Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It has been a week

I had my cat euthanized last Wednesday.  I sobbed all day that day.  My guess is that the stress of that day did a number on me.  My head felt weird and I was very tired on Friday and Saturday.  I slept quite a bit those days because I also had a hard time thinking clearly.  Reading was out of the question, so I slept.  My head is back to normal, but now I don't have any desire to do anything.  My daughter's 16th birthday was this past Monday.  I thought I was fine until after dinner was over and everyone was gone.  I started feeling anxious.  I couldn't understand how that could happen after the party.  I felt anxious the next morning too before we went to a doctor's appointment.  I've been wondering if being forced to make a life and death decision about my cat sent me into a slight depression.  We had him for almost 14 years and he annoyed the heck out of me.  But gosh!  I miss that cat!  I'm pretty sure I would feel a lot better if he were sitting in my lap right now begging for a scratch.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


My recent hang up is science.  I have enjoyed using Rod & Staff's grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 textbooks.  I was disappointed that their new grade seven textbook seems so choppy.  It just doesn't flow.  I was planning to switch to CPO science for 13yo but it sounds like some of the supplies are spendy. 

Last night I cut and pasted (that sounds weird) the Core Knowledge K-4 science sequence into a document to use in planning for my 9yo.  Maybe this is what I need to do for my 13yo too?  We could use the Rod & Staff grade seven science textbook as a resource along with the Core Knowledge Sequence.  I feel a mish-mash science study coming on. 

Monday, July 4, 2011


Yeah, it takes money to homeschool.  I purchase things as "needed" and don't have a budget.  It has been nice though I do have to rein myself in occasionally.  I've often wondered how we would continue to homeschool if money became tight.  A couple of years ago I thought that time had arrived, so I made sure we had the basics from Rod & Staff (Math, English, Science, and History).   Add in the library and our set of World Book encyclopedias and I hoped we would be able to do it.  Well, I think the time has come to test it out.  We had some unexpected bills and we need to start saving money for maintenance (house and vehicles).   I'm a little scared to tell you the truth.  Making your own plans is time consuming.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Planning Core Knowledge

Or, why I like planning textbooks.

I always wondered why I like textbooks.  I think I've got it.  They are easy to plan.  Count the number of lessons in a textbook, divide it by the number of weeks you intend to school, type the lesson number under the appropriate week, and BAM! you're done.
Then, there are things you want to use, like the Core Knowledge "What Your ___Grader Needs to Know," and planning can turn into a messy venture.  That's where I am.  I've planned subjects like math, English, and our history text.  Now, I'm faced with CK.  I know, I know.  Just pick it up and read when it fits in with whatever topic you are covering, right?  Well, in my case that means it will be forgotten.  Experience has at least taught me that much.

So, here I am today trying to pump myself up to even start the process of planning CK for my 9yo.  I think this would be a lot easier if they had their planners online like I saw announced last year.  I wonder what happened?  Maybe if I wait a few more weeks....nah, I might as well get started.

BTW, did you know the Core Knowledge Sequence is free online?

Friday, July 1, 2011


Why do kids tend to choose a foreign language that you have zilch experience with?  Yep, that would be French.  I can NOT pronounce it ... at ... all.  I bought Le Francais Facil (The Easy French) for 13yodd and thankfully she has been exploring it on her own.  In order to get something out of it, it is time to do more of the program.

She has been listening to and parroting the story, going through the vocabulary along with the CD, and practicing the phonograms with the CD (10/36 lessons).  The plan now is to switch to the independent learner track and do it over two years.  That will be one lesson every two weeks.  And, it means more involvement from me.  I'll have to read through each lesson to find out what she should be working on and then make reasonable assignments.

I'll also plan to have her use Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative French course to help with auditory exposure.

Another possible resource: TV5MONDE