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Friday, September 27, 2013

The Letter O


This is what we've done for the letter O...


  • Read Why Can't I Fly (about an ostrich) (over and over and over and over)
  • Memorized an "O" verse 
  • O give thanks to the Lord for He is good.
    Psalm 118:1

  • Found objects around the house shaped like O
  • Added "O" to our laminated flip book of letters & words, along with new words we can read (hot, hop, top, pop, pot, cot, cop)
  • Decorated a letter O with Otees (Cheerios)
  • Read an Ostrich Poem and made Ostrich Omelets from our favourite Alphabet Book (It has an animal, poem and recipe for every letter of the alphabet. Have I mentioned that I LOVE this book??)
  • Found O's in a bowl of all the letter magnets and arranged them on cookie sheet. I asked Mya to make a word with an "O" in it, and she spelled out the word, "MOM" on the cookie sheet.
  • Watched the Sesame Street Podcast, Celebrating the Letter "O!"(free from iTunes)
  • Memorized a portion of the Little Housewife ABC book, 
O stands for Order, each thing in it's place,
Anything, Anywhere, - what a disgrace

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Whether ye eat or drink...

(So, whether you eat or drink), or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God
1 Corinthians 10:31 (emphasis mine)

I had a LFL (lesson for life) moment in church this past Sunday. This is something that will seem so simple to you! However, it was an aha moment for me which was a reminder from the Holy Spirit to apply this verse to where I am in my life right this moment.

Above is how I usually read/quote this verse. I emphasize the italicized. I use it as a reminder to myself when I'm cleaning, cooking, doing a mundane project for someone else, the list goes on endlessly! I quote it to my children, probably far too often, but there are so many situations to which it applies - whatever you do, do all to the glory of God! (Now I'm singing - "Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you, 'cause He made you, to do everything you do to the glory of the one Who made you" - "Do Everything" by Stephen Curtis Chapman)

BUT, I have always conveniently ignored the part of the verse that says whether you eat or drink. I know in context Paul isn't referring to overeating when talking about what you eat, but it's another "whatever you do"! I struggle with my weight/diet/exercise which I have blogged about before. I have a hard time keeping motivated in this area and have come to the realization that this is a lack of self-discipline in my life. But I have never connected this verse to this struggle! And when I read this verse in church on Sunday, it was like a light went on. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for this gentle reminder that God's Word is a sword in my battle to strive to be more like Christ.

God, help me to throw off every weight so I can run with patience and abandon!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tapestry of Grace Year 1 - A Greek Play

One of the suggestions for the older students this year is a Greek play, but we wanted to try a Greek play for our LG, UG and Dialectic students and the script provided was just too much for them. I was thrilled with the challenge of putting it all together, but we didn't want to write our own script so I went to work searching for just the right one on the internet.

This is what we found, and we were very happy to pay for it. It's well worth the money!




We practiced weekly, and students were responsible to learn their lines at home. For casting, we just started at the oldest child and worked our way down the list. It happened to work out just right for the genders as well! The children got involved with ideas for staging, props and choosing background music. I directed the play while other moms created props and masks for the play and cared for the preschoolers, secretly working on some things for them to present at the unit celebration, too!

We performed this at a clubhouse near to one of our homeschool families. We thought it was perfect with the water running by behind our "stage". 

For two reasons, I have very little video and no pictures of the play. :( Our camera ran out of batteries, and I was back stage while my husband was looking after two little ones. Oh well! Memories are priceless! The other families have video, and I'm sure photos as well, so I could probably beg and get my hands on some.

Here is a video of the beginning of the play:


And not to be left out, all of their younger siblings put on a little show for us before the play! Here's a video clip of them, too:  (Sorry for the poor sound quality. It was windy!)



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tapestry of Grace Year 1 - Rosh Hashanah

Here's another long overdue post from co-op last year. Rosh Hashanah! 


We went to a nearby lake and talked about the meaning of Rosh Hashanah. One of the moms brought a shofar and we took turns trying to blow it. 


We ate Challah Bread with honey and apples,




and threw our bread crumbs into to "sea" to
symbolize God's forgiveness of our sins.


As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalms 103:12) 
He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19) 
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Tapestry of Grace Year 1 Unit 1 - Challah Bread

Flash Back to March 2012 - We made Challah Bread in co-op. Here are some pics!

















Teach Your Child To Read In Just 10 Minutes A Day

I found this book on kindle and bought it on a whim. It is an easy read, and so easy to understand and implement. I had decided to do a letter a week (or so) and it fit right in!



Sidney suggests teaching the letters in a specific order so that your child feels the accomplishment of reading quickly. For example, the first letters you learn are "U" and "P", and then you can already read up and pup. I copied that order, implemented his ideas, and off we went!

I decided to center our weeks, for now, around each letter. I am using the Little Footprints on our Land curriculum, which is based on African children's stories, so I just pick a story that best fits that letter and we're set for the week. After I choose from Little Footprints what activities I would like to do, I just add in whatever activities that sound fun to us that I can find based on that letter.

I also created a little laminated flip books of letters & words, so that Mya can master the sounds of the letters and sounding out each subsequent word. I typed them all in MS Word and printed, cut and laminated them. Then I used a 2 hole punch to punch holes in them and added rings. We try to practice every day. There are so many cards that in the end we will have 3 of these books, as the pile of them is too thick for the rings.


Tapestry of Grace - You don't have to do it all!

I am a mom. I assume if you are a mom, that you, like me, feel the need to do it all, and do it all well! Everyone's "all" may look different, but we each have a desire to be the best good at what we do - parenting, teaching, housekeeping, ministry, etc. That rolls over into expectations for homeschool and into our expectations for our children. It can take over our lives and become so overwhelming that it's hard to breathe sometimes!

Our family, plus Mickey, saying goodbye to a visiting missionary

Imagine me homeschooling 2 of my children, age 13 & 10, add to that my busy 5 yr. old as well as caring for an extra 2 year old each week from Sunday - Friday afternoon around the clock. On top of that add missionary wife, homeschool co-op, drama practice for the kids, music ministry at church, being a leader at Jr. & Sr. Youth, teaching children's Bible Study, discipleship, packing to move and anything else that might come along, and how do you do it "all" and be the best at it?
Imagine almost 1 1/2 years into using Tapestry of Grace when a kindred homeschool mom pointed out to me in co-op the phrase printed in my curriculum, penned by the author that says,
"Remember that you should always choose among (the activities); no one student can possible do all of these in one week!" 
What?!?! Really? How in the world did I miss that?? It was printed on every activity page, every week! I can CHOOSE among the activities? My children don't have to do them all? I don't have to feel guilty when there's no way we can fit it all in?
I started to breathe again, no longer needing to hold my breath! It was amazing how freeing it was to know that there was no expectation to do it "all"!
So, if you are a new homeschool mom, new to Tapestry of Grace, or just needed a reminder, here is your ticket to freedom. You don't have to do it all! So let's go have a cup of tea, make a few choices, have fun with our families, and do our best while not feeling the need to BE the best. Slow down and enjoy!


1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Free Kindle Book

Excellent book - How to Break a Stubborn Habit by Erwin Lutzer

Free on Kindle for a limited time


Mya's School

Through prayer and consideration, I decided to start Little Footprints on our Land when we returned from our time away in Joburg. I love this preschool curriculum based on African children's stories! We also added in Math U See. So we are now doing a combination of the following:


Little Footprints on Our Land
Math U See Alpha
Teach Your Child to Read in Just Ten Minutes a Day
ABC Fun & 1-2-3
Letter of the Week
Handwriting Without Tears

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Letter H

This is what we've done for the letter H...
  • Read Charlie's House (over and over and over and over)
  • Memorized an "H" verse 
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down.
Proverbs 25:28



  • Decorated a letter H with sticker H's
  • Cut and pasted a Hippo picture
  • Downloaded a new iPad app to practice writing letters (free for a limited time)
iPad Screenshot 1
  • Read a Hippo Poem and made Hippo Hoorahs from our favourite Alphabet Book (It has an animal, poem and recipe for every letter of the alphabet. Have I mentioned that I LOVE this book??)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

People of the Interior

The People of the Interior section of All About South Africa (South African History) would fit into Tapestry of Grace Y1.

Before I started with Tapestry of Grace, a friend and I did some homeschool unit studies on South Africa with our 6 children. Now that I am using TOG, I would do one of two things. First, South Africa has 40 weeks in their school year, while TOG only does 36, so I could take a week away from TOG here and there and add in a week of SA History. But if my year is too busy, I would just take the time to read the section in All About South Africa and add one of the books to read, if I have it.

Ideas to Incorporate:
  • Learn some Tswana
  • Make South African flag from beads
  • Make Samp and Beans
  • Make Ndebele homes
  • Mark people groups on wall map





Links:
Books to look for: 
I have had some success in finding SA books by watching on bidorbuy.co.za, and don't forget to check your local library!

The Ndebele Art & Culture by Aubrey Elliot
Abantu by Martin West and Jean Morris

The Nguni Speakers

The Nguni Speakers section of All About South Africa (South African History) would fit into Tapestry of Grace Y1.

Before I started with Tapestry of Grace, a friend and I did some homeschool unit studies on South Africa with our 6 children. Now that I am using TOG, I would do one of two things. First, South Africa has 40 weeks in their school year, while TOG only does 36, so I could take a week away from TOG here and there and add in a week of SA History. But if my year is too busy, I would just take the time to read the section in All About South Africa and add one of the books to read, if I have it.

Ideas to Incorporate:
  • Make a Zulu shield out of fake fur and wooden skewers
  • Make an African Drum
  • Make Mealie Meal Bread (see recipe below) or Pap, and serve with chicken and pumpkin
  • Learn about Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi
  • Learn about Nguni cattle
  • Study the Iron Age
  • Place a picture of each of the people groups on the appropriate place on a South African map
  • Talk about the roles of women and men in the Nguni culture. Have children dramatize.
Field Trip:
Lesedi Cultural Village (Gauteng)
Guests are divided into smaller groups and taken on a guided tour of our five homesteads: Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Ndebele and Pedi

Recipe:

Early South Africans were mostly hunter-gatherers. They depended on foods such as tortoises, crayfish, coconuts, and squash to survive. The practice of modern agriculture was introduced by the Bantu, natives of northern Africa. They taught inhabitants to grow vegetables such as corn ("mealies"), squash, and sweet potatoes.

It is customary for children to eat from the same dish, usually a big basin. This derives from a "share what you have" belief which is part of ubuntu (humane) philosophy.

Mealie Meal Bread (I got this recipe years ago - not sure where I got it from!)

1 ½ cups Milk
2 cups Mealie Meal
1 tsp Salt 
4 tbsp Butter (or Margarine) 
3 Eggs, beaten 
2 tsp Baking Powder 

Heat 1 cup of the milk and then blend the other ½ cup of milk together with the mealie meal. Then add the mealie meal, salt and butter to the cup of hot milk and mix well. Cool and then add the beaten eggs and baking powder. Blend well and turn in to a greased loaf tin. Bake at 180’C/350’F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 to 40 minutes.


Links:
Iron Age 
Traditional African Clothing
African Jewelry
Swazi
African Farmers

Field Trips:
Lesedi Cultural Village (Gauteng)





Books to look for: 
I have had some success in finding SA books by watching on bidorbuy.co.za, and don't forget your local library!

Zulu Traditions and Cultures by Aubrey Elliot
The Xhosa and their Traditional Way of Life by Aubrey Elliot
Looking at the Zulu by Roger and Pat de la Harpe
Looking at the Xhosa by Roger and Pat de la Harpe
The Abundant Herds: A Celebration of the Nguni Cattle of the Zulu People by Leigh Voigt


The San and the KhoiKhoi

The San and the KhoiKhoi section of All About South Africa (South African History) would fit into Tapestry of Grace Y1.

Before I started with Tapestry of Grace, a friend and I did some homeschool unit studies on South Africa with our 6 children. Now that I am using TOG, I would do one of two things. First, South Africa has 40 weeks in their school year, while TOG only does 36, so I could take a week away from TOG here and there and add in a week of SA History. But if my year is too busy, I would just take the time to read the section in All About South Africa and add one of the books to read, if I have it.


Ideas to Incorporate:
  • Read the section on San and the KhoiKhoi
  • Learn about nomads.
  • When reading the sections on KhoiKhoi Houses, The Strandlopers, Hottentots Holland Mountains and The KhoiKhoi are dispossessed, locate the areas referred to and mark one of them on a map of South Africa with a picture of a KhoiKhoi hunter.
  • Read creation account from Genesis and make a creation wheel.
  • Re-create a miniature model of a Khoi home with plaster of paris and brown paint.
  • Learn about and practice rock art.
  • Study about Ostrich.
  • Have ostrich steaks or game for dinner.  Make a fire and sit around it and eat.
  • Make a San hut with long grass.
  • Locate the Kalahari on the South African map and mark it with a picture of a praying mantis. 
  • Study the praying mantis.
  • Make a reed flute

Links:

South Africa History Online - Arrival of KhoiKhoi
Creation Wheel
Bushmen
San Bushmen
Praying Mantis

Field Trips:

Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History (Gauteng)

The National Cultural History Museum explores South Africa’s cultural diversity in various permanent and temporary exhibitions. Exhibitions include rock paintings and engravings of the San people; thousand year old Iron Age figurines from Schroda in the Limpopo Province (described as "the best known artifacts indicating ritual behaviour in the Early Iron Age"); the Art Gallery presents an overview of South African culture through time, using cultural objects, crafts, sculpture and paintings and an exhibition on Marabastad is a true example of a cosmopolitan and fully integrated rainbow nation before apartheid. Visit our new shop. 





Books to look for: 
I have had some success in finding SA books by watching on bidorbuy.co.za

The Far-away Valley by Jenny Seed
Men of Men by Candy Malherbe
These Small People by Candy Malherbe
The New Fire by Jenny Seed
The Cave by Peter Slingsby
Nama Kwa’s Garden by Mary Clanahan
Come Over to my House by Theo Leisig