Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Homeschool, Guest, and Playroom

For the last month Cliff and I have been working on this room.  We transitioned Noah out of his crib and into the bunk beds with Aidan which freed up this room.  We scraped the ugly popcorn ceilings off and painted.  We then bought a kitchen countertop from IKEA to put on top of my scrapbook storage boxes.  Cliff cut off several inches to make it work.  Then we shopped for a sleeper sofa!  Our guests finally have a bed!  Finally Cliff took some of our old fence to make the frames for the maps and painted them!  He did such an awesome job!  We love it!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Noah and the Ark

Noah is super cute when he talks about the story of Noah and the Ark.  When they teach it at Bible class he thinks they are telling stories about him.  He loves to tell everyone about the time his teachers told everyone about he built a big boat.  LOVE IT!  My sweet friend Melody Runyon bought him his own ark and sent it to him in the mail.  Now he plays "Bible Class" around the clock and teaches anyone who will listen about the story.

Dad of the Year!

I love that my kids have Cliff for their Dad!  I captured a fun video of him wrestling with Ryla and Aidan on the trampoline.  What a fun memory!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Our Homeschooling Schedule

My life has turned a 180 this year and I love it!!  With homeschool twice a week and working from home I have had my hands full but it has been amazing!  Here is a glimpse into our schedule during the week.  

Aidan goes to school on Mondays and Wednesdays.  That leaves me with the two munchkins.  I typically do a play date on Mondays for them in the morning.  If we can, we also go to the park or at least spend the time in our backyard.  12:30 is nap time and I work during this time.  I make 12 of my 32 meals.  I get done just in time to go get Aidan from school.  Cliff goes to the gym on Monday evenings after dinner and I do one more meal and then take some time for myself.

Tuesdays is our first homeschooling day.  We enrolled Noah in pre school but just on Tuesdays.  It was too difficult to get everything done with Aidan and Ryla and he was acting up since he wasn't getting good attention.  Cliff takes him to school, since its at the church, and my good friend Stacy, who works at the school, brings him home.

This is what our Tuesdays and Thursdays look like on a homeschool day.  I do preschool curriculum with Ryla on Tuesdays and she participates in geography, memory work, history, and science with Aidan.  All of these subject are done with poems and songs so she is learning right along with him!

Aidan and I do spelling and reading in the afternoons while the younger two sleep.  This is good because he requires all my attention during that time.  One of the benefits of being home is that we get to work around Aidans schedule.  Aidan has always been my sleeper.  Even at five years old, he still sometimes naps.  In the picture below we were doing our reading and he asked if he could rest for a minute.  I thought he was trying to get out of doing school but he laid down and fell asleep immediately.  He woke up 30 minutes later and whipped out his reading in half the time as usual.

Right now Friday morning is also a homeshooling day but he usually just has math and sometimes reading.  I work on Fridays so Cliff tackles the school on that day.  I love that Cliff wants to do this and that Aidan gets to experience this time with both of us.  

My dad was here about a week ago and got to help out to.

Here is a fun moment I captured where he was doing his history in between his ninja moves.  

This video was taken several weeks ago on the day that we were to start having Aidan read words for the first time.  So excited that I was able to capture it.  Now, he is already reading in sentences!

Here is one of the poems that was assigned to Aidan as part of him memory work.  Ryla knows it to :-)

Overall, I am loving the time spent at home with them.  There are some ups and downs but we are taking it one day at a time.  My favorite part of the schedule is that we can still have our family Friday together.  I get to choose when I work so I have already reserved two Fridays in October for Pumpkin Farms!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fortis Academy

A lot of people are asking about Aidan's school and trying to understand why he's got a uniform on one day and is at the dinning room table the next.  That's a great question, and to be honest, it has been hard for us to figure out as well.  We have a great public school across the street from us, which we were really excited to send Aidan to.  But as the summer approached, we just didn't feel right about.  So, we started asking a lot of questions to friends about the schools their kids went to.

That's when we stumbled onto Fortis Academy.  We'd heard of it, but the only thing we knew about it was that it was a private school with a weird schedule that taught kids Latin.  Ok, honestly, first impression was, "That's kinda lame."

But, the more we talked to families who sent their munchkins to Fortis, the more curious we became.  It seemed like siblings had these fantastic relationships, kids enjoyed their parents, and learning wasn't something that happened "out there."  Instead, it happened everywhere.  All these things were appealing.

Technically speaking, Fortis is a Classically based, University Model School.  Translation:  Aidan will be in Grammar School through 5th grade.  Then he would enter Logic School in 6th-8th grades.  Finally, it would be time for Rhetoric School.  That's the Classical part.  he goes to school all day on Monday and Wednesday.  While at school he works his tail off. On those days he leaves school with a metric ton of homework assigned by his really awesome teacher. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday he works his tail off at home to be ready for the next in class day.  There's the University Model.  What he learns is just like any other school: reading, spelling, math, history, science, etc. As he gets older he'll pick up some different stuff- like Latin.  Turns out, they teach Latin because roughly 80% of our language is built on Latin.  And Spanish and French are more than 90% built on Latin.  So if he knows Latin he has a working knowledge of 3 languages- pretty cool, huh?    And for the record, if they didn't have a good reason for Latin, there was no way Cliff was going to go along with Fortis as an option.

The hardest thing for us was that in our journey toward Kindergarden, we found some lights out options for public school, traditional private school, and classical school.  We could see each of our kids  thriving in any environment.  What really sold us on Fortis is that fact that our kids are just getting old enough to all have relationships with each other.  Education aside, it was almost troubling to think of breaking up our little chaotic bundle of joy to send Aidan to school just as things were getting so fun.

Fortis is the place that allows us to be in the middle of the learning experience with Aidan.  It offers an education that is fantastic, it creates space in our lives to enjoy our family. It promotes an environment where faith, truth, knowledge, beauty, and relationship collide in fa antastic package.  For us, this became the best of several great options.

Our personal mission is to raise kids that are greater than we are in every aspect of their lives.  We want them to be smart, successful, independent, well-adjusted, etc.  However, we'd trade these things in a heart beat to raise kids that had allowed their whole self to be wrecked and rebuilt by Christ.  You don't have to attend a Classical University Model school to accomplish this- we know many families who have succeeded in this.  But, we know ourselves, and we know that we need a lot of help to set our kids up for the chance to walk that path of genuine belief.

Bottom line, Fortis has been one of the most challenging things we've taken on as a family (neither Cliff, nor I have ever seen ourselves teaching our kids how to do math…yikes)!  With our first month down, though, it looks like it may have been one of the greatest decisions we've made.