So many months have gone by without any kind of real update on life with my people. We are chugging along in our life stateside. There are times of pure enjoyment and times of utter disbelief as we’ve had to adjust. My faith has continued to be stretched and tugged on and pulled like I’ve never experienced before. God is so big and I am so thankful He is so big and is in control of all things. Our hope is to return to Argentina on May 10th. We are down to raising about $6000 in new yearly commitments. That really isn’t much at all! We picked that date as the latest date for me to fly while pregnant. In baby news, baby girl is 28 weeks in utero and I’m feeling great. I’ve been exercising and that has done wonders for how good I feel. My back has been able to handle all the extra weight for this pregnancy because of the exercising, and I’m so thankful. And why didn’t I did this for all my pregnancies??? My back and body hurt soooooo bad when I was pregnant with Zeke! I feel lots of kicks and movements. Zekey kisses my belly a gazillion times a day….”I want to kiss yours baby, Mama!” The other two spare a kiss every other day or so, but it is so sweet that they are already thinking of her as a part of our family. The only name we’ve been kicking around is Magdalena Mae. I’ve liked Magdalen for a while and Magdalena would be the Spanish version of that. And since we’ve started a theme of biblical names, we couldn’t possibly depart from that path. 🙂 The nicknames we’re thinking of are Lena and Laney (or Lanie). Mae is the my Nana’s middle name. And she knows we plan to name this baby’s middle name in honor of her…and of course she says, “I hope I stay around long enough to meet her.” I hope so too, Nana. I try to imagine what life will be like with a girl, and I almost can’t even imagine it. I don’t want to have too many expectations or too many fears either. I’m excited and know there will be many differences between her and the boys and I’m just trying to dwell in that excitement……that it will be different.
In boy news…..the boys are doing really well. I mean they are just amazing. We’ve gone thru weeks of no travel and just last week had a whole week of travel. Really, they travel so well and for the most part do really well meeting other people and tracking any toys that could possibly be found in any person’s house that we visit. If the travel has been difficult for any of the 5 of us, it’s been difficult for me. I sometimes wonder how I ever survived traveling with OB for five summers. I mean I NEED time AWAY from people….including my family. I’m trying to learn how to gauge that, because I can’t always gauge it in myself until I have an emotional outbreak. SO, I’m learning, we’re learning and I’m very glad to be back in our own space again.
Since the beginning of February I’ve been home-schooling the boys. After much deliberation over the options of a co-op at church or public school, I decided home-schooling offered the most flexibility until we knew anything more about the future of Team La Plata…..meaning we didn’t know if raising the support would happen, but we’d be free to travel if needed and still take care of the kid’s education. It’s been going really well. I’ve really enjoyed doing it……..really, really enjoyed doing it. I did a lot of research and found something I really like. Once Malachi started school several years ago, I realized I have a much stronger opinion about the education of my kids than I thought I would. I’m not a very opinionated person…..but this is something I totally have an opinion about. It even made me debate about sending my kids to school in Argentina. For now, I still highly value that my kids speak and learn in Spanish…so there will be no withdrawing my kids from school in AR. But there are things about the curriculum that I’m using that I may do more supplemental things during the summers for them…..just because it is that important to me….and I believe really important for their development. So, I know you all are wondering what in the world I’m using….okay, maybe most of you don’t care, but I want to share it.
This is a book, The Well Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home,(link) I came across several years ago….and had started using some of it’s suggestions for phonics and grammar training for Chi while living in AR. It was on my amazon wish list….my dad got it for me for Christmas and after reading it more thoroughly I was totally sold on the philosophy behind it. Classical Education is all about teaching kids along the three values of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric….and coinciding that with their developmental stages. SO, the Grammar stage is 1st to 4th grade, the Logic stage is 5th to 8th grade, and the Rhetoric Stage is 9th to 12th grade. I really value how the literature, history, and science repeat themselves every four years with each new stage.
This book lays out a whole curriculum for almost all subjects from K4-12th grade. Within each subject, it gives grade appropriate curriculum options to choose from. So I’ve gone thru online and read many reviews to find the exact choices I’ve made for each subject.
This is what we’re using for now:
Phonics:(link) and as a supplement to the Phonics I’ve been using all of the Bob Books(link)….they are soooo great for getting a child to read, they give a child instant success at reading. My dad gave me a set of these books two years ago. And they’ve been invaluable while teaching Chi and Lijah to read.
Math(link) I taught this curriculum during student teaching and my first year of teaching and always really liked it.
Reading: This part has been an adventure…and a fun one at that. With a classical education you start out with the Greek gods and goddesses…so I’ve already read to them a kid’s version of The Trojan Horse, and The Odyssey and now we’re on The Story of the Iliad. This is what I really like about this classical education philosophy….is starting them out on the ancients in 1st grade, in 2nd grade you focus on Medieval/Early Renaissance (Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Shakespeare…..ect, 3rd grade is Late Renaissance/Early Modern…..Gulliver’s Travels, Pilgrim’s Progress, Les Mis, Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Three Musketeers, Dickens etc, and 4th grade is Modern(from 1850 to present) Sherlock Holmes, Heidi, Pinocchio, War of the Worlds, Lousia May Alcott, Peter Pan and others. Then in 5th to 8th grade….it follows the same strand, except the kids then are able to read the kid’s versions by themselves. And then in High School can read the real versions by the original authors.
History(link) What I love about this, is the history you study is along the same time period as the literature you are reading.
Science: This is more about using various books as resources. We are currently studying the animal kingdom.
Spanish: I’m doing various things to keep their Spanish at least present in our daily life!
Malachi and Elijah are doing the same thing for Reading and History and Science and Grammar. As far as everything else Malachi is obviously further along than Elijah. This whole experience has been really enjoyable. I’ve even made up a 3 ring notebook for Zekey……per his request. Each day he chooses something(s) to work on pertaining to letters, shapes, colors, numbers. He can be quite the wild card, but it’s good for him too….as he learns more and more self-control and patience each day.
If you’ve lasted this long….you are amazing. 🙂
And because we’re here and not there….we are missing U2….it was supposed to be our first concert seeing them. Boo.
For my birthday, my brother and sister-in-law bought us tickets to join them in seeing OTR this weekend. Yay! We’re excited for a fun time with them!