Thursday, September 1, 2011

Reading Carnival

On Monday and Thursdays I get the chance to be with Sprout and Trumpet while their sisters attend ballet.  So, we head to the nearest library for some much needed R&R with books.  I love books!  Especially children's picture books...and it is hard to try not to purchase them so the library of course is the best alternative (and the fines still make a great bargain for a free education).  This year I plan to spend this quality time with the boys looking at their interests in books.  I have used the FIAR series as my backdrop for the girls early book reading and now the boys are onto...well...boy themed books.  We recently read, Pirate School and Trumpet was so excited to hear about pirates other than Disney tales.

Today, I happend to find an interesting topic at blog.  Their family sits down to read books as a Reading Carnival.  I've done this before but without purpose.  When you arrive home from the library with your fifty some odd books you start to sort among early readers, chapterbooks, etc.  Then everyone crowds around to chose their book.  Well she cuddles in for some reading fun by choosing five or more books to read in one sitting a week.  Sometimes, Sprout really wants a Thomas the Train read-a-thon and we have fun laughing and giggling with his train friends.  Trumpet is enjoying anything with Greek mythology and Hercules was a great beginning.  We read the Usborne Hercules in two days and his comprehension of the chapters was amazing.  The trouble, I must confess, is getting to read to all four children  their interests.  We read many books together during morning basket or in the evenings, but not individually.  I tend to group by boys and girls and they chose two books at night time.  That's a lot of mommy reading!  So, I will give it a try and commit to one day a week being a "Reading Carnival."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tilling the Garden

Much is happening in our South Florida garden...that is the view from inside our home!  This week the master gardener (my hubby) tended to our garden's master plans...His invaluable ideas on the layout of our school room, purchasing storage and organizational help, have made a great and happy gardener out of me.  Though we are not new to homeschooling...this master plan was essential for our family to agree on what we envision for our children's growth to be in the next ten years...Planting well, watering, and caring for their souls to sprout and hold firm in their Catholic faith.
I guess I should begin by introducing you to me.  I grew up in many locations in Florida and Georgia and was raised in a single-family home.  I say home lightly, because we moved so much that I know my mother always tried to improve our living by moving into better apartments and rental homes.  I have two brothers and two sisters...and yes, I'm the middle child.  My father is a high school principal, my paternal grandfather was an Air force college instructor, and my grandfather's family has many teachers among them.  By the time I made it to college, Florida State University, I had a clear vision of becoming a teacher.  I still remember that as I was Confirmed the bishop had told me that I 'would lead many children'.  I received my undergrad in Early childhood education and moved to the University of Georgia to receive my Masters in Education.  Upon returning to Florida my husband proposed to me after four years of dating, and I accepted joyfully.  Now eight years later we have seen our patch of garden grow...Daisy is our beautiful first born daughter and entering second grade, Tulip our second daughter is entering first grade, while Trumpet our first son is beginning kindergarten, and then our little Sprout (second son) is happy to do hands-on projects keeping us punctual about pulling those weeds...and we do have a lot of them!  The bishop did bless my vocation of motherhood with these wonderful seedlings.  After teaching preschool, kindergarten, and first grade at public and private schools I was introduced to the wonderful world of motherhood with our first child. Through prayer and after much toiling we are firm that our parental duty is to educate our children in the home to nurture their souls...and as Catholic Heritage Curriculum says, "educating for eternity." It is a privilege to home educate and I am thankful for my husband's support and our group of Catholic families who also educate their children at home.  It is through their examples of parenting that has taught me how to nurture my own.  I am so happy to be called mom daily and receive blessings from our children.  They have taught me how to turn a pebble laden patch of land into a blossoming garden.  I do hope you come back to check in on us and stay for a picnic and tea.