Friday, October 28, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Big HP is Up

My cord finally came so I have my big 17" screen back. My eyes are cheering because that 10" screen on the Mini was challenging.

Well, I made a Blurb book and it was interesting. I think it will be a nice gift to my kids.

We met the person that will be doing respite care for my 3 year old while we go on vacation.  While I am sure he will be fine, it is hard to think about leaving him for 3 weeks.

I am still waiting for the passport office to send back the original travel orders, but other than that I think we have everything in order. I still have to pack a few more things....mostly toiletry type things.

We will be ready to close down school by Wednesday. 8 th grade is caught up past vacation and 1st grade will be also as soon as he takes his end book test.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Record Keeping

No new cord yet...

10/18/11      math      self test 3      100%

10/19/11      bible      self test 3       94%

10/21/11      spelling level 1,unit 6    100%

                    LA        self test 3          95%

                    math      self test 4        100%

                    math       self test 5       100%
                    His/G       self test 4         95%

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

They Came!!!

The little kid's passports came. Whew!!! I was worried. So I am officially packing for 5 and my foster daughter is happy to see her clothes being packed with ours instead of in a different suitcase like last year when she had to go to respite care. It was not a pleasant experience for anyone involved.

The dog is leaving tomorrow. 8th grade is very sad and worried that her "baby" won't make it back safely. He is going out of town with extended family. Last year we came back to a $430 vet bill for boarding. I could not do that again, so my Auntie offered to keep him.

School is wrapping up nicely. I don't think I mentioned it, but my lovelies were fooling around and knocked my laptop off of my desk, breaking the cord, so I have not been able to record grades or attendance for 2 days and have not been able to print out the vacation homework as it was downloaded to the big laptop which has all my school stuff on it. (I am blessed to have and be currently using my Mini) I did find a replacement cord on E-bay for under $8. I called HP to price a replacement and the guy told me $117. I burst out laughing on the phone and thanked him very much for his time. My new cord should be here tomorrow or Friday. Jordan was so cute as she offered me 1 dollar right away. She said, "Sorry, Mommy. I will help replace it, but all I have is this $1 right now." I told her that I would put it on her tab. LOL!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Schedules, Homework and School on Vacation


When I first started homeschooling, I used a very detailed schedule as my oldest (who was the only student for the first 2 years) really needed that type of setting. Over the years, while we still use a schedule, it's a more relaxed situation where the 2 older grades can do whatever class they want during whatever period they choose as long as they complete assignments on time. Since I actively teach 1st grade, he does not have that option. One of the helpful parts of the schedule is that I can stagger classes that people are more likely to have difficulty in, such as math, so that I am more available to help. So if science is your difficult class, then it is easier to have my full attention as it has been scheduled during everyone else's free reading or something like that.

This is an example of what our schedules look like:

This year we are using a binder system in which the kids keep their attendance calendar, school and homework schedules, supplies needed to do school in the car and on the run and whatever book they are reading at the time. It has been the best system ever as the binders are smaller than lugging around backpacks and if some particular classwork does not get done, they they can just stick it in their binder for homework.

The great homework debate.

My kids have homework. I use it as a time for them to work independently, we used it as school work if we have to run errands and we use it for vacation. I also believe, and this may sound morbid,  that if something happens to me, the single parent, my kids will most likely have to back to school, so they may as well know how to manage their time to include homework.

These are our homework schedules.


Every year I have to decide how much schoolwork to take with us on vacation. This is especially important if we are going to be gone for 4 weeks or more. In order to take time off at Christmas, for spring break and to still get out for a summer break at the end of May, we just can't take off 3-4 weeks of school.  Eighth grade has been working super hard to complete assignments through December dates so that she does not have to take her laptop and only do "vacation school work". Fourth grade is ahead in one class, but he always ends up taking his laptop with him because if he gets behind, it is very overwhelming for him. First grade is ahead in all classes, so he will only have to do "vacation school work".

This year they will be doing a unit study on the Solar System and then their regular vacation assignment of interviewing someone from another county to learn more about other places around the world. We will take spelling and some math word problems and also reading. We have not decided on the family read for this year.

13 days.

No passport yet... ~sign~

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ER & Dinner Conversation last summer was the season of ER trips for the kids. This year seems to be mine. After we got home from ER, I was knocked out on the couch for 2 1/2 hours while the kids finished some school and piddled. They were so quiet and let me sleep.

Tonight's dinner conversation starter was: Invent 3 things; one for the household, some type of clothes and something for fun. Based on the answers for household inventions, I think people really don't like vacuuming or sweeping the floors because there were lots of ideas for self-cleaning floors.

We have great plane tickets for our vacation in that we have 1 stop, but don't have to get off of the plane to run to another gate (that in evidently ends up being about as far from the arrival gate as possible. LOL!) Still no passport for the little girl  ~nail biting nail biting~

Light school day tomorrow, but will have to do some make-up on Saturday.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Opportunity to Serve

We were in school this morning when the dog started barking at our neighbor. He was tangled up in his lead and when Jordan went to get him, she noticed that our neighbor was raking leaves. There were a lot of leaves. Jordan felt bad for her as she is in her 70's and raking alone. Jordan stated that she wished that she could help her. Problem is...our neighbor is not very warm and fuzzy. In fact she is quite prickly and kind of cantankerous at time. She became widowed about 1 1/2 years ago. He husband was the sweetest and nicest man you could meet. If the kids kicked or hit a ball into their yard and she got to it first, it was gone for good. If he was in the yard, he would smile and throw it back over.

I convinced Jordan to go out and offer to help her and we were all surprised when she said, "Yes"  So the kids went over and raked for about an hour and did 6 or 7 bags of leaves. She was very curious about their schooling and they learned a lot about her. It was a good opportunity.

On the vacation note, I cannot find enough rash guards for everyone. I have search E bay for 2 weeks. They are just not easy to come by. Oh, and my foster kid still does not have her passport and I talked to the worker today who forgot to pick up the paperwork needed. ~nervously biting my nails~

Friday, October 7, 2011

Road Trip

Today we drove about an hour to take the preschooler to a specialist for a follow-up appointment. The kids took school with them and got all set up in the waiting room to do their work, we were called back pretty fast and the doctor came in right away. He was in the room for about 2 minutes, 20 seconds, said everything looked good and told us to have a great day. He left, we left and made it back to the waiting room before one of the kids could even get their paper dated and labeled. LOL!

So we took a drive down a long 2 lane highway through hundreds of walnut trees to a little town called Walnut Hills. Beautiful and quaint. We had packed a lunch so I looked for a small park. The children really enjoyed their lunch. It was a wonderful day.

I think the 3 year old is completely potty trained. He stayed dry on the road trip and has been staying dry through the night. Next week we meet the foster parent that will be doing respite care for him while we are gone. It will be hard to leave him. Poor little dude.

The cleaning of the fridge will happen this weekend. Yippee!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yes He Is

About 2 weeks ago I received about 25 pounds of potatoes. We have had potatoes in every way imaginable, but the favorite has been baked in the crock pot. Tonight while I was peeling and preparing hot potatoes for the 3 yr old I was being very verbal about how hot they were and saying that the potatoes make you talk in the "hot potato language" i.e. "Yowza, Zowy, Humanama-Yipowy" Every one was laughing and copying. The preschooler started cracking up and said, "I'm funny!" which made us all fall on the floor laughing even more. He is a very funny little dude.

Having major passport issues as it relates to my foster child. Hope it gets worked out in time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Way It Is

This is not related to homeschooling.

We do not have central air, but instead use window units and I have one of those portable room air conditioners that needs to be vented out of a window for the living room. The venting system uses an adjustable track that fits into any size window and it has two holes that the intake and output hoses fit into. Those hoses have fittings that have never fit just right and every year it seems to take more and more duct tape to keep them in the track. This year I spared no duct tape and I wrapped those suckers but good. Jordan teased me all summer about the "ghetto hook up". Believe it or not, they still occasionally fell out!

Today, James and I took the track out of the window and proceeded to unwrap miles and miles of duct tape. One of the hose fittings came out easily. The other just WOULD.NOT.COME.OUT!!! Couldn't keep it in all summer...couldn't get it out this fall. Just the way it is I guess.