Monday, August 20, 2012

Uncharted Territory and Unreached People

Live starfish caught by Brendan at his Middle/High School End of Summer Party. (We threw it back..don't worry)

What do middle school, live starfish, the Buffalo People, the Algonkian tribes, Estaban, and the 10/40 window have in common? I'm so glad you asked. All uncharted territory or unreached people groups...and its all what we're learning about in our homeschool year!

So often people say, "I wish I could be a fly on your wall or one of your students in your homeschool." Well, now is your chance. Today was our first official day of school. When the new curriculum comes, it is impossible to let it sit on the shelves all summer long and not read some of it. SO, we're a little ahead on our read alouds and readers, and we did a little brushing up on our math before today, but really today marked our first official full day of school. It was AWESOME! So come in, be a fly on the wall, check out what happens on a typical day at Superhero School.

I was not ready for this picture...that would be Mr. Incredible taking this shot. It has to feel good to see his entire family up at 7:30am, spending time quietly reading the Word before he left for work. I love Mr. Incredible. Today also began my (shhh he doesn't know it) 30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge by Revive Our Heart Ministries.
When I wake up the must know I've had my quiet time in prayer and study already. That is a given. This is my time..along with them to read. I read for my Life Transformation Group during this quiet early morning time with my children. Kyle & Shane are reading through Genesis right now...and Brendan is reading through the Psalms. We are going to be memorizing Psalm 91.
This is my very kinesthetic learner before coffee. I kid you not! We are listening to our writing coach on a DVD. This child learns by drives me crazy, but it works for him. He knows he could never ever sit on his head in a regular classroom. Praise God he can do it here!
Same child, totally focused reading comprehension time! Studying early American History with his brother Kyle..also reading and writing! I love how you can see total growth after the summer. Just like weeds, even in their skills! Math was awesome..we sang some crazy songs to help with our multiplication memory work, and my other boy worked on exponents! Love Math U See!
I want to give a shout out to Excellence In Writing. I love everything about this curriculum, especially the fact that my boys smile when it comes to writing again. Oh happy day!
This boy has been waiting for school to start since the day it ended this past summer. He is my brand new middle school aged child. Talk about embarking on uncharted territory. WOW. Good thing we're studying human anatomy and the brain this year. There are serious changes that happen during puberty (and not all physical either)...totally uncharted for this Mom.
The animals were in rare form today. Dodger had to go to the vet for his check up. Come to find out he has a tumor that needs to be removed and biopsied...the sooner the better. Unfortunately, this will have to wait. We're in sacrifice mode..Dodger will have to hang in there. He was tired after his our cat to roam without being annoyed by the dog today. We caught him drinking from Shane's water. Yes, he knocked it over onto the floor too..that along with any pencil he could find. If you ask him, he had a great day being mischievous today!
One of Brendan's focuses this year as he digs apart the Eastern Hemisphere is praying through the 100 gateway cities of the 10/40 window. This speaks to my boy's heart for missions and mine too.
He spent part of his day researching China (the first country of several including...North & South Korea, Japan, Russia, Southeast Asia, Vietnam, India, Middle East, Africa, Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia, and Antarctica) He has already made his own fresh ground ink to do calligraphy on rice paper.
You better believe we'll be making some authentic Chinese food and I'm even inquiring about how to grow rice in a pot at home. He of course would love to go to Epcot and see China again, or better yet he told me today that I should write Sonlight and ask if they would consider placing two round-trip tickets to China to really get the feel for the country.
He found calligraphy a bit challenging...not something he really wants to do for fun all the time. But, it was a great experience!
Ahhh..back to school means Mom is back to doling out more than just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Something about the routine of school gets you motivated in all sorts of ways.
Oh...this child! Here he is with his spelling curriculum. He tested out into high school spelling last year I didn't purchase a spelling curriculum and he missed it. I found one that I thought would be awesome this year...and he loves it. He loves it so much that while I took my other two boys over a friend's to play for an hour (because we do actually socialize contrary to popular belief) ;0) , I got a phone call from this child asking me if he could please move on to the next lesson. He would be happy to teach himself. He aced the first lesson...all 15 words..just introduced today. He is a natural at spelling. After dinner I read to him for a bit and then..."please can I go back to the spelling for a little bit?" I'm dead serious.
They all have reading to do...which is followed by several comprehension questions. However, if you are in my home during play time does happen too.  How else do I teach 3 different grades. No TV, no DS, no Wii...old fashioned play and tons of creative fun! On Wednesdays I'll be training my boys for a 5K. They want to do one...and I love to run with them.
I know, what in the world is this? Well, this is my feeble attempt at trying to trick my superheros into eating a healthier alternative. Mr. Incredible worked until 7:00pm tonight, so dinner was on me again. I served up some smart dogs, (which by the way are 1 point per dog), threw them in a bun, put some mustard on those babies and very excitedly served them up. Shane had two, Brendan got one down, but there was no fooling Kyle. He couldn't handle the smell. So...he ate two cheese sticks, an apple, two celery sticks with peanut butter and a rice cake. This is why my husband does most of the cooking.
To end our night, I finished reading Young Fu to Brendan and Walk the World's Rim (true story about Cabeza De Vaca) to my other two - oh such great reading! While we read about he buffalo people we really wanted to try buffalo jerky (we've had it in St. Augustine before). None could be found...says Mr. Incredible on his way home from we tried Jicama instead.
I've been wanting to try it for awhile anyway, it just so happens to fit right into what we are studying...all of us. Originating in Mexico (De Vaca's destination), it was spread by the Spaniards to the Philippines to China and much of Southeast Asia.  It is kind of sweet and starchy tasting. It taste great raw...but if you ask my superheros it is much better with Nutella. Isn't everything better with Nutella?

Well, I hoped you enjoyed your peek into our school day. Everyone is sound asleep..and I'm about to be there too. Before I retire I wanted to continue my gratitude list...1000 Gifts...if you follow the link in each blog you can see its been awhile since I've posted on my gratitude list. It doesn't change how grateful I have been and remain. As I reflect on the events of this day and the end of our summer...

I am so thankful for...

300. His Word that is indeed a light on my path
301. His love for me...I'm a precious pearl worth pursuing.
302. Uncharted territory, albeit, pubescent hormones, unreached people groups, new foods...we don't go through one thing without Him being totally aware and present.
303. Love and sacrifice.
304. His example of both.
305. Skills that have grown and sharpened.
306. Multiple chances to be encouraging to my husband
307. Time spent with friends
308. Time spent with Jesus.
309. Time in His Grace.
310. The Holy Spirit that resides in us is the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead...we have power from Him...thankful that we can use it to pray for the lost.


Luke said...

Love this! Great books, flexibility to meet your boys where they are, missions focus, opportunities... good stuff.

Tickets to China would be fun, but that flight is long--I'm told. The longest I've done is India, which is long, but China is longer I believe.


Seth & Daniale said...

It's late, and I'm tired. But I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog!
Thanks for sharing!