Thursday, October 29, 2009

Catch Up

Sill feeling kind of wonky. Headache from hell? Swine flu without the flu? Dh suggested brain tumor. Always a bright spot my husband. I haven't caught up the school front lately so here goes:

*note-This sounds impressive when you put it in one place but much of this was accompanied by whining and complaining and sheer cussedness. I think the only topic he really likes is history

LA-Lots and lots of books, some even had little medals on the front in the hopes I won't pass on my dreadful literary tastes. We've also studied, pronouns, analogies, similies, characterization, inferences, vocab and spelling words

Math-Rightstart-money including how to make change, because I hate it when people cannot make change. Just count folks. This led us to some discussion of decimal points. We also worked on doing addition in his head and subtraction and some more multiplication. He was glad to learn the trick to multiplying by 10, 100, 1000, etc.

Science-We finished a sort of ecology unit covering biomes, habitat, balance of nature with some migration, hibernation and metamorphosis thrown in and a detour into sleep states

History-We will NEVER be done with the Greeks. He got all involved in the Peloponesian Wars. Hiss Xerxes, yeah Leonidas. We explored some History channel stuff but the BBC's seemed better researched. We will move on to Alexander next week or else. I'm glad he has enjoyed this but enough already. There's lots more blood and guts to be had in the coming history.

Everything else-Cursive crawls on. I get the feeling if disgraphia exists he's got it. We studied a smattering of autumn topics from a unit study and did a chromatography experiment with leaves, watched a video of popcorn popping, learned about pumpkins and Samhain and Celts. Spanish class and PE crawled on. Tomorrow we're visiting a pumpkin patch. The public school kids have a day off so we're just going to do the field trip and call it good.

She's content to color, paint, read, do connect the dots and mazes, write numbers and count and do simple addition. That's enough for me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Out of Commission

I had a migraine. The meds didn't do much, thus the lack of a Monday post. Not that it matters but I feel guilty when I let this blog lapse too long. We made it through the weekend with lots of fun had by all. At least until Sunday night for me, lol. I did recover in time to make it to the Cub Scout cookout last night. It's kind of scary when I think of how many of those I've been to. S started in first grade and that was 9 years ago. Oh well, two more years and F will age out and then I'll look back fondly. Someday. A long time from now.
Friday is a day off from public school for my older kids. The littlest three and I are going on a homeschool field trip to the pumpkin patch. I've got F doing research on pumpkins, etc to make it somewhat more educational for him. I figure the trip alone is enough for a kindergartner. The two year old is just along for the ride. It should be fun, and if they were to stay lost for a longish time in the straw maze, well, that would be ok.
As for the rest of the week, Boy Scouts tonight, Wednesday is spanish and Kids' Klub, Thursday is homeschool PE. Friday is also the local Scarecrow Festival which consists of all the small town stuff-chili cook off, hayride, apple bobbing, donut eating and little carnival games put on by local businesses. The little kids will like it and it will give the teen boys a chance to scope out girls.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Weekend

Another one of those weekends where we're running too many directions
Mel is going to her first birthday party for someone not in the family. The excitement is almost too much. E is going to a psychiatric disfunction benefit concert and out with friends. The joke material in that one has given her brothers hours of mirth. Our last three soccer games are Saturday morning. In the predicted rain. S is playing the grim reaper in the elementary school fundraiser Woods Spooktacular. In the afore mentioned rain on Friday and Saturday night. Sunday is a girl scout Halloween party and the soccer end of year bash. I'm tired just writing it all down. Oh, and Phil will probably work since one of his co-workers who was supposed to work is ill. Of course the chance for extra money has me pushing him out the door. Nicely of course.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's Really The Problem?

Odd conversation the other day. I was doing the Daisy girl scout thing (because myself and 10 other parents seem to do everything in this town) and my fellow leaders were discussing the state's new must pass algebra test. No pass= no diploma. It seems that the failure rate is huge. I hadn't paid much attention because 1) my kids got algebra and 2) my oldest two got grandfathered in. My now 8th grader will take it but he's a math whiz. Anyway, much complaining about the test ensued, which may be valid, but my thought was what about the teaching. Surely there must be something wrong with math education if that many kids are failing. And not just algebra but way back in grade school. I am familiar with our high school's plan to fix the problem. All the honor society kids are required to do peer tutoring. You can read that as my kids. Yes, a giant unpaid labor force. So which is it the test, the teaching or both? I refer you to the great blog Kitchen Table Math the sequel for some food for thought.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Miss Mel turned six yesterday. This morning she announced she is almost seven. Slow down already why doncha! I wish I could take credit for the cake, but an eighth grade friend of hers made it. She's the type of six year old who has eighth grade friends. But she is so sweet she makes your teeth hurt.

One of her favorite expressions. "Well, you don't see that everyday." It cracks me up coming out in that little voice every time.
Another Melism. When told she looked like a princess her response was "I am not a princess, I am the queen!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Three Year Degree

Someone, somewhere is thinking. Some colleges and universities are offering three year degrees. It caught my attention because my Alma Mater good ol' Ball State is mentioned as being one of those with the offering. Our minds are on all things college as E graduates in May. She has 3 AP credits to date and has yet to take two more AP tests as she is still in the class. She is third in a class of 500 so she has worked hard. It's a matter of how to best manage the costs, not a matter of if she will be accepted. She has figured out the three year idea herself, planning on taking summer classes and completing as quickly as possible. Of course her next planned step is joining the Peace Corp so not racking up debt is important. Her career plans are not going to lead to 'big money'.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Better Be The Truth

The sun is scheduled to shine today. That better be the truth. If it is we are so declaring Fall Break and going outside!

Menus this week

Mon-hamburger stroganoff on noodles,green beans, apple crisp
Tue-milkshakes, peanut butter sandwiches (dd's birthday meal pick), cake
Wed-spaghetti&turkey meatballs, salad, garlic toast
Thu-shepherd's pie, carrots, oranges
Fri-bean burritos, corn, fruit salad
Sat-calzones, relishes, cookies

Friday, October 16, 2009


I am officially sick of rainy autumn days. One or two are great for snuggling down with a book but enough already. Fall in Indiana is supposed to be full of warm, sunny days and golden leaves. Most of the leaves are residing in my front yard, knocked down by all the water. Where is global warming? The summer never really got started and now I'm being deprived of autumn too. Mel said yesterday that she wants to move where it's always warm. I guess I know who I'll visit often in my dotage (which contrary to some snarky teens opinion, is NOT YET).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


It seems like every post is a repeat. I used to have more wit than this. Busy, busy, busy. I'm counting the weeks left in soccer and firmly ignoring how much scouts and church Kids' Klub are left. Add in trying to keep track or the teens' schedules, the upcoming Halloween/Autumn parties for all and trying to stay ahead of the housework (it's gaining on me) and I don't have anything good or interesting to right. And I still haven't replaced the broken camera so no pictures. This post is enough to put me in a funk. I'm not down, really, just so taken up with the mundane things that must be done. And I wish for the sun would shine for Pete's sake. I'm tired of sitting huddled under a blanket already.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Week In Review (If I Can Remember It All)

Busy at the homestead this week. We had something to do every stinking night. Ah well, can't complain about being bored.
School wise (which sounds like Samwise) we got quite a bit accomplished.

For reasons unknown to me he has taken a shine to Jabberwocky so we read that a million times. I explained who Lewis Carroll was and Alice in Wonderland (which I loathe), etc.
Inferences at T4L, pronoun agreement, F read A Halloween Mystery and did a book report. We started The Boxcar Children as a read-aloud. He's on lesson 13 in his vocab book. I'm looking at getting something that uses Latin word roots for his next book since we'll be done with this one in 10 weeks.
He's got the 1,2,3,5,10,11 multiplication facts memorized. We also continued to work on 2 digit addition in his head. He did a page of story problems and a couple Rightstart lessons on time which were mostly review. Oh, and he did T4L multiplication too.
We've been working on what I'm terming ecology. We worked on biomes, food chains, the (Disney sounding) circle or life ie. producers/consumers/decomposers. We also talked a lot about photosynthesis and the changing color of the leaves.
He loves those Greeks. He thought he'd rather live in Athens but read about the Spartans. We also looked at Cyrus and those wacky Persians.

We struggled through cursive though he hates putting pen, pencil or crayon for that matter to paper. We also attended homeschool PE and Spanish. I can now not only ask for the bathroom and order a beer but identify numerous body part.

He also somewhere picked up Moby Dick info and had a ton of questions about that story? I think it came from a Timmy Turner episode on Nickelodeon. There was also a ton of Animal Planet watching and today he got hooked on a history channel show on Hannibal (the general, not the cannibal).

All the above science, though she doesn't retain everything. Lots, lots, lots of reading. Especially Fancy Nancy (whom I also loathe). Just saying. She's got quite a few dolce sight words down and is slowly sounding stuff out with help. Math is still simple addition and subtraction. She hates all the patterns and sorting stuff. She gets it so we're done with that.

Oh and let's not forget that I made a hobbit cloak for my 15yo for a book report presentation for his honors English class! What happened to writing a perfectly good report and moving on. What's with the poster and presentation? Seems like we could use that time to read the next book. He re-read Lord of the Rings (Shhh) because they had to read something by an English author written after 1890. Sure, wouldn't want them to pick Shakespeare or something.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Can't See

My 17yo borrowed my camera. Now it takes pictures but you can't see through the view finder. It makes taking photos hit or miss. I did get these two.
What good are wind chimes if you can't clink them?

After the 5th grade country cross country championship. She doesn't even look winded. My cold, dead body would still be laying on the course.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Gathering Leaves

Too busy for more than this today.

Gathering Leaves

by Robert Frost

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.
I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.
But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.
I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?
Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.
Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
The harvest shall stop?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Funducational Friday

Hmm, this week. Well for fun we had Spanish Class and Homeschool PE. I don't think the kids care about the subjects but love the before and after when 20 kids run wild. Little anarchists my kids. Today we're going here Mississinewa 1812

F covered:
Finished reading Jake Drake, Class Clown~still working on his report
LA-lots of vocab, practice test taking in Spectrum workbook, punctuation&capitalization (again), author's purpose and comprehension tactics
Math-learning multiplication tables, he's got 1,2,3,5,10,11 down, also worked on telling time to the minute with an actual clock. I had to go buy one. Digital are all that's in the house.
Science-plants, specifically the process of photosynthesis. We also got library books about slime, fungus, and killer plants.
History-Greeks, watched some videos too and he is obsessed with The Odyssey. Putting out a cyclops' eye, sea monsters and whirlpools, people being turned into pigs. He loves the story. We read a child's version and he watched an old movie of it (Ulysses) with Kirk Douglas. Homer's got a hit on his hands.
He also worked on cursive. He hates having to write anything so this is slow going.

K is so easy
LA-reading simple words with phonics and learning sight words, trying to label drawings
Math-sorting, writing numbers to 100, counting by 10s
Science-plants and autumn leaves
History-she was there but not interested, she mostly played pet shop

Thursday, October 01, 2009

High Praise

This morning, Mel announced that Ad had taken off her diaper and peed on the floor. (Congratulate self for choosing vinyl in kids' rooms). I handed her a stack of diapers to go clean it up. She said "You're great. You always have the right thing mom." So glad I can still solve the little problems with panache. Of course, she's only 5 so what does she have to compare me against ;-)