"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT"...Proverbs 24:12

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Day in the Life

My good friend over @ http://www.simplehomeschool.net/ wants to see some 'days in the life of...'
Well here it goes:  A week in the Turner's Homeschool
(2nd grader, 1st grader and a pre-K'er...using Sonlight Curriculm w/ a bunch of add in's)

 I would love to tell you that I rise at 5:20 am to go to the gym (like I actually used to do!) but right now I'm allowing myself to  sleep in till 7:30am- yes I am awoken by the children...I realy dont like it that way but that's just the way it's been going (ok...I've gotten in the bad habit of staying up too late! Im working on fixing that problem:)

7- 7:30am- kids wake up, wake eachother up, crawl into my bed and tell me to get up :)
 while I get ready and make breakfast and very strong coffee, they watch PBS kids.

Breakfast/ Read-a -louds
Once Breakfast is on the table and coffee is inhaled I call them in to eat and start our day.
 While they are seated and eating I know I have their full attention so this is actually where I get a good chunk of our 'schooling' done. 
We go over our scripture verse of the week, I read them a passage out of their children's Bible and then a piece of children's poetry.  For history we are reading a book on missionaries- I read that to them and then a page of Osborne Time Traveler's.  By this time the 4 year old has had enough and I let him leave the table but the older two stay for one more read aloud.  That would be a chapter out of our current 'chapter book' ('Dr. Dolittle' right now)

When breakfast and read-a-louds are done, I clean up the kitchen and the kids get dressed and brushed.

4 and 6 yr. old are then able to play the leapster, take turns on a phonics computer game, or just free-play- while 7yr. old practices his violin for 15 min. with me.

When violin is done 7yr old is then free- while I call in 4 yr old to do phonics with me on the bed,
  we then go to the table to learn to write letters, numbers, shapes, mazes, and other pre-K types of fun stuff.  This only takes 10-15 total.

Now on Mondays- I would show a Science dvd and then read a science book and do a science activity/ experiment.

On Tuesdays- we look at an Art book and then do some type of art lesson or craft

Once a week I still leave open to actaully go out and do something- like a playdate, a museum, library, appts, or claim it as a 'stay home day' when the morning routine is done and they are playing good together I just let them play until lunch- other times when they seem bored I start them on their individual  afternoon school work early.

Again, I take advantage of the fact that their mouths are full of food and they are quiet and I will read either their chapter book, science or history while they are eating lunch. 

After lunch 4 yr old goes down for a nap.

 I work with 6 yr. old at the table while 7yr. old reads his book on the couch for 15 min. and then is free to use computer. 

6 yr old at table still needs me w/ her...she does phonics/reads to me, then math, a little Language arts instruction, handwritng, copy work, and a couple pages out of a 1st grade work book.

6yr old then naps or plays in her room quietlty

7 yr old then comes to the table.
He does his 'independent work' while I make tea, pick up the house and get dinner prepped if needed.  He does math, cursive workbook, and copywork by himself.  I check it and then we have tea & a snack together. (maybe my favorite part of the day?)
 I then do spelling with him, Language arts instuction, and go over money & time. 
He is very focused and can whiz through it all except language arts....he doesnt like to write and get creative- so that is where I spend most of my time w/ him. 

By 3:30 the other kids are up and they have a snack.
 I put on 'Liberty Kids' (history movie) or let them pick out a DVD or play Wii while I check mail and emails (ok maybe FB too.) 

Tuesdays we go to Ballet/ grochery store @ 4:15 otherwise I will start dinner and again....clean up the house.

Thursdays- I try to cram all of the above into the AM only- which is do-able if I skip
4 yr old pre-K and Language arts w/ older kids.
 6 yr old goes to weekly occupational therapy in the afternoon and then 7 yr old goes to violin lessons.

Fridays- I do just the basics - reading , math, maybe copywork...after lunch we go to our weekly Homeschool Group from 1-3 (60 something kids!  It's a really fun group:)

Once a month the kids go to a homeschooler's Nature Club on Mon. afternoons
 and 7yr old goes to a Homeschooler's Lego Club ( how fun does that sound!) on the 1st Friday AM of every month.

Sometimes I feel like I'm running on a treadmill all day (without the benefit of calorie buring) and worry that Im not giving my children the best...and other days I look around (sometimes I have to look hard through the forts and mess) and can litteraly be brought to tears by the joy I find in raising these kids and teaching them to learn, create and love. 
As crazy as it can get, I still want to freeze these days in time...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dear Friends and Family Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

“A father of the fatherless…God sets the solitary in families…” - Psalms 68:5,6

Some of you know we have felt called and directed by God to adopt a child from Ethiopia into our family. We are adopting a little girl, and will be matched with a specific child in the next several months, then travel toEthiopia to bring her home!  Ethiopia is a country with 5 million orphans in the land 1/2 the size of Texas.  That's 1 in 9 children, and of those children- 1 out of 6 don't ever make it to their 1st Birthday.

Some of you are probably wondering what has prompted us to adopt again. Well, primarily, we’ve felt so clearly directed by God to adopt, and we also desire to give an orphan child a family that she probably won’t otherwise have. Our daughter Sova, came home from India at age 4 and she still talks about the orphanage, the other children, and some really heartbreaking questions. "Why did you take so long to come get me...I was waiting and waiting for you." Watching her flourish is amazing but is a constant reminder to us of all the other children left behind. We know we alone can't put a dent in the orphan crisis but we can make a difference to one. Adoption is a strong passion placed upon our hearts and amazingly even our children's heats. We have heard, "mom, we have more room, we need more kids, I will share my bed!" "we should knock down this house and build a bigger one for more orphans."

The biggest challenge for us is not opening our hearts and home to another child, but it is in finding the finances to make this happen. We know that God is leading us once again to adopt and believe He is bigger than finances, so we are truly relying on faith that God will provide. We estimate our total cost for adoption fees, document preparation, home study, airfare, travel, attorney fees, etc. to be $20,000 - that’s certainly money we don’t have, but we know God is faithful and is leading us to trust Him. By God’s grace we’ve been able to pay the initial $6,500. We held a large scale tagsale this fall that brought in $3,500! We also set up 2 fundraisers on our family blog - we are selling adoption t-shirts and fair-trade coffee. Our children initiated collecting spare change and after 4 months they were able to donate $40 towards bringing home their sister! They are decorating cans for anyone who would like a 'brining home baby' coin jar...they are very excited about this. As you can see nothing is to small (like saving cans!)...little by little we will get there!

If you are interested in taking part in this journey with us there are two ways you can help:

1. Prayer – Please pray God would tenderly care for this child until we are able to bring her home, that God would prepare our children for the upcoming changes to our family, and that God will give us wisdom, discernment, and insight as we raise this child.

2. Financial support - Will you please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us pay the remaining $13,000 in adoption expenses to bring our daughter home?

Lifesong (www.lifesongfororphans.org) has graciously set up a fundraising account for us to raise adoption funds. If you would like to help bring our daughter home, you can send your tax-deductible gift to the address below. Lifesong is a trusted and will pay our adoption expenses out of funds received.

1. Please make checks payable to: 'Lifesong' You should preference how the donation might be used by writing “preference Turner #1618 Adoption” in the memo section of your check.

2. Mail checks to:

Lifesong for Orphans
Att: Turner # 1618 Adoption
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Thank you for considering us in your giving this year.

Sincerely Grateful,

Michael, Jill,
Jacob, Sova-Grace & Caleb Turner

Please Contact us w/ any questions....Thanks!