Saturday, June 10, 2017

Homeschool 2017

We are naming our homeschool New Hope Academy!!!
So excited for the fall and getting our year started! 

New Hope Academy ~ A Christian based homeschool where every child is encouraged to shine.  Our goal is to help our children learn, and grow, by guiding their hearts and character so they shine in the light of God.
Matthew 5:16 Shine your light on the world. 
Home of the Eagles

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31

Family Verse
Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Mission Statement
We live to love God and love others. We will strive for excellence in our words, deeds, and actions, while instilling a love of learning. 

We are proud to be using Abeka curriculum for most of our subjects.
Reading: Abeka K-5
Bible: Abeka K-5
Math: Abeka K-5
Social Studies: Abeka K-5
Art: Abeka K-5/Childcraft Make and Do
Music: Church Choir
Physical Education: Some of our students will be taking dance, others will be participating in gymnastics.
Writing: Some of our students will be using Abeka cursive writing program, while other students will be using Handwriting Without Tears.
Weekly cooking class
Weekly Trips to the Library for Story Time/Crafts/Science Time
Monthly Field Trips
          September: Zoo
          October: Pumpkin Patch
          November: Grist Mill
          December: Tree Farm
          January: OMSI (Science Museum)
          February: Children’s Museum
          March: Fort Vancouver
          April: Tulip Farm
          May: Fire station
          June: Aquarium

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Homeschool Revamp

Well, our homeschool is looking a bit different than before.
We are now full time homeschooling Veronika and Rowan, and starting in the fall will be homeschooling Gavyn as well full time. Willow Mae will spend the mornings doing school with us at home and then go to a special ed preschool in the afternoon.
Ellie and Alina will spend a good bit of the summer working on homeschooling so they do not lose any skills they learned over this school year in public school and then in the fall they will go back to High School.
We will be doing Abeka Homeschool with the DVD program and textbooks. We are so excited to get started! We also work with an amazing lady named Mrs. Brown who has a program called So Happy to Learn and So Happy to Learn at Home, which is designed for children Down syndrome, but also works great for any child! The kids love her program and enjoy all her worksheets, videos, and just every part of her program. She makes learning fun!

Rowan was struggling in kindergarten this year socially and emotionally, so we felt it was best to let him repeat kindergarten. Willow Mae misses the cut off for kindergarten by a week, and Gavyn missed it last year by two weeks, so we will have four kindergarteners come fall.

All six kids are enjoying playing T-ball and Soft Ball on the Miracle League. This is the first time any of them have played t-ball/soft ball before!
We have spent the last few weeks doing a lot of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and it is showing. The kids are becoming more confident in their abilities and we are so proud of them.

Over the next few weeks I will be updating our blog layout, and updating pictures, info, etc. Please check back soon to see all the changes that are being made! 

My camera broke a few weeks ago so I do not have much in the way of pictures to show, but I do have at least a video to share. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Learning time

One of the beauties of homeschooling is to be able to do schoolwork if you are feeling up to it, but have a cold, you can rest when you need but you can also work on things when you feel well enough. Such has been the case with Veronika for the last couple of weeks. 
I thought I would share a little bit of our homeschool day that is a bit shortened since Veronika is not 100%.

Veronika works on a worksheet by Mrs. Brown's program, So Happy to Learn at Home. 
She puts dots on the numbers to help learn the value of each number. Number 1 - 1 dot, and so on.  
Once she has mastered this addition will be so much easier because she won't need pictures or finger to count on, she can just count the dots as she adds up the numbers. 

I LOVE this magnet game. It actually comes with several little pieces for each board and a cute little bag to store the pieces for each set in it. In the top corner it tells you what it is, and that is color coded to the bag color. As you can see in this one the top corner is green and it has a green bag to go with it. Veronika Is working on the sorting house. Each room has 2-3 items that go to that room. 

Veronika puts the pillow in the bedroom on the bed, she has already put the dress in the closet, she has put the sink and mirror and towel in the bathroom, the microwave, stove and dishes in the kitchen, and the toolbox in the garage.

This is part of the same game, but a different board. This board is, What goes together?
This one is set up like little shops and Veronika has to decide what goes to each shop. They have a music store, clothing store, grocery, pet store, post office, art shop, etc. 

 Working on Opposites

This one is a bit more challenging so we do this one together.  We look at the pictures and then we say the words together and then figure out what the first letter is of that word based on the sound.

Working on flash cards I have her flip through them and read them to me.
Veronika has mastered most of these cards but I just added a few new ones: again, around, about, almost

Next we practice writing letters. She is so proud of her letter N!!!
This worksheet and the one below are from Mrs. Brown's So Happy to Learn at Home program.

 Math worksheet. This worksheet I have from a workbook I found at Target. Veronika has to count the items and then circle the answer. I am so amazed at how far she has come this year, she can do this all by herself!

Cutting and gluing activity. Veronika had to cut then glue the pictures into the right spot to complete the picture.Any time we work on cut and glue we always stop and talk before I let her start gluing. Gluing can be so fun that she gets excited and might glue stuff just anywhere. By taking time to talk, we stop to examine the pictures, then look at the worksheet to figure out where it might go. Only when she has figured out where everything goes do I let her start gluing. It is a process I want to instill in her. I always want her to think of what she is doing before she goes off and does something.

Another cut and glue activity. This one is about a butterfly's life cycle. We read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar then did the worksheet.

More math work. Veronika uses buttons for each number to show quantity.

At the bottom I wrote her name for her to copy. I have put each letter in it's own box so she can focus on one letter at a time, not skip any letters, and not put any letters on top of any others. 

Next we worked on what belongs and on another worksheet what does not belong. This worksheet was also from a workbook from Target.

We ended the day by reading Green Eggs and Ham together. I would read the longer pages and she would read the shorter pages. It is quite a long book so it can wear her out reading it on her own. This way she could enjoy our time together, practice her reading, but also listen to me model how to read without pauses and with inflection. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Some highlights of our days

While currently only Veronika is being homeschooled we make it a bit deal to make sure the kids get lots of excersise and get their energy out before we start working on anything. By getting their blood flowing and getting them to move around a lot,
 with playing on the Gorilla Gym

Playing outside in the snow

 Riding the wiggle bike

Or dancing to the music

Or riding therapy bikes 
Exercise  is important because It signals the release of serotonin, which is a mood booster, dopamine, which helps with  learning and attention; and norepinephrine, which helps with alertness and attention.  According to  John J. Ratey, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical Schoo,  "By elevating neurotransmitters in the brain, it helps us focus, feel better, and release tension."

Once they have gotten all their wiggles out they are able to focus more. 
That is when we start getting some work done.
 Willow has been working on writing her name. I wrote the top one for her so she could look at it and see all the letters, she wrote the bottom one.

 Veronika worked on counting the items on the puzzle card then finding the numeral that matches. Once she found the correct puzzle piece she counted out the bears and put enough bears to match the numerals

Another important part of our day is sensory play. 
This is oobleck. I love how it feels hard when you press it or try to pick it up...

but once it is in your hands it "melts"
Because it can act like both a solid and a liquid it is called a discrepant substance. With oobleck, pressure or lack of pressure influences the state of oobleck. By squeezing or trying to pick up the oobleck, or pressing on it, it feels solid, but when you just hold it and do not apply pressure it turns into liquid. It is pretty messy but very easy to make *cornstarch and water* and so much fun!

Water beads are also a lot of fun! 

One of the kids favorite toys is magnet blocks. 

I love how many endless possibilities there are with these magnet blocks and how the kids will often look through them so they can see the room in different colors. By putting two different colors together they can "color mix" and get a new color. They lover doing this! 

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Since pulling Veronika from school in December we have had one month of intensive PT, where she was doing PT 5 days per week for 3 hours per day. We will do a few more sessions of this throughout the year but I love watching her grow so much stronger and confident in her abilities!
She will have a two week session of intensive OT in March and we are very excited about that!
Well, back in November, Veronika was working hard on putting together the little toddler 9 piece puzzles. She was getting better, but still could have worked on it longer. However, for Christmas she got two 24 piece puzzles. To motivate her, they were of her favorite cartoon, Doc McStuffins. With us being so busy in January doing PT we never had time to get the puzzles out and work on them, so it wasn't until this month we finally broke them out for her to give them a try.
The first time we put the puzzle together I helped her a lot. We talked about corner pieces and how they have two straight sides, we talked about the pictures on the puzzle pieces, and how we always have to look at each piece carefully and reference back to the picture on the box of what it needs to look like when it is done. The second time she put it together ON HER OWN!!!!!!!!!!!! I was blown away! Blown Away!!!

Another wonderful thing she has been doing is being more active in wanting to do art. I have made sure she has access to scissors, glue, paper, pens, pencils, markers, and crayons. She has been going on her own to get what she wants and then working on her own projects. This is great for her creativity, plus gives her a chance to work on her fine motor skills which are so weak. (hence our need for intensive OT)

She also enjoyed playing soccer this winter and is looking forward to t-ball in the spring! We are blessed to have "adaptive" soccer and t-ball for kids in our area. It was a great intro to playing on a field, kicking a ball, and not having the pressure of a real game. Once she gains confidence and gets more skills then we can always move on to a typical soccer/t-ball team, but for now it is about gaining confidence, skills, and just having fun.
Just so proud of this girl!!!