Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Things have been busy around our house. We're coming into the holiday season and that means we get busier. Better get on with it, I guess.

  • We are taking a break from our normal lessons to have an easy week. We still have extras, but schoolwise, we are just having fun this week. I have a couple of fun Halloween ebooks we're working out of. So far, so good. Our extras, however, seem to be cranking up. We added book club back to the kids' schedule. Really just the two big kids. I had thought about starting a book club for kids around the baby's age, but I am not that crazy. I would actually like to be home every now and then. We weren't able to make book club so far this year because of the day it met. We are gone all day that day on the other side of the county and there was no way we were ever going to be in two places at one time. I'm good, but I'm not that good. The youth librarian changed the day so that we and another family could attend. Yea! It's only once a month, thankfully, and the kids enjoy it. And, because I just cannot leave well enough alone, I signed the kids up for the Christmas parade with our dance studio again this year. I asked first and all the kids said yes. We have four days of rehearsal that I have to fit around 8 million other things, but ok. Lots of B12 happening around here. And napping. Every chance I get, thank you so much.
  • We are also taking a break from our regularly scheduled currriculum to do an artists unit study. I am getting out of the books, except math, to learn about some people that we would probably not study unless they came up in our history or something. I have even downloaded a couple of full art lessons to teach the kids different styles and concepts. I have a list of artists and their accomplishments. We are even going to incorporate our origami. That is going to keep us until we take our Christmas break. I have a couple of outdoor lessons planned at different parks and secret locations. Ok, not really a secret, but it sounded cool. We are going to visit some art museums in our area. One of our local libraries is having an art show that is free to the public. I need to check the dates and see if we need to get there sooner than later. Who knows, it may spark something in my kids and one of them could become a famous artist.     
  • And speaking of field trips (see art museums above), we are slacking on that end this year. I wanted to go to a bible translating place that is about an hour from here, but right now, there just is no time to go that far. That's two hours round trip, plus tour time. But I am gathering some info on some places that are closer. I just need to make some phone calls. If the leg work could do it's own work, that would help me out so much.
  • And since our extras are at wonky times for us, we have had to become afternoon schoolers. We are really not good at that. I plan light on those days. There is no sense wasting my time, getting mad, and trying to accomplish a hundred things when I know what the end result will be. One of our days, we just do our science experiments and a little math. Nothing complicated, nothing involved. Who needs that?
  • And off the school topic, we have replanted our tower. Being gone this summer and hubby working extra long hours while we were gone, the tower got the short end of the stick. It was also at the end of it's growing life when hubby cleaned it out. We planted our fall/winter crops several weeks ago and we are expectantly waiting for homegrown veggies. We planted lettuces, squash, peas, cow peas, okra, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. We tried bell peppers, but they never sprouted. I would love to have my own special supply of brussel sprouts. Oh, yummy. So far, everything looks fantastic. Our okra took a beating during some heavy wind, but we'll see how it does. Hopefully, it'll do just fine. We may plant strawberries for the spring. That might be dangerous. But, man, doesn't that sound good. 
Ok, that'll do for now. I still have a couple of other things, but that'll be a great start for another blog. Besides, I need to pay bills, and update my calendar, and, and, and...

Have a great day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I had really high hopes for this school year. I think what I absolutely love the most about homeschooling is that we determine what we are going to study and how. What we do is what we do and there isn't anything wrong with that. My high hopes were set on getting out of our books more and into some really great unit studies about the things we wanted to study. Well, so far, it's been books, books, books. But I'm changing that.

Part of what has thrown me off was the big girl's algebra. The curriculum we had been using just didn't seem to be enough for her. I have to say that after looking at some of the lessons, she was right. And it goes back to that saying, you get what you pay for. I wasn't even going to buy her math. She was going to do all of her math online. Then our desktop died. That leaves us with one computer. Mine. Although I was willing to share, I hated the thought of her online on my computer. It's really more of a territorial thing with me. Because it's mine. The curriculum we have now is working just fine for her, thankfully. It was a jolt to my confidence. I know every homeschool parent is going to have that at least once on their homeschooling career. That doesn't make me feel any better about it, though. I have tons of confidence in many areas, but I don't like when that's challenged, if you know what I mean. Specially where my kids are concerned.   I started thinking that if I screwed that up, am I messing up in other areas of our school?

Then the boy, who is my little math genius, started having problems with his math. It's the same math we've been using for him. Well, there goes another chink in the confidence. Between solving for N and division, he was all turned around. I have to say, though, that wasn't the curriculum. We took a break for a couple of days to work on solving for N. That seems to have worked well and we haven't had but a couple of minor stumbles since. Now we work on division for a couple of days. This should be interesting.

I will say it seems to have made me cling a little tighter to our books. It also makes me glad that I lesson plan in pencil and have a very big eraser. My lesson plan book has never been this busy. Is it me? A little, but it's also that the skills they are learning aren't getting any easier. It starts to get really hard now. I have one who is in her last year of middle school and one in his last year of elementary school. It's prep time. Does that mean we have to stay in the books? No, it doesn't, not for everything. It means we focus on what we need to focus on and get out of the book as much as we can.

Next week is a fun week. I have a couple of fun Halloween studies we are going to do. I even have one called "Halloween in Spanish". That's going to be fun. We are also going to make some fun Halloween recipes for lunch a couple of days. While searching for those, I found some great Autumn and Thanksgiving studies I have. I found an ebook of scary Halloween stories on my school flash drive, and one about Halloween and the history. And, of course, there is the obligatory ebook with mazes and word searches and what have you.

And although we haven't found our groove this year, we are starting to settle, I think. Our days away from the house are starting to get easier. I have to give some of the feet dragging credit to me. Ok, most of it. The kids are ok with it, it's my failure to launch that's getting in my way. I'm working on me. I'm also working on loosening my grip on the books. At least my knuckles aren't white from gripping so tight anymore.

Have a great day.