Recipe to come…
Jerry & Marilyn are two very special people. I was introduced to them through their daughter, Veronica, who I’ve known for years. (You probably saw her maternity photos on here!) Marilyn is very classy, a bit quiet until you get to know her, and just a sweet, sweet person. Jerry is very animated, likely the class-clown, but also just about one of the sweetest people you could meet. And he adores Marilyn! It sounds cliché, but I was honored to be involved in their special day. They have a beautiful family.
My 2nd shooter, Amanda, took a few of the guys getting ready:
These next few shots were at the house where the bride got ready, and include the first look.
We headed to the Jesse Turner Center to take a few QUICK (and I do mean quick) shots before the ceremony.
More to come…
So, I’ve “officially” been a “teacher” for almost 2 years now. It’s mostly been great, but it does constantly keep you on your toes. It makes you wonder if you’re doing things right, how you could do things better, why on EARTH you decided to put your kids’ education in YOUR hands, blah, blah, blah. Okay, so it’s a weeee bit stressful too! I think part of that has to do with me trying to be a perfectionist (okay, not with everything, but with things I’m really interested in).
Anyway, to get to my point, I talk to people. A lot. I ask questions. Particularly when it’s about homeschooling or photography. Or anything I need to know really. Well, recently I talked to a very smart friend of mine who is a public school teacher, and let me tell you, if my kids were still in public school, I would want the in HER class! She gets the kids who don’t get to do school at home, because their parents don’t help them. Some of them are in jail. Others are drug addicts. Others are simply single parents, working and just don’t have the time. She knows that for them to succeed in life (or at least in her class), she has to get through to them in the classroom. If she hasn’t heard it come out of their mouths, she considers it not yet learned. So she teaches them. She has them practice the correct way. Once they have practiced correctly, she does a project of some sort to reinforce what they have learned and practiced. She gave me one example of how she does this.
I was telling her about my 2nd grader who was struggling with reading this year. I knew my daughter was having trouble since kindergarten (which she did in public school), but to be honest, I didn’t know how to fix it & I was busy with young twins at the time. Then in 1st grade, she came home for her first year of homeschooling. We had a fabulous grammar book, and we were doing reading for fluency, but I guess it just wasn’t quite enough. Regardless of the reason, at the beginning of 2nd grade, I knew she wasn’t where she should be when she took the WASC test, looked at a full page of print and just cried. She couldn’t even complete the test. After many tears and wondering about the many ways in which I must have failed her, and after talking to my teacher friends, one of them heard me out and assured me that she just needed help with her fluency. So we got to work. Eventually, I even took her to 12 weeks of tutoring just to have another face in the mix. She has made a lot of progress, only for me to realize that we’ve fallen behind on her writing! ACK. Once again, this takes us back to kindergarten and the way they were doing things (don’t get me wrong, we ADORED her kindergarten teacher, but sometimes they are told how they should be teaching something.). They taught them a lot of “sound-out spelling,” which I thought was really cute (because if you’ve seen a kindergartener spell, it’s pretty funny!), but there was a small part of me that wondered how this was helping them, because so many words in our language are not phonetic. SO many words break the rules! There are a ton of grammar rules, and then a lot of words don’t fall into those rules, so it must be very frustrating to learn how to read the English language!
Back to my friend. She told me that if she was teaching kindergarten, she would not have them do sound-out spelling. Instead, she would have them copy sentences from the chalkboard onto their papers, with correct grammar, punctuation & spelling. THIS, along with sight words, reading aloud and other methods, is a superior way (in her opinion) to teach spelling, writing and reading. And honestly, it was like a breath of fresh air. She gave me a fantastic idea. Some of you may not agree with it, but it seemed like such a relief to me, because it made sense to me. (Side note: Whenever my kids used sound-out spelling, I would always tell them, “That’s great sound-out spelling. Would you like to see the proper way to spell that word now?” I could never just let it be, because I didn’t see how it would help them to learn and practice it incorrectly!) Anyway, she said to tell them about when books are made, they go to a publisher. They make lots of copies to sell in the stores. She said to take a book and have your child play publisher. They get to copy the book, word-for-word, with all the correct punctuation, on those children’s writing sheets (you know, those ones with the lines that have the dashed line in the middle and then the space for pictures above). Then they get to draw a picture for each page. She said if it were her class, she would tell them the book has to be “perfect” and that if it was, she would “pay” them (she happens to have a student store…she pays them in tickets and once they earn enough money, they have special days when you can shop in the student store) for their book. I LOVE this idea. We started today. Emma has become a publisher. I’m going to give it a try. I don’t know for sure if this is the right way. But it just makes sense to me that if they are put in front of correct grammar, correct spelling and a fun way to do it, often enough, that this will help more than guessing or “sound-out spelling” any day!
I’m so thankful for the particular people the Lord has placed in my life. I’m thankful that he gave me a big mouth, so that I’ll ask questions. I’m thankful that he gave me some really smart people in my life…to whom I can ask all of life’s tough questions! lol…
Hope this helps. If not, blame my friend! haha…just kidding!!!!
At our house, we have been using Teaching Textbooks for my two older girls. They love it, and so do I! It’s on the computer, it’s fun, it’s interactive, it’s SELF-GRADED (HELLO! Love THIS!) and more. The voice they use for the lectures is very natural and soothing. He explains things very clearly. If they get the question wrong, they have the option of seeing how it is done correctly. There is a gradebook and also a workbook so they can write it all out. In my opinion, the price is very reasonable. I’d HIGHLY recommend it (and I’m not even getting paid to say that…awww, shucks!).
For my younger daughter, we started out (in 1st grade) with Math-U-See. I ALMOST didn’t stick with it, because it seemed so slow and BORING at first. Then, one day I realized what it was that this curriculum was trying to accomplish & I fell in love with it! All the “boring” stuff was setting them up to understand the difficult stuff. If we hadn’t gone over the so-called boring stuff over and over, she wouldn’t have understood as easily. She is now in 2nd grade, and testing at 4th grade level, and a lot of it has to do with this math. Again, I’d HIGHLY recommend it! I would say to start with this in kindergarten and stay with it at least until third grade.
So there you have it…I finally gave you some curriculum choices. More to come, I promise!
Long title, I know! But after that quote I used in the prior post, I HAD to link you to this post, written by my friend Jennifer! It made me feel great for several reasons. #1: I, too, peed my pants. In second grade. Wearing a dress & tights. With that mean teacher you just “couldn’t” tell… (there’s more to THAT story! lol…) #2: It emphasized my exact point in my last post. There is something MORE IMPORTANT than teaching kids. That is…TEACHING THEM TO TEACH THEMSELVES! What is that quote? “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
Jen’s post mentions author, John Taylor Gatto, who was a teacher for 30+ years. He wrote a book, which I apparently need to buy & READ, called “Dumbing Us Down,” in which he speaks of the ways in which public school teaches emotional and intellectual dependency.
Please take a moment to check out my dear friend’s post & tell me what you think! I personally thank her for sharing! And for not letting me be the ONLY one to pee my pants in 2nd grade. In a dress & tights.
To read her post, click here.
I saw this quote by Robert M. Huchins today, and realized that we have been working toward this since we began our homeschooling adventure last year. The quote is:
Funny thing is, is that I’ve sometimes felt guilty while working with one kid (or occupying the twins) and “making” the others work on their own so much. However, I’ve noticed that the kids (especially the oldest) are beginning to be able to teach themselves. They can pick up a math book, read through the material and pretty much do the work on their own. They will ask questions if needed, and some days I just need to sit right next to them through an entire Math or English lesson. But they are learning how to educate themselves. It’s quite exciting…
I was browsing the internet today, when I came across this great video, “Stuff People Say to Homeschoolers.” You probably don’t really think about it much, unless you are a homeschooling kid (who gets to hear these things frequently). Pretty funny.
Click here to watch the video.
This is one of my top fave recipes. It’s for the crockpot, which makes it EVEN. BETTER. I can’t lie…my brother & his wife gave me the recipe, but I think I’ve taken the addiction to it to a whole new level! I don’t have pictures of this one right now, but I will change that as soon as I make it again. And now that I’m talking about it, I’m craving it! Sheesh, now I gotta go to Trader Joe’s and get some more sauce!
It is so simple!!! Throw all of the following ingredients in the crockpot in the morning before work, homeschooling or whatever & soon your whole house will be full of yummy goodness when you are ready for dinner! I serve with nice, yummy, sticky rice (made in my rice cooker from the Asian food store…can’t beat those rice cookers, they’re the BEST!) and a veggie.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or sometimes I’ll use 5 or 6 frozen, boneless, skinless chicken thighs from Trader Joe’s AND I’ll throw them in the crockpot still frozen!)
Red potatoes, cut in chunks
Brown onions, cut in chunks
Carrots, cut in chunks
2 jars Trader Joe’s Thai Yellow Curry Sauce (you can use the red sauce if you prefer more bite!)
Here is what the sauce looks like:
Combine all & set on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 8 hours. Serve with rice (I prefer Calrose rice) & a veggie of your choice.
In the past year or so, my cousin Stephen reunited with his JUNIOR-HIGH sweetheart & married her! Stephen had one child from his prior marriage, and as difficult as it has been for him to go through that experience, he is so happy to have Bri in his life, and for Chloe to gain a “bonus mom,” as Bri is known. That title says so much to me. She would never try to replace Chloe’s mom, yet she’s an extra mama to her, willing to be everything that a mom should be. Stephen & Bri suit each other so well, and I am personally so appreciative for how much she loves Chloe & takes care of her. And she’s wildly in love with my cousin…it’s sooooo sweet! I’m thanking the Lord for this marriage & pray that He blesses them richly!
Here are some photos from our time in Oak Glen, in the freezing cold weather! It was worth it though…I love these and can’t wait to see some up on their walls!!
The New Couple:
And now for the family shots:
I’m leaning on the Lord and trusting in His Word tonight. Sometimes the weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders, and you can’t seem to find the strength to change what needs to be changed or even worse, the desire to change what you feel ought to be changed. It’s distressing, to say the least. I hate my weakness, my weak will. Sometimes I cannot overcome it. But in such a weakened state, I was comforted tonight by this verse:
Praying that the Lord would truly make this real in my own life. That HIS strength would be perfected in my weakness. Because I’m feeling oh, so weak! Like such a brittle soul sometimes. Like Paul talks about in Romans, that the good which I wish to do, I can’t and the evil which I hate, this I do. I try to be patient, but I’m the opposite. I try to be an easy-going mom, but I’m constantly stressed out and yell too much. (And the list goes on and on, people! **sigh**) The things I wish to be, I’m not. The things I hate to be, I am. Yet, I suppose without these thorns in my side, what reason would I have to turn my heart away from my own doing, and to my Lord’s mercy & grace & supply? I don’t know. I just don’t like where I am sometimes…inwardly, or in my spiritual walk. But I’m clinging to those verses. That HIS power would be perfected in my weakness.