Thursday, August 13, 2009

Homeschool changes in 2009

Our plan this year has drastically changed as the kids are getting older and more is expected of them and me. I went to Expo with Abbey and our plan this year is to school together Tuesdays and Thursdays while maintaining the same rough schedules on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from the comfort of our own homes. My kids are so excited that they wish to begin school tomorrow but alas, the teachers are not quite ready.

Curriculum choices are as follows:

Denali: Grade 6
History Odyssey Level 2 Middle Ages
Easy Grammmar- Daily Grams Grade 7
Daily Math Grade 7
Algebra 1
Lightning Literature 7
Latin (4th year of this)
Critical thinking Book 1, and a few extra logic books for fun
World Geography coloring book
Meet the Masters for Art, and Calvert Dvds
So You Really Want to Learn about Science
Thames and Kosmos Science kit
Living Memory Book
Spelling Workout G
Famous Men of the Middle Ages

Bryn: Grade 3
Spelling workout D
Easy Grammmar 3/4
Little House on the Praire study guide (books will change throughout the year)
Singapore 3A and 3B
Horizon book 3
Logic- Primarily Logic and Brain Benders
Science- same as Denali
Story of the World Book 2
Living Memory Book
Geography coloring book
Writing with Ease Book 2

Keelin: Grade 1

Explode the Code
Writing with ease book 1
Singapore 2A and 2B
Horizons Book 1
Geography coloring book
Living Memory book
Story of the World book 2
Logic games
Science - same as others but mostly drawing what she observes
Listening/ particiapting in Literature discussions after hearing the book read aloud

We are even packing lunches to be eaten at the dining table, using a bell to change classes but I have drawn the line at agreeing to bathroom passes! Looking forward to our first day Sept. 8th.

Hoping to keep the blog up better during the school year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Discussions on a soccer field

Yesterday another soccer mom and I were having a discussion about what would prevent young girls from getting pregnant and I would like to offer an internship to motherhood for those considering actions that might indeed place them in this very wonderful but often trying job.

We decided that you should not engage in sexual behavior if:
1. You never wish to catch poop in your hands
2. You can't type with one hand while managing three other things with the "free" hand.
3. You are not ok with projectile vomit down your shirt.
4. You are unwilling to pack enough food for a small army just to leave the house for an hour.
5. You are not committed to following through on EVERY promise/threat. Even if it means missing a fun outing or making a special treat at 2AM.
6. Your natural language does not flow into sentences that begin with "I" think it would be wise if....
7. Your idea of decorating the house involves a lot of colorful plastic toys and nothing that can be bought at Michael's in the craft area.
8. You do not want to teach the art of negotiation by explaining that a scrap of paper is not an enticing trade for a favorite toy.
9. You think you "deserve" uninterrrupted sleep.
10. You are not thrilled with handmade Mother's day cards that are full of treasured stickers that signify love.

I am not sure too many pre teens would take me up on my offer, and mind you I would not trade my job for anything... BUT it is a BIG job and I do wish people would think in terms of 18-20 years and not just one moment.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Why is it at this time of year I am always longing for new curriculum and start thinking about next year? Is it that I don't wish to finish what we have started? Are we bored with winter and the indoor captivity? I am trying to use this time to include some pre-Spring activities like starting seedlings for our garden, ordering chickens in the next week or so I hope, and ordering a few things to inspire me to finish this year's stuff in preparation for next school year.

Denali has finished Singapore 5a and b. She finished Wordly Wise Grade 5. She is half way through History Odyssey Ancients Level 2. She takes the Latin 1 Exam at the beginning of March. We are awaiting test scores from the DUKE TIP Explore test. And this week she is currently taking the ITBS. So I have high hopes that around April I will have found confidence that once again our school year has been successful, we will finish all the necessary work and even some unplanned stuff.

Bryn has finished her Wordly Wise Grade 2 and is well on her way to finishing both her math books early. This is great because her reading has improved so much that we can tackle a few harder things this summer without the struggle. Her spelling is her weak suit too ( how is that possible considering how many different programs I have used for the two older ones and the fact that we have phonics daily?????) but I have always considered spelling a forgivable weakness in light of spell check.

Keelin is doing much better, especially with her sight words. She completed her 1a math in Singapore this week. She is not reading comfortably yet, but I imagine it will all fall into place by the summer. I am considering more audio books with the hardback to follow along with.

Considering all the sickness and fevers this week, we are hanging in there, but I am ready for warm weather and a chance to move outdoors and sit on the porch to do school. It would make the little guy much happier to roam while we learn.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Year

I promised myself I would keep this blog up about school. It became about very little school. So I will try again.

Denali just took the Duke Explore test on Sat. She seemed to think it was hard. She took it with a few friends and that was the consensus. It is an 8th grade test after all. She has almost completed her 5b Singapore which means it is time to order another book. She is still enjoying history with the new program and seems to have a better grasp on the Ancient World than I do. Her Latin is improving daily and she will take the Latin 1 Exam in March. She is never tested at home so while it seems like a lot of testing- it is not. She has a great attitude about testing- realizing it is just for the sake of being able to test your memory. I am proud of her work ethic. She is also getting the opportunity to play on a select travel team this spring. She is beyond excited and once I figure out what to do with four kids on the soccer field three days a week, I will be set. Actually I am glad, it forces us to do PE.

Bryn is still doing great in Math. She just gets it, like my sister. She is also beginning to find joy in helping Keely. Her reading has improved so much that she enjoys reading aloud to me. She never would do this when she stumbled on her words. her handwriting is also improving. Now that she is aware of her hypoglycemia, she is starting to take better care of it. We are still struggling with her protein. She needs more than just the average bear. Her Latin is slow in coming.

Keelin would like a teacher by her side all day. Well than - who would not? She is learning the art of moving on and coming to back to problems when I can help her. She is going to spend next week working on her numbers. She can add and subtract but can not write them correctly. I am aware this is developmental but still- we must work on it. I would like her to begin addition wrap ups as well. Her handwriting is improving. She too loves logic problems of all kinds. She is confident when reading her sight words or Bob books. Otherwise she seems to forget she has a two years o phonics and does not want to attempt to sound things out. She also loves to color ( especially with markers that bleed on to everything :)).

Keaton just turned two and is putting words together so that we may understand him. Now that we understand him, he is rightfully angry when we do not cooperate. Mainly our days go like this-
Keaton- OOOT IDE
Mom- You would like to go outside?
K- nods solemnly
M-It is 22 degrees- let's wait until this afternoon
K- OOT IDE!!!! repeat 25 times, goes gets hat, shoes, gloves
M- I have not had tea yet.
K- Cries until 11 when it is warm enough to go outside.

My days are getting more scheduled and we tend to stay on track when this happens. I order the chickens in Feb. We are going to need to build this coop here soon. Looking for free wood but it may just have to be purchased. I am running/walking with Jen and demonstrating my belief that you should keep healthy through physical exercise (which has not been my top priority lately). I have been reminded COUNTLESS times in the last two weeks how great the price of health is and how we all become complacent about it until it is compromised. I resolve to change that this year. I am knitting and taking a little time for myself this year so I do not lose myself in the kids. We are going to travel a little less and enjoy being at home for more than just a to-do list. I am looking forward to spring, a garden, my chickens, and a little bit of country life here in the middle of the city.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gliders or did I mean Rodents?

My sister is selling her spices at two trade shows this weekend and so maybe I am a little overworked and stressed out. But as Denali and I entered the row where we would be set up for the next three days, I noticed a man speaking to someone (thing). I thought he had on a bluetooth. Then looked more closely and realized it was a pet. I assumed it was a baby ferret and found it incredibly odd that you would choose to set up for a trade show while entertaining a pet. I then supposed that he might be from out of town (hoped was probably more like it) and he could not leave this rodent like animal in a hotel room. He is setting up and as we are walking through back and forth unloading, I admittedly was looking a little uncomfortable as his friend ran up and over his head but did not appear to be attached to anything. I call Michael and ask what he thinks of my first impression of this Home Show and the man with a ferret. He is not as humored as I am so I continue to move things around. After our third trip, the man decides my strange and fearful looks might be indicative of my feeling toward rodents (hate would be a very mild word) and tells the little creature to jump in his bag. I continue watching with fascination as he sets up various cages and has jars of "food" set out for sale. I now move on to the picture in my head--Ravi (brother in law and Chief Indian officer of this crazy clan) doing a cooking demo of which they have four this weekend and Michael manning the booth (all that is funny enough) and in comes the rodent creature to help stir the pot both figuratively and literally. I am imagining this GLIDER (more of the display has been put up to clearly identify said rodent) swooping in to taste a little of my sister's Indian cooking. I picture the people running away swearing never to try ethnic food again and I am cursing this little guy for ruining my retirement plan (did I mention not a lot of sleep occurred this week so my dreaming is done wide awake). Well now I am perfectly petrified with the idea of being a few booths down from this crazy scenario all weekend. I call a friend to lament about our luck in having animals and their gear for sale so near to our food and does she respond with sympathy--oh no she owned one of these rodents and named it Phoebe. So as I was trying to get excited about helping with this show, I have used all of my brain power to wonder why anyone would want to sell gliders and the very cute little homemade pouches to carry them everywhere you go. For a reality check, I would like to know how many people go to a home show and buy a glider or his paraphernalia, how does one sign up for a booth like this and better yet, in the state of the economy--will I someday be resigned to selling rodents at a home show to cover college expenses of four kids? I am deeply disturbed by this and after reading ( a must read if you want one) I am thinking at $175 each- this man is making a killing while I tagged 700 Indian Spices this week.

Lastly I would like to note this website recommends buying two unless you have plenty of time to devote to them- like the man two booths over.