Monday, December 15, 2008
I am sure a lot of you have this annual tradition...watching your kids in their Sunday School Christmas pageant. Ours was last night at the evening service. All 5 kids had parts. The 3 oldest were in the play, "Born for You and Me" and the 2 youngest were among the littlest ones who each recited a verse from the Bible passage Luke 2:4-7. The oldest kids all got to read their scripts, but the youngest had to memorize b/c they can't read. It went well. Olivia memorized her line and spoke it loudly into the microphone and did great. But Tristan had never wanted to practice his line and would never say it at any of the practices. And we thought the same was going to happen last night, as he hid in the back behind the other kids and wouldn't come up to the microphone when it was his turn to say his line. So the girl after him went (she was also the last person to go). When she was done, and there was a lull btw. the end of that and the singing of "Away in a Manger," Tristan comes running to the mic and yells out "It was a boy!" That was his line and he said it perfectly, though so fast that most people didn't understand him. It was, of course, in the wrong place, but at least he said it. Jason and I were dying laughing, as was the woman who had coached the little kids, b/c we all knew how stubborn Tristan had been. And we all understood him, b/c we knew what his line was. It was so cute and funny and we were so proud of him b/c he said his line. Hope your pageants were as eventful as ours. :)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The first time we homeschooled (when my now-6th grader was in 1st grade) I looked for (and found) a devotional book written expressly for homeschool moms. We have our own unique problems and triumphs and I thought it would help me to have better ways to turn to God and better things for which to pray. And a good support system, too. The book I found (there are probably others) is called "101 Devotions for Homeschool Moms" by Jackie Wellwood. She has 7 kids that she homeschools. Incidentally, all their names start with "J." I just remembered about that book a few weeks ago, found it on our book shelf, and pulled it out and put it on my bedside table. I read one devotion every night (well, almost every night:)) at bedtime. They are encouraging and concise and even have a few thought-provoking questions at the end that you can answer...preferably not out loud or you might freak out your husband. So far, I have been able to personally identify with most of the devotions. It is always an encouragement to know we aren't alone in our struggles. If y'all have a good devotional, let me know. I am sure there are other good ones out there.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Maiah and Anya are participating in the homeschool geography bee. The winner will participate in the Grand Rapids regional bee. They missed one practice, b/c we didn't know about the bee, but went to one in Nov. Now the one in Dec. is cancelled b/c of a family emergency, so there isn't another practice before the Bee on Jan. 5. At the one practice they attended, they had to label on a map the countries and capital cities of Central America and South America. How many of you could do that?!?! Before this, I could've told you most of the countries of both places, but pretty much no capitals. But now I have been helping them study, so I know them all. At the practice that has been cancelled, they were supposed to know the countries and capitals of Africa and Asia. Wow, that is a lot to know! We are working on those. I am thinking they did Europe and the US at the first practice we missed, but those the most familiar to me, so it is easier to help with those. I think this is a great experience for the girls. A great way to learn geography, which is a favorite subject of mine. I will let you know how the Bee goes.
The Rop household is a bed of germs this week. It started at 1am early Mon. morning when Tristan threw up all over himself and his bed. It was really quick, though, and after that he didn't throw up again, though he had a tummy ache all Monday. Also, Anya felt bad Mon., with what I think is the same bug but manifested differently. She had a stomach ache and head ache and fever, but never threw up. Then Tues. Maiah had the same as Anya. And Jason stayed home from work Tues. b/c he felt lousy...also no throwing up, just upset stomach and nausea. Well, here I am thinking the rest of us escaped it, when at 5am today Isaac throws up all over his pillow and bed. I so far have been OK...maybe just a touch of a stomach problem, but not like the rest. I almost never get sick when the kids do, so I think that is God's mercy, b/c someone has to nurse all the sick ones! I'd much rather play nurse than be sick! Jason has to go to court this morning, but is still feeling bad, so is coming home after that. Olivia seems fine so far, but I am expecting her to be sick sometime this week, as well. At least it is before Christmas!!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I really like homeschooling, which is probably b/c I was a teacher once upon a time. I love lesson planning and talking with the students (which now happen to be my kids, so the stakes seem higher) and seeing how much they learn as we go along. It really helps to have a great curriculum and we have found one in the form of Tapestry of Grace. It is a Christian, classical, academically rigorous curriculum that fits us perfectly. And the biggest benefit...it was designed to teach multiple ages. The kids learn the same stuff, but fit for their grade level. I think God had in mind all along that we would homeschool, preparing me by calling me to the teaching field. My least favorite part is teaching my kids to read...not that I don't love reading to my kids and spending the time with them, but this is the area where I feel very inadequate. I failed with Anya 4 years ago, when she was in Kindergarten...when Maiah and Anya went back to school for that 2nd semester, she was really behind. She caught up during the semester and ended up at the top of her class, b/c she is smart, so that was good. Maybe if we had stuck it out for the year, it would've worked itself out, who knows. Now Olivia is in Kindergarten, and so far I think we are maybe doing OK, but it is hard to tell. We are using the "Explode the Code" primer books and she likes those and is learning her letters and sounds. Plus we are enforcing the letters with her Handwriting book. I pray that I am doing well enough!