Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tweaking Already

Ah, the second week of school, time to tweak already.

No sense in trying to make something work. I don't like the science book we bought. I actually bought two. They're integrated science books by Glencoe. Last year Thomas read Life Science and most of Earth Science by Glencoe on his own. So I figured that this would be a hit, too.

It may be with him, but it's not with me. I find them choppy, light, and dull. I think they'll be great for him to sit and read on his own, but I wanted something more this year.

Bob and I sat down and had a teacher/principal conference. Or perhaps it was a parent-teacher conference. Whatever. We discussed what we wanted to accomplish in high school and worked back.

10th grade: biology
11th grade: chemistry
12th grade: physics

So, Bob came up with the brilliant plan to do that same order starting in 7th grade. So I'm stuck trying to find a middle school biology program.

I didn't look too hard. We're ordering Power Basics Biology. That was fairly easy.

Another GREAT tweak? ROSETTA STONE!!!!!!! A good friend sold me hers for a good price. It arrived this weekend, and I sat and did the first lesson. Six times. Ahem.

I love it. It is the way to teach me a language. The older I get, the harder it is for me to learn a language, as our dismal attempt last year proved. This is right up my alley.

So yesterday Thomas had his first lesson. He liked it. At first he got frustrated because he didn't know what the words meant, but as he went through it he realized he would have to use his brain to figure things out.

As I suspected, he's doing better than I am. I am trying to stay a lesson ahead of him so I get that extra needed practice.

It's a BIG hit, though. I am so thankful to my friend!!

Other tweaking I have to figure out: scheduling. As usual, I have too much on our plates and not enough time. We have not started Lightning Literature, keyboarding or computer studies. I haven't thrown art in, either.

I'm going to have to play with our schedule a bit to make everything fit without being overwhelming.

We are loving our spelling program still.

Tonight I'm going to spend an hour studying and trying to get a final tweak completed. A final tweak for now, at least.

Thank you, Dad

I've blogged about my CD player dying. Lots of people recommended a Bose, but I just couldn't afford it. Nor could I afford a new boom box.

Dad to the rescue. Dad's been gone for almost four months already. Sigh. I still miss him, but time is easing the sting, just a tad.

Every year for Christmas, Dad would send us a check. He gave Bob and I $100 each, and Thomas a different amount. I hoarded my money. I'd spend it now and then, but I had a special place in my home that I would hide my crisp $100 bills. I hid them so I wouldn't be tempted to spend them on groceries or necessities. I have dipped into that stash from time to time for my traveling, or other nice things just for me, but I always kept a reserve.

I was down to $200. I was also "down" listening to our music and SOTW on horrible speakers. I would hear a cacophony of music or words that would make the hair on my neck stand up. I couldn't bear to listen.

So I grabbed that $200 and went to Shopko. I bought myself a JVC Micro Component System. It has an iPod dock. I don't have an iPod, I have a Creative Zen. I may just start saving for an iPod, though even though I wanted a Shuffle, which won't work with the JVC.

The sound on this little mini-stereo, as I call it, is fantastic! I couldn't be happier. SOTW sounds great, and so does Abba. I bought a cheap $9.95 Abba CD for Thomas on the first day of school, and we have listened to it a million times already.

I'm thrilled. It makes me happier to think that this is a gift from my Dad. I have just little money left to start my iPod fund.


Sleep has been much improved this week, thankfully. I know it's only Tuesday, but I'm hopeful.

At any rate, I have noticed that during Thomas's least favorite subject, math, I get so tired I could just pass out. It doesn't matter what time of day he does math. It puts me to sleep.

He still can't stay focused unless I am sitting next to him. He's a lot better, but remain, I will, until he's "there."

I still marvel at how he has matured since last year. It boggles my mind.

I still marvel at how much he is able to write: handwriting, copying math problems, etc.

But why, oh, why does the math make me fall to sleep?

I think we have a math phobia in this house: He hates it, and I hate sitting through it. sigh

I'm a mean mom when it comes to math, though. Mean in that I won't let up, because it's so darned important.