Thursday, December 21, 2006

12 Days of Christmas

Click the title to view video

This is so awesome. I did not expect it.

NYTimes article on new education reforms

I am not sure what to think of this yet. I will give myself time to ponder and get back to you.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stomach bugs!

Don't you just love those stomach bugs? Why do they always attack when you are the busiest? Maybe the point is that you are doing too much and need to slow down. OK! I get it, can you leave now. I hope it doesn't make its way around the family. I have the infected child in quarantine. Keep your fingers crossed. Of course very little school will get done today. I am working on little sleep and still have no wrapping paper for all these gifts. Can I just put the boxes under the tree? I ordered almost all of our stuff online so everything is in a box. Hmmmm...... I don't think they will let me get away with that one!

School update since we probably won't get much done today:

Baby Peep: Reading well and with confidence. Math is coming along. We will keep working on counting. He can count up to 116 but ALWAYS skips 15 for some reason. He is starting to add and subtract. It remembers me of when his brother started doing that. It was constant.

DS#1: Mom, what is 18+36?
Me: Why don't you tell me?
DS#1: Well 18 is almost 20. It needs 2 more so let's take them from the 36 making it 34. Now we have 20+34. Much easier. It is 54. You understand mom?
Me (mouth on the floor ): Yes I got it. Thanks.

He was 3.

Anyway, back to baby peep.... he's learning style is neither like his brother nor his sister. I was hoping for one way or the other but that would have made life boring don't you think? He is auditory, but not really; he is visual, but not really; he is kinesthetic , but not really. Back to the drawing board.........

The next child is actually doing quite well. He surprises me all the time. Although he is only 8, his reasoning skills are beyond that and always have been ahead. Just reread the above conversation with him when he was 3. He might of not even been 3 yet. His vocabulary was always very advanced. This child is fully auditory. Everything he hears becomes knowledge. He hears it, processes it, understands it, and then uses it from then on. Math is going well again. I separated him from his sister in Math and he is enjoying it again. We are still doing the review of Singapore Math 5. We will be done the first week of the New Year and then we will start SM 6. I was hesitant to start that since it is so far ahead of his age grade but he is definitely ready for it. We will see how it goes come the New Year. For Spelling I gave him the SWR test to see what level to start with him. Well that was a HUGE surprise. I figured he would be somewhere in second grade, he actually tested 4.9. That is 4th grade solidly. I still think I will start teaching somewhere in 3rd just to make sure. He is enjoying it and I have seen an improvement already. We watched Akeelah and the Bee this past weekend and he is going around spelling all of the words they discussed in the movie. I told you he is very auditory. I wish there was a spelling program based on that method! Latin is coming along well. I actually think we will start Ltin Prep with him after he is done with Latin for Children Level A. I think he will have a lot of vocabulary from LfC this year making LP easier. Classical Writing is helping cement the grammar as well as making Latin easier. I still have to think that over some more but it really appeals to me. Recently on one of the yahoo groups I am on there was a great Latin discussion. I have to print and reread those messages. There was a lot of great information there. I must make use of review more. I started to implement some of that with the oldest and it is finally starting to sink in. As for the writing projects in Classical Writing well we hit a wall. The last couple of weeks of Aesop A and B are all Bible stories and the kids are not into them at all. I had to look for our own stories to continue and I am not very good at it. I think we may just start Aesop B with this child. Since his spelling is improving I may be able to actually understand the stories now.

The oldest peep is coming along. Why do I feel like I have to drag this child along? She is doing well in Math now that we are doing Saxon 76 after I swore I would never use Saxon (that is for another post). She is confident in Math again, so why does she still complain. Everyday, Math lessons take forever. She almost never has anything wrong unless she carelessly copied the problem wrong. But the complaining is still there. Why do I have to do this? I hate Math. I am not good at it! I hate Math. I don't know what I am doing. I hate Math. I could go on, but I will spare you. Where does this come from? I am good at Math and so is her father. Once I get her to look at the lesson and not complain then she is off and running but the complaining just has to be a part of it. Then Latin..... she is finally doing well. She is taking the time to parse the sentences, then translate the words, then write the sentence in a way that it makes sense. She is almost always right too. But she still complains! This is hard. I don't want to do this. We have started doing the Latin together and the complaining has lessened. I hope to set a good example. I get really excited when I get a sentence right. This is all new to me and I have been learning right along with her the whole way. Her young brain is remembering the declensions better than I, but we are making progress. Classical Writing is going fairly well. The grammar is helping her Latin and her Latin is helping her grammar. We still need lots of help in the writing assignment. I just do not know how to make her understand detail. She always wants to just write the events and no detail.

Well that is our update on school. We will finish out the week and then stop until the New Year. I still have not decided if we will start right after the 1st or if we will begin January 8th. There are a few camps going on in our area and I may sign them up for those the first week in January. We will see.

Monday, December 18, 2006


This is a picture we took while in Ecuador. We were visiting a Tsachila village. It was great being there. I really miss being "home". I will have to write about my trip some other day.

I am still in a Christmas funk. We finally got the tree and the kids (really S) dragged it into the house and dressed it all up. They got out the decorations, the stockings, the lights and put most of it up. The rest they left about the house. I will get to them before Christmas; I promise.

Well this weekend went by so fast. We went to see BIL's new house. It is very nice. I hope they will be happy there for a while. The details are very nice. It will be fun to fill it with nice things.

M had a chess tournament on Sunday. It went well although not as well as we had hoped. I must set up a more advanced learning schedule for him. He is not growing in chess anymore. He seems kind of stuck and I know it is because of lack of instruction. I hope the class we are trying to set up works out. I will post here what I come up.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Funk

I am really not feeling very Christmasy this year. I find that every year I have less and less enthusiasm for the holiday. I hate fighting the traffic to the stores. I now do 90% of my gift buying online. I also hate having to come up with gift ideas. Am I a bad person? I don't know what you want and please stop asking what I want. If I want it, I will go buy it for myself or I really could do without! I rather just sit sipping some warm tea, listening to anything but Christmas music, reading a good book. Want to give me something, give me peace.

Let the soldiers come home and the Middle East work out it's problems without putting the blame on us or taking it's anger out on the rest of the world. Let the evils that are occurring in Africa disappear. Compassion and understanding for your fellow human is what I want for Christmas; environmental responsibility. The Earth can only last for so long, if we continue to abuse the natural resources it provides for us.

Do I ask for much? I really don't think so.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Today I realized that there are a lot of marriages that are unhappy. One person is always trying to dominate the other. Love is not enough. It makes me very sad. I am not talking about my own. Recently a few different friends have been having a hard time in their marriages. One is talking divorce another is at a loss. It makes me genuinely sad.

But you know, I appreciate my husband a lot more today than I did yesterday. I woke up content that my husband has never treated me poorly. I know my husband respects and values me, my opinions, my ideas. It is important.

When you first get married you really think love is enough. Love will concur all. It just isn't.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Effort pays off!!

Today, I have been very tired. (Note to self: Take iron pills tomorrow!) I usually get like this once a month. It takes a little for me to recover. Anyway, because I have been tired today, I was also easily annoyed. When I mentioned this to Papa Peep, he suggested I get more sleep. I explained that more sleep would mean I got up later in the mornings, but I can't because I have children to care for. He then had the nerve to suggest I go to bed earlier! Well that absolutely won't work either because here it is 2 am and I am still awake. He made it worse by suggesting I go to bed earlier. Now what do I do?

Today, Oldest Peep made me very happy. We have been learning Latin for about 2 years now. We first started with Minimus. We loved that program. It was a lot of fun and she did get a lot of vocabulary from it. Next we moved onto to Latina Christiana. That was a total flop. Then on the
WTM boards someone starting talking about Latin Prep and other products offered by Galore Park. I looked and looked at these books. It takes me a very long time to decide on curriculum and I almost never buy anything I have not seen first hand. Well I took the plunge. I not only bought Latin Prep 1, but 2 and 3 as well. I am so glad I did. These books are amazing! Oldest Peep liked them from the beginning. At times she has hated them, but for the most part they have been a great resource. Well Chapter 6 in Latin Prep 1 has taken us a while to go over. Up to this point she has done Latin on her own for the most part. I explain a few things she doesn't understand, I quiz her on vocabulary, and I may go over a declension, but she does the exercises on her own. She was beginning to get a lot of them wrong. So now we do it together. This of course takes longer because I have to explain every sentence. Today however, after much struggle, she did all of exercise 6. 15 and 6.16 all on her own and got everything right except two. She translated to English very well and to Latin in all the right order. I could not believe it. Earlier this week we had a long talk about hard work and how it feels good to reap the rewards of it. Well today she reaped! She was basking in all her effort. She has such a beautiful smile and she displayed it today in all it's glory. Well done my girl!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Well, I have been thinking for a long time about starting a blog. I finally jumped in. I am not sure what direction I will take this except it will mostly be homeschooling I discuss. It will contain little insights into our days as we travel in this adventure.

First off, I have 3 children, ages 10, 8, and 5. They are the reason for everything in my life. We have been homeschooling since my oldest was about 3 years old. She begged for over a month to learn to read. I thought there was no way a 3 year old could read, but boy did she prove me wrong. And so the journey began.

So fast forward 7 years and here we still are. Now I am beginning the journey with the 5 year old. Each one has offered their own sets of challenges. They keep me on my toes to say the least. El gordo as I call him has been the most challenging for me so far. He is very bright and very stubborn. No idea where the stubborn comes from! It makes for interesting conversations. Slowly, slowly, we are making progress and I think he is starting to see the reason why he should learn to read. More on that later.......

For now, welcome and I hope, if nothing else, you get a good laugh.