Thursday, August 2, 2012

School 2012-13

Well, be year has officially started.
Kids are grumpy that they have school duties when their comrades are free.
Kids are not thinking that we will be on the road when their friends will be trapped in a school room.
I am filled with dread

Last year was filled with struggling to get used to cyber school.
This year that will be old hat.
Last year, school took over the dining room.
This year the bookcase and supply cabinet are the only unavoidable evidence of hard work to be done.
Last year we could barely finish a day of material in two days.
This year, a day seems like a cakewalk.

Last year my business was a dream.
This year, Mom's working to meet schedules and deadlines along with everybody else.

Last year trips to the library, sports, museums, outings with other home schoolers and foreign language were things we wishes we had.
This year they will be weekly occurrences.

Last year the kids weren't online.
This year we all have blogs.

just keepin' it real


Monday, October 24, 2011


Two weeks of me preparing for a couple of shows and starting on the Halloween costumes has really messed with the official school progress.
We've submitted weeks of work, so that should keep the IS busy, but officially we're supposed to be on lesson 34 or 35?

Not even close.
I'm restratagizing
again and again.
Friday I spent the entire day with the little boy, who's decided that it's not worth working if I'm not breathing down his neck.

And this mightily displeased my other high demand little man.
I made up for it by working on his costume all weekend long, but this doesn't help progress in school.
 I can't believe I'm worrying about progress again.  Maybe we're doomed.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

To be dedicated or not to be dedicated

My young man. The one who's 11. Is stuck. He's 11. Not a little kid anymore, not an adult. But both aspects are obvious in him. He giggles like a little maniac at cat jokes and riddles. Then he smile slyly at a very subtle joke. I'm enjoying meeting this young man he'll become.

But nowhere are his two minds kore divided than about school. He takes great pride in finishing everything he's "supposed to" do in a day, but some days it's "soooooo hard!"

Today was the latter type. Over the weekend he very seriously did not want to get behind by taking Columbus Day off. On Monday there was nothing he wanted more than to enjoy the free day.

He's great about helping around the house, most of the time. And best of all- he's honest and true to his word.

It's great to realize how much I like my kids. I'm pleased to think they'll always be people I enjoy hanging out with.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On Monday

Monday Monday, forget that day...
Well, not this Monday.  Mostly, this Monday was good. 
We kept on track.  We tried our hardest. 
Math seems to be a stumbling point for the Princess.  She does quite well at it, but the volume of problems to do seems to be daunting.  Even if she can complete them in record time.

We'll bump it to the end of the day and see how that pans out.
Littlest, in his second grade wonder, got almost all the way through is lessons and has offered to complete his small science experiment and visual arts project on his own in order to get my prize (free computer use for the rest of the day, certainly a good prize for a rainy day!)

The Week of the Jewelry Show that Ate Our Lives!

Last week, I, The mother and guide on this educational journey (read as deliverer of terrible news- Oh Noes!  We have to do school?!), was very very busy getting the finishing touches on my show displays for that one big show of the year.  And so, school was kind of patchy.  But we got through the week.  We tinted plants from the yard blue.  (did you know that this works far better with fresh plants than with celery from the fridge?)
I have a lot to catch up with. 
Turns out the turn-in dates for assignments go with the achievement of specific lessons.  Not difficult, but I had thought it was simply the work from a particular day.  No big, I just need to go back and do it.  I'm very glad I keep a record of everything we get done in a day.
Tonight, now that I have a little more time, I should be able to get it all scanned and attached. 

In other news, I've been trying to get the day started with some simple math and spelling practice, but I think we'll get rid of this practice.  It's causing us to spend time not getting lessons done.  I had been trying to draw from the lessons, but sometimes it's just too complicated.  (except spelling of course, it's just easy to start with)

Friday, September 30, 2011

More to blog about than I thought

Wednesday and Thursday disappeared into a fog of grumpiness.  We have trouble with the focus.  Not news.
I'm considering what it takes to get things moving on a bad day. 
Incentives like more computer privileges can only take us so far.  They're great motivators, but I don't like them spending too much time in the computers/video games.  They will choose those over friends and playing outside.  And I really don't want them missing these beautiful fall days. 
Little gifts are nice, but I don't want to be encouraging materialism.  They already get plenty of allowance-earning opportunities.  Maybe earning points towards a purchase they'll greatly value?  Like points towards a 3DS or board game they've been wanting. 
Trips to the library are good breaks in a bad day.

I still need to reconcile the difference between productive and educational activities and the pressures of a very full curriculum.  I really hate skipping lessons.  I want them to benefit from the material.  Certain subjects are "more important" than others.  Math and Language arts really need focus.  But social studies and art are particularly important to me, as a liberal arts major in college and a working artist.  Science goes without saying, they all love it, it's important for any possible career they've ever expressed interest in. 

Face it, I've always bought into the idea that all these subjects are very very important.  I grew up in a family that valued education.  I've seen how much of an advantage it gives economically.  I love seeing the things I've learned as they apply to the real world.  Any time somebody says "When will I ever use this in my real life?" I've always thought, ummm ok, math is good in cooking, when analyzing information to make decisions, grocery shopping, keeping your bank stuff straight, planning a home or yard project...  Or listening to current events, the history I know is always coming back and helping me understand...  I can see science in every little technological innovation, in cooking, everywhere...  And you can't communicate anything at all without vocabulary, grammar, paragraph organization and composition skills.

How could any of it be useless?

So far we're doing ok.  Not ahead, not behind, on track.  And that's more than good enough.
"But wouldn't it be nice to be a little ahead?"  The nagging little voice says in my head.
I tell it to stop.  We'll do what we do and enjoy ourselves.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yes, we can!

Here I am, watching the Three finish up the last lesson of the last subject.
No, I'm not so wedded to the curriculum that I won't be flexible. Yes, I believe we can do one suggested day on an average day.
It feels a little bit like victory.
Havoc still needs to be reminded to look at "Don't Panic" written in friendly red letters under the calendar.
Hawthorne still puts his head in my lap to "think" whenever he has less than total structure placed before him on a writing assignment.
But we made it through a day.

Yes we can.