It's a Wonderful Life…

with the Mace family.

Happy New Year 2015

(I actually had this written and was planning on posting it over a week ago.  I just needed to add a few things, but lack of sleep has made it hard to remember to do it.  Another post will be coming shortly)

It’s been a week or two since I posted, so I thought I should probably write something.  Whenever I go to long without writing a post, I forget some things.  We are into our third week of school after Christmas, and still very slowly getting into the swing of things.  Over Christmas, I review what was and was not working in our school day and made some changes, that seem to be working.  B is growing more independent in his studies, doing science and history with us, but needing me for his writing curriculum.  On the other hand, Gav is very dependent on me in every subject.  While this might seem like solutions to this would be easy, it truly hasn’t been.  Gav needs more breaks than we had going, and needs to work in shorter bursts.  Gav needs to start earlier in the morning, but B is wanting to sleep in and start later in the morning.  Really it was about coordinating time for B and I to do writing at just the right time, and working everything else around that.  The hardest part has been getting myself ready for school as early as Gav needs, as I am not a morning person and take time to wake up.  Of course, it’s winter and dark in the mornings still, even on sunny days, which doesn’t help with the waking up factor.

So anyway, things are working out, school is getting done at a decent time and B is actually getting his work done by 2pm or 3pm every day.  The days of him constantly doing school work are done, our schedule that we started the year out with has really helped B with that.  It’s such an accomplishment for him, he’s been working hard at focusing and getting it done.  We still have days were he has forgotten something, but who doesn’t.  This year we also made our own planners tailored to  each of us, and I know that has helped B out a lot with being more organized.  He gets a weeks worth of homework on Monday, and that enables him to work ahead, which often times he does.  We also have character goals and academic goals that we work on.  Over Christmas we reviewed these and found B had met one academic goal (Getting schoolwork done in a timely manner) and two character goals (Being more patient and kind, Work on being more honest).  I thought I would share his goals for the 2nd half of the year, which started this week for us.  Academic goals:  1. Become better acquainted with multiplication facts, 2. To have a better attitude when it comes to writing, 3.  Read and learn more about animals.  Character goals: 1. Be a better friend, 2.  Be more helpful.  B and I sat down at the beginning of the year and wrote these together.  There is one academic and character goal per quarter.  I was very proud of him and put stickers on his goal sheet for those he reached.  In 9 weeks, we will revisit them again and see where he stands.

Gav also has goals.  His academic goals that he reached are: 1. To be able to write a sentence, 2. To be able to read with very little help grade level books, 3. To be able to skip count by 2, 5, 10, (which he has partially reached, needing only to skip count by 5’s to reach this, which he will in his math book).  Character goals reached: 1. To pray every day to be more obedient.  I was really proud of Gav when he came up with his character goals.  After listening to B and I set some, Gav knew just what he wanted to work on.  With no help from me, he listed his character goals.  These are the ones we will be working on:  1. Be more gracious to God, 2. Listen better to my teacher, 3. To be more kind to my friends.  His academic goals are: 1. To be prepared for the next math book, 2. To be able to write fluently and read at grade level with no help, 3. To learn cursive (which we added in Dec. per Gav’s request).  This is the third week of cursive, and it’s slowed down a bit.  Gav’s enthusiasm has waned a little, but he is keeping at it and driven to do it.  We are powering through all the other subjects.  It’s really amazing how much he has picked up on his own.

Well not much more going on around here.  Just busy with the usual!



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Summer is ….

bringing a lot of change to the Mace household.  It’s not big change, but change nonetheless.  N has changed positions within the company, which has made him salaried now.  Big plus for us is the vacation time available now and the flexibility he has.  The negative side is that he will travel more, though we will be able to go with him every once in a while.  N is also helping the pastor at the church with getting small groups kicked off.  Our church will be doing a church wide small group study together to build more small groups.  We have a few already, one of which we lead.  We minister to young adults and young married couples.  We have a really great group that God has blessed us with.  We all mesh well together with our different personalities.  I believe we have reached a point where we are starting to get a little deeper with each other.  You know how it is when you get a group of people together who don’t know each other that well, it takes a little time before people feel safe and trust those around them.  It’s so good!  We really look forward to it every week.  N is also on the worship team playing his guitar.  Can I just say, I love watching him play!  We are also on a rotation schedule to teach the 5th/6th grade class.  So far we only taught one class.  We found out that this bunch doesn’t like balloons being popped.  The majority were freaking out about it when they found out it was part of the game.  Who knew?!  But I believe it went well, or at least the food did!

B is finishing up a few things in 5th grade.  We never finished in June, kind of got summer fever and just went with it.  It’s not a lot, only takes an hour to go through.  But he is officially a 6th grader now and with it brings a lot of change.  He is in a new class at the church and is now able to be a part of the youth group.  I have been hesitant on this because, well…. because I am his mom and he is growing up way too fast.  I know you all understand this and went through (perhaps still experience?) this.  I am not ready, and as I said in a earlier blog, I should have one more year, but I don’t.  This is one of the pitfalls of having a smart kid, they hit milestones earlier, which is almost as if I have lost a year.  Really, he should be in 5th grade, allowing me one more year to prepare myself for all this stuff.  *Sigh*  His friends are there and he has gone once and really enjoyed it.  Once we move, he will be going more regularly.  Also, B will be continuing with TK for the forseeable future, as long as he continues to do his school work.  He really does enjoy it and is already looking forward to testing for the next belt.

This year is going to be really exciting when it comes to what we are studying.  Our books arrived the other day and B couldn’t wait to break them open and see what we will be learning.  I thought he was going to read through one of the books we are using for science.  This year we are studying zoology 2: Animals of the water and zoology 3: Land Animals.  We will have touched on every order of animal when we finish!  Math brings decimals and percentages with a little geometry thrown in.  The book we use is a mastery approach, with a slight spiral to it.  This just means B will master the subject and constantly have review of what he learned in earlier books as well as this one.  We are trying a new writing program this year.  Honestly, probably should have gotten it this year, but I wasn’t sure on it.  It’s by one of the authors who wrote the grammar books we used and liked.   History will cover 33 AD to 1456 AD where we will cover lots of stuff that quite frankly escapes at this time of night.  B will also be learning to type as well.  As for art and music, the library is going to come in handy as we read books about famous artists and composers.  As the year goes along, I will try to update you with what we are learning.

Gav has started learning to read!!!  So very exciting:)  It kind of came upon us recently when I had borrowed Bob books from the library.  If you don’t know what those are, they are just books to help little ones read with each story focusing on a few sounds.  They gradually get harder and harder.  He was reading one while I was at my chiropractor appt., and I really thought he was making the words up.  When we got home and sat down with him to read the book, I saw that he was actually reading one of the stories.  I can’t tell you how amazing that was!  It will be a slow process though, as I am already seeing that Gav gets frustrated easily.   We are homeschooling him as well, though we did consider putting him into public school.  For now, it suits us and our lifestyle.  I have a few books that will mostly focus on writing, which he can do, with more of an emphasis on writing on lines and cutting with scissors.  Mostly we will read books and hopefully have a reader by the end of the year.  My boys are just growing up too fast.

What does this new season bring me?  Nothing but change!  My boys are getting older, we are moving into a bigger place nearer to church and friends, and handling N’s new work schedule that is anything but normal.  I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.  God is doing some great works in our family and hopefully, through us as well.  More change will be coming, of that I am sure.  We are happier here than anywhere else we have lived.  We are all making friends, which hasn’t been the norm for us, and we all enjoy where we live.  It’s definitely a wonderful life!



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