Category: homeschool

Our Disney ABCs

Edited because I forgot to list ‘Q’ & to ask a question…

On day 4 of school, Miranda seemed to be grasping the ABCs better, or at least, not pretending she didn’t know what was what.

I decided some familiar corresponding words might help, so I made her – and KK – alphabet flash cards featuring Disney characters, movie names, and places.

As I was searching for pictures for these, I found 2 great sites:

Disney Clip Art

Disney’s Family’s printable alphabet

I almost stopped making my own when I found the other version, but some of their characters weren’t familiar, and I think I found a much better use for “X.”

Also, in the spirit of homeschooling, I’m sharing what I made~

Randa & KK’s Disney ABCs

And for those who aren’t total Disney-dorks like we are, here is the key to the letters~ [with a few alternate suggestions]

A- Ariel (Little Mermaid) [Aladdin, Aurora]
B – Buzz [Bambi, Belle, Beast]
C- castle
C- Cinderella
D- Dumbo
E- Enchanted
F – Flounder (Little Mermaid)
G – Goofy
H – Hercules [Heffalump, Hook]
I – Incredibles
J – Jasmine
K –
Kocoum (Pochahontas)
M – Mickey (of course!)
N – Nemo
O – Owl (Winne the Pooh)
P – Pochahontas [Peter Pan or Pinnochio]
Q- Queen (because I must pay homage to the original evil stepmom…)
R- Rapunzel
S – Simba (The Lion King)
T – Tiana (Princess & the Frog) [Tinkerbell]
U – Ursula (Little Mermaid)
V – Violet (Incredibles)
W – Woody [Wendy from Peter Pan]
X – Xebec (Ahem: A Mediterranean ship used mostly for trading, much like those in Pirates of the Caribbean!)
Y – Yao (Mulan)
Z – Zazu (Lion King)

I printed these on cardstock, trimmed them to 4.25 x 2.5 inches each, and punched holes in the right-hand corner so they could be put on a ring & removed for structured practice.

After Randa & KK played with them, quite excitedly, for a few hours last night, I started to wonder: Does every homeschool need a laminator?

Real school (the tale of the cocoa bean)

All I asked for for Christmas was kindergarten home school curriculum.

{Happily, Santa also delivered a Keurig coffee maker & some other sweet things…}

…and my kind in-laws delivered.

Why would I ask for such a thing? Well, because my girls want projects all the time and I don’t have that many ideas…because I really want them to have kindergarten learning early (by IL state law, Miranda would have to wait until fall 2012 when she’s already turning 6, and KK another year from then)…and because, I think I want to, you know, homeschool, them… at least, that is what I think right now.

So, though I opened the “intimidating” box of curriculum in the beginning of December, it wasn’t until last week that I decided to start. I got Miranda primed and ready, and our first day of lessons was last Monday. After we shook off the very loooooooong holiday we had and while KK was still napping, we began.

The first 10 days of the curriculum are quite simple: numbers 1-7, alphabet (focusing on 2-3 letters per day), and the story of creation. There are some songs thrown in as well.

Day one was smooth like butter. Miranda was excited. I was pleased at how organized and simple everything was. She smiled and learned and then I made dinner. Fab!

..the look of utter concentration as she illustrates night vs. day

…the sheer joy of having completed a task!

Days 2 and 3 have been a bit more complicated…not in content, but in form. Or something. Miranda is easily  distracted (I must remind myself, “Self? She is 4!”). She is also a little confused over our roles. She has gone from calling me “Mama Teacher” to just “Teacher,” but today, well…

…she was calling me “Teacher,” telling me about her mommy, and then reassuring me, “Mommy, I’m just pretending.”

I’m sure it is confusing. And I’m sure the use and evolution of terms has something to do with our new roles, the actual school routine as opposed to just “doing projects,” and whatever image Miranda has in her mind of “Real School” –> a term she used with me yesterday, one I’m not sure where she learned.

The other complexity is balancing my own expectations of her. For one, she is only 4… nearly a year younger than the age kids actually start kindergarten. Two, she has had no preschool. Three, her mother is a total control-freak overachiever.

So I have to get over the fact that she is not immediately grasping her letters and able to identify them by sight –

– except for “M” and “K,” which I taught them both back in the fall without the help of any curriculum.

And I must figure out what to do with the fact that I think, I think, she actually does know A-B-C-D-E-F, that she knows “B” is pronounced “bee” and not “vee,” and that she is just distracted/testing boundaries/a control freak like her mother.

And I must remember she is 4.

And I must remember we are not on a schedule.

And I must remember that maybe she didn’t “seem” to get the letters so easily today, but she knew way more about the concept of “plants” (which God made on Day 3) than I would have thought, and she was very excited to know that chocolate comes from cocoa which comes from a bean which comes from a plant…she learned today!

And I must remember the reason I believe in the potential success of homeschooling for us…because I know my kids, because we enjoy the time together, because our learning and socialization are enriched by activities that can’t exist within the confines of a traditional school day. Blah blah blah.

On to day 4…and “G” and “H.”

This is what it usually looks like

…except a little crazier: the typical work-at-home moment.

  • I am toggling between getting assignments in place for Paige and working on some page layouts.
  • Miranda is looking through her school box, hoping to paint before dinner.
  • Kaity is sitting at her ‘desk’ (our big square coffee table) working on something… I think she had a box of crayons, an old cell phone, a notepad, a stack of Christmas books,  and whatever business cards she swiped from my desk.

Moments after the picture, Kaity stepped on the heating vent and cried, I almost deleted my lessons plans, and dinner needed to be started. We’re going on a mission, start the countdown…

School Day, St Augustine

Tuesday, we had school in St. Augustine.

We learned why it was so important for a fortress to be built – to protect the residents from pirate raids. We saw old medicines and remedies from the oldest drug store. We walked through the city gates. We looked at cannons, at a prison, and at walls made of sand, shells, and stone.

Oh, and we posed ~

(^Miranda provided her baby sister with some ‘school work’ for this photo).

We literally had to keep KK from climbing the walls. One day, she will rule a city and build a fortress, no doubt…

Our time in this beautiful little city was short, but gave us a lot of food for thought and a foundation for the American History that Paige is studying this year.

Not bad for our first field trip.

Roadschooling and how to change a life

Dedicated to my road/homeschool mommy pals: Maureen, Deanna, MarthaJulie & Renee. Miss you all!

Today we visited a radio station. I wanted to consider it a bit of a field trip for Miranda and Kaity, but ~

they met Jessica, and liked her, a LOT.

So they did not see the studio or go live on the air. In fact, it was difficult to get them to take a picture with their Daddy while he was on the air.

But they did play office with Jessica, seemingly mastering the most important part: ordering lunch.
(For the record, the lunch being ordered was pepperoni pizza and spaghetti. My children are all about the carb-laden office diet… which of course, calls for mid-afternoon sugar!)

While Miranda and Kaity were keeping Jessica’s hands busy protecting office equipment, Rod was on the air with our friend Bruce Edwards, the drive-time voice of Lexington’s almost 25-year old southern gospel station. However, music was not the subject in question

this photo by
Our trip to Colombia with Compassion International was.

The staff at WCGW have decided to sponsor a child!

So today, the life of Robinson, a 14 year old boy in Nicaragua, was forever changed.

Every time a child is sponsored, it means that the project church he attends received funding earmarked for him – funds that help provide DAILY healthy meals, clothes, school supplies, and sometimes, even medical care or help for his family.

Most importantly – MOST importantly, it means that this kiddo will now have a personal relationship with a sponsor who loves him, sends encouragement to him, prays for him, and cheers for him.

Jessica, your words will mean the world! – Want to know how I know?

Well for one, there’s Leo.

For two, meet Ben. We did this past Friday at the NQC Compassion breakfast.

Ben was born in a city in Kenya whose name translates to “trash.”

When he was eight years old, he began attending a Compassion project and started school.

He is now in his 20s. He graduated with a degree in Physics. And his family? All believers in Christ!

Think your words don’t mean anything?

Think what you show your kids on field trips or in your daily life don’t amount to much?

Your words and actions, to a child, can change a life!