Day 5 – The First Week Ends

M & Tortoise  Day 5. One week. We did it! We survived! The house…not so much. But we are alive, we don’t hate each other, we learned some things, we kept a bunch of animals alive at the same time….and we had some fun! A win all around. Big thanks – no, ALL the thanks go to Jesus.:)We needed him every hour. And as He has promised, He was with us. We did stop several times this week and just prayed. Asked for help with our heart’s attitudes, for Jesus’ love towards each other (we ran out quickly some days), and for help being faithful and diligent. Really that’s just the tip of the iceberg, eh?

The highlight of the week was yesterday – we went on a field trip to the Reptile Discovery Center in Deland, FL. What fun! My love for reptiles has grown over theyears and I wanted to keep the Indigo Snake as much as I want to keep my chickens. Fortunately, Micah has some birthday money and HE really, REALLY wants to have a snake. So I don’t have to keep it. He’ll do it and I can just hold it and enjoy it. (I know, I know…I hear it….I’ll be the one taking care of the silly thing, huh?)

E & Tortoise    We toured the outside habitats – alligators, turtles, tortoises, lizards, etc – and then we went inside to the BLESSED AIR CONDITIONING. I don’t think I thank the Lord enough for air conditioning and I am NOT being sacrilegious. I am being totally serious. Inside was the serpentarium (like a herpetarium but only snakes?) and Olivia saw her first Black Mamba IN REAL LIFE. She hasn’t stopped talking about it.

We went to a live Snake Venom Extraction where they first let anyone who wanted to hold a snake. (The NON-venomous variety!) We held an albino Burmese Python, a pied Ball Python (Look that one up if you’ve never seen one – AMAZINGLY beautiful!) and an Indigo snake. OH they are my favorite! After this we watched as they extracted venom from about 6 different types of snake. One drop at a time from the Coral snake – a massive SPRAY of venom at a time from the Diamond-back Rattlesnake. PS – do not EVER EVER EVER mess with one of those. The amount of venom that shot out of that thing’s mouth was unbelievable. Lucky for the dummy that does mess with one – you’ll be in pain super fast but you’ll have several hours to get help. Sheesh. I have to say – the aggression of that snake and the SIZE of it makes me not regret killing the one we found here at the house. That thing was massive and any hint of regret I had left over is now gone…(shudder).

Anyway – the first week is down and I’m calling it a success. I haven’t *yet* threatened to send any of them to “real school” — although I’m a teensy bit afraid that if I were to, they would respond with, “PLEASE MOMMY, PLEASE!”

A few curriculum thoughts:

I LOVE Teaching Textbooks for math. The kids are killing it. They even keep accidentally calling it the “math game” because it’s on the computer. SCORE!

I love IEW’s Spelling Zoo – short, easy, not something I have to sit and call the words out for (because we have the CDs). Plus they are super motivated to spell them correctly because once they have two 100% tests in a row they are done for the week. So far no whining…

IEW’s The Primary Arst of Language: Writing and Reading – Loving this. I wish I’d used this last year and hadn’t wasted time with all of the things we DID use. (Handwriting Without Tears, “The Code” series, etc.) We’re reviewing/re-learning the letters phonetically (the sounds our languages use are phonemes and the written form of the sounds are phonograms). (Obviously I’m simplifying it…but it’s all really quite fascinating to me and I’m SUPER excited to learn more as we go along!)

So for instance:

ck is the phonogram for /k/ as in sock.

s is the phonogram for either /s/ as in this or /z/ as in is.

Anyway, this is awesome. We DID learn our letters and most of the sounds last year – but there was no real rhyme or reason to it and I felt like it was more of a shot in the dark and she just happened to get it right. One week in (granted, we’re building on what we learned last year – so that helps!) and I can see in her eyes that it’s REALLY CLICKING. I love seeing little brains “click”.

All of this to say – thanks for praying for us. (All 4 of you who read this – Mom and sisters!) I appreciate it more than you know and am super thankful for how this week went.:)I’m mostly writing this all down so I can re-read it when we’re having a discouraging day…to remind us of the “ups”!

It’s time to quit – daddy’s HOME from Boston for the weekend and we’re done with school for the week – I think we’ll go swim in the rain!

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