Monday, August 29, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday August 29, 2011

Outside my window... Maggie and the neighbor playing in the mud

I am thinking... about how busy my days are now that we are back to school full time

I am thankful for... my husband deciding to take an unexpected day off work this week

From the learning rooms... Week 5 of MFW  We also start our new co-op this week.  

From the kitchen... Jeff is grilling a pork loin and I am making rice.  I will also be eating my favorite leftovers:  mashed potatoes and peas. 

I am wearing... my new maternity yoga pants, a TShirt and a sweater

I am creating... a human being and that's about all that I have the energy to create

I am going... to go to sleep early tonight because I am feeling very tired

I am reading... Lakeside Cottage by Susan Wiggs

I am hoping... that I like the new read aloud book we are starting with our history 

I am hearing... Tyler playing some lego game on the computer

Around the house...  The usual... a floor that needs swept and laundry that needs done.  I have decided on a new plan to keep the bathroom and dining room clean, but I need to teach the kids what they will be doing.

One of my favorite things... Iced Chai Tea Latte

A few plans for the rest of the week..PE, Chiropractor, HS Co-Op, Playdate

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rome to the Reformation (RTR) Week 3

We just completed our 3rd week of My Father's World Rome to the Reformation.  I feel like we are finally making some progress and feeling more confident in our weekly schedule.  I think this is partially due to my new planner.  I am so happy to have my check list system back.  It really helps me keep track of what we need to finish because we do not always do our assignments in the same order every day.

Last week I was having issues with all the reading required each day.  It is still a lot for me to accomplish, but I took some advice from the MFW boards and I am now trying to complete part of the history read aloud in the morning.  This has helped, but my voice is still tired by the end of the day.  Several days we also have a science text for me to read to the kids.  Science is not my favorite, or best, subject so this just adds to my exhaustion.

In some ways, although the week went smoothly, it was not a great week.  I am realizing that I just really don't like certain aspects of the curriculum.  I really despise the Latin "English from the Roots Up" program recommended.  Perhaps this is because I have always hated vocabulary, but I am very bored by this curriculum and that is not a good thing.  I will admit that most of our curriculum changes have been because of me, not because of the kids.  My theory, as a reluctant homeschooler, is that I have to have something I can work with in order to make this a bearable proposition.  I do like that we are a homeschooling family, but I am not a natural born teacher so some areas are more difficult for me.  This does not mean we choose things the kids hate, but it is a compromise between all our needs.

I am also realizing that our new grammar/English Primary/Intermediate Language Lessons are a bit more writing than I had realized.  I am kind of wishing we had stayed with Susan Wise Bauer's Language Lesson program.  I have always liked all of her curriculum but I got the idea in my head that I should try something new.  I will give our current program a bit longer, but I still have the other books if I feel I need to make the switch.  I am never opposed to trying new things, which may be my downfall.

I will admit I was Internet searching alternative curriculum this week.  I will definitely finish MFW for the year.  I just wanted to know my options for next year.  There is another similar curriculum I have been looking at for quite some time.  I did not try it this year because it looked a little too advanced for what I wanted and also because of the expense.  I will continue to keep an open mind with MFW, but I am not committed to one program for our whole schooling experience.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday August 22, 2011

Outside my window... all the public school kids heading out to their first day of school

I am thinking... about going out to 

I am thankful for... not having to pay the expenses to repair the refrigerator.  I already need to replace my garage sale dryer and fix my car, so I'm glad this one is on our landlord. 

From the learning rooms... Week 4 of school, Week 3 of MFW.  I had an appointment today so Daddy did most of the school work with the kids.  Unfortunately he didn't read the big history chapters so I still have that to do.  It should be a good week as long as nothing unexpected comes up.

From the kitchen... not sure.  We have been desperately eating all perishables because our refrigerator stopped working yesterday.  I'm not sure what we have left to clean out.  

I am wearing... pajamas

I am creating... a master list of my lists LOL Just kidding, but I did read a post yesterday about how to be a good list maker and now I want to make more lists.

I am going... to get a massage at my chiropractors office.  I guess my back is so tight that the chiropractor was groaning in effort trying to adjust me.  I don't know why I find that so funny, but usually it is the patient who is uncomfortable.

I am reading... The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program

I am hoping... that they fix our fridge in record time

I am hearing... Maggie singing to herself while she brushes her teeth.

Around the house...  I guess I need to put on my apron because I have had no motivation to clean anything.  I really need to work on my floors (again) and buy a new steam mop.

One of my favorite things... my homeschool planner that I finally decided to buy.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Mostly I am just trying to stay on task this week and complete all of our assignments.  However invading our time is a midwife appointment for me, homeschool co-op meeting, PE class and a playdate.  Oh yeah, and a possible hurricane.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rome to the Reformation (RTR) Week 2

Well first let me say that we are technically 3 weeks into school, but we managed to get behind already and it took us 2 weeks to complete Week 2 of My Father's World.  I am a little concerned about how to schedule our year with doctor appointments, field trips and the occasional fun day thrown into the mix.  Last year we weren't using a true curriculum, so it was easy for me to adjust our days as needed.  We have also decided to join a local homeschool co-op that will be meeting on Thursdays.  This will basically take a whole day away from our curriculum already.  That is not a catastrophe as RTR has very light Fridays so we will just switch and do our Thursday work on Friday.  However now we don't have the leeway for the rest of the week if we get behind.  Maybe this is not a big deal to more relaxed people, but I am a list checker and I really want to check off all of our assignments each week.  Oh, what to do???

Anyway, on to our second week.  We did start a new history book Augustus Caesar's World.  It is somewhat less dry than the other books, but a little advanced for the 2nd and even 4th grader.  They are supposed to narrate the chapter back to me, and they have a hard time with this aspect.  I am hoping it is just a learning curve, although we have done some narration in the past.  Also, there is A LOT for me to read each day.  Others may disagree, but I get very tired doing read alouds and 2 "chapters" in ACW plus usually 2 other history texts and sometimes adding in a science chapter is really more than I can do in a day.  That is very tough for me and how I got behind on week 2.

On a good note I did meet someone this week who uses MFW and uses my favorite planner from last year.  I had to ordered the planner because MFW uses a grid system and I was afraid I would not be able to fit all I needed to into the planner.  I was glad to see that someone else is making it work for them.  I have been relying on the grid for 3 weeks and having a hard time with it visually.  Everything is written down, but not in a pleasant way to me, so I broke down and ordered the planner.  I received it yesterday and have already entered everything done so far and my plans for next week.  I can already see this is going to work out so much better for me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday August 15, 2011

Outside my window... a baby snake, possibly coral snake

I am thinking... about how I am afraid of snakes and wondering where the mother snake is

I am thankful for... Maggie being excited about doing swim lessons with her Dad.  We had a bad experience last week at the public pool swim lessons.  She spent 1/2 the week crying and the on Thursday I pulled her from lessons after witnessing them refusing to help her when she was in a panic.  I believe in patience and trust so this was not acceptable to me.  I am just glad she is not afraid of the water.

From the learning rooms... Week 3 of RTR, but we are behind already.  I feel like there is alot of history reading each day. It is hard for me to do it all because my voice gets very tired reading aloud.  We also have a homeschool swim day tomorrow and some other activities invading our week.  I think I might do 1/2 day catch-ups this week and try to get back on track next week.

From the kitchen... grilled chicken and beets... I know a very weird combination   

I am wearing... maternity pants and a T-shirt.   Someone said to me today "Wow you don't even look pregnant for being due in January"  I am going to take that as a compliment, but I do tend to just get larger all over and never get that pregnant tummy

I am creating... a giant mess everywhere because I can't seem to find a good organizational plan for myself this year

I am going... nowhere but I have been gone all day.  I had a very long organizational meeting for a new Homeschool co-op in our area.  Then Maggie and I went to lunch and Wal Mart.

I am reading... a trashy romance novel that is not very good.  I am a little disappointed because her newer novels are very interesting

I am hoping... that we have fun tomorrow at the water park and I am able to catch up on some things this week

I am hearing... Jeff working in the kitchen and Tyler playing on the computer

Around the house...  My kitchen floor is an absolute disaster and I actually swept and mopped recently.  I am super happy that Jeff was able to fix my Shark vacuum today.  I have the kids sweep the floor with it and it would not charge for the past few weeks.

One of my favorite things... having DH off on Mondays.  I originally didn't like it, but it makes things so nicer when we have a doctor, etc appointment, especially now that DD does not like to be out of our sight

A few plans for the rest of the week..Swim party tomorrow with our homeschool group, PE, chiropractor appointment, possible shopping trip to Old Navy and a play date on Friday

Here is picture I am sharing...
Baby snake in our driveway

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday August 8, 2011

Outside my window... the neighbor boy wanting to come play

I am thinking... about going to get a pedicure

I am thankful for... M actually went to Children's church yesterday by herself and participated in swim lessons today

From the learning rooms... Week 2 of RTR.  We are already behind in science and I am still waiting on 2 books that I really need.  I am thinking I might break week 2 over the next 2 weeks to give us time to catch up and also include a few activities we have going on (like swim lessons)

From the kitchen... hoagies and some unknown side dish

I am wearing... a t shirt and Bermuda shorts

I am creating... a weekly list of science assignments so DH and I will be on the same page

I am going... possible to the nail salon and possibly nowhere

I am reading... Nothing.  I finished my last book and the library wasn't opened yet today when I stopped by for a new one.

I am hoping... that Maggie participates in swim lessons tomorrow.  She did ok today but came crying to us after it was over complaining that she did not like it.   I am trying bribery, but 100 DS games is out of my budget.

I am hearing... Jeff and the kids completing science for the day

Around the house...  I still need to sweep and mop.  I did get the kitchen swept last week.  T is supposed to sweep the dining room every day but our Shark vacuum broke and he is not great with the broom.

One of my favorite things... our new school desk and rearranged office.  It is really working out well for us.

A few plans for the rest of the week..Swim lessons, PE class, 2 play dates and an Usborne book party

Here is picture I am sharing...
First Day of School 2001

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rome to the Reformation (RTR) Week 1

We just completed our first week of using our new curriculum My Father's World Rome to the Reformation.
In the past I have been a "piece it together" type of person working off my own handwriting lesson plans.  Using a pre-planned lesson grid has been a bit of a visual challenge to me.  It seems that writing plans out helps them sink into my brain so I am having to reread the grids and notes multiple times to let them sink into my brain.

 *** Note *** As I am writing the above sentence it occurred to me that my pregnancy fog is not helping matters with reviewing the lesson plans.  I suffer from an extreme case of pregnancy brain.  I consider it extreme because normally I am a very organized and fairly intelligent person.  I would never dream of misplacing my car keys or forgetting an important document.  However in previous pregnancies I have left my ATM card in the bank machine (mortifying to me) and didn't realize this until the bank called.  I also lost my engagement ring for several months because I decided to put it in a safe place while under the influence of pregnancy hormones.  This pregnancy is so far disaster free, but I do feel like I am living in a constant haze and I did ask my husband "What date is Christmas?"

Ok back to MFW... overall I think we had a successful first week.  I did over-schedule myself and unfortunately had to leave the house every day for field trips, doctor appointments and play dates.  This is not really doable in the long term, so I will need to adjust my schedule and try not to over-commit for the remainder of our school year.

The positives:
- my kids really liked the simple hands on projects we did this week
- I really liked the simplicity of the projects
- I also enjoy the "Book Basket" which gives me 15 minutes to regroup my thoughts midway through the day

The negatives:
- so far I find the history to be pretty dry.  Last year we used History Odyssey and our main spines were Story of the World, Usborne Encyclopedia of World History and A Child's History of the World.  We found those to be very engaging.  This week the majority of our reading came from Streams of Civilization and I find it to be written for an older audience.  My kids are 9 and 7 and the younger one, especially, has that glazed look in her eyes.  They do use more than one book for the history reading so I am hoping those hold our interest more.  We really loved history last year and I want us to continue to be excited.