Thursday, January 31, 2008


Ok, I guess it's time to let the "cat out of the bag."

After lots of thought, we've decided to stop right in the middle of our year and switch gears. It comes at an excellent time, since life is going to be changing quite a bit anyway. We are going to go ahead and do the optional program through MFW called Adventures.

I have a few reasons, but my main reason is Adventures is a little lighter year. That will be good with the new baby. It will also help us so that we can focus a little more on getting Superkid caught up in other areas, namely Math and spelling.

So, that's the plan. We will be purchasing it within the next couple weeks and starting it as soon as life calms down. HA! Ok, maybe I should say, we'll probably start out working slowly through it and we'll start as soon as we can, reasonably.

How is that going to work with the blogging?
Glad you asked!

I've set up a new blog specially for this new "year."
You can find it here:

See you there!!

South America Wrap-up

What have you learned?

I learned a lot about the Amazon jungle. I learned a lot about the Auca tribe. I learned a lot about the animals too. Like the bird-eating spider and the gibbon ape. I like how fast the gibbon ape can go through the jungle. I also like the flying squirrel. I learned that South America has the most computers, almost more than America. The Yanomamo indians think that the people who lived before them came from the moon and they are very scared to point at the moon in case their fingers rot and fall off. I know pretty much all of the countries in South America. There are 12 countries in South America: Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chili, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, -then the hard ones in the north-east (by Venezuela): Guyana, Suriname and Cayenne. (Superkid had to look up the last three. We're not sure why there's 13 when everything we've read says 12.) I have a couple of favorite animals that I like, one of them is the flying squirrels, the flying lizard and the chameleon. I like the chameleon the best.

What is your favorite thing you did?
I liked the project that we just did - an airplane project. We made paper airplanes from the airplane that Nate Saint was in.

Here's Superkid's MAF airplane:

And here's Pickles:

Aren't they cute hanging there together?

And here's my superkid hard at work.

Although we really enjoyed Brazil, I wish we would have been more focused. I'm so preoccupied with the new baby, I found myself struggling to enjoy these weeks. We didn't do as many projects as we should have. Maybe later we'll come back around and do some of the things we skipped. Either way, we all learned a lot about South America and that's why were doing it right?

So, we're closing the books until after the baby.
Stay tuned to find out what the big news is...

Nate Saint Narration

(Don't laugh...he did such a great job "writing" this! Yes, I type word for word what he says to type.)

Nate Saint
Narration by Superkid

He was only 7 years old so he had to wait for Sam to lift him up into the seat of the airplane. He sat in the airplane excitingly as he waited for his brother, Sam, who was a flight instructor to start the plane. Eventually he was old enough to join the army as a pilot. But, he had an infection when he was a little kid and it came back. So, he had to stay in bed and go to the doctor instead of joining the army. Soon it went away and then he went to a conference and decided to be a missionary. Then his dad sent him a letter containing a piece of newspaper with a picture of the Missionary Aviation Fellowship. Nate Saint thought and knew that God was telling him he would be able to fly and do God's will. He soon joined the Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and moved to Ecuador. Nate's sister, Rachel, was already in missionary work too. She was working with another kind of indian tribe. Rachel and Nate soon met up and Rachel said that she thought God had something else for her. Then Nate told his sister about the Auca tribe. The Auca tribe were some very fierce indians that always would try to kill anyone who were in their area. Rachel said I think that is the people who God wants me to work with. They went up flying around the area where the Auca tribe were. Nate said, "there's your tribe." and pointed down below the trees. One time Nate was flying around the area where Nate and his family lived and he looked down at a river and it looked like there were clearings. Nate knew that the Auca tribe had been clearing the area down to the river. The next time he was flying, he decided to go around the area where he saw the clearings. He followed the clearings and found their village. He went home to talk with everyone else about the plan. They all decided that the bucket drop that he had made earlier would be perfect to drop gifts for the Auca tribe. They made a gift drop every week and Nate Saint looked for a good spot to land. Finally he found a place to land. Then they made a big tree house so they could meet together. The next day they waited outside for the Auca tribe. Rachel had found a Auca woman who ran away from the tribe and began to live with her. So now Rachel knew some Auca words and taught Nate Saint and his friends how to speak them. They all sat in the tree house yelling the words, "We want to meet you." and "We are friendly." No one came that day. So, the next day they came back and yelled the same words. Finally they saw two woman and one man coming out of the jungle. They met together fine and wanted to meet together the next day. The next day they came and no one was there. They went around to the village and there was nothing there, so they thought the whole village was coming to the tree house. But what they didn't know is that they were going to be killed. Two woman came there and tried to occupy them. Then the men came up behind them. One fell on a log. All five men turned around to look at what was happening. Then they all got speared to death. The girl who had run away came back and that's how Rachel began to be with them and make them believe in Christ.

Would you recommend this book?
Yes, because I think it has a good mix of things that some of us like and the will of God.

(This book got 5 stars from Superkid)

Friday, January 18, 2008

We're almost there!!

I thought this little guy was cute that Superkid drew. I'd love to get a Chameleon, but - they eat crickets! I do NOT want crickets in my house. Ick.
THIS picture was done by Pickles!! I found it after we were done with our school time. I noticed she was listening in and said she was going to draw "that one", but I didn't really think she was going to try. I think we have a budding artist. This isn't the first time she's surprised me with her art work. She just puts her mind to something and then does it. Isn't that neat?
. . . .
So, I had mentioned I was just going to go ahead and do both weeks of bible together. Well, I wound up splitting up the bible into the two parts, because I realized you really can't rush it. I find myself praying for the people from "window's on the world" throughout the week and I didn't want to "just get it done." I wanted to take time to think on each of the areas we were praying for.


I just think it is so cool that we are praying for people throughout the world as we learn about them. I will miss this when we go on to the next "year." (hmm...she's thinking about change and she put the word YEAR in quotes...hmm...wonder if anything strange is coming in the short future??)


Anyway, so we are just about done with Brazil.

-We are still working through our read-aloud

-We have the projects still to do.

-I'd also like to have him work on some of geography games online I found before we call it quits.

-I think there are a few book basket books we're still looking through.

But, all in all I feel pretty confident we're just about ready to leave.

After we finish, I am putting all the books away until way after Baby comes. (Well, maybe we'll stick with math and english just because I'm a mean mom like that, tee hee hee)

If I get some good pictures of the projects I'll post them. I'll also post up the "wrap-up" and the "narration" before saying goodbye for awhile, since we're trying to get prepared for a little one around here. Are you ever prepared for a newborn to rearrange life for you?

OH, and at some point I'll pop in to reveal the "news" that could just indicate some kind of change around here. :-)

Props for MFW!

Wow. I just happen to stumble across The Homschool Magazine Excellence Awards.

My Fathers World won a TON!

I think they are doing the 2007 awards soon. That's what someone had mentioned on the board (which is how I came across the whole thing.) I couldn't find anywhere about voting or anything. I'll update if I find it.

Anyway, here's what I found.

My Fathers World Placed last year:

#1 in Bible. (that's where it matters most you know!)
#2 in History. (that's the second place that was important to me)
#2 in Geography
#2 in Phonics (not applicable to me - yet)
#2 in Music
#2 in Overall Friendliness
#2 in Best Unit Study
#3 in Most Unique
#3 in Best Classical Resource

3rd Place in Best Overall Homeschool Co.

And, I had never even heard of it until this past year.

I wholeheartedly would vote for My Fathers World, because it really is that good. I think it would work for almost any family. It is VERY user friendly, which makes it easy to adapt for your own home and your personal situation. It is as flexible or as strict as you need it to be. Even though it isn't cumbersome with workbooks and schoolwork, there is a LOT of learning going on. Just enough hands-on that it keeps school fun and interesting, yet everything has been easily accessible and simple. Everything ties in so well as a good unit study should.

A good way to describe it is as a backbone to your homeschool. It gives you a plan to go by, but it also guides you every step of the way. It allows you to get "side-tracked" if you'd like for awhile, but it's there when you're ready to move on. It keeps you focused so you keep on track for where you want to go. It is by far the most usable and effective curriculum I have seen so far.

Yep. I like it. :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Book Basket Chapter Book Review

The Fate of the Yellow Woodbee
Narrated by Superkid

This book was about a boy named Niwa. He was fishing with his friend when they were attacked by different amazon indians. Soon he went home running away. When the village found out they thought their enemies found out where they lived and soon thought the boy should run away. Everyone chased him, including his grandma. His mother found him and stopped the village from trying to get him to run into the jungle. They were all arguing but soon an airplane flew by. They, not knowing what it was, thought it was a woodbee and ran away. While Niwa stayed and watched the woodbee. He thought it had come to save him from them killing him. Because they were so mad, they thought they should kill him. He kept looking at it and it soon flew away.
In the airplane it was really Nate Saint. He was trying to find his friend who was out in the area. And thought the Auca village was where he was. But his friend was not there. He found him and told him that he had found the Auca village. Which he had been trying to find some tribes of the auca village and wanted to learn the language. They found out that one of Nate Saint's friends had a sister that knew a girl who used to be in the Auca tribe and knew the language, so they could learn the language.
They basically took the airplane and took rope and tied it to something to put it down and cut the rope, so it would be like a present. Soon, they put clothes down and all sorts of things. They found out that the girl ran away from the tribe, so the tribe thought that she had been killed by their enemies. So, they put in one of the presents with carvings in it, which in their language meant the girl was alive. Her mom was very happy but they were not very happy when they put on the clothes because they didn't really want to wear clothes. They came to put presents down every week. Then they thought they could come down. They made plans to make a tree house when they found a place to live. Then they could have a place to meet together and talk about the gospel. Soon they got the tools to make the tree house. They found an area where they could land and started delivering the tools. The tree house was made and they landed and went up and said in their language, "welcome." No one came out of the village that day. The next day, two people came out of the village and the mother of the daughter who was away from them thought her daughter was with them and tried saying her name to them in her language, but the white people didn't know that word in their language. And thought she was saying "eat." One of Nate Saint's friends tried to say "eat" in sign language and the mother went and got bananas. Finally the man turned to spanish and somehow understood english. They got along, but soon they thought it was a trick and shot their blowgun at them. When they killed Nate Saint and his friend, there were spirits that went up from their bodies. Then the girl that was lost came back and convinced them that who they had killed were good. She ended up bringing two white girls who were Christians and soon the whole village got saved!
The End.

Would you recommend this book to your friends? Why?
Yes I would. I think this book is very good. I think it's really interesting to find out the way the amazon indians live.

This book got 5 stars from Superkid.

---Mom's Note---

As you can tell, my son is super good at details. The problem I am having with him is the opposite. I'm trying to help him to see the bigger picture so that he doesn't tell the ENTIRE story over. There's no way at 8 years old (my son at least) would write this entire thing out on his own. I'm trying to help him to be less detailed and to teach him how to summarize the story in short small sentences so that he can take over doing his own narration someday.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Brazil Update.

Well, we finally made our journey today to South America. Although we had already begun to study the animals and habitat of the rain forest, we had not officially made it to Brazil yet. While we visited today we really went full force and did everything we could. In fact we crammed 3 weeks into one! We're tired. :-)

So, how did our travels go?

We had a blast! We discussed the different ways we could get from Canada to Brazil and decided that boat would be fun. I got a great idea while we talked to make it into a CRUISE!!! So, after stamping our passports, I gave them their own "Brazilian Cruise Line" card so that they could enjoy themselves while they travelled.

Of course I made the whole check in process a little intimidating and made them line up to get into the boat. Then, once the "doors" were opened I acted like they had just come to one big huge party. :-) I offered them hot chocolate and cookies and told them their card entitled them to anything they'd like.
YES, I really was that daring! (of course the mom side of me came in plenty to say no. Certain things were "unavailable" and "already reserved") Afterword I directed them to their "cabin" and told them they could relax anytime they wanted. I then told them there was an event going on in the "theater" soon and they were welcome to come to that. I mentioned the games and fun, etc. going on. I also directed them to "try not to pay attention to the waves" as the waters can get rough. After the theater event (don't laugh, this is what I is about the stuff that we consume. It's actually not a bad presentation if you can get past the fact that we cause global warming. I did like the "consumption" part with the "golden arrow". It's about 20min long if you're interested. Let's just say, I think my children were interested in it only because we don't have a tv. tee hee hee). Anyway, after the "show" I offered them to stop off in the Caribbean to snorkel in the ocean. It worked out very well, as I took them into our bathroom & turned off the lights - we have a fish picture that lights up and a fish tank in there, so we just pretended to swim and found all of the different ocean creatures, turtles, crab,etc.
It was fun. Afterword they used their "magic card" to get some fish crackers. They had enough time to read a book, then we were at Brazil!
Once we were "off the ship," we colored our flags, did a crossword puzzle, and read a lot about South America.

It took us a good amount of time, but hey, we had a GREAT time!!

So, where are we at for school?

We have already done one week of science, but plan to do two weeks together probably on Thursday. We're struggling getting the experiments done, since there is 8 inches of snow on the ground and studying the tropical rain forest by planting seeds just doesn't seem to fit very well. Eventually I'm sure we'll get to them.

Let's see...did the first week of Bible. We might do the rest tomorrow, but we're super busy tomorrow, so it might be finished up Friday. We'll just do two weeks together again. I'm thankful that we have implemented the "devotional time" every day so I don't feel guilty cramming bible altogether.

We started our read aloud.

Haven't done art projects yet.

Listened to first weeks song for music.

Vocabulary for three weeks is done.

If you haven't noticed, we have not been very good about doing our nature walks.

But, we have gotten better about the book basket time. :-)

As for math & english, we have been working on them, but my main focus is getting through My Fathers World stuff. Because Math and English can always be done any time.

And...I haven't mentioned this yet, but I have some news for after baby. Some things are going to change around a little. More on this later...

In the meantime, we're happy to be in one of the most amazing and interesting places in the world to study. There are so many different and strange animals that hang out in the rain forest - not to mention people who live there. If you're looking for us, we're hanging out in the amazon river, probably lounging on a lilly pad or something. :-)
{Edited: I just feel like I need to say, I'm NOT trying to promote the video we watched. My sweet husband was not happy that I let my children watch this, as we both disagree with most of it. I just figure I've spent a lot of time discussing this subject with my son that he has a pretty good understanding of the whole thing. I think there is a balance to understanding our role in the environment. I blame the fact that someone sent it to me and I had planned to watch it anyway & being pregnant I didn't have time to really think about what to do while we went "cruising" to was just easier to watch it then. The kids run to watch whatever I put on, regardless. Blah blah...I'm not endorsing the video for you to show to your children. Just needed to put a caveat. Thanks.}