Monday, September 29, 2014

Our Homeschool Lifestyle

Yup, that's us ~ we live life, we school, it all kinda gets mixed up.....whatever happens to us in life, naturally becomes a part of our education.  The kids are learning, and I am learning too!

As a way to record some of our day-to-day homeschool life, I'm going to post something weekly (more or less) about what we're learning.  This gives me a chance to sort through the collective chaos and see what we're actually learning, plus gives all of us a way to look back and enjoy some pictures of "school".

Most recently we have been studying some Jewish culture.  We thought we could start by learning about some of the yearly Jewish celebrations, or feasts.  Rosh Hashanah was just around the corner, and what a better place to start than the Jewish New Year!

I'm not sure where I picked up this book, but I've had it for a few years, wanting to learn more about the Jewish holidays with the kiddos, yet never seeming to find the time to make it happen.  So this year we just went for it!

We started off, Wednesday evening, at sundown - well, 18 min. BEFORE sundown, to be precise!  The girls lit the candles - one for each person in our home - and Rosh Hashanah officially began in our home.

Unfortunately, I do not believe I would make a very good Jewish wife.....ha!  I was having a hard time getting dinner on the table, and the natives were getting restless!  Luckily, Rosh Hashanah is all about having a *sweet* year.  They tend to eat sweet foods during this two day celebration - and my apple dessert was ready and waiting to go!  So the kids ate dessert first!!  Can I just tell you how excited they were?!!  Wait, really, Momma??  We can eat the dessert FIRST?!?  Yup ~ I'm officially "Awesome Momma"!!

When we did get to the dinner portion, it started off with our circle challah bread.  We have made plenty of challah, but never in a circle shape, so this was something new.  It turned out beautiful!  We tore hunks of the bread off, right there at the table, and drizzled them with honey.  Perfect!

A few more traditions we partook of:  we ate breakfast "cookies" as part of the sweet foods portion of the holiday.  They were actually a fairly healthy cookie - which is why I could justify serving them for breakfast!

We also threw bread crumbs into the Black River.  The crumbs represented the sin in our lives, issues we are each personally dealing with.  The River represents God's grace & mercy.  He washes our sins away.  He no longer remembers them, nor holds them against us.  They are gone!  It was good to watch the bread crumbs float away.....

Lastly, we learned about the shofar - the ram's horn.  This is the Feast of Trumpets!  Luckily for us, Isaac has been learning to play the trumpet via YouTube lessons.  He has only had a few lessons thus far, but he knew enough to blow some notes which represented our "shofar".  I told him the shofar was typically sounded 100 times each day of Rosh Hashanah in the synagogue.  He told me he didn't think he could manage that....ha!  I was impressed by his lung capacity when it came time for the final trumpet blast - whew!!  Can that boy BLOW!!!

In other hs'ing news:  We're learning about Ancient Greece, the Medes & the Persians, the Babylonians & the Assyrians.  The Persian Empire is about to go to battle with the Greeks!  We are all excited to see what happens next!  The Map Work is probably the favorite part of History around here.  Well, that and the stories I read from historical works & myths.

In science, we are studying habitats around the world, characteristics of each habitat and the animals that live there.  We are currently in China & Australia.  We have taken a LONG time with this curriculum, studying other things in nature, letting the kids' interests lead us.  Once we are done with this curriculum, we are heading into Astronomy.  I can't tell you how excited Isaac, my 13yo, is!

Math is math - some do Math U See, some do free printable worksheets, some are working their way through, and we do have a few math workbooks, but those are mainly for fun.  Just when the kids are bored and are looking for something, ANYTHING, to do.

Isaac is learning trumpet, Selah is working her way through our library's art instruction books, while also keeping up with piano here and there.  Tali is working very hard at the piano - also with YouTube lessons.  She desperately wants to learn how to sew, so I try to include her in whatever I am working on.  I am learning patience.  Daily.....

The girls are starting a ballet class tomorrow - just four HS girls in their class.  The teacher is very local (right on our street) and the price can't be beat!  They are very excited, even though they realize they are a bit old to just be starting ballet - they don't care!  I hope they have a blast!!

The little boys....oh, where do I start?!  They are outside whenever possible and I try not to discourage that.  I have never seen a child so eaten up by mosquitoes as Micah Dean (5yo/K).  They participate in all our school lessons & discussions, usually coloring or working with shape pieces.  Lots of educational "busy bags" keep these two entertained - and I really do believe they are learning as well!  They are both working their way through Explode the Code phonic books too!  Lots of reading going on~

And lastly, the baby - well, Gideon is two already, not really a baby, I guess.  But he's OUR baby!


My crochet hobby is in full swing - that happens in fall, doesn't it?!  I've been trying a million new projects and pulling out a few old ones as well!

Flower Buttons

Pumpkin Coasters

Bobble Beard Beanie ~ perfect on my Elijah Rock!

And it wouldn't be fall without some Pumpkin Spice *something*, am I right?!?  Here are some pumpkin spice sugar cookies, with vanilla glaze.  Oh my....

Now I need a cup of coffee.
And maybe a cookie....

It *is* National Coffee Day, ya know!
Have a fabulous, fall day!!


No comments: