Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Father's World--The Letter J (Jewels)

J week was all about jewels.
I had a very hard time finding books at the library about jewels.
We ended up doing some more reading about rocks since the books on jewels were so sparse.
Our key words were:  Jesus is more valuable than anything else.
We learned and sang:
"I'd Rather Have Jesus Than Anything"
and "Lord, You are More Precious Than Silver"

The kids did a word-hunt for J words and colored their "J" pages.  They practiced writing J's.
Justus practiced his letter sounds and Jeremiah practiced reading simple words.
Both boys work on their name handwriting worksheets.  I love this site!
We made Benjamin Boxes at church on Sunday afternoon, and the Easter message in the book and the resurrection eggs we made for our box correlated very well with our Jewels theme for the week.  I am always blown away by how well our weekly lesson fits in with what is going on in our lives and how much each MFW lesson ministers to me as a Christian!

During this week, Justus learned to ride a bike without training wheels!  Four or five nights a week after supper Daddy takes the kids on a long bike ride, or to the nearby park to let them ride in the little skate park, or works with them in the alley behind our house.  It's great exercise, fun time with Daddy, and gives Mommy a little break from the kids.

Ali has continued working on her MFW 1st grade and Alpha math in Math-U-See.  She is getting to be a better and better reader and acing her math tests, which I'm thrilled with!  Some days homeschooling is very hard and you grow weary or feel discouraged.  You wonder if you are doing a good job or get tired of fighting your kid on getting their schoolwork done.  But then you get a little glimpse of fruit that gives you the strength to keep going!  My moment was seeing Ali take a stack of library books down to her room and later counting up that she read 90 pages before bed that night.  She's continued to read for fun every night now instead of just listening to Adventures in Odyssey tapes.  For a while, reading was "schoolwork" and not something she did on her own for fun.  So, we have definitely turned a corner and she now considers it recreation!  She also takes her Bible to Pray and Play each week and tries to read some verses to the girls and have "Bible Club."  I am encouraged to see her mimicking what Mommy and her friends do together.

We didn't do a lot of activities or crafts this week beyond making jeweled crowns for our binder pages.  I've given myself grace in homeschooling the boys even though I'm the type that wants to explore every aspect of every topic and get LOTS and LOTS done.  Since the boys are technically pre-schoolers and not required by law to do school, I've given myself the freedom to be okay with the fact that we didn't get to all the projects I'd hoped to.  They are learning and growing and they are still very young.  So, if we don't do as much some weeks when life is busy, that's okay!
The boys had their 5th out of 6 weeks of swimming lessons.  Justus is still timid about putting his head under water.  Jer is becoming an excellent swimmer and can swim underwater for long distances without the teacher's help.
Alathia had her 2nd week (out of 4) of Plaster Casting Art class at our church.  An artist from our church is teaching it for local homeschoolers and, just like the drawing class she took in February, it is very inexpensive, and yet very high-quality!
Because I know how busy Easter can get, I did some Easter photo shoots ahead of time with the kids.  They enjoyed the chance to play at the park, where we took some of the pics, and at Grammy's, where we took the rest of the pics. 
Here are a couple of my favorites, of my little treasures:

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