Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Night

Well, here I sit, Thomas is in bed, Bob is asleep on the couch, and it's just me and the dogs. I'm very blue tonight, but I know the reason.

I have finally figured out a pattern to my insanity. See, I was beginning to feel I was going insane. Last month I had a panic attack, out of the blue, and it ticked me off. I had been doing so well. Well, yesterday we drove to Mankato and I had a panic attack on the way home. I was driving, and Bob was with me, so I pulled over and let him drive home.

It sucks, dang it, it makes me so mad. BUT, I've been keeping a journal and have figured something out. All these panic attacks hit when I am having a period. From the big one in Denver that landed me in the hospital overnight, to yesterday's, 90% of them were period-related. I think about 10% of them were just stress from Dad's death.

So, I do have an upcoming doctor appointment, and I feel so relieved to know that these hormones are playing with my head. So he's going to get an earful. That, and how painful the cramps are, and how bad the PMS is.

So while I'm feeling blue, I'm relieved. Hopefully there's something that I can do to get this under control.


Friday a new curricula arrived at our house. I finally bit the bullet and bought Analytical Grammar. It was always on my wish list, but the cost held me back. I had some money in my curricula fund, so I went for it. I have looked through it, and I love it. Thomas was a little intimidated by all the diagramming, but I think he'll do fine.

We are just about to finish up a cute little book I bought Thomas called Exercises in English Grammar. It was a lovely little book, and I enjoyed it and Thomas liked that it was easy. Very old-fashioned, to the point, and quick. We easily did a couple lessons a day. I didn't like that there was no answer key, but I'm confident we did well.

So tomorrow we'll start Analytical Grammar. They suggest using it as a two- or three-year program. We'll probably do it in two years and then be done. I'm not doing any more grammar. Ever. This is it.

We're also about to finish up with the outlining workbook I bought. It was very easy, but making the transition from writing outlines to writing from outlines has been difficult for Thomas. I'm not quite sure what we'll do thereafter. I'd like for Thomas to practice some paragraphs and five-paragraph essays.

We're about to start anew with math. We were using Rod and Staff 7. We are in the chapter 5 already, and it's all been review. Thomas still hates math, but he actually said, "This is too easy" last week, which really surprised me.

We have Lial's Basic Math, which we had started a year or two ago, and it's good, but it's too cluttered for Thomas. He really dislikes the slick pages as well. I know you shouldn't base a math program on cluttered pages and slick pages, but we do what works for us, and that didn't work for Thomas.

So, this weekend, while we were in civilization, I bought CliffsStudySolver Basic Math and Pre-Algebra. It's not cluttered, black and white, and good explanations. I think we'll be able to cover it by the end of the year. It does not have worksheets, so I'll be using them from this site. Or making my own. Or finding some from the multitude of math sites out there.

While at the book store, I also bought Kiss my Math by Danica McKellar. The books is written for girls. However, as I was flipping through it, I liked the way she explained some things, so I bought it. I'll just use what we need to. Very impressive book, Winnie Cooper. =)

I really struggle with the whole math thing. Thomas hates math with a passion, and he has always done better when we go off on our own. So I think this will work for him. We can work at our own pace.

We have never touched on negative numbers. I was reading the chapter on integers, or "mint-igers" as Ms. McKellar calls them, and enjoying her simple explanation. I then started asking Thomas questions about negatives. For a kid who has not been exposed to negatives, he sure was able to pop off correct answers, ordering integers from least to greatest. He was able to add and subtract them, too. Bob and I were shocked.

We had Thomas tested by an educational psychologist years ago. We were told he is a conceptual learner. Actually, he's a disabled visual spatial learner. lol That, according to Dr. Silverman herself. She told me not to repeat stuff that he knows. If he's got it, he's got it. I really need hit with a brick sometimes, because I think that practice makes perfect. Well, that practice was making for a difficult math year--again.

I think the trick with Thomas is to have some practice daily coupled with new concepts. My gut tells me, and our past successes, that that's how he works best. So I'll be going back to this site I posted about awhile ago that has free middle school daily math practice.

So it may seem like we're curriculum hoppers, I wouldn't label us that way. I think we're find what works well homeschoolers.

Whew, that's a lot of gab for a Sunday evening. And I'm actually feeling a little less blue to boot. I'm looking forward to our day tomorrow.

As I Suspected

We are having terrible winds today. I just happened to look out the back window only to notice our neighbor's dead tree, the tree I've worried about for years coming down into our yard, did.

I highly doubt this neighbor will help pay for the cleanup. Luckily the tree missed our basketball hoop and our shed.

I went out and looked, but didn't stay long. There are big, dead branches in his other trees, and when the tree fell, it cracked some of his living branches. With the wind we're having, I wasn't going to chance staying out there.

Thomas has been admonished to not go out there now or even when there is no wind.

I wonder what this will cost? I told DH that he's going to have to go talk nice to the neighbor to get him to get those broken branches cut off. If he doesn't, they'll come down in our yard, too.

These neighbors are senior citizens on a fixed income. I doubt they'll have the money to do anything.

Well, on a positive note, at least the tree is finally down, and no one or no thing got hurt. And when it's cleaned up, and the damaged trees are cleaned up, I won't worry so much anymore.