Sunday, February 24, 2008

We got rythym

We have hit our stride. I was beginning to think we never would. Our days start out effortlessly now. The girls still get to enjoy a slow wake-up in front of the tv. I get to enjoy a slow wake-up with a cup or two of coffee. Then we have breakfast and discuss the day. I find that the girls behave better if they know what to expect. They even know what to do when I tell them to do their morning chores (and mostly they do them). Our school day begins when we're ready. This is a departure from my previous idea of school at 9:00, and it appears to work much better. As for actual schoolwork, I am thrilled. We have a schoolish reading/language arts program that is probably overkill, but Curly Q.'s spelling skills have improved so much it is worth the extra time. I have already waxed poetic about our new math program so I won't bore you again. Of course I still love our history and it is nice to be done with Egypt (finally). Even Bear has a great workbook that she is enjoying, and even more exciting is that she has suddenly developed an interest in writing. So as I prepare for another week I can just breathe a happy sigh that comes with finally feeling comfortable exactly where we are.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another COLD day

Well, this winter has been the worst we have had in a long time. Between the cold and the snow we haven't been outside since we got back from Florida. If we hadn't gone there this year we would be really stir crazy. As it is I find myself dreaming of spring like a hibernating bear must. The good news is that we have developed a great rhythm for school. We are cruising right along in reading and history. Bear is doing about 20 minutes of sit down work each day, and the new math curriculum we found (the free one) is a keeper so far.

Now I am trying to put together field trip ideas for the homeschool group. I also designed a poster to hang at the library welcoming people to join our group. I wanted to be sure that new members understand how important it is that we are a secular group. Still I wrestled with how to word it. "Religious nut-jobs need not apply," seemed a bit hypocritical since I billed us as inclusive. I settled on , "Are you looking for an inclusive group where you won't be asked about your religious affiliation." Only time will tell if this attracts the people we are hoping for.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Where to start...

I hate it when I have tons of ideas. I know that sounds strange, but when there are too many things I want to do, sometimes I just shut down and can't do anything. I felt that way last week. The good news is that as soon as I start doing anything I get back on track. So today I found a new math program and put together a basic lesson plan outline through the end of March. My other two big projects are: to decide if I am going to offer mini-camps this summer (and plan them), and invest myself in getting the homeschool group off the ground. So which to do first... I'll let you know when I decide. Until then I need to work on the newsletter for MOMs club. It'll be a busy week.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Recharged Batteries

I am not a stay at home kind of girl, so it may be a surprise how much I enjoyed this weekend since we were home all day Sunday. It turned out to be a great balance of activity and rest.

On Saturday the girls had a party at the library to end the winter reading program. They showed High School Musical and it was so much fun to see a large group of kids singing along and really feeling every word. After the party my Mom watched the girls so Husband and I could go out to lunch. We went to a nice "grown-up" restaurant where I didn't have to cut up anyone's food. The best part was just being with my husband. While we were out we bought Dance Dance Revolution for the xbox. Husband wanted to give it to the girls for Valentine's Day.

On Sunday (after pancakes) he gave it to them. We spent the next few hours playing it. The free style section is perfect for the girls, and Husband and I really enjoyed trying to keep up with the dance steps. The rest of the day was just relaxing. Husband made a point of doing something special with each of us. We watched Curious George as a family, and ended with a nice dinner.

So all in all I think it was what our family needed. Even though we're together all the time I think some times we don't see each other. I know that I am starting out the week with recharged batteries (despite the winter storm warning and and frozen pipes that greeted me this morning.)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

My Child Can READ...

Catchy title, right? It's too bad that it doesn't tell you anything. I remember telling people that Curly Q. could read when she was 4. I was telling the truth, but now I see that it was a bit of a lie anyway. Some people describe learning to read as a light being turned on. I think a dimmer switch being slowly(sometimes very slowly) turned up. I think as parents we are so excited to say that our little genius can read that we take her being able to decode a three letter word as proof that she is reading. They are reading, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Curly Q. has finally reached a level of fluency, but she will continue to improve in her tracking skills. So what do I say as Bear begins to sound out simple words? Of course I will say,"My daughter can read!"

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday

Yesterday was super Tuesday. Of course I went to vote because I believe if you don't vote you can't complain about the government. I took Curly Q. with to explain the democratic process. I have to say that child "shows" so well. She honestly makes homeschooling look great. As they were checking is she explained why we were voting yes on the school referendum, but no on the park district referendum. She was more articulate than most adults I have heard discuss it.

Of course both the referendums failed AGAIN. Actually almost every referendum in our county failed. I feel really bad about the high school one because the school is terribly overcrowded. The reason it keeps failing is that people can't agree on the boundries for the new school. Everyone wants their kids to go to the NEW school. Of course the old school was completely rebuilt less than 10 years ago, and it is amazing. Still everyone wants to fight over the dividing lines. It drives me CRAZY. My kids may never even go to public high school, and I can see that it is needed.

As for the primary, I am happy to see that Obama is doing well. I have nothing against Hillary, but I don't think that a woman trying to negotiate in the middle east is in our country's best interest. The republicans all frighten me, but I am surprised to see how many people actually vote for Huckabee. Do they really know what he stands for?

I know this post have been a bit off topic, but I'll get back to business in my next post (and I'll make it soon.)