Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Planning, Boiling and Waiting...

HOMESCHOOL UPDATE:
Homeschool planning is in full swing. And to make matters more immediate, I decided to just jump in, without so much as planning one day. No really. The only reason I did this was because I was insane. Just kidding. But we have a friend whose daughter is beginning the Apologia General Science like we will be using this year and they started it last week. We thought it might be fun to try to keep pace and occasionally do experiments together. So this is why we find ourselves immersed in homeschooling. In July. In the middle of homeschool piles. In the middle of a heat wave. What was I thinking? Heat stroke probably.

Monday we had our first day. No problem on the science. Latin we reviewed since we haven't done any for months and we're in the middle of the Latin for Children book A. Math, we did review times table sheets and a Saxon Placement test to see what level we should be at. For English a friend loaned me a McDougal English program. Basically a public school's textbook. We jumped right in with minimal complaining. I also printed spelling lists from online although we didn't get to any of those.


Tuesday rolls around and I'm sick and we're both tired. Just great, on our 2nd day back to homeschool. So we read. All day. We started The Hobbit last fall but never finished it. I picked up The Lord of the Rings trilogy on tape and in 3 books at a garage sale so we plan to read those soon. Time to finish Hobbit first. And here is what I realized on our 2nd day of homeschooling. I don't want to shove textbooks at my child just to make sure we have 'something' to cover a subject. I don't want to have it all planned out. I want to be free to explore, to try out new things, to spend a whole day reading if I feel like it!  I like our science program, daughter needs experience with textbooks a bit if she is ever going to go to college (you know the backwards way they learn there, right?!) Latin is going okay, but its mostly chanting and fun things. I'm okay with that. I don't want to use a stale ole' English program or generic spelling lists from online. I realized while we were reading Hobbit, there were words we both didn't know. We started a list. Those definitions will have so much more meaning because we can apply them to what we've read. I like that. I have no plan for history yet. I keep looking at Sonlight's Core 100 just for the basic fact that it is all about reading, and is similar to a Charlotte Mason style of learning. We can do dictation and narration from the readings. We'll read up and discuss current events from magazines such as The Economist, Time and Newsweek. We don't have to be entrenched in boring ole' textbooks. Don't ask me what I'm planning on doing for math. Winging it???

Boy, oh boy. I can foresee an interesting year if I'm already feeling this way. Check back with me in a few months to make sure I haven't slipped back into textbook mode after I panic about whether we're learning enough or not. I'm praying that doesn't happen!  

* This homeschool update is linked to Back to (Home) School 2011. *

GARDEN UPDATE:


It's been 2 weeks of scorching hot heat. It's a miracle if I get out to water the garden and don't die from heat and mosquito bites. Basically it's so hot out, I'm surprised plants aren't boiling! But watering hasn't seemed to matter. Our wonderful plot of squash looks like a meteor landed in the middle of it. I guess it can't take the heat. It's still producing but it seems only a matter of time. 


We have, however had a few good points! The okra is FINALLY starting to bud! It is the slowest growing plant I've ever seen! But it's making up for lost time. See the adorable buds. I can't wait to have some!


The tomato plants look like Brer Rabbit's brer patch but they are still producing green tomatoes. This week I found one adorable red tomato! Yay! Finally. I'm counting on many more. I think they like this heat. I glad someone/thing does. All in all, the garden this year has been 'okay'. We've harvested some things but not as much as I had hoped. I have canning supplies all primed and ready but no use for them yet. We plan to do a fall planting soon. Maybe mid August? Need to read up on that. I also plan to Lasagna garden so the beds are ready for next year. All in all its been a good learning experience. I'm thinking we need to look into a watering system as well, maybe underground? We'll see...

*This garden update is linked to Tuesday Garden Party and Homeschool Village Garden Challenge. *

CHICKENS UPDATE:


We're in waiting mode. We're 13 days into the 21 days for our incubating eggs. So far so good. The temperature in our homemade incubator is doing pretty well. We've candled the eggs twice. First time we couldn't see anything, so hard with brown eggs. We candled on Monday as well and saw these. 





Don't know if they mean chicks or boiled eggs. We'll candle again on Monday August 1st, our 18th day and then we go into lockdown with hopeful hatchings on August 4th. Check back for an update!


Also, the other day we drove past a guy putting this at the end of his driveway.

We stopped and asked if it was trash, it was, so we excitedly offered to come back with a truck for it. FREE! Doesn't it look like a start to a great coop?! Our backyard is filled with scrap woods and paneling. Can't wait to get started creating a coop-de-ville!

6 comments:

learning table said...

I tend to jump into school like that too--and it is SO HOT here that we can't really go outside until the end of the day, so it's better to keep my boys busy. We spend more time outside and going on field trips in the Fall, so it's nice to get some school days in the summer.

My okra plants are slow, too. I have picked one okra a week for the past 3 weeks! How do you fix fried okra for 3 boys with one okra at a time?!

Good luck w/ your chicks. I hope they all hatch.

Mary said...

Our garden got roasted by the Texas heat :(

You may have thought of this, but you could just do science right now to stay on track with your friend and then not worry about the rest until you are ready.

Have fun with the chicks, I hope they all make it!

Zonnah said...

What a score for your chickens!
I have been thinking about the water issue with our garden as well. I think we might try soaker hoses next year.

Luke said...

Core 100 sounds like a great option (of course, I'm biased [smile]). And near as I can tell, literature-based programs absolutely allow you to "learn enough." Well, it worked for me and my siblings.

~Luke

Lynn said...

We sorta started back to homeschool this week. The kids fussed over watching an Imax documentary on the tv. lol!! I'm a bit like you, I like to wing it. I have to be a bit more organized with my oldest son since he is in highschool. My garden is suffering too. Luckily, like you our tomatoes are looking good. :) Good luck on your garden and school year.

~Lynn

Dawn @ 5 Kids and a Dog said...

Oh I hope you get chicks! We are looking into getting chickens soon. I think we'll buy chicks though, rather than eggs--although my kids would love to hatch eggs! I just can't wait to have homegrown EGGS to eat. :) Our garden is taking it's time too. We finally have ONE tomato getting red, and the start of some zucchini and cucumbers. We'll see how it goes! It's been the slowest start of summer EVER. We had snow on the hills until the end of May this year.

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