Thursday, January 31, 2008

Assessing where we are, so I can see where we're going...

When I drive some place new, I generally get lost the first few times. I think it might be a gap in my education, since my dad can still remember how to get places he went to years and years ago.

So, speaking of going places, and gaps, and education...I really need to assess where each child is at in their school year. And look ahead to the end of the year. And next year. And then...HIGH SCHOOL.

This 2007-2008 year, I have:

Ginger 7th grade
Momo 5th grade
Tullius 2nd grade
Zamakee Kindergarten

This is week 22 of 36 for us.

Today, while holding my feverish 2yo, I finally started making the colorful Excel spreadsheets that I've been meaning to do for weeks! Here is Gingers:

Clicking on it makes it huge, but readable.

I must buy something new for her for math, I didn't realize how close she was to being done with Key to Decimals! Math is definitely a difficult subject for her. Which makes it difficult for me.

And writing. I've really got to get something for writing. TOG's Writing Aids started out good for us, but I rearranged some things, dropped it for a month during NaNo, then we had 6 weeks off for Winter Break and I can't get back into Writing Aids. I've tried each week, and it has been a flop each time. I need something prepared, precise, and preferably written to the student. Maybe Jump Into Writing...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

123 Book Meme

Lisa at Koinonia Academy and Audrey at Home Learning Adventures tagged me!

Step one: Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).

Well, The Boxcar Children is the closest.

Step two: Open the book to page 123.

Since, Tullius is sitting here, I'll have him find page 123.

Step three: Find the fifth sentence.

And I'll have him find the fifth sentence, which is not as easy as it sounds. Does the first sentence end with the first period? We'll go with the first complete sentence being number 1 for our counting purposes.

Step four: Post the next three sentences.

He ran alone up to the boxcar. It seemed like magic that he knew where to go. When Dr. Moore came back, he was carrying Violet in his arms.

Step five: Tag five people.

Let see...whose blog do I enjoy & need to visit?

Twilight and Sunrise
Carr Homeschool
A Bit of Bubbly
Living, Loving, Learning
Redefining Normal

Let me know if you play along!

How many miles do you drive a month?

I had a brilliant math idea! It is possible that in my case, the pronoun "I" with brilliant and math should not occur in the same sentence. But this seems like a fun, real-life application of subtraction!

My almost 8yo son, whom I call by his Latin name Tullius here, loves to "check the milage" on our mini van whenever we arrive someplace. At the end of each month, I'm going to have him write the number down on a piece of paper and then he can subtract to see how much we've driven that month! I really don't think I drive too much. We've had the van about 10 1/2 years and haven't reached 70,000 miles yet.

So, how much do you drive a month? No calculators allowed!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Old Shoes, New Shoes

My word for the year is GRATITUDE. So I decided to show my hard working dh that I really am grateful for how well he provides for our purchasing some new shoes. Yes, I've needed new shoes for awhile. Those old ones on the left I've had for about 3 years. They're comfortable, and I really don't enjoy shoe shopping at all.

However, this past week the toe finally burst on the left shoe. I even wore them to church like this. But my dh does not feel my gratitude for his provision when I'm wearing the only pair of shoes I have and there is a giant hole in the toe.

Actually, I do own a pair of sandals I got a resale shop awhile back (but I don't like the way they fit, so I haven't worn them in over a year) and I also own a pair of plain black dress shoes back from when I worked and our oldest was baby (but I probably haven't worn those in at least 2 years).

Hopefully I'll get my $14.99's worth over the next three years.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Quote and Confession

"A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron."
-- Horace Mann

Today is only the first official day of 2nd semester, I'm the teacher in the above quote.

I told my dh last week that I didn't like teaching. I enjoy reading aloud to my kids, I enjoy taking them places like the zoo, I enjoy playing with them in the backyard, I enjoy learning myself and watching them learn things themselves.

But I don't enjoy being the teacher and sitting at the table while then read the instructions aloud and fill out the worksheet, I don't like checking and rechecking math, I don't like saying "Is your schoolwork done?"

And that is my confession for the day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

888 - A book in the hand...

When I first heard about 888 (reading 64 books, 8 books in 8 categories in 2008), I thought it was too much. But in looking at my shelves, I have so many books that I've bought and never finished...or worse, bought and never started! A book in the hand is worth two on the shelf and so, I'm challenging myself this new year! Here are the beginnings of my lists:

I. Christian
1. The Power of a Praying Wife, Stormie Omartian (30 days -- read daily starting January 1st)
2. The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, Hannah Whitall Smith (20 chapters)
3. Stop Dating the Church, Joshua Harris (7 chapters)
4. The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis (31 chapters)
5. God's Sabbath for Mankind, Richard A. Wiedenheft (7 chapters)
6. The Mischief of Sin, Thomas Watson (7 chapters)
7. The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions (223 pages, read daily starting February 1st)
8. Sister Wendy's Book of Meditations, Sister Wendy Beckett (74 meditations, start when I finish Valley of Vision)

II. Nature & Animals
1. Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv (23 chapters)
2. The Amateur Naturalist, Charles E. Roth
3. Stickeen, John Muir (74 pages)
4. Secrets of the Woods, William J. Long (10 chapters)
5. Keeping a Nature Journal, Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth (11 chapters)
6. All Creatures Great & Small, James Herriot (67 chapters)
7. All Things Bright & Beautiful, James Herriot (47 chapters)
8. All Things Wise & Wonderful, ames Herriot (48 chapters)

III. Parenting & Homeschooling
1. I Love You Rituals, Becky A. Bailey (10 chapters)
2. Heartfelt Discipline, Clay Clarkson (16 chapters)

IV. Historical Fiction

V. Fun Fiction

VI. Fantasy Fiction I've Never Read (but always meant too)

VII. Read Aloud or Read Together
1. Classic Myths to Read Aloud, William F. Russell (39 stories)

VIII. ???

These are all books on my shelves. Well, now they are in piles on the floor by my feet! I need to gather some more titles from the library...but what I have will sure keep me reading for a good while! If you have any recommendations for me or have a link to your own 888 reading list for 2008 (which, by the way, it IS!), please share!


Latin Motto

Non scholae sed vitae discimus ~ Seneca. We learn not for school, but for life.