Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pray for New York City!

Some friends from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the North American Mission Board, put together this prayer guide video. I am thankful for their labors.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Big Apple Adventure // Missions Moment Videos

The long awaited missions moment videos are now ready! We really think these videos will help energize your VBS Missions Offering while teaching them a little about church planting and NYC. Please share a link to these videos on your blog, twitter, Facebook, or just email your friends in ministry. It will be a huge lift to our work here! We are Grateful!

See the rest of the videos HERE!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Happy Belated National Delurking Day

January 14th, 2011 was National Delurking Day for blogs. On this day you were to leave a comment on the blogs you silently read. According to my blog stats last month alone pages of our blog were viewed 3,701 times. I know who about 15 of you are! So today in honor of a day two months ago that I missed let your presence be known!

Leave us your name and where you're reading from and if we don't know you at all, tell us how you found us or what your connection to us is.

Thanks for reading. Getting comments does assure us that people care about this blog and encourages to keep it up.

Enjoy your Wednesday!
This picture is from our Monday outing a few weeks ago to the World Financial Center. It is a little jaunt for us to get there from our apartment, but a great place to spend a rainy Monday. The kids had a great time!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Our First Week of Homeschooling!

Last July I learned that Jack would be starting Kindergarten in September 2011. The school system here in NYC is unlike any other I'm familiar with. The cut off date for Kindergarten here is December 31st. If your child turns 5 any time during a particular year they are expected to start Kindergarten in September of that year. I was really caught off guard. I never imagined Jack would go to Kindergarten at the age of 4 1/2. The real kicker is that they don't allow you to hold your child back. Kindergarten is not required by law, but if you choose not to send your child in the year they turn 5 then they go to 1st grade the next year. It still kind of blows my mind, especially the educator in me, it just seems to early for me to have to put Jack in school.

This became a topic of many conversations for Freddy T. and me. I went ahead and signed Jack up to take the Gifted and Talented Test, in case we wanted to send him on to public school. Depending on his score for this test he could qualify to go to a school for the Gifted and Talented. Basically these schools teach on a little higher level than the actual grade level. It would also increase our options for schools, if he were to get in. He took that test in January, we'll get the results sometime in April. When I took him for the test there were about 15 other kids there to test as well. When I went to sign Jack in they had to see a birth certificate or a passport and wanted to know what preschool he goes to. Jack was one of two kids who brought a birth certificate, the rest had passports. Of all the 15 kids Jack was the only one not in preschool. That is New York City for you.

After giving it some thought and weighing the pros and cons, Freddy T. and I decided we would keep Jack out of Kindergarten and home school him, at least for a year. There were many deciding factors. Freddy T. suggested that I have a plan by March as to what I was going to do with Jack for school. I did some research and looked over some curriculum that a friend gave me and and made a plan. I decided to start him with a preschool/Kindergarten curriculum. The set up I'm doing is a 27 week plan. That would take us through July. I know of a few weeks we will be out of town, so I'm guessing this will carry us through September, we'll see. After that my plan is to focus on Reading and Math and continue weaving other subjects in. I haven't done all my research on that part yet. But as far as what is expected to learn in Kindergarten he will be exposed to over the next 5 or 6 months and anything we miss I'll include once we work through this material.

So March 1st was our first day of school. I've really enjoyed preparing and planning for our days. Jack has been very receptive to the work and has done a good job with it so far. It's been rewarding to see him do his work. We do school 4 days a week. Right now we have been spending an hour to an hour and a half total each day on actual school work. I'm still learning what is easy for him and what is challenging. We are working daily on writing. He knows his letters, with the exception of a few lower case ones that still confuse him, but writing is another story.

I'm still trying to figure out how to manage Lillie and Elliott. I'm working on some file folder games that will help them learn colors and animals, basic things like that, and we have a few games that they play and they read, but it's still slightly chaotic.

Here is a glimpse of what Jack did this week for school. Most of our work came from the Letter of The Week curriculum. I've been so impressed with this website/blog. I'm getting my ideas for other subject areas from a book called Early Education At Home (a friend gave me this book.)
Jack working on his math.
Jack had to dictate a memory to me about a time he was with his family. Then he had to illustrate the story. He told me he didn't know how to draw, but I told him it was just important to try, so here you go.
(he said that there were lots of different colored cookies)
On this one he picked up a blue crayon to draw the water then looked at me and said "wait!" "That flood water was brown, not blue." Then he drew a boat. The three little circles on the left are Daddy, Jack, and Gramps on the boat.
I cut out all the parts for our "a apple" from foam sheets. Jack did all the gluing and arranging.
Applejack's glued to the letter A.
Elliott working with the pattern blocks and boards. Lillie was sitting at the table working on them two seconds before I got the camera out.