Saturday, March 28, 2009

Has it really been so long?

Obviously the answer to that is 'yes'.  Sadly, I've been meaning to get on here for a while, but just seem to run out of time.

So much has been going on; but before I continue with the everyday things (that seem oh so important ~ because they are!) I must say something about my mom.

My mom's birthday was March 21.  She would have been 63 if she was still with us.  I still miss her dearly, but have learned to block some of the bad days.  Her birthday is one of them.  So, I changed my background to bees in honor of my mom.  She loved bees - not the real kind, but she amassed a collection of bee stuff, some of which graces my desk and holds my pens.  I don't think she chose to collect bee items, I think it happened because she was known as "Mrs. B" to my friends, and "Gramma B" to the kids at the school she worked at (shout out to St. Therese in Lansing!).  Over the years they bought her bee themed gifts and as we all know, small groups of things become large groups of things over time.  So, there's the reason for the bee background.  I wish I could put into words something appropriate and wonderful to say about my mom.  But I can't right now.  Not that she wasn't wonderful and I have lots of awesome stories about her, but I'm not ready to share.  If I share then they are not 'our' stories any more.  I know it's selfish, but I'm not ready to share her with the world quite yet.

OK, now on to the normal things going on.  We have finished 140 days of 2nd grade.  That leaves us 40 to go, which should be six weeks.  Um, yeah, somehow I don't think we will finish in the next six weeks.  Right now we are getting to the point where we are having trouble getting through five days a week.  It must be the end of year blah's or something.  

We have been working on a lapbook project this week.  It's from Hands of a Child, and it's all about volcanoes.  We tried one early in the year, but CG just wasn't too interested.  He seems better now, so I'm planning on throwing some more in next year, just to see where it leads us.  Anyhoo - it's not in the project pack, but next week we are going to make a volcano and erupt it.  It's something I never got to do in school, and CG is thrilled with the idea.

I have purchased all our third grade curriculum and sadly, there is no Sonlight in there.  I so wanted him to be a Sonlight kid.  I love books, I want him to love books, but he doesn't.  Sadly, he likes workbooks.  BORING!  So, for next year we are going to work out of workbooks, throw in some unit studies with lapbooking and notebooking, and read books off the 3rd grade reading list I found online.  It's going to make my life way more difficult, because I will actually have to figure out the plan for the year.  I loved the way Sonlight laid everything out for you - even if their exact schedule didn't work, it could be easily modified.  If he is still totally into workbooks come 4th grade I'll probably look into AOP or something.

Oh yeah, so I've bought writing and spelling from Evan-Moor, MCP Math (Book C), and the Complete Book of American History, Science, and Maps/Geography from American Education Publishing.  We are going to do the unit studies and stuff around the AEP books.  I'm not changing anything since this is what he asked for, he'll have to stick it out for the entire year.  Ta-Da!  There's the plan for third grade. I think I'm going to order his CAT test next week and test him the last week of April.  I was going to wait until June, but I would rather get it done before our May vacation.  I know he will do a brain dump on me when we take time off!

There it is, in all it's glory ~ the long awaited update!  We are finally getting some much needed rain.  I hate to complain because we need it so bad, but after two or three days it's just so blah....

Oh and the Grease Monkey and I celebrated our 13th anniversary on March 23rd!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ta-Da!

So, here is the cake I made for CG's birthday party. Not bad for a 1st attempt!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Birthday Party, Cub Scouts, & Curriculum Stress

Saturday is CG's birthday party.  We are having a WALL E theme and I am going to bake and decorate his cake myself this year.  Well, try to decorate it at least!  I'm actually baking a cake from scratch!  Oh my goodness....

And yes, for the record, his actual birthday was last month, but when you procrastinate (which is my way) you kind of have to take what you can get!  Thankfully he doesn't care too much.

With the whole birthday party thing I've discovered another reason I love homeschooling so much - you get to invite only the people you really like!  THAT my friends is awesome!  A handpicked group of friends makes the party that much nicer.  CG and I sat down and made a list of the kids he really wanted to have there and surprisingly the group is quite varied.  Kids from ages 3 to 11 were on his list.  Very cool.

Last Saturday was his pack's Blue and Gold Banquet.  I ended up making cupcakes.  Yes, from scratch.  It was the recipe I wanted to make for CG's birthday party and I decided I'd rather guinea pig a big group of people I barely know instead of the small group of people I know really well!  They were the first desert to disappear!  So, the recipe is solid - it's just the decorating part that may end up being lame.

I'm totally stressed about not finishing our Core by the end of the school year.  I'm not sure why....

I'm trying not to let it bother me.  Really, really trying.  I know until he gets to high school (when you have to start keeping transcripts and credits) starting cores a little off is no big deal.  Honestly, I know that.  But I still can't help thinking that somehow I should try and make it right.  It makes me so annoyed with myself.  I've even tried to sit down and figure out how many weeks we will have left in Core 1 when we finish our 180 days and how far off that will put us into 3rd grade and blah blah blah.  Seriously, I think I need help.

Then there's math...

We have been through a plethora of math curricula this year.  OK - perhaps not a plethora but I LOVE that word and don't get to use it all that much!  Here's how our math year went...
MCP B (not complete) - he hated it
Saxon 1 & 2 (not complete) - he was ok with this, but the spiral was so s l o w
Singapore 1A & 1B (not complete) - this was a decent program, but he never quite got the hang of 'number bonds' rather than 'number families'
We are back to using MCP B - and this time he likes it.  I have cut down a lot of problems per page and that may be helping.  But I also think it's because he's doing stuff he knows, so he doesn't have to work too hard at it.  I gave him the chapter check ups and kept moving forward until we got to something he had problems with or hadn't learned yet, and when we reached that point I started having him do the whole chapter.  Long story to say - what curricula do I use next year?  I wanted to try Horizons or Teaching Textbooks (if he can test into TT 4).  He's good with MCP now, but how will he be when he's struggling and learning new things again?  Oh the quandary of it all....   One thing I do know - whichever I pick is the only program we will be using next year.  None of this skipping around and junk.  I need to stop second guessing myself.....