Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011

Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, a fallen angel and a devil.

Little Red Riding Hood meets the Big Bad Wolf

Even I can't resist a good costume!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekly Recap 10/24-10/28/11

We've had another wonderful week.  I found myself wondering today why this year felt so much easier than our previous homeschooling years.  It dawned on me that last year we were in the midst of showing our house and looking for a new house.  My dh started his new job on November 1 last year.  What a year it's been!

Our history is going so well.  We completed two chapters this week.  We learned about the events in China, Japan, and India during the 17th century.  All of the children really seem to be enjoying the passages from Story of the World as well as the library books that I have been checking out from our local library.  S9 spent time this week reading about Japanese artists and shipwrecked boys while H12 was reading about royalty from Sweden and India.  M7 and I read several story book versions of the Grimm fairy tales.  We even caught the others listening in a few times.  We also spent some time this week watching and listening to the fairy tales by the Grimm brothers.  We had some lively compare/contrast conversations about their favorite tales.  Everyone voted that Tangled was much more enjoyable than the original telling of Rapunzel.

If we keep making progress at this rate we will be able to take the entire week of Thanksgiving off of school.  With our extra company coming during that week, it will be good to have some days without the responsibility of school.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Keeping Perspective

Today I tried to catch up with my own Bible study of Job.  The kids are on lesson 8 and I was on lesson 5.  A little free time this morning enabled me to complete lessons 5 and 6. 

I fixed pancake sundaes for four of us for breakfast. 

Afterward, we completed Bible, grammar, math, algebra, Latin and reading.

I made sure everyone had lunch.

I did three loads of laundry.  Washed, dried and folded.

I made French bread and pasta for dinner, from scratch.  I topped the pasta with my delicious shrimp scampi. 

I helped the family as we got the house straightened for overnight guests visiting tomorrow.

Even after all that I still feel unsuccessful for the day. 

Some days success is just not possible.  It has nothing to do with the activities completed.  It is a result of my own frame of mind. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekly Recap: October 17-October 21, 2011

We had a great week this week!   I may feel this way because I'm writing this recap after a relaxed weekend.  It's hard to remember the bumpy parts when time has passed.  I feel like I've been counting down to this week since August.  This week was our last week of practice for soccer and football.   I know the kids have enjoyed participating in these sports.  I'm thankful they had the opportunity.  I'm also ready for some family time in the evenings.  We've been shuttling kids to and from practices and games at least five days a week.  It's good to be done.

This week was also an off week for co-op.  We have two weeks off before the next session starts.  All the kids enjoy co-op.  It's a worthwhile use of our time.  It does mean that most of our day Tuesday is not available for our normal academics.  Having five days for school this week rather than four was lovely.  We used the extra time to catch up on chemistry.  We built models of atoms using styrofoam balls.  We learned more about the periodic table.  We made sugar cookie atoms with m&ms for protons, neutrons and electrons.  We discovered that there were fewer yellow m&ms in our bag than any other color.

We are all on track according to the "master schedule".  It's a good feeling!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Drama of Algebra

Today was a typical, if rainy, day at our house.  M7 and S9 moved quickly through their work.  H12 stalled in every way possible.  She loves to read and to write.  Everything else requires monitoring, prodding and, sometimes, bullying.  Algebra was where we got hung up today.  It often is.  The drama that has been inspired by math in our home is impressive. 

Today's drama resulted in whining, crying, melting down, stomping from the room and flopping into bed.  Thankfully, today, it was H12 that put on the show.  After I took a deep breath, I went upstairs to talk with H12 about how she expected the rest of her day would go.  We were able to engage in an impromptu review of her logic lessons by identifying numerous fallacies in her many passionate and varied arguments for why math is unnecessary and why her behavior should be excused.  After several minutes with no progress, I decided to take a break and regroup. 

I completed a couple of jobs then went back to check on H12.  I found her where I'd left her, in bed staring at the ceiling.  I asked if she was planning to do this all day.  She replied, "No, now I'm just being difficult."  All I could do was laugh as I walked away.  I'm so thankful that I've got a daughter who is able to recognize her stubborn choices and own up to them. It didn't take long before H12 climbed out of bed and we finished her math lesson.

Too often, the behavior that I find most difficult in my children is a reflection of my own behavior or attitudes.  How often do I choose a course of action and stick to it even when I know there is absolutely no benefit in it?  How often to I choose stubborn over logical?  How often do I not even recognize that I've made the choice?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice...

We are now at fool me three times.  I suppose we should be full of shame.  I certainly feel foolish, used, betrayed.  My beautiful 15 year old daughter fooled me three times.  Trust is so far gone that I'm not sure how we will ever get it back.  Today I was served with a court summons.  Delinquent.  It's sobering to see that word applied to your child.  I look at her beautiful face and wonder how such a word can possibly describe her.

Earlier in the summer my daughter got caught sneaking back into a friends house after going to a party with her boyfriend and drinking.  We discovered that the sneaking around and drinking were an ongoing habit.  Lovely.  My daughter spent the remainder of the summer under my direct supervision.   Sleepovers are no longer part of her world.  Parental supervision when visiting with her friends is a requirement.

Two weeks ago, we allowed my daughter to go with her boyfriend and another couple to their school's homecoming.  It was the first time we'd allowed her to go anywhere without direct parental supervision since last June.  It was the first time we'd allowed her to ride in the car with a teenage driver.  After the couples left for the dance, we discovered (thanks to some text messages) that vodka was part of the plan.  We had no confidence that the kids would remain at the dance, despite what they'd told us or the limits that we'd placed on them.  My husband went to the dance to confront our daughter.  Unfortunately, our hopes of keeping our concerns quiet was impossible when the school officials and sheriff got involved.  All four of the kids involved were charged with underage drinking.

Today, my doorbell rang and I was greeted by a sheriff with a court summons. We had a nice chat.  He liked my tattoo.  Evidently, several families in town received a similar summons today.  Homecoming was a busy night for the sheriff's department evidently.   In twelve days we go to court.  We'll probably see several people we know there.  My daughter will be pleading guilty.  She is.  No doubt.  I have no idea what the consequences will be nor the cost.  She'll pay them all.  Hopefully it will be a lesson learned, a lasting lesson.

Maybe I've learned something in all of this too.  Perhaps, I won't be fooled again.

Weekly Recap: October 10-14, 2011

This week began with the end of a visit with Oma and Opa.  They came to visit on October 2.  We took them back to the airport on Monday evening.  Between their visit, a bought of flu/sinus infection on my part and the busyness of daily life, we took this week to play catch up.  It had been several weeks since I took time to chart our progress against my year plan.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that we weren't as far behind as I'd feared.

We finished our first session of co-op.  Everyone enjoyed participating enough that we decided to register for the remaining three sessions.  H12 enjoyed co-op most of all.  That was a pleasant surprise.  H12 hasn't been enthusiastic about social opportunities prior to this so I expected to force her through co-op.  The topic, Crime Scene Investigation, and the other kids in the class were a perfect fit for her.

We have a two week break from co-op.  I'm going to enjoy having our Tuesdays to ourselves.  Next week we plan to spend our co-op day, Tuesday, catching up on our Chemistry lessons.