Friday, May 19, 2017

Day 149--Last day of school!


We didn't do much today for our last day. Boy do we need a break! Jeff starts vacation after he gets done with work tonight. Yay!! I think we could all sleep for a week. Some of us have had light colds and we've been staying up so late this week. Jeff's new hours are crazy too!

Rachel got her diploma in the mail today from the umbrella school we use to keep our records. It was pretty exciting! Perfect timing too, right?

I can't remember if I've ever shown you any of the pictures we've taken for our Etsy shop. So here are a few I like.

I'm seriously about to fall asleep, so I'm going to stop here. But I'll be back! For now, I'll keep heading toward 200 days.

See you next week!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Day 148--Two days in a row!

I've been terrible about writing lately, but I'm actually doing it two days in a row! Tomorrow's supposed to be our last day of school, and then Jeff's on vacation until June 1st. Sam has 10 more pages to read in his science book, but Sarah's going to have to read hers during the break if she wants to finish it. I don't really mind her not reading it all, but she wants to. She likes to get done with things.

We've been reading Jane Eyre. Did I tell you it's weird? Jeff keeps saying he wishes we could talk to each other like they do all day. I think we just wouldn't know what each other is talking about. I don't want to sound negative; we like the book. It's a good one for vocabulary building, like The House of Seven Gables. I still underline book titles. I've heard that it's acceptable to italicize them now, but I haven't decided to yet. Anyway, there was a major plot twist that none of us were expecting today. I won't say what, so I don't spoil anything for anyone that hasn't read it. But I was totally shocked! I don't know what will happen next. There's so much of the book left. At least 1/3 of it.

Rachel is figuring out how to graph her findings from her journaling study. The sample of people was so small that I'm not sure the data reflects what it should. But it's good. She's been dragging her feel about it; she'd rather work on Becoming Sencra's Queen. She really just needs to write something about it. It doesn't have to be much. Or very formal. I'm starting my final edit of her book today. It's hard to start over. It is so much work to publish a book.

I guess I'm finding out what I'm getting myself in for with the books I'm working on. I plan to self publish all of them. Well, I might see if a publisher will take the one about weaknesses. My audience is mostly members of my church, and there are a few publishers that concentrate on that market, so we'll see. I think it would appeal to anyone though. It's partly about how we shouldn't be defined by our weaknesses. About how there's so much more to all of us than that.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Day 147--Not to test

I decided to go with the teacher evaluation and not the testing! The kids are ecstatic. And I just love the assessor. I talked to her on the phone and she is so easy-going. She only wants two samples of work, and she's happy. I told her I wasn't sure how I felt about someone else having an opinion of what we've done, and she said she didn't have any opinion about it. I love that! I know that might not be best for everyone, but it works for me.

We have just two more days of school left, and it's almost impossible to do any "work" that looks like school. You know I don't need it to look like school at any time during the year, but it certainly doesn't look like that in May. Here's what it looked like today.


The van air filter needed changed, so they got some real-life skills with Dad today. Also, I had Sam go up on the pretty tall ladder and clean out the gutter. I think there's a picture of that too, but it's not on the computer, so you don't get to see it.

I've been thinking about what to do with this blog after I get to 200 days. Actually, I'm probably close to that for school; but since I didn't write every day, I'm only up to number 147. I might change the nature of the blog. Instead of just talking about our days, I might talk about some aspect of homeschooling. If I did that, it wouldn't be every day (which isn't too different). What do you think? Leave me a comment and tell me if you've enjoyed just hearing about what we do from day to day or if you'd like to have my opinions about homeschooling.

I will tell you that I'm working on a book about my philosophy of homeschooling--relaxed but not irresponsible. I have no idea how long that will take though. I'm really hoping I can get it out next year. I'm totally excited about it. But first I'm going to finish my book of writing project ideas. I also have one started about weaknesses. So many books, so little time!

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Day 146--To test or not to test?

I think I might not do standardized testing this year. The law allows for teacher evaluation too, so I'm looking into it. I like the testing, because I can do it all myself; but it's a little stressful, because . . . well, you know. It's crazy to think that all kids learn the same things as other kids at the same age. It doesn't even work in schools or even in classes in the same school. It's obviously not possible for it to happen in homeschools. So I might have found an evaluator that doesn't need to see too much of my kids' work. I don't really save work, and we do a lot of talking in our homeschool. So there's not a huge paper trail. Sam and Sarah are pretty excited at the prospect of not testing. I haven't decided yet.

Sam found a nerf dart in the backyard while we were mowing the other day. It fits his gun, so he's been having fun. It flies much faster than the ones we have. They've been shooting a balloon like shooting clay pigeons. Someone throws it and someone else has to aim far enough ahead of it to hit it. Now they're setting up dominoes and shooting them down.

Jeff's been a school-boy for a week or so. He's studying hard for his new job. He's been getting up early to study while the house is all quiet. He's such a good example. I'm not that diligent with my studies. That's why I'm going to have to pay for extra time to finish my degree when I get to the end of 8 years and still don't have it. Maybe his stuff is more fun to study than mine.

Kamille finished going through Rachel's book, and Rachel's finished editing from her suggestions. Now it's my turn. I really need to get on it, because Rachel's thinking of entering it in the Amazon Storyteller Competition, and the deadline is next week. Maybe I'd better go work on that now. After I make some cookies!

See you tomorrow!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Day 145--It's Natural

I heard about a study showing that college graduates are twice as likely to be successful at work and in life if these few conditions existed at college:

-teachers that encourage students to follow their dreams
-teachers that cared about the students as people
-teachers that got students excited about learning

Doesn't that sound like homeschool? But how do I make sure it sounds like my homeschool?

I guess it looks like helping Rachel edit and publish a book, giving Sam endless hours each day for stop-action videos (and sitting on the bathroom floor all day to help him film), or letting Sarah play the piano twenty-seven times a day when she might be doing other school stuff. Like staying up late at night to talk about something that concerns them, not making them do dishes when they have dry hands in the winter, or having someone else scoop the cat litter when the person whose turn it is feels yucky.

As for getting them excited about learning, that's a harder one. I think if I get excited about learning something, they follow that example. It's just that sometimes I forget to be excited. I get in a rut or can't find anything new to think about, or I'm tired. But I know it works. So being the mom is really the best way to point our kids toward success at work and in life. Don't we care about them, want them to have their dreams, and want them to be excited about learning? What better person to do that than their moms--dads too!

I had to laugh tonight when we were reading Kamille's email about chapter 4 of Rachel's book. She was talking about a line the main character says to someone, and Kamille referred to it as flirting. Rachel didn't think it was flirting at all; and it cracked me up, because of course it was! I guess I need to teach them more about that. I told them that if you make a cute little joke with someone you think is cute, that's flirting. They couldn't believe it. Rachel said that sometimes if a guy at church comes up and is nice to a girl, the girl will say that the guy had flirted with her. Rachel says she always thinks he was just being nice and normal. She's even told someone they guy was just being nice. I told her never to tell a girl that thinks she's been flirted with that she hasn't; just leave it alone! Too funny.

We did a lot of school today. It was so nice. We're still reviewing math, and we will be for another week. They're just reading through the rest of their science books. They're still reading things for American History. George Washington Spymaster and The 5000 Year Leap. Rachel's neglecting researching for her paper on expressive writing because she's too excited about editing her book, but she'll need to do it in the next 2 weeks. It's hard for her to want to finish her math book, since she knows that the online college she's going to use has one very easy math course that she'll be required to take. Really, really easy. I did the whole course in one day. She going to use the same college I'm using for my online degree. And we had a big conversation with Sarah about how everyone is not a math genius like she thinks they are. It's hard to be a teenager.

See you next week!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Day 144--Crazy week

Jeff started his new job Monday. He's packing his brain with info and coming home after work! I'm going to love this! It was so fun to have to save him some dinner tonight. I need to think ahead and make sure he has food to take for lunch each day. Not that they really take time to actually eat lunch. I guess he could at least keep Larabars in his pocket.

On top of job changes, I've had a terrible headache this week. I'm sorry if you've been looking for a blog post and not seeing one. Everyone's finished with Rachel's research study participation. Now she just has to look over the results and see if she can make a conclusion. She also needs to read more about what others have found. I got her the book Expressive Writing in order to do some studying. I also thought some of us might find it helpful to use the method to deal with stress. We've had a lot of changes in the last couple years, and hopefully this can help us relax a bit.

Sam finished taking the pictures for his video tonight. Now he just has to put it into iMovie and do a little editing. Good thing, too; because the deadline is May 10th. It looks so good. He's got several different scenes in it; and it's pretty funny. He's worked so hard planning and building and shooting. I think there are around 200 entries so far.

We've been reviewing math before we take the standardized tests. It's not fun reviewing math. Reviewing other things can be fun, but not math. I mean maybe it's fun for your family, but not here. I think we're going to need to continue reviewing during summer break. I really don't want to do that, but they forget so much after just a few days, it seems. And if we actually take off 6 weeks like I'm planning, we'll have to start over.

See you tomorrow!