Thursday, October 31, 2013

First chapter complete!

Sped through the first chapter of lessons in Rod & Staff 5 Arithmetic this week.  We combined all of the addition lessons one day and continued through the rest of the processes in the same way.  We only did problems that I thought would benefit her.

The long term plan? From now on we'll do one lesson per day.  We'll skip tests (in the past we used them as lessons rather than tests anyway) and hopefully have the book finished in time for standardized testing at the end of this school year.  Of course, that assumes we'll continue lessons on Saturday and possibly even during the Christmas holiday.

Friday, October 25, 2013

New Math Level

We were halfway through R&S Math 4 at the beginning of the school year.  Recently I looked ahead and started skipping lessons that I thought were redundant.  If you have used Rod and Staff you know it has plenty of review.  We were set to finish the book in a week.  Today I looked through the last few lessons I had planned for next week and decided that I was done.  Done.

We will start R&S Math 5 tomorrow and hopefully finish by the summer 2014.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pep talk

I am here to remind myself to hang in there.  

Today a family member questioned why my 11yo isn't involved in the co-op this year.  I tried to be honest.  I'm tired and I'm taking a break.  I perceived it as not merely being asked a question but as having my actions and choices questioned.  I guess I could have said it is none of their business but I was raised in the South and being disrespectful to my elders is very uncomfortable.

Then I was later told that I "didn't want to do anything."  I guess that is true if it means I'm trying to cut out unnecessary stress inducing activities.  But, it made me feel like the person was saying that I don't do anything.  That I don't work.  That I'm lazy.  

I let it get me down.  The more I thought about it the more discouraged I became.

Here's the thing.  I spend hours out of every day trying to educate my 11yo.  I don't hand her a book and send her off to a desk.  I tutor her one-on-one.  Hours of my day are spent sitting by this child as she and I work together.  I do work.

I let the discouragement get under my skin and it started to convince me that I'm a loser.  I started to feel that what I do is less than mediocre.  

Put on the brakes!

I have to do what is right for 11yo.  I can't let what other people think de-rail us.

We have found a groove this year.  We are making progress.  If we are consistent we are going to have the best school year ever.  We are headed in the right direction.   

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hanging in there

Potential jurors were excused.  I won't have to worry about a jury summons for another two years at least.

And yes, I lost a little momentum.  I'm trying but we haven't accomplished as much the past couple of days as in previous weeks.  It's sad when you have to force yourself  to do at least one math lesson per day.

Yesterday I read this article, "How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses," and watched several Sugata Mitra TED talks.  The teaching methods are so radically different than how I do things with 11yo.  I am very much a textbook kind of gal.  I'm intrigued.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Not chosen for the trial

and that's okay with me!

I'm sitting here trying to make sense of what I saw today.  Alcohol seems to have played a big part in the choices a young man made.  Here it is a year-and-a-half later and he will be dealing with those consequences for years to come.  And so will the young woman.

I'm so glad I wasn't chosen to be part of the jury.

Unfortunately I have to check Tuesday evening and see if I am called again for a trial on Wednesday.  I didn't expect that and I'm not looking forward to it.

The last few days I've been pretty uptight and anxious because of the unknown.  Now?  I don't want to participate due to the weight of responsibility of deciding someone else's fate.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 12, 2013

Goals - start R&S Math 5 in November.  Move quickly through R&S English 4 and hopefully start English 5 in March 2014.

Math - smoking! I looked through the book and determined that the amount of review in Rod & Staff would allow us to combine or skip lessons.  Three weeks = lessons 115-140 (8 skipped).  Finished adding and subtracting fractions, large quotients in division, introduction to decimals.
Spelling - reviewing lessons one and two from LOE, moving through Level 3 words. Increased the number of words from 5 to 10.
English - speeding up by doing a lesson and worksheet on the same day. Nouns (common and proper)
Latin - other subjects, subject and verb agreement
Composition - ahem, first thing that was dropped with lice infestation

Sayings - finishing the first grade list (ex: Let the cat out of the bag, The more the merrier, Never leave till tomorrow what you can do today).
Literature Studies -
Classical Studies - still reading D'Aulaire's Norse Myths. "Nord, Frey, and Freya"
Christian Studies - Moses.  Currently reading about the ten plagues.
World History - the beginning of civilization.  All Usborne books - World History, Ancient World, and Encyclopedia of the Ancient World.
American/State History - tribal regions (Columbia River, Great Basin, Klamath Lakes, Plateau) in Get Oregonized.
Science - metamorphosis/butterfly, insects.
Art -
Music - Mozart in The Story of the Orchestra, Lives of the Musicians, and What Your First Grader Needs to Know.  Listened to - Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, Overture to the Marriage of Figaro, Rondo All Turca, and Ah vous dirai je maman!

Jury Duty?

I'm here to tell you that nit picking (head lice) takes a lot of time.  It has upped my stress level as I've tried to continue school, wash extra loads of laundry, and keep appointments.  Seriously, picking nits and juggling appointments has been the biggest headache.  Half of the family is gone during the day and we have struggled to get everyone's hair combed in the afternoon before they need to leave to go somewhere in the evening, etc.

We are coming to the end of our marathon combing sessions and I was hoping that we would have more time for school.  I guess not.  I've been summoned for jury duty.  I'm not expecting more than 1-5 days.  We aren't going to fall behind in that amount of time.  My fear?  We will lose momentum.  I am naturally a procrastinator and I fear this little break will turn into a long break.  It has happened in the past.  We have a great start to the school year and then I gradually slow down with the return of overcast fall weather.  Next thing you know it is Thanksgiving and we haven't done school for weeks.

Fear is a funny thing.  As a child I was afraid of the bogeyman.  Now? I am afraid of myself.   I'm afraid of my character flaw - procrastination.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Never Enough Time

Trying to plan school for next week and as usual I realize there is never enough time to do everything I want us to do.  It certainly isn't as bad as it was the past several years.  I feel like a real human being now that I'm no longer driving to seminary.  But still, it seems like there is always something that comes up - like this lice infestation.  Seriously, just when I was full of excitement about starting a new chapter in our lives we are hit with a lice infestation and an early autumn (gray skies, rain, rain and more rain).

Just gotta keep plodding along.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oh, goodness!

I've been very excited to start Science in the Beginning, but I'm not a hands-on type of person.  Today I gave my procrastinating self the "just do it" talk.  I memorized the scripture "And God said, 'Let there be light,'" and took 11yo into our darkest room which happens to be the bathroom.  She immediately starts her silly laugh while I'm trying to recite "...and the earth was without form and void.  And dark was upon the face of the deep."  Do you know how hard it is to try to recite a scripture you've just memorized in a dark bathroom with a silly 11yo girl?  When I came to, "And God said, let there be light," I was supposed to turn on the bathroom light. didn't quite happen that way.  Instead I turned on the bathroom fan.   11yo went from laughing to whooping.  I can't tell you how stupid I felt at that moment.  All I could do was laugh along with her but seriously I felt like a failure.  How could I mess up something so simple?  

This is how homeschool used to always feel.  I would plan out the "prefect" lesson or try following a scripted lesson and it always felt like a flop.  Cool ideas don't seem to translate into cool teaching experiences for me.

One good thing did happen today.  After school was over I walked through the living room and happened to see 11yo reading about coastal Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest.  We had read a book about Chinook Indians earlier in the day and she hadn't seem overly interested even though I thought it was a great book.  I was happy to see her take learning beyond "mom is forcing me to do this when I would rather be on the computer playing Animal Jam."