Saturday, July 24, 2010


And the madness begins. The nervousness in the pit of my stomach, the headache of titles, and charts, and costs and curriculum and planning.

It's that time again. Planning time. I hate the feeling that I'm not teaching my children up to their potential yet its hard even after 9 years of homeschooling, to navigate the curriculum waters.

We attempted Sonlight last year. I think we got something out of it. Even just the fact that you can't judge a book by its cover. Some of the books we had for the core were older versions with not so attractive jackets. You know kids these days, flash and dance. They automatically go for what is bright and shiny. These are not bright and shiny books. But the little one discovered some real favorites even among the ugly books. We perused different countries, cultures and learned a whole lot about other people who are NOT like us in most fashion.

Then again, when we got to about mid February we were in survival mode and I was just covering the basics to make sure we got what we needed done. It became 'Boring School' then. I do not, I REPEAT, do not want to do that again this year! I'm planning days off this time. We tried to go from January to May without a break. You can go insane in the membrane trying that fiasco. No way. We need a day or two off each month at least, Christmas, Spring break, etc... Otherwise we're worn out by March.

I'm shooting for a balanced schedule of a couple days off per month, possibly Fridays off as well, depending on how we're doing on time/progress and hopefully ending after Easter. Then we'll just read and do field trippy things instead, when the weather is beautiful.

I'm down to one child now. The teen is off to full time college although I'll be helping her whenever she needs, since she is living at home. But planning for one child is a whole other ballgame. It opens up many opportunities to try things you might not have had time for when you had more children to teach.

If I could just get a loose plan down that I can live with, I'd feel so much better. I think I need some Tums...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Battles and Books

Today's summer post is brought to you by FUN and the makers of FUN products. US!

The little one found this in the storage room while I was down in the studio. 'What is it, mom?' Really, you don't know? I was shocked. I wonder why we even own it. I should get another one so we could have a puffball battle! Now that's what I call a good time!

She went looking around for something to shoot with it. We found a bottle of these. They shoot really far too. Although she judged and finds the little ones are the best for distance. I thought the red one look particularly lovely while flying through the air. Must just be me and my penchant for glittery things...

All was good until she decided these might be fun to shoot! (where do kids come up with these ideas, I ask you?!) I nipped that idea right in the butt before I got one shot at my butt. Believe me. She has sharpened them very well and they fly very far but I like my body parts and eyes intact thank you very much.

I've decided to cut down on the amount of time spent on the TV, computer and video games. She would prefer to do that all day long. I told her today I'm cutting her to 1-2 hours a day. She doesn't know it yet but I'm cutting it down further and to almost non-existent soon. I want her summer to be about outdoors, reading, swimming and bike riding. Not square boxes that make noise.

She has been reading several books lately.The local library has a new reading program. Based on time read instead of amount of books. I tend to like this better otherwise she'd just snap up a pile of younger books and read all those. This way she is free to read whatever books we pick and chart the hours it takes. She doesn't have to be done with the book yet to get a prize for the 3 hours it takes to turn the card in. Books on our shelf right now that she is reading (click on the book's picture to read more about it):

Guardians of Ga'hoole Boxed Set, Books 1-4The little one is on the first of this series, which I think is called 'The Capture.' I had to 'force' her to start it, to at least TRY it and she now says she loves it. It's the same experience as getting her to try mixed casserole type foods and new veggies. I had her try jicama the other day. Loves it now and today she tried a mixed thingie of rice, cheese and broccoli. What's not to love? I told her to be brave. She loves them both now. Children!

Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His GirlThis book looked so adorable in the library. She has only just read a bit but says it's interesting so far. It reminds me of when the girls tried to take care of a bird recently that had fallen into a fence. It was a baby bird. They were all set on raising it, feeding, taking care of it. We got it a box and a worm and water. A towel to sleep on. But I told the girls to put the box on the porch while they were playing outside. The bird eventually hopped out and flew off. I guess it was just dazed. Cute though!

Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile, Egypt, 57 B.C. (The Royal Diaries)This is another one of those series I had to 'make' her try. I think the first one she ever read was when we were studying Russia. They have one called Anastasia, The Last Grand Duchess, Russia 1914. She loved that book. So at the last homeschool conference I picked up 3 more of the series. I've only given her one so far. Whenever she is done with this one, I'll give her another.

The Phantom Tollbooth Although I'm sure she's getting enough books in, we're still reading a book together. One of my favorites growing up. We went and saw a play on it a couple years ago. Good play, didn't do it justice. The book is so funny and has such subtleties of language, math and more. And it makes it all funny and enjoyable! This is a must read for everyone.

Talk soon! I'm off to water the plants!  

NOTE: If you'd like to trade blog links, just holler. I'm game.
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