Friday, September 26, 2014

6 Years Ago

6 years ago we met a little boy for the first time. We looked at the cute smile, the brown eyes, the quiet look and we knew he was ours. He talks about when we met him and tells how he really didn't know what was happening.

I am thankful for the last 6 years that we have had with him and look forward to more years to come.

We posed today to update the photo above.

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Celebrating 11 Years

11 Years Ago

Eleven years ago we said, "I do." We knew we wanted to spend the rest of lives together but we didn't know what all that would mean. Thankfully God knew all the twists and turns. God is faithful and we can trust him.

This past year has been a year of waiting as we spent a large part of the year waiting for our visa for the UK. Sometimes marriage is about waiting. We have seen God's faithfulness in the waiting.

Eleven years later I am thankful for my husband, his leadership, his love, and his faithfulness. Looking forward to more years together.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Praying for the Heart - A Wise Heart

A Wise Heart

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10)

We need wisdom for direction, for how to respond, in decisions we make, and so many other aspects of life. There are so many areas and times of the day in which we need wisdom. This is wisdom from the Lord and not man’s wisdom, which is foolishness. We need to learn to go to the source of wisdom. “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;” (Proverbs 2:6)

Solomon is considered the wisest man that lived. So much of Proverbs is written about being wise.

Blessings come from wisdom (Proverbs 3:13). The wise will inherit honor (Proverbs 3:35).

The opposite of a wise heart is a foolish heart. We don’t want to consider ourselves foolish, but whenever we are not filled with the wisdom from above we are fools.

A wise heart knows the source of wisdom and seeks wisdom from God for all decisions of life.

What are some areas that you need wisdom? Do you seek wisdom from above?

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

V is for Victory Drill

This blue book brings back my own memories of school. I remember using this and seeing how many words we could read in a minute.

Victory Drill Book is a book that is phonetic and is designed to help build speed in reading. I had it on my shelf didn't use it much with J. This year I am working to build both Miss K's phonics and her sight words. One of the things to help build the sight words is Victory Drill. You could also use it for a bit of phonics but I am just using it to build speed on sight words.

Each page has a theme -- the same vowel sound, the same ending, or same blends. There are review pages that will include words covered in the previous few pages. There are also pages with sentences.

The first few pages are easy words for Miss K. She is reading about 55 wpm which is what they suggest for a 2nd grader. I don't correct her words while she reads but do come back and review the words.

This has been a great resource along with sight words.

Have you ever used Victory Drill?


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beginning to Homeschool Your Special Needs Child

I have heard a few people as the question, "What do I begin to homeschool a special needs child?" Beginning to homeschool can be intimidating enough and adding a child with special needs can just raise the intimidation level. You wonder if you can do it. For whatever reason you decide that it is the best thing for your child but what do you do.

1. Know and understand the laws and requirements for where you live. The laws and requirements vary in some cases it might be a bit different if you are home schooling a special needs child. In PA where we lived for four years I needed to have the objectives reviewed by a special needs evaluator. Know what you need to do to homeschool a special needs child. HSLDA has a chart that shows each state and the requirements.

2. Know what resources are available to your child. You may or may not use them but it is good to know what is available. We did therapy through the school for a year. It meant I had to take her to the school and stay as it was just 45 minutes or an hour. Then I discovered a therapy play centre nearby that insurance covered. In many ways that was a better fit for us. What resources does your child need? What is available? What do you need to supplement?

3. Evaluate your child.  This can be a challenge. Play the role of a special education teacher and observe your child. If you child is kindergarten age compare what your child can do to a kindergarten readiness chart. Is your child verbal? This is going to give you the starting place with where to being. Fill in the things that the child needs to know while at the same time teaching a bit above where the child is.

4. Know your goals for your child. What are your goals for your child? I have both specific goals for a subject and broad goals, goals for this year and goals for life. One of the reasons that I began homeschooling Miss K was I knew that she had potential and felt that the school district was not going to push her or give her the opportunities to learn. Maybe she able to get a job in a Starbucks (I would come visit her regularly) or other fast food place and would love for her to have the ability to take orders and even work a cash register. Maybe she could get a job in a store or a company. For me sometimes having these goals give me ideas on how to teach her and what she needs to know.

There is not necessarily one curriculum that works for all special needs children. I have written at various times about reading and math both some of the things that have worked and some of the challenges we have.

Teaching Reading
Teaching Math

Some of posts about homeschooling special needs:
I am willing to waste my time
Getting Started Homeschooling a Special Needs Child

You can do it. I might take extra time but it is worth it.

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Week in Review - 19 September 2014

This seemed to be a week of long days. I don't know if that makes the week go slow or fast. I am still trying to decide. Some of the long days were doing other things in the day and some was just slow unfocused children. 

Monday we began with a science experiment. I think my son was shocked that we were doing one. I don't like science experiments as they take too much time, are messy, require supplies that we don't have or don't work the way they should. This involved things that we had -- egg yolks, water and salt water. 

It even worked. We were demonstrating osmosis. The yolk in the salt water got smaller while the yolk in water got bigger.

We did some therapy with Miss K. We did various things on the peanut -- rolling and reaching and also cross over activities. 

She is supposed to pick up the animal with the opposite hand and then toss it into a bowl.

We bought a bird feeder. We have a large window in our dining room/school room so it is perfect to sit and watch the birds. I think I have seen wood pigeons, magpies, and a sparrow. We might have to learn a bit more about British birds.

I did try to pause this week and work on some hands-on projects. I love just doing the book work because that is easy to check off and we can be done but hands-on projects allow us to dig into our learning and we might even get our hands dirty. Miss K is working on a salt dough map of Africa.  It is successful when my husband can look at it and know what we created. Now we are waiting for them to dry.

J is working on his. He decided to do just a part of Africa so he could get the lake and mountains.

I did something different this week. I took our roll of drawing paper and put a piece across the table. It was just there to doodle, calculate, write Latin or whatever. It is fun to do something different every now and then.

One of my goals has been to teach the children more household things such as cooking. J is supposed to cook dinner once a week. Right now I am still in the kitchen helping and directing but he is improving. He decided he wanted to make meatloaf. He was teaching Miss K. He did everything except chop onion. Chopping onions makes him cry. I told him to used the dried minced onions but we ran out. (Adding that to my Shady Maple list.) He did great. We had meatloaf and mashed potatoes with a salad.

I made it through the week. Some weeks that is an accomplishment.

Sunday we have an English Tea at our church for the international students. I need to make something to take. Pray that we are able to connect with the new international students that have come to study here.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

U is for Ukraine

Six years ago this time we were getting ready to travel to the Ukraine. Our appointment with State Department for Adoption was scheduled for the 25th of September. It was at that appointment that we would look through the files of children available to adopt and select a child.

The process took longer than we thought and planned. It ended up that we were there for about 6 weeks. Most of that time was spent in the eastern part of the country. We walked to the local supermarket, we found a few places to eat and spent time visiting J.

Now that part of Ukraine is in the news because of the fighting. We watch the news thankful that J is no longer living there. We pray for the Christians there as there is persecution for them.

U is for Ukraine. As Miss K would say, "J born".

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