Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Week in Review: November 4-8

This week has been good...just so amazingly good! Not only has our week been incredibly fun, I was surprised with a nomination for Best Encourager Blog for the Homeschool Blog Awards hosted by The Homeschool Post! Wow! I was shocked, humbled and really, really excited! What excited me most wasn't so much the nomination, but knowing I was meeting my purpose. When I started out blogging it was with the full intention of encouraging other homeschooling families. If you were the one who nominated me, can I just say, "Thank you?" I'd love to give you a hug and speak to you in person, but I can't. I may never even know who you were, but know this was a great blessing to me.

You can vote for my blog and your other favorites in the other categories once a day through November 18 on multiple devices, so make sure you pop over there to show your favorite blogs how much you love them!

I'll be honest, writing my weekly updates has not been very exciting for me this year. I've been highlighting the best moments, but it has simply been a struggle because we just couldn't seem to get into our groove. I know there is an adjustment period at the beginning of every year as you begin new levels and challenge your kids in new ways, yet no matter how hard I tried, we seemed to be getting nowhere. After some evaluation and discussion I decided to start our days earlier and consistently, more in line with what we had done in the past. The complete turn-around was quite amazing to behold.

Little Hands to Heaven: Unit 27

Grace is finding that learning to read is quite easy, and this week she figured out she could read words in books other than her reading book. How fun it was to have her run up to me and say, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I just read is!" It is pure joy to see these learning moments with my girls.

Grace was thrilled to have her sisters join her in some of her Little Hands to Heaven activities this week. We talked about how if God takes care of the flowers we can trust He will take care of us. They pretended they were flowers growing through the seasons. It was so sweet for them to join in with her!

 On this day Grace insisted on being Hello Kitty. She's so funny! Rose also was eager to be teacher this week. She helped Grace with some of her About 3 workbook pages and I think they both enjoyed this quite a bit.

We have very much enjoyed the ABC Bible Verse devotional. I like the questions at the end and the discussions we've been able to have. I'm constantly amazed at the depth of understanding even little children can have of deep spiritual truth. Part of this is because they do not question as we grown-ups tend to do. My children are a constant reminder of what child-like faith should really look like.

I love how Little Hearts for His Glory helps me make sure I cover all the typical preschooler skills. Maybe I should know these things intuitively, and sometimes I have already done the suggestions or variations of them, but knowing I have something to make sure I don't miss anything gives me great peace of mind. This week she spent some time sorting. We used our Nature Blocks to practice sorting. She really enjoyed this!

And here is what my other two sweeties do being so very diligent while I teach Grace! They never even knew I snapped this shot. It is a great blessing to be able to assign my girls' tasks so I can work with Grace with more focus. I won't pretend it's always this easy, but it really is more often than not.

Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory: Unit 9

Beth adores old-fashioned readers. She zipped through the Dick and Jane reader from her great-grandmother last year and Grandma found a book called Busy Times from Rod and Staff which she is using now. We are still doing the emerging reader's path, but she really wanted to read with this so I'm letting her. I am using the opportunity to help her with narrating skills.

Beth likes our poetry study each week and really likes putting it in order now. This was not something she liked at first, but now she looks at it like a puzzle. It really is a fun way for her to think about the poetry.

This week I also started working with Beth on learning to write paragraphs this week. She did a great job writing about a classroom rule we have: Always work diligently. She wrote two sentences after her topic sentence and I am very pleased with her work!

She finished up All About Spelling Level 1 this week and is incredibly anxious to move on to level 2! She was actually a bi disappointed when I told her she was going to have to wait until next week.

For history this week we are continuing on with the pilgrims. Rose became really excited when I started explaining the history activity to Beth. "Oh Mommy! I remember that! It was so much fun!" You see, this is my second time through Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory. It makes me really happy Rose remembers things we did from two years ago and remembers enjoying them!

The activity centered around following north, south, east, and west directions to reach a basket of corn. I made out the grid and Rose gave the directions. Both girls had fun and did a great job!

Beth also really, really enjoyed the Bible activity. Just like the pilgrims persevered building a new life for themselves in North America, Nehemiah also persevered in rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem in spite of obstacles and individuals trying to stop them. We played a game where Beth would build a wall, three blocks high. I would slap the floor 10 times and start tearing down the wall until she made a trumpeting sound. We played until she was able to build the entire wall. We talked about how much harder it was to build this way and how much perseverance Nehemiah and the Israelites must have had.

Here I am drawing the grid for the map activity. Silly Beth grabbed my camera to take a shot of me writing. She loves photography and wanted to take some shots like I always take of her!

Preparing Hearts for His Glory: Unit 5

We are officially full-speed! Yay!!!!! It took a while, but with our minor scheduling change we breezed through unit 5 at full-speed. This made Rose incredibly happy because she has been complaining we aren't doing enough history each day! She is really enjoying Draw and Write Through History.

Here is her picture of a pyramid. My little artist really loves this! I especially like how she gave the sky a sunset look.

Rose is now working on three paragraph writing assignments. This week her topic was about uncommon weather events. She wrote about a couple of years ago when it snowed. She is now very intent on seeing snow this year. Our area of the south is hit or miss, so I'm hoping she's right!

Rose was so happy to be reading Grandfather's Box once again. She is doing really well with her narrations as well. I have to admit I was pretty excited as well. This is such a great addition to our history and I understand why she is so excited!

Rose really showed patience with her sisters. I appreciate giving her opportunities to help teach them. I don't do this often, but I may let her help out a little more as it seems to be something at which she is quite good.

So, overall, an excellent week. I can't wait to write the post about our art projects! They turned out beautiful!

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