Morning Faith and Virtues Time

I have mentioned in a few of my previous posts and on my schedule that in the morning we have faith and virtues time, so I thought I would post a little more about what we do during this time.  We gather for this time after breakfast before we start our other lessons for the day.  We gather on the couch and start with this wake up prayer:  “The sun is up and I am too.  I say good morning God to you.  Lord, Jesus Christ, be with me today, and help me in all I  think, and do, and say.”  Then we say another prayer, I change this monthly, this month we are saying the Hail Mary.  We then have a reading or other activity on our virtue for that month or our saint for that day.

The kids help me set up our prayer shelf for the month.  Here is our current prayer shelf for the month. We have green fabric covering our shelf for the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. We also have two laminated cards one has the quotes about our virtue of the month and the other has definition of our virtue. This month our virtue is perseverance. We have this Rosary book, which we will use this month since this month is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. We always have our Crucifix, Living Faith Kids, a Mary statue and the candle we use for our bedtime prayers.  We also add holy cards or saint books throughout the month.

I also wanted to share how I create my plans for the month for our faith and virtues time.   I start by printing out a monthly calendar from Catholic Culture and I also read the monthly overview.  This calendar goes into the binder I set up, which is divided up by the months of the the year.  Then with the information about the liturgical feasts and and highlights for the month I write out lessons plan on this weekly lesson plan form.  For a saints feast day I list what books we are going to read, any craft or coloring activity, videos we plan to use, or special meal or dessert we plan to make. In addition to the information on the Catholic Culture website, I also use the Catholic Icing and Catholic Cuisine websites and the book  The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions.  Most days are very simple and we read about the saints from Saints for Young Readers Everyday.  Our weekly lesson plans also include stories and activities for our virtue of the month from P.A.C.E. Program for Achieving Character Education.

I am really enjoying the discussions the kids and I have during this time together.  I think learning about saints and virtues, in addition to morning prayers, has been a great way to focus ourselves at the start of our day.

The Rest of July Post

Here is a glimpse of what we were up to the rest of July.

I seem to naturally fall into planning our school year during the month of July. Planning what subjects we will cover in the school year, organizing, pondering a schedule, thinking about each child and their needs, and lots of praying for guidance.  I love looking at curriculum, ordering books, getting organized, and reading through some of my favorite homeschooling books.

Annika and Jude finished their summer classes through our local parks and recreation department.  Annika took ballet and tap and Jude took taekwondo.  They both also finished swimming lessons which they have been taking once a week for the past 4 months.  They both love the water and really enjoy swimming.

My husband celebrated a birthday and we also celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary 🙂  I am so blessed to have such a great husband and marriage.

The kids and I upcycled some old crayons, I had been wanting to do this for awhile.

I also surprised the kids one afternoon when they were out with their daddy and put a tent in the house for them to camp in overnight. Zane got to play in the tent but I did have him sleep in his room.

I also have spent a lot of time in prayer asking God to guide my husband to a good job. It has been a tough road over the past month and I am very blessed to have family that is so supportive of us during this difficult time. I have to remind myself constantly to give it over to God and trust that he will guide us.

Planning Again

This summer has been really nice and relaxed. We have spent plenty of time outside and have had more laid back pace. It has been nice to have Jason out of school for the summer and spending more time together.

These past few weeks I have really started planning out our school year schedule. This year it is really a necessity for us to have a good schedule because I will be starting my online courses in September with the goal of finishing my Medical Transcription Program by next summer, which means working on it about 20 hours a week. Jason will be back in school shortly too and between work, school, and running the daycare we are going to be super busy. I have thought a lot about my kids and daycare kids and what we need to work on in the upcoming year. I have been spending time getting materials together and planning out our curriculum. The learning room just got a much needed make over. I will be using the workbox system with Jude and Annika this year. I believe this system will really help me stay organized and give Jude and Annika the consistency that they need. It seems reasonable to use this and to work my daycare schedule along with the kids school work. I am sure there will be tweaking that needs to be done along the way. Jude and Annika are really excited to start with school again and I share their enthusiasm. I’ll be posting more soon of my plans and materials.

Here are some photo’s of the newly made over learning room. I will be getting their shelves and containers for their workboxes and the rest of our materials within the next few weeks.

Wall with our alter (and mass kit), storage boxes with materials, and wall organizer for my planning books.

These are Jason’s and my bookshelves, Jason’s desk, and our table for the kids.

The table that is cleared off will be used as a table for me to set up Centers on for the kids. The bookshelf has more materials.

Our little prayer area with some books for the kids.
Close up of some materials. I have our Right Start Math Curriculum, language materials, workbooks, and science materials in these.
My resources.

Close up of the other bookshelf with materials. I will be adding some additional Montessori Materials to these shelves.

Learning and Planning

Jude has done well getting back into a routine and is doing well with the new lessons that I have introduced. I was able to order our new math curriculum Right Start Math and I am looking forward to starting Jude on this. I am continuing to introduce new Montessori Language Lessons. I also have just finished The Read Aloud Handbook and it has given me more ideas of books to introduce and reinforced in me how much they learn by being read to. I also recently checked out some books from the library of science lessons and experiments to do with young children. I have been using lessons for art from Encouraging the Artist in Your Child. For religious education we have been reading a little about saints that pertain our letter of the week and then we also started reading a page each day from the book The Holy Family. I also plan to start doing some practice with mass with Jude using the book The Mass Book for Children and incorporating in our mass kit. I think one of the things that I enjoy myself is learning as I go along and adding in new lessons and ideas as I am learning too. Jude is really receptive to new ideas and seems to do well with the format of having all lessons set out for him and then choosing the order in which he works in. He also is good about telling me if I didn’t put out something that he wants to do. It will be interesting to see how different Annika will be when I start doing more formal learning time with her. She has told me she wants to do school with momma too and I admit I love to hear that 🙂

Getting ready to start our year.

We are gearing up to start back at “schooling” at the beginning of September. I put schooling in quotes because we will not be sitting at the table with work books, we will be doing lots of hands on activities and manipulatives, enjoying nature, and reading some great books. We will start when the kids and I get back from visiting Erin in Idaho 🙂 Just a few more days until we leave. We will be doing the Little Acorn Learning program again. I was so excited when I got the month of September the other day. She has made many changes since last year and I promise it is like she read my mind in adding exactly what I was looking for. I am so excited to start. We will also be continuing using Before Five in a Row. We will continue with Montessori and I also plan to incorporate in Along The Alphabet Path. I plan to use down the alphabet path more for religion. It sounds like a lot but actually it will all flow together. I am very excited and have been trying to get Jude excited about doing something other than playing with trains. I think he will be fine once we get started. He really loved it last year and it was very good for him. It is exciting that Annika will be able to do so much more this year, she is growing so much all the time. I will be posting more after we get started.

Planning

I have not been posting here much because I am working on planning. Right now I have been working on my daycare schedule and planning for incorporating time for Jude to work in the learning room. Right now we are working on getting Jude sleeping better because he is so tired most days he doesn’t want to participate in any activities. I have my summer schedule that I have been making adjustments to since I have the kids staggered during the week and we have been off schedule the past few weeks. When fall starts I will have only one part time kid remaining, one child in care on an as needed basis, and the others will be in school full time. I am advertising for full time care only for the fall. Last year I ended up will all part time kids in daycare and this has positive and negatives to it. I would like to have a better schedule in place this year and feel it will be easier with full time kids.