Friday, September 23, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal.. what week is it?

The Homeschool Mother's Journal
In my life this week…

My life has been mostly about recovering... And determining... And proclaiming. 
Recovering from a crazy, fun, hard work weekend and a sore throat runny nose that is still trying to linger in the household.
Determining to get all loose ends (like 'historical' laundry, dust bunnies, and other common household chores that have been overlooked and we don't want them to become MOUNTAINS instead of the mole hills they are) taken care of THIS week and to have next week orderly planned before Sunday rolls around. Proclaiming to the entire household that the NEXT three weeks will be full schedule, full school weeks so that we may enjoy no schedule days.. even no school days... when Bradley comes home for a much awaited visit at the end of October.
(If you don't know us, Bradley is our son in the Air Force and he just returned to the States from yet another deployment. I will link to a post of his graduation at basic..)
In our homeschool this week…
The only 'book work' we have accomplished this week has been math everyday, science everyday (except for Alex) with occasional Spanish (Amelia) and typing (Daniel) thrown in.. with a small few hours of reading (all of us!).  The least amount of 'school' we have done for the first five weeks!  We needed TIME... and REST.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were Daniel's last days of the 'classroom' portion of Driver's Education.. he made a 92% on the final exam.. Yay!  So glad that is done with.. now for the driving part.. it may not be until February, though, 2 months after his 15th birthday.  We learned that he will need to keep a driving log while he has a permit.  That will be new to us as a family, he will be our fourth child to drive.. one to go!
By Thursday, we had some kinks out of our systems as far as sickness and taking care of 'extra' chores facing us from our camping weekend and organizing a new sewing room....so the boys and I were ready for the first History Club meeting of the year. (It was actually the second, but because of Driver's Ed., we couldn't make the first one which was a field trip to Ft. Macon! Bummer.) 
Our group is a part of Tarheel Junior Historians, and we are aptly named HUH which stands for Homeschoolers Unfolding History.  That is just the high school group.  There is also HUNCH for middle school (Homeschoolers Unfolding North Carolina History), and HUSH for elementary school (Homeschoolers Unfolding State History). Our children's librarian is the wonderful lady who put this group together 13 years ago! It is a wonderful group, and we are very thankful for the opportunity.  The boys are excited about the projects, only in the planning stages now.
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
Take time off when you need it.  Have a well known priority list for each child.  If you need days off, have the children still do SOMETHING in their most 'needed' subject.  Each of my children have different 'top needs' for different reasons.  One needs to WRITE everyday, one MATH everyday (just to graduate on time!) and one READ and everyday.. no matter what!  If you can address those priorities on the days off, even in a very small scale...continuing on instead of one step forward, one step back will probably happen.
I am inspired by…
My children.  They were going with the flow of our crazy rest/work life this past week! We were all fighting the temptation to be lazy because we were not doing our 'school schedule'.  We all enjoy movies and old TV shows... we could easily turn into a family of half baked couch potatoes if we didn't have PURPOSE driving us! They were very understanding of my re-directing and enouraging (all of us!) to do something thoughtful, meaningful or constructive with any down time we had. 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Well, we didn't go here.. and we didn't see anyone from here... but we received a package from here!  Mexico!  I have a dear friend from childhood, that I recently reconnected with via Facebook, who moved to Mexico and is beginning to homeschool her oldest son.  She asked if we would like a scorpion for nature study.. we said of course! She sent along a few more goodies, like hot chocolate and a beautiful wooden tool to stir it with.. and we are so thankful! We will take a little time next week to talk about Mexico and enjoy the gifts!
My favorite thing this week was…
Feeling better... and planning for next week!  Receiving packages in the mail (I'm just a big kid about mail!) And actually vacuuming! (that means the living history stuff was put away from the middle of the floor! yay!)
What’s working/not working for us…
We need the schedule and lessons planned.. even if we don't follow it to the letter.. just having the plans made in advance always insure we get more accomplished! 
Questions/thoughts I have…
So many ideas from the children in History Club.. we have some researching to do!  We are having a lot of rain.. wonder if we include a rain study in our nature journals? A good time to talk about the weather with Alex.  Maybe I will print a weather chart.. he is the only one who hasn't done much science so far this year. That's my rambling thoughts... at the moment.
Things I’m working on…
I re-organized my 'teacher notebook'.. and there are a few items 'wanting' (I think of the line in A Knight's Tale.. You have been weighed, measured and found wanting!) I have never written up a syllabus for the student's courses, but I believe it would be a good thing to have on hand... instead of just in my head!
Also.. I am working on the push to get up in my sewing room!  I just can't let myself go with severe loose ends with school and housework.. so I am hoping next week we will be in the groove again and I will have a couple of free hours in the afternoons.
I’m reading…
The Bloody Field  by: Edith Pargeter  a historical fiction set in the time of our current history studies.
From the book jacket:  "Here is that rarity, a historical novel that brings real figures back from the royal tombs and the scrolls of history, renders them utterly human and important to us, and yet remains wholly faithful to the known record.  It is the story of the three English Henrys: he of Lancaster, the grim and haunted Henry IV; his son the teen-age Prince of a restive Wales, the shining Hal; and Hal's beloved mentor, the magnetic and chivalrous Henry Percy, whom men and history duvved Hotspur. All three are here as palpably as if they strode the earth today."
I am enjoying it so far.. this is the only way I can take 'boyish' history.. in a rousing novel. (I found a very nice hardback copy at a thrift store)
I’m cooking…
Every year when the weather cools, I want hot food.. nostalgic food.. like tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  A couple of times I have made the side dish our exchange student, Magda, from Poland taught us to make.  Boil some potatoes in water with a little salt and drain when finished.  Cut up some cucumber, salt them.. then dollop plain yogurt and sour cream and dill on top and chill.  Dish up the warm, steamy potatoes and top with cucumber concoction.  Yummy goodness.  Cold and Hot together.
I’m grateful for…
Bradley making it safely back to the States.  Somehow I breathe a little easier.  We have only had one short phone call, just letting us know he was on USA soil, but can expect more soon!
I’m praying for…
Strength.  Understanding.  The wisdom to choose what is best for each day and season for our school.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

These are our goodies from Mexico! 

2 comments:

Carrie said...

Thanks for stopping by my site! I love your advice about taking breaks but also assigning the children their top-needed subjects. The past two weeks have worn me down. My home management binder is desperately "wanting"! One of these weekends, I'll dedicate an afternoon to work on it. For now, there's too much decluttering, cleaning and organizing on my list! Have a great weekend and so pleased to hear that your son is on US soil!

Clara said...

Loved your tip!

Thank you to your son for being a young brave man for our country!

Stopping by from HMJ.

~A Slice of Homeschool Pie