Saturday, August 9, 2008

McGuire Family News Updates!!!

Hi Everyone:

Just a quick update, and reminder to please pray for me, the doctors, and my family.
I am scheduled for the spinal block on Wednesday the 13th, at 11:00 am.

So, I thought I'd make a quick post letting everyone know what's going on in our part of the world, and hopefully the next time I post I'll be in less pain.

Sarah Beth went for her 6 month follow-up at the International Adoption Medical Clinic last week. Her health is great, her growth is great (sister loves to eat!), she's had the second round of re-vacinations, and developmentally she's beginning to catch up. The only thing we continue to have problems with is the delayed speech, but I'm not concerned about that - it will catch up eventually. Lord knows we talk to her all the time. She talks alot, just not much that we can understand! :O)

We started back to homeschooling the week after Fourth of July, so Anna now has 5 weeks of the 6th grade behind her. She is doing well, really enjoying her studies this year, and working independently most of the time. For those of you who are new to homeschooling, don't know much about it, or think - "that's not for me!", I'll give you a brief look inside the lives of this homeschooling family...

First of all, we also own our own business and I spend approximately 5-6 hours a week doing the paperwork/bookkeeping/payroll end of the business for my husband. I used to do all of my work on Wednesday mornings, but have had to begin breaking up my work to keep from being on the computer for long periods of time because my back just can't take it. So now, I do a little on Monday, Tuesday, and finish things up on Wednesday. So, school is usually light loaded on Wednesdays, and that becomes a largely "Home Ec" focused day as Anna puts her skills to work helping me out caring for Sarah Beth, preparing breakfast and lunch, and picking up and putting away after "Hurricane Sarah" goes down for a nap. Then she begins her schoolwork while Sarah sleeps. One of the most important things I've learned as we homeschool is that homeschooling is NOT like "school at home". It is totally different! Life is our school, we are constantly in class, we are always learning. Now, that doesn't mean we don't do math and language, history and science, and all the other important things, we do, but life is our most important teacher and we take total advantage of every minute of it.

Other homeschoolers especially are always interested to know what a typical day looks like for other families. No two days look alike, but here's a peak into a typical day at our home. We usually get up around 7:30 or so, depending on what we've done the night before. (Meaning sometimes we sleep a little later!) That is probably my favorite thing about homeschooling. I don't have to wake tired children (not to mention ME!), and then scream at them for an hour trying to get everyone ready and out of the house. My most used words when Anna was in "regular school" was "HURRY UP!" It's so nice not to have that pressure anymore. We get up, and we have breakfast, and I put in a load of laundry, feed and dress the baby, etc... Anna usually does her Bible study first, and I spend my quiet time out on the screened in porch studying God's Word first thing. Then we settle in for "table time". Table time is when we do our grammar lessons, go over Anna's assignments for the day, and discuss the details of what she can do on her own and the things she will need to work with me on. Anna completes all that she can do independently first. Then, while the baby naps, we work together as needed and she gets online to do her math. We are currently using for her math, and we love it! It has been a GOD SEND! Math has been our greatest struggle, until now! Usually while the baby naps, I catch a nap too, and use my portable "tens" unit on my back (an electrical stimulation device that is used on my back) to help with the pain. By the time the baby gets up, Anna's done with her work, I've had a little time to relax and refresh and we're ready to finish out the day before Daddy comes home. We might run some errands at this point, or we might run some in the morning. Anna usually spends some time in the afternoon playing or watching some t.v. with Sarah Beth. After dinner, we usually recap the day with Daddy and it gives her a chance to showcase her work and keep him up to date on what she's learning. We are using a program for Bible study and writing known as S.O.W. (Student of the Word), which focuses on the study of scripture. Writing assignments are centered around the scripture being studied. So far this year, we have already been through a study of the book of Mark and we are now working on the book of James.

Homeschooling is a wonderful life, we love it, and wouldn't go back to doing things the old way ever, unless the Lord tells me to. If you've ever considered homeschooling for your family I would really recommend you give it a try. It's not as hard as you might think, and the rewards of a family who's close together is worth any struggles you encounter. So, if you've ever entertained the thought, I would love to talk to anyone who's considering homeschooling. I have a fabulous reading list I could recommend for you.

God's richest blessings on you and your families,

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