"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

John 10:10

Friday, May 28, 2010

School Year in Review: 2009-2010

This picture was from the first day of school this past fall. Here is a rundown of the curriculum we've used for Madeline's first grade year...

Math: I was disappointed at the beginning of the year how much I needed to review with Madeline to get her back up to math speed. Because of this, from now on we will continue with math year round. That will hopefully alleviate some of the waste of review time and keep those math facts fresh. We started the year with Saxon Math 1, and are currently about 2/3 of the way through Saxon 2. Saxon is not the most snazzy or exciting curriculum, but it is thorough. Madeline is understanding math thus far, so I'm sticking with Saxon.

Reading: Madeline is a voracious reader. I can't keep enough books in the house to keep her happy. She has flown through the American Girl books, Magic Tree House books, A to Z Mysteries, Caddie Woodlawn, Harriet the Spy, many Beverly Clearly books, as well as numerous others. She loves to read about the pioneer days. Her reading level is well beyond her age, so it is difficult to fnd books that will challenge her but not be too intense for a seven year old girl. I am wading through having an established book list for her for next year. For our official school time, I occasionally have her read aloud from the third McGuffey Reader.

Writing: We started the year off with Copywork for Little Girls from the Queen homeschool. I didn't feel like it was a good fit for us, so changed midway through the year. Now we are using Writing With Ease level 1 by Susan Wise Bauer, and I love it. It uses great children's literature with a combination of narration and copywork. WWE seems to be what I wanted in my head, all laid out for me.

Grammar: We made it through the first part of First Language Lessons 1/2 by Jessie Wise. It has been a gentle introduction to grammar, parts of speech, and word usage. The lessons are short and enjoyable.
Spelling: We breezed through Spelling Workout A by Modern Curriculum Press, and are now most of the way through Spelling Workout B. Madeline enjoys this, is mostly independent work for her, and is doing well with it. I have been a little concerned it is not as systematic as she needs, but am sticking with it.

History: We made it through Story of the World book one by Susan Wise Bauer! I have learned so much about the ancient world this year. It is fascinating. We read the book, she gives me a narration, do the map work, and read the corresponding Usborne History of the World section. Depending on the day, we may or may not do additional reading with library books, color a page, or do an Internet activity to reinforce the concepts. I have discovered that I am not a crafty, activity person. Oh well. I still feel like she is learning and having a fun time listening to the stories.

Science: We have worked through Usborne books about earth science and weather topics. I don't think we did a very good job with science this year, and have just started the Apologia's Exploring Creation with Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. I love that thus far.

Classical Conversations: Classical Conversations has been such a blessing for us. I have been amazed at how Madeline has memorized so much information this past year. It has not been a struggle to memorize, and when we have encountered the material during our studies she can immediately cross reference the Classical Conversations memory work with the new information. The science experiments, presentations, and fine arts activities have been incredibly valuable. Our whole family has loved getting to know the other Classical Conversations family and looks forward to our Tuesdays together.

Bible: We have been working through Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland. This has gone fairly well with everyone. The book helps me engage the girls in learning about the basic ideas of what it means to be a Christian. We did not make it through the whole book, so will continue with it until we finish.

Piano: I have completely failed at this. We did not do much piano at all this year, and vow to not let that happen again. It has been at the bottom of my list. Next year I will not let piano slide.

Overall, this has been a delightful year. I consider it an honor to be able to teach Madeline and learn along side her.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Taste of summer

With Memorial Day Weekend being the unofficial start of summer, you will want to build this recipe into your weekend plans. It is a bit of a process, but absolutely worth it.

Banana Split Supreme

3/4 cup butter, divided
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
24 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
3 medium firm bananas, cut in 1/2" slices
2 quarts vanilla ice cream, softened and divided
1 can crushed pineapple (20 oz,), drained
1 jar maraschino cherries (10 oz.), drained and halved
whipped topping, optional

In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of butter, sugar, milk, and chocolate chips. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil and stir for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter, toss with cookie crumbs. Press into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Freeze for 15 minutes. Arrange banana slices over crust; spread with 1 quart of ice cream. Top with 1 cup of chocolate sauce. Freeze for 1 hour. Refrigerate remaining chocolate sauce. Spread the remaining ice cream over dessert; top with pineapple and cherries. Cover and freeze for several hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Reheat the chocolate sauce. Cut dessert into squares; serve with chocolate sauce and whipped topping if desired.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I love to garden. My dad is a farmer. Grandma Charlton was a serious mega gardener back in the day. I think it is genetic that I like to dig. There is something amazing about getting dirty, planting a seed, watching it grow, and reaping the harvest. Here is the latest at the Scheve farm...

Lettuce is very easy to grow! I have two pots of lettuce on our deck. It is a cool season plant, so you plant it as soon as possible in the spring. You just sprinkle the seeds on the soil, keep it moist, and watch it grow. When it has grown a few inches and you want to eat it, you cut some off. Then it keeps on growing. Easy, practical, and pretty. The girls love to head out with the scissors before supper, snip snip, and boast about their contribution to the meal.

Lettuce does not like too much hot weather. Once it become very hot out for a week or so it may start to taste bitter. At that point, simply pull out the lettuce and put beautiful annual flowers in your pot that are cheap because the garden centers are trying to get rid of them. When cool end of summer/fall rolls around, plant another batch of lettuce. It is easy. Try it!

The other three pots have herbs growing in them. This is my first try at herbs. More to come about that later.

Fired up

Ever since we moved into this house, we have had a vision for a special spot in our backyard. We could see hot dogs roasting, gooey marshmallow faces, laughter filled conversations, and some Kumbyah singing. Yes, we were dreaming of a fire pit. Last night that dream came true.

Mark made a plan and did some heavy lifting this weekend to finish our custom outdoor grill. (Sshhh, don't tell the city that it is a fire pit. Trust me, it meets all the requirements for it to be legal.) Last night we ate our first smores and can't wait for all the fun we'll have with friends.

Gooey marshmallow faces!

Thank you to my handy husband!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rockin it with Elmo

Saturday was an exciting day at the Scheve home. We went to see Sesame Street Live! Madeline thought she might be too cool for Sesame, but we brought her along and she decided it was pretty fun. On the way there, Anna was asking if we were to Elmo's house yet. Mark hosted a suite for Allied, so there was kid food, pop, and special seating. Apart from Anna throwing up all over herself from being car sick as we pulled into the parking lot, it was a great day. (Anna got a puke free Sesame Street t shirt at the concert, so don't feel too sorry for her.)


The past 3 days I have been at a Classical Conversations Parent Practicum. This means that my mind and heart are on overload. It was wonderful to learn along with other parents who are offering their children a classical christian education at home. I am more sure than ever this is what the Lord is calling our family to. As Christians, we must influence the world for God's kingdom. To do this, we must be knowledgeable, able to sift through ideas, and express our thoughts. A classical education will give you the tools to do this. Here are just a few nuggets I brought home with me:

All of the world is God's world. Science, history, math, reading, writing, fine arts? They are all from God and integrated together. They are given to us to glorify God.

We need to seek out and analyze goodness, beauty, and truth.

We can't "do school" like the modern education system, put a verse on the bottom of a worksheet, then expect different results than the world is getting.

Children are souls to be nurtured, not products to be measured.

To engage my children, I need to ask them questions, bringing them along to discover exciting truths.

The understanding of the fall of man and redemption are critical to everything. Ideas matter.

If we can't listen to ideas and sift through the logic, then we are slaves.

Is what I am reading, seeing, or doing glorifying to God or glorifying to man?

One of the most important and scary things I have been thinking about: I need to decide to keep learning and growing. If I want my children to read great books and learn how to think, I need to do it too. Whoa. This is not easy. I will need to admit that there are A Lot of things I don't know. I will need to take time to invest in my education. Easy? No.

Worth it? Yes.

"Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm doing it.

I have thought about starting a blog for a long time. It would be a great way to document our life. I could have a record of what we do with the girls. Others could take a peak into our homeschool. I could share helpful lessons I've learned. I could learn helpful insights from others. Honestly, I have a long list of imaginary posts in my head.

But, I don't do it. I'm annoyed with myself for all my good intentions but not following through with them. So here is one step to doing things. Here is my blog.