Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week in Review 1/31-2/6/10

Backstroking : Just like my big brother!

Lining up for my next race

Won't let a bit of walking pneumonia hold me back.
YAY!!!!!!ELVIS!!!!! (He placed into finals!)

Dr. Kazam swims the 100 back-stroke finishing strong and taking 4 seconds off her best time.

Still exhausted from the weekend. Long Meets! Long Drives! Ding is back at school, visited Ahha and EEyah Sunday night. Daddy had a middle of the night service call and then the subsequent search for repair parts associated with commercial boilers in rural settings. UGH!

Ham managed to get Bible, Math, Phonics/ Reading and LA finished for the week. We only have seat work lessons 3 days a week for him as he is still 5. We will increase to 4 days a week the week after next when he turns 6

Cubby: Took 2 hours to give him a spelling test. 20 words....he spelled 19 correctly after lots of prompting. I am sure my 1rst grade teacher is rolling in her grave...OY! Other than that, he did a wonderful job of avoiding his school assignments. We managed to get a few done, but I think he needs a little academic seat work break. maybe we will do more orally, or maybe I will just tell him to suck it up and get busy. Not sure yet....

Dr. Kazam: She managed to do a math quiz, 3 LA lessons and 3Reading Lessons...all that after sleeping until 11 am pretty much all week Growth spurt, coupled with being sick and a weekend of competition did her in. Another weekend of competition this weekend coming...OY

History: We are STILL in SOTW 3!! This is Year 2....and we still have about 10 or 15 chapters to go. This week we covered the Constitutional Convention...George Washington, Ben Franklin etc. We covered the 3 branches of Government etc. My kids always have this deer in the headlights look. LOL. We read a few small books as go alongs: Shhhhh....We're Writing the Constitution, by Jean Fritz and A More Perfect Union by Maestro.

Elvis was holed up in his room most of the week. I guess I should check his progress, but he looks glum enough and I don't have a nice tone in my voice today...LOL. I know he caught up some work in his Literature and went back to Teaching Textbooks for Algebra 2. He took the test for Chapter 8 today and was able to get a 95%....YAY!!!! Math has been the bane of my homeschool existance and unfortunately ...his too. He also read This Perfect Day by Ira Levin. Great book!

Yuggie cracked the windshield in his car...Ding's is on its last leg....

We skipped Karate Monday....Skipped swim practice Monday AND Friday.....

Glad this week is now over! I need a new book for the 52 in 52 challenge....Going to go scout my shelves. I have 8 hours of bleacher time this weekend! Think I'll grab This Perfect Day from Elvis!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Week in review 1/25-1/29

We actually finished all of our weeks work by Thursday this week ....and a good thig too, because Ding's car broke down last night on the NYS Thruway. So, we spent the day retrieving her poor car from the piratey tow truck drivers and over to our regular pirate....umnmmm....mechanic.
Elvis: Is still working at 1/2 pace after his bout of pneumonia. He is now taking another online class through Memoria Press entitled Understanding Music. This is a class in Music Theory. It is replacing my planned Geography class and he is really excited.
Dr Kazam (aka Smoosh) finished most of her book work, but was side tracked by some novels she "just had to finish." I was so happy she took the initiative to read, that I let her snuggle in the recliner and read to her hearts content. I didn't have the heart to tell her those were school books that were planned into her Spring semester...I'm no rat...LOL
Cubby and Ham are plugging away in their light units. We have also been reading The Little House series. We are now reading Little Town. I plan to put them aside after this one because they get too depressing. I think we will bein Alice In Wonderland. I need something a little more light and fun. It's nice that the 2 little hooligans are so intrigued by Pa and Laura...and that they have learned to sit for long periods of time while we do read alouds.
Post Homeschool Graduates and the Effect on Homeschool Families

Anyone else ever have that overwhelming feeling that something ain't right but you just can't put your finger on it? This week, I was going over some old photographs and I came across this one. Believe it or not, This was Ahha's first day of school...Ahha is my oldest one. Now when kids are little and you dress them up all pretty with their hair in ribbons and their new backpack, gym shoes and cardigan sweater and put them on that big yellow schoolbus, you recognize a big change coming. Your baby is growing up and your family will never be the same again. With homeschoolers, this changing of the guard is delayed and somewhat different. It is almost unidentifiable because the person leaving the nest is a full fledged (almost) adult and she is not going on the schoolbus, she has her own drivers license.

It took me 3 graduated homeschool students to realize that turning point in our lives (I am a slow bloomer.) It all goes back to that hot August day when Ahha got in that old Oldsmobile and drove to her first class. Our homeschool and our family has never truly been the same. There went my right hand, and my friend. There drove away years of hard work and sacrifice...down the road and into her own life...where she met her to-be husband and found a career that made her happy. Yes, I am still her Mama...but those days of lounging in bed reading stories or novels aloud...those days of us 3 girls Ahha, Mama and Ding baking or making a dinner for guests...changing baby diapers, cleaning up after our littlies, being entertained by little boy antics...those days are past. It took me 3 years to realize that our family was forever changed in that one day.

Something seems amiss and that thing is that our family which was one unit, is not unified any more. Those days are behind and now Dh and I need to figure out how all this parenting of adult children works...and again, they do not come with a guidebook. I miss my oldest dd and I miss Ding and Yuggie is now off to College as well...even though he is still living at home.

The older kids have become more like aunts and uncles to the youngers rather than friends and confidants. The little ones seem to have their own society, their own thing happening without the olders being a part of it.

I am not really sure what this post is truly about other than a little walk down memory lane and the sad spot in my heart that my family is not ONE as it used to be.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

52 book Challenge Week 4 Book 5 The Outlander by Gil Adamson

Read the Outllander this week by recommendation of some ladies of the WTM board. I enjoyed it well sort of reminded me of a well made "made for TV" movie. I was really tired and I have a bad cold, so this book was a good take me away read. I had heard there was a lot of graphic content in this book...and while I wouldn't have my 15 yo read it, it really wasn't too bad...Just like a "made for TV" movie. LOL!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekly Report 11/ 18 - 11/22/10

Line them up, count them twice.
seven, carry the one, eight, carry the one...

Here's the pennies, Here's the nickels. can I keep them if I count them right?

Now, How do I reduce this fraction??

So...What do you do with a gingerbread house?? Why, you eat it, of course!!

Yum! Yum!!! Eat it up!!!!

Tried to get back into the swing of things this week. The younger kids all
manged to finish their assignments...but not without me feeling like to police
and being so completely worn out by Friday that I spent the whole day on the WTM
site debating whether or not kids should be sent back to school if the
government mandated it. It was an interesting conversation and a little
eye-opening for me as to the state of the new homeschool Mom generation. Somehow
I managed to move into an entire new generation without noticing it.

Ding is settling into dorm life. She loves her classes, classmates and room
mate. She hates the food. She has always (since she was 3) has been a
vegetarian. "Cats eat meat...but cats are meat" The cafeteria has slim pickin's
for one who is a vegetarian AND nutritionally conscious. We need to get her some
groceries this weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Week 4/ Book 4

The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe peel Society. Charming! I loved this book. Letters betweem an author, her publisher/friend, his sister and the residents of Guernsey after the Nazi Invasion of the British Islands. Farmers and fishermen turned literary critics....compassion and terror go hand in hand. Love that is deep, neighbors banding together to do the right thing. I can smell the salt of the sea and hear the combat boots of the soldiers. It is the story of picking up the pieces and moving on with life. Great read.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

52 books in 52 weeks: Week 3 / Book 3

This one took me a while to read as it was not a novel, hence the text was more dense. I truly enjoyed the authors persistance and his desire to get to the heart of the "American Story." As we are studying the foundations of our country in our history studies this year, I found this book timely and informative. The information gleaned will help with our upper level history and literature discussions. I intend to add this authors "Confederates in the Attic" to my reading list.

I have been reading Farmer Boy to my 3 younger children. They have been enjoying the Little House books so much, that I decided to add Almanzo's story earlier than I usually do, especially since i am reading to Cubby and Ham. The kids are having so much fun comparing Amanzo's childhood to Laura's and we are all enjoying the descriptions of FOOD that Laura adds into the story. Laura must have been drooling as she wrote this book. My children have still not decided who was the "richer" child.

Weekly Report 1/11-11/15/10

Well, this has not been our most academic week.

The kids have been sick...especially Elvis. He spent days in bed with pneumonia.

We moved Ding into her dorm this week. Monday was a trip upstate to visit the campus. Friday was Transfer Orientation and Saturday we moved her in. We spent the day with her....Thank God Ahha and Spock live 10 minutes away.

The dorm was so empty and weird as most of the students weren't returning until today. (Sunday) Ding was lonely and I think a bit freaked out. I am not sure how she and her room mate will get along....that remains to be seen.

Ding fits right in at this school. It is so perfect for her. I can't wait for her classes to begin so she can get on with college life.

We did finally make our ginger bread house. It was fun. Dad showed off his Martha Stewart skills by out frosting me...He is so much better at these art projects. I, on the other hand, did a nifty job of baking all the pieces and cutting them out etc.

All the kids chipped in on the decorating....and Dad lent his skills in the construction aspect....Lots of double sided tape!

It did come out beautiful . And it was fun doing it.
That night before putting Hammy to bed, I was kissing his hands and his face and smooching him up. He grabbed my face in his two little hands and looked me in the eye and said, "Mama, you are much better at kissin' than you are at making stuff."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

52 in 52 Week2

Ok, I finished book 1, but not my intended book. I couldn't help myself. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey showed up in my library request I had to read it first. I love this series even though it is written for teens.

I am still making headway in a Voyage Long and Strange. It is one of those books I rather read helps to take it all in. I am learning so much about the Spanish influence and explorations into the Southern US, the landscapes, archeological evidence of Conquistadors and so many Native American tribes and civilizations that I had no idea ever existed.

Put aside Sunburnt Country for this week...until I am finished with Voyage. 2 Travel books tend to confuse me...LOL.

Hoping to finish Voyage tonight...then read the next Mysterious B. Soc. which is on my nightstand...and then Sunburnt.

I should have a bit of waiting room time this

Weekly Report 1/4-1/9 2010....

I am jumping into this one mid-year.

This has been a busy week...We started off with all good intentions and then the illness struck. 3 kids with bronchitis...UGH!!!

The oldest still being hs'ed (Elvis 15) was down for the count. Fever since Tuesday. So much for catching up on some overdue assignments...and now another week lost. Seems Elvis is having a tough time dodging germs this year. He did manage to write a sloppy copy of a 5 paragraph expository essay on Stoicism. He also read a bit this week...but a terrible headache and fever kept his focus low...that and he must have slept 20 out of each 24 hours. Poor Boy!

Somehow the 3 younger kids managed to get a good chunk of the work accomplished, finishing up strong...even though not feeling well.
We are finishing up Wisdom and The Millers tonight. We really enjoyed this very gentle, sweet study on the book of Proverbs and being flies on the wall at the Miller family's devotions. Our family is a far cry from the Millers, but we did enjoy a glimpse into their life.

We finished a few chapters of Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder and we were all amused at the description of all the food Almanzo eats. We are comparing his childhood to that of Laura's. How different they were! Laura must have taken so much pleasure in writing this book. Almanzo must have likewise been intrigued by Laura's pioneer background. Hammy just likes the idea of learning how to drive the oxen!

This week Daddy has been playing rounds and rounds of Mad Libs on his new ipod touch with Dr. Kazam, Cubby and Hammy. Cubby has a bit of trouble remembering which part of speech is which. Once the definition of "noun" is in his mind, "adjective" goes flying out...sigh.

Dr. Kazam finally finished her light unit in math and took the test...and PASSED!!!! Woohoo!!!! Now we are cooking!

This weekend is daddy's all got busy making decorations and the bake-off began. I think we have watched too many shows on the Food Channel! I have some budding Iron Chefs and they mean business! The cakes were impressive! We had to call a tie as to who won. Dr. Kazam's cakes were very original, tasted great and were thoroughly enjoyed but the cake was from a mix. BIL EE-yah's pineapple upside down cake was made from scratch and he was definitely more daring to try such an involved process. it tasted really yummy too.

Dr. Kazam promises she will get you next time EEYAH!!!!

Next week will only be a 3 day-er as Ding is getting ready to go off to College. She was accepted to her first choice school, into the nutrition science program. She also received almost a full scholarship....We are so proud of her. She graduated from Community College in December with a 3.9 GPA! Never received a single grade under an A-!!!!! WOW!!!!!

This week will be busy getting her all ready and settled into Dorm Life. She is ready to be independent. I am praying she gets a decent roommate. We have a million things to accomplish before Friday, so the younger kiddoes can concentrate on getting healthy.

Due to illness, the kids missed their swim meet, missed karate, missed swim practices etc. I am hoping they feel well enough this week to get in a few workouts and are able to swim in the meets next weekend. It will be good to get back to "normal" LOL...whatever that is......

Saturday, January 2, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks


Week 1: Books 1 & 2

I have agreed to accept the challenge.
Starting off this year with 2 books...A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horowitz. Should be subtitled what really happened between the time of Columbus and the Landing of the Pilgrims: America's Lost 100 Years.
Interesting...I didn't realize the extent of exploration that Spain invested in the Americas. Intriguing.

I am also reading Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics by Liping Ma. This is supposed to be THE BOOK tom read on teaching Mathematics to children. I am drudging through it in the hopes that it will help me do a better job with Math with my younger set than I did with my older kids. We are not a particularly "mathy" family...we are more word oriented. I am hoping this book helps me mesh my understanding of mathematical concepts and teaching them in a way that opens the doors of understanding to my kiddoes.