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2014-2015 School Year

School Week of October 20, 2014

Let me apologize for not really writing anything the last couple of weeks. A very dear friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma cancer back in February. She is a huge part of our home school group, our lives and a sister in Christ. Well these last two weeks were the ending of her life here on earth. As many of you know when you loose someone very dear to you you get into a slump. Well, school was a must do, but typing a blog was not on my must do list. But I managed to get the pictures up there. Anyway, to make this extremely short, Connie passed away on Oct 16th at age 47. It was a very dark couple of weeks while watching her waste away so very quickly over these months but even quicker over the last couple weeks. But I have this new found happiness for her knowing that she is in heaven with a perfect body and completely out of pain!

Along with all that is going on with loosing my friend, my mom is not doing too well. She is suppose to wear her oxygen 24/7 but she is so stubborn and sometimes takes it off. Well, this leads her into episodes where she just cannot breath. I hear her in the next room gasping for air and when I run in she is pale as a ghost and her lips are purple. This is stressful for me, the kids and my hubby. I finally told her she cannot do this to the us. It is one thing to die of natural causes, but it is another thing to suffocate yourself to death. Well, sorry to  be a downer and airing my bad couple weeks. You get the idea. The last few weeks here have been VERY hard and stressful on me. I feel as if I have aged 10 years! So hopefully you understand why I have not written in a couple weeks!

Now on to school. This week we found ourselves in much better spirits with school and willing to do more and wanting to do school. YEA! My kids are starting to do much better in their typing. The free program I got off the computer, Good Typing, is working well for them. My daughter has finally able to go to the next level. I told them both they had to go a full week with no more then 8 mistakes before they could progress to the next levels. The last couple weeks they have both done poorly, but I suppose it is due to the stress in the house with my friend being so sick and my watching my Mom suffocate.

Let me take a quick minute and back up a little in science. If you look back to the last couple of posts where I just posted pictures, you will notice some bones in liquid. Just quickly they are cooked leg bones of a chicken. One in water the other in vinegar. The idea was to see what happens when we do not eat right and the calcium gets drained from out bones instead of feeding our body correctly. We saw that the vinegar bone got very soft and we were able to easily cut it with a pair of scissors. Where as the bone in just water we could barley get a knife through. We actually had to score it and then snap it with our hands. This was a great experiment.

We have moved onto muscles. I always thought the strongest muscle was the tongue, but it is the jaw muscle. Makes sense when you think of what we have to do with our jaws. Also the muscle that never stops is the heart and eyes. Hmmm. And there are three types of muscles. The smooth muscle such as your tummy, the cardiac muscle such as your heart and the skeletal muscles such as your bicep. The kids worked on naming the main muscles in the body ( I doubt they will remember most of them, but they got a few memorized) and then also a word search which was really HARD! I actually had to help them with it.

History is coming along nicely. This week was all about the spreading of slavery. Did you know the first slave owner here in America was a black man. I had no idea! Well anyway, it all really started with the tobacco industry. The colonist were growing tobacco which made England Happy, they were heavy smokers there, because they no longer had to buy from Spain. But since this was such labor intensive work they needed helpers. First there were the indentured servants (work for 6 years then gain freedom), but when that was not enough we got on board with the triangular slave trade coming off of Africa. King James was really ultimately AGAINST this smoking. he thought it was bad for you and stunk! Maybe if he would have gotten his way there would not have been such huge demand and there fore would not have had the slave in America! Side note, take a look at the poster the kids made regarding the no smoking. Great work kiddos!

The Portuguese were at the heart of this trade. They thought that Africa was their very own machine of pumping out slaves. Sad! Anyway, they tried over and over again to take over parts of Africa just to make more slaves, but the leaders there, especially Queen Nzinga wanted nothing to do with it. So they kept fighting. But you know how well that went. And here in America we were trying to get the slaves to “mate” so we could have more slaves for free. I use the word “mate” because Africans were thought of through the triangular trade as nothing more then animals and they were treated as such!  Such a sad mark in world history. Americans get the blame for this tragedy to the Africans, but it all started with the European Triangular Trade and the Portuguese!

Using the Spelling City in conjunction with All About Spelling is working great! I am loving it. I have the lesson for spelling on Monday and then the rest of the week they work on games to help them with their spelling words and on Friday they take the online test. Easy Cheesy and they ask to play the spelling games. YEA!

Choir is coming along nicely. As most of you know I teach three choirs now. One at my church and two for Orange Coast Musical Arts. The two younger choirs are doing quite nice and the older one is coming along slowly. I think a couple of the songs that were chosen might be a little too big for these 11-13 year old kids. These are songs you would hear in a high-school (20 people) or adult choir. But they are trying and that says a ton! They are a great group of kids and I am proud of them really going for it!

Piano for my son is going great. I think it was the best thing to have him away from his sister during class. He seems to be doing very well when I hear him practice at home. The only thing is he needs to relax a bit more. He seems to be very uptight about it! Hopefully as he gets better and it gets easier he will relax more. My daughter is doing well at home with it. My son tells us what lesson we are working on and I sit with her and help her through the lesson each week. We are doing the online app for the note reading flash cards daily. And this was a great idea! I am so glad. My daughter no longer needs the cheat sheet. Which is helping her when she sits down to practice her piece for the week. YEA!!!!

We started art back up a couple weeks ago, but I forgot to take pictures the last two weeks. This week we did not have art at all. The home that hosts it was SICK! Stay away for a while. We are almost done with the water coloring. We will be starting in on a free art class I found on the internet. I will keep you updated when we start that and tell you how we like it. It may be something you want to consider too!

Our Bible verse for this week is:

Psalm 9

I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your [b]wonders.
I will be glad and exult in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

When my enemies turn back,
They stumble and perish before You.
For You have maintained [c]my just cause;
You have sat on the throne [d]judging righteously.
You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked;
You have blotted out their name forever and ever.
[e]The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins,
And You have uprooted the cities;
The very memory of them has perished.

But the Lord [f]abides forever;
He has established His throne for judgment,
And He will judge the world in righteousness;
He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.
[g]The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed,
A stronghold in times of trouble;
10 And [h]those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion;
Declare among the peoples His deeds.
12 For He who [i]requires blood remembers them;
He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
13 Be gracious to me, O Lord;
See my affliction from those who hate me,
You who lift me up from the gates of death,
14 That I may tell of all Your praises,
That in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in Your [j]salvation.
15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made;
In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.
16 The Lord has made Himself known;
He has executed judgment.
In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. [k]Higgaion [l]Selah.

17 The wicked will [m]return to [n]Sheol,
Even all the nations who forget God.
18 For the needy will not always be forgotten,
Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.
19 Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail;
Let the nations be judged before You.
20 Put them in fear, O Lord;
Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah.

OK, I think that’s about it for this week. I am writing this on Sunday right before I have to go sing for Praise Symphony Orchestra so I gotta run and get ready. I hope you all have a great week and I will catch you on the flip side!

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