Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The prompt's the thing...

Oh how the boys make me laugh.  Devon is still doing well with his work.  I started him off slowly with just a couple of subjects to warm up with.  I'll give it a couple of weeks and add more.  I got his computer programming sample lessons in the mail today so I'll look over that this weekend.  Aidan, on the other hand, is not doing as well as I thought.  He's not completing his work and seems to have difficulty understanding what's required of him from the directions listed.

This is where I have my own "a-ha" moment and remember his processing disorder and how he had to have everything read to him when he was in PS.  My bad!  I'm going to have to re-think his schedule.

Today's laughter comes from Devon's writing prompt:

Write a one page story using this story starter: "During the winter a hibernating bear dreams about..."
During the winter a hibernating bear dreams about, walking down the street with his parents.  While they are walking down the street the bear sees a brand new pair of roller blades, in the window of a skate store.  The bear begged his parents to get them, but sadly they said "grrr" which meant they had no money... The bear was very upset at this but he knew it was true.  So the bear knew what he must do...  He has to get a job!  So he went to the skate store and asked if they were hiring.  The guy at the counter said "sorry we don't hire animals".  The bear was very upset when he heard this he fell to his knees and roared...Fin

What makes this even funnier to me is that this is almost the same story line he used for yesterday's writing prompt. I think he wants some roller blades...

Sleepy time for me!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The end of the day and penguins

I'm overwhelmed with things I need to do tonight so this post will be short.  Sorry in advance.

The boys did great on their first day.  They both did a very good job of doing their best and following their schedules.  I'm so proud of them :)

I did want to share with you Aidan's writing assignment because it was adorable.  The prompt was:

What is your favorite animal?  Write one page telling why it is your favorite.
Penguins are my favorite.  Because they can not fly and I can play with them and they wont fly away.  While they are sliding on there bellys I can ride them.  And they are furry so they are nice to hug.  They have cute babys.  You can feed them and they won't bite you.  They nice to play with in the bath.  They don't need a towel.  Penguins don't eat your homework.  Penguins don't eat you.

I mean really...how cute was that???  (he writes very big so that paragraph was one page for him.)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The First Day (....for real this time)

Well, here we are again, getting ready to start the first day of school.  I think I'm as ready as I'll ever be for this.  I've got the big whiteboard, the US and World maps on the walls (along with a couple of other educational posters), and a schedule that should help keep us all on track.  I even managed to get this week's lesson plan down for both boys - although, Devon's is missing a couple of important subjects.  I just haven't been able to find anything on them/figure out how to start.  A lot of things are going to have to wait until I get my financial aid from school....

In the meantime, I'm already starting to get some resistance from Devon.  When he saw on the schedule that we were going to do bible study at the end of the every day, he started to lock up.  He tells me he hates the religion. I tell him it really doesn't matter whether he likes it or not because we're going to study it just like we're going to study Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and all of the other major religions of the world. He was decidedly not happy about it.  We're reading the bible this year along with the Dhammapada.  I'm excited because while I'm not a religious person by any means, I've always wanted to read the bible....to really see more of what's in it besides just the stuff that everyone talks about in casual conversation.

On another subject, we've had a household vote on the "official" school name, mascot, and colors.  And the winners are:
(drum roll please!)

School Name:  Starfleet Academy for Earthlings
School Mascot:  Spock
School Colors:  Rainbow

I get to be the Starfleet Commander.  Best.  Job.  Ever.

I put this on the white board for the boys to see tomorrow when I'm at work. :-)

Random thought before going to bed:  We watched the new Star Trek movie today to get ready for school tomorrow.  You should be jealous.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List

I love StumbleUpon.  It's quickly becoming my favorite way to surf the internet.  I got up earlier than Aidan this morning (a rare occurrence - especially since he kept me up until 2:30am watching Stargate Atlantis last night) and while I was waiting on him to get up I had some donuts, a cup of tea, and some free time to surf.  I managed to find this little gem.

So that I'm not stealing any copy written material, here are just a few of the points.  If you'd like to read the entire article, you can find it here:  Secular Homeschooling Magazine

Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Crazy Summer Maddness

Okay, things didn't exactly work out the way I'd planned.  I ended up having to get a job to pay some bills while I waited for grad school to start.  In the meantime, Aidan was freaking out because I didn't give him enough of a "summer".  We tried one day and here are the results:

There was just no fighting him on this.

He really did try...

So we came to an agreement.  He still had to do his daily writing prompts but I would postpone the start of "school" until August 1st.  He was very quick to agree to these terms.  In the meantime, we did very well with getting the writing prompts done on most days at first, and then that quickly dwindled down until we weren't doing it at all.  I blame my tiredness from my new job. 

We also did a volunteer bit at the Blue Plum Festival.  We got to direct traffic for the runners of the 5k.  You can see that Aidan had a blast with this and afterwards we got to enjoy the festival!

At 6am, on our way to the festival.  We had to walk because the buses didn't run that early!

He loved that orange flag.  We saw a lady from church and they had an epic flag fight.  Not sure what I did with those photos though.

Here we are at our designated station, ready to protect the runners from traffic!!

Afterwards, we headed over to the Hands On Museum and had some fun!

This wasn't the day of the festival, but he looks so darned cute in my hat :)

We can't wait for Devon to get here next Monday!  I'm on sick leave from work until next Tuesday (I hurt my shoulder at work) so I think I'm going to take this time to get us ready for the August first deadline.  I still need to get all of our paper work together and find an umbrella school, though I'm thinking about the Home Life Academy.

I'll keep you all updated!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I know you've been wondering what holidays we're celebrating today so I'll tell you!  Today is National Running Day and "Yell 'Fudge' at cobras in North America" Day.  Kind of a ridiculous holiday huh?  Aidan's EXCITED. We'll pull up photos of cobras and yell 'fudge!' at them as loud as we can.  I wonder how long I'll last lol.  I'm going to try and sneak in some learning...we'll see if he catches on lol.

Tomorrow's writing prompt is:
We've just learned a lot about feet.  Write a short story about where your feet would go if you couldn't stop them.

Just to clarify, I bought a composition notebook for the writing prompts and to keep the boys from getting overwhelmed they never have to write more than one page (1 side).  They are free to write more if they want, but they never have to.  I'm also going to try and switch it up so they're not always writing essays and such.  Yesterday's prompt was just a list.  Also, to keep the prompts simple, I write them on the top margin with the date on the side so we can have a record.

Anywho, that's the plan.  We'll see how it works out today.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The aftermath

Oy, today was definitely a learning day for me!  I did the lesson plan.  I filled him in.  I even spaced it out over the entire day.  I had enticements and flat out bribes.  I even had the pleading puppy eyes down pat.  I still barely survived.

He had 7 math problems, a spelling list, and a writing prompt.  Easy peasy don't you think?  No...he broke down into tears.  There were some math problems he'd never seen before, words he didn't even know the meaning of (and weren't in my dictionary...I need a better one) so how could I expect him to put them into a sentence....and the biggest thing that he just couldn't understand was that he hadn't even had a summer vacation and how could I be such a horrible mother to not even let him have a summer vacation!?!?!?

I had to run an errand in the afternoon.  I had given him his list of spelling words to write into sentences and the (obviously lacking) dictionary to look words up while I was gone.  After going through everything above I finally gave in.  I didn't have time to sit and console my child about how everything would be fine for two reasons: 1. I was going to miss my bus and 2. He was absolutely right.  I was a horrid mother who didn't even let her child have a summer vacation.  So I told him he didn't have to do anything and that we could discuss it later.

We came to a compromise.  First I asked him how much time of summer vacation he needed and after some bargining, we agreed on 1 full month.  Then I told him that I would agree to a month of having fun on 2 conditions.  First, we had to continue doing the things from the calendar.  I mean really, tomorrow's holiday is to "Yell 'Fudge!' at cobras in North America"....who wouldn't want to do that - plus I could sneak some learning in about snakes and stuff.  Second, he still had to do his writing prompts every day.  He agreed very quickly and so it seems that our journey has started.

Now, as to what we learned today about feet...we stumbled onto an article about "Why do my feet stink" and here's a particularly interesting snippet (talking about sweat):
"The smell is actually caused by bacteria on our skin that eats the sweat and excretes waste that has a strong odor. "

Here are some photos we found along the way.

 And one more thing for you to enjoy.  Here's a video of a man with backwards feet, dancing.  He's pretty inspirational.