Thursday, August 27, 2009

We call it incentives

So far I'm on schedule for the year. The changing ideas/curriculums schedule. We've been going for about a month and some things that were not on the calendar (like finishing merit badges so the boys can get their Eagles) are gaining priority. Interestingly, some of them are working into their core learning plans (good phrase, huh) very nicely.

Core learning plans. In the next few days, I will be recording all the things I think the kids should learn this year with the things I anticipate will be coming available in our community to begin our core learning plans. A checklist of sorts. Then I will sit down with each one to find out what they want to learn about. I already know Jewell wants to learn about the circulatory system. Then I'll categorize them into major groups: Math, English grammar, writing, reading, history, social studies, science, P.E., music, art, etc. so when it comes time to make out progress reports, I'll have a cumulative score to record on a boring report card. Just for the state.

James just told me he has a need for a report card that he can show to someone else---his taekwondo master---so he can get patches up his leg on his uniform pants for good grades. Sounds good. Better blackmail too. He'll work harder for a patch than a letter on a piece of paper. Right now, the boys are busy reading because they have a report due tomorrow if they want to go camping/wakeboarding this weekend with the Scouts. We call these things incentives, not blackmail. :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I so oopsed! I planned out our year's curriculum and forgot to take into account what the kids would be doing at co-op.

For example, we were going to study U.S. History and Western Hemisphere Geography. I just bought some of the workbooks I was missing.

Steven is taking World War I and Medieval History at co-op for the first semester, and World War II and Medieval History for the second semester. James is only taking World Geography (for which I do not have the book and just helped another co-op member check out the last copy from the lending library last week.) Don't look for the logic in courses; there isn't any. The boys are totally responsible for their selections for all but writing. The only bright spot is that all of them will count for high school credit while my original history plan would not.

I knew writing would be handled with or without me so I was going to let it be without me. I knew that because I signed Steven up for Creative Writing with some persuasion from his dad, and James, Excellence in Writing. However, we need to scamper on grammar in the next few weeks since neither one is very strong in that!

Thankfully Photography and Health & Fitness don't require much preparation from home.

So now? Home schoolwork, beyond assignments from co-op, wil include grammar, science (why oh why didn't I insist on that as a co-op topic?), and math. Easy Grammar, Apologia General Science (next year we'll do the co-ops), and Teaching Textbooks Math.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Teacher planning day

You know that beautiful public school creation called teacher's planning day?

Today was one. There were tickets to buy to see the Ahn Trio next month, emails to send, emails to read (only 36 more to go), blogs and forums to catch up on, merit badges to sew on, merit badges to work on (personal fitness almost done), history reading to complete, headlines to read, and public schools to notify.

The kids? The boys watched the History Channel's program called Navajo Code Talkers, worked on their Personal Fitness logs, and went to TKD and weapons training. Scouts tonight. Steven went for a lengthy bike ride before I got up this morning. (I need to get up earlier!)

Shaundra worked on an educational computer program, watched a movie, and is building something with K'nex now. The two of us will go to TKD tonight.

For being unproductive, some things were accomplished after all.

P.S. Shaundra just brought in the Eiffel Tower built out of K'nex.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lending libraries

Lately I've been volunteering at the local homeschooler's lending library. It is a really great thing that a local homeschoolers' association has put together, and they even have a place to put the library. A local church has allowed them to use the attic of an old building they have. It has truly been a blessing to the homeschooling community.

In Kentucky, the association we belonged to had a lending library like this, but it wasn't nearly as big, nor did it have a permanent dwelling place unless you call boxes permanent.

When I first went to the lending library here, the attic was extremely hot and stuffy; now they have air conditioning and more books. They are still struggling with organization issues though. Reminds me of our home library........

Still, it has been a huge blessing for us this year. I have had to buy very few books thanks to them. Because they are a non-profit, charitable organization, I have also donated lots of books back! (Tax deductions, you know.)

Being a book fiend, I have to buy books though. It's the stuff of life!

P.S. Why do I always come home tired? Is it because I stand the entire time, and the lighting isn't terrific?