Friday, July 15, 2011


We have been doing preschool at the Arnold house for the past few months. Before I share what curriculum we are using, let me say that the debate between homeschooling, private, and public school can get pretty heated - so I want to share where we are in our decision making process. I think every parent, and especially Christians - wrestles with finding the balance of insulating our kids from the stuff that is going on in the world but not isolating them. It is a tough decision and every family is going to have a a different answer that is right for them

Forrest and I have chosen not to put Ephraim in preschool, and I am teaching him from home. One of the main reasons is that I know I can teach him the basics - colors, ABC's, numbers, etc. - so I don't really want to pay someone else to do it. If we were going to send him to a preschool, the best Christian preschool in the area is expensive. I also like having him at home. We are involved in several activities during the week (MOPS, MOTS, Bible study and a Mom's group in my neighborhood) so he is getting socialization with his peers. We are also committed to homeschooling him through kindergarten. While we live in a good school district, the elementary school by our house is the worst performing school in the district. The only choice is all day kindergarten - and I can't see sending our then 5 year old to six hours of school. After that we will take it on a year by year basis. Most likely he will be attending the school by our house as any private school is really too far and not really in the budget.

I am using the Letter of the Week program found at Confessions of a Homeschooler. It is all free, and I just print it off of my computer. I did buy a laminator so I can laminate some puzzle pieces and the practice writing sheets. I supplement with stuff from Homeschool Creations and 1+1+1=1. Both of those sites have great Preschool packs with different themes (including How to train your Dragon - one of E's favorite movies). For Bible we are using My ABC Bible Verses and 1+1+1=1's Raising Rock Star printouts that go with the verses. Ephraim LOVES school. I usually have to cut him off and tell him that he is done, or he would try to do most of the week's activities in one day. We probably do more activities in a day than would be suggested, but he loves it, so I am going to go with it.

Ephraim loves these Dot-to-Dot markers. They are fabulous.
Using clothespins to put the correct amount of legs on the caterpillars.
Coloring goats the correct color.
I would call out a letter and he would hammer it.
Trying to keep Selah occupied and out of trouble has been a bit of a challenge. She wants to be a part of school - loves being at the table with us - but can't be trusted with markers and is often destroying Ephraim's stuff. I am most likely going to purchase some things from Timberdoodle's Toddler Curriculum to help keep her occupied, and they will only come out during school time.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Easter 2011

Uggg... I can't believe I haven't posted about Easter yet.

Dyeing eggs was quite the adventure. It was Ephraim's first time and he loved it.

Selah enjoyed munching on the eggs.
Forrest always does fun stuff with his eggs.
Selah getting in on the wax crayon action.
Easter morning. I had them stay upstairs with Forrest while I hid the eggs. (I always hunt for eggs in my underwear and backpack - don't you?)
Selah found the obvious ones.
Ephraim searching.
Can you find the egg?
After telling Ephraim that there was an egg on the monkey - he tried to grab an invisible egg.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


They make a daily appearance at our house

Little Helper

Someone in our house has figured out how tools work.

And likes to use her brother's toy tools to help fix things.

Friday, July 08, 2011

First Stitch

From April 14th, 2011 (I know.. I know..)

This morning started off great. The kids and I ran some errands and ended at Walmart - ready to go home and have lunch. Ephraim loves to enter the car through the back door and then climb over the seats to his seat. Today, he slipped on the third row seat and hit the top of his car seat (which is in the middle row.) He split his lip. After I got him calmed down enough so that I could look at it, I knew we were headed to urgent care. He split it right in the corner - so every time he opened his mouth it was gaping open.

Thankfully urgent care is right across the street from Walmart. It was a quick wait (we were the only ones in the waiting room). The doctor confirmed what I already knew - he needed a stitch. I got to hold a numbing solution on his lip for 15 minutes before they could give him the stitch. Trying to do that and keep Selah out of trouble was tricky. Ephraim was a champion and handled getting the stitch great. He and Selah both got a popsicle for their trouble.

As we were leaving they explained that stitches in the mouth usually dissolve really quickly - like 2 days, but if it was still there a week from now then to come back. We got to come back. And both kids got popsicles again. Urgent care is now known at our house for their popsicles. Awesome.