Now those are good reasons to work hard! And yes, the flowers Cosette is holding are real :) She picked them all from the woods behind our house. She was so pleased with herself. She brought them to me the day after Grandma's funeral, and they almost made me cry again---in a good way, of course :)
Oh, and some of you have been asking about my curriculum choices. Well, the 'core' curriculum that we chose to start with Cosette and Eli next fall is My Father's World. It's a classical, well-rounded curriculum, based heavily around Scripture. You can check it out at www.mfwbooks.com. They have pre-school through grade twelve, and it's kind of a progressive unit study type of thing. We bought their 'deluxe' package, which included really fun, bright, colorful books for the kids to do art and music with as well. I'm hoping that I like our first year with it, because I'd really like to just stick with it, but we'll see. Cosette will be doing the first grade material next fall (because she's already pretty much done kindergarten), and Eli will be doing the pre-school hands-on stuff. He's really excited about that---it's a bunch of colorful, fun objects for helping little ones learn colors, numbers, etc. We debated between several different curriculums, but I just kept coming back to this one, because I really liked what I saw. It seemed simple, yet thorough, and the kids will be getting a Biblical-based view on history, science, math, etc.
We're also spending the summer working on alot of fun, non-structured stuff. For instance, Cosette will finish her 'How to teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons' book(which you can find on Amazon), and they are both learning how to play the recorder. Cosette can actually play a few simple tunes now, and she is extremely happy about that. I believe that for really little ones, like Cosette and Eli, a recorder is the best way to be introduced to playing music. We also bought a 'health' book, and they're both going to trace the outline of their bodies onto big paper, and then glue paper cut-outs of their internal organs onto the paper as we study them (sorry if that sounded kind of gross). Cosette is doing a fun 'in the kitchen' book with Mommy (kind of like a simple, sweet home-economics book for four year olds!), and Eli is simply learning one new letter each week, by tracing it, writing it, talking about it, etc. We'll probably carry alot of this stuff over into the fall as well. If that sounds like way too much for little people, keep in mind that we don't do everything every day, and we keep it light-hearted and fun.
So, anyway, our 'school' schedule is now full, and I'm excited to officially be beginning school with the kids. I know they are only little yet, but isn't that the best time to begin giving them a love for learning?? Joel is going to transform our dining room into a multi-purpose eating/school room for me :) We plan to cover one whole wall with cork board, maps, and dry erase boards. Then, above that, he's adding shelves to hold all of our new books :) I'm hoping that the next year of school can be fun and very productive for my kiddos! I'm thanking God for the opportunity to teach them and be their mama!