Homeschool Mother’s Journal YR 4/5 WK 10

Whew! The past two weeks have been SO full! Paul traveled to California, I traveled to Tennessee, we’ve had out of town family stop by, friends come to visit, and all of the boys school squished from twelve weeks into ten. It didn’t feel much like squishing though as it had always been the plan to fit it into eleven weeks because of our Nigeria trip – but a few weeks ago I realized that we needed to take one additional week off, so I moved readings around a little bit and we’ve made it work. I’m thankful for flexibility!

The boys each have a few chapters to read still – Wesley with Robinson Crusoe and Judah with King Arthur. Funny enough, both of those books held challenges. For Wesley it was a challenge for him to start the book. He found it hard and tedious and boring. I shortened the readings and scheduled them daily and that helped a lot! I encouraged him to make his favorite cup of tea or chew some gum (a treat) while reading it, and eventually that book became his favorite! He narrates really well from it and it has been so special to see his growth.

King Arthur was a challenge for Judah. We started with The Boy’s King Arthur and he struggled with it so much, which is very unusual for him. He’s my kid that has read The Hobbit about five times now, so after weeks of encouraging him through it and his opinion not changing I found another version for him and told him he was welcome to switch versions, but it would mean starting over from the beginning. He was happy with that idea and switched to King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table. He still found it a bit difficult, but enjoyed it far more than the previous version.

We are traveling a bit this upcoming week so they will just bring their chapter book with them and finish it on the road – then we are done term one! At bedtime tonight they asked if they could celebrate it tomorrow morning with cereal. Haha. We are hoping to fit in our Feast for the Famous to celebrate our favorites from the books read in term one – but it will be a little bit of a last minute squeezing it in sort of deal. Handicraft project - whittling boatsJudah has been whittling a lot lately and brought me these little boats – one had a paper sail but it fell off and we are trying to think how we can add a more permanent sail on them.
We didn’t have a singular handicraft focus this term, apart from our beekeeping and honey collecting. We intended to do some concoctions with our beeswax, but that didn’t get done. The boys have continued in their own interests and skills. Next term I hope we can develop them deeper by encouraging more learned skills and persevering beyond the honeymoon stage of projects.

I walked by them earlier this week to see them like this. Wesley checking out a picture book I had picked up and Judah working on some school. More often than not we’re a mess and books are everywhere – but I love that we get to do this every day and I know one day these will be the sweet moments I miss.

I still work hard to find beautiful picture books for them to feast on. I have been collecting books on Paris and casually pulling them out to read to them, making sure to feed them a wide feast and not just Paris books – but really, I am hoping they build some connections with our upcoming 24 hour layover in Paris!

Favorite books on Paris for kids

These have been my very favorite books on Paris:

The Giraffe that Walked to Paris – such a great story based on historic events! A giraffe is gifted to the king of France from the King of Egypt and it is all kinds of charming and sweet and the boys asked if we could check out a zoo while in Paris.
The Journey that Saved Curious George – the true story about the authors of Curious George and their struggle through WWII and carrying their manuscripts on their bycyles as they attempted to get to safety.
Anatole – this is just a super fun story about a mouse in Paris who loves cheese. My boys adore cheese, so it is totally suitable!
This is Paris – there are a whole bunch of books in this series, each one focusing on a different city. They are beautifully illustrated and fun to read!

So term one is essentially over, and things are coming together well for Nigeria – at least today it feels like it. I keep wavering back and forth between feeling like I am on top of everything and then feeling like there are a MILLION little things to do.

We will start term two when we get home, but I will plan that out once we get home. Have I mentioned how much I super love Ambleside Online? While my personality is far more inclined to recreate things and do things all on my own, it is so refreshing to have AO’s booklists laid out with weekly reading schedules and exert my energy elsewhere. So I am counting on an easing into of term two and just following the schedule as-is until I get my footing and sort out what extras I will add in.

Nature Study cards on Africa wildlife and nature and bugs

This is one of the things I have gotten done for Nigeria – I hope to do some nature study as part of a VBS and I made up these nature cards based off of some of their critters. I got them finished this week and printed and laminated. Now I just need to remember to pack them!

I have one final thing I want to share! Last weekend I was in TN at the Wild and Free Conference. It was SO good – every part of it, from spending quality time with a sweet friend, to making new friends, to listening to remarkable speakers – it was refreshing and encouraging and just such a gift to be able to be there.

But there was an incredible moment I wanted to share from the weekend – I shared it on my instagram account so will just copy and paste it here.

wild and free

“I have a story to share! As you know we are heading to Nigeria two weeks from today for a three week missions trip. Some of you also know that two weeks ago today there was a kidnapping that occurred to some of the family members we are going over there to visit. (My aunt was released that same day, my cousin five days later.) As a couple Paul and I clearly saw the Lord open the door for us to go and His provision for the trip in unexpected ways – like @beautifulfeetbooks hiring me for a small project out of seemingly nowhere.
When the kidnapping occurred we never doubted that we should go. Elisabeth Elliot’s words ran through my mind – “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” or the very similar “Don’t doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.” – as well as many of the Bible stories and missionary biographies we have read through the years that emphasize God’s faithfulness. He is faithful and His promises are true.
Even though I haven’t been doubting, I have been so encouraged as I look at how God has affirmed that we should continue on with our trip. There have been three “anchor affirmations” as I am calling them since the kidnapping that have affirmed the door is still wide open for our family to go. I want to share just one of those.
This past weekend I was at the Wildandfreeconf and they played a game with the 850 women. I just happened to be the winner – it was a totally unskilled game that would generate a random winner, and you can call it “luck” that I was the single winner out of all those women, but I see the hand of God in it. I was called on stage and @tinaglee and @farmhouse_schoolhouse presented me with my prize – a breathtaking, gorgeous and huge print by @estherlaurendesignsthat simply says “Wild & Free”. Wild – the adventure we are about to embark on. Free – from fear because God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. We still haven’t settled on where the print is going to be permanently hung, but I know every time I look at it it will remind me of God’s faithfulness and unique provision. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore.””

Be encouraged, my friends! God is good and faithful.

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