Sophie’s letters


the sun :: day two

We begin our school days with the 100s chart.  Each day we write the next number on the chart, and add a straw to our “straw vase”.  When we have ten straws in the vase, the plan is to rubber band ten together.  Hopefully this will help them begin to understand the concepts of ones, tens and hundreds.  That’s the plan, anyway!
 Tuesday is our handwriting day.  I love the way that MFW approaches handwriting.  The first thing we do is go over the picture cards we made on Monday.  They girls say something like “Shirt starts with ssss” while tracing the textured “S” with their finger. 

You might think that is over simple for a kindergartner, but I’m here to tell you that it’s very waaay helpful for Sophie.  It helps her get the general idea of how she will “draw” the letter on paper (i.e. start at the top, etc).

Even two year old Truxton seemed to get some idea of what we were doing, and wanted to mimic this girls handwriting on his little chalkboard,  He kinda got the general idea, all on his own.  He even connected that shape with the sound “ssssssss”, so I’m wondering if he will continue to pick up the sounds as we progress through the next several weeks.

Kinsley nailed it.  She’s amazing like that.  Soph really didn’t do too badly, either!

I just included this because it was a part of our day (and it was so darn cute, right?)

The children then painted pictures of the sun, following simple instructions that I gave them about patterns (“alternate red and yellow for the rays of the sun”).  Sophie had a bit of trouble with that, so we followed up with a bit of pattern practice with Truxton’s pegs.  She never knew she was learning, I tell ya!
We were supposed to make raisins today, but I had forgotten the grapes.  So, in the meantime, we watched this cute little “documentary” on youtube.  I bet you this guy was homeschooled. 🙂  (Scroll to the bottom to disable the music)

We went on a hike this afternoon, on a favorite river bluff.  The kids are getting pretty good at spotting things with the “S” sound!

the sun :: day one

Today we began a week long study of the sun.  I keep having to remind myself that the girls are kindergartners and to teach accordingly – but Kinsley just soaks up everything.

Sophie seems to have about a ten second attention span, before she checks out.  And when she checks out, we’re talking real. serious. checkout.  Dan experienced the checkout ten seconds into our usual geography lesson, and was pretty amazed.  The child seriously did not know her name.  This is no exaggeration.

Please send help.
She did manage to stay with us long enough to finish this one part of her cuisenaire alphabet sheet, which I thought was major progress.
Kinsley, on the other hand, races through the work and wants to do more.  So needless to say, I’m trying to find a balance between the two, or to be wise enough to know when not to lump them together.
So, we read a bit on the sun, looked at some amazing photos of the sun, and watched this little video series (I remembered this from when I was a kid).  We talked about how Jesus is the Light of the World, and the kids experimented with walking around blindfolded to see what the world would be like without light.
We made a safe sun viewer from a box, and went on a nature walk with Papa to try it out.  Unfortunately it was too overcast to be able to see much of the sun, so we contented ourselves with watching for things that begin with an “S” (the letter we are studying in the reading program).
We read The Village Blacksmith for our poetry, and began our study of the composer, Bach.  We read his bio and listened to a few parts of his “Passion”.
We continued with the first lesson of our Spanish videos, and the girls used a few of the phrases all on their own!
 We really probably spend three hours of our day on “School” but it’s broken into such small segments that I think they barely notice it at all.
So, I think it’s going fairly well…

days three through seven

Wow, those last few days flew by!  Even though we had some extreme family crises to deal with, we still managed to keep up with school. 
The kids finished their Days of Creation banners.  They seemed to really pick up on the concept of ordinal numbers, especially Kinsley.
One day, as we were going for a nature walk and discussing the days of creation, we had the following conversation:

Mama: Can you imagine what it would be like if we were taking this walk on the third day of creation?

Kinsley: We wouldn’t hear the sheep at all!

Sophie: Or the bugs!

Mama: It’s actually kind of silly to imagine that we would be taking a walk on the third day of creation, since God hadn’t even made men yet, isn’t it? 

Sophie: Well, PAPA might not be able to go on the walk, but you and me and Kinsley and Gilli could still go!

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~


An amaryllis on our dining room table.  The colorful map hanging above the table makes me happy every time I see it.  Dan works with the kids on their geography at every meal.  At the ages of five, four and even two, they probably know more geography than I did at the age of 16.


These girls make me happy.  So, so happy!


And the boy?  He makes me laugh.  Also cry, at times.  This is how he often looks at meal times.  This time he knew I was snapping his pic and decided to ham it up.  I love this picture because it looks so much like his Papa’s first grade school pic, in which the photographer said “Say Cheese!” and then snapped the picture while Little Dan had his mouth wide open.


One of my all time favorite things about having kids is finding the strange real life vignettes that I’m always finding around the house.  Usually in the strangest places.

{yes, i am content}

round button chicken

day three

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 
 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 
 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 
And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Can you tell  how enthusiastic Sophie is?

At one point she asked “Are we going to do school until we are teenagers? Oh man…”

But she plods away, tongue going full force.

Kinsley’s lovin’ it.  She always wants to do even more than I ask of her.
She’s so studious.  Sometimes I think her perfectionism may get in her way, though.
When she’s satisfied with her efforts though, nothing can dim her enthusiasm! 
So for snacks – we had “dirt” (chocoloate pudding in cups with crushed oreos) and (ready for this?) sprouts.
We wanted the kids to get the concept of each plant growing it’s own kind of plant from seed.  So we started sprout seeds together and then had some sprouts from the store 🙂

Day Two

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Day two is finally under our belts.  We learned that on day two of creation, God made the sky, and placed it between two waters.
We looked for twos today.  The girls pointed out Gillian’s two feet, and Trux found the two from his toddler tote.  Gillian teethed on a two, so that she could participate fully.
Trux has been rough.  Very, very rough.  It seems more overwhelming when Dan is trying to sleep during the day…
He wants to work with the girls and be included in everything, which can be nice, if only he weren’t so touchy about everything!
But he still has cute pudgy toes and hands, though.

I noticed that the girls have some interesting idiosyncrasies when they concentrate.  Kinsley twists her lips back and forth, sucking on them, and pooching them out.  The harder she concentrates, the more contorted her lips get.
Sophie – poor child – she inherited the tongue sticking out genes from both her mother and father.  I kept thinking that she surely was exaggerating how far she was sticking it out, but I really don’t think she was!
Their wall banners are looking pretty neat!
I attempted to follow the theme with the snack.  Marshmallows/clouds and water – get it?  Kind of lame, but the kids seemed to make the connection.

our first official day of homeschooling

This is it! The beginning of a more “official” education for the children of the Jacobson family.

This year we selected the curriculum called My Father’s World From A to Z. Eventually we think we would like to make a switch to Ambelside’s online curriculum, but since I’m a newbie homeschool mom with an infant, a toddler and two kindergartners, we thought that maybe we should start with a program that’s pretty much laid out for us. I have lived and breathed the teacher’s manual for the last four weeks, and I think it will be a lot of fun for us!

The girls are thrilled to be starting “school”. They always seem to thrive on a schedule, and were super hyped to start this one. With Papa working the graveyard shift I’ve been eager to start our schedule, too. It really helps me keep the kids channeled and quiet.

So, what did our day look like? I woke at 6:00 when Dan arrived home from work. We visited for a bit, prayed together, had coffee and breakfast, then Dan went to bed. Gillian was awake by then. I managed to squeeze in a few yoga stretches and print the necessary pages before the other children woke up. After they were dressed, beds were made, and everyone was fed, we listened to Uncle Rick read the first chapter of Proverbs while I changed diapers and got Truxton settled with his awesome toddler tote (a gift from a sweet family at church).
The girls and I then spent no more than 45 minutes on the intro lesson (The First Day of Creation). They illustrated the first page of a book which should be finished on Day 7, and colored their creation number for the wall banners.  The theme for the day is Light and Dark.

After lunch we read some poetry from the Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children’s Poems. Then we worked a bit on saying some colors in Spanish, using these lessons.  

Papa woke up and we had a snack.  Notice the theme?  Next up will be a nature walk as a family…