Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Week Of School

Well we're off to a pretty good start this year. Wyatt is very excited about "doing school". I have scheduled three days a week to work with him, learning his letters and sounds and numbers. Kelsie is a little overwhelmed with the amount of work that she has had, I think I overscheduled our first day just a little bit. But that is the beauty of homeschool, you can change things as needed. Here are a couple of pictures I took on the first day of school.

Our new science this year is Human Anatomy and Physiology. There is alot more information in this book than the ones we have used in the past. Same author, I guess the subject is just more advanced. But the kids seem to be doing well with it and I think we are really going to enjoy it. Our first little experiment was mummifying an apple. While learning about the history of Anatomy we covered a little bit about how the egyptians had understood alot about the human body, this is exemplified by their method of mummification. We took two apples, peeled both of them, and covered one in a mixture of baking soda and salt. This mixture is similar to the substance that the Egyptians used called natron. The other "control apple" was left uncovered. after a week we took the mummified apple out of the baking soda mixture and compared them. What we found was interesting. The mummified apple was much darker in color, drier and more spongy than the other apple. The "control apple" shrank quite a bit in size compared to the one in the mixture and was quite sticky and almost wet feeling. We realized that this was because the Egyptians knew that to properly preserve a body they needed to extract the moisture from it. It was a pretty cool experiment.
This picture is just after the apples were peeled,
before anything was covered with the mixture.

This picture is one week later, after uncovering
the apple from the natron mixture. The one on
the left is the mummified apple.

This week we have been learning about the anatomy of a cell. The kids are really excited about our experiment for Friday. We are going to make an edible cell. It will include Jello Cytoplasm, M&M mitochondria, Skittle lysosomes, Smarties Golgi Body, Fruit Roll Up endoplasmic reticulum, Nerd ribosomes, twizzler centrioles, and a Jaw Breaker nucleus. Check back after Friday for pictures of it!

Friday, August 6, 2010

School Time

The beginning of our new school year is fast approaching. Our household is buzzing with excitement over the upcoming year...well, I am anyway. The curriculum has been ordered and is expected to be here today or tomorrow. As every homeschool mom knows, that box coming in the mail with the new books is just about as exciting as Christmas morning. I have spent months pondering the choices of what we will use to teach our children this year. I know the areas that each child needs to improve on and I have a plan to help them each become the best that they can be this year in those areas that they tend to struggle in.

Last night I was blessed to attend the Corinth Homeschool Group's first Mom's Night Out of the year. It was kind of like a little mini-conference, with a speaker who is a mother of 13 children ranging in age from 28 (I think) all the way down to 4 years old. It was such a great night! I went into the evening prepared to hear all the organizing tips that a mother of 13 must know. I thought it was going to be an avalanche of how to schedule, great ideas for teaching, discipline tips, academic suggestions. But God knew that was not what I needed to hear. Instead the entire evening was focused on "the better part". Staying focused on what is really important to your children, planting the seed of God's word. Focusing on your relationship with Christ so that you can be prepared to do this impossible task.

I am so glad that I was reminded of this last night. I tend to let the academic side of things take over in my mind. Of course learning is important. They still have to learn all of the things that I planned to teach them this year. But God reminded me last night that what is really important is discipling my children's heart. Along with that comes modeling Christ in front of them every day. I was really convicted by this verse. Proverbs 16:21 says "The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction." another translation says, "the sweetness of the lips increase in learning." This is an area that I really need to grow in. I cannot tell you how many times during the day I find myself speaking harshly to my children. The thing is, I know without a doubt that I will never be able to change the way I deal with my children on my own. But I also know that with God's help I can change.

By the end of the school year last year I was very discouraged. I was burned out. All I kept thinking was how hard it was to do this job of homeschooling, and what a long road I still had ahead of me. I was weary, and I was not relying on God to give me my strength. I was reminded of this verse last night and it really helped me. Hebrews 12: 1-2, "Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...."

So this year is beginning with a new commitment to keep Jesus first in our home. To choose "the better part" every day. Joshua 24:15 " Choose you this day whom ye will serve...As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." To all of you homeschool mom's reading this, whether this is your first year homeschooling or your twentieth, I hope you are encouraged to continue to run the race that God has set before you. It is so easy to become weary, but God will give you what you need to finish well.