Friday, August 27, 2010

School Has Begun

School started this week. Glenn started his 2nd year of medical school and, even though school doesn't start in NY until 9/9, the kids and I started school this week as well. Caleb is in 5th grade this year, Hannah in 3rd, Lydia in 1st and Abigail is in Kindergarten. It has been a good week. We decided to change up everything but math this year. After the homeschool convention we went to in June I really felt God prompting me to use Sonlight with the kids this year. I was nervous about it, partially because of the cost, partially because I didn't know whether it is going to work for us or not and partially because I wanted to do one core together with everyone and I wasn't sure how that was going to work with my range and didn't know which Core to choose. When I finally made the decision to use Sonlight Core 1+2 God gave us an unexpected blessing of a facebook friend whom I have only met once at a weekend camp lending us a lot of the books/ manuals that I needed which saved us a lot of money! I have loved the idea of Sonlight because there are so many great books that it uses. I decided to start with Core 1+2 even though it is not advanced enough for Caleb because I really wanted the kids to start with a World History overview (which 1+2 does) rather than more American focused history which is covered in 3 and 4. I really wanted to do Core 5 this year but know that Caleb would be the only one up to that level and I really wanted to try to do everyone together this year. We have all really enjoyed school this week and learned quite a bit. The schedule needs some tweaking but it is going pretty well. The read aloud for this week has been Red Sails to Capri which we are loving.

Another investment we made for our school is Rosetta Stone Spanish. The kids have absolutely loved it and have learned a lot already. It was pretty expensive but Glenn wants to use it too to learn Spanish to help him to communicate with patients and we figure it is a helpful language for us to have living here in the US.

We have kept with out math curriculum because we all love it. We use the Mathematics Enhancement Programme from The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching. It is a curriculum that I found from's listings. The teacher's manuals and practice books are all available for free online in pdf form. I started using it because it was free and we have kept using it because we love it!

This year for science I found a homeschool science book online from There is a teacher's manual and student books in PDF form. I really liked the look of it and partly what I liked about it is that it was set up for 36 weeks (the same as Sonlight) and it was set up to do something 3 days a week. The first day you read the text together and the other 2 days you do experiments to help you understand what you read. I really liked the look of the book and the manual and there were neat ideas for science experiments so I decided to use it. I get overwhelmed at preparing for science experiments though so I hired a TA for science. Caleb is working for me for free and he thinks that it is the greatest thing on earth and I love the help!

So far the kids are loving school. Lydia and Hannah are coming along in their reading. Caleb is loving the Spanish and doing really well in it. Abigail is thoroughly enjoying being able to "do school" too. She told Glenn her favorite part of school is learning sounds. So far she has only met /f/ and she couldn't remember what /f/'s name was late on a Friday evening but she is excited to learn to read as well.

Well, I really need to head to bed but I wanted to report on week 1 of our school year. I am thankful for the opportunity to homeschool and for how God has abundantly provided for us for this school year and the grace He is bestowing. Much more to blog about but my bed is calling my name...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wacky Cake

Today is Hannah's birthday and we had a fun day. As almost always we had wacky cake with peanut butter frosting for dessert. I love that stuff. I could (but know I shouldn't) eat it everyday.

Anyway, I am often asked for the recipe so I thought I would put it here just so I always know where to look when I need it :)

Wacky Cake
in 8x8 or 9x9 pan sift (double for 9x13):
1 1/2 C flour
1C sugar
3T baking cocoa
1/2t salt
1t soda
6T oil
1t vanilla
1T vinegar
1C cold water
Stir well. Don't forget the corners.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

Peanut Butter Frosting (enough for 9x13)
3C powdered sugar
1/4C peanut butter
1-2T milk
1 1/2t vanilla

Saturday, August 07, 2010

I am not sure that I fit in

Today and tomorrow Glenn is involved in a conference of some sort for family physicians. I am not exactly sure what it is but he and another student are on some board for it. He was in meetings most of the day for it and then tonight there was a catered party that our whole family was invited to. We went but I struggled going. I don't feel like I am up to the level of hanging out with doctors and their spouses. I am not sure why. I have friends who are doctors and who are married to doctors but when it comes to being around doctors that I don't know I feel like I am not going to be good enough. I don't know why. Maybe because we have been students and low income workers for most of our marriage and have been far below the poverty line for so long that I feel I will never attain a higher standard. Maybe my mind hasn't wrapped around the fact that Glenn is finally in medical school and one day he will be a doctor. Maybe it is just because this world is not my home and I am not going to fit in here. Glenn told me that others will accept me but that I need to accept myself. It may be because I don't accept myself and project my unrealistic expectations of myself onto others. I don't know what it is but I pray that God will help me take my eyes off myself and to look to others to see how I can meet their needs and point them to Him. I didn't do that very well tonight but I pray that next time, Lord willing, I will use such an opportunity as a chance to shine for Him and not worry about what others think of me or worry about fitting in.