Sunday, December 29, 2013

Climbing Parnassus

Woo Hoo!  Found this at a used bookstore this evening.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Usborne First Encylopedia of the Human Body

Finally finished another book for the donation pile (grandkids :).

We haven't worked on school in over a week.  I'm having serious withdrawals.  I'm sure I'll be cured the first day.  Lol!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Break

We didn't get to school today (doctor's appointment and more shopping), so I officially called "Christmas Break."  I also informed 11yo that we will start back up after Christmas.  She said, "Un hunh (informal yes)," but I'm not sure if it really registered.

This evening she read more Tales of the Odyssey to me and I read more from the body book and Peter and the Star Catchers to her.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

No school?

I'm even more behind than normal on Christmas shopping this year due to the week when we had ice on the roads.  Today that meant that we never got to school.  It feels so .... wrong.  And I'm afraid that tomorrow will be more of the same.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Delivery Woes (update)

For Black Friday Memoria Press offered free shipping.  Trying to save money, I bought the sixth grade curriculum package.  What I didn't pay attention to or worry about was that free shipping meant book rate with the USPS.  The boxes arrived in poor condition and "held together with tape" condition.  Numerous items were missing.  I wrote about it here: Detour Over & Delivery and Delivery Woes.

Memoria Press and I have been in contact and they have been gracious.  They replaced all the missing items and paid for shipping through UPS.  Today the box arrived in great condition and the books inside were pristine.

Before this happened, I believed it was the business's responsibility if the goods were damaged before they reached my home.  But this ordeal taught me something.  If I consciously choose to use a shipping option that is less reliable I am increasing the chances of a loss.  If the company replaces the lost or damaged items, those losses will eventually be passed along to the consumer - me.  I want to support businesses that deal with homeschoolers not hurt them.

I will be carefully choosing my shipping options next time I make an order.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Testing vs. Education

(I am not a writer.  Enough said.)

I've had a headache for several days. It is hard to feel excited about education when you don't feel good.

I've been feeling weighed down with scheduling math and grammar.  How could I possibly reach my goals before standardized testing takes place in May?  The more I thought about it the more discouraged I felt about doing math and grammar six days a week to reach my goals before testing.  As toad would say, "Blah."

The age old "testing vs. education" argument rolled around in my head.  Where should my focus be?  Testing or education?  I know the answer.  I know.  Education.  It should be about education.  Standardized testing is merely a hoop to jump through as proof for lawmakers that its citizens are being offered an education in the most basic of basics (awkward but I'm going to leave it for now).

Does checking off one math lesson or one grammar lesson excite me? No.  Are these subjects necessary?  Without a doubt.  They, along with reading, are the foundations of communication.  Without them we cannot communicate ideas to our fellow beings.  We cannot begin to participate in the great conversation.

It is a shame that some people do not realize that there is more beyond the 3R's.   They do not know what they are missing.  They view school as something to endure.  I was in this category and have the tendency to revert to that perspective.  I am there now.

As I looked at 11yo's standardized test scores from July 2012, I realized that she will do just fine in May 2014 and again in 2017.  And, I reminded myself that no one can truly evaluate a child's academic achievements with a mere 20-30 questions per subject.

If testing is not the driving force in education then what?  What makes me downright giddy when I share it?  Gilgamesh?  Odysseus?  Latin?  Yes!  I barely know them myself and yet I feel ... joy? as we learn of them.  I feel joy sharing things with my children that were hidden from me.  Together I hope we can join the great conversation.

This is education - to share with others what excites you, what you love.

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13, 2013

Snow week.

We live in a wonderful area.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Winters are wet but rarely with temperatures below freezing.  We might get snow once a year but it usually melts within 24 hours.   Not this time.  It snowed and then it was sunny, dry, and cold for a week (low of 7 degrees?).  The snow on the road packed which people (ME!) don't have a lot of experience driving on.  Public school was cancelled day after day.  Even church was cancelled - gasp!  We tried to continue with homeschool but it didn't always happen as planned.

Yesterday it rained and today the high reached 50 F.  Dad went back to work, sister returned to public school, and other sister was at a friend's house.  11yo and I got something done even with her constant crocheting.  Deo gratias!

Math 5 - 52/170  Division with two-digit divisors.
English 4 - adjectives- identifying, diagraming, comparative
Prima Latina - 9/25  We are going through this quickly before passing it on.  Lively Latin is on hold.

Classical Studies - Genseric the Vandal
Christian Studies - 21 Making of the Golden Calf
Geography - short! video about Lebanon
American/State History - R&S 5 Homelands of North America (1-4).  American and Canadian geography.
Science - 21 Using Machines to Perform Work, 22 Simple Machines: The Lever and the Inclined Plane

We are reading through Usborne's First Encyclopedia of the Human Body and Peter and the Starcatchers.

11yo has started reading Tales of the Odyssey by Mary Pope Osborne to me at bedtime.  It's nice to be on the receiving end of a read aloud. : )

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cyber Monday

Did I mention that I ordered the audio book CDs for The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages on Cyber Monday (40% off and free shipping)?   I was a little worried I wouldn't enjoy the narrator's voice (Jim Weiss).   The preface was a bit "off" but chapter one sounded really nice.  I was relieved.

Today I received my other Cyber Monday purchase, IEW's Medieval History Based Writing Lessons (50% off clearance items).

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be my new school shopping days.  There were some awesome deals.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Delivery Woes

Well ... I'm disappointed.  At the moment.  I'm sure it will all work out in the end.

The second box arrived in better condition (still a hole my hand fit through) with the packing slip inside.  Because I had the packing slip and the contents of the second box I finally knew that a lot was lost from the first box.  Crud!  I had to call the company and explain what I thought had happened.   I sent them a list of what I received vs. what was missing from my order.  My husband also took pictures for them to see the damage to the box.  I hope they are able to make a claim with the USPS, but it doesn't sound promising.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Detour Over & Delivery

I haven't given up on clearing out some books, but I have realized (again) that it takes much longer to read through books than you would think.  I got antsy because it felt like we were falling behind in school.  Today I tried to get back to normal even though all the family was home again (snow hasn't melted off and schools have closed).

Books and curriculum we are working on for the donation pile:
Prima Latina (lesson 5/25)
Key to Fractions book #3
R&S 5 History/Geography: Homelands of North America
Peter and the Starcatchers

Today I received the first box of my Memoria Press curriculum for next year.   

The box was in pretty bad shape.  It looked as if one side was almost completely ripped off at some point in the journey here.  Someone did a very good job of putting it back together with lots of packing tape.  The books inside were in good shape (the usual slightly bent corners) despite the beating the box had taken.  There wasn't a packing slip, so I have no way of knowing if anything was lost.  Out of seven sets of books only two were complete.

 But I have to say seeing the box in such bad shape has me quite worried about the second box.   If I've calculated correctly it will be even heavier than the one that arrived today.  They both arrived in Federal Way, WA the same day and yet the other box isn't due to arrive here for another couple of days.  My guess is it might have been damaged also and required greater "surgery" to get it back together.  I should stop guessing.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Detour 07 December 2013

Not much going on today.  It hasn't snowed more, however it is quite cold for this area.   It's supposed to dip into the single digits.  Lows usually don't get below freezing.  Of course, I could be wrong since I live in a nice warm house and dress for wet rather than dry cold.

All events the past few days have been cancelled (Nativity Festival, children's choir concerts, church, etc.).  I think DH is about to go stir crazy.  I know other people are driving around but we've opted to stay off the roads.  Thankfully 15yo made snicker doodle cookies and 18yo cooked lemon chicken for supper.

Tonight we played Settlers of Catan.  We haven't played in a loooong time - a year?  I read to 11yo from Peter and the Star Catchers.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Detour 06 December 2013

Snow day!

But (there's always a "but" ;), we did do math, grammar, and Latin.

And .....
I got a package in the mail!  The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages (audio book)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Detour 05 December 2013

This was truly a fantastic first atlas.

We read through it one last time.  It is going to the grandkids.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Detour 04 December 2013

Happy to have finally finished Proper Manners and Health Habits.  : )

I enjoyed reading more stories this evening from What Your First Grader Needs to Know.  11yo brings her lap top into my bedroom and sits beside me on the bed playing Minecraft while I read aloud to her.  Here are some of the stories we read/listened to tonight:

  • The Pied Piper of Hamlin
  • Pinnochio (Pinnochio Runs Away, Pinnochio at the Puppet Show, The Fox and the Cat, The Return of the Cricket and the Field of Wonders)
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • Puss-in-Boots
  • Rapunzel

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Detour 03 December 2013

Yeah!  CNN Student News is back.

Detours are fun but they make me nervous.  The weekly to-do list I made before I decided to take a detour is looking too pristine.  A to-do with very few marks on it screams at me, "Do something!"  Yes, we are doing a math and grammar lesson each day, but I can feel the anxiety building as I stare at the sparsely marked page before me.

What is the detour looking like?

Prima Latina - This was the biggest surprise of the day.  Even though Lively Latin is our main program, I decided 11yo and I should make a quick run through Prima Latina before handing it over to her niece.  We read through lesson one, worked through the exercises orally, and then watched the first lesson on DVD.  I thought 11yo might be put off by the teacher's accent but she actually seemed to like it.  Happily, she found the lesson material easy and didn't grumble.  She seemed intrigued that these lessons include memorizing Latin prayers.

Key to Fractions - Since workbooks one and two have been written in, we are reading the pertinent information and quickly reviewing the booklets.  Book one has been recycled and we are half way through book 2.  So far the information we have looked at is reviewing things she has learned in Rod & Staff 4 & 5.

We read parts of:
My First Atlas (Hammond)
Proper Manners and Health Habits (Rod & Staff - This is one of those books that got lost in the shadow of more important subjects over the years.  It's for grade 2 but I wanted to read through it at least once.)
First Encyclopedia of the Human Body (Usborne)
What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know (Core Knowledge - Wow!  They've changed the cover.)
  • It Could Always Be Worse
  • Jack and the Beanstalk
  • The Knee-high Man
  • Medio Pollito

Monday, December 2, 2013

Detour 02 December 2013

First book to go into the donate pile.  sigh.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Black Friday and Temporary Detour

I took advantage on Black Friday to buy next year's curriculum at a discount.  But ... (there's always a "but") ... we don't have room for it.  I've spent the last couple of days trying to figure out how to squeeze it into our house.  After one day of shuffling stuff, I've realized extra shelf space isn't going to suddenly appear.  Something has to go.  My vision changed and I could see books that we no longer needed to keep with the youngest closing in on 12. But first, I want 11yo and I to read through them one last time.

Which has created a detour.  We still need to stick with out math and grammar plans through the end of the year, but we will be spending more of our school time reading the soon-to-be donated books.  Hope she enjoys the detour.