Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School Year 2009-2010

Wow! When I look at the year I just typed I can hardly believe it is going to be 2010. It sounds so futuristic or something.

On other topics, I wanted to share what our plan is for the upcoming year. (This is just a brief overview of curriculum with hopes of posting a schedule in coming days.)

Bible- We are currently reading through an older version of Little Visits With God. We also sing children's songs and learn a new hymn each week. Soon adding Awana and Scripture memory that goes along with that.

Math- We will be continuing with Math-U-See using the Alpha and Beta books for Trout and Trapper.

Language Arts- This is my biggest excitement of the year as we will be starting Spell to Write and Read with Cursive First. I am really looking forward to using this program and hope to see great improvements throughout the year as we all become accustomed to the material

Science- I have chosen to use Sonlight Science Year 1 as there is a lot to gain from this material and it is so appropriate for my children's ages.

Social Studies, History, Geography- My trusty backbone will be the basis of most of our schooling again this year as we use Tapestry of Grace Year 2 to provide a little direction in our school days.

Art- Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes is an excellent resource, but sadly it got a little dusty on the shelf last year. My hope is to wipe away the dust and incorporate more of this material in our school days.

Preschool- I hope to establish a weekly routine of preschool activities for BearHug and Darlin'. We will be using Activities in a Bag Book 2 along with unit studies based on classic and current favorite children's books. Look for more of this in my Little's Learning posts to come.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ever Amazed!

During my time in the Word I am reading through Matthew at random as I find that some days I read a chapter and other days I only read a few verses, but so often I have found incredible things about my Lord that continually draw me closer to Him. I was so excited about today's reading that I wanted to share.

In Matthew 8 Jesus is traveling around teaching and healing. We learn of the faith of the centurion in verses 5-13 of whom Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith." But, the passage I found encouraging today is in verses 23-27. Jesus was on a boat amidst a storm with his disciples. The men aboard became frantic and woke Jesus saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"
Verse 26 - "He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm."

Now when I read this, I think - the men knew they were in danger, and they knew who to turn to, but Christ still said, "You of little faith,..." When you look at the words they chose, indeed they were afraid of dying, but Jesus was with them and would not allow that to happen.

But...their lack of faith becomes even more evident in the last verse once Jesus Christ has calmed the storm.

Verse 27- "The men were amazed and asked, 'What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!'"

The disciples saw their demise, sought the Lord for help, but didn't even expect Him to do all that He did. They seemed to know where to turn, but they were still uncertain of the outcome and therefore demonstrated little faith in the One whom they called.

Now, I know it is easy to look at this passage and wonder over those foolish disciples, but am I any different? Don't I ask with doubt and questions? If indeed my faith were that of but a mustard seed (Matt. 17:20), then I would know the Lord will meet my needs.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20
Praying this encourages you today!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Yogurt -Making

While I may only post infrequently about homemaking, I did want to share this little bit that I enjoy. There is something about being able to make things at home that intrigues me and excites me when my family enjoys the fruits of my labor. One of these things is homemade yogurt.

If you have never made yogurt before, it is relatively easy and definitely cheaper than purchasing store-bought at full price. To make mine I follow these few steps...
  1. Heat 2 quarts 2% milk in a pot to 180 degrees.
  2. Allow milk to cool to 110 degrees
  3. Add 1/2 cup milk to 1/2 cup previously prepared yogurt (store-bought, if needed)
  4. Mix the resulting cup into the remaining 2 quarts and pour into clean glass jars
  5. Place jars in an oven warmed to 110 degrees and maintained by leaving the oven light on
  6. Allow yogurt to set undisturbed until jelled - around 4 hrs for mine
  7. Refrigerate and enjoy for up to two weeks leaving at least 1/2 cup to prepare your next batch
We like to stir in jam or brown sugar to sweeten the yogurt to eat. I also use it for various bread and pancake recipes.

Yogurt is a food item that was first evidenced in the beginning of recorded history and still today benefits those that enjoy it. Hope this encourages you to try some of your own!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What New Books Mean to Me

I know there is so often the talk of Christmas in July, and I am also aware of the fact that most people utilize this time to begin any planning or thinking on the holiday. But, this year Christmas in July really feels like Christmas to me.
Indeed, I have finished my curriculum purchasing for the upcoming year and the materials are beginning to arrive! Seriously, I think this may be more fun than presents. While I may not be celebrating the Lord's birth, I am celebrating the opportunity to share with my children all about the world God has created and the history He has orchestrated in His time. I can't think of anything more exciting than to be able to share this with some of the most precious people in my life, my children.

So off we go in preparations for a new year of learning, growing, and seeking to serve the Lord through the academic pursuits of our household. Praise God for this opportunity!