Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Day 82--What my kids think of homeschool

I asked the kids how they felt about how we homeschool, and the first thing they said was that we’re relaxed. So I asked them what that meant, and they gave me quite a list. Sam said, “Not having to do school when we don’t want to.” I’m not sure exactly what he meant, but I know they don’t mind doing school. Well, sometimes they mind doing math, but I accept that as the family hardship. Maybe he meant what Sarah said, “We don’t worry if we can’t do school.” You know there are plenty of days like that with my migraines, fatigue, projects at the old house (we finished painting the stairs today), and Jeff’s schedule.

Rachel likes the not worrying aspect too. She’s glad we aren’t worried about requirements (too much anyway). She said that we could do a lot of good school-type things from some list, but if we don’t do them, we’re still ok. I love that. She also said that she’s glad I don’t worry about grades as much as she does. It’s kind of funny that the girls think about what grades they get, because they really don’t get any. I only give a percentage grade on science tests so they have some idea about it, but for some reason it matters to them what they get. I haven’t figured out why.

They said they like that we don’t separate living from learning. I just put the learning of any subject in the same category. It’s been my job to teach them to get dressed, use the bathroom, cook, clean the house, read, write, multiply, understand government, manage money, be respectful, and serve others. What’s the difference? Why would I decide any of those things shouldn’t be done by me? Sarah was thinking that other people probably don’t do a lot of academic learning at home. They don’t have science experiments in the freezer or Egypt in the basement or China in the den. Sounds boring to her.

Then we talked about how we’re together all the time, having conversations. We talk all day every day. Sometimes we don’t get much else done. This is one of our favorite things about homeschooling. We know each other so well, we can tell what each other is thinking. It’s like we don’t need to talk because we talk so much! Sometimes they just say one word and it means this whole big thing, which totally cracks them up. We’re going to have to do one of our comedy sketches about it. Something they appreciate about my knowing them so well is that I can figure out ways to explain things to them so they get it. I admit that sometimes it takes a few times or a few dozen, but we get there eventually. Also, they get to help each other understand things.

They like how we sometimes have a great idea and start planning and get excited, but then we don’t do it. If we lose interest or momentum, it’s ok. Like when we read Murder on the Orient Express, we thought it would be fun to have a party with the teens at church and act it out. Rachel started writing parts and we talked about who would be good for each part, but we never did it. It still sounds like fun, but we’re not worried about not doing it. Sometimes it’s good to be able to quit something you don’t want to finish. That’s just real life.

Rachel said how she likes that they are influenced by our family culture and not the high school culture. This is the biggest reason we started homeschooling all those years ago, and it has worked out wonderfully for us. Sure, sometimes they’ve felt like they don’t know anything other kids know. But I tell them other kids don’t know all the things they know. Everyone is that way. All the kids that go to school don’t know all the same things either. Adults sure don’t. I tell them that nobody ever wants to compare what I know with what they know. As adults, we just talk and learn from each other. Everyone’s so different, and that’s what makes the world interesting.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Day 81

I was listening to Julie Bogart's Facebook live this morning about literature, and I loved it! She talked for a while about reading a variety of genres and authors so we can find out about all kinds of people and places. I'm not sure how much variety we have in our reading around here. Maybe that's something I should think about more deliberately.

Last night, we were talking about reading in schools. When Jeff and I were in school, they didn't really have us read many books. I can't say for sure what schools do now, but I don't imagine it's too different. I do know kids that have had to read several books over the summer as homework before the year began. I don't know if they're supposed to be able to remember everything and participate in analyzing them when school starts or what. I would never be able to remember that much from that many books if I had to cram them all in during one summer break.

When I was a teenager, sometimes we would just get the Cliff's Notes version and never read the book. What a terrible way to experience literature. It's was sad, but I had one teacher that read aloud to us a couple times a week. She read whole books to the class, and we loved it. I thought she was just amazing. Hey, do you think that's why my kids think I'm amazing? I don't remember any analyzing of literature that I surely did in high school, but I remember being read to. Did you have any teachers read to you in high school?

Rachel finally finished her application for college Saturday night. It's a church school, so she has to get an ecclesiastical endorsement, and she's having an interview for that tomorrow night. Then she has to wait until February to see if she's been accepted. Torture. I think colleges do all that to see if you can endure the application process; and if you're really serious and make it through, then they'll take you. That probably gets you ready for life more than any class you'll take.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Day 80

Do you have pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving? Pumpkin, of course. We love love love pumpkin pie at our house. I wonder if that's because we make it with sour cream. It's so good; you should try it.We had a nice Thanksgiving with my parents and half of my siblings yesterday. After eating, we put up their Christmas tree. I say we, but I mean my kids and my brother. Jeff and I watched. And laughed. I don't know how many strands of lights my mom has for her tree, but it's a LOT. She always says she likes to be able to read by the light of it ("from across the street," my brother adds). I don't think I've ever actually seen her read by it, but her tree looks way better than mine.

Today, after eating pie, we went over to the other house to put another coat of finish on the floor. It was just beautiful when we walked in. We had left before it dried last time, so when we didn't see it until today. I just love it. I think we're done. Jeff says two coats are enough. I hope he's right. We're going back tomorrow to see, and to paint the stairs.

The kids were doing schoolwork in the den while Jeff and I were coating the floor. He also replaced some insulation in the attic while we were there. It was a disgusting mess. He looked like he had been sitting in a mud puddle. He forgot to take clean clothes, and I didn't want that junk in my car. So he took off his outer shirt, pants, shoes and socks. Then he buttoned his coat around his waist so he'd be covered, and ran out to the car! I'm glad it was dark. I suggested having Sam give him his pants until he got to the car and I'd bring them inside and give them back, but Sam didn't want to do it. Jeff looked like he had on a skirt with arms. It was pretty funny.

See you next week!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Day 79

I am so sick of being on the couch! I can't get over this headache. It's not as bad now, but I'll have to go to sleep again--just like last night. We found a few Studio C sketches on youtube today that we haven't seen. I think that's probably all we'll find though. Sad. We didn't make the pies for tomorrow like we were supposed to. What a tired day, rainy too.

We always have Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. My dad has made the meal every year for as long as I can remember. My mom was in charge of pies until a few years ago. Then I started doing them. We're taking two pumpkin and one apple. I love that the kids can totally do pies without me, because I'm making the delicious, soft, warm dinner rolls. They have a stick of butter in them and then you dip them in another stick of melted butter before baking them. Crazy good. We're also taking sweet potatoes--just baked, and sautéed green beans.

Rachel was still working on essays today. Seems like there's an endless supply. She said there are nine of them to do. Well, I'm not sure you'd call them all essays. Technically, I guess only three of them are. But there are nine things to write like noteworthy accomplishments, why she wants to go there, experiences with leadership, skills and talents. It's exhausting. She's closing in though. I just think she'll have to double up on math lessons to finish her credits for the year!

Sarah started reading Whatever Happened to Penny Candy today and Sam is reading Whatever Happened to Justice, that Sarah thought was so boring. He's much more interested in it than she was. Wilson was always more interested in that sort of thing than Rachel too. But nobody around here wants to watch the news. We don't have a TV, so we have to look up any news we watch. I think I need to find some kind of student news though. Maybe that would be more fun for them than regular news.

See you soon!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Day 78

I've had an extreme migraine since Sunday, so I missed posting yesterday. I'm wishing I didn't have to go to sleep soon, because it's always worse when I wake up. We'll see.

Rachel's still working on those essays for her college application. She's trying to come up with "noteworthy accomplishments" that she can tell them about. We aren't much for extra stuff here. Sarah was saying she wouldn't have anything to put when it's her turn, so we thought it would be good for her and Sam to look at the application and see what kind of things they should consider doing during high school. I never thought of that, because that's not really how I roll. You know, no "teaching to the test" around here. But I guess it's an ok idea to energize or motivate some adventurous things that they might not think of otherwise.

Rachel has written about her experiences with making youtube videos for our channel and recording video auditions to try out for videos our church produces. She also told about writing her book that we're getting ready to self-publish. She spent time setting up an Etsy shop a while ago too, so we thought we might open it now and she can put that on the application. Now she has to tell them all about her skills and talents. She hates that kind of thing.

Sam and Sarah worked on science and math this afternoon, after I was able to sit up a little and talk. The math is still kicking Sarah's behind. There are just so many things to think of that aren't included in every problem. Oh, how she longs for a definite way of doing every problem. Every time.

We got an offer on the house today. They offered what we're asking! And they're totally excited, so hopefully this time it goes through. I'd love to start saving that money every month! We still need to put about three more coats of finish on the floor, though.

For several days, I've been watching a little video Wilson sent of him and Eliza. It's killing me! They're visiting Kamille's parents for Thanksgiving this week--all week! We get a little jealous. I found pictures on Facebook of Eliza with the little children of total strangers! Ok, so they know them, but I don't. I need to hug that baby! Here's the video. It's about 30 seconds long. I'm not sure if anyone but me wants to watch it, but I can't keep this much cuteness to myself!

See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Day 77--Refinishing the Floor

I'm still having my doubts about reading The Making of America aloud to the kids. Rachel doesn't want to read it herself because she doesn't need any more Social Studies credits--kind of a stinking attitude, but I can't blame her. I told her that she needs to have a more thorough understanding of the Constitution than she has now, though. The others have time to study the book by themselves during high school, so I'm not worried about them. I just think it's too hard to pay attention while listening to it.  Wilson read it alone and wrote about each section; that worked great for him.

I never realized there were so many ways to just solve for X in a very simple problem. Today, Sarah was reading a story problem and she set up the problem 250 - 100 = X. Fine, but she wanted to add 100 to both sides. I guess I never taught her to combine all the like terms before trying to do anything else. She thinks I'm teaching her something new every single day. It all seems like the same thing to me. I've lost the Pre-Algebra DVD from MathUSee. If I could find it, she could listen to Mr. Demme. Not that she loves that, but I'm sure he's more thorough than I am. How did I teach it to Rachel and Wilson?

We've been working on the wood floor at the other house. We decided to just refinish it. It's so much cheaper than carpeting, and I think it's going to look fabulous! We rented a big sander and sanded it a few days ago, then the kids and I went yesterday to put finishing touches on the sanding. We had to do some with an electric hand sander by the walls and it was lighter in color than the rest, so the kids and I just took sand paper in our hands and blended it in. It didn't blend as well as I would have liked, but it was ok. We're going to paint the steps since it would be a ridiculous pain to use the hand sander on them. It was incredibly dusty. I was amazed at the amount of dust everywhere. I hope we got it all cleaned up, but I have my doubts.

Tomorrow, we're going over to start putting on coats of polyurethane. I think we're going to do four coats. We have to use water-based so I can go back into the house. If we used oil-based, I'd get migraines if I even got near it for months. My parents are having theirs redone too, but they're using oil-based. I wonder how long it will be until I can visit them without getting sick from the smell. Here's a fuzzy little video from yesterday.

See you next week!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Day 76--Having Fun

Yesterday, we used the theme of Sam's freewrite to play a game. I said a word and Sam said what that made him think of, then Sarah, then Rachel and back to me. We went around and around, laughing the whole time. Several things made us think of Dad. Cereal, milk, food. Do you see a theme here? I texted Kamille so she could play too. She said laziness made her think of a sloth on the couch in pj's at 2:00am. I think she meant me.

I've been on the couch today with a headache, so we had a Studio C marathon. It's a sketch comedy show on BYUtv. We've been sort of addicted to it since we went to Wilson and Kamille's. It gets funnier and funnier the more we watch it. In fact, it gave us an idea for a project that should be a hoot. We're going to write a sketch and put it on our youtube channel. Maybe we could even do it once a week.

We thought we'd call it Studio T. Clever huh? Our first idea for a sketch came from no one wanting to get out of their chairs to hand someone else something. I think we could make it hilarious. Well, to us anyway. See how much better a writing project can be when there's a real life reason to do it? Rachel's already making a list of ideas!

You know this already, but sometimes homeschoolers loose their books for days at a time. And Mom doesn't always know it. Apparently, Rachel put Sam's science book in a stack of stuff that we would never think it was in, on the day of his birthday party. That was like 12 days ago. He had been saying he couldn't find it off and on, but I guess it never alarmed anyone enough to do a thorough search. So today, I guess we were alarmed enough. He was worried about not getting the book done if he never found it, so I finally realized it was somewhere actually lost. After a LOT of searching, I decided to look in the impossible stack of stuff. And there it was! Yay for me.

See you tomorrow!

Day 75

I fell asleep last night before I posted. My head was hurting kind of suddenly. Well, maybe I was ignoring it for several hours and then I couldn't ignore it any longer, so I went to sleep. Still hurts.

I'm going to have to admit that we're never going to have school before lunch. So that will mean that we need to be more willing to go until 5:00 or something. Nobody wants to do that, so what should we do? I've been all for conversation and "living" to learn for several years, but I think I still have some underlying worry about that. Some doubt that it actually works. Maybe that's because I haven't had a child graduate yet that was homeschooled that way.

My only graduate was homeschooled with textbooks and plenty of school-type assignments. We do still have those, just not as many. I try to make the ones we do more meaningful, and I talk to them about what there is to learn from them. I'm more of a partner. With Wilson, I had him do assignments, graded them, and we moved on. Now, I talk with the kids about what they're doing, and I think it's more visible to them what they're actually getting out of doing their work.

The things we talk about all morning are important. Sometimes someone will bring up a concern that we need to discuss. A lot of times, we talk about current events. That's not really what they want to talk about, but I do it anyway. We have personal and family scripture study in the mornings--essential to start the day. We eat. That takes a little while since we have to cook everything from scratch. We usually talk to Jeff on the phone or Skype, and when he's here with us we're sure to have some big conversation. Sam and Sarah go outside and play a bit, and Rachel reads or writes every minute she can. I guess we're doing school in the mornings after all. Whew!

Yesterday, the kids got to do some more service with the other teenagers at church. They raked leaves, baked cakes, made buckeyes, and decorated for Christmas for someone that has a small business in town. It was to help get ready for a sort of open house event this weekend. They also get to go help with that by handing out hot chocolate and talking to people Saturday. I think they had a lot of fun helping. It always feels so good to serve. We love it.

While they were helping with that, I tried to do some work on my online college stuff. I'm not sure how far I got. I need to get over this stuck place I'm in. I guess I'm going to have to let go of wanting to do my best and just get it done. That bothers me, but I guess it's ok sometimes.

See you tomorrow (tonight actually)!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Day 74--Supermoon

You probably know there was a super moon tonight, it was pretty cool, but the pictures online lead you to expect it to be a ridiculous size. Why do they do that? I didn't think it would be, but I thought it might be a little bigger than it was. Here are my blurry pictures taken through the window. The first one was right before the moon became visible. Look how much it was lighting up the sky! It was already dark out. The other one was just a few minutes later, after it came up over the horizon. It was so clear and bright. They say it won't be this close to the earth again until 2034. That's a while.

The kids had to do school without me today, since I had to go to the doctor. They sat outside freewriting about things in the yard. The girls did some nice descriptions, and Sam did a very funny piece where he told what the patio stones made him think of and that made him think of something else and something else until he got all the way to cheesie bunnies. They're rabbit shaped cheese crackers. Looked like a pretty fun exercise. I'll have to remember it.

I got some good news at the doctor. He said that my little problem will go away and he didn't have to do anything about it. I went thinking he was going to have to do an unpleasant procedure and I was extremely nervous and upset by it. My stomach was in knots and my blood pressure was like 129 over 90 something. It's usually about 100 over 70. I was so relieved. I just have to wait a week or two for it to go away completely. But it has started feeling much better in the last few days, so I'm sure it'll be fine.

Tonight for Family Home Evening, we did some family history research. Rachel has done a lot of it and she showed Sam and Sarah how to do some. Their favorite part was going back on our family tree to the 1500's and finding the silliest sounding names. They giggled themselves silly. I'm not sure how much the learned about how to use the family history website though. We'll have to see if they can look up things on their own or not. Next we're going to have to figure out how to search records in order to add people that aren't already on there.

I can't resist this picture of Eliza trying to kiss the baby in the mirror during our video chat last night. We are absolutely going to expire waiting for them to get here. They're coming the week before Christmas. Just another 5 weeks I think. She changes so much from week to week. She's able to sit up for a while when they put her that way now. Last week, she just fell over immediately. Another couple weeks and she'll be completely stable. Isn't it fun to be the grandma!

See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Day 73--The Moore Formula

Have you read The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Raymond and Dorothy Moore? I won't go into the whole thing, but I love the model of "The Moore Formula" that they discuss. Here's their brief synopsis of the it:
"1) Study from a few minutes to several hours a day depending on the child's maturity; 2) manual work, at least as much as study; 3) home and/or community service an hour or so a day. Focus on kid's interests and needs; be an example in consistency, curiosity, and patience."

Don't you love that? We cover number one pretty well. We study from a few minutes to several hours a day, but it doesn't depend on the child's maturity. It depends on the day. That's probably not what they meant, but I can only do what I can do. We definitely do not do as much manual work as study. Unless you count cooking. Ha! (I thought I had heard that the formula included the children working at having a business.) And we've actually had a hard time serving lately because of health stuff.

Today was lovely though. We did manual work that was service. We helped prepare lunch for 35 young adult missionaries for our church this morning. We made tacos--our specialty. We chopped tomatoes and lettuce, fruit for fruit salad too. We made refried beans and guacamole, set up tables, and talked and laughed and had fun. It was so nice. We didn't do any studying though. It can't all happen on the same day right?

I think the Moore Formula would surely produce a well rounded, socially aware, adult with fortitude and a variety of abilities and interests. I guess we've had seasons for different aspects of this formula though. We have times when all we do is serve those around us for hours and hours each week. And then that slows down and we get to spend a lot of time studying. The manual work is always hovering in the background in every season. Like tomorrow, we're going to go to the old house and sand the living room floor in order to refinish it. The realtor says we're going to get another offer on Monday, so we'll see. I don't like to get my hopes up; but they did ask if we were willing to do a couple things, which we are. They're things that need done anyway, so that's ok.

We have always taught the kids to clean the house, even though we don't have regular chores that people are responsible for. We have done chores in several different ways throughout the years. It's probably time to have them more structured again. I'll have to work on that. I love how I can read about different "homeschool methods" and take what sounds good and include it in what we do. I never have followed any method or curriculum strictly. That would kill us, not because we're undisciplined, but because as wonderful as other people's programs are, they just don't know my family. I'm allowed to take any idea and make it right for us. and so are you!

See you next week!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Day 72

Sam and Sarah finished the Lego treehouse. What do you think? He submitted it for the competition right away. I'd love for him to win something. It's a pretty clever design.

Well, when I was giving Sam some math problems today, he said he really wants to do what Sarah's doing; so it's Pre-Algebra for him too. We don't have to be in a hurry. I think I'll have him figure out things mentally first and then hopefully he'll be able to see the logic of the procedures as we apply them.

Sarah thinks it'll be a month before she can remember how to solve for X when there's anything a little complicated about it. I'm sure it's going to click soon. In the meantime, I don't mind teaching it over and over. I like to look for different ways to explain things. There are so many ways with algebraic thinking though. She and Kamille were talking (texting) about it today and I saw where Sarah told Kamille that I have a gift when it comes to finding different ways to teach the same thing until it clicks. I have to admit, that made me feel good.

Rachel's whole world is about writing these days, because of the book editing and the college application essays. Oh, and she reads book after book after book. Maybe she's trying to read them all again before she leaves home. I remember when Wilson was probably in 6th through about 8th grade, we had to limit his reading to 5 hours a day. I'm not even exaggerating. That's pretty funny to me. I wish he had 5 minutes a day to read a book now. Maybe some day.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Day 71

We didn't spend too much time on the news today, like I thought we would. Well, I don't know if I really thought we would or not. It's kind of silly. I guess I feel like protesting the election of a president, while a right, is a little. . . I just can't find a word. We have elections, we get a new president, and we get over it. Close to half the people in the country usually don't get the president they wanted. This happens every election. We might complain and be disappointed or irritated, but do we really protest? What is going to happen exactly? Usually a protest begs for change. What's going to change? If high school kids are walking out of class or people are burning cars that belong to strangers, what then? So you're upset, so you don't like the president-elect, so you want it to be known. What then? Frankly, it's embarrassing. Ok, enough of that.

Last night, the kids had youth night at church; and they did some interesting things. Rachel and Sarah had a self-defense class. They didn't learn too many moves or anything, but the lady did a good job of sharing her experiences and helping them understand how important it is to take care of themselves. My girls would rather not practice moves on other people anyway, so I'm sure they were relieved. Sam had a CPR class. He got to practice on a dummy, and they even got to use the defibrillator! Well, it was a practice one so they couldn't get shocked. Pretty cool.

I've been dealing with a little medical issue this week, which has been distracting me quite a bit. Today I went to the doctor and found out I have to have a small procedure done to take care of it. I don't know when it will be--it needs to be as soon as possible! I guess I'll be distracted by it for several more days. I've never even heard of it before. I get the strangest things, and the whole family suffers. Well, maybe suffers is too strong a word. Boy do they learn! It's just not always school subjects.

Sarah has been helping Sam build a treehouse for a Lego competition today. I love it when they work together on a project, and I especially love it when one of them gets involved in the interests of another. Perfect school if you ask me. What better thing to learn and practice than to be connected to each other and work together, sharing ideas and collaborating?

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Day 70

I was reading Peter Elbow's book, Vernacular Eloquence and came across inkshedding. It's like freewriting as a group in order to communicate with each other. I think he was talking about it being used in business, where a group has to collaborate and they each write their ideas and pass them around for others to read. I can't remember all the details; I'll have to read it again. But it sounded great to me. I thought it would be fun if the kids and I just wrote a conversation instead of speaking it. I'm hoping Sam will become more comfortable writing just what he's thinking instead of thinking he has to write something formal. He says his brain locks up whenever he has to write something instead of saying it. It happens to Jeff too.

Another idea of inkshedding is also that afterward you trash whatever you wrote It's not intended to be kept for posterity, just used in the moment and discarded. It reminded me of emailing and especially texting. We usually don't keep those; they serve their purpose and get deleted. That might also make it easier to not worry so much about the accuracy of the writing, since it isn't kept. I sent Sam an email, but he hasn't responded yet. I think I'd like to get a small dry erase board and have an ongoing conversation on the board. Maybe I'll leave it in his room. Or I guess we could just use sticky notes. Either way, I'm excited to try it.

I showed the kids that preview of the new Anne of Green Gables movie today. They didn't like it any better than I did. Of course, I told them it was awful before we started, but they agreed anyway. Then we had to go pick up the DVD that I reserved at the library. I think we'll have to watch it tomorrow afternoon. It's just so good.

Rachel's getting closer to the end of her college application. Today, I think she finished drafting the essays. Now she wants me to help her go over them. She also got her ACT score. I still wonder if there's any way to get mine from all those years ago. I'd love to know what it was. I have no recollection at all. I don't remember my college application being this long. And I only remember writing one essay. I wish I had kept a copy of it to show her. She'd probably get a kick out of it, like my sappy love poems I wrote when I was 14. I just found those the other day, and the kids are dying to read them. How embarrassing!

I think Sam's thinking he wants to do the Pre-Algebra this year after all. I need to talk to him some more about it and maybe try a bit more of it again. He's had some time to think about it since I decided he would wait til next year. He's listening to what Sarah's doing, and I think it's interesting him. I'm not sure that's how he would describe it though.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Day 69--Sam was so surprised!

Sam's surprise party was so fun. He almost fell over from shock. It was pretty funny. I can't believe I didn't get any pictures! We had six boys come over; they spent most of the time running around outside in the dark playing freeze tag. More like freezing tag--it was getting kind of chilly. We had pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream. Sam ate a ton of it.

This morning, Jeff and the kids worked on memorizing the end of a poem that we started months ago. I can't remember what it's called or who wrote it now. Or any of the words. That's pathetic. I have the hardest time memorizing. Sam was telling me he doesn't feel like he can memorize very much either. That's so hard to believe, because he knows so many things that he's read. You'd think it would be easier. After the memorizing, Jeff took Sam and Sarah on a bike ride. Sarah always comes home out of breath and gasping and shaking. I don't know why she doesn't just take it easy. Sam seems fine. I think her tiny bike is too much work. Tonight we started fixing up that bigger one for her. Hopefully it won't take too long to get it going. Rachel and Jeff went for a walk after the bike ride. She doesn't like to ride too much; she'd rather walk every time. I tell her to use the scooter, but no.

We always all end up working on math at the same time. It's not easy. Or smart. I have got to get that under control. Today it was 3:15, and I knew it would be the last thing anyone was going to do; so it had to be math. Today wasn't as bad as some days though, because no one had any new concepts to learn. Although Sarah had some new kind of word problems. She had to set up algebraic equations for situations like: Two boys got the same amount of money from their dad and one earned more until he had doubled his money. The other one got $15 for his birthday. They ended up with the same amount as each other; how much did they start out with? X+X=X+15. I think it was frustrating for her because she likes to breeze right through, but she had to stop and think. She seemed to like it in the end. It's just not always her favorite thing to take information and have to manipulate it in a different way each time. Algebra's like that. I'm glad she has this year of Pre-Algebra to practice doing that gradually.

I saw a clip for a new Anne of Green Gables movie. I was not impressed. I wouldn't have taken the job if I were an actor. There's just no way to follow the original. I'd probably get mad if I watched it; it's so different. They have Matthew talking so much, and he doesn't seem shy. I wondered if they even read the book. He would never talk that much. It was kind of sad. Makes me want to watch the original again. I'll have to go reserve it at the library.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Day 68

Ok, we got out the dry beans today to figure out that "55 sheep and cows in a field" problem from yesterday. We got it, but I still don't know how to do it without guessing. I looked at the lesson example from the previous page in the book, but I have no idea what they were talking about. Maybe I'm losing my touch. By the way, there are 20 cows and 35 sheep. I didn't have Sam do any other math today, and I only had Sarah do a few "solving for x" problems.

Rachel and I worked on factoring polynomials today. She's done it more than once before, but she always has to re-learn it. We were doing the difference of two squares. Then when she got the factors, she had to factor one of those because it was another difference of two squares. She got it, but I hope she remembers it tomorrow.

Sarah worked on her science all day long. She could hardly think of anything else. She did a whole study guide and studied for the test. Then she took the test and got a 95. She was pretty happy, but she said, "I did all that studying and spent all that time, and the test only took 10 minutes!" Yep.

Sam will be 14 on Friday! I made his birthday dinner tonight because Jeff will be working Friday night. We had beef tips with roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes. So good. Then the kids made cupcakes and cream cheese icing. But I was having a gall bladder attack, so I didn't dare eat the cream cheese. Well, not much of it. I'm having a surprise birthday party for Sam on Friday evening. Don't tell him! We're just having a few of the other 13 year old boys from church over. A couple of them are in the Sunday School class I teach, and it was their idea--very sweet. They're good kids.

Of course we read aloud like every day. Anne of Green Gables. I'm glad we decided to read it again. It's like visiting an old friend. It's so comforting to read a favorite book again, don't you think? I love that we know what will happen, but we can't wait to see anyway. I think we'll have to re-read some of our other old favorites too.

Sam and Sarah took a bike ride around the neighborhood with Jeff walking part of the way. They love doing that. Sarah's bike is way too small though. Her legs are so long! I think she's kneeing herself in the chin. We have a bigger one that's new, but cheap. It loosens up whenever anyone uses it. I guess we'll have to put some loc-tite one it to hold it together once and for all.

Rachel worked on her application for college again today, and she started checking over my editing of her book. I think she likes what I've done so far. I'm going to have to start checking into self-publishing. That may take a while. Then when I'm finished writing my homeschool book, I'll have it all down and it'll be easy. And then the two other books I'm writing. I wonder how many years it'll be before anyone sees any of those!

See you tomorrow!