Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Almighty God, I thank Thee for the blessed care and protection with which Thou hast embraced my family. I humbly submit to Thy decrees and resign myself to Thy Pivine Providence. I grasp Thy guiding hand, and I shall never follow my own ways lest they lead me astray. Thy good pleasure shall be my happiness; Thy commandments shall be my only rule of conduct. Thy Will shall be my will, and Thy service shall be the object of all my desires.
Lord, grant me peace of mind because of my trust in Thy Providence, an unwavering and cheerful courage founded on my faith in Thy tremendous love, faithfulness to duty resulting from a constant awareness of Thy presence, and a firm hope of eternal reward.
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I implore Thy blessing upon my family that we all may serve Thee faithfully in this life and deserve to be reunited in the eternal happiness of Thy heavenly Kingdom. Amen.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Since I NEVER just followed the textbook when I taught Language Arts, it is only normal for me not to have been 100% satisfied with ONE curriculum choice, therefore, I have decided to pick and choose the best textbooks for my son. He will not be formally enrolled in one curriculum but instead, I have selected what I considered, in my most humble opinion, the best of the best in each subject for the sixth grade. I was also happy to select some books that would actually take him from 6th to 7th in the same text (less money to spend next year). So here's my choice for the BEST curriculum for 6th Grade:
Religion: Baltimore Catechism I, also we will study The Four Gospels (2 year cycle)
Science: Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd Edition - Apologia (2 year cycle)
Social Studies: From Sea to Shining Sea: The Story of America - Catholic Schools Textbook Project/Ignatius Press (2 year cycle)
Latin: Latina Christiana I - Memoria Press (2 year cycle)
Spanish: Spanish I - Cliff's
Math: Mathematics 7/6 - Saxon (aiming for 1/2 year and then transitioning into Algebra 1/2)
Reading: The Reading and Writing Sourcebook - Great Source
Writing: Strategies for Writers - Zaner/Bloser
Handwriting: Handwriting 5/6 - Zaner/Bloser
Word Study/Spelling: Word Study & Phonics - Spectrum
P.E./Health: Theology of the Body for Teens & continue Tennis Lessons with Coach Moore
So that's it, I'm so excited. Our books are in and I've began planning. Guillermo is super excited (maybe even more than I)...he keeps saying, "Mami, I'm gonna be homeschooled!" I love it! :) I'll post on my choices for the little guys in another post as I have to keep following our schedule some (trying to get the kids adjusted to a school-like schedule before starting the actual teaching). Gotta run...
Friday, July 31, 2009
So as soon as I have all my ducks in a row, I will be back to blog about my curriculum choices and all the wonderful things that have to do with starting a new school year. See you soon! Meanwhile, visit my other site! :) GBY,
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Interesting that I went trolling for Spanish programs, found Muzzy but not in Spanish! LOL, I found someone has posted the English version of the program (it comes in various languages). I'd love to buy this, eventually, but for now I will be using the ones posted on www.youtube.com. I will be using it both in English and in Spanish because the English one is geared to teach children how to speak, read, and write in English and hey that's where my 4 and 3 year olds are at. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt if the baby (11 months old) would also catch a glimpse of it (and since most of the episodes are about 7-10 minutes long, it's a perfect match for my very active little ones). I'm so excited that this person has taken the time to post these. I'm not sure how legal this is? They are in Argentina and Muzzy is produced in England, aren't there international laws against this? I will be trolling for a used version of the program. I'm very into buying used things lately as I have sold things that my kids no longer use which are almost in new condition. Anyways, if you get a chance take a peek at this video which is the Vocabulary portion of the program; as a former Language Arts teacher I am very impressed with this video program. I can see me implementing this and using the videos to begin the lesson and creating my own flash cards and worksheets to go with the short videos. How exciting!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I religiously follow this blog/webpage: www.spanglishbaby.com, because they have such great ideas and suggestions, and of course research, on how to teach and the benefits of teaching Spanish (or any other language) to your children. I think it's a shame that I haven't been more pro-active about this with my last three kids. It was so much easier with my oldest son. He was the only child for seven years so I was able to keep him speaking Spanish only up until his fourth birthday. Then I started teaching him English and kept speaking in Spanish as well. He is 11 now and well versed in Spanish as he can read it well. I would like to teach him how to be a better writer, so I'v ebeen looking for programs on how to do just that!
My other children are a different story. My husband doesn't speak, or I should say isn't fluent in Spanish. We speak English, mainly at home so that's what they hear. They have picked up a couple of words watching Dora/Diego so at least they have heard it some. With my baby, I'm speaking to him in Spanish only and Daddy will do the English. I've been looking for a program to teach my 3 and 4 year olds, thinking something like a workbook and flash cards. Well, while trolling through the site I mentioned above, I found they were giving things away this summer. Here's the info on that if you are interested: http://www.spanglishbaby.com/2009/06/bilingual-fun-spanish-for-children-dvd-series . I also found a link with information on ideas to teach Spanish in a fun way. Never did it cross my mind to do it hands on! Playing songs, games, and twisting popular American games into Spanish lessons sounds like so much fun! I think I'd enjoy doing that and flashcards for review, and books of course. Instead of the workbook idea. Thank you SpanglishBaby!
Monday, June 29, 2009
Here's the first testimony we wrote when we were in the courtship stage of our relationship. Todd was in Syracuse, NY and I, in Miami, FL. (1,500 miles apart!) We reminisce of times when we thought the days of being married with lots of kids couldn't come any sooner, and here we are!
Catholicmatch.com has since asked us to send them an update. As we approach our fifth year of Marriage, this might be a nice little project to go back and document our story for us and, our beautiful blessings, our children!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
From Nigh Owl to Early Bird: My Transformation
I'm a research-based kinda person, maybe because of my Reading Intervention background? I'm not sure but I like to find research or conduct research as to why things are the way they are. Sometimes I thought that I like being a teacher mainly because I get to be a learner all day all the time, this might prove to be true. So, as I analyzed my new life as a homeschooling mother of four and wife, I realized something: I am no longer the Night Owl I used to be. My WHOLE life I have been a night owl. My mom shares stories of me fighting my sleep as an infant. This has all come to an end at the ripe age of 35!!
I have noticed a couple of things: 1. I'm tired at around 10PM, 2. I like waking up before the kids to start my day, 3. I can't function as well as I use to with lack of sleep, so 4. I need my sleep! So strange to me! If you are anything like me (and so unlike my DH), I could function without sleep and not be grumpy or grouchy. I remember when Number 2, Josef Nicolas-Pablo had colic at six weeks old (for six weeks). He would wake up at 11PM and cry until around 2-3AM, I had to be up by 6AM and at work teaching by 7AM. I was fine...so I think, maybe I wasn't my 100%??? I thought I was.
Here's something I found regarding this topic. This new study shows that how we sleep often reflects how we function intellectually and socially. Researchers claim that early risers tend to “reach conclusions through logic and analysis. Night owls are more imaginative and open to unconventional ideas, preferring the unknown and favoring intuitive leaps on their way to reaching conclusions.
Morning people are more likely to be self-controlled and exhibit “upstanding” conduct; they respect authority, are more formal, and take greater pains to make a good impression. (Earlier research also suggests that they are less likely to hold radical political opinions.) Evening people, by contrast, are “independent” and “nonconforming,” and more reluctant to listen to authority—which suggests that teachers may have several reasons to prefer those students who wake
up in time for class.
So I guess that the Lord is forcing me to change my sleeping habits as well as many other aspects of my life. Unlike other Catholics, I need a metal hammer to the head to realize this, lol! Seriously, a couple of weeks ago I did my usual nightime web surfing in quest for the perfect homeschool curriculum, texts, etc.. By day five of staying up late and getting only about 5-6 hours a night, I got the migrane from hell! I never even get headaches so you could imagine how horrible this must have felt to me. If you have ever had a migrane, you know how bad I felt that night. I could not function, my DH had to take over from around 6:30PM until around 2AM when I woke up and showered. That was horrible, never again! This is when I realized, I can't do this anymore. Little did I know that it was the hammer to the head that I needed.
I've been on a quest to get curriculum planned and my entire life organized (and put on paper). During this process, many things have changed. Much to my surprise, I love it! The kids are happier as they are getting more sleep and better sleep patterns. I know this process will be slow and I need to pray for patience but I'm happy with the positive results thus far! So I am off to catch some worms...oh and in reference to my quest in planning and getting organized, I FINALLY found the right combination and I'm so excited! I've gotten my DH involved and he is happy (the pack rat that he is, lol). I can't talk I'm so much like him it drives me nuts because he does the things that I dislike about myself, it's a weird combination but we can laught together about it because we understand each other so much. I will post my organizational findings another day....gotta run and stay on schedule, lol!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
So it's been almost a month since I was last on here...not that I haven't been thinking school (on the contrary). A couple of weeks ago, we got a chance to go back to Florida. I got a chance to dig through some of my teaching things, which was great because I found tons of things I can use with the kids at home as well as the Co-op!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
- Tom Playfair Or Making a Start By: Fr. Francis J. Finn S.J. (The story opens with 10-year-old Tom Playfair being quite a handful for his well-meaning but soft-hearted aunt. (Tom's mother has died.) Mr. Playfair decides to ship his son off to St. Maure's boarding school--an all-boys academy run by Jesuits--to shape him up, as well as to help him make a good preparation for his upcoming First Communion. Tom is less than enthusiastic, but his adventures are just about to begin. Life at St. Maure's will not be dull!)
- Percy Wynn By: Fr. Francis J. Finn S.J. (Percy Wynn. In this volume, Tom Playfair meets a new boy just arriving at St. Maure's. Percy Wynn has grown up in a family of 10 girls and only 1 boy--himself! His manners are formal, he talks like a book, and he has never played baseball or gone skating, boating, fishing, or even swimming! Yet he has brains, courage and high Catholic ideals. Tom and his buddies at St. Maure's befriend Percy and have a great time as they all work at turning Percy into an all-American Catholic boy.
- Harry Dee Or Working it Out By: Fr. Francis J. Finn (Harry Dee. Young Harry Dee arrives at St. Maure's thin and pale from his painful experiences involving the murder of his rich uncle. In this last book of the three, Tom and Percy help Harry recover from his early trauma--which involves solving "the mystery of Tower Hill Mansion." After many wild experiences, the three boys graduate from St. Maure's and head toward the life work to which God is calling each of them as young men.)
- Claude Lightfoot Or How the Problem Was Solved By: Fr. Francis J. Finn S.J. (Claude Lightfoot. The story opens upon Claude Lightfoot, a reckless 12 year old boy who constantly acts first and thinks later. After being in clash with some bullies, Claude is obliged to miss his First Communion. In the course of the story, Fr. Finn manages to cover a host of topics, including smoking, drinking, the devil, Confession, Holy Communion, retaining one s Baptismal innocence, the 9 First Fridays, the priesthood, mothers and sisters, truthfulness, lying, courage, effeminacy, atheism, sacrilege, baseball, Americanism (true and false), Latin, virtue, honor, leadership, etc.)
- That Football Game And What Came of It By: Fr. Francis J. Finn S.J. (That Football Game. This book features Claude and many other characters from Claude Lightfoot. Again, Fr. Finn covers a host of Catholic topics, giving a ringing defense of the game of football and presenting a great picture of the All-American boy. See the Catholic Faith woven into everyday life, the way it should be. Puts the right kind of role models before the eyes of our boys! Interesting to read, enthralling, hard to put down -- not only for young people, but for adults as well! )
- Crusader King A Novel of Baldwin IV and the Crusades By: Susan Peek (Crusader King. A new historical novel about the unusual life of King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem, the leper crusader king who - despite ascending to the throne at only 13, his early death at 24 and his debilitating disease - performed great and heroic deeds in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Teenagers and avid readers of all ages will be amazed at this story and be inspired by a faith that accomplished the impossible!)
- Ethelred Preston Or the Adventures of a Newcomer By: Fr. Francis J. Finn S.J. (Ethelred Preston. In this book, the new kid certainly livens things up at Henryton boarding academy! Again, Fr. Finn covers a host of Catholic topics and presents a great picture of the All-American boy!)
Anyway, back to the correct book. The one we would like to use is the Baltimore Catechism No. 1 By: Third Plenary Council of Baltimore. It is the original 1885 edition. We are going ahead and getting No. 2 & 3 (the companion books) since the grade range is 4-7. The set is relatively inexpensive and I found it here.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
- First, it had to interest them.
- Second, the style of writing the author uses is important because the topic could interest you but if the author's writing is weird or difficult to follow??? it wouldn't work.
- Third, the reading level is important. Make sure the novel is at or above their independent reading level. You can go here and get an idea of what level your child is on.
- Make a follow up activity for the novel, like a reading log where they keep track of how much they read and to summarize the chapters or even sections of the chapter. Don't make this rigorous because this is an independent novel. But the log would let me know (especially at the beginning) if they were reading or at what pace.