Sunday, September 18, 2011

Home+Schooling: Embracing the Madness

Mason working on an addition folder game.

Well, school is going pretty well.  Pretty well considering I'm not getting out of bed at a decent time in the morning because I'm up a lot at night and we stop about a bagillion different times during the day to change a diaper or two, feed a baby, clean up one of Annabelle's destructive whims, or just take a break because Mama needs to collect her sanity.  Sound like chaos?  It is!  But actually it is good chaos.  I'm learning not to fight it. We are HOMEschooling.  It's school and life all mixed together and that's okay!  Actually, that's ideal it just takes perspective to remember it.  I'm such a type A, schedule-oriented person that it can feel like we are failing when we are actually succeeding.  God has nudged me more than once this week to show me how much the kids are learning despite the un-foiling of my so-called plans.  Those are cool moments!

We are two weeks into our school year with a second grade ping pong ball, kindergarten jitterbug, nearly two-year old hurricane, and an eight-week old sweet pea that doesn't like to be put down... ever.  I want to take the opportunity here to thank Fisher Price for their wonderful Ocean Wonders Aquarium Cradle Swing that has swung now three of my children and a couple of baby cousins.  It has been such a blessing for a baby with pretty irritating reflux.  Some of our best schooling is done with the repetitive swinging noise in the background.  Anyway, the past two weeks have been busy and hectic but so much fun!  I'll be posting soon about the curriculum we are using this year but as a teaser let me just say we are LOVING science!  Until then, enjoy some pictures!

It's hard to tell but that creation is Stonehenge.
We are using our dining table more this year and it has been a good switch.
"The Hurricane"
"Sweet Pea" and don't let this photo fool you.  She didn't stay there.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Day of School 2011-12

First Day of School 2011-12

We had a fun first day of school.  We began on Labor Day since Daddy could be home with us on that day.  We spent the day doing some traditional things and then did a light day of school work.  Then we ended the day with a yummy cookout at my parent's house.  If only every school day could end that way! 
We began with an "All About Me" sheet that we used to record their height, weight, favorite things, things they learned to do over the summer, aspirations for the school year, etc.  It was funny listening to their responses. I also included an 8x10 collage of pictures from the summer for each of their binders.  My plan is to do the same at the end of the school year and compare the two.

Daddy measuring them for their "All About Me" page.
I have created "Meeting Book" binders for Mason and Addie.  I'll have to do a post about that soon but basically it has our calendar, weather graphs, their daily schedules and any other daily routine sheets we use.  We let them decorate the front of their binders.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to School, Finally!

We are at it again!!!  We are headed back to school.  Homeschool, that is.  I am so excited about this school year!  I've been preparing every minute I can steal between feeding a baby every two to three hours, chasing a toddler and taking care of the two older children.  It's a juggling act to say the least!  That's kind of where I get the name for this blog, Full Hands Academy.  But more on that later... This year Mason begins the 2nd grade and Addie is a big-time kindergartner.  We are using an exciting new history curriculum and exploring astronomy in science.  Add a heaping portion of math and sprinkle in some language arts and we might just have a recipe for learning. (Cheesy, I know.)

Anyway, after a long break from blogging I've decided to pick it back up.  I mainly want to share about our homeschool days with friends and family who are interested.  I also spend a lot of time looking for homeschool ideas or creating my own and would like to use this space as a place to share those ideas with others.  I'm so often amazed by the online network of homeschooling families who share their resources to benefit other families and hope I can contribute to that in some way.  So, if you are a relative, friend, fellow homeschooler, or random lurker here...welcome!!!

I make no promises to post very often or apologies if my posts are sporatic at times.  We've got a lot going on and I do occasionally like to sleep.  But I love to write and I especially love to write about my four wonderful kiddos that keep me wonderfully busy.  So I'll be here as often as I can to keep you updated about the happenings in our home.  To make things easier, please hit the subscribe button on the sidebar so you will be notified when I submit a new post.  Leave a comment and let me know you are a subscriber!  I would love to get to know you and if you have a blog of your own, leave a link so I can visit you too!

Our first official day of school will be Labor Day.  We have taken the past few months off while I sat around hot and pregnant and more recently have been pretty involved with a newborn.  With that in mind, I don't feel bad making the kids have school on a holiday.  Besides, Daddy will be home that day and we have some fun things in mind to celebrate the first day of the school year.  I figure that's how we trick them into being excited about school. :-)

I'm trying my best to keep from overestimating what we can accomplish this year.  I tend to bite off more than we can chew and end up disappointed and frustrated.  I'm pouring a lot of prayer into this school year, prayer that I set realistic expectations and that I remain flexible when some days don't go as planned. There is no denying this is a demanding season of life for us!  It seems I barely step foot out of my house with the kids in tow and someone is telling me that I've got my hands full.  It's true and it's great but I would be amiss if I didn't also share the merciful ways the Lord proves His faithfulness and grace to achieve far beyond what we ourselves are capable of achieving.  He is showing me on a daily basis that although my hands may be full, it is His hands that strengthen me and equip me for every good work!  In short, He provides what we need when we need it.  He really does. So hit the subscribe button and check back in when you can.  We would love to have you join us on our full hands journey!

Upcoming posts...

Our Curriculum

Meet the Kids!