God’s motion, home school conference

So I wanted to record these two things. After many years of *holding* the idea of doing a conference for homsechooling moms, God made definite motions to initiate and fulfill the plan.

In the early days of taking steps of faith, He encouraged me with two places from Scripture.

One, I was reading the story of Samson, and while I dearly hope that God saves me from Samson’s moral failure and apparent lack of heart to glorify God, I was touched by the Spirit’s coming upon him to accomplish supernatural acts.

So, this conference is not a supernatural act, but 1. I want supernatural things to happen in our hearts, things that only God’s Spirit can do, and 2. I want to not work in my own power to plan this, but to work in the Spirit’s power. So Samson’s story impressed this aspect upon me.

Also, I was touched by Jesus’ words, when He dried the fig tree and the disciples wondered about it, and then He said, “Have faith in God…. Truly I tell you, if anyone says …., and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

This encouraged me because I know that God Himself it urging this conference to be done, and I am asking with my *hands off* and wanting with a clear heart to do His plan.

Fitness 2020: shifting identities

I heard or read someone not long ago saying that one needs to be flexible with one’s own identity– because they can come and go.

So I’ve been inspired to lose more weight and get back to the shape I was in back in 2016. I’m not very fat right now, for which I’ve learned to be thankful. That is, instead of just being dissatisfied with my appearance, I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have been able to maintain to date. It’s been a lot of work and effort.

But along with “getting in shape again,” I’m trying to actually change my identity this time. Let me explain:

When I got way in shape (back in 2016), it felt a little strange, like it wasn’t me, like it wasn’t my real body. Like, I’ve always been overweight, not a muscular, thin person. So, having a muscular, thin body was strange to me. It wasn’t normal. It was something that constantly surprised me.

So I’m trying, this time, to also shift my identity, from someone that is always slightly overweight to someone that is thin, fit, active, etc.

Our recent trip to the Carpathians Mtns helped me with this– it was fun being able to climb steep mountains and feel myself in good physical shape.

So I’m trying mentally to shift my image of myself–that Anne is a middle-age, super-in-shape homeschooling mom. 🙂

Being married to Vitaliy helps, as he is very active and has been from youth. He’s always taking us on active outings.

So anyway, this is one of my current threads in life.

week 2, progress

This week we finished reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins. We were doing a chapter a day, but about Tuesday, we got curious about how it would end, so we read the last three chapters to find out.

Una really amazes me. She loves “school,” well, what SHE means by school, which is basically doing pages in her math book and copying letters.

I’m surprised by her progress in writing because of her interest. She’s been writing her numbers a lot, learning from 0 – 20 in math, so she has fewer and fewer backwards numbers.

Her English letters are getting better, too, from all her copying.

Andre was supposed to start dictation this week, but I realized that he is not ready at all for hearing words out loud and trying to write them down, so we’re doing copy work instead.

We had the option of making a paper mache mummy, but I didn’t get that together– we did the flora and fauna of Egypt booklets. But we watched youtube videos about mummification and the monuments in Egypt. And Vika did a fast wrap-job on them both with TP, so they were “mummified.” However, we left the brains and internal organs in place, ha ha.

Egyptian paddle doll and game

I’d never heard of this game– 9 Men’s Morris. It’s an old game from Egyptian time– still played today. We made this from an art museum book and learned the rules and he played several times. There are YouTube videos explaining how to play it.

With Una, we made an Egyptian paddle doll.

Yegipteckaya igra i kukla

Египетская игра и кукла

Сегодня мы занимались рукоделием.

Андрей очень понравился сделать эту игру и учить, как ее играть. (На ютуб есть инструкции об этом.)

Старая игра– “мельница” (9 Men’s Morris)

Юне понравилась сделать куклу из египетской культуры.

Geografiya s kartoi solonogo testo

Географическия с картой соленого теста

и орфография

Итак, наша школьная программа «Гобелен Благодати», год 1, мы изучаем древний Египет (за 3 недели). И одним из заданий по географии было сделать соленого теста и создать страну, которая отображает такие географические харастеристики: утес, море, полуостров, канал, дельта, остров и т. д. (Я помню, как делала это со Скайлой и Викой много лет назад).

Андре хотел использовать пищевой краситель, поэтому мы так и сделали

Мой Андрей скептически относится к любой новой идее, поэтому он не хотел делать это, когда я впервые представила эту идею в начале нашего совместного времени сегодня, но потом ему очень понравилось – ему понравилось смешивать тесто – я позволил ему добавить пищевую краситель, и он добавил много других вещах после того, как мы выполнили условия: лодки, мосты, маяк, другие острова, дома и т. д.

Мы тоже используем программу для орфография, которая дает разные идеи, как тактально учится, чтоб запоминать как правильно писать слова.

Geography features with salt

So Tapestry of Grace, year 1, we’re learning about ancient Egypt. And one geography assignment was to mix up a batch of salt dough and create a country that displays these geographical features: cliff, sea, peninsula, canal, delta, island, etc. (I remember doing this with Skyla and Vika years ago.)

mixing dough, Andre wanted to use food coloring, so we did

Andre is my complete skeptic about any new idea, so he didn’t want to do this when I first introduced the idea at the beginning of our time together, but then, he loved it– he loved mixing the dough– I let him put in the food coloring, and he added tons of features after we did the terms– boats, bridges, a lighthouse, more islands, houses, etc.

First Week of School

I love starting and ending at odd times. Quarantine came, and I decided to ditch 2nd grade with Andre. (The girls are on their own tracks to finish 8th grade.) He was already in Third Grade math and reading, so I figured, let’s drop it. I wasn’t inspired by it, neither was he.

So I used Quarantine to … change. I love change, I love seeds of ideas bursting forth into blooms, leading into fruit. In January, I had planned to move midwifery studies to first place. But then, several factors converged to change my direction once again.

I realized that Skyla and Vika would be G-O-N-E GONE in four years, and my window of opportunity with them is in its final stages. So I:

And most importantly at this moment, I invested in myself as a teacher– I’ve been realizing that if I’m going to enjoy home schooling, I need to invest myself in learning the skills of it, So I:

I did this because I think I have a similar personality to her and I really, really love her program– how it integrates history, literature, culture, arts, geography, philosophy, writing.

I spent time learning the program, learning to do the parts I’ve been skipping and which I naturally am repelled by. I also set myself up for success (hopefully) by starting early (this week) with only Andre and Una. I made an early bedtime and before bed we clean the living room and I set up our needed books the next day. We set up a big table. And we have a definite start time. I also made Weekly Assignments for them, and they (Andre especially) love seeing what they have to do for a day and crossing it off as it’s done.

clean, organized, devoted workspace
school books in one place
Our unit topics for 36 weeks of school
Weekly assignments for each Level: grammar (upper or lower), dialectic, rhetoric.

I’m starting Andre and Una as Lower Grammar students; Andre is writing level 3 while Una is level 1.

Literature and history
Fine Arts
Extra/Other: Geography, science, and extra history reading

Left: Una learning to read. She still doesn’t remember all the sounds of the letters in the alphabet but we go on slowly with combining sounds a bit. Her brain will click with it when it’s time.

Right: Andre took off this year with English reading. This is a third grade reader I found, and he reads a page aloud each day.

Math is easy for Andre; It’s what’s most interesting for Una though it clicks less at this time. She has fun with the shapes, counting, and writing numbers.

Andre has another handwriting program, but I’m also trying to incorporate more writing for him. He needs repetition and practice. He’s getting ready for spelling. We use Spelling Power. He writes the group rule, then does a short activity like writing in chalk markers on the board below. Today he recorded himself saying the words and spelling them.

And this is a recent photo of moi, teacher extraordinaire.

I have more to say, but it will wait for another post 🙂

Pervaya Nedelya Skoli

Я люблю начинать и заканчивать школу в необычные времена. Пришел карантин, и я решила бросить 2-й класс с Андреем. (Девчонки самостоятельно заканчивают 8-й класс.) Он уже учился в третьем классе по математике и чтению, поэтому я решила, что давайте оставим остальных. Меня это не вдохновляло, как и он.

Поэтому я использовала Карантин, чтобы… измениться. Я люблю перемены, я люблю семена идей, расцветающие, ведущие к плодам. В январе я планировала перевести акушерское обучение на первое место. Но затем несколько факторов сошлись, чтобы изменить мое направление еще раз.

Я поняла, что Скайла и Вика покинут нашу семью через четыре года, и мое окно возможностей с ними находится на последней стадии. Так что я:

  • Убирала все мои акушерские вещи
  • Заказала курс химии для нас троих, которые мы проведем вместе в этом году (Химия на кухне)
  • Заказала библейскую программу “Кошек и собак” 1-го года (Виталий любит эту книгу и подхода) для нас троих

И что наиболее важно в этот момент, я инвестировала в себя как учитель – я осознала, что если я собираюсь получать удовольствие от домашнего обучения, мне нужно вкладывать средства в изучение его навыков, поэтому я:

  • Купил книгу Марсии Сомервиль «Любите дорогу» (Смысль–любить сам процесс домашнего обучения– это то, что Виталий
    постоянно вдохновляет меня сделать); эта книга действительно “в точку”.
  • И инвестировала в ее видео сериал «Master Teacher Training» …. подготовка мастерских учителей … (я пока просмотрела 3 лекции).

Я сделала это, потому что я думаю, что у меня есть схожая с ней личность, и я действительно, очень люблю ее программу – как она объединяет историю, литературу, культуру, искусство, географию, философию, письмо.

Я потратила время на изучение ее программы, научившись выполнять части, которые я пропустила раньше, и которые меня, естественно, отталкивают. Я также настроился на успех (надеюсь), начав рано (на этой неделе) только с Андреем и Юной. Мы рано ложимся спать, и перед сном мы убираем зал и я готовлю необходимые книги для следующего дня. Мы открываем большой стол. И у нас есть определенное время начала (8:30). Я также сделала Еженедельные Задания для них, и они (особенно Андрей) любят видеть то, что они должны сделать в течение дня и вычеркивать это, как это было сделано.

чистое, организованное, преданное рабочее пространство
все школьные книги в одном месте
Наш блок темы для 36 недель школы
Еженедельные задания для каждого уровня: грамматика (первый или второй уровень), диалектика, риторика.

Андрей и Юна вместе на первой уровня грамматики; но по программе написания, Андре пишет задания на уровень 3, а Юна пишет на уровень 1.

Литература и история
Изобразительное искусство

Дополнительное/Другие: география, наука и дополнительное чтение истории

Слева: Юна учится читать. Она до сих пор не помнит все звуки букв в алфавите, но мы медленно продолжаем комбинировать звуки. Ее мозг все поймет, когда ее придет время.

Справа: Андрей взлетел в этом году с английским чтением. Это учебник третьего класса, который я нашла где-то, и он читает страницу вслух каждый день.

Математика проста для Андрея. И то, что наиболее интересным для Юны, хотя в настоящее время она мало понимает. Она любит формы, считать и писать цифры.

У Андрея есть еще одна программа для рукописного ввода, но я также пытаюсь привлечь больше писем для него. Ему нужно повторение и практика. Он готовится к орфографии. Мы используем Spelling Power. Он пишет правило группы, затем выполняет короткое задание, например, пишет мелом маркерами на доске ниже. Сегодня он записал себя, произнося слова и произнося их по буквам.

И это недавняя фотография меня, экстраординарной учительница!

У меня есть еще что сказать, но это будет ждать другого поста 🙂

Midlife crisis: Joy and Blessing

As I was working in the quiet morning, cleaning the kitchen, and packing for our camping trip that starts today, I suddenly thought about how happy I am. At this moment, I am so happy.

I’m happy with our wonderful children. We have two early-teenage girls, an 8-yr-old boy, and a 5yo girl. They bring so much happiness and adventure and fulfillment into my life.

It’s hard, but putting aside all feminist and complementarian/egalatarian arguments about the purpose of woman and man, roles, and all the cultural (Christian and secular) junk about self-fulfillment, gender roles, etc., I just want to say I’m very happy with motherhood, with homeschooling, with our home life. I’m happy with the result inside me that submitting to these things– submitting to them as God’s will for ME (not for all womankind)– has affected. I’m happy with all the wonderful, good ways it’s changed me as a person as I’ve submitting to following Jesus Christ in these things.

It’s a happy moment, and midlife (for me) is a time of starting to enjoy the fruit from the travails of the last 10-15 yrs.

I’ll give you one moment why I’m thinking about this. Yesterday our new mixer arrived. It’s a stand-mixer and pretty big. Andre was so thrilled about this huge box sitting on our kitchen floor–He loves the kitchen– it’s so much heat, electronics, pouring, mixing, machinery, knives, cracking eggs– what’s not to love for a boy?

I wanted to keep the mixer in the box until we came back from our camping trip, but … I’m also learning from Vitaliy how to actively enter into our kids’ interests and joys (I’ve often wanted to protect myself from that, perhaps because of the exhaustion levels of pregnancy and breastfeeding and co-sleeping and all that, but I don’t have those factors in my life any more, so generally I do have more energy) …

So I decided to enter into his joy and interest and get the mixer out. So we did– we examined all the parts– it’s a mixer, a blender, and a meat grinder all in one– We set up all the attachments, and he wanted to make frozen-banana ice cream in the blender … So we did that, too, adding milk, frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, strawberry syrup– I laugh about it now, how sugary-sweet our concoction was, but he was having such fun plopping and pouring things in, watching the funnel form in the thick mixture.

We had a fun time, and I’m glad I entered into his joy and fascination. I still feel the joy of that today.

He’s so tall; he’s made so much reading progress; he’s so growing up. It’s just amazing and it gives me joy.

“Being a mom is the best and most important job EVER,” this shocking thought went through my brain this morning.

I will remind you (and me) of what I USED to think, when my first two kids were little and I was struggling with all the sacrifices: “I will never miss THIS! Never!” That’s what I used to think.

Now I think this is the best thing ever. …. 🙂

So that’s something I enjoy about midlife. It might be the “long middle” (per Donald Miller’s analogy–that we don’t have the excitement of the push-off or the achievement of the end– we’re just rowing in the long, in-between dark)– so it’s the long middle, but the long middle also has it’s joys, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

I was thinking also yesterday, that transitioning out of the pregnancy-birth phase contributes to these midlife feelings– pregnancy and birth give a type of excitement, anticipation, something to plan for and be interested in, partnering with God in creation. But this phase doesn’t have that particular excitement or scheduling any more. So I’m thinking about what to switch to– What to LEARN TO enjoy and anticipate and mark as milestones in this midlife phase.