Just a reminder…

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To Blog or Not To Blog…

As our school year draws to a close, I’m thinking more and more about whether or not to continue blogging about it next year. Because we were studying astronomy and had internet for the first time ever, it seemed a perfect complement to our studies. But next year our focus is on birds and other creatures that hatch from eggs and all the high tech accoutrements don’t seem as fitting to the subject. So here are the pros and cons of blogging our school year. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

1. The state of Hawaii requires me to keep a record of what we’re doing anyway so why not do it on-line?
2. We live really far away from family so this has been a great way for the grandparents and other family members to keep tabs on what we’re doing with our days.
3. Since we don’t allow video/computer games, assigning our older boys the “Friday’s Factoid” was a great way to get them comfortable using a keyboard/computer.
4. It was super encouraging connecting with other believers and homeschoolers in the blogging community. 3 other blogs I discovered through this process that I highly recommend to others are parablesofthesky, ihavenogreaterjoy, and hiseternalworld.
5. I loved sending our weekly memory verses and hymns out into cyber space with the prayer that they might be used to encourage others. According to our stats God was Made Known in this small way in 57 countries around the world. How cool is that!

1. Internet is expensive here!
2. It creates a strange sense of vulnerability giving strangers such a close look at our daily lives.
3. Blogging takes up precious minutes of my day that will probably be pretty full with Baby Boy #5 due in August!

So what do you all think? Is it worth the time and expense? Is it time to call it quits?

Friday’s Factoid 20 (by Titus and Joel)

The winds on Saturn blow over 1000 miles an hour. That is faster than the speed of sound. Saturn’s winds are so strong because it is spinning so fast. It rotates faster than any other planet except Jupiter and takes only about 10 hours to make a day. But it takes 30 Earth-years for Saturn to orbit the sun (Titus, 9).
Saturn has over 30 moons. Some of the moons are in Saturn’s rings and they are called the shepherd moons because they help keep the rings in the right place. Saturn has thousands of rings and they are made of ice and rocks and dust and are not very thick (Joel, 7 1/2).

Teacher’s Two-Cents (by Mom)

The boys had so much fun experimenting with the “soap that floats” during our study of the gaseous planets that I decided to throw another sudsy experiment their way. This time we put liquid dish soap in the blender with about 10 parts water and gave it a lengthy whirl. The result was a thick, foamy slime just perfect for smearing around. I made enough batches to fill a sand pail full for each of the boys and cut them loose with rags in the kitchen, bathrooms and tile hall ways. To make it easier, I cleared all our counters first and had the boys put socks on their feet for extra skating traction. After about 45 minutes of slippin’, slidin’ and scrubbin’ I gave them all dry towels to go over the surfaces again with. Spring cleaning and science fun in one! The boys had a blast and our kitchen and bathrooms have never been sparklier.

Countdown to the New Year…

Highlights from our break…


A special visit from "Grey Oma and Opa" and Aunt Jennie.  So much fun!

A special visit from “Grey Oma and Opa” and Aunt Jennie. So much fun!

Celebrating Ti's 9th Birthday!!!

Celebrating Ti’s 9th Birthday!!!

Titus also got to go on his first night swim with the manta rays (and Dad, of course)

Titus also got to go on his first night swim with the manta rays (and Dad, of course)

Sleeping out on the lanai during the Geminid Meteor showers.  We saw tons of shooting stars!

Sleeping out on the lanai during the Geminid Meteor showers. We saw tons of shooting stars!

Building a "snowman" on the beach!

Building a “snowman” on the beach!

Having 25 of our neighbors over for pancakes and fun.

Having 25 of our neighbors over for pancakes and fun.

Caroling for the tourists in Kona Village before the candlelight service at the oldest church in Hawaii

Caroling for the tourists in Kona Village before the candlelight service at the oldest church in Hawaii

Cinnamon rolls on the beach Christmas morning

Cinnamon rolls on the beach Christmas morning

Another special visit, this time from "Black Oma and Opa"

Another special visit, this time from “Black Oma and Opa”

Getting ready for fireworks on our beach New Years Eve.  The stock pile grows daily...

Getting ready for fireworks on our beach New Years Eve. The stock pile grows daily…

It’s almost Happy New Year and then it’s back to homeschooling business on the 7th.

On This Day in 1968…

…the crew of Apollo 8 sent back this Christmas Eve broadcast. Here are Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, and Frank Borman reading from Genesis 1.

With all of the technological advances since 1968, the science community, and our country at large, has only managed to get further and further from the truth.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory…and from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:1-18

The babe in the manger was no less than the Creator of it all.

Just a Reminder…

We’re on break right now, but I wanted to share a few things this week.
#1- There are lot’s of people out looking at Christmas lights this time of year and many miss one of the most spectacular light shows of all —The Geminid Meteor Showers which should be peaking tonight. So get out there and look up. No store-bought tree or decked-out rooftop could ever compare to the brilliance of God’s night sky. Follow this link for more info on where and when to observe.http://www.amsmeteors.org/2012/12/viewing-the-geminid-meteor-shower-in-2012/

Yet another great use for old calendars...

Yet another great use for old calendars…

#2- The ladies at the deli counter of our local Asian food market created some fun decorations that we took immediate notice of because of their celestial theme. So here’s our attempt at some Calendar Page Stars as we say goodbye to this year and prepare to usher in the next.
The finished product...

The finished product…

#3- With so much emphasis on the birth of Christ we sometimes forget the other message of Advent which is that He is coming again, and next time not as a helpless baby but as Creator and King of the Universe. Here’s some special memory work we’re focussing on during our break:
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.”
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come, let the one who desires take the water of life without price… He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. COME, LORD JESUS! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. AMEN.” -Revelation 22:16-21

A not-so-scientific experiment…

The past few weeks we have been experimenting with a new school-day schedule with the following goals in mind:
1. Get the math instruction out of the way all at once because it does require my focused attention for each student individually. But if I know that’s the only thing I have to do that day…. awesome! We can ease into our week by tackling only one subject head on.
2. Pull out the textbooks once and get deep into the zone for that day only
3. Free up Wednesdays for more independent busy work that travels well since we often find ourselves going places midweek
4. Creative, messy, hand’s on, take-it-to-the-next-level activities all on the same day so we only have to cover the table and wipe up glue spills once!
5. A book/instruction-free day to end the week. Just the facts, thank you very much!
6. Get’s us even further away from the snippet style post-modern learning experience and gives us an opportunity to really work particular areas of the brain for a whole day. The subject matter might vary but the thought processes involved should remain fairly constant.
7. At the very least, gives us a little break from our normal routine while we try something new. Here’s what it looks like so far:

-Begin each day with Bible reading, memory verse work, and hymns.
-End each day with Ukelele lessons, Bible and literature reading with Dad, plus star-gazing if it’s clear.

Everyday Essentials

Everyday Essentials

Math Mondays
-Read aloud from “How Math Works” (a rather corny book put out by Reader’s Digest with lots of colorful pictures of kids doing fun math things and even more rather un-fun, dry, adult level narrative on the history of math. I have to do a lot of ad-libbing when I read this book but it is very interesting and I love anything that helps put what we’re studying into context).
-Go-over and complete entire week’s math assignments
-Math games
Math Mondays

Math Mondays

Textbook Tuesdays
-Read aloud from Science textbooks
-Read aloud from Hawaiian Language textbooks
-Older boys read together and work from English textbook while I work with little brother on reading.
Textbook Tuesdays

Textbook Tuesdays

Workbook Wednesdays
-Science workbooks
-Hawaiian language workbook
-Phonics workbooks
Workbook Wednesdays

Workbook Wednesdays

Deep-Thought Thursdays
-Astronomy related oral math problem of the week from Bedtimemath.org
-Read aloud any astronomy related news articles from the week, glue into scrapbook
-Science experiments and activities
-Hawaiian culture and art projects
We love activities we can eat like these Oreo Cookie Moon Phases

We love activities we can eat like these Oreo Cookie Moon Phases

Factoid Fridays
-Memory verse recital
-Hawaiian language vocab cards/quizzes
-Write and post Friday’s Factoid
-Add any new date cards to Living Timeline
-Math flash cards
-Spelling lists and quizzes
Just the facts, thank you very much.

Just the facts, thank you very much.

J is for…

This week’s memory verse: J is for…

Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children.”
-Matthew 11:25

A special Thanksgiving Hymn: “Still, My Soul Be Still” (Getty)

This is a newer hymn by the authors of “In Christ Alone” and might be unfamiliar so I wanted everyone to hear the beautiful tune. The lyrics are included in the video so I won’t be typing them out. Given the current state of things in our country, it’s even more crucial for us to take time to be still before our God and to be thankful that He is ruler over all things, Lord of heaven and earth. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!