The Land of All Things Lewis

When I see birches bend to left and right…I like to think some boy's been swinging from them. -Robert Frost

2007-2008 Quarter 2 bookshelf

Just filing this away to clean up my blog. These are just some of the resources I had listed in my sidebar. We are well in to Quarter 3. It’s been a really busy time for our family with balancing between parents, jobs, outside classes for the boys, and my Universities studies. I’m happy although afraid to say proud that I’m finished for awhile. I’m tired yet not defeated. I have no idea what my plans are for my future education. But, I’m looking forward to spending more one on one time with my boys.  As always a nice little disclaimer we use other stuff this is just a little sharing. 

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Yiddish, a busy life is a rather interesting project. I’m taking an English class on Modern Jewish Literature. Yiddish comes up quite often (as it should) and it’s rather interesting to see the connection between Yiddish and German. German would be the language I’m studying and enjoying.

I’ve been busy. I’m not gone forever. My plans are to slow down next quarter. So, you will hear from me quite a bit more. I’m half way through my quarter now and it’s finally going better. It tends to go that way for me. I get all worked up and then I start to get in the groove and see that all is going to be well.

The boys are doing well in their classes.

Our first child is two smart for his own good. He has curriculum that he is supposed to follow but for all purposes it doesn’t really matter. He soaks up any information he is around. So, he just keeps plugging away at Math U See. He should be all caught up this summer (He took a break from Math U See when he went to school. It created quite a misshap with Math as they were using some kind of new program that not even the teachers understood totally.)

Our second boy has started guitar lessons and he couldn’t be more delighted. The boy is so very talented. How could he possibly be my little man.

Our third and youngest little man is learning his letters without much help from his parents. He likes to cut letters out or shape odd pieces of materials into shapes and then tell us or ask us what they are. He picked out some worksheets from around the house to create his own weekly folder just so he can have schoolwork, too. As much as we worried about him never being capable of speech, I have to say it’s working out just fine. His speech is improving and I fully expect him to read in the next year or so. In fact, I think he will probably read before he can speak clearly. We took this year off from Speech Therapy to see how he would do. He is doing well enough that we don’t feel he has need for further therapy at this point.

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December is almost done…

We have one more week of “school” till January.  It’s been a good experience.  I’m happy with it.  The boys are happy with it.  The Peacemaker is especially happy with it.  He enjoys socializing.  He enjoys getting his hands into wet clay and the encouragement to be even louder in Martial Arts.

Next month The Prophet and The Peacemaker will be a year older.  I’m not prepared.  I  can’t believe I’ll be the mother to 11 and 8 year old boys.

I worry about them growing older.  I’m trying to figure out how to meld a relaxed lifestyle with goals and objectives.  Yes, we use curriculum.  But, I’ve yet to find a weekly schedule that suits us.  It works so much better to discuss what we will do for the next few days.  My boys enjoy what curriculums we use.  They helped picked them out. They are intelligent.  They are growing older without me nagging them.  (Of course, I’m not above bribing.)

In a few weeks you won’t see me very often.  I’ll be busy with my school and their school.  I’ll be figuring my way around German, praying that what I heard in utero has laid a path through my brain.

My little Warrior is snuggling at my side tonight.  He sees words and letters now and realizes they are something you read.  I don’t when he did that.  Sometimes we play Starfall…he calls it the Apple game.  He has some of those fridge letters that sing songs.  But, tonight he sees these words and realizes they are something special.  We didn’t make a lesson.  I didn’t point it out.  He understands and I understand how very special these little moments are.

The rest of the men are watching silent movies (on DVD).  I heard the Artist (their father that is)  say it’s annoying to watch a silent film about people talking on the phone.  These little men and one big man who normally cannot sit still are enchanted and quiet watching silent movies in black and white after a candle lit dinner of roasted red pepper soup, bagged salad, hot chicken wings, corn-dogs, grilled cheese, tuna salad…no we didn’t all eat all of that.  It was one of the nights of the many dinners.

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Snow starts our December

We started our first day of December with snow.  It’s still here today albeit the drizzle of freezing rain is doing it’s best to clear it away.

We went for a walk to the store for hot chocolate.  It started Merry enough, but with three boys and a dog there were a few tears shed and a vicious snowball fight in the middle of the  doorway  of our market.

A realization came about this previous two weeks.  I’m not sure if I shared yet, but I know firmly believe there can be too many worksheets.  Gasp…I mean didn’t you know this about me already.  But, I guess somewhere in my wee little mama mind I really hoped this would be the year my sweet children would wake up with a love of workbooks and worksheets and order.  But, alas  I need to step back.  Curriculum in this house has to have an open ended componaent.

Take Math U See for example.  This works well for us and the boys balk at all other curriculums.  We can work for Mastery with this program.  We do not need to do all six pages of student work.  It doesn’t take an hour to explain the lessons.  It works!

And, I am overwhelmed. We have to do lessons together or I’m going to explode.

So, two steps forward and two steps back.

More Charlotte Mason.

Less Worry.

More together.

More reading.  We have been really lax with reading here.  I miss our snuggly reading and discussions.  Our reading times together have always been so good for our minds and hearts.  They fuel learning in unexpected ways.  So, somehow they have to come back.

We returned almost all of the library books we had and picked up a fresh new stack.  One liberated of lessons or instructions.  Just different topics and new authors…and some old beloved ones too.

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May I have your attention…this is a weekly update

Yes, I knew I would slack on this. But, I did put some effort into it. School has been keeping us busy or maybe it’s just life.

Life Sans Gluten

I’ve been focusing my spare energy on learning to cook and shop in a different fashion. I’m enjoying the energy and the weightloss! My boys seem to be responding as well. I just need to work on stocking our freezer with frozen GF pizzas. They love pizza. I’m really hoping I can start freezing some easy things. I didn’t realize how much I don’t like cooking anymore. I just get so busy and it always seems to take so long.

I’m trying to remember why it was so hard last time we tried this. I think it was because the boys were in public school and they thought eating school lunch was such a treat. And, the donuts my dh would hide in the garage.

But, as my dh was getting a snack for The Warrior he informed me I needed to get some rice crackers or something. Luckily I had bought some crackers for Thanksgiving. I had bought crackers, babaganoush, and beer to take with me. I hate missing cracker and dip time. I hate missing beer/wine time, too. I can’t have wine. It always makes me sick. So, beer it is. I chose the hazelnut crackers. They weren’t bad. Actually, they are like the little asian crackers you can buy. So, the texture threw me off a bit. But, they worked well.

For the Love of Mac

My sweet friend the iBook is getting ready for convalesence. My right shift key is broken and that is the one I use the most. Logically I can see why it broke, but still. The screen blacks out if it is placed in the wrong position. I don’t think it would be wise to put more money in it. But, I don’t know if I can afford another Mac at the moment. The horror. We have a PC in the house, but only because someone gave it to the boys to play with. I can’t imagine spending money on it.

New Classes

The boys are all signed up for their new quarter classes. The Prophet has added a Sports class into his schedule. We are amazed! I thought he was allergic to exercise. He is, also, doing a Lego Robotics class where they learn how to build and program little robot vehicles. He still has Chess and Martial Arts. In fact, he just got his uniform and he looks so handsome. The Peacemaker has added Pottery and Chess. They have a real artist, kiln, and wheels! It’s really exciting. He still has Science and Martial Arts. I’m happy we live close because we are there every day of the week this quarter. The families who are there every day and live farther away bring food and school work. As cool as it is that they can all be together for school, I’m too much of a homebody. I couldn’t spend my whole week there. I would go nuts. I need some PJ time ya know.

Singapore Math

My oldest is finally ready to get moving up in Math. I don’t have the money for a new level of Math U See right now. Although, it’s not expensive at all. I’ve used all the levels for both children so far. I don’t think you can beat that. We are going to give Singapore a try this quarter for him. I’m hoping it doesn’t mess up all the work we have gone through. I feel bad how many Math programs he has been through at this point. But, he isn’t using the Math U See DVD at this point anyhow. So, I thought it probably wouldn’t matter until we get him up to Grade level.  The point is I can check out Singapore for free from our school library and since he doesn’t seem to need the DVD’s right now then it should be fine.

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Archaeologists Dig for Clues

Just catching up on some of our books we’ve read for our first section of Story of the World.  This is a great little book for younger students.  It’s a picture book and it fueled discussions with my 7 year old.

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Countdown to September with Grade 2…

We already started some schooling this summer.  I don’t really like the idea of a total break.  Although, it is rather hard when you live in a place that doesn’t have sun year round.  You have to really enjoy the summer.

This year the two oldest boys are going to try a public program for one or two classes a semester.  Hope it goes well.  I’m a little cranky about having to show the teacher our program, but if the boys like it, then it’s worth it.  If they don’t then hopefully there is something else we can do.

Our Grade 2 son will be working on his reading confidence with Phonics Pathways, Explode the Code, and some games like Silly Sentences.

We are starting a new handwriting program for our oldest and it looks so nice I thought they should all use it.

For History he is using Story of the World Volume 1 on CD with the preprinted and punched student pages.

We are using Pop Bottle Science to start off the year.

We will include a lot of DVD’s and books from the library as well as narrations and journaling.

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I actually put my big foot down and ordered something…

Thanks Tulip for the suggestions. I really appreciate all your advice. I feel like of all the homeschoolers I know online and in real life you are one I can really understand. I feel like we are dealing with pretty similar schedules and expectations.

Big Hugs…Don’t forget to visit for Ezzo Week. I read this book with our first. I was vulnerable and without Parenting guidance. I was, also, very young and very naive. I was only 19 when I married and got pregnant on the night of my honeymoon. I turned to the church and Babywise is what the vomited all over me. I trusted them and they ripped my heart out. The teachings of Ezzo and those like him are not from God. You cannot hit babies and get away with it. You do not need to trick your children into obeying, sleeping, or recieving salvation. These are all gifts from God and we the parents need to look towards the Almighty Grace he has shown upon us. The world is watching us. They are watching you and they are watching me.

So, Now for my list…

I ordered Story of the World 1 (the revised edition) of the Audiobook and Activity Guide. I ordered these from Amazon as well. They were $53.84 and the shipping was free.
Plus previously mentioned Curriculum Purchased
Aspergers What does it mean to me? purchased from Amazon for $28.72 includes tax and the shipping was free.
Math U See Alpha Student book for the Peacemaker who is 7 and going into Grade 2. We already have the Teacher pack from our oldest.
Math U See Beta Student & Teacher Pack for the Prophet who is 10 and going into Grade 5. Not sure if I have talked about this before. But, we finally found Math U See the year before he went back to public school. So, we started with Alpha. Then he went to school and they did the new crazy math. The one where you estimate everything and come up with your own way to answer problems. Yuck. This did not go over well for our black & white Aspie. So, even though he could probably do a higher level, he is going to start with Beta and he can whiz through it as fast he wants. Math U See is great for any child who gets “behind” since there is no grade level to make them feel bad about.
Total Math U See $92.17 (We live in the same state and had to pay tax.)

Total Spent thus far $174.73

I’ve really struggled with using Classical Materials. I’m reading this article by Susan Wise Bauer right now. And per Tulip, I’m heading over to find out more about Carol and what she has to say about Home Education.

I have to say I feel relieved this morning. I have been so anxious about the boys education. But, I’ve got that peace.


Final Curriculum Decisions

Well, I really, really wanted to use Sonlight Core 5 this year. But, something just didn’t sit right with me. And, it was after a fellow homeschooler mentioned that she cannot use something that imposes a schedule.

That is so me and well us all together.

My two sons are totally different. My oldest is a rigid Aspie who devours books by the truckload. My second child is not reading well yet. He is still struggling. They both loved to be read to aloud. But, alas…

the reason I wanted Core 5 was because I really wanted to spend the next year or so studying cultures and missions. So, Instead I’m back to where I started from. I’m working through different lists I have found around the internet. I’m still not sure if I’m going to do an area a month or what. I want to outline my plans for the upcoming year with enough wiggle room to allow for the fact that was are really, super busy. I need time for my own schooling and homework. I don’t want to pack so much in their days that they don’t have any fun. But, they need to keep busy this year, too.

So far I’ve started lists on All Consuming

Year 2 List
Year 5 List

They are both doing Math U See, as well. Not sure what types of hands on stuff we will come up with. But, my second guy is a true artist and he always figures out something we can do.

Any suggestions are appreciated!

Curriculum Purchased
Aspergers What does it mean to me? purchased from Amazon for $28.72 includes tax and the shipping was free.
Total Spent thus far

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Negate all that I have said

because I read through Ambleside Online and we are going with that. We are going to do Year 1 and I will add extra if G needs it.

I’m trying to come up with a way to spend a very little amount of money for the year. This should be good. There is only one book I would purchase and I just might omit it and do something else. If G can’t keep busy enough he can do some Story of the World from the library.

Yeah….I’ve been reading through the Modern English version of The Original Homeschooling Series. I feel so peaceful and happy =)

Once we get going I’ll share what we do every week. I’m sure I’ll change somethings because that is what homeschooling is all about.

The Very Happy Mommy

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