Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another View

Yes, I had to show both sides!

CG's Handiwork

Here is a picture of CG's Christmas present. He did a mighty fine job for hating anything "artsy".

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Week

We took a break from our Sonlight this week and studied the First Thanksgiving.  It was a short week, only three days, but we stayed on track with math, grammar, spelling, and language arts.  Some things just need to be done!  CG enjoyed the unit; mostly because we got to read a Magic School Bus book!  He loves the MSB!  

I've been rethinking the whole "stretch this core to last until 4th grade".  First of all, I just don't think I'm creative enough to make it go that far.  Second, since Core 2 is also Intro to World History, I think it would be great if we moved on before CG got burned out!  So, I've finally decided on a schedule that will stretch this year and then I will worry about all the rest later.  See me relax?!  Now that I've decided on something I find it very interesting that I don't spend hours at night pouring over the IG and trying to tweak it.  That's how I know it's the right amount of everything everyday.

So, what is the "new and improved" schedule you ask?  Or maybe you didn't, but I'll tell you anyway since maybe it will help someone else.  
Monday - Wednesday: History
Wednesday - Friday: Science
Monday - Friday: Read Alouds, Spelling, Grammar, Language Arts or Handwriting, Reading, Math, and Geography as needed

I still have the History Pockets that we will work on when we finish a section in History, and I have found (on my book shelf no less!) some Magic Tree House books that will fit right in with some of the Civilizations we will be studying.  I will make those Read Alouds so we don't finish all our out loud reading before we are done with the Core.  

I'm not quite sure how it will all play out as far as finishing a core at the end of our school year.  Or finishing in time to finish the next core in a school year!  I feel pretty confident though that we will finish both Core 1 & 2 before 4th grade.  If not well, we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  

Wrapping it up - I'm on a 'spring cleaning' kick!  DH has promised us our own school room but I have to get rid of the 'extra junk' floating around first!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

There's a mouse in my garage (and other things)

Yes there is ~ I've seen him (her?) with my own eyes.  I suppose I could try and set out a mouse trap; but then I'd have to dispose of him myself too.  Um yeah, not so much my bag, know what I mean?

So State lost yesterday.  That's ok, we will still get a bowl bid.  How exciting!  I've looked at some predictions and they say MSU vs. USC (o.k. that's the University of South Carolina - not the real USC).  That would be cool since I totally live in Gamecock Country!  

This week is Thanksgiving Week.  Take a moment to be thankful for all we have, the great country we live in, and the men and women who keep us free.  For school we are going to do a three day study on the First Thanksgiving.  I know, it doesn't seem like long enough, but since we will be homeschooling for a long time we can cover it more in depth in future years.  Since we are taking Thursday and Friday off I only had three days.  Hopefully next year my planning skills will be more advanced!  I'm trying to cut myself some slack since this is our first year.  Next year I want to do a Christmas study.  You know, traditions from around the world and stuff - but once again, it was the whole planning thing.  Yeah, homeschooling is definitely a work in progress.

What a busy week.  Two Thanksgiving Luncheons (well, one was a dinner), Cub Scout Popcorn delivery, plus all our regular school stuff.  I'm trying to get a head so we can take some time off when DH gets home - but we seem to be taking two steps forward and one step back.  So, we will either be working into June or we will have to really buckle down after the holidays.  I'm trying not to stress.  After all, I have until August to get all 180 days done - I just don't want to take that long.

After months and months of fighting with CG's old school about getting his records they finally arrived.  Of course it was my third trip to the school and I finally had to talk to the principal, but I guess whatever it takes.  I do know that if homeschooling doesn't pan out we probably won't be welcome back at that school!  Of course, if we had been happy with the place I guess he would still be in school there anyway.

And here is my most random thought of the day - Guns N Roses.  Yes, they put out an album but it's just Axl and some other random musicians.  I know Mr. Thinks he walks on water  is pretty sure he is GnR.  I'm not convinced.  I've only listened to part of one track (it's up on myspace) and it sounds good - but come on - no Slash? no Izzy? yeah, it's just the same.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stuff and Stuff

So, I have made my decision about belonging to two groups.  Since it's just really not possible I have opted to stay with the group here on base.  I really loved the Eastover group - but I had to add 45 minutes to an hour to everything we did and I was just losing too much time out of the school day.  So, there it is.  Decision made.

I have also decided to use Core 1 for the duration of 2nd and all of 3rd grade.  This does require some stretching and adding on my part - but I worked out the numbers and I think I can make it work.  If my math is faulty I will find out next year and then I can either slow it down some more or speed it back up.  For math, reading, language arts/handwriting, grammar, and spelling we are staying right on track.  Everyday for those subjects.  Then we will alternate history, geography, read-alouds, and science on a 2 day/week or 3 day/week schedule.  This will stretch out what I currently have to 62 weeks - which does leave me about 6 weeks short in third grade.  No problem I say!  We are going to study Thanksgiving all next week- so now we are only 5 weeks short!  When this works then we will start Core 2 for 4th grade and do one core a school year after that.  *whew*  There has been a lot of decision making going on around here lately!  And, as you can see, a lot more releasing of box checking!

Last week we went to a My Mad Platter a pottery painting place in Columbia.  At first I didn't think it would go over.  After all CG thinks art is a huge waste of time.  But he had a good time and painted a coffee mug for Grandpa for Christmas.  He even asked if we could go back!  So it went way better than I expected!  Sadly, not only did I have my regular camera but also my phone and neglected to use either to take a picture.  Some things I still need to work on!  

Except for the deep gum cleaning (OMG that is definitely another day!) all has been going well here in semi small town SC!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A good week

We had a good week last week overall.  CG actually started listening to Charlotte's Web.  I know this because we got to the chapter where Charlotte dies and he was crying and upset with me for not warning him that Charlotte died!  I read that book in 4th or 5th grade - which was too many years ago for me to calculate in my head - and I honestly didn't remember that Charlotte died!  I only remembered all the good stuff.  Ah, selective memory is a wonderful thing!  Well, most of the time anyway!  Friday night we went on an Owl Prowl at the Congaree National Park.  They only do this a couple times a year (spring and fall) if you live close to Columbia  I suggest making a reservation to go.  We didn't see any owls, but we heard them.  We also saw trees that are over 600 years old!  Sadly, no pictures.  We are going to go back this week during the day though.  We want to see the fall colors and the big trees in the daylight!  I will definitely take that camera for that trip!  

I am so over all the back-biting and name calling that has been going on since the election.  Time to work together as a country and quit being divided.  Will I agree with all the changes that will be happening?  Probably not - but as is the American way I will make the best of it and press on.  Everyone else needs to do the same.  Realize that this is history in the making.  Your kids (or grandkids) will be reading about this election in their history books - so whether you were for or against you were around when history was made.  That in itself is pretty awesome.

I finally gave myself permission to relax about school assignments.  For instance, Friday we did the Owl Prowl and spent about an hour outside doing PE type things.  I counted this as school and pushed his 'regular' assignments back a day (to Monday).  The me of last month would have made him do the assignments over the weekend to stay 'on track'.  I actually feel good about letting homeschool actually 'be' homeschool.  I'm very proud of myself for being able to let go of the box checking, even a little bit!  I may finally be getting the hang of this thing!!

I'm still undecided about staying with both homeschool groups.  Will I ever make a decision?  I don't know.  I love the ladies (and kids) in the Eastover group.  They are awesome and I love spending time with them.  The drive to stuff is the only drawback - but worth it to me for the quality of the company.  The base group has a lot of wonderful people in it too.  But belonging to both groups is probably not an option.  Between the two we do so much stuff away from the house that sometimes it's hard to get our actual work done.  My main goal it to educate CG and prepare him for life.  And yes, he needs to be around other children - but this can be accomplished by belonging to only one group, I don't need to belong to two.  So I think about it daily.  I know that if I choose I will choose the Eastover group; but then that will put all of Zach's friends closer to Columbia.  On the other hand, the military kids move so much would it really matter?  As you can see, it's a tough call to make!

And my rambling must finally come to an end.  I have many things to accomplish today and they won't get done if I sit here and blather on and on!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's done

So McCain lost.  I'm not a sore loser, so congrats to Obama.  For everyone that voted for him please make him accountable for everything that goes wrong during his Presidency.  Don't pull the "it's because of Bush" crap.  The Democrats now have control of the House, the Senate, and the White House - when the country goes even more insane please remember - these are the changes you voted for and take responsibility for them.  It's easy to blame; hard to take responsibility.  Good luck with that.

OTOH - I'm glad I can post from my blackberry!

And one more thing - I received a comment about my 'things that bug me about homeschooling' blog.  I want to answer that.  I know that many homeschoolers are fundamentalist Christians but don't homeschool for that reason.  I apologize for not stating that in my original post.  I believe the majority of people homeschool only to give their children the education they can't get in public school.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Trial run

I am trying to post from my blackberry.

That wasn't so bad

I thought that voting would be a PITA given all the media hype about long lines and troublesome machines.  However, in my little neck of the woods everything went great!  I was in and out in under 30 minutes.  Now we just watch and wait.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't Forget!

To vote tomorrow!  It's so very important to get out there and make yourself heard.  Even if you feel your vote won't count on the national level make sure you vote for your state and local choices.  You can't bitch if you don't vote!