Thursday, September 24, 2009

Creation Museum. Highlight: CC throughout

We went to the Creation Museum today. First what I loved about it: Ninety five percent of the museum is captioned. Without that, with museum acoustics, it would have been fairly difficult with Andrew. (Read...REALLY difficult.) As we were coming out of a small theater presentation which was captioned, I mentioned my appreciation to one of the staff. She then proceeded to ask which planetarium showing we were planning to attend and that then was captioned as well! Score a BIG one for Creation Museum on that!

Andrew enjoyed the museum. Although a hands on kid, he also very much enjoys his visual sense. Most of the exhibits were a combination of fabulous 'real life' depictions, large visual pictures with information and a running video (closed captioned.) They could do some amazing things with the museum however if they added a hands on component. I could see pounding nails or measuring in Noah's ark, planting or identifying flowers in the Garden of Eden, a telescope and a myriad of other science experiments.

Below is Andrew in front of The Garden of Eden and then on an archeological dig. I apparently missed the signs though most of the museum that said, "Thou Shalt Not Touch." Andrew was touching everything!!! It was actually very well done and quite realistic looking. If we'd been told to stop touching everything it would have been a VERY long day. Thankfully, there were very few people there and no one stopped us.

Each room had running videos and large visual displays explaining the topic. Andrew actually found them quite interesting. He didn't read every word, but they were appealing to the eye and informative. They were written at a level that most could understand. I am not sure of Andrew's reading level but I would say any upper level elementary student would have a fair time reading and understanding, depending on what they had read about Creation in the past.

Here is just a sampling of what we were not allowed to touch. (Smile)

There was a large 'cultural' component to part the museum. There were some exhibits that I did not like the 'tone' of as we'd rather fill Andrew with good than discuss the opposing view. I think these were better suited for a high school (or late middle school) crowd. There is a 'bypass' doorway for littler ones but not sure where that started and began.

After my rant about the dinosaur movie that was shown to a captive audience at the Detroit Zoo while waiting for the train I must tell you that that there is a section where they talk about dinosaurs eating each other as well as a 3-D model. However; I was able to push Andrew past quickly and it wasn't a captive audience. I just say this as a warning because I would appreciate it. The above dino pic was taken at a different place. I could have done without that part and would have appreciated a warning.

The favorite part for Andrew was a gigantic screen with a mini-program on Creation (which was closed captioned.) He also enjoyed the planetarium. This is his biggest smile.

The museum drew it's basis from the Bible and from other factual information. If you don't believe in Genesis, you will either not enjoy the museum or will enjoy critiquing it! If you want additional resources their bookstore is chock full of purchasing opportunities. I come by my faith by faith. I believe there are facts the support my claim but I have seen too much personally in my life and others to not believe in God as our Creator as well as Jesus as my personal Savior. If you put two people in front of me, one arguing Creation or Intelligent Design and the other Evolution, the data would not matter for me. I am sure some folks think that is like going through life with blinders on. But for me, the peace that passes all understanding stands for more than any data anyone could put in front of me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I can hardly believe that on this vacation I was able to find some 'me' time. Even as I type this, Andrew is watching Veggie Tales (minus the sound with captions) and I have found some precious time to read the Word and reflect....mostly on joy.

I am reading a book called Laugh Again by Charles Swindoll. It is a good book and I have heard his sister Lucy speak in person. They are a happy family that grew up in a ton of joy. That is not to say that I did not have joy but there was an extra dose given to the Swindolls growing up. I have only read three chapters and it spreads out all sorts of verses, especially from the book of Philippians, on how or why to have joy no matter the circumstance. I haven't read to the end so perhaps the book will touch on this, but there is an important component missing so far where most books miss the mark. HOW do you access that joy. Can you just have that 'power of positive thinking?' Is it JUST a choice? For some individuals, I think it is a simple choice, and for others constant contact with the Father is needed in order access the smallest amount of this joy.

Although the book of Philippians is chock full of the word joy...the hows, whens and whys, I came across chapter 7 in 2 Corinthians. In it Paul says, "in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds." It seems that when he says something like this, there are always people involved; people who need saving, people who need comforting or are comforters, people who need an education in the Lord.

Many areas in the Bible talk about the
reciprocal effect of friendship. This too comes from the 7th chapter of Corinthians.

But God comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. v. 6-7

In addition to our own encouragement we we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit had been refreshed by all of you. v 13

There is a chain effect, and it comes back to bless you when you bless others. Even those that don't believe in Jesus, talk about 'pay it forward' but do we REALLY do this? I have a couple of Timothys in my life. One in particular that has recently been much encouragement and a gigantic hands on help. Romans 5:6 states that, "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." I think that our Timothys come along, 'at just the right time' as well.

When you have a special needs kiddo you often think you can't be a Timothy to anyone else. And that is partially true. Especially if that need is emotional/behavioral the toll can be enormous. Even then, you can pray with a joyful heart. Or even a not-so joyful heart. The key is conversing with the Lord..and as you do so, he will let you know who to bless. He will also bring to mind the blessings you have already received and give ideas for the future.

This song, Give me your eyes by Brandon Heath, is a prime example of how I want to think every day. I have embedded the video with captions and you can link to the original video below.

For original video click (no captions) HERE.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

OOPS..I forgot

I forgot several other wonderful things we are doing!

First we are starting horseback riding therapy! We have done this in the past but are really looking forward to doing it again. It will be an hour drive each way, but I believe it will be worth it.

I will have Andrew start typing instruction again. We have tried it before but it was outside his ZPD. He is IMing everyone; friend Tammy, Aunt Leslie and even Grandma! I want to cement good habits. He is already in some bad ones. But he sees mommy type and she can keep up with the best of them. I think we will have a contest. We use 'Type to Learn." I have heard wonderful things about Mavis Beacon as well but TOL works well for us and is 'game-ish."

Must not forget E-hub. You can see the offerings by clicking on the blog here. (On that note, I am improving the e-hub blog so if you have suggestions, please let me know.) We are taking Video Game Design, Science and Praise & Worship. Can't wait! I truly want to start up our 'play/learn' group again and perhaps even start a new 'mini-co-op' I have several ideas on that one

I can't possibly do all the field trips. Andrew still does not do great in large groups. We have an audiology appointment and may try and purchase an FM for classes and field trips but those things don't come cheap so I want to try it out first. I do want to do the nature scavenger hunt, apple picking and a few others that are on the docket.

I also have several personal goals for fall. I want to start the Captivating Bible study, read through an ADHD activity book and continue purging junk and organizing the house. I also want to reset the button on my 101 things in 1001 days. For many reasons it didn't fly last year. Thankfully I am not 'tied' to that sort of thing so I will just re-start it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fall 2009 'Plan"

As an initial note, I am not going to put links in for the books. You can find most of them, especially the living books, on my librarything linked at the side of the blog. If you have a specific question about a book, speak up!


I have four goals for the fall / early winter:
  • Cement addition facts including regrouping
  • Cement subtraction facts not including regrouping
  • Complete 1 - 3 practical math units
  • Increase CONFIDENCE in math ability and attention span spent on math. (15 minute max.)
Resources for math include:
  • Primary Math: for practical math
  • Minquon Math for fact work
  • Living math books to show application

Reading / Bible/History / Social Studies / Geography / Handwriting / the habit of attention

Andrew loves hearing about missionaries. I am going to start the year out reading from Hero Tales. There are about four short stories for each missionary in the book. Each one should take us about 15 minutes to read. I plan to use oral narration instead of the questions presented and work on the habit of attention during these sessions. This goes along well a CM quote that a friend just presented recently
Volume 6, page 257-258
Give children the sort of knowledge that they are fitted to assimilate, served
in a literary medium, and they will pay great attention. What next? A clever
questionnaire? Questions, as Dr. Johnson told us, are an intrusion and a bore;
but here we have a word of ancient wisdom for our guidance; "The mind can know
nothing except what it can express in the form of an answer to a question put by
the mind to itself." Observe, not a question put by an outsider, but, put by the
mind to itself. We all know the trick of it. If we want to tell the substance of
a conversation, a sermon, a lecture, we 'go over it in our minds' first and the
mind puts its question to itself, the same question over and over again, no more
than,What next? and lo, we have it, the whole thing complete!

I do find 'questions' tiresome. Andrew always has better questions than I could possibly come up with anyway. When you don't ASK but just discuss (the grand conversation), you actually do get a grasp as to what a child really understands. You can also see them make some incredible connections. Of course this does require the time to sit there and discuss. Thankfully I do very much enjoy this part of homeschooling. I will say that I believe this can be done in school as well. Instead of tedious worksheets, a class of any grade can sit and discuss what was read. Large classrooms can be broken up into smaller groups. And this would be less for the teacher to grade!

For Bible I also plan to use Leading Little Ones to God. I am going to use the books of the Bible as spelling words. As various people and places come up I have a very interesting reference book that includes Biblical maps, timelines and charts. I will be using all of these for geography. We have a giant world map in the kitchen!

I will be using Leading Little Ones, Hero Tales and the Bible for copy work. I recently bought StartWrite software and will (ideally) type out Andrew's copy work for the week. This does seem like cheating..for the teacher. Shouldn't I be improving my horrific handwriting as well? We use Smart Start Writing Paper. This is a recent switch and is working well for us.

I am making a very cool summary project for all of the missionaries which will demonstrate Andrew's narration abilities, handwriting and grammar. That blog post will follow.


Science I am going to mix it up for science. Every year I have a plan and it never works. I have oodles of living books and experiments. I think I will start with the Christian Liberty Nature books and see where it leads. I WILL do one experiment per week. That is unless anyone wants to take this part over?? (hint hint.) Andrew did just mention that 'Daddy knows a lot about science."

I do plan to read for fall sciene: Why do Leaves Change color?, From Seed to Pumpkin, and Look What I did with a leaf! The last one will also include a fun art project. All these books are pretty basic but I am hoping they will lead to rabbit trails that include outdoor adventures, weather studies and more.

Basically, science planning is a work in progress.

I really want to do art. I am going to wing it for a few weeks and then get a plan in place. I do have some ideas in my head including the incredible resource I found for free last year in the area of art history. Perhaps I will start up the Art/Music blog again!

Extras: I have a book called What the World Eats which I find very interesting. Two books I picked up some time ago are Maps & Globes by Jack Knowlton and My World by Ira Wolfman. Andrew has read both of these books by himself but I want to read them together. In addition, I plan to read 'from Akebu to Zapotec...A Book of Bibleless Peoples" by June Hathersmith.

Literature reading includes Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo and Teddy's Button.

I also found an interesting Graphic Organizer at a used book store. I want to use it to talk about different perspectives characters have in a book. I think I will use that as my primary backdrop for fall teaching while reading....Character Perspective.

Now all of you that know me and what planning means..and what happens with Andrew and plans...can stop laughing. A girl has gotta start somewhere.

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