Monday, October 31, 2016

Day 67--Halloween, and I don't care

I'm a Halloween Scrooge. Not really, I just don't care. I'm not morally against it or anything, but my kids can't eat candy, don't like to dress up, and would be too shy to trick-or-treat anyway--if they weren't too old. Handing out candy never was my favorite, and when my kids became unable to eat sugar (they were very young) we thought it was not very nice to them if we gave the rest of the world candy. So we pretty much ignore Halloween.

When I woke up this morning, I had done something to my neck and could hardly move my head. I had stabbing pains when I did move, so I had to go to the chiropractor this afternoon. I had a hard time concentrating on school, since it was giving me a headache too. Pretty much everything does. Jeff was off, so he handled school today. He gave Sam a dictation out of the encyclopedia, which made him move on to giving Sarah a grammar lesson from the encyclopedia. I think it was about figures of speech. And we finished Black Horses for the King, to Sarah's delight.

Then I thought I'd have him do some math from Ray's Arithmetic while I showered. When I came back, they said they hadn't been able to figure out any of the problems at all. They read me one: There are 55 cows and sheep in a field, 1/2 of the cows equals 2/7 of the sheep. How many of each are there? Now, I have neglected buying the answer key for the Ray's books because I can just do the math, but not this time. I cannot think what to do. Maybe it was the headache, but I couldn't figure it out at all. I guess I could count them up and use trial and error, but I'd really like to figure it out without that. If you figure it out, leave me a comment!

Rachel spent the day working on her college application. She was writing short answers to questions. The long essay question it giving her trouble, though. They want you to talk about a risk you took, then you had setbacks or failure, and then were successful in the end. We're having a hard time thinking of anything. I'm not sure everyone in 12th grade has had an experience like that. Maybe I'm missing something. Jeff suggested talking about struggling with math, but Rachel isn't sure since that's a risk, since you just have to do it. I guess it would be easy for most people to think of a risk and failure, but to have been successful in the end is another story.

I finally wrote a MyWritingCheck blog post. I think it's been almost 2 months since I wrote one. It's about reading aloud to get better revisions. You can read it on blogspot here if you want, or you can read it on the website blog here.

On Monday nights we have what we call Family Home Evening where we make sure the whole evening is just for our family. Tonight we made up a live version of the game Clue. We came up with suspect names and silly murder weapons like pickle, rubber band, thumb and goat hair. Then we went around to different rooms guessing who the murderer was. I thought it was going to be a little more fun than it was. Doesn't it sound like fun? Well, it was fun when I won, but it was kind of hard with cards and note papers in our hands. I think we just need to buy the game. But we'll probably try it with Wilson and Kamille when they come for Christmas before we give up on it totally. They make everything more fun.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Day 66--House Contract Fell Through

Well, we got word today that the man that was buying our house doesn't want it any more. I wonder if he wanted out before, or if the bogus inspection actually changed his mind. I wish they would let you talk to each other. This does mean that I can get my oven out of the house before it sells though. I'm totally excited about that. We were not a bit surprised when we heard. I guess we'll have to put carpet down too. Or refinish the floor--more money.

The weather was perfect today, so we took a walk around the neighborhood. Sam and Sarah have been wanting a bike ride, so they rode while Rachel and I walked. They were cute riding circles around us so they could stay with us. They kept weaving in and out going on the road then up a driveway onto the sidewalk right in front of us as we were getting ready to cross it. They thought they were so funny. We just love October weather.

More Black Horses for the King. Sarah keeps asking why I like that book. I have no answer. I just want to know what happens. That means it's good right? After we finish it, we're going to blast through Anne of Green Gables. Of course, that might make us want to read all the books again.

Sam did some research today on the Lego Ideas website. I guess you can build something and post it there; and if you get enough people to like it, they might eventually make an actual Lego set out of it. He's totally excited to come up with something new. I guess some people would say that's not school, but that's extremely educational. He's learning plenty by doing that. He told me yesterday that he gets ideas of things to build from playing the little games on the Lego website. School all the time.

Rachel started her application for college today. It's going to be quite a process. Some of the essay questions have her doing some serious thinking. It's going to be good for her. I can't wait to read some of her answers.

See you next week!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day 65

It was raining when we woke up today. That's like hitting a brick wall first thing, isn't it? It didn't rain all day though, so that's something. We read quite a bit of Black Horses for the King today. I'm thinking we just have a couple more days on it. I like it better than the kids. Especially Sarah. For some reason, she just can't get interested in listening to it. Every time I ask if they want more before I stop, she says no.

Sarah doesn't love her Physical Science book as much as she did her General Science. I told her today that she didn't love the General Science right away either. She doesn't remember that, but it took a while to get excited about it. She's almost done with Module 5, so I would think it would be kicking in soon. Actually, I looked at the topics and I think it will be a couple more modules before she starts loving it. I shouldn't say that. She has had plenty of times already when she loved it; it just needs to stick. Sam's getting a little tired of the geological chapters in his book too. I don't know what's come over them. Maybe we need a break from the textbooks to just do some hands on for a while. They love the TOPS science books. We've done some electricity and some adhesion and cohesion. We have an analysis book we haven't done much in; we'll have to see.

Rachel worked on writing the synopsis for entering her book in a publishing contest. I can't remember if I told you about that already. We looked at the kind of books they publish, and Rachel's book is along the same lines as those. So hopefully she has a decent chance of being selected. She's still not sure whether she wants to enter or just go ahead and publish it ourselves. I have a friend that's self-publishing a book that just came out today, and that looks pretty exciting. I guess she'll have to decide in the next couple days; the contest closes Monday.

Math seems to be stumping us this week. Sometimes I feel like I hit a speed bump and I can't think what to teach or how to teach it. Sarah's working on solving for unknowns algebraically which is new. She's getting it better than she thinks she is. It's always a bit tense for her when she learns something new in math. I think she feels unsure of herself for a while. Sam and I are reviewing some things before going on. He's been kind of negative about it lately, so I didn't want to teach much that's new for a time.

It's time for us to choose topics for research papers. This time I want Rachel to actually do some research too. I mean like hands on research, working with people in some way, even if it's just a survey they fill out. Wilson's taking some research methods classes in psychology, so I'm going to have to get him to help her. I hope they can pick topics that they'll want to stay with. They're always wanting to switch topics after a week or two when they find it less interesting than they anticipated.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Day 64

We did a freewrite today. It's been over a month since we've done one. I decided we'd write about what we could hear since we're all very quiet when we write. It was pretty fun. As you can imagine, we all wrote about the same things since we were sitting in the same room; but we all say things so differently. After I read mine, they said it sounded like I was writing a book. "A professional freewrite," they said. I thought I'd include a little bit from the beginning of each one.

Sam: "OK I hear a lawnmower making a grinding type noise and an echoey airplane and a buzzing plane going by and everyone else writing and Dad coming in the front door and Mom and Sarah snickering and Dad interrupting and Sarah asking if we're timing this and Dad creaking around  and nothing else interesting."

I love that it's totally unpunctuated. I think that let him feel like he could write more. He's been bothered by his writing lately. He's ready to change it; I'm just not sure exactly how I need to help him.

Sarah: "Alright, I hear a little airplane noise. It's either an airplane or the buzzing motor sound of a weed eater or a lawn mower. I hear the others writing, scratching their pens on the paper or the soft, whispery noise of hands moving across paper. . . "

Rachel: "I hear Sam breathing. There is a weed eater on outside. An airplane is humming, probably going to the little airport. Mom just flipped a page in her notebook. I heard it catch on its way around the binder. Sam's binder is crinkling because he is using his knee as a hard surface. . . "

Me: "I hear a small airplane, or maybe that's just a lawn mower or weed eater. It could be the back neighbor's wood saw that he sometimes puts in his driveway to use. Now I hear an airplane for sure. It's a small one. I acn also hear the cars and trucks on the road. My hand is making sounds as it moves over the page while I write. I can hear everyone else's hands moving across their papers too. I can hear my pen but not anyone else's. There's Jeff coming in from his walk."

I love how everyone's is so different even though we all heard the same things. When I was a senior in high school, I had to go stand near the front door of the grocery and write down everything I saw and heard for 15 minutes. I had to do it with a partner and then we were supposed to see how different they were. It was amazing.

We also did science, math, and listening to a few news clips. We don't listen to much news, but it's hard not to want to hear a bit of election news, even though we already voted. It's all so ridiculous.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Day 63

Sarah and I were feeling kind of sick yesterday, so all the getting up early that happened last week didn't happen today. We pretty much just had time for me to jog on my little trampoline, have family scripture study, eat, try to teach a new math concept (bust), and leave for a funeral. After the funeral, we went to my parents and cooked an early dinner for us all. Then we came home to a completely messy kitchen, which we didn't clean, and watched a movie (after making some cake and cookies).

While we were at my parents, we went over the house inspection report that they did on our house last week. It was terrible. There really isn't anything wrong with the house, but the inspector made it sound like things were about to break all over the place and he scared the buyer. He says he still wants it, but he wants us to do all these unreasonable and ridiculous "repairs" to it. We aren't offering to do much--since there's nothing much wrong. I hope he actually buys it. We are selling it so incredibly cheap, I can't believe he asked us to do anything at all. I figure we have to do a couple things to make a gesture toward an agreement with him, or he might back out.

We got to have our weekly video conference with Wilson and Kamille and Eliza yesterday. Oh, my goodness. That baby! She responded to her name and just about came out of her skin with excitement to see us on the computer screen. She couldn't stop smiling and giggling and eating her hand! Here are a couple blurry screen shots, but you can still see her extreme cuteness right?

See how excited she is to see her grandma in this one? I'm on the bottom right being crazy.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Day 62

I'm posting on Saturday because I had too much of a headache to post last night. It's not much better now, but here we go.

I took Sam to the surgeon yesterday, and he took the itchy tapes off the incisions! What a relief for him. He was very excited. He can't do push ups or sit ups for another three weeks, though. He's anxious to start that again. I'll bet he had so little pain and is healing so quickly because of all the exercising he's done this year. He's been exercising after everyone goes to bed, and we never see him do it. The girls didn't even know he was doing it. Wilson used to do that too. Another way those boys are just alike. Sam has one more check up in a month and then that'll be it.

Rachel took her ACT today. She was so worried about the math, but she said that part wasn't bad at all. English was good too. It was the reading and science that got her, which is funny; because she reads fast enough and knows what she's read. I think it was hard because of the short time period they give you. She had to fill in about 7 totally random answers in the last minute on the science portion. I think the score will come out much better than she has thought.

So yesterday, after I had Sam at the doctor, we pretty much didn't have school. My head started hurting worse and worse. It was the weather mostly. Today that's evened out some, and I feel a little better. I really wanted to spend the day writing--blog posts for, a paper that I have to write for my college class, this blog, and my homeschool book. This is the only thing I've written so far. And now we're going to eat dinner, watch a movie, and go to bed!

See you next week!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Day 61

No name for the blog today. Maybe I should call it falling asleep on the couch. I was so tired today that I really was falling asleep. That's the second time in a month or so. I've had fatigue and gotten tired for years, but I usually don't fall asleep. It's more like exhausted than sleepy. But if I don't sleep great for just a night or two lately, I just can't stay awake. I guess it's good that I'm headed for bed at 8:30! Of course, headed for bed means reading and writing for a while; but at least I'm not starting at 10:30 like usual.

It was raining today too, which drains me of energy. I wish I could live where it just rains a few minutes and then it's just sunny. Oooh, Hawaii! Sarah kept wanting to go play badminton in the rain, but it was too gross. Rain takes it out of Rachel too. She's planning on living somewhere deserty when she's older.

I worked on statistics with Sam again today. I probably need to go over that with Sarah too in addition to her Pre-Algebra. She's doing great with math. Once in a while, she gets frustrated; but it's nothing like it used to be with tears and everything. I'm sure Sam will be fine with the Pre-Algebra next year. I'm going to spend this year doing things with him that will be in the Pre-Algebra book, but without the rules and procedures. If he gets it all down this year by logic, maybe the procedures won't trip him up.

Rachel and I went over the practice ACT some more today. We found a chart that turn raw score into ACT score and we figured it wouldn't be as bad as she thinks even if a lot of the math is guessing. I knew that, but she's just so unsure. I sort of wish she had taking some tests with other kids or timed ones or something. I don't know if that means I'll have the others do more things like that before they have to take the ACT or not. I'll have to think about it.

Sarah did a science experiment about distillation today. She had to put a bunch of salt in water, boil it, and gather the steam. She said the water she gathered was not salty. Maybe we should do that to our very hard water instead of using the water softener. I'll never get used to having slippery water!

Sam gets to go see the surgeon tomorrow. I hope the doctor does something to loosen the tapes they put across the incisions. They're itching Sam to death. I wonder if the doctor will tell him he can exercise again. He's ready to get back to push ups! Well, I don't know that he's completely ready, but that's what he wants.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 60--Early Voting

We voted today! It was Rachel's first time, and it was so nice and quiet since it's early. I won't comment on politics since I'm tired of the subject, but it was a nice field trip for our homeschool. Sam and Sarah went and watched us too. They didn't really want to go. They usually go with us to vote, but it's been years since we voted early. I told Rachel that's how the ACT will be with filling in the bubbles.

She's still trying not to be too nervous about taking the ACT on Saturday. I think she's worried about the math anyway. We went over some of the practice test tonight, with me talking the problems over as she went, and she missed three out of twelve. She said when she did a set of twelve the other day, she missed half of them. But she'll do well on all the other parts of the test, so I don't think we should worry about it. What can we do anyway? I don't think cramming a bunch of new information into her head for the next two days would make it better.

I took a paragraph from Anne of Green Gables and typed it out without any punctuation, so the kids could punctuate it. They were supposed to do it right, but I wonder how it would have been if I had had them do punctuation that made it sound silly. I don't know if it even would have worked, but it might be fun to try some time.

Sarah did bunches of science today. I'm so glad she likes her science book. She likes getting things done. I wish I was that way. I don't seem to care if I ever get anything done. I know sometimes it's worse than others, but I haven't had a ton of better times lately.

Sam decided he's tired of not being able to write fast. He just moves his pen across the paper more slowly than the girls. I write extremely quickly, and Jeff writes extremely slowly. I just figured Sam was like Jeff, but he wants to speed up so we all talked about some ideas this morning. Rachel said maybe he approaches it more like drawing--his preferred pen-to-paper activity. I wondered if cursive would help him go faster, and Jeff suggested writing smaller. I can't remember what Sarah suggested, but he tried some of those things today. I think when he was just trying to go faster, he wasn't really breathing. I'm not sure that'll work. He didn't mind the cursive, but I don't think he loves it. None of them do. I guess kids in school aren't really doing cursive these days either. I also thought that if I dictate things to him to practice writing faster, that might help. I think copying or having to think of what to write himself wouldn't help his speed. We'll see how he does.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Day 59--Yay for school!

I have the hardest time remembering to post on Monday night! After how many weeks of blogging? Almost 12, right? We did have a busy evening yesterday though. We had to go meet the furnace man at the old house so he could change the igniter. They are doing some inspections on the house today and Saturday we found the furnace not working! Bad timing. It was an easy fix though. We waited for him for two hours, but it only took him five minutes to change the thing. Then when we got home, we had to sign some forms for the realtor, and that was a hassle because we sign digitally and it never works the first time. Or the second. Or the third. Really. At least the sale is moving along.

We did have school yesterday before we went to the other house. I honestly can't remember at the moment what we did exactly. That's my reality. It's like each day is isolated. But that's ok; we manage. Sam and I started a chapter of some old math text on statistics. He loves stats, so I figured I'd teach him to organize and manipulate them. We started working on a code where we had to make a frequency table of letters in the message and compare that to a table of letter frequencies in the English language. We finished it today. It was pretty fun. I love working with the kids and not just having them do all the assignments alone. It was a bit lengthy, and I think he might have gotten bored if he was working on it by himself. I don't feel that makes the learning less valuable. It gives him someone to discuss it with and bounce ideas off of. I think it gets more done actually.

We started reading Anne of Green Gables yesterday. We love that book, and I have a Brave Writer Boomerang issue to use with it so I thought it'd be fun to read again. It's just going to make us want to watch the movie. I really should just buy it; it would be a good investment. I love the Boomerangs. They're just the way I think. I like to go through literature and learn what's there in context. I don't think it's necessary to use grammar workbooks about the same thing over and over for years. I remember Wilson doing workbooks about adjectives for years on end. Crazy. He liked it, and he knows all about grammar, so it worked for him; but this works for us now. It's alright to change what you do and what you like for your school. Also, different kids need, want and like different things; and it's ok to go with that too.

We're reading Black Horses for the King. I don't remember if I even mentioned it before. I guess we've been reading it for a couple weeks. They aren't sure they always want to hear it, but it got a bit more interesting yesterday when a bad guy was introduced and started seeking vengeance. I'm glad that's not the only thing that makes real life interesting!

We're also reading about the Declaration of Independence in The Making of America. We've been talking about the "ancient principles" which are inalienable rights that just are. We started memorizing the first paragraph of the Declaration today. I guess we'll be going over it for a couple weeks.

Jeff and Sam are going to a jr. high football game tonight with some boys from church. Jeff's been wanting to go to a game like that for a long time. It should be fun for them. Sam's never been to a football game. I hope he's comfortable on the bleachers since it's just a week after surgery. It's hard to believe how well he's doing.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Day 58--Sam's home!

Sam got to come home today! He was here before lunch! He is extremely happy to be eating and creating with legos again. He's sitting on the floor in his usual lego position, but I think it hurts to sit that way. I cleared off a desk and gave him the office chair so he could have it at a height that wouldn't require slouching over onto his incisions. Some friends brought him a new lego set and he got right to work on it at the desk.

They gave him a stethoscope at the hospital and we've been having fun with that. It's a cheap one, but it's real. The kids have listened to everyone's hearts and stomachs. Apparently my heart sounds different than everyone else's. I do have mitral valve prolapse, but I wasn't expecting the kids to be able to detect that. They did say Jeff's sounds the same strange way mine does, though. The doctor told him recently that he has something different about his too. I just can't remember what it was. And it seems that Rachel's goes boom-boom-boom instead of ba-boom-ba-boom-ba-boom like other people's.

Now the stomachs, they make a lot of noise. At some places, it sounds like boulders scraping together, and at other places it sounds like air gurgling. I guess we want Sam's to be making plenty of noise, so we're sure it's working! When we've had him at the hospital before with his twisted colon, they didn't like it because his belly wasn't making any noise. No silent bellies around here!

This week was hard, but it didn't take the toll on us that I thought it might. So back to school Monday. I'm so excited! Maybe then we can actually get "back to normal" around here. We keep saying that after this or that is over, we'll get back to normal. It's pretty funny, because we never have. No matter what was over. I guess that is normal for us. I wonder, do other homeschool families actually have times when they just go along "normally" and have school all the time? What about you? Let me know!

See you next week--when we're back to normal--ha!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 57--Let go of Guilt and Worry

Of course nobody would think they had to have school while their child was recovering from major surgery, so why did I start to have a guilty moment last night for not having school with the girls this week? I almost had to ask some other homeschool moms to reassure me that I didn't need to worry. But I'm so proud of myself for stopping that worry before I let it get to me. As I was considering posting on some homeschool forum, I thought about how I would respond to someone in my situation. Of course I would tell her It's completely unnecessary to have school at a time like that!

Lots of times, we can just keep going even when it's tough. But there are times for me when I'm trying to serve from an empty plate. It's at those times that I just have to let learning happen in ways that maybe I'd rather not. It's going to anyway. Like Sam learning how it feels to eat clear liquids for five days, and thinking he would starve to death--finding out he can do hard things. Learning to trust others like surgeons and nurses. I like to take care of it all and have control of the situation. But when I'm serving from an empty plate, I just can't help anybody. And I definitely can't have school.

Rachel learned something valuable over the last week or so. She's taking the ACT next Saturday and has been pretty nervous, especially about the math. We were planning to go over and over the practice questions together. I don't know if she just gave up on me or if she had a personal insight, but she told me that she just wasn't going to worry herself about it. We'll go over the practice problems, but she has given up the worry and fear. Maybe we helped each other learn the same lesson this week.

Sam's coming home from the hospital tomorrow, but I'll try to post anyway.
See you then!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Day 56--Sam's Surgery

Sam's surgery was today. It went great. Rachel, Sarah and I went to the hospital yesterday; and of course, I got a headache. By last night, I was in extreme pain. Still am. But I thought I'd post something brief, since I know some of you are wondering how the surgery was.

Jeff said they took out what looked like almost 2 feet of colon! Isn't that crazy? The doctor said there's plenty left. I can't imagine how the length of his colon got so out of hand. I can understand the fact that it's all stretched out, but that length! They were able to do it mostly laporoscopically, so the recovery should be better and shorter. He may even be able to start eating clear liquids tomorrow!

Of course I had a hard time because of not being able to go today. I've been cranky and sad and in pain. I haven't had a full blown headache for at least a few weeks, but I guess the tension of this week was too much. I've been using a peppermint and lavender oil mix on my head when it starts to hurt. I discovered (on the night the drunk driver hit us) that it works better than just peppermint. Not today though. So I think I'd better quit for now. By the way, no school so far this week.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 55--Getting ready to get ready for surgery

Today we had to go get a few things for Sam's "clean out" this weekend. He needed more juice because I had some red juices that I can't give him after all. We had to get prescriptions for things that would clear out his colon from the top and bottom. I asked him what he wants for breakfast tomorrow before he goes on clear liquids, and he said he wants grilled cheese with roast beef and sautéed green beans. I think I would have said I wanted pancakes with warm peaches, scrambled eggs, and hash browns in tiny cubes. Although, if I wasn't going to have another solid meal for almost a week, I might pick something more like a dinner.

We also got unflavored gelatin to make with juice and cheesecloth to strain the broth I'm making from roasted chicken bones tomorrow. I've never used cheesecloth. I hope that works out. Usually when I make chicken broth, I just use the strainer; but the holes are kind of big. I want to make sure to do everything right. They said no "particulates" in his broth.

Yesterday, Sam emailed the Lego company and asked a few questions about how they make stop action videos. He's dying to make his videos more smooth and give them some effects. They emailed him back with some suggested places to look for tutorials and software to make his videos better. It was so cool! I noticed that all the words in the email he sent are spelled correctly. That isn't always the case when he's writing. I wonder if he can tell easier when it's typed because he's so used to reading printed books, or maybe he's just more careful in an email. In the past, I've typed out their writing just as I see it so they can look at it as if it's a printed book. Sometimes it's easier for them to pick out errors that way. I haven't done that in a while; I should do it for him again.

There was a lot of book reading and badminton playing today between all the running around. And Sarah was texting and emailing Wilson and Kamille several times today--writing. Rachel's thinking about entering her book in a contest for young writers that are going to self publish a book. She hasn't decided whether to enter or just go ahead with our plans to self publish. The girls also watched a lesson from The Great Courses on acting. It was all about using dialects and accents. The teacher is so amazing. They're learning a lot from it.

I don't know how blogging will go next week with the surgery--I'll try!

See you then!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Day 54--Playing Games and Watching Shows

We didn't have school today. We just didn't do it. It was Rachel's 18th birthday today, so we got a lot of phone calls from family members. We watched videos of Eliza that Kamille put on youtube. We watched a few "When Calls the Heart" episodes, and the kids played a spy game they made up. I talked to the surgeon's office about some of the pre-surgery instructions I got for Sam. We need to watch the pre-surgery tour online I guess. I'm not sure he wants to, but it's probably good. I cooked a bunch of meat to make broth for this weekend. Sam has to start eating clear liquids at noon Saturday. His surgery isn't even until Tuesday! He's go to have his colon cleaned out too. He doesn't say much, but I'm sure he's not looking forward to that. He is convinced he'll starve to death eating clear liquids for 3 days.

Tonight I went to a presentation at church on being mentally healthy. Some ladies from the moms' support group were there, and we were talking afterward about husbands and cleaning the house. Someone said something about having the laundry on the bed until it just gets put back in the basket. I had to laugh, because that's what we do every day. I don't know why we just don't fold it. We dump it on my bed and look for something to wear. Then at night, we have to take it all off the bed and put it back in the baskets. And in the morning, someone usually comes into my room looking for something to wear before I'm out of bed, so they have to rummage through all the baskets. It's ridiculous, really. But it's so good to know we aren't the only ones that do that.

The presentation was excellent. I came away with a list of things to do to pick myself up. I think I'll choose a few to start out and see how I feel. I definitely need to get outside more. And eat better. I don't eat any refined sugar or corn syrup and several other things, but I need to eat more fruit and vegetables. We have a good amount of them, but I think I could personally do better and have more energy. Also, I should go to sleep earlier at night. I'm not sure I'm ready to work on this one yet, though. I'll probably also try to do better about taking my fish oil. I can tell a difference when I take it regularly. Those things should be fairly easy to start, and I think they should help.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Day 53

Sarah finished her book report, and it's fantastic! She rewrote a chapter of Understood Betsy in first person from Betsy's point of view. Here's a little bit of it: "I took my cup out to a clean snow bank, and I made loops and curves with the hot, fragrant syrup that hardened as soon as it touched the snow. As I let the maple candy melt in my mouth, I thought about what cousin Ann had said about my examination and about Hemlock Mountain. Of course Hemlock Mountain would still stand there just the same, even if I failed in an examination!"

So after I pasted it in here, I asked her if that was from the book. She said no because she didn't even have the book in her hand when she wrote it. I told her some of it sounded like the book, which is fine because when we tell about something we usually include vocabulary and the voice of the book. So she looked in the chapter and found much of it was totally from the book. She was flabbergasted! She had not realized at all that this had happened. I told her that's ok because her aim was to rewrite the chapter changing the point of view, but I wasn't sure what would happen if she did the same thing in a school setting--plagiarism? She really did do a beautiful job of writing it from the first person though. 

I've said before that I want to show real life as a homeschooler in this blog, so that's where I've been the last 2 days. Real life. Honestly, Monday I just forgot to write a post. Last night, I started to at bedtime and it just got away from me. I've had a bit a depression lately, and sometimes things are just hard. The last 2 days have been pretty good school days though. Jeff's been off a few extra days, so that's been fun. He likes to have school with us and talk about what we're learning. Right now, he's got the kids down the road playing basketball before other kids get out of school. It's totally silent here except for the sound of the keyboard as I type. There's a nice breeze blowing in the window--and there are a few gnats in the house, and I have to go to the dentist in a little while. It's all reality, whether it's pleasant or painful. And we have plenty of both.

See you tomorrow!