Saturday, August 15, 2009

8th Grade School Plans

I used to really enjoy planning out our year. Now? Not so much.

I've got spelling, writing and punctuation mapped out. We'll do a punctuation book half the year and then our grammar book the other half. I need to get the rest put together today and tomorrow.

Here's the plan for this year:

Spectrum Writing Grade 8
I bought Jensen's and Spectrum, and we'll cruise through the Spectrum workbook. We'll finish it up well before the end of the year, and I haven't decided yet if we'll start Jensen's or if I'll just make up writing assignments. I think for my son, the reluctant writer, Spectrum's will be pretty good. It's light, but I think it will get him going. It's better than jumping in with Jensen's Format Writing for now, as I think that would overwhelm Thomas.

Capitalization and Punctuation
A nice little workbook from Rainbow Resource. Straight and to the point. Will finish up in half a year or less, if he wants to push forward. Short little lessons. Nice review on some things, new material for other things.

Analytical Grammar
We started this last year, and will forge on. We're going to do 17 weeks' worth of lessons. Thomas hates this. I think it's an excellent program, though. We won't get to their punctuation part for a year or so, which is why we're doing a little workbook now, as we're pushing writing this year.

Apples Spelling
So my kid can't spell. We've done spelling every single year. He's finally making spelling connections. I think this year we'll have a breakthrough--I'm getting glimpses of it this summer. This is a Christian book, not secular, but well, since we are Christians, I guess it's not a problem. I always like secular materials better, though.

Glencoe Civics
We've read half of this, but need to finish it. Will listen to books from once we finish our Civics course. I think we'll listen to Hakim's series again.

Glencoe Geography and Trail Guides
Haven't planned this out yet, may just do the textbook. We've done a lot of the Trail Guides, but we can do the upper grade.

Spanish-Rosetta Stone
Started last year, but need to forge on. We did not finish, but that's the beauty of Rosetta Stone, just keep on going.

Science- Glencoe Physcis
My child has surpassed me by a longshot in the science realm. I actually bought a teacher's edition, workbooks, etc. He's going to teach me a thing or two. Bob will be on hand to answer questions.

Are we supposed to do art? Yikes, I forgot to order something. Thomas has his art classes that he takes, so I may buy the Annotated Mona Lisa. Or not. Or something art history related.

Lightning Literature
Bought this last year, couldn't fit it in. Of course Thomas has read half the books and won't be happy about reading them again, but oh well. I think there are some valuable lessons in the program, and some we'll skip.

We're about to finish up Lial's Basic College Math. I bought Spectrum Math for supplementation. My child has developed a severe math phobia--and I mean severe. If I mention the word math, he nearly has a meltdown. So we'll finish BCM and do Spectrum for a review. I had hoped to start algebra this year, but that will not be happening.

I will also be putting some health units together. Thomas wants to be a vegan. Thomas still doesn't like vegetables. So we'll work on this, trying new veggies each week, I'll let him cook, etc.

I'm still toying with joining the homeschool group in the big city. They do a lot of social things, and I think at this age, Thomas would greatly benefit from that. Our local homeschoolers are all nice people, but to them, it's all about co-op. I'm just simply not interested in co-op. (It's an all-day thing where moms teach the classes and all moms must volunteer. If we could pay to send our child to select classes, I would consider it. Maybe. It's just not for us.)

Well, back to planning. My new printer arrived and it is HEAVEN. I am just giddy having laser printouts in color.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Printer Died

Homeschoolers can't survive without a good printer. At least this homeschooling family can't.

In 1995, when I was a court reporter, I spent over $1,000 on a HP LaserJet 4Plus. Lots of money. It printed fast, a whopping 12 pages per minute! lol It was solid, it was good, and it has printed hundreds of thousands of pages.

Monday I sat down to plan school, and when I went to print out my home-made planner pages, I got a service error. I googled the error, and it wasn't pretty. Bob took it apart and there are parts that are fried.

I could have cried. I think I did shed a tear or two. This was one of the last links to my former life, when I worked in the real world, when I actually made money.

I then set out to find a new printer. I had certain wants. I quickly got overwhelmed. In the end, I decided upon (and Bob agreed it was a good choice) a Brother color laser printer.

It arrives Friday, and I cannot wait. It's wireless, too -- how cool is that. May the new printer give me at least half the years and 1/4 of the pages that my old friend did.

Rest in peace, LaserJet 4Plus. Thank you for your service. Welcome, new Brother.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Tooth Fairy and Braces

Thomas is 13 and 10 months. He has two baby teeth left, which he has been desperately trying to pull. He is getting braces. We have the final consult next week. If the teeth are not gone, they'll have to be pulled.

Tonight, one came out. Yay.

I said, "Honey, I have some bad news for you. There is no such thing as the tooth fairy." He rolled his eyes and said, "Moooooooom!" in a 13-year-old-moms-are-so-dumb manner.

I thought it was funny.


Tonight I was in the back yard enjoying the dogs and watching the fireflies. I called Thomas out and asked him to run around like a little kid and catch them. He rolled his eyes, but he did it for me for a couple minutes.

It made me sad. He has grown up so fast. I just can't believe he'll be 14 in a couple months. Where does time go? Where did my sweet baby, cute toddler, sweet little boy go? He's now a teenager. So little time left, I'm going to enjoy every second that the teen-aged boy allows. ;-)


I sat down to plan school a bit tonight. We're heavy on Language Arts this year. Thomas has surpassed me in science. Yet, we are going to work through physical science together, and if need be, will consult Bob. I am just having a rough time making myself get it all mapped out. I'm like a kid, "I don't wanna go back to school!"

We start September 8th, as we follow our local school district's schedule. I have four weeks left.


I gave Thomas a dollar for his tooth. I'm just nice like that. When he gets the last tooth out (if he pulls it, not the dentist!) I'll give him a $20. Just because.