Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Homeschool CC Day....Oh how I Love Thee!

Please note:  I am simply going to copy what I post on our CC Forum here each week for time saving purposes.  It shows all the pictures and reminds me of what took place in class.
Challenge A FUN!  

Latin- Adjectives!  Adjectives!  Everywhere 3rd Declension Adjectives!  Mrs. Mullins has taken this subject on for our last semester and is doing a phenomenal job.  She has asked students to put a star next to any exercises that they may have struggled through and plans to open with review.  Review time is excellent for dialectic discussion! 

Literature-  Whoa!  Your students did an INCREDIBLE job comparing and contrasting Heaven and Narnia.  Nothing compares to heaven, but C.S. Lewis was a master storyteller, weaving in allegory, mystery, suspense, and Christ.  This week your student will be reading Number The Stars.  This book is SO GOOD!  Moms, I hope you are reading it too.  Please remember to R.S.V.P. if you are able to join us for our field trip to The Florida Holocaust Museum on Monday 2-25.

Geography-  IMPORTANT!  Moms, your students feel that they would like to test on their map work the same way they do it at home.  The goal is that your child knows the country and capital and can trace them.  

Some would like to use the number system, others would like to do one large map and label it, yet some would prefer to do separate maps for each section of Asia.  

After discussion with some of you today I've decided to let the student quiz the way they that you have them practice at home.  They will simply bring home their papers for you to review.  Please make sure you ask them for their quiz next week.

Science-  Can I just say I LOVE biology and the human body!  The nurse inside me gets to come out and play.  I was having so much fun walking with the students through the respiratory system.  

Each week at home your student will sketch the body system and label.

In Class we will open with a fun little quiz.  The student will sketch out the body system and label.  We will trade papers with our neighbor and mark down how many they got correct out of total amount possible.  

NEW!  Extra credit and totally optional:  We want to highlight and bring the dialectic disussions to life this semester.  I have encouraged your students to think outside of the box and to find fun and simple experiments that go with our current study. (Completely optional)  They will demonstrate in front of the class what they did and what they discovered.  Thus, bringing to life what they are learning.

Rhetoric- Completely floored at how the Holy Spirit moved through our class today.  We dug deep into the scriptures at the back of our Don't Check Your Brains At The Door book.  We talked about how our hearts are deceitful above all things, but Gods word is absolute truth.  

A very interesting discussion broke out about tattoo's and what God's word says about that.  They are to talk with YOU about what the bible says and what they believe.  I encouraged them to go to scripture for direction and to you for conversation.  I can't wait to hear what God shows them through your conversations. 

Inviting You To Join Us Vicariously through Pictures

Working Together!

We're Better Together!

Kimberly, our lovely Challenge B Director!

Mrs. Mullins teaching Latin this semester! 

What?!  We are just innocent young men.


Book Report!  Narnia- The Magicians Nephew.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Transforming & Changing The Way I Think!


But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night...They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.  Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do!

I thought I was going to North Carolina for Speaker Training.  That was the plan.  I now see that this was about so much more! 

Let me start from the beginning!

Right around New Years I received an invitation from my precious friend Lynn to be one of the Classical Conversations Speaker Trainers here in beautiful Florida.  I had so much fun fellowshipping with our families last year, and learned so much myself.  It seemed an easy decision! 

Then, I found Out that our topic was Math!! 


What?!  Math?!?  Seriously?!?  I honestly laughed out loud.  Math has been my least favorite subject MY ENTIRE LIFE!  I could feel fear begin to well up in my heart.  I had a picture in my head of me sitting next to Leigh Bortins and her asking me a simple question like what 2x6 equals.  I would say....516?

As I stepped off the plane on that early Thursday morning I had no idea that the Lord was bringing me all the way to North Carolina just so He could redeem the years and walk out Romans 12:2 in my heart:  "Mary, do not conform to the behaviors and customs of this world, let ME transform and change the way you think!

Transform and change He did! (Is still doing)

The Lord used Leigh Bortins to completely inspire my heart.  As she painted the picture,  she showed us how powerful discussions are when a child is in the process of mastering a new skill or concept.   Conversational math brings understanding to life.

For 15 years I have viewed math as the one subject my child should do independently. I truly thought this was the goal.  I was available to answer questions, but delighted when my son seemed to be working well on his own.  I had no idea what I was missing all those years I allowed my children to do math on their own....RELATIONSHIP!  

What has my math looked like in my home since coming back? We are loving it!  I now sit (or work nearby) and engage my children....there is laughter, learning, and lots of aha moments  taking place. (That goes for my kids too:)  

One of the things Leigh reminded me of was how the days are long, but the years are short.  I want to treasure every single second of my time with them.  

What might this look like in your home? It's playing math games, using white boards, asking questions. Not all day everyday, but God breathed, Holy Spirit inspired, consistent moments of conversational math. 

As I sit before the Lord, and ask Him to pour HIS words and wisdom into my heart, I know one thing for sure....I am eager to begin again, to redeem the years, to embrace the years before me. 

"Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead" Phil 3:13

This is one of the topics of this years Classical Conversations Practicum.  We are going to spend time sharing vision, as we revisit our first love of home education and all that entails.  In addition, (Ha! No pun intended) we are going to talk tools, tips, and techniques for making math come alive in our homeschools! 

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.   See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. ~ Isaiah 43:18-19

Pictorial Journey Through Speaker Training

Getting ready to fly out at 4:30 a.m.

South Florida Speaker arrives! Beautiful LaSandra.

First thing we did when we arrived at noon?  MATH!

My Roomie, Belinda! (Tallahassee)

LaSandra demonstrating the different stages of math using the Trivium

Working through idea's for Practicum!  FUN!

Homeschooling at it's BEST!  Mom and son (Robert Bortins) working through math together! 

Karen Pittman!  I love this woman! (Loved all the women)

Touring Leigh's House

Julie Denton of South Carolina.  She asks great questions!

Standing outside one of the Mandala Fellowship homes.  

Lisa, in the Mandala Classroom!

What Mandala students see when looking out their back sliding glass door.  Breathtaking!  Beautiful!

These women were GREAT!  Lisa Bailey is the National Speaker trainer and Stephanie is a soul sista'!

So excited to go to the warehouse and get the boys new Prescripts programs!


Flying Home to my favorite's!  My family!

My deepest prayer for myself, my husband, and our children:

They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of HIS splendor!  Isaiah 61:3

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Classical Conversations- Week 18

Cats, dogs, rats, oh my! 

Yes, we chose to do mammals for our last week of animal study. There were math games, Latin declensions, and talk of Narnia! Oh how I love homeschooling. I have found my home with Classical Conversations. 

Mrs. Mullins did a beautiful job working on adjectives for our Lovely Latin!

Even Afro (Joseph's hampster loved Latin)


Colton did our geography this week!  Proud Mama moment!

Math games.....boys won by ONE!

Go, go, go, go!

Mrs. Mullins caught me leading the math games!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Challenge A Take Two! (Second Semester)

Such an incredible day! Deep dialectic discussions........rich, riveting, revelations!

Literature: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. I loved listening to our students Compare and contrast how our young people spend their time compared to the young people of Nathaniel Bowditch's day.  They also talked about the difference in work ethic and education.  It was quite riveting!

Geography: Studying Southwest and Southeast Asia.  Each of the students went through their atlas to look up all of our new countries and capitals for Southeast Asia.  We had fun learning their names and finding their locations.   

NEXT WEEK:  Each student should bring their very best map to class to show the other students.  They should be sketching Asia and labeling 1-25 every school day.

Rhetoric: This week we took a detour from our "normal" routine and spent the entire class drilling our catechisms.  There is definitely room for more work, but overall they did a good job.

Latin: Introduction of new concepts, mingled with review.  Mrs. Mullins did an amazing job taking your children through their new vocabulary and then declining them.  There was lots of aha's, as well as laughter!

Science/Research: Bats, bats, everywhere!  Mrs. Hawkins visited our class today and shared with us an interesting and gross bat fact.  Apparently, it's important to purchase more expensive mascara.  Why you might ask and how does this tie into bat facts?  Well, bat dung is an ingredient used in many cheaper mascara products and when it gets into the eye it can cause infections.  Aren't you glad we learn so much from our students research?


Thank you for all your fun in math and Latin Mrs. Mullins

My Sethy was such a helper today in setting up, tearing down, passing out tickets, and so much more.  Your students built his excitement for Challenge "A" next year.  He is going to LOVE Mrs. Ulrich!

We learned more than we could ever hope to about Bats!

This bat box holds up to 20 bats!

Catechism Throw Down!  Girls Team

Matching outfits

Catechism Throw down!  Boys Team.

Thank you, Sophie Mullins for being our geography board review person today.  You did an excellent job!

I will GREATLY rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,  He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. ~  Isaiah 61:10

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finding My Favorite Case!

This post was especially for my sweet friend Alli who is clothes shopping for her Mini! (grin) 

I have really enjoyed my "Mini".  I call her by name and the boys think I consider her my child, LOL.  When she arrived I used a pink Otterbox case that AT&T gave me a great deal on. 

You can hold it in your hand! 

The rubberized grip makes it comfortable to carry.


You can use the lid as a stand in both the Landscape 


Portrait settings.

As much as I loved it, I began wondering about the keyboard case.  I loved the one that we use with the Ipad 2 and I knew that I would be typing notes when in meetings.  So I got a great deal using my Amazon Prime and bought:

We went from pretty in pink to a black faux leather:

It had a smaller keyboard that fit perfectly.

After just three days I went back to my Pretty in Pink!

Here's what I didn't like about the black case:

1- Keyboard was a little weird and I found it tricky.

2- The leather edging covered up the "send" key when texting and you would have to physically pull the leather lip back and stuff your finger inside to press.

3- I realized that what I love about the mini, is that it's a mini.  I just want to grab and hold in one hand!