Thursday, October 08, 2015

Another good article and updates.

What Homeschoolers Can Learn from Finland's Math Success

a leaf shaped like a star got caught in a spider web and decorated our deck for a while.  
As to what we are doing?  We are still Netflixing The Gilmore Girls, now on season 7.  Don't tell me how it turns out.  Okay, go ahead and tell me.  No.  Don't.  The suspense is killing me, but I guess I'll live.  I'm going to be really disappointed when it's over.

We also just finished reading The Copper Gauntlet which is the second book in the Magisterium series.  It was very good.  We are going to start reading the Bartimaeus trilogy again possibly tonight. We started it before but we were interrupted and never got started back.

I found out that I am totally in charge of the trunk or treat fall festival at church since I said yes to being on the committee for it, expecting 2 other committee members, but everyone else said no.   Uh Oh.  Doing a little planning for that.

I'm still teaching the art class.  We are well into our second project.  It's nice and has grown to 9 people.  How cool is that?

I've been having a lot of medical tests.  My neck has been hurting and I had an ultrasound and then a CAT scan and it turns out I have a tumor in my salivary gland, which looks benign, but I have to have it biopsied to make sure.  :-(  Every time I say the word biopsy, I think of the lady in My Big Fat Greek Wedding saying "bib- bop-sied".  I wish I could get it done today so I don't have to worry about it, but the appointment to see about it is next week.  Trying to put it out of my mind, without much success.

Still no word on mom's house.  :-(


Friday, October 02, 2015


Youngest son has an assignment in his writing book to do a haiku.  In case you don't know, this is a form of japanese poetry that has 3 lines, the first is 5 syllables, the second is 7 syllables and the third is 5 syllables.  Being a lover of words, the boy has been having a good time with it.

ah a lovely morning
I should write some haiku now.
they're just so easy.

you are just so nice
you say I am nice my dear

gah what was that word?!
no, that's not it. please?

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Great article.

And here's a quote:  

Cooper hypothesizes that the common feature of many “specific learning disabilities” is a preference for processing information visually and holistically rather than verbally and analytically. Rather than narrowly focusing on things in a linear sequential way, the child with this tendency absorbs visual input and meaning and context in a “big picture” way (blurry colors lighting up in the right hemisphere of the brain), a process which may slow down decoding but which also deepens and enriches it, leading to lateral thinking, intuition, imagination and creativity. These children’s brains are organizing themselves differently, and it should go without saying that their developmental arc may therefore be different. When we interfere in the process of this organization, when we stigmatize it and test it and remediate it prematurely -– when we try to teach dyslexics to think like other children by aggressively drilling them in phonics –– Cooper says we are robbing these children of the opportunity to build organically on their many strengths rather than being treated as something broken that needs fixing. 

As you know, learning "disabilities" are near and dear to our hearts around here.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

A good day.

This was a good Sunday.  I was feeling good because I'm on medicine and and I took advantage of it and did some baking and made a pot of chili.  It was my oldest son's (pictured above at the age of 2) 23rd birthday.  It makes us all feel old, and he's miles and miles away, but we chatted throughout the day and posted this pic of him on Facebook.  We baked a cake and ate it here in honor of his birthday.  It was the least we could do and it was delicious. His girlfriend's family had been cooking for him and fixing him all kinds of sweet treats, so he didn't miss out.

We finished the first month of the art class I am teaching at church and here are the results.  I think they look awesome.  Everyone put their own twist on it.  Also, at church, my youngest son came to the front and asked to be baptized.  

On the way home from church I had to take a picture of these fall flowers.  I love this time of year.  We live on the kind of road, where if you see flowers, you can just stop and take a picture of them.  :-) 

  Later last night, we realized that we couldn't really see the lunar eclipse from our house, so we took a little trip to go look at it, driving a couple of miles to a place where we could get a better view.  It was very fun.  We stopped a couple of places and looked at it for a while.  The night was beautiful and quiet and the lightning bugs were sitting on the ground glowing and outlining the road and it was very cool and kind of magical.  

Good day.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A fun outing.

The largest of the 3 homeschool groups that we are a part of has a big email loop and occasionally, someone posts a chance to participate in a study or survey for cash.  I always look at them, but none of them have really fit us until this week.  I signed my youngest up for one that was looking for high school students with learning disabilities who were pretty confident in their math abilities to evaluate and give their opinions about a new type of math software with adaptations for reading and writing.  Well, we were all over that.   I took him yesterday and he had a lovely time evaluating the software and giving his opinion and at the end of the hour long session, they gave him a 150 dollar gift card.  How cool is that?  While he was doing his thing, I shopped for bargains at Target, then came back to get him and had a great discussion with the people there about entering college with learning disabilities.  I learned a lot.  On the way home, just for the heck of it, I bought him a 5 dollar pizza. He is so good about half his family being gluten free and rarely getting to get pizza, that he deserved it.

This has all got me thinking about what he needs to learn this year.  Originally, we said we'd work the last year on his literacy, then he said he wanted to work on German and various other things and we built him a curriculum around what he wanted to learn this year, but we may need to reconsider and work on the spelling, at least some more.  I still have Sequential Spelling .... :-P
Cosmo has been helping me art journal this week by laying his face on my right arm.  Kind of a counterweight.  :-0 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Taking it easy.

I had a minor surgery on Wednesday and I am on day 5 of taking it very easy.  Last time I had something like this done, I tried to do too much and I think it prolonged the recovery.  This time, I was doing well, resting well and then decided (hard-headedly) that I wanted to lie on my belly to sleep, because I am a stomach sleeper.  I buy the special stomach sleeper pillows at Ikea.  I slept on my stomach during all 3 of my pregnancies and even after the C-sections, but this surgery, because of where it is on my belly, I guess, makes it impossible.  By even trying, I think I set my recovery back a few days.  So yesterday, I took it very, very easy which is kind of hard for me.  I like to get things done and check them off.  On the bright side, I got a lot of art done.   I did get out yesterday to teach the art class I'm teaching at church. It's 5 minutes away and lasts 40 minutes and my daughter drove me, carried my stuff and helped me, so it wasn't too strenuous.  I am finding it interesting to see everyone's different interpretations of the very basic directions I have given them and how much they are enjoying it.  I'm enjoying it a lot too.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Busy week.

Monday, we got up and drove to Ikea which is about 150 miles from here.  It's a once a year-ish trip that my daughter and I love to take.  It's like Disney World to us.  Then Tuesday, I tried to get a bunch of things caught up around here and my husband traveled to Indianapolis, about a 3 hour drive.  Then Wednesday, I had surgery, just a minor one, but it's always a major disruption in life to have surgery.  I'm still feeling pretty weak and tired.   Yesterday consisted of working 2 hours and then mostly lying around the rest of the day.  I don't get a lot of paid time off at this current job that I have, unfortunately.  During all of this, youngest son stayed home and did his school work.  He's doing quite well with it.  There was a time when he was little when I worried that this would ever happen.  He was so hyper when he was little.  I still haven't gotten him into any music lessons, but I did order his consumer math books and got him started on that.  The girl bought a new work chair to sit in when she's working on her book, at Ikea and she's been in her room working ever since.

Our tomato crop this year, basically 2 out of the 7 plants produced tomatoes, but those 2 did very well.  

As part of consumer math, my son had to predict his lifelong salary.  He predicts that he won't make too much money until he becomes president of the United States (top of graph, 4 years), then he will make money from speaking engagements.  He plans to run on a platform of education reform in 2036.  :-)  

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Easing in.

We are easing into our fall routine, I think.  We did get an offer on Mom's house and we accepted it and now if the financing goes through, it will be sold and we will be able to keep Mom where she is.  I am so hopeful that it does sell and also a bit sad about it.  It was my childhood home and I love it.   I can't help it.  But, we're going on with life, starting our last year of homeschooling.  The math books came today and we may do piano lessons instead of violin lessons because they are available and inexpensive and we may also join the choir at church for some music.  We will start 4H classes in a couple of weeks and we may do some volunteering.  I'm sad about the house, but also it makes me feel more free than I have felt in a long time.  I told my daughter that I feel lighter.  Sometimes I felt like I was carrying that house around on my back and I feel the weight of it maybe being lifted.  This morning I started teaching an art journaling class at church and that is taking up some of my thoughts.
With the dissolution of our beloved old homeschool group, everything is different this year, but I am starting to feel like we may be okay.

My son's library list remains rigorous.

This is book research and washed off.  :-)

An afghan my daughter is working on.  

A post by the side of the road.  I remember learning about it in school and what the letters mean, but I can't remember and I can't figure it out.  Anyone?  

The super moon from a couple of weeks ago.  We were on a yarn procurement mission for the above afghan and stopped by the side of the road to get some pictures.  

Tuesday, September 01, 2015


We finally started school yesterday.  It was only a week late, but I like doing things when I plan to do them.  Oh well.  That's life.  What it looked like was the boy adding writing to his day of studying German, which he continued all summer.  Today, he'll add his DVD engineering course.  This is a method that we tend to use every year, because we have other things going on and we procrastinate.  I feel like I only get the top of my to-do list done every day, just skimming the surface of it.  I'll have 10 things and maybe on a really, really good day, I'll get 7 of them done, and the last 3 will carry over, but then 3 or 4 things will come up and on the next day, those 3 things still won't get done as I am dealing with issues 1, 2, 3 and 4, which just happened today, etc.  You see how it goes.  I've been trying to get the people who publish the math book I want to let me have it in exchange for reviewing it for them, but so far, no luck, so I will probably order it today.  I am still looking for a violin teacher for him and will probably get more serious about looking/calling about that later this week.  The point of this jumbled paragraph is that I have a lot to do and when we start homeschooling at the beginning of the year, we start slowly and build up to a full day.

What can new homeschoolers learn from this post?  In Kentucky, you need to do 1062 hours of homeschooling a year, equivalent to 177 six hour days.  In the public school (and why should the homeschool be any different in this manner?)  this includes lunch and recess, art and music (hopefully), library time, going to the bathroom, and school assemblies.  So if you are starting a first grader in homeschool and 6 hours a day seems daunting, keep these things in mind, that your recess and lunch are included, art is included, a school assembly to discuss things or do a read-aloud for 5 or 10 minutes could be included and also, you could go to the library in the afternoon, then do art after dinner or on the weekend, take some music lessons and slowly add things in so that you are getting in your 1062 hours and also you can do as we do and ramp it up at the beginning, just doing a couple of subjects each day and adding on as you go and as you and your child get used to it.  Don't expect your child to sit at the kitchen table and do worksheets for 6 hours a day.  It's too much for the young ones.  With my high school senior, I assign the books and he decides his schedule.  He knows when he needs to be done and he does it.

My response to new homeschoolers is always  the same word -Relax. It will be okay.  If I had it to do over again, I don't think I would have started formal education until the age of 12.  There's a large body of research to back this up.

In other news around here, we may have an offer on Mom's house (pray!) and I'm trying to work out a deal with Freckles so that she does medical transcription and I lie on the bed and watch her (and sometimes snore).  So far, she's not going for it as you can tell by her facial expression here, but I will keep trying.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Being bad.

I've been a very bad blogger lately, not updating any of my various  blogs.  They are all getting cobwebs on them ... sorry about that.   I've also been a bad homeschooler.  my son was supposed to start school on Monday, but with the visit from his brother and girlfriend and various other things, we did not start school and I haven't even ordered him the book I want him to use.  How's that for starting out well our last year of homeschooling?  At least at this late point in the game, I am wise enough not to panic.  He'll be fine.  We'll get there.  He's motivated to finish and so he's willing to work weekends and holidays if need be.  :-)

The weather has been so absolutely beautiful lately.  I told the kids they must have brought it with them, because it stormed every day until they got here from Mississippi and then the whole time they were here it was gorgeous.

Since we're not homeschooling and I don't have anything about that, I'll share pictures of the giant Mississippi watermelon that filled 5 bowls.  We were successful in eating it and not wasting any.  :-)  Also, here are 2 pictures of the moon, one at night and one in the day.

The next post will be about homeschooling I promise.  :-)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Great Stacation.

Our wonderful stacation is over.  I actually was working minimally during the week so I don't know if that counts but we did a lot of vacation-y type things and we also did a lot of homey things so whatever, it was a great week.  Now it's over and we have to go back to real life.  :-P   These are random pictures off my phone .... babies, a drawing, the dog photos I always include in every post, and the pool.  I didn't get in the pool much during the visit because I was pretty busy most of the time, but yesterday the pool and I had a reunion.  It was great.

Now, back to real life.  Homeschooling and home-college-ing will begin shortly, so stay tuned.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Enjoying the week.

We've had pictures made, visited grandmas and aunts, got to have dinner with my brother (and will tomorrow with my husband's brothers and mom and dad),  We gone to the local parks and seen the some of the local sites.  We've spent a lot of time at home, cooking, grilling, watching TV, playing games, having friends over, etc.  Sometimes when I am outside with Freckles (the dog) waiting for her to do her thing, I look in the back door and think about how blessed I am.  I hope that I can take some of my blessed peaceful feelings into the next few weeks when we are back to trying to get things done.  :-)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Having fun!

We are  visiting with my son and his girlfriend baking brownies and bread and seeing friends and family.   It's pretty wonderful.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Positive News?

I set up some google alerts some time back.  I have been dealing with depression so I set up google alerts for joy, happiness, depression and positive news.  All of them seem to work well with links to good, helpful articles, except for the positive news one.  I've thought about deleting it because it really doesn't work in the spirit that I had intended, although it did give me quite the laugh this morning.  Here are the positive news headlines I received in my inbox this morning.

Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile

Cannondale-Garmin's Tom Danielson Tests Positive for Banned Substance

El NiƱo: Destructive, but positive for economy, farming

Woods at Wyndham 'would be positive chaos'

Stray kitten in East Haven tests positive for rabies
Truck driver tested positive for meth after crash

Not quite what I had intended when I set it up.  :-)

Saturday, August 01, 2015

A little less whiny today.

Maybe it was watching 4 hours of Gilmore Girls last night ( I really love that show that we have recently discovered) but I am in a slightly better mood today, less whiny.  Whatever the cause, I'm going with it.  I don't mind feeling better about things today even though nothing has really changed.
I may have defeated the wasps around our back door that kept stinging us when we were turning the key, with 3 cans of wasp spray and a glob of green playdoh (to block their entrance to the inside of  the wall.)

I art journaled my first bookmark.

Yesterday, was just a gorgeous day.

My daughter made this fake fire for VBS.  The kids were playing like they were camping out.


Related Posts with Thumbnails