Friday, September 24, 2010

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 7

Today we finished Week 7 of school, and honestly, it was a little rough.  Was it because of the Plague of Milk that was unleashed against my household?  Grrrr . . . I'm sure that factored into it.  Was it because I was a wee bit hormonal?  No doubt.  Was it because I've been putting off looking over the new Sunday school curriculum that I have to teach this Sunday morning, which only makes the task seem that much more daunting?  Right again!  Or was it because I was stressing over the math class I taught at co-op today, which I volunteered to teach back in May when everything seemed doable?  Oh, I'm sure that had a lot to do with it, as well.  But the truth is, all of those factors together fade in comparison to the biggest reason this week was a struggle, which is simply because this whole homeschool journey—heck, this whole parenting journey, homeschool or otherwise—is just as much about refining me as it is the little ones who have been entrusted to my care.

It seems like so many of the lessons we learned this week were life lessons.  Millie learned that continuing to use a bitter voice and bitter words earns you a dose of vinegar.  As soon as it hit her tongue, she tried to spit it out and told me it was awful.  I explained that the words that came out of her mouth sounded just as awful as the vinegar tasted.  She then went around the room saying, "Bitter, badder words!  Bitter, badder words!"  I think it made an impression.

Hannah learned that secrets are rude and hurtful, and it's best not to tell the hostess that she "made the sandwich with the wrong cheese or the wrong mayonnaise or something because it's not very good."  We have been trying to teach her for the past 7 years that things don't always go her way, and she just has to learn to deal with it, but it's a lesson that she has been slow to learn. 

And I had my fair share of lessons this week, too.  I learned that our school day goes much more smoothly if I prepare the week in advance.  When I try to prepare school the morning of, my students wander off to play and are very hard to reign back in.  I also learned that I am going to have to learn to say "no" to good things sometimes to prevent from being overwhelmed with "busyness."  I need to sift out some of the "good" in my life and hang on to the "best."  Easier said than done.  It was reassuring, though, to see God's faithfulness as I reached the end of my stressed-out, frazzled self and found that I was directly in His presence.  He just needed me to get to the end of me so I would see Him.

And yet somehow, our schoolwork was completed and lessons (of the academic kind!) were learned.

In history, we learned about the pioneers who came from France and how much they were helped by the Indians when they got here.  We read another story from American Pioneers and Patriots, which both of the girls enjoyed.  (They love that book!)  We learned that the Indians taught the French settlers to use canoes, so we made paper canoes for a hands-on activity.

We only added Indians to our canoes.  We should probably go back and add a Frenchman in there, too!  :)
Our week ended with a review of the various settlers and the countries they came from.  It's amazing how much we all have learned so far this year.  I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it as long as we homeschool, but I just can't believe how much I learn as I teach the girls.  It's fun for me, and I think it makes it fun for them, too, because they see my excitement and feed off of it.

In Bible, we continued to focus on Jesus as the Bread of Life.  We read the story of the poor widow who gave her last bit of food to Elijah during a famine, and how God was so faithful to provide for her.  (I loved reading this in light of Pastor Mark's series on grace-based giving!)  We also celebrated the Lord's Supper one evening as a family.  I knew the kids would love this because they loved last year's Sabbath celebration so much!  We discussed how yeast often represents sin in the Bible, so I bought Matzos to use instead of bread to represent the body of Christ.  (Plus, it brought back great memories!  I always loved eating it at my grandparents' house when I was a kid!)  We used Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice for the blood, and now both of my milk- and water-loving kids have declared a love for soda! 

Here's Greg filling the girls' cups.  Hannah could probably write a thesis on the Lord's Supper, but Greg did such a great job of making sure to explain everything to Millie as we went along!
Here's Millie passing Hannah the yeastless bread which represents our sinless Savior.
One of the suggested activities for the week was to make a "Bread of Life" napkin holder, but I didn't foresee that getting a lot of use in our house.  We did, however, need a towel for our bread basket, so we ended up designing an iron-on transfer to add to a towel.  I love the way it turned out!  The towels came in a 3-pack, so we made two extras and the girls gave the towels and a loaf of homemade bread to two neighbors as a gift. 

It's hard to see in the picture, but the bottom has John 6:35:  "He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who follows me will never be thirsty."
In science, we continued looking at yeast to go along with our bread study in Bible.  On Tuesday, we made homemade play dough using only flour, salt, oil, and water. 

Here are the girls making a mess homemade playdough.

And on Thursday, we used the same basic ingredients to make bread. The only thing we did differently was add sugar and yeast. It's hard to believe that two small ingredients can make the difference between play dough and bread, but when we put the yeast and sugar in warm water to observe what happened, it definitely helped us "see" the difference!

Immediately after the sugar and yeast were mixed together.15 minutes later.  The sugar fed the yeast, which released carbon dioxide bubbles.  This is what makes the bread rise, whereas the yeastless play dough does not.

In Tot School, the letter of the week was "T."

Here's Millie sorting her "T" words into a "T" pile and her "M" words into an "M" pile.  Every time she adds to a pile, she traces the letter and says, for example, "Motorcycle starts with /m/."

And here she is singing her alphabet song.  She loves this—it's the highlight of her week!
Millie does calendar time every day at the beginning of her school, and she has been counting down the days until fall.  Honestly, I think she was expecting the leaves to change color and fall off the trees overnight!  Not in Texas!  But we did head to the mall to get some fall decorations so we could celebrate the first day of fall.  While we were there, the girls spent some of their money to play.

No doubt there were some fun moments during the week, but I'm definitely looking forward to Monday when we get to start fresh!


Carrie said...

Wow! You guys had a big week! You know I love your bread idea!! ;)

I love your posts ... you totally share your heart in the way you write! I love that about you, friend!!

Gator Mommy said...

Love your week! I am so excited that we are taking a week of in October so that you will be ahead of us because I want to use your ideas!!

Thank you so much for your honesty, it reminds me that I am not alone! I had a similar experience this week: My 1st grader wrote a letter to his cousin for English. For the last sentence I suggest he ask him a question. What he wrote was, "Do you know what you are getting me for my birthday? I want a new...". We also had an impromptu character lesson!

Can't wait to see what you did this week.

Nicole said...

I know it's been a while since this was posted, but do you remember where you printed the Indians from?