Friday, November 30, 2007

I remembered again!

One thing this week that I did was remember to resume my own studies. It really seems to help to have me doing some sort of work while they have their own work going on--even if my work is just open in front of me and I'm not getting anything done because I'm helping them. In any case, I copied down the categories for the classification of animals (kingdom, phylum, etc.) and did up a table with different animals, finding out what I could. I was able to share with them cool things I'd found out. They added in animals they wanted done. Unfortunately, the first one they came up with was snail (I don't have that volume of the encyclopedia and was trying to use only the encyclopedia) and then snake (same volume). *sigh* But it was fun! And I wouldn't be surprised to see them trying it out sometime.

Hey, I remembered

I remember some stuff that got done this week:

Ds did a few mornings in a row of this French beginning reading program we have. I don't know how much he's learning from it (part of the problem with the way a lot of "educational" software is set up), but we did do some of it together and he's doing well. Other than that, not much. I told him that next week, we'll be looking at minimum number of things to get done each day. He's ready. And willing! He's very excited about his progress in reading.

Shoot, I forgot the other thing I had remembered. lol

In any case, the 13yo/"Bob" wrote a fictional journal entry today. Completely his idea of topic (I had actually suggested a letter to Santa) and it was GREAT! Someone might say that it's far below what a 13yo should be able to do, but for him, it was great. He can go soooooooo far when he lets himself.

The 16yo is starting to feel overwhelmed. I've been trying to think about what to do. I sent her some links about being an overwhelmed student and will need to think and pray about this more this weekend. I've had one thing come to me that right now, she's focused on all the stuff that isn't done that needs to be done. And the confirmation yetserday that they will be going to Hawaii (there was a possibility that they weren't due to her grandmother's advanced cancer, but it appears they are because the grandmother insisted) took a week away from her work time, so I think she's just hit a panic mode. Where do I feel her focus needs to be? On being the type of student she wants to be and what the means in terms of choices and actions. She really wants to be a med student one day. That doesn't mean simply finishing all the work in the course; it means approaching learning in a specific way. I think part of our work on Monday will be looking at this. And it will count towards her CALM course. :)

It's been over a week!

I haven't written in over a week. Wow. Hm. Not sure why not! But now I'm not sure what we did, so...

Dd's been writing a new story on creatures she invented. It's kind of like a research report or informative book, except that it's completely made up. She's also started working on order of operations and is enjoying that.

The 13yo has not been enjoying that math. Even had a breakdown on... hm... Tuesday? But it was after he'd had a blow-up with his sister, so I don't know if it was really the math or his emotions in the way.

Other work? Not sure.

The 13yo has decided to quit diving. The 16yo was wanting to quit--before her parents gave the okay. Now she doesn't want to quit. Even though she was wanting to quit before because she felt she didn't have the time to do other things: more time on school work, chance to volunteer and work... I can understand not wanting to quit in the middle of a year, though.

We went to the Festival of Trees yesterday. It was kind of disappointing. There was something missing. Actually, a few things since at least 2 of the previous activities were no longer there. There seemed to be half the number of decorated trees and many weren't that interesting. I don't know. It was weird. We didn't even stay as long as we usually do. The kids LOVED the endoscope table, though!

All for now. I have to eat!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Addition/Subtraction Board

Well, at least SOMEONE's using it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


My niece is finally here! I looked after my other niece all day Monday, then my in-laws brought over my nephew (niece's brother) after school and the 2 of them stayed over. My niece was born at 2:45pm, weighing in at 9 pounds!!! We still haven't had a chance to see her.

Our Monday work day was weird and kind of fell apart rather quickly. Part of it due to the oldest getting worse and worse with the flu as the morning progressed. We did end up watching all of "Gandhi", which was good. I had seen it in high school, but I don't remember being super interested and it didn't really feel like it was connecting to whatever we were doing in social studies. Yesterday, suffering the effects of the "sleepover", the morning didn't get going too strongly and we ended up going to the library in the morning. Today is going to be Super Work Day! :D Dd has been asking for more structured, but "fun", things to do. The 13yo is wandering around aimlessly. Ds hasn't read to me since the weekend. Add to that that it's Hump Day--I have to have things very structured for anything to get done!

Off I go to read with ds now. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's due date!

And my niece still isn't here! :( Her mom has been having pre-labour/false labour on and off for 3 weeks, and still no baby. The doc will let her go one week overdue and then induce.

Other than that... Ds is on this learning to read kick. It is soooooo cool. He's learned sooooo much so quickly--that or he's absorbed so much in the past that is just kind of placing itself together now. He brought me a Blockbuster receipt yesterday. I asked him if he could tell me which movie it was for (I only keep those that have been shown with the other kids as it counts as a business expense). I show him where it says the movie, he figures out "Meet the...", sees the R and knows it's "Robinsons". He was SOOOO proud of himself, unfortunately, that he whooped and flung his arms up and slightly back and whacked dd in the nose. :-

I had a slight panic over the 16yo and her learning this week--she just has times where everythig shuts down. I got some advice from the Montessori-L plus just did some of my own thinking and am really looking forward to this week because I'm feeling confident things will work. One thing that has really been sticking with me is how well the 16yo did with algebra when she was using materials. Then she stopped using the materials the year after, because, I guess, we both kind of felt that she "knew" the stuff, but she'd forgotten some things and some stuff has been a struggle ever since. She falls more on the tactile/kinesthetic/global side of learning and I've really realized how I need to show her how to incorporate that style into her learning. My initial worry was, how in the WORLD do I have her learn quadratics while learning to incorporate her learning style??? Then I realized: colour coding and little "tiles" with the variables and symbols and showing her how to draw up a table for the comparisons the text is going through... I need to think more about her other subjects, too. For chem, I think tiles will be great for working out how to rearrange equations. For social... I think I'm really going to have to encourage her to work on mind maps or visual posters--oooh, how about visual timelines? This one book I found on learning styles recommended role playing, too. I don't know how comfortable she would be with that, but I know she sort of role played through writing for one of the industrial revolution topics she worked on and it really stuck with her. She's about to start a theme on World War I (which, unfortunately, she has to cover in a week) and the more she can put herself in the position of those involved, the more it'll stick.

Another thing I've realized this week is how much her struggle with texts is the reading comprehension. She can understand every word in the sentence, but the way the sentence is put together, she's not attributing the right things to the right part of the sentence. I think she needs to learn how to do sentence analysis! Of course, that means I've got to improve my skills in that first. Last time I really did sentence analysis was in jr. high--for French class. Fortunately, I've got some resources here. I feel too unsure of the Montessori style to do it that way at this point.

For the 13yo, he did his first essay this week. :) He said a whole bunch of things, I wrote down what he said, added a couple of tips here and there and had him choose between some transitioning options and ta-dah! He copied it all down and feels very proud. :) This coming week's writing assignment: his own report card. :D I've been reading a book whose name I can't remember at the moment and there's something in it about how kids need to be involved in the evaluation process more. That, combined with dh working on report cards and me needing a new writing assignment for this week, led to me deciding to give this as an assignment. I think I'll assign it for dd, too, but hers will be in French.

Other than that, haven't really figured out this week's plans yet, but do need to print off my first little French reading booklet for ds. Dd has agreed to do the drawings for me. Yes, my 10yo dd draws better than I and has probably done so since she was 6! I should also come up with some new words for him to do. (Shoot, that reminds me that I never took a picture of what I've prepared for him to share here.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just had to update

I'm supposed to be working on summarizing the 16yo's social studies so she doesn't have to try to force herself through some 15 pages of very dry textbook stuff tomorrow (she'd never accomplish it in the first place; of course, this has me wondering if I'm rescuing her or not, but I feel somewhat responsible for her being behind!), but I just have to share before I forget.

I did the first and second of the Reading Reflex-type activities with ds on Monday. He LOVED it, especially the second one which was a form of auditory processing activity. It somehow had something click. That afternoon, we were out and he read a few CVC words--in English. Yesterday, I pulled out some Bob Books to show him and he absolutely wanted to read them then and there. And he DID!!!! The first book was a total breeze, through to the 4th book where he needed some guidance. He was sooooooooooooooooo proud of himself! And I just couldn't be more pleased. He read the first 4 a second time yesterday evening and wanted to read them again tonight, but we remembered too late. This is so typical of him--lag, lag, lag, lag, then boom. Good thing he's not in a regular school. I'm going to have to scramble to put some little phonetic French books together so he can have French reading practice.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Various things

I did up some Reading Reflex-style activities for ds for this coming week. I thought I'd be able to share it here, but I can't seem to find anything other than inserting a picture or video. Hm... I guess I could take a picture later of a printed off copy.

What else have I done? Let's see... I've worked on a unit 2 math test for the oldest plus a unit 2 chem test. She has 3 tests this week, if she follows the schedule like she should. Social test tomorrow, but that's already done. Chem test probably on Thurs. Math test on Wed. (I hope!).

I've also done more thinking about the 13yo/Bob. It's not that I purposefully sit down and do it, just something pops into my head and I feel compelled to explore it. I'm actually feeling really great about this and am thinking more and more that I will have him switch boards next year to do the online program part-time. Here's how it would look with our current board, using teacher-directed courses:
  • home ec. (I chose that because it's super easy and he likes cooking and using the sewing machine)
  • math 9
  • phys.ed/health
  • French
  • religion if he needs another course
  • if he needs yet another course, some of the CTS courses, or if he must have another core course, science
  • everything else would be parent-directed (traditional homeschooling)

If we go with the other school board, his online courses would be:

  • math 9
  • French
  • health
  • Computers 1 and/or Food Studies

Offline APS courses would be:

  • phys. ed.

Everything else (English, science, social) would be traditional. The decided advantage of moving to the other board is that he'd get used to the online format (which is very different from what our current board does). He would, as well, have the possible chance of taking an in-school class if he wanted to. And the reason for only having math for both schools is that the social courses just aren't that good to start with, he'd rather explore his own thing for now for science, and he's just not ready for LA. I wanted to have one core course for sure so that he gets used to the quizzes and tests and exams and he'll have to take the provincial achievement test at the end of that year. For high school credits, regardless of where he does his schooling and how he goes about it, he HAS to take exams. One course will provide some sort of transition.

I'm also so weird that I've thought ahead to his high school courses. %-p Unless there are some major changes in the next two years, I'll make sure he takes Learning Strategies 15 and 25, his mark in Math 9 will determine if he needs to do Math 10 Prep or not, have him do the English _-2 route, switching either right after 10-2 or 20-2 to the -1 stream (I think if you switch in grade 12, you end up having to take BOTH diploma exams, and that'd just suck!) I suppose his interests and his parents' desires will determine whether or not he'll take a second language. He keeps saying he wants to go into dentistry, so he'll have to take all three sciences. That really fills up most of his schedule!

One last thought about all of this: another reason I feel the need to have him in the online program is I don't want there to be any question about him "hiding" from going to school because of some possible notion that school has too much work and he doesn't have to word as hard here. With this outside stuff set in stone, and it is a lot of work, he's less likely to hide from school for that reason. (It's funny--he was so set in Aug. on going to school so he could be with friends, but stuff going on at diving has had him change his mind because he doesn't want to be in that social environment!)

Let me come back to the present. :)

The 16yo has a full week this week.

She needs a good fractions review, which she'll do for math tomorrow (with dd and "Bob" being invited to join in). She then has to finish the work for the 2nd unit and do some review (Tues.), do her test ideally on Wed., and do 3 lessons from the 3rd unit on Thurs. and Fri. (Oh, I have to work on that, too, to see what she has to do and what corners we can cut.)

She's starting ch. 4 tomorrow. I won't let her take more than 2 days to finish it. Do the unit review on Wed. Do the test on Thurs. Do unit 3 prep (and maybe start ch. 5) on Fri.

Theme 2 test tomorrow. (Ack--she's supposed to be finishing theme 5--of 8 themes--this week.) Then spend the rest of the week doing Theme 3 work with the test next Monday. (She has no choice: she MUST do a theme per week now.)

Avoir, être and ERverbs in present, imperative and futur proche (sorry, don't know the English word), plus have her do just word reading (and maybe spelling!) from a simple list I found.

For Bob:

Writing: 1 essay or page-length composition due on Friday
Reading: phonics drills, even if I have to bring him to the computer, enlarge them to 200% so that he can do them ;)
Spelling: based on the phonics drills with a focus on those words he messes up when he's reading

Keep him going with numeration, which means I have to prepare more stuff!

He said he wanted to learn more about Egypt. I'll have to help him figure out what specifically he wants to explore and help him find resources.

His chem kit, if he wants. Other than that, not sure!

Oral grammar with the oldest, plus just the regular talking!

For dd:

Daily reading with me. Writing assignment for the week (I have to come up with some topic choices--that's what she asked for when we discussed her actually doing some writing in French). She can also do the grammar with the others.

She says she still wants to keep going with the math sheets. So there we go.

I'd like to introduce her to zoological classification. She really likes tigers and had wanted to do a project on them, a project that kind of got pushed to the side, so perhaps this is a way to still look at them. We have a chart that has the classification broken down, so we could work out together what the formal full classification for her specific tigers.

Nothing special other than EVERYBODY will do stuff on learning the continents and oceans this week. I already have a large map printed off. :D Gotta love that poster feature for the printer!

I already discussed ds in a separate post.

And other than that, we are ALL waiting for my niece to be born!!!!! :D She's technically not due until the 18th, but my sil has been on medical/early maternity leave since the beginning of Oct. due to the high chance that she'd have the baby early. Her first was born 1.5 weeks early; the second 2.5 weeks early. Today is 2 weeks before the due date and she's had false labour on and off for 2 weeks. She is soooooooo ready to have this baby--as are we! :)))

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ds and his education

Okay, let me continue my thoughts from yesterday about ds and his education.

I've started working out a list of phonetic words I could do Reading Reflex style (like the Montessori Object Boxes). Basically, you've got a little picture and the letters that match up with the word the picture represents. Let's pretend it's some lips to represent a kiss ("bec" in our French). I'd also have little squares with the letters b, e, c on them. The Reading Reflex lessons have you write the lines for the sounds on a whiteboard, then ask the child which sound he hears first. He'd take that sound and put it on the first line. Then the second sound on the second line and the last on the last. You then ask the child to write out the word saying the sounds. Here is my list of super easy words for now:

as, os, bec, sec, bac, lac, sac, bol, col, sol, bal, mal, fil, ami

This will get us started for reading and writng and is something he will enjoy doing. I will also keep looking at his cursive book which inspires him to want to do some--especially since I told him the other day that he doesn't have to do the pages in order, he can pick.

On a side note for language arts: he decided during supper last night that he wanted to "work" with me after supper. He picked reading. He read all the easy words in this one book (je, le, la, un, etc.) and some of the harder words. Always makes me feel good to see that he's progressing despite my lack of consistency. I said something to him about how many words he can read now and asked him, "Every day you read, you get better and better. How much do you think you could read by Christmas if you read every day?" The way his eyes lit up was magic. He WANTS to read--I just have to set the right stage for him.

And isn't it interesting: he's had a sudden interest in reading and writing (he was writing stuff the other day, in addition to his cursive workbook, sounding out words to spell in English) JUST after he lost his first tooth? (You ever heard of the research done linking children's readiness for reading with their first permanent teeth coming in?) I remember one Montessori teacher saying she'd noticed a cycle in her school: the kids usually started learning to read at 4, but if they didn't, they didn't seem ready to do it until 7 (when the first teeth have been lost).

I seem to have some internal issue against showing him various Montessori math materials I have. Why??? I don't know. In any case, I think he'd love using the Addition/Subtraction Strip Board (usually 2 boards in a classroom, but for home purposes, just one!), so I need to find my strips for that and prepare some booklets and let him cruise. Of course, I could be totally off and he might not be interested in doing them at all. lol.

I want to return to my idea of zoology. I think I feel lost as I don't have something telling me what to do and I don't have a lot of knowledge of my own. Since he loves ocean animals, I'm going to start with fish and look at the external parts of a fish. Then we can look at the internal. However, I don't think we'll use real fish as I'm rather squeamish. ;) We can look at our pet fishes to look at the external parts, but I'm really not sure I can do more than that.

I want them ALL to learn the continents and oceans--I think the oldest knows the continents, but not the oceans. Then we'll progress from there together with geography. Ds might like the pin map of North America, especially since there's a place for Belize, where my former student now lives.

As for history... I can start timeline study with him. I've got a roll of paper and we can do a timeline of his life. I think he'd like that. :)

That's it for now. I've got a headache I can't shake--I think I had too much sugar and chocolate yesterday. Need to go drink a couple of glasses of water. And maybe a couple of Tylenol. I'm supposed to be taking ds out shopping this afternoon--poor kid grew over the summer, didn't wear his pants at all, so we get to our recent weather and all his pants are too short!

I'm so weird!

I don't know if it's affirmations I was doing today--I'm trying to work out exactly how I'd like things to be with schooling--or what, but as I showered, I just couldn't get out of my head thoughts about next year's plans for the 13yo. Woops, sorry, "Bob".

What sort of thoughts? Well, we'd talked this week about how if he's with me for high school, I will have him put on a specific online program through one of the homeschool boards. I didn't explain to him the reasons for this and he didn't ask. He needs something transitional. He resists change and doesn't do well with it, which means that if he goes from the type of homeschooling we're doing now right to post-secondary after high school, it'll flop. He knows things with our current homeschooling are flexible, negotiable. High school requirements aren't that flexible and negotiable. I just feel strongly it's important for him to get used to having someone else to be accountable to, to have stuff somewhat set-in-stone that he knows he has to step up to do or he'll fail. I also want him to have the opportunity to take some classes through the local schools, which he can do only under one of two conditions: he's registered with that board as blended or traditional; he's a fully provided high school student with any Alberta board. He could stay with the board we are at and be fully provided, but the structure that this other program provides will work better. Plus, they have some courses that our current board doesn't have.

But these thoughts led to: what about next year? How's he going to handle going from our current homeschooling to that particular online program? Slight panic set in. Then I remembered that I had already talked to his mom about Bob going blended next year. So that's led me to the computer to see what blended with our current school board would be like and what blended with the other board would be like.

It's Nov. of his gr. 8 year--so, 3rd month of the school year--and I'm already working out next year's stuff!!!!! Why????

Now that I've asked the question, I think, other than the fact I'm weird, it's to be able to orient myself for the rest of this year. I've been planning the next 5 weeks for the 2 oldest (they're leaving for Christmas holidays a week early for Hawaii) and having a sense of approaching halfway through the year. I can not, and will not, let this boy fail. He's capable of a lot more, although he is definitely making some good progress. He started copying out a recipe all on his own yesterday. DO YOU REALIZE HOW HUGE THIS IS????? He's doing more, wanting to do more, feeling more confident. It's great. Yes, yes, I complain we don't get enough done, but I have to admit he's making some real progress. The focus he has when he sits down and does the math I've prepared for him is phenomenal. It's so great to see.

Ok, gotta go back to looking at these two different programs for next year. ;)

Friday, November 09, 2007

This week is pretty much over

Well, we didn't get as much done as I had planned, but we are all just so out of it and affected by lack-of-sleep, weather and ill health. There's only so much you can force a tired and sick brain to do! Poor 16yo even had issues just with simple stuff to read. She's still forcing herself to get through stuff, even if it's not fully processing, so that's good.

The 13yo--sorry, Bob--had his eye appointment and needs to go back in a couple of weeks to do the eye drops thing so the doc can look inside the eyes. Apparently, he's got very strange eyes. He is far-sighted, but if I'm understanding what he understood, it sounds like he still can't see as much as he ought to be able to see, as though his seeable range is short. In any case, the doc told him he's never seen something like it before. He also did something with a laser-thingy and was supposed to say whether the line was above or below something and he had a whole bunch of lines all over, which the doc didn't seem to expect (hence, having to use the drops to see what's going on). So, he's going to get glasses, but after his final appointment. He did say that it was cool being able to see (with the lenses they try) all kinds of things he couldn't see before.

The kids are mighty disappointed that we didn't get the 2-4 cm of snow they were, yesterday, predicting we'd have today. I don't blame them. This dreary weather's just blah.

Some people apparently have long weekends, but we won't be. "Bob" wanted the day off and asked for the day off but I said no. We just really haven't been doing a lot and I don't want to have a short week next week. Besides, there are only *5* weeks before the two of them leave for Hawaii. Gotta get cracking and get the oldest caught up and make up for some of the recent lack of work on the other kids' parts.

I also really want to focus on ds. I feel like he's the one who most needs the type of Montessori style I was using when dd was his age and slightly younger, but he's not getting much. What would I like for him?

Language Arts
-One thing I realize I'm having trouble with is that dd just picked up on reading and she WANTED to do the Reading Reflex stuff. Ds doesn't really have a big interest, although he's much more into play than dd was at that age. But I also don't have the same materials. I don't want to teach him in English (which is how dd started reading) but I don't have things for French so I guess I'm feeling lost. I need to prepare a list of words and materials I can use with him--or near him and have him watch me and want to join or something.


I've been distracted. I won't continue for now. I have to clean.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Misc. babble

I was going to post a picture of my cat watching our 52" plasma tv this morning--I had put The Secret dvd on and he was on the tv stand, sitting with his nose practically on the screen--but he left his spot when I came back with the camera. It was just so funny watching him!

School stuff: (Is today Wed. or Thurs.? Holy cow, it's Thurs.!)

The 13yo (who would like me to refer to him as "Bob") has an eye appointment today. Oooh, that reminds me, I'm supposed to write up a note so that he doesn't forget details in explaining what's going on with his eyes. He is definitely far-sighted--saw a parking lot sign from I'm not sure how far away that none of the rest of us could see. He's been complaining a lot about print being too small--and not just when I expect him to read. The other day, he was reading dd's story as she typed it on the laptop and I asked him how he found the size, because she had the font fairly large. He said it was okay. I took the laptop and started slowly pulling it backwards, asking him if it was getting worse. He got this kind of surprised look on his face: "It's getting better! Why?" All this time, as he had problems seeing words in books, he's apparently been pulling the book closer to his face (that's what everybody else does, right?) and he had no inkling that if he held the book further away, he'd have a better chance of reading it.

I have to wonder how long this has been a problem for him. I'm so eager to see what glasses will do for him. He has always given up so quickly when he gets frustrated with reading--how much of it has been because he simply can't see the letters correctly? I know in elementary, his eye doctor had always diagnosed him as being far-sighted, but for some reason, never gave him glasses. (This eye doctor also refused to give glasses to his sister, despite rather severe astigmatism, until a couple of years ago--she, too, spent years struggling with the print in books.) Last year, the eye doctor said his eyesight was normal, which I found odd. There were still signs here and there of him being far-sighted. He's seeing a different eye doctor today.

This week has been an odd week for school work. We finally started getting back on track yesterday, but still sluggish. We are ALL suffering still from the time change. Which is weird. I remember how we always used to do just fine with the fall time change, but no longer. My kids are going to bed later for their internal clocks, but still getting up at the same time. The two oldest are tired. I've been exhausted--went to bed just after 9 last night, which was good, because my body's waking me up at 4 still (internally 5), so I almost got 7 hours, which is to be celebrated because I had been getting 5.5-6 before that. Even my dh hasn't made the transition as well as he usually does. I don't get it. And I'm not sure what we should do to make the transition. My poor kids have bags under their eyes, but they are just not capable of sleeping past 5-5:30. And I don't really want them to be going to bed at 7pm and up at 5-5:30 every morning! I'll have to see what I can find online.

That was supposed to be a paragraph about odd week for school work. Oh well. We get more of what we focus on though, right? So I'll stop focusing on that. :) Let me focus on today:

-lots and lots and lots for math, social (*gasp* Do I have her test ready?) and chem. Need to point out to her how much more she could get done if she stayed focused. Maybe I'll track her time on task and show it to her at the end of the day, ask her how much time she thinks she's spending truly working on her work. We've discussed how she needs to put in a solid 4 hours a day just to maintain, and needs to do more than that or cut corners to catch-up. I think in her mind if she's got 4 hours blocked out for work, she figures she's worked 4 hours. Yesterday's 2 hours in the morning were more like an hour and 15. Maybe not even. Yesterday afternoon she was tired and just sluggish, not really allowing herself to be distracted, which is understandable, but she still didn't actually do 2 hours of work (actually, by the time we were done watching Transformers--which she hadn't yet seen and wanted to see and we didn't have my niece, so it was a good time--she had less than 2 hours left to work). The focus must be on the work to accomplish!

His appointment's not until 11, but he'll probably be picked up around 10:30. That's plenty of time to do some math and work on his essay. We've only done one day of that remedial reading drills--he's complained of the print, plus it's just been weird around here. I'd like him to do them today. We can find a good distance for him to see the words. I don't think they should be too small for him.

She's been working a lot on Spanish. She has wanted to do a flute lesson all week, so I'll make sure I fit that in with her.

Ds has been doing more work this week! Yay! I'd like to do some letter work with him again today and some oral math. At the moment, he and dd are watching a video about the Mars Rover--science!

Other than that, we finished reading Schooled this week (great book!) and I have yet to figure out what our next read-aloud will be. But now it's 7 and I have to go get ready. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Just had to laugh

I was reading something where they mentioned the NEA, which is the National Education Association (for the US) and how they're really against homeschooling. So I decide to look it up and find this article . I laughed too much to be offended. Especially at the part where the author writes about Sam Walton teaching people to do this and that: did Sam have a degree in teaching people to do those things??? I think not. :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Slow going

Friday's plans didn't happen. I actually don't remember what happened on Friday. Hm... Oh well. I know the oldest wasn't feeling super hot but still made herself get some work done.

Yesterday ended up being a day off. The oldest was feeling worse and just super tired, ds was on pure adrenaline (not getting enough sleep already combined with not enough sleep due to the time change--went to bed an hour later for his internal clock (but same time on external clock) but still waking up at the same time on his internal clock), the 13yo was snuffly and adrenalized and dd just got caught up in all of it. I'm feeling exhausted, too. I don't do well with time changes.

Today... We weren't sure about our plans for today, so that threw off the 13yo (he really likes structure!) and he kind of did this and that this morning. The oldest still isn't feeling well but managed to do some French--easy work. Dd spent the WHOLE morning on Spanish: drawing things then labelling them in Spanish. Ds pulled out a workbook we haven't looked at in a while and did one page with me then did a page in his cursive workbook all by himself--without me asking him or anything. He's spent a LOT of time outside the past few days, since the snow from the weekend.

Right now, I'd really just like to sleep. But I can't because everybody's still here. I think I'll go clean.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Not sure if there's much to update

Let's see...


I did some of the Remedial Reading Drills with the 13yo. I think it's going to take longer than I had thought to go through the stuff because he guesses on words SOOOOOOOO MUCH. The first page is all CVC words with short a. The first part has word families, the second part the words in each row start with the same sound, then the third part has them all mixed. He guesses so much he did fine on the first part but complained about the second part because the endings weren't all the same. He changes the 'a' sound here and there. He adds 'n' before final 'd'. He won't simply sit and sound out the words unless I tell him to sit there and for each word, sound out the word. Of course, unfortunately, the 'ag' words are in there which we don't really pronounced with a short a and his thinking tendencies to persevere with what he's already been doing then have him switch the short a to a longish a for the next word... (Before I give the impression that he can't read at even a gr. 1 level, let me say that he can read many complicated words but his previous training in school for simple words really messed with him being able to read them properly.) He got a page of math done and orally worked on some times tables. I also got him started on planning out an essay on "Why I Want to Be an Orthodontist." (Yes, he wants to be an orthodontist.) It's going fairly well.

The 16yo spent the morning working on her social studies (and is actually ENJOYING it--I decided to take the APS requirements and have her go about answering questions in kind of a research style rather than just reading through the textbook) and did her chem test in the afternoon.

Dd... ? Did some math, spent an hour or so working on her story again...

Ds: did some letter work with him and I played addition bingo. It was actually rather funny. this game is designed to play with a class of 30 and has a LOT of call cards. It normally takes us a good half hour to get through because I keep picking call cards for numbers we don't have on our cards. He won within 10 minutes. lol.


The 13yo went on a focused math marathon. The 16yo worked on her social, French and math. Dd did some math but then laid down as she wasn't feeling well. Then we worked on prepping the house for our Halloween party (kept it small this year!) and ran some errands for the Halloween party.


Morning: final prep for Halloween party.
Afternoon: Halloween party
Evening: Halloween

Here we are now already on Thursday. Plans for today:

16yo: chemistry--at the very least what she was supposed to have done on Tuesday; have her finish up the social she was doing the other day and hopefully get the social done that I have for her for today so she can do an essay test of the unit tomorrow (one unit in less than a week--rushed, but I think fairly well covered); and have her get at least one section done in math and send her home with some math homework; oral French grammar (verb conjugations) and if she gets all that other stuff done, maybe some written work

13: reading/spelling (ah, we didn't do any of the spelling the other day--he's fine with CVC short a words EXCEPT those that end with d, so I must do those with him); math; continue essay; his chemistry kit this afternoon

dd: I absolutely want to read in French to her at some point today--I've decided to stop trying to get her to read in French and simply spend more time reading to her in French; probably some math and I expect she'll want to work on her story as well as work in MS Paint sometime today

ds: work with some more consonants followed by 'a'; I'll also do either the Golden Bead Tray with him or some Ray's Arithmetic. I really need to figure out some more things I can show him, things he'd enjoy doing and open him up to more learning. I had bought a bug unit, but it seems to be designed for when there are actually bugs outside (which makes sense), so that won't work right now.

My big decision right now is if I go ahead with my plans to do something at park day Monday afternoon for Guy Fawkes day. I just feel so celebrated out right now. lol. What with dd's birthday last Tuesday, Galaxyland on Wed., party on Thurs., party on Fri., party and Halloween yesterday... I think I've had enough. I don't want to bake again. I don't want to think about celebrations again. lol. But those feelings may change between now and Monday. I guess I'll have to play it by ear.