Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Day of the Owl Pellets

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It's the Little Things Really

S8's room
Playroom - yes, there is carpet in there!

Playroom closet - sorted and organized

Sometimes it's important to have proof of a job well-done. Especially when I know that the satisfaction is likely to be short lived. Today, I spent several hours cleaning and organizing our playroom and S8's room. I love the way they look now. The dc loved playing in them this evening. With four children, I know that my masterful organization and sorting will not last. So, for those days when I doubt that it's ever been clean, here's the proof that once it looked amazing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weekly Recap 2/22-2/26/10

The snow melted and our activities kicked back in this week. The dc enjoyed returning to music lessons.

We also got to begin our second semester with our chorus and drama group. Everyone was excited about that after all the fun they had performing A Christmas Carol before breaking for the holidays.

Things slowed down on Thursday with a two hour delay that cancelled our Community Bible Study program. I have to admit I enjoyed having everyone to myself and savored the time together at home on Thursday and Friday.

Our Friday morning began with M5 asking the question, "Are butterflies birds?" Which led to a discussion on the differences between butterflies and birds. And you know if you start talking about butterflies, pretty soon you'll be talking about caterpillars. If you start talking about caterpillars, you'll find yourself talking about the chrysalis. And if you find yourself talking about caterpillars and their chrysalis, before too long you'll be looking for a blanket. When you find your blanket you'll pretend that you are a caterpillar inside its chrysalis getting ready to become a butterfly.

K13: Writing Strands 4 - polishing selected pieces of writing
R&S Grammar 8 - #81-85
Spelling Power
Lial BCM - Ch 9 Basic Algebra
Fallacy Detective - Ch 21-24
History - Julius Caesar
Biology - Birds

H10: Writing Strands 3 - polishing selected pieces of writing
Handwriting/Copywork - Draw and Write Through History (Creation through Jonah)
R&S Grammar 5 - #84-Ch 7 Test
Spelling Power
Life of Fred Fractions - Lessons 6-10
Fallacy Detective - Ch 21-24
History - Julius Caesar
Biology - Birds

Handwriting/Copywork - Draw and Write Through History (Creation through Jonah)
R&S Grammar 2 - Unit 5 #18-25
Spelling Power
Math on the Level - Place value and rounding
History - Julius Caesar
Biology - Birds

Phonics, letter and number recognition, addition and subtraction, lots of reading with Mom. She's invited to join in history and science whenever she chooses.

In Which I Find Myself Cleaning a Stain

Earlier, I found myself on my hands and knees cleaning up dog poop and thinking of my mother. Don't get me wrong, my mother is a lovely woman. In no way does she resemble dog poop. It was me, on my knees, cleaning the carpet, that called to mind my mother. I had seen her in the same posture more times than I could count. Often I just stepped over her or walked by her wondering why in the world she was spending so much energy on something so stupid as cleaning a stain. It wasn't as if ANY of the carpet was perfect. I just couldn't understand why it was worth the effort.

Now, I know. I know that being able to get one stain out is worthwhile. I know that doing a job well and seeing instant results is a source of satisfaction. The kind of satisfaction that is often missing in motherhood. Clean, folded laundry quickly turns into dirty laundry. Dishes, floors, counters and children do the same. A nasty carpet stain that is vanquished is a shining moment of reminder that I can make a difference.

I know that taking care of one mess makes a difference. Solving one problem makes a difference. Especially when you know that the next mess/problem is moments away and that you may not be able to take care of it that easily. Cleaning poop is easy. I know what to use to get the stain out, I know how to use it and it works every time. Other messes are much more difficult to tidy. I find myself much less prepared and uncertain of how to proceed. I know I can't screw anything else up by cleaning a stain. The stain is gone and I've done my job well. It's a good feeling compared to floundering for insight, wisdom, empathy and compassion.

I know that being on your knees doing a disgusting, menial task is a great time for contemplation and prayer. Cleaning up provides me a reminder and a quiet moment to collect myself and give thanks for what really matters. After all, NO ONE is going to bother me while I'm cleaning up poop/pee/vomit/blood/mud or any kind of food spill. What starts as aggravation and ranting often ends in thanksgiving and reconciliation when I'm on my knees.

I know that my mother loves me beyond belief and that cleaning that stain is just one of the many ways she shows it. Maybe someday my children will see me cleaning a stain and will realize with every moment I spend on my knees I am saying, "I love you."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Shoopa! Our Family Holiday Getaway

Facebook: A study in connecting with out connecting

Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with so many people in my life. I have a friend list that tops 200 friends and covers people who have been a part of my life from elementary school to present. I can chat with them everyday if I choose. I can check their status and see what they are doing minute by minute. I am so connected!

Yet, I never talk to any of these people. I have no real interest in many of their lives. Some I barely remember. Why would I want to know how their dog is or their children? I can't imagine that they are really any more interested in me. Still, I continue to check on them every day. Sometimes several times a day.

It's voyeuristic really. I have a window into the lives of others I barely know or barely remember. I can see their pictures, their friends, their activities. It's kind of creepy.

Even with all the friends, I find myself feeling very disconnected. If I have friends that don't take part in MY life what is really friendly about that? If I don't take part in their lives, what kind of friend am I?

I believe we all long for a connection, a sense of belonging, a chance to be accepted by all we know. Facebook offers that with none of the downside. There is no need to build a relationship. Being friends is so much easier when no interaction is required. There is also no true support or encouragement. It's all virtual. Besides, if you are really longing for connection and all you get is voyeurism you are going to be disappointed. However, if you just want to know what's going on with the people you know/used to know, Facebook fills the bill.

I for one, vote we change the label of friends to acquaintances, people I used to know, friendly strangers, past friends, people I met once, people who are willing to say they'll be my friend. Any other ideas for the label?


How do family traditions come into being?

I think mostly by necessity. A certain china pitcher is used by Grandma every year to pour the eggnog so it's a tradition. It was also the only pitcher Grandma had back in the day and it suited the purpose so THE PITCHER was born.

Some of the time we have no idea where a tradition started, we just know that it is and we like it so we carry it on. At our house, our stocking oranges would fall into that category. Every now and then a tradition comes with a burden of responsibility that we'd rather not bear but aren't sure how to lay down. I'll tell you someday about my wedding tiara.

Shoopa! was born of necessity. Bringing a growing and roaming family together is a difficult thing. Holidays don't work because his parents (and his parents and his parents) want that time. The amount and timing of vacation from jobs has to be factored into the equation. Then add the work schedules, school schedules, financial limitations. Gathering everyone together becomes almost impossible. Unless, once a year, it is a priority and a joy.

Shoopa! is our family celebration of each other. It is birthday, Thanksgiving, girls night out, Christmas, Valentine's Day and sometimes Halloween, all rolled into one. It is a week long festival of love and zaniness that I cherish. Shoopa! comes but once a year, it's a lovely thing that I have the pictures and the memories to enjoy in between times.

What family traditions do you have that bring your family together?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Literary Crushes

It's been years since I've had a crush on anyone in real life. I love my husband but that could hardly be considered a crush. That's a first rate love affair and I'm so thankful that it is.

I have to confess that for years I've had a crush on a fictional character. I've followed his adventures since I read the first book over ten years ago. That's a long time for a crush.

Granted, I don't think of him often. Not even every month but when a new book comes out, there I am crushing hard again. It's not just his physical description or his accent. Though they are both beyond charming. It's something about the very essence of the character, pretend though he may be. Maybe it's that I can see my own love, given a kilt and sent back in time, acting in the same manner. Maybe it's that I just really love a man who is able to be a "bloody man" and there are so few of them around.

Whatever it is, my heart turned over in the library this week when I stumbled across the seventh part of his adventures. I had no idea it was published. I was so unprepared for our meeting yet thrilled to see him sitting on the shelf. I felt almost naughty as I grabbed up the book and went to the circulation desk. I'm fairly certain I was blushing.

Now I'm off to snuggle in and reunite with my crush. Anyone else out there with a literary crush?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In Which I Wonder Why I Am So Unkind to Myself

I love The Well Trained Mind forums. I'm a daily reader and frequent responder. I find some of my best insight and information there. But too often I struggle with the feelings they bring forth in me.

I KNOW that virtual forums are not a true reflection of life. I KNOW that online anyone can paint any kind of picture of themself. Reality is no object. I KNOW that we present our best self whenever possible and leave out the nitty gritty. I KNOW these things, yet I still find myself making comparisons to the perfect pictures presented by others.

I make comparisons in real life sometimes. The difference is that in real life I am usually aware enough to see that the object of my comparison is NOT perfect. In real life, if I run into a person often enough I am almost always able to indentify something human in them. Finding the humanity makes me feel comforted. Not in an arrogant way but in a cooperative way. We ARE all in this together.

Online, the cooperation is harder to identify. Too often it looks like competition and I really hate competition...when I don't win. And I never win because I am not kind to myself. I very seldom give myself a break for a short temper or not having done the research to know what kind of learner my children are. I can bludgeon myself with a miriad of short comings. There is no end to the trespasses and lapses that I can abuse myself with, given the right circumstances.

I want to believe this is a human tendancy. Don't we all find fault with ourselves more easily than finding good? Don't we all take ourselves behind the woodshed and give ourselves a workout every now and then?

The trick for me is stopping myself on the way to the woodshed. Recognizing a good idea or a wise course of action and praise the person that did think of it even as I adopt it as my own. This is so much more productive than feeling badly for not having thought if it myself. I believe we do all struggle for kindness, to ourselves and to others. Recognizing my harsh moments and choosing something different is the behavior to which I aspire.

Where do you struggle for kindness?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Agony of Uncertainty

I spent part of this day listening to dd13 tell me (again) that I was ruining her life (again) because I was homeschooling her. I was reminded that I lured her home under false pretenses and that I had failed to make good on my promises. I was given a random and increasingly far reaching list of reasons why I should let her return to public school. I am exhausted and she is happily playing "beauty salon" with her sisters.

I wish I still had the emotional elasticity of a teenager. To be crushed one minute and euphoric the next, in a way that doesn't require medication, must be lovely. It would be especially helpful when dealing with anyone who is a teenager. I have such a struggle not taking things personally and with helping my daughter recognize the emotional damage she is capable of doing.

I think the question that troubles me the most is the one about making the best decision for my daughter. Is it TRULY the best thing for HER to be a home school student? Am I REALLY able to provide her with the education she needs? It's a hard question to ask and even a harder one to answer. After all, I have a bias. Why is it that when you answer the hardest questions of parenting, you don't get to find out if you were right or wrong for a very, very long time...if ever?

Weekly Recap 2/15-2/19

Our week began with a snow storm and public school was out until Thursday, Feb 16. Even that day was a 2-hour delay. Friday was the first full day of public school. Because of our diligence and dedication, Friday was a reading and music day for us!

Our snow policy is that snow days are sleep-in days; as are 2-hour delay days. I love the freedom of giving the children a more relaxed day and still knowing we are in control of our calendar and our 180 days.

One highlight this week was dissecting a frog. It was by far the easiest and most interesting dissection we did.

Our week, though relaxed, was productive. It's amazing what you can get done when all extra curricular and out-of-the-house activities are eliminated. We even had time to go to a demonstration by Mark Kistler at a local university. Fun stuff!

K13: Writing Strands 4 - polishing selected pieces of writing
R&S Grammar 8 - complete chapter 7 and Chapter 7 Test
Spelling Power
Lial BCM - Ch 9 Basic Algebra
Fallacy Detective - Ch 17-20
History - China and Confucius
Biology - Amphibians & Reptiles

H10: Writing Strands 3 - #14
Handwriting/Copywork - Draw and Write Through History (Creation through Jonah)
R&S Grammar 5 - #75-#83
Spelling Power
Life of Fred Fractions - Lessons 6-10
Fallacy Detective - Ch 17-20
History - China and Confucius
Biology - Amphibians & Reptiles

Handwriting/Copywork - Draw and Write Through History (Creation through Jonah)
R&S Grammar 2 - Unit 5 #13-#17
Spelling Power
Math on the Level - Rounding
History - China and Confucius
Biology - Amphibians & Reptiles

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday

I first learned about Fat Tuesday in college. I knew about Lent before then, Ash Wednesday. I knew about mourning and sacrifice but until college I didn't know about the celebration. Fat Tuesday was a joy and revelation to me. Staying up for midnight chocolate chip pancakes and a party with friends. The celebration at Mary Baldwin College was a mild introduction to Mardi Gras. I've never made it to the REAL Mardi Gras. The closest I've been is the daytime parade in Galveston, TX.

Truly, I have no desire to attend the real Mardi Gras. The Fat Tuesday that I celebrate with my family is enough. I love fixing chocolate chip pancakes or gumbo or muffaletta or cheesecake. I love marking time in a way that calls for celebration and sharing. Our tradition isn't rigid. Over the years, we've had midnight pancakes at IHOP and we've had gumbo at home. Sometimes we share the day with friends. Other years our celebration is family only. Whatever the circumstances we mark the day and know that it is a part of our time and way of being with each other.

This year we've had a series of celebrations. Birthday, Valentine's Day, Birthday and Fat Tuesday. I'll admit that it was tempting to drop the Fat Tuesday celebration. It would have been easier to make the mac and cheese and pretend today was just ANY Tuesday. I am so glad that we made the extra effort. Pulling out the hats and beads, setting the table in gold, green and purple, making gumbo and muffaletta, laughing and sharing memories. Talking about what Lent means and what we want this season of dedication to look like for our family this year.

I love Fat Tuesday for it's sense of celebration. Whenever something serious begins it's a great idea to hold a big party. As a society we recognize the importance of mixing celebraion with significance. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, often we celebrate before beginning the next big thing. Fat Tuesday is an example of celebration and commitment at work. This evening we've celebrated!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Review: The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming

Picking up The Kingdom of Ohio I wasn't really sure what to expect. I read the fly leaf and wasn't sure. I read the backcover and didn't feel any more informed. I liked the title. I lived in Ohio for awhile. I figured anything about Ohio was worth taking a chance.

Now that I've finished the book, I'm still not quite sure what it was about. I'm not sure the author is either. I'm fairly certain the editor had no clue.

The Kingdom may have been a science fiction love story with more fiction than science and more longing than love. Connected alternate universes with no explanation for why such connections would occur. A mysterious machine that may or may not have been the connection. Real life heavy hitters like Edison, Tesla, J.P. Morgan and the NY subway. Their presence felt as disjointed as the aternate universes that may or may not have existed.

The questions the book generated for me were only enhanced by the endless footnotes and explanations. Following the main story was challenging enough without muddling it further by adding imaginary nonfiction.

As I completed the book, I experienced profound relief, not in the ending or the resolution, but rather, in the fact that I could stop trying to make the story make sense. I hope the main character also found the respite he seemed to seek.

Weekly Recap 2/8-2/12/10

Our week began with an new 8 year old in our school! He looks and behaves pretty much like our old 7 year old so we decided to let him stay. Monday night was his Blue and Gold banquet where he was presented with his wolf badge.

It started snowing on Monday night and didn't stop until Wednesday afternoon. Public school was out on Tuesday and Wednesday. That meant there were friends around and play opportunities. We had a relaxed schedule and still managed to get the basics done plus some.

K13: Writing Strands 4 - final editing and finishing the book
R&S Grammar 8 - #73 through #77
Spelling Power
Life of Fred Algebra - Ch 4 Cities
Fallacy Detective - Ch 13-16
History - Aryan India & Maurayan Empire
Biology - Amphibians

H10: Writing Strands 3 - #13
R&S Grammar 5 - #75 & #76
Spelling Power
Life of Fred Fractions - Lessons 1-5 First bridge crossed!
Fallacy Detective - Ch 13-16
History - Aryan India & Maurayan Empire
Biology - Amphibians

S7: Handwriting for Cursive - 114-121
R&S Grammar 2 - Unit 5 #3 through #7
Math on the Level - Addition/subtraction relationships
Life of Fred Fractions - Lesson 1 & 2
History - Aryan India & Maurayan Empire
Biology - Amphibians

I finished outlining our schedule for the remainder of the year! I was so pleasantly surprised to discover that we should actually be able to finish our materials as we complete our 180 days!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Day: A Remix

We actually got the weather that was predicted last night and awoke to three inches of snow with more coming down this morning. The love of my life stayed home from work and helped with school while participating in conference calls. The dc slept until their internal alarms (or their siblings) woke them and we began a relaxed day of school.

The joy of having school without leaving the house is especially sweet on the days when everyone else is missing a day that will surely need to be made up later. We start school late and enjoy the knowledge that are plans haven't been altered by the weather, unless that's our choice.

We've already received notice that the public school is cancelled for tomorrow. It looks as if we'll have a new student at the Johnson Academy. He must have heard that we'll be done with our school year by mid-May. Who can blame him for wanting to join us!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

That's what we've been doing since the stomach virus hit last night. We've washed clothes, towels, sheets and children. I'm praying that I've put a set of clean sheets on my bed that will remain there for at least a week. As many times as I've changed them in the last 24 hours, maybe two weeks!

I am always amazed at the mother in me that can hold a vomitting child and not vomit right along with them. Or worse, push them onto the floor and run out of the room yelling, "Ewwww grossssssssssssss!" Because really, isn't that a much more reasonable response to puke than trying to catch it in your hands? And yet, there I am, holding the child and wishing the garbage can or the toilet were just a bit closer.

Any puke stories you'd like to share?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Self Interest vs. Caring

I made a statement to my dh tonight that most people very seldom look beyond themselves in a way that enables them to care for others. He disagreed with me and promptly went to bed.

I felt that his inability to understand my perspective, or stay up the extra 15 minutes it would have taken for me to unwind, pretty much proved my point. Even when someone truly loves you, and I believe dh does truly love me, their self interest comes before their care taking.

In perfect situations, I think the mothering instinct/gene/ability surpasses self interest. In part, this is true because by the time you've nurtured another being 9 months they are a part of your self interest. I've read studies that show infants are unable to differentiate between themselves and their mothers. I think the same could be true of mothers. God's plan of nurturing benefits society as a whole.

DH and I also had a conversation tonight about my need to protect those I love, i.e. children and dog. I wonder if the constant caretaking of others creates a chemical/mechanical/autonomic necessity for protecting them.

It takes me back to thinking about the role of self interest and nurturing. Being a nurturer, is it in my self interest to see that those I've cared for are safe and secure. Does that make me more successful/secure/happy? Is my need to care for my children and pet really just an extension of my self interest? Should I be able to look more objectively at a situation rather than springing to protection and nurturing?

As a nurturing individual, is it possible to confuse self interest with caring?

A Marvelous Day in Pictures

I'm not sure what happened between my camera and computer but they seem to have resolved their issues and are, at least for the moment, communicating. So here, only a month late, are the pictures of our Marvelous Day.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Day

Today was a snow day and I worked very hard at not working. Other than making pizza for supper, I did nothing necessary. I did a lot of stuff but none of what I would consider "work". I gave everyone chocolate cake and milk for breakfast and chips and salsa for lunch. I worked a puzzle, over 550 pieces, and while at times I felt like it was impossible it wasn't really work. I downloaded and edited pictures of my trip to Mexico. I read some message boards. I spent time with the family.

I didn't do any laundry. I didn't make my bed or get dressed. I didn't clean or straighten or sort anything. I especially didn't go outside in the cold and snow.

Everyone needs a snow day. How did you spend yours?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekly Recap 2/1-2/5/10

This week was an active one. We began by skiing on Monday and listening to The Young Carthaginian by G.A. Henty in the car on the way to and from the ski slopes.

Tuesday morning we were busy with music lessons. From Tuesday afternoon through the full day of Wednesday, we made great progress. A new system of accountability was put into play for behavior during the school day. Maybe I'll share more about it in a few weeks if the system works but so far, so good.

Thursday morning we attended CBS and learned more about Amos and the ancient kings of Israel and Judah. Mostly we learned that God is just and merciful. It's a lesson I need to hear and imitate.

Friday we watched a DK video about fish and then attended a performance by Mama Yaa. The children and I enjoyed two stories of famous African American women and learned about African drums. Friday afternoon was productive getting ready for a birthday party and finishing up the weeks assignments.

For our regular school work:
K13: Writing Strands 4 - #16
R&S Grammar 8 - Chapter 6 Test, #69, #70, #71, #72
Spelling Power
Life of Fred Algebra - Ch 4 to Cities
Fallacy Detective - Ch 9-12
History - Ancient Rome
Biology - Fish

H10: Writing Strands 3 - #13
R&S Grammar 5 - Chapter 6 Test, #71, #72, #73, #74
Spelling Power
Life of Fred Fractions - Lessons 1-4
Fallacy Detective - Ch 9-12
History - Ancient Rome
Biology - Fish

S7: Handwriting for Cursive - 114-121
R&S Grammar 2 - Unit 5 #3, #4, #5, #6, #7
Math on the Level - Addition/subtraction relationships
Life of Fred Fractions - Lesson 1 & 2
History - Ancient Rome
Biology - Fish

It was a good week overall. Certainly there is room for improvement but even with the outside activities I see forward movement.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Giving a Great Gift

Don't you just love it when you find the perfect gift for someone? Something you know they will treasure? Something that's JUST RIGHT for them? There is no better feeling than the satisfaction of a well given (and received) gift.

We just got back from shopping for my son's birthday. My husband and I have limited time together but gift shopping is something we prioritize. He never wants to be the Dad that had no clue and I love sharing the time with him. So, we strolled the aisles of Target this evening and came home victorious. We have the gifts that will make a seven (make that eight!) year old boy celebrate like a crazy muppet. And I, for one, can't wait to see it!

Star Wars is the passion this year. Particularly the Clone troopers. Most specifically Commander Cody because his suit has yellow on it and yellow is the favorite color of a certain almost-eight-year-old.* I've got the perfect plates, cups and napkins. I even scored the perfect party favors, clone trooper suits for everyone. It should be Star Wars madness at my house by 6pm tomorrow. We're almost ready.

I've got the party almost under control. Guests - check. Party ware - check. Favors - check. Macaroni and cheese with steak - check. Cake - Deep breathe. The thing is, Star Wars was the passion last year, as well. Last year, R2D2 was the cake. That was pretty easy and it looked great. Tomorrow I am going to attempt a clone trooper helmet. I've got specific instructions. I've got a picture. I've been told it doesn't HAVE to be PERFECT. Deep breathe. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.

If the cake is a miss, I still have the presents to fall back on and, believe me, they will make an almost-eight-year-old boy scream like a girl!

*As I side note, I just need to mention that as a pre-teen I saw Star Wars (IV, V and VI) and thought it was fine. I had no idea that the characters and vocabulary of Star Wars would become so vitally important in my day-to-day life this many years later. I know way more about Star Wars now than ANYONE knew back in the day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Day Undone

I think one of the biggest challenges of home school is finding the time for school. Here is a list of things that got in the way of school today.

1. music lessons (learning but not technically school)
2. a nap (dd10 not me!)
3. babysitting
4. wall repair
5. tennis (dd13 not me!)
6. meals
7. Classical Conversations meeting (me not the dc)
8. basketball game
9. dessert
10. bedtime

Only ds7 finished a full school day today. The other two will have to pack five days into three, make that two and a half, days. When in the world did we have time for school before we started home school? How do you handle the days when you have more interruptions and school than day?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Slip Sliding Away

We went skiing today and it was a glorious day. I'm figuring this counts for about 3 months worth of physical education. My body is telling me it counts as several years worth.

All of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and given the effort that it takes to get 5 people into ski clothes, boots, skis and on the slope, that's saying a lot. Usually, endeavors like this are labor for me that it takes me a LONG while to forget. Until I've forgotten the labor part I'm not particularly anxious to do it again. This time I have full recollection of being hot, sweaty and crowded while hunting for the size 10 boots and the size 1 boots and the size 3 boots and the size 8 boots. I can recall every detail about the incredibly slow moving line to pick up the children's skis. I still remember how the line for the adult skis took just as long as the line for the children's skis. I can recollect in vivid color the struggle of getting four children into skis and onto the slope and only loosing one down the hill and onto the steps. Even with this labor still in my mind, we will be skiing again next Monday.

Why would I subject myself to that you ask? Well, because we had the joy of going up and down, over and over as a family, laughing and cheering each other. When it was time to go not one of us was ready to leave. In the car, each of them had an adventure to share, a story to tell and a smile on their face. As we drove down the road, my oldest said, "Today I'm glad I'm home schooled." And that is enough to make me do it all again, with a smile on my face.