Archive for August 15th, 2009

Ahhhh . . . 17 hours and counting

(photo taken in Emerald Isle but is not one of mine–found on google images!)

We are leaving tomorrow for the beach for a week!  I can not wait.  What a fantastic way to end our summer break.  We have been doing this every year since 2005.  We stay for the week with my parents and we usually have a few visitors join us for a day or two.  Sometimes my brother and his family are able to come.  Sometime my mom’s best friend is able to come.  I am hoping that this year my best friend and her baby will join us for a day or two.  We bring games and usually cook all our own meals.  Usually a day is spent shopping or sightseeing.  I know this year Mom and I have plans to see the movie “The Time Traveler’s Wife”.  Tuesday I plan to spend part of the day with Madalyn at the aquarium.  At the end of the week I’m hoping we can do a family photo shoot on the beach.  So lots of fun stuff ahead for the week!

Unfortunately Aaron will have to work Monday-Wednesday and won’t be able to join us until Wednesday evening.   And somehow he managed to volunteer me to work on Wednesday as well . . . still trying to figure out how that happened!  But it’s all good because after 6 weeks of me working next to no hours at all, we need the money!  So I’ll be coming back Wednesday a.m. and working 8-5 and then we’ll both head back down to the beach after work and will be there until Sunday.

This year we are going to Emerald Isle instead of our usual Duck/Southern Shores in the Outer Banks.  There isn’t nearly as much to do in Emerald Isle but we have an oceanfront house this year so I expect that the majority of our time will just be spent sitting on the beach relaxing, reading, building sandcastles, playing.  I love the beach.  Thank you Lord for creating such a beautiful and relaxing place!

Don’t know if I’ll be posting at all this week–depends on if we have a nearby wireless signal.  If I’m not able to….have  a great week and I’ll blog about our vacation when we get back!  We return on Sunday and school starts Monday!!!

Countries, Cultures, Postcards and Pen Pals

You know that commercial that comes on every year before school starts?  The one with the dad dancing his way down the aisles of Staples while the song is playing ” . . . it’s the most wonderful time of the year…”?  Every time I see that I think it’s sad!  I hated the end of summer break the last two years because it meant Annagrace would be going back to school!  I remember my mom saying the same thing…that she was always sad when we went back to school each year.

Yes, it is quieter in our home with only one child here.  It is more easy to manage one child at a time instead of two.  But I MISS Annagrace when she isn’t around!  So I am tickled pink that we are homeschooling this year!

We are using My Father’s World:  Exploring Countries and Cultures as our big unit study this year.  This study will include all her Science, Geography, Art/Music, Bible and Reading.  I am very excited about this study!  I traveled to Singapore, India and Indonesia while in college and I just LOVE learning about other cultures.  Annagrace started really showing an interest in geography last year so I knew this would be the perfect study for her!

A few ideas that I have in mind to do during the course of the year are:

  • Have Annagrace “interview” (via e-mail) my friends who live in other countries.  I have about 5 or 6 people in mind so far.
  • When starting each new study we will have a Family Fun Night where we will eat food from that country, read a book or watch a movie that features that country and maybe play a game that kids in that country play.
  • Sponsor a Compassion child.  I have been wanting to do this anyway and this would be a great opportunity for Annagrace to “meet” a child from another country.

At her public school she was in the Challenge (gifted) program.  They took one day a week where they met together and studied something a little extra.  So for her first challenge unit we are going to heavily study the United States.  I have a great unit study from Moving Beyond the Page that we will use.  She will study each state and will learn capitals, state birds and flowers, populations, important events and people, etc.   We will plan to do this once a week so it may take us awhile to get through it (I’m planning on it taking the whole year).

A project that I developed that she will be doing for this 50 states study is a “Postcard and Quarter Collection”.  I have been shamelessly asking friends on Facebook to send her postcards from other states!  I came up with about 35 states and 3 countries that are represented by my Facebook friends!  We have a notebook that has a page for each of the 50 states.  She’ll fill out a paper about each postcard–when it came, who sent it, etc.–and we will do a quarter rubbing on the page of that state’s quarter.  (I’ll post some photos once we get a few postcards inside!).  I am super excited about this!  If you are out there reading this and you are from a state other than NC and VA then lemme know! We want a postcard from you!

And lastly, I just secured her some pen pals for this school year as well!  One of her assignments each Friday will be to write a letter to someone.  I was hoping to find someone about her age and preferably someone that she didn’t know in real life who was from another state.  So I asked my friend, Jennifer, who happens to live in Florida and just so happens to be a teacher (!) if she had any ideas.  Well . . . she wants her whole class (twelve 4th and 5th graders) to participate!  So Annagrace will have a whole class that she will be writing to and they will be writing to her!  I am so excited about this too!  It will allow her to practice her handwriting, her letter writing skills and she will also learn about kids from another state and hopefully learn about Florida too!  We discussed having the kids e-mail and maybe even do some online chatting as well.  So she will also have a chance to develop her computer skills.

It’s going to be a fun, exciting, maybe a little scary, first year of homeschooling!  We can’t wait!

August 2009