Category Archives: ABC blogging

Recital (violin) – Blogging Through the Alphabet

R Recital (violin)

A couple of weeks ago, Miss L had her spring recital with her strings class. She has been able to participate in a string class at Baylor. This class has benefitted not only our family (in that the cost is extremely reasonable, even cheap!) but it also benefits the students at Baylor who are learning to teach in classroom settings.

The recital was lovely. She and her class, as well as the two other classes, did a fantastic job. It was lots of fun and it is such a rewarding experience for her to get to show off all of her hard work this year. And it really was.

R Recital Miss L with violin

She started the year (last September) with a little bit of violin knowledge under her beltR Recital program for string project but not much. So, she began in the Bravo class with other beginners. At semester, they determined that she had made so much progress and was playing well enough to jump up a year and join the Encore class. Now that was huge and she had a big learning curve since they all had a year more experience than she did. But she undertook the challenge, practiced daily, and did really well.

The recital was the culmination of the year. We are hoping to return next year for their 3rd year class, though I can’t remember at this point what that class will be called. She still practices (almost) daily and really enjoys playing. We will encourage this for as long as she will pursue it with a heart.

At Home.R Recital

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

Quizlet – Blogging Through the Alphabet

Q Quizlet

This week is letter Q for Blogging Through the Alphabet. I had thought and brainstormed and kept coming up with things I could make work but didn’t really spark my own interest. I didn’t want to waste your time. Then, today, while thinking about the work one of the giggly girls still needed to do, I asked “Have you worked on Quizlet today?” And my brain registered the Q and said “That’s it!”

So, Quizlet.

Do you know Quizlet?

This is a free, online quiz system. It is wonderful. We have used it for tons of things. I can create my own set of cards to quiz over or sometimes, I can look up the questions I want that someone else has already done and made public. Now that has been wonderful!

When I go to Quizlet and make my own set, I have a question and answer series that I enter. It is as simple as entering the question and its corresponding answer. Then move on to the next question/answer. On and on until you have entered them all. At that point, it is time for the kiddos to start quizzing.

There are several functions on Quizlet, or ways in which the quizzing can be done: flashcards, learn, spell, test, match, and gravity.

Q Quizlet screenshot

Home Screen in Quizlet for this study set

 

For flashcards: One part is shown. After making your guess, you click the corner and it shows you the other side. You can mark ones that you struggled with and then work on just those. You can do it all again. You can do the question first or you can do the answer first. The flashcards are pretty flexible, which is awesome!

For Learn: It gives you either the question or the answer and you type in the other part.

For Spell: This one works best for vocabulary and spelling words. It tells you the part you are to type in. If you are using it for Bible study with younger ones (as we often do), the spelling will get them and they will end up with a lot marked incorrect. We seldom use this function.

For Test: This gives you a series of questions and you supply the answer. Again you can choose which part you want it to give you. The test generally has 20 questions: 5 type in the right answer, 5 matching, 5 multiple choice, and 5 true/false. This is a feature that Miss E likes to use.

For Match: The questions and answers are put out there and you drag and drop the matches onto each other. Simple and fun. All three of the giggly girls use this one a lot. This is probably the MOST used function for our family.

For Gravity: This is a game where asteroids have to be destroyed. It gives you one part and you have to type in the other part. You can use the term/question, the definition/answer, or select random for it to go back and forth. This is one the girls do like but it is harder for Bible bowl study due to the way the questions are worded.

On the main page, you see a list of the questions in your set. You can arrange them the way you typed them in, alphabetical, or by stats (how many are missed most/least/etc.). This is nice if you have only one person using it and you can quickly see what needs worked on. Even as a family, we are able to see where we need to work on our Bible bowl questions.

This is a fun and easy to use resource that really does a tremendous job of helping the girls study their Bible bowl questions and memory work. We most often access it on the desktop computer or a Kindle. It works well either way. I don’t know that the exact same activities are on both platforms but we use it both ways and the girls can move easily from one to the other.

If you are looking for a free resource to help with memory work, definitions, spelling, or other memory work, check our Quizlet. It was simple to make a free account and I can share my work with others or use quiz sets that someone else has made available publicly. I have a filing cabinet where I can list those for the girls to pick from. Quick and easy.

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

Prepared – Middle School Monday & Blogging Through The Alphabet

P Prepared“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15 (NIV)

When I was thinking about what to write for letter P, this word and verse came to mind. That could be because of the Bible study that our family is participating in. It could be due to the fact that this is one of the major goals of educating our children. It could be that God placed that thought in my head. Whatever the reason, I wanted to chat a bit about preparing.

We prepare for many things in life – storm season, trips, chores (yes – don’t you buy the things you will need to do this?). But sometimes, we neglect the most important form of preparation – that of being able to speak of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus, what He has done for us, and that He wants everyone to accept His gift and to obey His word.

How do we prepare to do as Peter wrote about?

P Prepared verse

First, we need to know God’s Word. We need to study His word and all that He put there, not just the interesting stories that we enjoy teaching to little ones. We need to know more; there is always more to learn! One wise woman commented at Bible study tonight that she makes it a point to share that she is always learning, even after 40 years of being a baptized follower of Christ. We need to set aside and honor time to learn what God has to say. Don’t just schedule it in; make it a priority. That is part of being prepared.

Second, we need to be able to articulate that hope – put it to words. This is probably where I struggle most. I know what I believe and why I believe it. I know what obedience to God’s word means but am I capable of stating that to others? And what about the last part of the verse – “with gentleness and respect”? Can I do this?

Third, I need to recognize that if I have worked diligently with the first two points that it doesn’t make a whit of difference if I don’t step out boldly and actually use the words about that hope to share with someone who is lost. If I am not sharing that hope that I have prepared to share about, I am not obeying the word of God. He is telling me to share it.

As part of a course I am taking (Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity – review coming soon), she asked us to write out 10 goals for our children when they exit our education. Being prepared to speak boldly about their hope is one of ours. So, I need to be working on helping them prepare. I will end this by sharing some of the things we are doing to help the girls be prepared.

  • Regular attendance at all worship and Bible classes – Sunday morning we attend both Bible class and worship; Sunday evening we attend worship; Wednesday evening we attend worship and class; Tuesday mornings the girls go with me to Ladies’ Bible Class; Monday nights we are doing an in-home Bible study;
  • Daily personal Bible study – As part of their course work, we ask the girls to study the Bible personally. This takes a couple of different forms but this is a daily expectation.
  • Memory work – The girls are working on KidSing memory cards. These cards focus on different parts of the Bible and the themes for those parts of the Bible.
  • Bible Bowl – We have the girls participating in Bible Bowl through the Lads to Leaders program at our church. In the past, they have studied Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Matthew, Job, Esther, and Ruth. This year they will be studying I & II Corinthians. This is an in-depth study of the books and they learn a lot about God, who He is, and what He wants of His people through this.
  • Other  – Whether it be writing an article, giving a speech, reading the Bible out loud for an audience, leading a song, doing a puppet program, or making a meal for someone, we encourage the girls to serve and find ways to use the abilities God has given them to put action to their belief and faith.

All of these are ways that we can work on being prepared to give reason to our hope. Encouraging the girls to be prepared, I also find myself more prepared. Are you “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have “? (I Peter 3:15 NIV)

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

Our God, He Is Alive – hymn

Our God He Is Alive

This is another one of those hymns that has just a part of my worship time since before I can remember. A bright, cheerful song that states what we know – “our God, He is alive!”

Have you ever thought about these phrases? He framed the worlds! He tinted the skies! Men may search for the germ of life but will not find it. So many truths – the prophets heard God’s voice, He speaks from His inspired word, God alones understand so much.

But what about that fourth verse? Our God, whose Son upon a tree; a life was willing there to give. That He from sin might set man free, and ever more with Him could live.

What a lovely, thrilling, amazing reminder that God is the one in charge, in control, and that He and He along has offered us the gift of salvation. We cannot get it without HIM! We cannot live with HIM without that setting free from sin that He accomplished on the cross.

God is so good!

At Home.

Would you like to listen to the song?
Visit Great Songs Chapel for one recording of it.

O Our God He Is Alive

This hymn will also serve as the O post for Blogging Through The Alphabet – running a bit behind this week. 🙂

 

Our God, He Is Alive

words and music – A. W. Dicus (1966)

1 There is, beyond the azure blue;
A God, concealed from human sight.
He tinted skies with heav’nly hue
And framed the worlds with His great might.

Chorus
There is a God, He is alive,
In Him we live and we survive;
From dust our God created man,
He is our God, the great I Am.

2 There was a long, long time ago,
A God whose voice the prophets heard.
He is the God that we should know,
Who speaks from His inspired word.

Chorus

3 Secure, is life from mortal mind,
God holds the germ within His hand,
Though men may search, they cannot find,
for God alone does understand.

Chorus

4 Our God, whose Son upon a tree,
A life was willing there to give,
That He from sin might set man free,
And evermore with Him could live.

Chorus

Nature Research – Blogging Through The Alphabet

N - Nature Research

One of the struggles we have been having is motivation to do what is needed with a good attitude. This goes for me, not just the students in our school. Frustrations have been a bit overwhelming lately so we have been working hard at changing things up a bit, creating a different example of school work and finding a different attitude towards said work. While this change has been beneficial in some ways, it has not been the magical fix I wish it were.

One of the changes we made was to have the girls begin working on research projects. They are not major research papers but are rather a short assignment of a topic. The girls and I work together to come up with a topic and the presentation of materials. This presentation could be just a paper on what was learned. But it could also be a play, a 3D showcase, a piece of artwork, a computer presentation – anything the student wants as long as they can convince me that their chosen presentation style will be able to accurately communicate the research done.

n nature research

This is a blank notebooking page from NotebookingPages.com.

 

Miss L has been working on some butterfly research. A couple of week ago, she researched the life cycle of a butterfly. Her chosen product was to illustrate and label the life cycle. It came out beautifully.

Last week, she researched butterfly museum, using the internet to take a few virtual tours of butterfly farms, museums, and research centers. The product chosen for this one was to simply write up what she learned.

These simple nature studies have helped Miss L feel a bit more motivated about the other school work she still has to do. Nature studies are interesting and can really help make a needed change in setting, motivation, and ideas. We will be continuing these types of nature studies so that research skills are gained but also the interest remains high.

At Home.

Motivation – Blogging Through the Alphabet & Middle School Monday

M motivation

Motivation

It is quite an intimidating word sometimes. How do you provide motivation? I don’t mean the “do it or else” kind of motivation. I am talking about the internal motivation that causes one to move forward on a project or assignment without someone else getting involved or reminding.

Motivation comes from within. While I like to think that I have some influence over it, I don’t. My middle schoolers (I kind of feel like I have two now that the school year is almost over and Miss L will officially be a 6th grader shortly) are independent thinkers, as they should be. They have hopes and desires and wills and frustrations that are all their own. They will do what I ask them to because it is right to do what your mother says but that isn’t really motivation, is it?

I have been pondering this motivation thing for a while, trying to find the right balance of curriculum choices made by me and made by the student. It is difficult. Do I push math in a day when their motivation has been to work diligently on history for 3 hours? Do I make the student add more to a research paper when she has written two full pages on research that she did that all-in-all took only 30 minutes from start to finish but is well-written and interesting to her? Do I have a child re-do work that is substandard in handwriting but excellent in content?

Where do you push and where do you give grace and allow for it not to be a high quality project?

Boy, do I wish I knew the answer to this!

What do I actually do? I figure it out from day to day and from week to week. This last week, I asked for more on that research but I didn’t push the math issue. Why each of those? Well, if you saw the concentration and intensity with which the history project was being pursued, there was a deep interest that was being fed. I don’t want to mess with that. Math will still be there later and she will work at it when I do choose to insist.

But the research, I felt like she needed more of a challenge. So the next day, I took that research project that I had invisioned being most of a week’s worth of writing and added a different element to the research, a different perspective and had her do some more. Of course, she loved it, spent a good bit of time reading through the websites I pulled up for her, and then wrote double the amount requested. So, she has now breezed through the assignments I expected to take two weeks in two days. What next? Well, her internal motivation is good to get it done so I guess we will just feed it more with a new research project. I have some ideas . . .

All of this rambling is to say, I think if I can continue to find a few ideas that spark an independent motivation, an internal motivation, in at least a single subject area, then we are on the right road. Right now, we have that mix going. I wish we could expand it and we’ll keep trying but for now, I will be happy with what is working and deal with that which is not getting done.

At Home.

This week’s Middle School Monday post is also serving as last week’s Blogging Through The Alphabet post since last week was incredibly busy.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

Leadership with Lads to Leaders – Blogging Through The Alphabet

L Lads to Leaders

One of the things we all want to see developed in our children is leadership abilities. We desire them to be strong so that they are not tempted to follow but rather to lead. Our family works through this in several specific ways. I want to share one that permeates our whole life today.

Lads to Leaders

L2L, as this program is affectionately abbreviated, is a leadership training program to help develop abilities for leadership within the church. God’s desire is for us to be strong in Him and to lead others to know Him. We cannot effectively do this if we are not strong ourselves and know Him in such a thorough way that we can share about Him and the Bible.

L2L has a long, proven history of strengthening the participants, whether children, teens, or adults. There is much research that shows that if we have strengthened the leadership abilities and knowledge of the Christians, they are much less likely to fall away from the church during their young adult years and other times when life is a struggle.

Each of the giggly girls has different abilities and talents that we want to strengthen, though there is overlap there. There are also a couple of categories that we require the girls to participate in because it will help them to develop their own personal habits in these areas.

The two areas that we truly are requiring the girls to participate is in the Bible Bowl test and the Good Samaritan category. Bible Bowl is required because it is an in-depth study of part of the Bible, with a great focus on the theme of the year. We study it as part of our homeschool and the girls are supposed to do a daily reading of the material, as well. We have practices at church with others who are also studying for Bible Bowl. They then take a 100 question, 1 hour test over the material at the end of February. If they choose to, they can also participate in the competition at the annual Lads to Leaders convention that happens Easter weekend.

Good Samaritan is just that – being a good servant and helper to others in need. This is a year around event in which we look for ways to serve others and help. It could be a simple as helping to prepare the weekly Wednesday meals at church or writing a care to a shut-in. It could be as in-depth as going on a week long mission trip in the summer, helping at church camp, or working VBS. We have times where the girls help in the nursery at church, they volunteer at the building, they pick up trash. We find that the more you look for ways to help, the more ways you find to help.

In addition to these two categories, the girls pick and choose what appeals to them.

Miss E does sign language, art work, memorization, puppetry, bulletin boards, Bible reading, and writing articles for publication.

Miss L does Bible reading, song leading for ladies’ classes and kids’ activities, Keepers (learning about different ways to serve through various aspects of hospitality, as noted in Proverbs 31), puppetry and song writing (shared in a video presentation).

Miss J participated in puppetry, Bible reading, song leading, and Junior Leader (a study of Bible characters and ways they showed leadership).

There are additional categories for participation and they all are focused on the purpose of growing leaders for God’s church. We do spend quite a bit of time with these programs but our purpose as parents is to help guide our children towards God. This program assists us in what God has called us to do (Deut 6:6-9).

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

 

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