Friday, September 30, 2016

Day 52

The kids finished their book reports today. Sarah felt like Rachel and Sam both chose easy options for theirs and she chose the long way. I don't think I agree, but that's ok. Sarah wrote a significant amount more than the others, but I don't think she would have had to. Rachel said hers was very easy; she changed the point of view for a scene. I haven't read it yet. Sam finished his pictures and wrote a sentence about each one.

He likes to put his pen to the paper as long as it's drawing; but if it's writing, it feels like torture to him. I don't mind his not writing much, because I know he has plenty in his head. We talk constantly, and he composes plenty of things. It just kills him to write the words. I think his brain clenches up when he thinks about committing it to paper. I do know that eventually he'll have to do it more, so I think I'll have to take this year to slowly have him do more and more.

We had some great dinner conversation tonight thanks to Julie Bogart's Writer's Jungle webinar. She talked about revision, and I mentioned to Sarah that it would probably help her to listen to it. It was about revision being a re-visioning of your writing. It's so much more than editing or proofreading. You can't expect to have your writing come out of you just the way it ought to stay--at least not most of the time. We decided that Jeff should write something for her to revise. I'm so excited for her to try that. She edited Rachel's book with her, but that's not creating a new vision for the piece. I think it could be liberating for her to just rip something apart. I hope that gives her the freedom to do that to her own writing.

I decided that Sam probably needs to slow down on the Pre-Algebra. The procedures, of course. I'm planning on seeing if he can figure out for himself how to do the problems before telling him how. Hopefully that way he'll be able to do something in his brain with the procedures, and they'll stick. We'll see.

See you next week!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Day 51

I was giggling with the kids today about making the noun form of the word spontaneous. They just could not come up with the word. Here are some of their guesses: spontanium, spontasium, spontanianism, spontanuity. Then Sam said, "Hey, the noun form of notorious is notoriety."The next guess was spontanery. We laughed ourselves silly. They knew none of those were actual words, but they couldn't get at spontaneity. So I asked them if they really hadn't heard it before. They thought they might have, but they weren't sure. I'm sure they've heard it plenty of times and known what it was at the time. This evening, the girls were watching one of The Great Courses, and the word was used in the lesson. It seems to always happen that when we've been paying attention to a word, we'll notice it used soon after.

They all worked on their book reports today. Sam's drawing some great pictures; I'll have to put some on here when he's done. Rachel seems to be having fun with rewriting her scene, but Sarah was having trouble feeling satisfied with her writing. She had wanted to write a letter from one character to another, but it didn't sound good to her after she got started. Then she thought she'd just do a regular summary type report, but that seemed wrong too. She decided on journal entries in the end. I think it's going to be great. She's a very good writer, but I wonder if that label has made her hesitant to write. Like maybe she thinks she has something to live up to. I think she thinks it all has to sound perfect when it comes out of her. I have talked to her numerous times about just writing any old junk and revising after, but she feels like she can't revise either. She was sad about it not being good enough and I got upset about her giving up. I'm sure I handled it totally wrong, but I think tomorrow will be better.

We started reading Black Horses for the King today. It seemed like it wasn't that easy to read aloud. I don't know if it was the size of the type or just the words. Have you ever noticed some books have words that just don't flow out loud? Maybe it's just me; I don't know. I do need to get some different glasses, though. That might be it. The book seems like it might be good.

We couldn't get to the grocery yesterday because of being locked out, so we had to go today. I had an appointment this afternoon that I completely forgot about because I was at the store. By the time I remembered, I couldn't get ahold of the lady I was supposed to meet. I guess she'll just think I'm brainless. She might already think that anyway--what's new? My memory is full of holes!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Day 50--Locked out of the house

Today is my birthday. When I woke up, I could hear the girls downstairs making me a cake. Yay for teenagers! It had carmel on it, and it was so yummy. I also had an email from Jeff first thing. Nothing like a birthday love note. It was a nice relaxed morning, and I finally took a shower right before lunch. I can't remember what we did for school before that; because a little while after lunch, we locked ourselves out of the house!

My parents came by to bring me a birthday card (they were on their way out to eat for their anniversary--yes, I was an anniversary present), and they weren't getting out of the car because it was raining. So we went out to see them at the car, and one of the kids pulled the door shut. It has a very stupid lock arrangement. It doesn't unlock when you turn it, so if you don't do it on purpose you get locked out. It happens all the time, but there has always been someone left in the house to open the door.

I thought of having the fire department get us in, but I didn't really want to do that. The neighbor used to have a key, but they gave it to us when we moved in. I called the landlord several states away and he asked his brother-in-law (who lives around here) if he still had a key, but no. Finally, we called a locksmith. I think I'll have an extra key made and give it to my parents. Locksmiths are expensive.

We read some more of The Making of America today. I found this amazing quote that perfectly describes what is going on with the government. It's on page 10. Someone named Samuel Langdon said it. ". . .be careful in your choice of your representatives and the higher powers of government. Fix your eyes upon men of good understanding and known honesty; men of knowledge, improved by experience; men who fear God and hate covetousness; who love truth and righteousness, and sincerely wish for the public welfare. . . Let not men openly irreligious and immoral become your legislators. . . If the legislative body are corrupt, you will soon have bad men for counselors, corrupt judges, unqualified justices, and officers in every department who will dishonor their stations. . . Never give countenance to turbulent men, who wish to distinguish themselves and rise to power by forming combinations and exciting insurrections against government. . ."

Amazing isn't it? People have not put men of good understanding, honesty, etc into power and now look at the mess. All those things he warned against have happened! Incredible.

We didn't get to start a new book today since we were locked out for 4 hours, but I did have the kids work on their book reports for a while. Sam's doing a story board of The Sherwood Ring. He's drawing at least 4 scenes with a label or caption under each. I wanted him to do some dialog, but he didn't put people in the first picture. I really don't think he heard me tell him what all I expected. I'll have to write it down for him so he can keep it in mind.

Rachel is writing a scene from her book from the perspective of a different character than how the original was written. She's doing Shakespeare Stealer. I don't know what scene she chose, but she's having fun with it.

Sarah is doing Understood Betsy. She did a freewrite to get herself started. She's writing a letter from Betsy to her aunt back home about what it's like staying with her other relatives. I can't remember their names right now. I suggested to her that she might write one letter with the perspective of just having left and one from the perspective Besty has after she's been gone a while and has learned to take care of herself. I can't wait til they get them done; I'm excited to read them!

See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Day 49

First thing this morning, Jeff and I had to go to get our car registrations renewed. As soon as I walked into the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, I could smell an unreasonably strong perfume smell, so I told Jeff I'd get a headache and I'd have to wait out on the sidewalk. I watched him through the window until his number was called, and then I ran in. He was explaining to the worker that I needed to wait outside until my registration was ready to sign, but she got it ready in about 20 seconds! I couldn't believe it. I've never seen anything go so fast at the BMV! I signed it and ran back outside, and she told Jeff that it was some kind of room freshener that was automatic or something and the workers had no control over it. It was absurd. It smelled like someone had spilled a bottle of perfume in there. Thankfully I didn't get a headache.

While we were gone, Sarah helped Rachel rehearse for the video audition for that church video I mentioned Friday. She needed to submit it today, so they did a few recordings and we watched them all and helped her choose which to send. She did a good job. She loves that kind of thing. I wish I could get her into a play or something. My moms' group told me about a group that does a play every year, but they practice every Friday for 4 hours! Every Friday. All school year. They don't do the play until June, and you can only miss 2 rehearsals! I can't commit to that with my health. Frankly, even if my health were perfect, I'm not sure I could commit to that. I think it's way too much.

We watched a question and answer session with the independent presidential candidate, Evan McMullin, during lunch. I think it's been sad that within the memory of my children, I haven't been able to teach them to respect the office of president in the way that I learned to. And this year, the presidential election stuff has just been ridiculous. But Evan McMullin actually answers questions. Every one of them. He has a brain, morals and worthwhile experience.

My kids hear everyone talking about how they have to pick one of the big candidates even though they don't want either one of them. But we teach them to vote for someone that they can feel good about. Someone who manifests ideals that we agree with. To actually vote "for" someone and not just against someone worse. I'm so relieved that I can vote "for" someone. I want to be able to look in the mirror after voting.

The other day, I heard Rachel tell her cousin it made her wish she wasn't turning 18 until after the election. That's pretty sad. It should be so exciting getting to vote for the first time--not nauseating. We also watched some of the presidential debate tonight. Now that was nauseating. And boring.

We finished The Sherwood Ring today. We really liked it. Maybe we're out of our boring book slump. I'm going to have to think of some little thing they can write about it tomorrow. Maybe I should have them do a short summary since I'm not having them do any summarizing for their book reports. Maybe I'll have them write on note cards to make it a bit more interesting--and short.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Day 48--Decisions, decisions

When I woke up this morning, I wasn't sure we should sell the house! I couldn't believe it. We had this whole big family discussion about it. It was not happy. In the end, we decided to go ahead. Nobody wants to move back to that very tiny house. It was a relief to accept the offer. I just don't know if it will go through. Cross your fingers.

We went over there today to meet the carpet guy in case we end up having to fix the floor. We were also going to clean off the paint so it would look better, but the cleaner stuff was a pain. I'm sure the guy saw it with the floor splotched up. I don't know exactly when he looked at it, but it must have been in the last 2 or 3 weeks since we've been painting and making a mess on the floor. He didn't ask for a floor allowance or anything. But we still picked a carpet and got a quote that's good for 30 days in case we need to use it. It was hard to pick a color; we never have much luck with picking colors.

Jeff and I went out with some other couples tonight, and the kids stayed home and practiced for a video audition Rachel's going to do. Our church does videos about different things, and they have people send in audition videos so they can have actors from all over. It's all the way across the country and I don't think she could go do it if she got the part, but it's a good experience for her to do the audition. She's done a few before and it's fun.

That's seriously all we did today (besides a short stop at the grocery), so why did it take all day? Well, I guess we cut the grass at the old house too. It seemed like we were rushing around all day. Maybe that's also because we had trouble emailing the forms to the realtor. She kept not getting them all even though they were all right there. That was a little annoying. I never can figure out how other people get so much done. Maybe they don't do as much as I think they do. And maybe other people think I do way more than I actually do. But my list is always longer than my day!

See you next week!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Day 47

Last night at the moms meeting, we talked about how long we've been homeschooling and how we started. There were 4 ladies besides me last night. We have about 4 more that couldn't make it. So we have a variety of methods, curricula, and "years of service" in our group. One lady was even homeschooled herself. I think we'll add her mom to the group.

We also talked about getting into college and high school transcripts and diplomas. We talked about staying in our pajamas all day and how our kids can tell we're going out or someone is coming to dinner because of the level of clean in the house and the amount of food we're cooking. It was just so nice. I've never felt like anyone was against what I do, but I've never felt like people can really understand it. Most people seem to think we're just hanging around at home with nothing to do. But you and I know it's a full time job. Actually it's 2 full time jobs isn't it?

I decided today that only a couple truly academic things can happen each day. Is that reasonable? Maybe that's why it feels like all we do is math and science. Today, we mostly read The Sherwood Ring. The chapters are excessively long in that book, but we don't want to stop in the middle of one. Each one is a complete story on its own. Who can stand to let a story go unfinished?

I really need to get my ideas together on the book report assignments. I'm going to make them interesting. No summaries. They're going to do things like interview the main character, or write a letter from one character to another or make up a story line that might be going on in the background of the plot. I guess that's called a sub-plot. Should be fun.

Rachel watched 2 or 3 MathUSee lessons today. I ordered her the Geometry because she hasn't done that yet. It's on its way, but in the meantime she's watching the digital lessons. Sam and Sarah worked on a math sheet where procedures and rules were involved. I'm going to have to back up and get logical with Sam. The rules just drive him crazy. They make him forget what he already knows how to do logically. Sarah just blasted through it loving the security of knowing the rules. It honestly amazes me how different they can be. Lots of different personalities here!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Day 46--Moms support group

I had so much fun with the other homeschool moms talking about things that no one else has ever understood! It's after midnight, so I'm going to have to write all about it tomorrow. But I think I'm going to love this. We decided to go on field trips together about once a month too. So excited!

We got an offer on our empty house today. It isn't as much money as we'd like, but we're going to take it anyway. And I don't think we'll have to put in carpet or resurface the floor after all. It will be such a relief to not have to maintain that house and yard any more.

We're liking The Sherwood Ring still, and we've been listening to 101 Dalmations as a dramatized audio book this week too. That's pretty fun. We've never done audio books, but it could be something we do a bit more of. I just have a hard time listening to a book and getting the story. I'd rather read it myself.

That's it for tonight. More about the moms' group tomorrow.

See you then!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Day 45--Protecting "school" time

Do you ever have trouble getting people (or even yourself) to respect your school time? I know not everyone does school during the day, but whatever times you're working should be respected by yourself and others. I usually have several phone calls a day from people I don't know, and I've had to try different solutions to not let them disturb school. I use a land line at home, so I have the ringer off. I don't want to be absolutely unreachable; sometimes my extended family has had emergencies I needed to help with.

So I have the answering machine on and when people start talking I can tell if I have to answer. I never do, but we have to hear all those messages and that gets old. Since the little car accident last week, doctors and lawyers have been calling me. Someone from a lawyer's office even came to my door today! The same places have been calling over and over.

I also had to defend my school time firmly today with a lady that keeps wanting me to do things before 4:00. I've been telling her for months that I can't, but she doesn't agree. I even told her that if I was a teacher in a school and I left during the day, I would probably get fired. No effect.

So what do you do to protect your school time? Let me know.

We read chapter 2 of The Sherwood Ring today. Looks like we're going to like this one. Finally! So far, it's got a little history, a little mystery, and a few ghosts.

Right now, I'm sitting and waiting for the kids at their church youth activities. Sam is at a scout court of honor. Maybe I should have gone with him, but he's not into awards and recognition; so there's not much reason for me to go in. I could go support the other boys, but I guess I'm not going to tonight. They really don't know me very well yet, so I think they'll be ok. Rachel wants me to work on editing her book while I wait, but I haven't yet. I guess I'd better go do that. I have about 20 minutes left to wait.

See you tomorrow--and I'll tell you all about the Moms' support group!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Day 44

We registered Rachel to take the ACT next month. She isn't looking forward to it. Tests aren't her thing. She seemed pretty worried today, so we went through some of the questions on the practice test on the website. She did much better than she was expecting. I knew she could handle it, but my kids have so little standardized testing experience. I intend to keep it that way, but it's hard when they do have to take them. I told her that even if we'd had more tests in our homeschool, she would never have felt the same pressure kids feel when they take tests at school. We just don't have that here.

Even just sitting there with other kids taking a test causes things. Do you remember? You don't want to be the first one done, or the last one done (to avoid looking like a show-off or like the dumb kid). You even feel self-conscious turning the page. Someone might notice you. You wonder if the other kids are having a hard time remembering the answers; but no, they never have any trouble. You can't quite figure out exactly the answer the teacher is looking for on that one question. They never want to know what you learned, only what you can't remember. I guess she'll know those feelings soon enough. We'll have to set up a timed practice for her.

Sarah started learning about chemical formulas today. She seemed to like it. I remember thinking they were fun. I forgot to do Sam's science test with him today. I was going to go over it orally one more time. I guess I'm not really sure when I'll have him start writing them. He's so good at explaining things to me, I don't need to test him. But I guess I will anyway.

We started to read The Sherwood Ring today. If this one doesn't work out, I'm just going to read Anne of Green Gables again. It seems like it'll probably be fine though. I wonder why I'm having so much trouble picking out books this year. Maybe we're getting too picky. We like our books to be good.

I am totally excited! I honestly don't remember if I mentioned that some of the homeschool moms at church decided to start a little support group. I've never had anyone at all to talk to about homeschool in 18 years of doing it. I mean, I can always talk to my family who is completely supportive and positive about it. But I've never had any homeschool mom to talk to. They're coming over Wednesday evening. I can't even imagine what to talk about with them. Usually when I talk about homeschooling, people think it's interesting enough, but they can't relate. It's going to be so fun!

Today I put this new picture of Eliza on my desktop, and every time I opened up the computer I had a "cute attack" about it. That's what Rachel said. Tell me you didn't have a cute attack when you saw it!

See you tomorrow!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Day 43--It doesn't always look like school

Since I was pretty much falling asleep on the couch all morning, and we spent the afternoon getting Sam ready for a campout, I thought I'd list some of the things we've done since we started school in July, that don't always look like school. Was that a run-on sentence? I say no.

road trip across the country
the kids taking care of the baby
Sam making a stop action Lego video
Rachel writing a book
Rachel and Sarah editing the book
making a book cover
putting a dining room table and chairs together
Sarah learning to play piano
making the introductory video
the kids writing my blog post while I was at the Brave Writer retreat
trying to prepare for the election
registering Rachel to vote
painting the living room
having a car accident
line dancing
entering a photo challenge
learning how to use the new camera
playing with cousins we only see every year or two
family history research
studying google maps
making plans to travel the world and write books about it
Sam's colon twisting
Sam going camping for the first time without Dad

Ok, I'm stopping there. If you've been reading my blog, you've read about most or all of these things. I just thought it would be fun to see a list so I wouldn't feel like we never do school. We've  done plenty of things that are more easily recognized as school, but so many things happen like those on the list, that you can start wondering if there's any learning going on at all. What I've found out is that they learn all the time; I can't stop them. So I have to appreciate all kinds of learning opportunities.

See you next week!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Day 42--This is as far as I got last time

I thought it would be fun to name my posts with more than just the day number. I don't know if I'll go back and name the ones I've done, but I'll try to name them from now on. Last year I was blogging every day of school, and I couldn't do it any more after 42 days. I don't remember exactly why I had to stop; but this time, I'm hoping to get much further. This time I realize that a day might slip past without a post. I'm trying not to let that happen, but I don't want to put too much pressure on myself.

I took Sam to have a test this morning to get ready for his surgery in a few weeks. We were gone 2 1/2 hours, and the girls read for school the whole time. And then they made lunch. The test was rough on Sam, but I don't think he wants me to go into it. Needless to say, I didn't have him do any school afterward. He gets to go camping tomorrow. He's pretty excited about that, because he's never gone with a group of boys before. It should be fun.

I got at least a few calls from chiropractors and pain clinics wanting to know if I needed help with any injuries from yesterday's accident. Ridiculous. They got my number off the police record of the accident online. I called the police records office and asked them to take my number off the report. I get enough calls I don't want, don't you?

I had to talk to the drunk guy's insurance company today. That was a new experience. They told me to go get an estimate for the damage and let them know. I think I'll have Jeff do that. I would think they'd want to replace the bumper. There's not that much damage, but I definitely wanted to file a claim. I wonder if the guy is still in jail. Or how long it will be before he gets his license back. I hope it's a long time, because he probably needs to get help. I'm thinking you're drunk pretty often if you've been caught driving drunk 5 times!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Day 41

Ok, so you know we're studying the Constitution this year. Well, we didn't today because we ran out of time before going to put the last touches on the paint at the other house. But we definitely got a civics lesson tonight. On our way home from the painting, we were hit by a drunk driver. We're all totally fine, and the car has very little damage. The guy must have been almost stopped. We were waiting at a light, and there was this thud. I thought it might be something in the back of the car that fell over, like the weed eater.

Then I realized that we hadn't taken any lawn equipment and there wasn't anything in the back; so I looked in the rearview mirror and the pickup truck behind me was suspiciously close, and the guy was just looking down at something like nothing had happened. I got out and went back to talk to him and he said, "Did I hit you?" It was a completely legitimate question; he had no idea. He was so drunk, he didn't know he hit me! We decided to pull into a parking lot, but I checked his license plate first because I could see he was drunk and was sure he would just drive on past.

He didn't though, and we looked at my bumper. It was hardly damaged, but I decided we should call the police. I'm sure he was really happy about that. He knew he'd be arrested for drunk driving, but he didn't try to leave. Also, the lady behind him pulled in to make sure we were ok, because she had been behind him for several minutes and knew he was totally drunk. She called the police and told them all about that, and they got there pretty soon.

I had told the kids they could stand by the car so they didn't get hot sitting inside it, but one of the officers gave me a form to fill out and said for us to wait in the car. We all got back in, and Sarah asked why we needed to wait in the car. I said, "Because you always do whatever a policeman says to do." She said she knew that but wondered if there was a specific reason he said to. Then pretty soon by the back of our van on the side we had been standing on they were handcuffing the man. That was something new for the kids. Well, me too. This was his fifth time being arrested for drunk driving! I guess that was why they wanted us in the car instead of standing around for that.

It was absolutely crazy! I honestly feel like if he hadn't hit us that way, he would have had a much worse accident. He had already almost hit another car right before he hit me. It's a little terrifying that he was drunk. It could have been so bad. I'm so thankful it wasn't.

The kids learned a lot from that experience. I'm not sure they could list it. Sam wasn't sure he learned anything, but of course he did. We learned to always call the police no matter how small the accident is, we learned that there are people willing to help like that lady who was a witness, the kids learned that a person gets arrested when they're driving drunk. I don't know that we've ever talked about that specifically before. As a new driver, Rachel has had an experience I've never had before. I wasn't sure whether to call the police at first--until I realized he was drunk of course. Now we're going to learn all about what happens when dealing with the car insurance company. So much in the world to know!

Oh, Rachel filled out her voter registration too. She'll be voting this November for the first time! Civics all over the place today!

I honestly don't remember what we did before we went painting. We did have school, but my brain has an overload after the accident. I even drove right past the highway exit on our way home after that. Guess I'd better get to sleep!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Day 40

I've been wanting to say more than just what we're doing for school in my blog posts. You know, say something insightful, make a comment about life as a homeschooler. So tonight I asked my kids what they thought I could say something about. I don't think anyone had any ideas for me, but we fell into our usual late-night talk around my bed. So I had to laugh when Sarah said something like this, "Something's been getting on my nerves. Maybe I shouldn't mention it because it's about parenting and I'm not a parent, but it really bugs me when people sit in church and fuss with their toddlers. It just gets the kid going and they have to take them out in the hall, and everybody's crazy."

Then we recalled times when we have heard parents telling their kids to stop talking during the prayer, but they're doing it DURING the prayer! We decided it would be less distracting to others to just set the example of not talking during the prayer.

Just model the behavior! I know it's not completely foolproof, but generally it works pretty well. It works amazingly well at my house. For example, I hate doing dishes and I often leave them to do later until we run out of dishes. My kids are masters at following my example. You can imagine. Or how about staying up late? None of my kids have decided they need to get to bed and just gone. No way! No one ever goes until I go. Or if I watch movies all day, they are not about to do school no matter how much they know they need to. But just as often, they're doing good they've seen us do too.

So staying aware of the example we set is critical. There, that's my comment on life.

Today, I explained a lot of math to everyone, they all picked books for a quickie book report, and the girls took science tests while Sam was preparing for the one he's taking in the next day or two. Sarah got an 89% and she wasn't too happy with that. I think I've mentioned before how funny they are about grades--because I couldn't care less about that. So then Rachel came in and said she got an 89% which made her perfectly happy. It's all about point of view, isn't it?

Tomorrow, we're going to paint again. I'm pretty sure this will be the last time, and we can clean up and get ready to put in carpet or have the floor refinished. I wonder which one is cheaper. Maybe I'll get a picture when we're done and post it tomorrow.

See you then!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Day 39

We got started a little earlier today because Jeff was here--and not leaving for work in the middle of the morning. Also, we needed to get plenty of school done before lunch so we could go paint the other house again. And again. And again. We decided we'd get a better color since we had to get another can of paint anyway. It's much better. But I was a little grumpy over there today. It's getting less and less fun to keep painting the same walls and trim. It was hard to tell before we left, but I think we won't need to do another whole coat, just another coat on the trim. My shoulder is tired of doing that. It's above my head, even standing on a ladder. I'm so short.

We're reading The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution this year, and today we did a freewrite after we read. It is so much easier to listen closely to fiction than to non-fiction. So I stopped pretty often to talk about what we were reading, to help us focus. The freewrites weren't the most exciting ones we've ever done, but I think everyone got the idea. 

What we read today talked about the fact that the founding fathers knew that we all have good and bad in us, and they wanted to let the good have freedom, while keeping the bad in check. It also talked about the things that needed to exist in order to be able to have a free people. Some of those are: a group of similar people, relative isolation from other countries, being united against a threat, and a couple others I can't remember right now. It was good.

They did copywork from the books they're reading. We need to get a writing project started. I can't decide whether we should start with a group project or research papers. I'm thinking it's better to start with a group project. Or maybe one with Sam and Sarah while Rachel gets started on her research paper. I also haven't decided positively whether Rachel's going to do a Brave Writer class. She really loved the one she took in the spring. She did so well, too. I loved it, because she found out she's doing much better with her writing than she thought. She thinks I can't be objective. That's one of the reasons for So that not only moms, but kids can see how well they're doing and not just think their moms can't be objective. Well, that's probably true, but most of the time we're just not sure, right?

We did math right before leaving to go paint, and I was telling Rachel how to do it wrong. So I went over it in the car and figured it out, but I forgot to have her do it when we got home. I can't believe I really thought we'd do it after painting. It's really hard to do anything after that. I should start being realistic. But I've always been a dreamer and thought I would or could do more than I ever have done. I guess that's better than thinking I'll never do anything!

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Day 38

Well, the person that was interested in the house changed her mind. So no offer. That means I didn't spend the day talking to the realtor and thinking about whether to accept it. So what did we do today? I'm not sure I know. We've been so tired, nobody had much energy for school. We hung out doing whatever we wanted most of the day.

The girls are entering photos in a "photo challenge" where they take pictures of people taking pictures. We just happened to have one they each took on our road trip. They didn't know about the challenge at the time, but the pictures are so good. Especially Sarah's. I love how you can see what Rachel's taking a picture of on the iPad screen but not in the actual picture.

I had to take Sam to see the surgeon that's going to take out part of his colon. He's having some test next week, then they'll schedule the surgery. They're hoping to do it laparoscopically. Sam's hoping for that too. Shorter recovery, less pain, smaller scar.

The girls had some sister time while I took Sam to the doctor. They were supposed to do math and science, but I called after I left to have Rachel look at google to make sure I was getting off the highway at the right place; and after that, she and Sarah decided to look at google maps at Saltzburg to see if they could find the place they filmed The Sound of Music. Also, the looked at Venice, but I'm not sure why. As Jeff would say, "They're always doing school." Just not always math and science.

Today I started a Facebook group called Homeschoolers in Business so that homeschoolers can talk about the businesses they have started or want to start, and help each other out. A lot of homeschool groups don't want people talking about it because they want to protect their members from solicitation, which I totally agree with. So I decided we need a place to talk about it. I honestly don't know how to get the word out to homeschoolers about without something like this, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like that. Hopefully, the people in the group can give each other advice and encouragement. I'm excited about it. Go check it out; it's just for homeschoolers, but not just homeschoolers with businesses.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Day 37

And more painting! We went today to put a second coat on the trim and cut the grass. As soon as we got there, some realtors and a man looking at the house pulled up. They were there a long time, and they asked a couple questions. And then tonight, our realtor called and said we're going to get an offer in the morning from someone she showed the house to this weekend. After all these months! I hope it actually happens. We really need to stop having to go over there all the time to cut grass and scrub toilets!

We also had the carpet guy come back and show us samples. They were ugly. It's cheap carpet, and they say that on their website; but really, I don't think I can put carpet in that's THAT bad. Maybe this lady that's making an offer tomorrow won't want carpet.

I told the kids first thing this morning that we're all adults (some cultures consider 13 yr olds adults right?) and we can go work on the house and then come back and have school for a few hours. It was a total lie. I meant it when I said it, but we didn't do it. School all day tomorrow though, except the time I'll have to spend talking to the realtor, talking to Jeff, deciding about the offer, taking Sam to see the surgeon for his colon, cleaning the unreasonably messy kitchen, etc. I just hope we can stay home all day Friday and let everyone forget we exist.

I'm so excited! A lady at church started homeschooling this year. Well, she's trying to get a charter school set up and they're being a pain. I told her she would hate it and invited her to come over and look at my stuff, because I know she'd prefer to do it on her own. I love telling people what we've done for school and what works for us. She's coming next week. I should make some notes. I don't want her to get overwhelmed and not remember anything she looks at. I have so many things I want to say when I'm talking about homeschool. I guess it's good that I'm writing a book about it then!

Here's another cute baby picture of Eliza from our trip.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day 36

We had to put the first coat of paint on the living room of the other house today. We're excited about how bright and big the room looks. We wish we had done it years ago. We're going to have to do a second coat in a day or two, because there are some thin spots. Then we'll get the carpeting scheduled. The realtor says she has someone that might be interested. They've asked a couple questions about the house anyway. Cross your fingers!

Wilson is taking some psychology classes this semester, and he sent me and Jeff a survey about a photo of a baby. We were supposed to rate our reactions to the baby on things like does it seem timid or gentle or alert. I got all excited when I opened the email; I thought it was going to be a picture of Eliza. It's been 2 days since I saw her on Skype. Thank goodness for Skype! I miss them all very much.

We didn't have much school today because of the painting, and we went straight from the old house to church for youth activities. Sam played frisbee outside with the other boys. They probably had some interesting rules or twist or something. Rachel's group of girls took turns standing in front of the chalkboard, and they all wrote nice things about the girl standing there and took her picture with all her nice qualities written around her. It was cute. Sarah's group was painting! She finished her painting last week though, so she sat and talked to them. I sat there too and talked to some of the adults helping out. It was nice.

Math wasn't nice today though. We were all tired and not looking forward to painting--actually to going to the other house. We didn't mind the painting once we got there. It just seems so far away. It's only just over half and hour. We have to go back and cut the grass this week on top of putting on another coat of paint though. And Jeff is working a long week, so it's without him. So I don't want to talk about math. Let's just say there was complaining and yelling. Why is school so hard? It seems like it should be so easy. Laugh, love, learn; right? They did copywork too, but I didn't even look at it. That's ok, I'll have another chance to look at copywork.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Day 35

Saturday school! We went over to our empty house we're selling and started a project today. We have paneling on the bottom half of the living room, and we decided to paint it. Pulling it off and resurfacing the walls is way too much work, so painting it is. We sanded it and put primer on today, and Tuesday we're going over to do the painting. Also, a carpet guy is coming to measure the room. The floor is hardwood, but it doesn't look very good; and we're not going to resurface that either. Our time and ability to do that sort of thing is extremely limited. The kids learned a lot about fixing walls and painting a couple years ago when we took a couple months and remodeled the entire kitchen. That was ridiculous, since we've never done anything like that before. We all learned a lot actually. But since we don't live there any more, it's really not that fun. We're just trying to get someone to buy it.

Yesterday (I neglected to post), Jeff took Sam and Sarah down the street to play basketball before school. Rachel doesn't like to go first thing in the morning. She doesn't feel terrific when she wakes up sometimes because of allergies. They laugh about playing with Jeff because he's like a rock, and they just bounce off of him. He always played everything growing up, and the kids and I aren't so much like that; so he's always beating them at anything physical.

After basketball, we had to try to fix a little chip in the van window that we got on our long road trip. It was quite a process, but we followed all the instructions to the letter. You can still see it though. We've never done that before either. Stuff like that never works exactly right for us. Kind of like science experiments!

Rachel's Math U See was delivered yesterday too, so she got going on that right away. Actually, she had listened to at least 3 lessons online, but hadn't really done many problems until she got her book. I think she'll be able to blast through quite a bit of it.

Last night right before bed, Jeff was showing the kids an app he got that shows the stars and planets if you point the iPad anywhere, basically. You don't even have to point it at the sky. If you point it at your feet, it shows what's one the other side of the earth. It's pretty cool. I told them they had to learn a lot about observing the sky since it's so easy. They saw Mars and Saturn. They looked like stars in the sky, obviously; but when you point the iPad at them, they look like themselves on the screen. Jeff said there are 5 planets you can see with the naked eye. Mars was actually red in the sky when we knew what we were looking at. Very fun! Next time, I'm going to get the telescope out and see how much we can see that way.

See you next week!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Day 34

Today Rachel worked on the cover for her book. She decided to use a photo instead of a drawing or painting. She put on my wedding dress, fixed her hair and had us take pictures of her from the back, looking thoughtful. She'll have the title across the top above her head. Can you tell it's a wedding dress? Jeff asked where the dress came from. I guess 27 years is too long to remember. He's so funny.

We spent most of the morning on this project. She emailed it to her grandpa, and he asked if she was supposed to be forlorn, thoughtful, or just sad. She said that it was perfect that he couldn't tell and apparently it's perfect that people didn't necessarily realize it was a wedding dress. I really need to get in gear and edit that book. I haven't read the whole thing yet. She keeps going over it, but it's finally ready for my editing now. And since my head's not killing me tonight, maybe I can start on it before I go to sleep.

Sarah's been working on a simplified version of Moonlight Sonata. It's sort of a surprise for her grandma. Jeff just got home and she asked him to play it for her so she can see if she's doing it right. He says she's doing well, but there are a few little things she needs to do. She showed me the difference between her version and Jeff's version. It's all the same to me. I think it's amazing that people can play more than one note at a time. I played the flute in junior high, but you can only play one note, you know. Also, when a piano plays with an orchestra, the pianist has to memorize the music while all those one-note-at-a-time instruments have their music in front of them! Why is that? Pianists are just impressive, I suppose!

Sam started on his science study guide today. He's pretty cute working on that, talking about how many definitions he has to memorize. I think I'll have him take the in writing this time. He doesn't know that. I don't think I'll tell him while he's working on the study guide. That seems like a lot of writing to him already. He really doesn't love putting his pen to the paper, unless it's to draw. In fact, Rachel asked him to illustrate the first page of each chapter of her book with a tiny drawing. He's been working on another stop action lego video today. He does that while I read aloud. He usually needs to do something while I read. It helps him listen. I have recently realized that I can't listen to someone reading aloud. I pay no attention at all. Maybe
I've always been that way. Good thing I'm usually the one reading!

See you tomorrow!