that allows us to be in the middle of the learning experience with Aidan.  It offers an education that is fantastic, it creates space in our lives to enjoy our family. It promotes an environment where faith, truth, knowledge, beauty, and relationship collide in fa antastic package.  For us, this became the best of several great options.

Our personal mission is to raise kids that are greater than we are in every aspect of their lives.  We want them to be smart, successful, independent, well-adjusted, etc.  However, we'd trade these things in a heart beat to raise kids that had allowed their whole self to be wrecked and rebuilt by Christ.  You don't have to attend a Classical University Model school to accomplish this- we know many families who have succeeded in this.  But, we know ourselves, and we know that we need a lot of help to set our kids up for the chance to walk that path of genuine belief.

Bottom line, Fortis has been one of the most challenging things we've taken on as a family (neither Cliff, nor I have ever seen ourselves teaching our kids how to do math…yikes)!  With our first month down, though, it looks like it may have been one of the greatest decisions we've made.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Aidan goes to Kindergarten!!

Hard to believe our first born started Elementary School last week! I was probably more excited than he was through out the summer.  The Friday prior, his school had an ice-cream social/meat the teacher night.  Aidan had been pretty apathetic up to this point about going to school.  This night made all the difference.  After finishing our ice-cream, each of the classes lined up with their teacher.  The teacher then escorted them inside without the parents.  This was perfect for him.  The teacher introduced them to the classroom and to each other and they got to see what they would be learning for the year.  The kids then came back down and got their families and took them up to their room.  Aidan was then able to tell us himself all about Kindergarten.  He was very proud of himself.  
So come Monday morning he was very excited.  The day before he made his lunch, set out his uniform, and packed his backpack.  Look how cute he is!!

Upon arriving at school he instantly found his new friend Elijah.  I met Elijah's mother at the math training in May.  We both have three kids with our first starting Kinder.  We set up several playdates for them throughout the Summer which ended up being a great idea.  They were placed in class together and could not have been happier.  Their friendship is precious.

The first 15 minutes was morning assembly outside.  Its the only day the parents are allowed to walk them in.  It was so fun seeing all the families and the kiddos together.  

Everyone has asked if Cliff or I cried.  We did not.  But little brother had an awful time with Aidan leaving.  I literally had to peel him off of Aidan.  It was so sad.  He did it the second day to.  Just one of the many reasons we chose this school.

Next post…..All about Aidan's school and why we chose it and what our days at home have been like!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ryla and Gymnastics

Ryla started gymnastics a few weeks back.  To say she is loving it is an understatement.  I put her in a 5 week summer session and after the first session I immediately signed her up for the fall.  One of the best parts was that her good friend Eliza from church was able to take the classes with her.  I haven't been able to get many good shots while she is in class but did get some in her cute little leotard.  LOVE IT!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

My twinkles

I love watching their relationship grow.  They have pretty much become unseprable.  I'm loving every second of it!! 


Splash Park Fun


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Aidan and the Titanic

Aidan and I have been working our way through the Magic Tree House Series for a few months now.  A few weeks ago we finished "Tonight on the Titanic."  Now, there have been several of these books that he has really enjoyed but for some reason he was just SOOOOOO obsessed with this one.  He literally would not stop talking about it.  He was constantly asking us to took up pictures for him on the internet and wanting to know every little detail he could about the Titanic.  After a couple of days of this I took him down to our library and got a couple of books on the "unsinkable ship."

His new obsession became telling everyone who would listen about the Titanic.  He would carry his book around with him everywhere.  He had two separate sleepovers with his friends Jake and Kason and I think they got their fill on Titanic facts.  When we went on vacation he insisted on bringing the books along so that he could share his new knowledge.  Aunt Kelly and Grandpa each sat with him to hear what he knew.  After he was done telling Grandpa, Cliff's dad told us that there was a Titanic museum in Branson and that we might consider taking him!  UMMM, consider??????  How awesome for my little man!! 

We didn't tell him until right before.  We pulled up to the museum which was in the design of the Ship. Pretty much the best thing ever for him!

 They gave us each devices that hung around our necks that talked about each of the exhibits and had special youth ones!

Here is Aidan getting to feel what the iceberg was like!

They had around 20 of these little quiz points for kids!  Aidan got all but 2 right!

He got to see an actual size cabin!  They were so tiny!

A mock of the staircase.  It was actually 5 times this size!

This was pretty neat.  There were several people placed throughout the museum who were dressed like the Titanic crew.  They all had accents and spoke about the ship.  This lady was sharing with my kids about the musicians on board.

They had a room that was built like the deck of the ship and it was FREEZING.  They had the stars out which made it seem really realistic.  

They had three different decks you could climb on that were all at different degrees of the ship going down.  The last one, 2 minutes before the ship went down, they had to use the rails because it was so steep.

He got to sit on what the lifeboats would have been like.  He practiced his rowing for about 5 minutes at that stop :-)

This stop was really neat to.  You got to stick your hand in the water and feel how cold the water was for the passengers the fell in.  They had a timer where you could see if you could get up to 3 minutes.

 We did this stop after being on the boat so they were so worn out but learned so much and had a ton of fun!!