Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Last night as I sat at the end of one of those tiring, discouraging days, I realized that I missed homeschooling my girls.  Today, in between loads of laundry and paying bills, 8yo and I headed back to my bed for a little reading and 'rithmetic.  At first she protested about it being summer but quickly snuggled up to me while we did a few reading lessons.  Snuggle?  Well, not really.  She is a wiggle worm, so I guess snuggle isn't an accurate description.  We were on the bed close to one another.  And then there was math.  You can't beat counting to 100 while a vibrating massager is under your shirt and against your chest. No, not me!  The 8yo. ; p

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why Am I Doing This?

This evening I visited my favorite classical homeschool board.  While skimming their high school sub board, I felt a bit out of place.  Very little of what was being discussed interested me, and I realized that my homeschool goals aren't the same.  Why do we require our kids to learn these things?  Is it going to help them grow up to be happy adults?  Probably not.  It is making me seriously question what we spend our time doing.

In the meantime

The girls (12 and 14) spent a big portion of their day sewing yesterday with Grandma.  I was able to do a bit of school with the 12yo, but I know that sewing the pioneer clothes has be the priority (trek starts July 21st).  While they are busy sewing I think it will be a good time for me to do some teacher prep.  I'm going to make a list here on the blog to help jog my memory.
  • science flashcards for lessons 1-9
  • math flashcards - weights and measures that 12yo has a hard time remembering (ex: quarts in a peck)
  • Latin flashcards - flashcards will work better than merely chanting as she is doing now
  • Grammar flashcards
  • update All About Spelling flashcards for Level 2 & 3
  • make a more concrete plan for The Easy French
  • Read some in TWTM
  • Read Writing With Ease
  • Work through First Form Latin
  • Summarize Teaching Textbooks lessons
  • Watch Algebra I DVD's
  • Biology - outline lessons
Okay, I think I have more than enough to keep me busy.  Oh, I also need to do school with 8yo.  

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Change of plans?

I hate to do this...but...I have to change our summer homeschool plans.  The pioneer trek has taken over my life since the end of April and it is getting worse.  My 12yo and 14yo have to make two pioneer dresses each plus the accompanying bloomers, bonnets, and aprons.  Thank goodness my mom is here for the summer to teach them how to sew their outfits.  Today I am admitting to myself that sewing is going to be their job for the next few weeks.  I hope to have time to fit in daily math. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Manic-Depressive Homeschooling

No, I'm not bipolar...that I know of.  Manic-depressive just seems to describe my feelings about homeschool better than saying it's a love/hate relationship.  I either feel dreamily content about homeschool or  "woe is me" depressed about how little we are accomplishing.  The scary thing is how quickly my feelings can change from, "Homeschool is so wonderful" to "I've ruined my kids!"  

For example, this morning I'll admit that I was hiding out in my room on my computer.  When 12yo walked in with the "let's get this over with so I can play with my friends" look on her face, I moaned too.  I sighed and cracked open the math book that she handed me.  Neither one of us wanted to do school (I'm such a wonderful example ; ).  School went well with both of the older girls and by the time we finished this afternoon I felt that fierce happiness that accompanies a day that has gone well. "Yes! We are doing the right thing!" and "I love homeschooling," washed over me.  Ah, I was in love again.

Maybe homeschooling is less like being manic-depressive and more like a teenage crush. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pioneer Trek

"Cloy Kent painting of handcart family, which hangs in Iowa City 4th Ward meetinghouse..."

It has become popular in our church to have the youth do a pioneer trek/reenactment.  Our local church group  is having one this summer.  While dressed in pioneer clothing, they will be walking with handcarts.  Day one - 10 miles, days two and three - 5 miles each.

What does this have to do with homeschool?  The girls (12yo and 14yo) will be sewing pioneer costumes with my mom and for the first time ever my 14yo is exercising.  Since the last week in April she and I have made it a goal to walk a mile and a half six days a week.  Okay, I have made it a goal.  She's not too thrilled but she's been doing it.  Unfortunately she didn't pass her physical to be able to do the walking part of the trek, but it has been really good for her.  For the past two years her docs have been encouraging her to walk and now she is finally forming the habit.  She's even worked up to two walks per day.  We tried a three mile walk but that was too much for her.  But, I have hope that one day she'll be able to do it.  Hey, I'm even thinking about adding in a little weight lifting. ; )

I am counting the trek as history, home ec, and definitely P.E.

Friday, June 18, 2010


R&S's Homelands of North America is going into storage.  Happy dance!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

General update

We've been "good" for eight weeks, and I'm tired of being good.  Public school lets out today and I'm wishing that I could take a break too.  But, if I quit I'll beat myself up when fall rolls around.

12yo will finish Rod & Staff's History/Geography 5 Homelands of North America tomorrow.  We've been doing daily history lessons.  I need some time in my schedule so I think we may do away with daily history.  Still unsure as to whether or not we'll use R&S's History/Geography 6 course, Latin America, next year.  I'm burned out.

(will update later, have to go play chauffeur)

Edit 18 June 2010 - Yesterday was one of those days where you don't get poop done because you are driving kids all over the place.  Argh!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fitting it all in

12yo and I are doing a full schedule.  It would be okay if this were fall or winter, but it is taking too long for summer.  I don't know if I need to drop subjects from our schedule for now or  rearrange the schedule.  I will try a schedule tweak first and then drop subjects if the tweak doesn't work.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One Year Down

One year down three more to go.  14yo has survived her first year of early morning seminary (6:30-7:20am M-F).  I am relieved.  For a night owl like me, waking up at 5:30am has been killer.  At the same time it has been a blessing.  I learned that grocery shopping at 6:30am is the BEST time to shop.  I also was able to experience the satisfaction that comes from accomplishing many things before noon rather than just a few.  When you wake up between 9-10am you spend the day feeling overwhelmed because supper seems to be right around the corner.  You play the "let's see how much we can cram in before we have to start cooking" game.

14yo visited a sleep specialist recently and can only sleep-in until 8am over the summer. That doesn't sound like sleeping-in but technically 2 extra hours is sleeping-in.  We'll take it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Looong Day

This blog post has nothing important to convey.  I simply want to whine and complain.  That is the whole point. ; )

12yo's friend, who attends private school, is on summer vacation.  The friend called at 10:30am this morning and asked to play, but we had hours of school ahead of us.  12yo's concentration went out the window which made school go even slower.

This is the point where I need to hang in there.  This is when I give up my dreams of summer school.  And the end of summer?  That is when I kick myself for letting the opportunity slip by me.  We can have summer fun AND learn at the same time, right?

The solution?  Do school with 12yo first thing int the morning during the summer months.  We can do this.  If I'm creative I'm sure I can find a way to make it work.

It's bedtime.  My bed is covered with school books, and I'm too tired to get up and move them off.  5:30am is catching up with me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Verdict Is...

We will be doing school this summer.  I know the kids need time to play, but I also know that they have 2-3 hours per day to spare.   All we need to average is 3.5 days per week and we will accumulate 182 school days over the course of a year.  That is probably what we are averaging at the moment with interruptions (doctor appointments, etc.).  Daily school during the summer will keep their minds engaged.  Plus, one of the big benefits will be a legitimate excuse for taking a break from friends during the day.  Too much time together always ends up in group spats.

I will be the biggest stumbling block.    Yep, I'm going to want to laze around instead of putting in the effort to teach children.

In a previous blog post, I said we would be doing school lite.  This is going to be a little more than math.  We may not get to everything I plan each day, but I intend to make some progress.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Seasons animation

This is for those of us, children and adults alike, who struggle with visualizing how the earth's tilt causes the seasons.  Seasons animation.  <------- LINK TO ANIMATION

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Is it over yet?

12yo has enjoyed her North American history/geography book this year.  And I have too, but...well....are we there yet?  I'm ready to be done.  

Four weeks into her Math 6 textbook and 12yo is already 1/4 of the way through it.  We did a quick review of the first chapter but have slowed down the past two weeks. 

14yo visited a sleep specialist today.  Really, really hoping we can get her on a normal sleep schedule.  The erratic napping makes it hard to be consistent with school.  Doc said no naps and no TV/Computer after supper.

Summer Is Upon Us

Rain.....rain.....rain.....rain.....and more rain.  Ah, spring in the PNW.  The local schools have a different idea.  They believe summer is just around the corner.  The private school is out this coming Friday and the public school has one more week after that. 

Unfortunately for my kids this is the time of the year when I want to do school.  My kids are ready to play with their buddies all day.  I have to be realistic. I know they need to enjoy summer while it is here.   School lite will be probably be the way to go.

School lite = Math + anything else Mom can cram in. ; )