Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Blogging Through the Alphabet - Words of Hope - Letter C

Blogging Through the Alphabet with Words of Hope - Letter C

Today's word is Compassion. When I think of Compassion, I think of heartfelt empathy for another. Truly placing myself in their shoes and understanding what they are feeling and enduring.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary  defines Compassion as "sympathetic consciousness of others' together with a desire to alleviate it."

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology characterizes Compassion as "that [human] disposition that fuels acts of kindness and mercy. Compassion, a form of love, is aroused with us when we are confronted with those who suffer or are vulnerable. Compassion often produces action to alleviate the suffering."

The Latin word compati means to suffer with. The Hebrew words hamal and rachuwm and the Greek word splanchnisomai are not only translated to compassion but also to love and to show mercy.

The Bible tells us that our Abba Father is compassionate. He shows His compassion in His love for us that when we were sinners He sent His one and only Son to die as a sacrifice to atone for our sins so that we may live with Him for eternity.

We, as Christ's followers, are also called to be compassionate.

"Give Me Your Eye"s by Brandon Heath is a great reminder of the Compassion we are to have for others.

This post is linked to Blogging Through the Alphabet hosted by my friends at A Net in Time and Hopkins Homeschool.  Please take a moment to stop by their blogs and see what other interesting things about the letter C have been posted.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Our Week in Review - January 23 through 28

This week has been crazy! I had several appointments at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, which means an hour and a half drive one way. To make the best use of our time, we homeschool on the drive. Workbooks, books, and audiobooks travel well and allow us to homeschool wherever we go.

This week for Language Arts and American History, we joined Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne as they travelled to England in 1944 during World War II in "World at War, 1944."

For Language Arts and Speech Therapy, we worked on idioms through the book "In a Pickle and Other Funny Idioms."

In American History, we learned more about early America and the American Revolution through the Drive Thru History: American History series. We also learned about ancient Greece with the Drive Thru History: Ancient History series.

In Bible, we finished our lesson on stewardship from SchoolhouseTeachers.com

This week in Animal Science/Biology, we discussed classification of animals. Then, we began learning more about specific animals through Explore the Wildlife series.

In math, we continued working on multiplication with Times Alive.

This week, we blogged about Why We Love Homeschooling and the word Believe.

We hope your week went well and that you have a good start to next week.

This week we are linking up to Homeschool Highlights at Homeschool Coffee Break

We will also be linking up to Homeschool Blog and Tell

You can also find us linked up to Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Blogging Through the Alphabet - Words of Hope - Letter B

Letter B is for Believe

If you were to come to my house for a visit, you will see the word Believe scattered throughout on pictures, vases, plaques, and little trinkets. Honestly, I love this word. Believe reminds me of my faith, my connection to my loving Abba Father. In addition, it serves as a reminder to keep trusting especially when life is messy and chaotic and complicated. To me, Believe is about desperately holding on to something you know in your heart is true even if you can't see the evidence. For example, we believe that wind exists even though it is not visible to the naked eye. We can see its effects when the tree limbs dance on the wind or when we feel its cooling caress against our skin. We simply Believe. That is exactly what faith is all about: Believing in God's deep, unconditional, never-ending, and passionate love for us and trusting that He is working in our lives for our good even when we can't see His hands moving we have to Believe that His love is sufficient enough to get us through anything and everything.

What Does Believe Mean:

Merriam Webster Dictionary describes Believe as having a firm religious faith; accepting something as true, genuine, and real; having a firm conviction as to the goodness and efficacy, or the ability to produce a desired result,  of something; having a strong opinion; considering something to be true or honest; accepting the evidence; and being astounded at.

Believe is synonymous with trust, know, regard, imagine, claim, challenge, defend, gather, glean, theorize, suspect, understanding, acceptance, predict, reason, cherish, nurture, hope, desire, foresee, and accept.

Believe means hope, which is something we all need to desperately hold onto especially in our turbulent world. God is hope and gives hope as His mercies are new every day. I love that Believe is synonymous with nurture because that is what our faith is about: nurturing our love relationship with our Savior. Finally, Believe is synonymous with cherish. Our relationship with God is something special to be cherished.

What Does Scripture Say About Believe:

Scripture has several references to the word Believe. Mark 1:15 states, "'The time has come,' he said. 'The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and Believe the good news." God longs to have a love relationship with us that lasts long into eternity. The ONLY way to continue this relationship for eternity is to accept the good news: God sent His one and only Son to Earth to die upon a cross for our sins so that we may no longer be separated from Him because of our sins. By accepting Jesus into our hearts, asking for forgiveness, and Believing that God's Word is inerrantly true.

When we truly Believe in something, we don't hide it away and keep it a secret. Instead, we want to shout the truth from the rooftops so that everyone else can know and Believe as well. In the Bible, Jesus instructs us to share our belief with others. In Mark 16:15 Jesus states, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever Believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not Believe will be condemned."

We Believe by Newsboys

This post is linked to A Net in Time and Hopkins Homeschool who are graciously hosting Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please stop by their sites to read even more informative and inventive blog posts.

Friday, January 27, 2017

What We Love About Homeschooling - Life Skills

Some skills and knowledge can be taught from books while others can only be learned from modeling and hands-on experience. Raising a child with a diagnosis of Autism, I have come to appreciate the importance of Life Skills. Things that come naturally to most people, can be difficult for children with a diagnosis of Autism. They must work diligently to master through repetition.

Being able to teach my child these valuable skills that will help him to become more independent and help him better navigate the real world, is one of the things we love about homeschooling.

Life Skills:

1. Personal Hygiene
2. Meal Preparation
3. Managing Money
4. Conversation and Social Skills
5. Laundry

Personal Hygiene:

Most children with a diagnosis of Autism don't understand the need for good personal hygiene habits. Add to that the teenage years and raising a boy and that need for good personal hygiene drops even lower. My son always has something more important to do than get a shower or brush his teeth. Personal hygiene takes time away from his preferred activities so to him it is unimportant.

Meal Preparation:

Personally, I feel that everyone should know how to prepare a meal. Meal preparation includes grocery shopping for ingredients, kitchen safety, and cooking. If you are having guests, then you also need to know how to set a table and proper table etiquette, which includes conversation.

Managing Money:

Managing money is an essential life skill. First, my child needs to be able to count money and make change. By knowing how much an item costs and how much he should get in return, no one can take advantage of him. He also needs to be able to determine percentages and gratuity.

Managing money is about more than knowing how to spend money. One also needs to know about savings, balancing checkbooks, and budgets.

Conversation and Social Skills:

Social skills are often difficult for children with a diagnosis of Autism. They often  have difficulty reading facial expressions. They take things very literally and have difficulty understanding idioms. For example, if we said it was raining cats and dogs, they would expect to see cats and dogs falling from the sky. They need to be taught what these idioms mean: raining cats and dogs means it is pouring down rain. Often, they also have difficulty carrying on conversations. They want to tell you everything they know. Sometimes, they interrupt conversations because they are concerned they will forget what they want to say if they have to wait. Other times, listening can be a difficult task as they may misunderstand what we are trying to tell them as their perspective is different than ours. If the topic is not about something that is of importance to them, they may not even see the need to converse. They need to learn how to take turns and make inquiries. These are essential skills they will need to navigate this world.

Laundry and Other Skills:

It would be quite costly to buy new clothes every time we needed clean clothes. For this reason, children need to be taught essential life skills like how to do laundry: washing, drying, folding, and putting away clean clothes. Other important skills include: keeping a house clean; knowing how to handle minor repairs and use simple tools; taking out the trash; recycling; making appointments with doctors and for haircuts; and maintaining a car by pumping gas, checking oil, filling window washer fluid.

This post is part of a Blog Round-Up with The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. You can read what others like best about homeschooling at Homeschool Review Crew.

What We Love About Homeschooling - Field Trips

Who wants to be constrained by four walls? Doesn't that beautiful sunshine and cool breeze call to you? It calls to us. This is why we enjoy as many field trips as we can each year. Field trips are an opportunity to learn hands-on skills in fun, exciting, new ways that will stay with us. We're excited to share some of our favorite local field trip destinations with you. Field trips are one of the things we love about homeschooling.

Our Favorite Places to Go Learn:
1. Oakes Museum of Natural History - Messiah College: Grantham, PA
2. Cumberland Country Historical Society - Carlisle, PA
3. Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra - Harrisburg, PA
4. Dreamwrights Youth and Family Theater - York, PA
5. Richard Nixon Park - York County, PA
6. Revolution Baseball - York, PA
7. Dutch Apple Theater - Lancaster, PA
8. Indian Steps Museum - Airville, PA
9. Gettysburg National Military Park - Gettysburg, PA

We love hands-on learning as this is one of my son's learning styles: kinesthetic learning. Our favorite place to hang-out and learn is Oakes Museum at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. The staff are knowledgeable and make learning fun. They are also amazing with special needs children. My son enjoys participating in two of their program offerings. First, he attends homeschool classes on a wide variety of subjects on chemistry, life science, physical science, earth science, and biology. We have also participated in several hands-on lab classes for biology. They provide the equipment and specimens at a reasonable price and I get to relax. My son also participates in the Curator's Club, which is a fun, educational program to get children and teens excited about science.

Creek Study of the Yellow Breeches Creek
Curator Club 2 - Oakes Museum of Natural History - Messiah College - Grantham, PA

Studying the Tall Mother Ostrich and Her Tiny Baby and Egg
Homeschool Class - Oakes Museum of Natural History - Messiah College - Grantham, PA

Cumberland County Historical Society in Carlisle, PA is rich in our nation's history which lead educator Matthew March weaves into tales that keep young children and teenagers alike rapt with attention. We especially enjoy their reasonably priced homeschool series that mixes lectures, which are more like stories passed down from one generation to the next, and unique, original artifacts from history for more hands-on education.

Museum at Cumberland County Historical Society - Carlisle, PA

One of our favorite places to enjoy music is the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Harrisburg, PA. This talented group of musicians, under the gifted direction of Maestro Stuart Malina, hold the most entertaining and informative concert series for young people. Maestro Malina is effervescent with his love of music becoming contagious to all of those in attendance. Children leave the concert having a greater understanding of and appreciation for the orchestra: music, instruments, sounds, tempos, dynamics, tones, moods, and beats.

Maestro Stuart Malina - Conducting the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra - Harrisburg, PA

Dreamwrights Youth and Family Theatre in York, PA is a family friendly theatre where plays and musicals magically come to life. Not only do I like the family atmosphere, which includes the two casts sharing a meal together every Sunday between shows, but I appreciate the way they consider the needs of the local community by offering sensory friendly shows for those with a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum and a touch tour and audio-described performance for those who are blind or visually impaired. Not only does Dreamwrights offer great shows but they also provide classes to help children and teens learn the craft of performance arts. My son participated in their Create-A-Play Class on a scholarship from the county. Not only did the staff do an amazing job at helping a special needs child adjust but also he learned so much in a week's time including social skills.

The Wizard of Oz Production at Dreamrights Family and Youth Theatre - York, PA
My Son and Dreamwrights Founder and Teacher, Ms. Diane Crews, after the Performance of Create-A-Play

Richard Nixon Park is a county run recreational park in York County, PA where we reside. Through the county and state park systems in our area, we have access to numerous free and inexpensive educational programs throughout the entire year. The most recent class we attended was on Birds of Prey. We learned many things about these beautiful creatures that tied in to our Biology/Animal Science Course.

A Beautiful Peregrine Falcon
Birds of Prey Program at Richard Nixon Park - York, PA

Adorable tiny Screech Owl
Birds of Prey Program at Richard Nixon Park - York, PA

Take me out to the ballgame. Take me out with the crowd. What better way to spend a sunny afternoon than to take your son to a baseball game and cheer on the local team. Go, York Revolution. We learn rules of the game and sportsmanship as we cheer our team on to victory. When the home team scores a homerun, we wait to hear the cannon fire as Cannonball Charlie, a Revolutionary character, sets it off.

My Son Waiting Patiently for the Game to Start.
Revolution Baseball Game - York, PA

My son with Revolution Mascot: The Crazy, Zany Downtown
York Revolution Baseball Game - York, PA

And, Its a Hit! Going, Going, Gone! Homerun!
York Revolution Baseball Game - York, PA

One of our other favorite places to be entertained and to have fun learning is the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater in Lancaster, PA. They have kid-friendly foods: pizza, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets for the children's performances, which is important when you have picky eaters. After your meal is finished, you get to enjoy a musical. The children's productions are always colorful and upbeat. After the performance, the cast answers questions and signs autographs.

Cast from James and the Giant Peach
Dutch Apple Dinner Theater - Lancaster, PA

Captain Braided Beard from Jingle Arrgh the Way
Dutch Apple Theater - Lancaster, PA

This summer, we found a new, fun, educational place to visit: Indian Steps Museum. We attended their Powwow and were able to learn more about the Native Americans who resided in our area of Pennsylvania. Those present  performed traditional dances and wore authentic Native American clothing. The skills they've learned have been passed down from one generation to the next to preserve their heritage.

Youngest Native American Dancer at the Powwow.
Indian Steps Museum - Airville, PA

Real Tipi for Visitors to Explore the Native American Way of Living
Indian Steps Museum - Airville, PA

Native American Medicine Man - Round Dance during Powwow
Indian Steps Museum - Airville, PA

We are graced with not only the beautiful scenery but also the historical significance of the Gettysburg National Military Park where Union and Confederate soldiers fought in the bloodiest battle of the Civil War.

Virginia Monument Overlooking Pickett's Charge
Gettysburg National Military Park - Gettysburg, PA

My Son with Dear Friends who Serve as Re-enactors Gettysburg, PA
Mrs. Keitt, General Isaac Trimble Confederate Army, My Son, Our Friend, Colonel Laurence Keitt Confederate Army

We hope you enjoyed taking this virtual tour of our favorite, local field trip destinations. This post is part of a Blog Round-Up with The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew. You can gain further inspiration for Field Trips and read what others like best about homeschooling at the Homeschool Review Crew.