Homeschool Co-op: End of Another Semester



The Spring 2015 semester of our homeschool co-op has come to an end. We had 46 families with 131 children participating this time around.

My 7-year-old son enjoyed these K1 classes: Math Games, Gym, Maps (which I taught; read more here about that class) and Health. 

In this picture is my son's Math Games class at our end-of-the semester program, counting to 5 in 5 different languages (English, Spanish, Japanese, Sweedish and German). Great job! 

My 11-year-old daughter enjoyed these Jr High classes: Gym, Crafts, Spanish and Board Games.

In this picture is my daughter's Spanish class reciting Juan 3:16 at the end-of-semester program. Que bueno!  

On co-op days, I spent one hour in the nursery, one hour in prayer group (which is a wonderful requirement of this Christian group), one hour teaching K1 Maps and one hour co-teaching Sr High Speech. Yes, from nursery up to Sr High, my day ran the gamut of ages and stages! This was the busiest I've been at our co-op, in terms of teaching. Next semester I'll be back to nursery for three hours and prayer group for one. I'm already looking forward to that slower paced semester!

The group learned Psalm 20:5-9 this semester. Any students who could recite this from memory on the last day received a prize. This picture is of the group that was able to recite the passage. My daughter is up there somewhere. My son gave up on memorizing the passage this time around, claiming it was too hard. But to see all of these other children, some of whom were younger than him, able to recite it... well, hmmm, maybe it wasn't TOO hard. 

Now we have a break for the summer. I will say again that I really enjoy our co-op. 12 weeks together in the spring, a nice long summer break, then 12 weeks together in the fall, followed by a 2-month holiday break. It's a wonderful schedule that suits our family so well. And the group of families that participate are wonderful. I enjoy the time with the fellow moms and am thankful for the time and commitment of each of them. 

Three cheers for homeschool co-op!

Toddler Girl at 16 Months


My toddler girl is 16 months old already. She is saying more words now (like noo-noo for noodles and tries to say her name, which she at least gets the starting sound and the number of syllables right). She understands so much and will do whatever we ask (get the cup and bring it to mama or put this shoe in the box). Our biggest challenge is to try to limit the use of her pacifier to only bedtime. She really loves that thing... 

She loves to explore, whether getting into cabinets inside or trying to eat grass outside. Here she is exploring a head of cauliflower. She was fascinated. She's very particular about dirt. If she notices any small piece of lint, dirt, hair, etc. on the floor or on her hands, she will bring it to me and want it off. 

We've had a few warm, summer-like days and Little Miss has loved being outside whenever possible. 

However, she took her first bike ride with me during one of those warm days. She was not impressed. I'm thinking it was the huge helmet that bothered her, but safety first. We'll try again and see if she gets used to it. 

Hiding in a hamper. Fun times. 

She's big enough to climb into our recliners by herself now, without a stool or any assistance. That makes her so proud, she just glows and laughs at herself.

All smiles with big brother and big sister in the background.

My son had a new wheelbarrow. Little Miss found it, put her sippy cup in it and pushed it around. A little worker already!

Delightful. Adorable. Cherished. 
Deeply loved! 

Pregnancy Update: Week 18


Pregnancy Update: 18 Weeks Along

This week's theme is MOVEMENT. I had been feeling some flutters in recent weeks but they have become more pronounced now. I'm more certain now that they are indeed baby movements. They aren't strong enough for anyone else to feel them on the outside yet, but I sure do feel them. 

I had a routine OB appointment this week. All continues to look fine and the baby's heartbeat is strong. A routine ultrasound is now scheduled in about 2 weeks time. 

I am starting to feel big. With past pregnancies, this is the point where I have sometimes started to measure big. I have not gained more than 10 pounds, but I look closer to 30 weeks pregnant than 20. However, I rejoice in a healthy pregnancy and body that will do what it's supposed to do, even if it has lost some of its elasticity. 
Pregnancy and birth really are an incredible process! 

We love you, Baby Inkling!

Homeschool Co-op: Maps Class


I taught Maps/Geography as a class for the Kindergarten-1st Graders this semester at our homeschool co-op.  

I had 12 kids in my class - 10 boys (!!!) and 2 girls. My son was one of the boys. Him I can handle. But him along with 9 other boys as crazy as he is... was more than I could handle! I was very thankful for the other mom who was my faithful class helper. 

I used a curriculum that a fellow homeschooling mom had used a few years ago at our co-op for this same class. It was nice to have lesson plans already laid out for me. I changed a few things to add my own flair, but I appreciated her willingness to share what she'd created and done before. Why reinvent the wheel?! 

The kids enjoyed doing a floor puzzle of the USA and another floor puzzle of the world (focusing on the seven continents, which we memorized). 

I brought in numerous books for the kids to look at / read that were related to geography. One fun project was to find the compass rose on every map. 


On our last day, we enjoyed a class party. I made a huge cookie shaped like our state of Indiana and decorated it with a few major rivers and cities. I got the idea for this from a project my daughter did a few years ago   and also from this Indiana blogger/teacher.    
We ate the cookie in class (or about 1/4 of it, actually, because it was HUGE).

On party day, I had the kids play "pin the state on the map" with a few states (like Indiana, California, Florida, Oklahoma). This was a lot of fun. Here are three of the students showing where their Indiana states ended up. 

This boy got Oklahoma RIGHT WHERE IT BELONGS while blind-folded. Unbelievable! 

A few days ago, I caught my son "playing school" with this map, teaching his class about the compass rose and where to find our state on the map.


Pregnancy Update: Week 17


Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks Along

Hmmm. What is new this week? 

Baby is about the size of an onion. 
Bones are firming up. 
The umbilical cord is growing stronger and thicker.

I have a routine OB appointment next week. And I will probably have a routine ultrasound done in the next few weeks. 

I've been having some strange dreams at night. Very vivid. Very real. Very strange. And very memorable, as I can often recall one or two of these dreams the next day. This is a common symptom of pregnancy for me. 

That's all to report for this week. On to week 18!

Pregnancy Update: Week 16


Pregnancy Update: 16 weeks along

Nothing new to report this week. Just moving along. 
I am still feeling tired, so I'm waiting for that second trimester burst of energy to kick in.

Some clothes that I wear can still hide the fact that I'm pregnant, while others can make me look MUCH bigger than I am. 

Grow, Baby Inkling, grow!

Family Photo Friday

It's Friday. Here are a few photos from our week. 

My spring flowers are in bloom. 
My heart delights in seeing these colorful beauties!

I had a 3-man band at my house this week. 
Lots of noise and happy memories.

My little girl can climb up into the stroller all by herself. This is her way to communicate her desire to be outside, which she is desiring almost constantly these days. Who isn't, after a long winter?!

Happy Friday to one and all!

Easter Family


Here are a few photos from last weekend's Easter celebration. 

 Our clan, all dressed up and enjoying the outdoors.

My oldest daughter with cousin Racquel. You'd never know that my daughter was actually sick on Easter morning. However, by mid-afternoon she was eating again, feeling better and able to enjoy herself at our family gathering. 

Pregnancy Update: Week 15


Pregnancy Update: 15 Weeks Along 

Baby Inkling is about 4 inches long right now and weighs just a couple of ounces. 

I began wearing maternity pants this week, as I needed that extra space in the front. I also started organizing all of my maternity clothes by size and season. I enjoy this, as it's like getting a new wardrobe for the next 6 months. And I always forget what I have so it's a bit like Christmas too!

And I do believe the morning sickness is 100% done! 

Yeah for 15 weeks!

Family Photo Friday


Here are some photos that give a little sneak peek into our week. 

My mom sent an Easter package that included this bunny ears for our littlest bunny. So cute.

Grandma R hosted my children and cousin Racquel at her house to decorate eggs this week. 

My hubby often reads with my son in the evenings before bed. They've read some great books like Charlotte's Web, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Rabbit Hill, James and the Giant Peach, and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. This week they finished up Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which was heavier reading but they both enjoyed the story. 

We've had some beautiful spring days lately. Here are all 3 of my kids by a tree in our yard. Little Miss loved the freedom to walk in the grass by herself. 

Happy Friday to one and all!