Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Pink Elephant on My Blog

Or is it White Elephant? Anyway, I'm going to talk about the glaring (some say brave - some people say other things but I ignore them!) information at the top of my blog. Yes, the money.

I found my last blurb about how I was going to attempt to pay down the debt, and saw that I had chosen the 'snowball' method. HA! Anal Annie never sticks to one plan! It seemed that no matter how I crunched, munched, tossed, skinned, or filleted the numbers the one thing that was going to get paid off first no matter what is the truck. See where I'm going with this?

The truck is actually what I have been focusing on, even though I said otherwise! I guess good or bad I do usually stick to the plan I have formed in my head. It's that wonderful stubborn streak my husband loves soooo much! LOL After the truck is paid off I am implementing the avalanche method. So it makes sense on some level mathematically, which was my main problem with the whole snowball thing.

I've been 'snowflaking' the truck. Usually I don't send a set amount each month, just whatever I can bring to the table. I've also been 'snowflaking' the credit cards. I just cannot bring myself to make only the minimums on credit cards, which glares in the face of the "expert" advice.

Sometimes I think "OMG! I just want to get the stupid credit cards paid off. They are so dumb and I can't believe I got myself into this dumb ass situation." Then I spend a day crunching and munching the numbers again and come to the same conclusion I did months ago - truck first!

The information at the top has been reorganized to fit the payoff plan that I have set. Truck, then avalanche. We are making progress - we've paid a lot down since March and with some (OK, a lot) of effort our debts will keep diminishing. I've already taken one month off the truck payment and that's a great start!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Should have waited a day

The day after I posted my latest rant on standardized testing we got Zach's results back. He scored at or above grade level on everything. I was super relieved! Erik thinks we should skip 4th and go straight to 5th. URG! I haven't even taught division yet - we can't skip fourth grade math! Not to mention his curriculum is bought for next year and yes, it's fourth grade! I'm not spending more money on something we don't need.

As if to prove my point about standardized tests - Zach scored grade level on spelling. This boy can't spell his way out of a paper bag. I love him but it is what it is. So, all that proves to me is he has the ability to guess accurately if something is spelled right. This is an accurate measurement of ability and aptitude?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Not Quite the End of the Year

Wow! May and June have been busy for us. We are still trying to finish up 3rd grade - we are not quite there yet - only six more days!

We went camping with our dear friends. It was fun - until it started pouring rain! We (sadly) are still tent campers - so when it rains you are pretty much stuck in the tent doing a whole bunch of nothing! We broke camp a day early, but we still had fun while we could.

The first week of June was spent end of year testing Zach. I think everyone knows how I feel about those tests - if not you can read it here. I think he did pretty good. There were some items we hadn't quite covered yet (mostly division - but I knew that!) but for the most part it seemed like he did well. We are waiting for the scores. The last two years I have ordered the tests from Family Learning Organization because they offer the complete battery.

Usually we have trouble continuing after testing. I'm not going to teach him MORE Grade 3 stuff - ya know what I'm saying here? His report card is done and his transcripts are updated so we've been working on next years math and catching up on some Geography stuff before we start 4th. I think Zach wishes every school day could be as laid back as the ones we've been having lately! I am beginning to learn though....

Been working on the schedule for next year - we picked up two subjects for next year: Health and Spanish (I wanted Latin but that's another story altogether!). I'm not one to "lose" subjects when it's time to add more - school typically doesn't get easier as the years go by - at least it shouldn't. Anyhoo - since 9 subjects every day is way too much for even a high school student I've set the schedule so the most we do is 8 (still a lot, but hey! what can you do?) and least is 5. Sometimes I still think I might be overworking him. Who knows? I can't do less though, and I mean can't bring myself to do it.

OK, so I got off track - Zach's gymnastics expo was last weekend. He has improved a lot from last year! Is he ever going to be an Olympic gymnast? Nope. Is he having fun? Yep. That's all I'm gonna say about that!

I think that brings us up to date. Cub Scout day camp was cancelled this year, which stinks since he's a Webelos now and could really use the time to work on stuff that we can't do at home (archery; bb guns). It is what it is.