Saturday, May 20, 2006

after all that planning. . .

My son comes up to me tonight and says, "Mom, will you please buy Switched on Schoolhouse for science for next year? Please?"

He did that in third grade and loved it. We talked about the fact that it is a Christian curriculum. He said, "Well, mom, we are Christians, after all." Yeah, you're right, we're the nonchurch-going, nonpreaching, myob type. lol

Okay. Switched on Schoolhouse for science it is. That will make my life a whole lot easier.


Double-ear infection, sinusitis, and bronchitis. My whining is justified, cough-cough.

With all that, school got done this week. Friday was a very light day with reading and writing, but the writing took a long time. We also went to the library. (And of course I run into another homeschooler when I am coughing like a maniac, I am wearing NO makeup, my hair is pulled back and I look like an idiot.) Isn't that just peachy? lol

Our standardized test arrived in today's mail, so we'll be doing our test prep book next week and possibly starting the testing or waiting until the following week. I think Thomas will do very well again this year with the exception of spelling.

I have continued with my planning spree. I think that I am actually going to follow The Well-Trained Mind's suggestion for the Reader's Digest How It Works series of science books. I think we'll do How the Earth Works and How Science Works next year. If we do, we'll have to do science every single day because there is a lot of info in those books and a whole school year would be more adequate to cover everything in one book. My library had two books in that series, of course not the two I want to do next year, but my husband and I looked them over last night. We both think they jump around a lot and don't give a lot of supporting information. My kiddo is one who reads something on science and says: MORE. I think it will work, though.

We're going to do three Hakim books next year. Book 4, 5 and 6. We'll cover 4 and 5 the first semester and book 6 the second semester. I am toying with the idea of joining and getting the books on CD. Okay, so I have no idea how to download an audio file, let alone how to make a CD from the download. I am so behind the times. It's high-time I learn!

I'll be buying SOTW II on CD.

That's it for now, I'm ready for a long nap.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tell me why!

Tell me why I love planning so much?

Tell me why I spend hours planning next year's school, finishing it, and then:

completely change my mind.

Tell me why I do this. I am going to have to quit blaming my gray hair on my husband and son and owning up: I do it to myself.

I suppose it's best that I change my mind now rather than jump ship mid-year.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Our Rainbow Day

I am still very sick. I think I have both of the viruses that are going around right now. I am not a happy camper.

When I woke up this morning, I was craving a fountain pop. (For you southerners, that's a soda or Coke, but of the diet persuasion.) I love that whole pop/soda/Coke debate -- I'm a pop girl. Anyway, I decided to take Thomas through McDonald's drive-thru so I could get a pop. Of course I had to get an Egg McMuffin, too, and hoped it would nourish me not make me any sicker. (I was fine.) Thomas was delighted to get some pancakes. (Okay, don't tell my husband, but we did this yesterday morning, too.)

So on the way to McD's, we saw the biggest, brightest, most beautiful and complete rainbow! It was one of the prettiest rainbows I had seen in years. We even pulled over just to look at it. We started talking about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I told Thomas that I had a feeling today was going to be a lucky day. I was just sure good things were going to happen.

We ate, we schooled, I took a nap while Thomas read a stack of Titanic books, we schooled some more. When we finished school, Thomas told me I was wrong, that it had not been a lucky day after all. I reminded him it was only 4:00 and the day was not over.

My husband came home from work and took Thomas to play basketball. On the way out the door, he whispered in my ear that he was going to stop and buy Thomas a new bike on the way home with the last of our income tax return money. I just smiled.

Thomas came home thrilled, jumping up and down, yelling, "Mom, mom, come look!" DH had to do something before he could get the bike out of the van. I went out to the van, pulled the bike out and Thomas jumped on. He did not have his helmet on. He rode down our driveway, hit the brakes and the back wheel was off the ground, the bike was flying up, he was flying off -- luckily he didn't get hurt. His eyes were huge, he ran to the house and emerged with his helmet. It's tricky learning a new bike. Especially one with 21 gears. And shocks. Gosh, I loved my plain-Jane banana-seat bike in the 70s, I wouldn't have known what to do with all those gears.

So it was Thomas's lucky day. And he reminded me of that. "Mom, you were right!"

The day still was not over. It gets even better.

While Thomas was riding his bike, I checked the mailbox. I about took a spill when I went through our mail. Mixed in the stack of bills was a check from my doctor's office. Last fall I had a mamogram and for some strange reason the insurance company refused to pay for it. They sent special forms for my husband to fill out and send back but he didn't. They sent the forms each month for three months and my husband didn't do anything. So I paid the bill, then threw a fit telling my husband he needed to take care of my insurance. Actually I threw more than a fit. ;-) I had totally forgotten about paying the $365.

So my lucky day was getting an unexpected check in the mail for $365. Wow, now I have gas money to go visit family this summer! I showed the check to my husband and told him it's going into MY account for our summer gas fund. Of course he had no objections, tee hee.

I don't really believe in luck. I think things just happen. If I believed in luck, today definitely was our lucky day.


Two days ago I made a general list of everything we've done this year in sort of a portfolio form. One thing severely lacking was writing. Time to step up to the plate, ignoring my wait until 5th grade to start theory.

Yesterday I taught my son to use the four-square writing method. He wrote a really nice paragraph for me using that method. Next I decided we'd tweak it a bit and do a five-paragraph story using the same method. What I thought would be quick wasn't. I was so mad at myself. Why didn't I make him do more than journal this year. He did write a few stories on his Alphasmart this year, but bad mom.

In the afternoon after we'd done other things, I decided to get out our Writing Trails in American History book. We went through the example chapter and then I had him start the lesson on Paul Revere. It took forever for him to look three words up in the dictionary and put them in his own words in the book. Again, it took forever to look up those same words in the thesaurus and come up with the new words for the book. Yikes. Oh, he has dictionary skills. He's been using both a dictionary and thesaurus for the past year. His mind just wanders when he does things he doesn't like.

Next he had to do the key-word outline. That went very well. I was surprised.

Finally he had to do a rough draft report. He finished half and then we had to leave for scouts.

This morning I got out the book first thing. Whine, groan, moan. Immediately. Once he got his attitude adjusted (mom stating it's the law, kid, you have to - lol) he set out to work. He finished the rough draft. Since this was his first, I went through it with a green marker -- he loves green and I don't want him to fear red -- with him. Not too many corrections. Very nice sentence structure. Wow, I was very impressed. We then discussed two sentences that could have been worded better. Off he went to make his final draft.

Wow, Thomas, knock your mother's socks off. He did an excellent job. His handwriting, which is so painful for him, was beautiful. Spelling was all perfect. I couldn't be happier.

I think we'll work right through this book because I think it will be a great confidence booster. It teaches him how to put things in his own words, how to do a key-word outline, how to organize, how to use synonyms. I think it's a great start for my boy who doesn't like to write.

My only beef with the book is that if you want to use it with your American history curriculum, it moves so slowly that it would be nearly impossible to use.

Next year we are going to be heavy on writing instruction. I had planned that anyway, but I see the need to write in every subject as well as to write for fun.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Oh, Monday

Oh, what a Monday it is. I'm sick. I'm a whiner when I'm sick. Everything aches. I can't breathe. I just want to lie down. And I will. There, end of whine.

We managed to do school today despite my whines, moans, groans, the distracting sounds of constantly blowing my nose and my constant complaints. My poor son!

Yesterday, while whining, I was able to finish up my plans for our next school year. Just a little tweaking and I'm going to start ordering.

On a quick break today, I found some more wonderful teacher guides.

Sea World Animal Teacher Guides

I have nothing earth-shattering to blog about. Nothing interesting. Okay, well, I found that Bill Maher has a TV show on one of the subscription channels and I laughed myself silly watching him last night. I missed Politically Incorrect. So now I'm going to have to search the online TV guide to find when he's on next and which channel it was.

That's it. I'm assigning some books to read and a book report to write. When Thomas is well on his way, I'm curling up. ZZZZZZZ