Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's on your desk?

Audrey @ Opus Dei Academy tagged me with

"What's on your desk?

You can tell a lot about a person by the state of their desk and what they keep on it. So, share what's on your desk. You can take pictures, take an inventory, or do both. Don't have a desk? That's okay, just give us a glimpse into the space where you pay bills, write letters, grade papers, study, or work on the computer.

When you've finished your photos or inventory, post it on your blog and tag five more people to do the same. Don't forget to share the rules with those you tag and ask them to share their posts with you when they are done."

Well, my desk is remarkable tidy! I cleaned it about 2 weeks ago and have been keeping it that way.

I have a tissue box, my beloved eMac, a router, a new Apple modem, a watering can pen cup, an ink drinking printer, my iPhone, a paper on Greek columns, and the following books: The Well-Trained Mind (revised edition from the library), A Charlotte Mason Education, and The Chemy Called Al. That is it!

Oh, what is that box under the desk? Well, that is where I put everything that was "homeless" from my desk when I cleaned it. I've gotten exactly ONE thing out of the box since I cleaned off my desk. Which means, I really don't need all that stuff. I just can't part with it...yet. So if I was to take the box and dump it on the desk, you'd have a pretty good idea of what my desk would look like normally.

Hmm, whose desk do I want to see a picture of??

Sugar at I Like Pi
Michelle at Our Trio of Children
Jean at Quiver's House
Kel at Voyager Learning Center
Mama Peep at Classical Education Our Way

Come on, girls, let's see those desks!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Got Chemistry?

We're using The Elements: Ingredients of the Universe by Ellen McHenry and loving it! This is a one semester course designed for grades 4-8, but my 2nd grader is tagging along with ease.
As a read aloud, we have The Chemy Called Al by Wendy Isdell. Not especially well written, this book does have an interesting premise: the Land of Science is inhabited by the "former periodics" such as Aurum (Gold) and Kalium (Potassium) in the form of horses.
Here are some websites we've come across:
Chem 4 Kids
Periodic Table in Pictures & Words
Interactive Chemical Elements
The Wooden Periodic Table
Period Table of Comic Books
Wizzy Periodic Table
Fun Brain Period Table
Science is Fun
Periodic Table ADventure
Visual Interpretation of the Elements

I'm going to try to post a little about each of our curriculum choices this year. This will serve as both records for myself (I'm a terrible record keeper!) and as a mini-reviews. I need a review-system. How about paw prints?
The Elements: Ingredients of the Universe gets 5 out of 5 paw prints! I just need a little picture now...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Project 2008 February: The Master Bedroom

At then end of January, when I took these photos, my bedroom was Playmobil Central. What you see below on the dresser was the Playmobil Knights Advent Calendar (open a little box a day). The rest of the Playmobil was in a large plastic tub under my dresser. It has all since been moved to the clean sewing room, where there is space to spread out and set up and mom doesn't make you put it away before bed.

This first picture is standing in the doorway, looking straight into the room. Notice no curtains on the window, no pictures on the wall, and laundry in the foreground. That is where the clean laundry goes until it is folded. This is Ginger & Momo's job, which they can't seem to do every single day.
This is standing in the doorway, looking to the right across the room. No curtains, no picture...pile of computer related books on my husband's nightstand, and my ironing board. Usually the ironing board has a pile of clean dress shirts on the end. See that yellow thing on the tree? It's a sunflake! We like the poem "Sunflakes" by Frank Ashe.

This final picture is looking into the master bathroom/closet, with a good view of the TV and its paraphernalia. Oh, and there is some baby stuff there on the floor -- car seat, walker, etc. Stuff that I'm planning to give away.

I'd like to say that by the end of February, the room will be painted, curtains hung, pictures mounted, an entertainment center purchased. But no, I know those things won't be done. I am going to try to get back to ironing all my husband's shirts once a week and then putting the ironing board in the closet. I think I'm ready to move on to March!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Charlotte Mason & the Well-Trained Mind: hours compared

Tonight, I decided to do a little chart to compare the hourly recommendations for 8th grade age in Susan Wise Bauer's The Well-Trained Mind's to those in A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison. This little chart doesn't include Logic (only mentioned in the WTM), music, art, or nature study. I found it interesting that at this level, the time involved was almost identical.
It is possible that my figures are slightly off -- adding such big numbers in my head is challenging.

EDITED TO ADD: Thank you, Tami, for supplying me with an online version of Charlotte Mason's Parents Union School schedules located on the Ambleside Online site! These are identical to the schedules in the back of Levison's book. Although she calls Class III 7th-9th grades, I believe (the book is upstairs). When I was making my calculations, I eliminated the "10.20 - 10.50" period, which seems to serve as a break period and didn't fit neatly in my chart. I put Euclid as math and Old & New Testament as history. Another side note is CM's schools met Monday through Saturday...oh, yes, and the hours listed on my chart are weekly totals!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Break for (Neopian) Poetry

I left Momo & Ginger at home this morning to do their schoolwork while I took Tullius to his Charlotte's Web play rehearsal (he's a sheep). Not only did Momo get her book learning done, she had time to write poetry.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Peaceful, pajama morning in our homeschool

Time: 8:30am
Location: Family Room floor
Sound: melodious Yanni's Dare to Dream
Scene: Seated inside the Duplo railroad track he built with his 2yo brother, my dark-haired 8yo works a crossword puzzle in The Elements: Ingredients of the Universe. Already completed in this morning's 2nd grade: an egg-boiling experiment in Singapore Start-up Science, the final page in MUS Gamma, the conjugation of celo (I hide) in the future tense in Lively Latin...and breakfast.

Oh, if only the whole day were to be so serene...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Excellent, Dude!

Tonia at The Sunny Patch and Lisa at Koinonia Academy think I'm excellent. That makes my day! Thanks, ladies! The feeling is mutual.

Now, I'm supposed to pass this award on to 5 bloggers who I think are admirable, distinctive, exceptional, first-class, magnificent, notable, outstanding, priceless, sterling, wonderful...you know, excellent!

So, to
Karen...because I wish to school in a Magic Schoolhouse and
Skeller...because I wish I was Short on Words and
Isabella, Zadok, and Theo...because I wish I my kids had a Cattle Blog and
Paz...because I wish we were a WoW Academy and
Gardenschooler...because I wish I was In the Garden...

I want you to know that I think you're excellent! Now, please, pass it on to five more bloggers that you admire!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Homeschooling Only One

Yesterday, three of my four school-aged children were sick. Ginger, the oldest, was in day three of the flu, having missed getting it when the rest of us did, the week before. Tullius and Zamakee, in 2nd grade and kindergarten respectively, both had fevers. Not sure if it was a relapse, a repeat or something new... So my 5th grader Momo got to be an only student.

MATH Math-U-See Zeta, Lesson 21, Practice B Long division with decimals, rounding patterns, remainders as fractions, etc. Boring. Easy. 100% A+.

LATIN Lively Latin, Lesson 11.3 Forming the Future Tense I love Latin, so we did this together. Interesting. Easy. 100% A+.

LOGIC Building Thinking Skills 2, Chapter 10 Verbal Analogies A page of such things as marble:stone :: diamond:jewel. Not sure if it was easy or not, but she got them all right, as usual.

GRAMMAR Straight Forward English Series Verbs, p 13, Spelling Rules for Tense. Adding -s or -es to some verbs and then making sentences with them. Here are some of her sentences:
The eyrie tosses the yooyu ball to the jubjub.
The hissi drinks the morphing potion and changes into a cybunny.

Ah, good old Neopia! Easy. All correct...

CHEMISTRY The Elements: Ingredients of the Universe, Chapter 3 Activity #5 & #6 This involved finding the number of protons in 25 or so different elements and looking at a cool website called Dave's Wizzy Periodic Table This takes awhile to load, but is worth it for looking at how many electrons are in which S & P orbitals. I have a slightly difficult time understanding about the orbitals, but she doesn't. Chemistry really is fascinating! Maybe Momo will be a chemist.

HISTORY Tapestry of Grace Year 1, Week 24 Sigh. We could be doing SO MUCH...but we're not. Her reading is a 2 page spread in The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of the Ancient World. Called "Battles and Battle Formations," it looks really unmemorable so I suggest we read it together. Everyone else is either sleeping or quietly playing.

We read the second page on formations first. Several times she mentions having "read about that" and goes back to find the page. Tomorrow, if everyone is well enough to go outside, we'll model the battle positions. We certainly have enough shields and sticks! Then we look at the list of battles on the first page. We decide to try to find them on our fold-out National Geographic Map of "The Historic Mediterranean 800 BC to AD 1500" that is on the kitchen table under the plastic table cloth.

The descriptions are short and not very specific, such as:
CHAERONEA A town in Central Greece, the site of Philip II of Macedon's decisive victory over the Greek cities in 338 BC. We struggle with the vagueness, but have fun trying to locate them. Not all are on the map.

And that was the school day. Not perfect, but peaceful and productive. I wish I could spend such time with her everyday. I wish I could spend such time with each of my children everyday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday -- Kittens

Is it Wednesday already? Well, not quite...but close enough.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday -- Tattoo Artist in Training

Project 2008 January: The Sewing Room

This was my Project 2008 Room. The "Sewing Room" that has never been sewn it. YET. We've lived in this house for about 4 1/2 years. The room has been mainly a dumping ground, but Beanie slept here in a crib until he was 2. Now he sleeps in the crib in the "Boys' Room."

This room is about 10' x 7' if you include the closet. The previous owners used it as an office.

Yes, this is what is looks like AFTER I cleaned it. This is standing in the doorway looking into the closet (huge, doorless). The shelf is all boxes of STUFF I want to keep. Some worth keeping, most not...but I can't decide which is which. Hanging on hangers are large pieces of fabric. Waiting to be sewn into something. On the floor are several large, plastic storage bins of sewing stuff -- miscellaneous fabric, thread, stuffing, half-made fabric dolls and the like.

This is standing in the doorway looking to the left. Ah, ha! One of the closet doors. And lots more stuff -- mostly papers, folders, files, notebooks, school-type stuff that should probably be tossed. And a box or two of miscellaneous stuff. And several empty plastic bins. I really DID clean in this room.

This is standing at the far end of the room looking toward the doorway. Behind the door is the bookcase of homeschool books that I want to keep but am not currently using this year. Oh, and a porta-crib.

And that hanging on the wall is a life-sized Emperor penguin painted on posterboard. There are several species of penguins on the wall and some hiding behind the boxes of sewing stuff. I really do have a hard time throwing things away...

February's project will be the master bedroom! And I know you want to see pictures of that.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Rest of the year: 5th grade & 2nd grade

Here is the rest of Momo's year. She's in 5th grade, using mostly the same curriculum as Ginger. The only differences are that she is in Math-U-See Epislon and is using Building Thinking Skills 2 instead of a formal spelling program. She does do spelling by using Tapestry of Grace's Vocabulary. I should post about that one day... I bought a poetry workbook and a test prep book for Momo, I just haven't started them with her yet.

I decided to edit this post & add 2nd grade since I just finished the sheet. This is for Tullius, who just turned 8. He really needs to be challenged...I just haven't found anything that does. Even multiplying a 3 digit by 4 digit number only confused him for a week or so. Oh, and he wrote down our milage on January 31st: 66,032 miles.

Thanks for the kind comments about my last spreadsheet. If you don't use/like Excel, a table in Word can be used to accomplish the same thing. I have to say that I did not come up with the idea on my own!! I've seen it on lovely blogs like Narrow Gate Academy and Trivium Academy.

Latin Motto

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