Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How Do We Homeschool When Life Gets Complicated?

Our Homeschool has been seriously crazy with all the sick crud we’ve had to deal with over the past few weeks. I can honestly say that our days haven’t been all that typical and some days not much has gotten done at all. I was just too sick. But, this is one of the reasons why we homeschool. I love the flexibility and teachable opportunities that homeschooling provides. I’ve had to defend my decision to homeschool to a lot of people. Even to strangers in Panera. A few weeks ago (before the dreaded bronchitis came upon me) Josiah and I were having lunch and someone asked why he wasn’t in school. Well. We had already done loads of school and we’re about to go on a field trip with friends. Not every day is so jam packed with activity. Some weeks, like the last few weeks, are a little more random. We do have curriculum that we use, but the beauty of the curriculum is that it can be adapted and changed to fit everyone’s situation. I do school through the summer months, too. I know. I was never going to be that parent. Summers are meant for fun and relaxation. But seriously, It’s not like we are too structured to begin with. Learning about place value in your jammies is pretty great. Plus, I feel better in the summer. The winter months are just too unpredictable for my health (hence our crazy couple of weeks). Here are a few picks of some our favorite flexible moments of the past few weeks.
I know. He looks absolutely thrilled. We are studying Zoology right now and did an experiment about how birds fly. Specifically about aerodynamics. He made two gliders with different wing lengths and widths and did a few experiments to see which glider was more ayerodynamic.
Here you can see the one of the gliders and where it landed. You can also see a few random things on my floor. Ignore that stuff. Just pretend that my house is pristine. I'm doing my best to do the same!
Here is the other glider. We had a bit of trouble explaining the measuring the distance part. Or at least focusing on measuring the distance. Josiah wanted to measure everything.
The Studly Muffin gets in on the action and helps Josiah measure one of the flights. Hey. While your down there can you pick up my keys and stick them in my purse?
We got to go hear Temple Grandin speak. If you haven't heard about her you really need to look her up. Google her. She is so inspirational! I really enjoyed it. She has the best outfits!
Josiah wasn't as inspired. He spent the hour playing with my friend Sheryl's itouch. He did get to be on the TV. A local news station reported on the event and showed a clip of Josiah and Sheryl. You can see the side of my face and hair on the tv clip. I think Josiah was watching Despicable Me during the talk.
This is  Homeschool PE at one of the local universities (Evangel). He has PE 3 times a week (he also goes to the Y once a week). Troy took him most days(that is, when Troy or Josiah weren't sick). But this was my first time out in a few weeks. The PYT (pretty young thing) is one of the students. Here they are stretching.  The little guy in the gray shorts (who is also a Josiah) reminds me of Josiah when he was that age. He kind of does his own thing a lot. He obviously has other things to do besides stretching! I wonder what he was looking at?

Here they are learning the 2 step. This cracked me up! I laughed so hard I went into a coughing fit. The little guy in orange was actually pretty good. Josiah really didn't understand the idea behind the 2 Step. He just stepped. BTW. This was "dance week" at PE. Josiah wasn't a fan. Next week is Archery Week. He's all about shooting it will be a good time.
We found this at a local thrift store. A Cobra in a Basket! It really doesn't have anything to do with what we are studying right now...but who can resist A Cobra in a Basket.  We did quite a bit of investigating about Mr. Cobra. The Internet is a wonderful tool for research.
A closer view of A Cobra in a Basket. He's looking right at me. EWW.
Okay. Book Nerd. Right here. And a proud Book Nerd, at that! I got this little treasure at our local used Christian Bookstore (which happens to be one of my favorite places ever!)  I love reading poetry. I love the cadence. I love the use of language. It's just beautiful. I love words. Even when they don't make sense (which mine frequently don't)
I had a whole week planned of fun Dr. Seuss stuff in honor of his birthday, but it just didn't happen. We did read this little gem by Dr. Seuss. I love Dr. Seuss. I don't like Green Eggs (or any color of Eggs for that matter)..Sam...I Am.

This is our current read aloud. Which means I am reading this to Josiah every night before bed. It's our ritual to read a book every night. This is James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame). We are going to watch the movie on Netflix after we read the book to contrast and compare. We've done that with several books. This is a ritual that even Daddy can do. He read to Josiah when I was at my sickest. Daddy is the bomb!(or a peach :<))
We had to get a little History in! Right now we are studying New World Explorers. He learned about why Explorers did their exploring. This week we talked about what life was like for sailors. I had checked out books at the library in advance and we poured over them...reading..talking...looking at the illustrations. We are getting ready to talk about specific Explorers. I'm all about History. I hope my love for History rubs off on Josiah. If not, it's going to be a long Homeschool Experience. Cause Buddy we're going to be doing lots of History! I do use a specific History Curriculum. It is really hands on...which is what we need and love to do.
Some more reading. I love Apologia Science. I love that I can read it and we can talk about it and it's interesting. We didn't get to do many of the activities this week. Josiah  loves Science Experiments. We also read out of a Devotional Bible everyday. This one basically is going chronologically through the Bible. Josiah loves doing our Devotional. Many times we do it as a family.
Okay. This picture really can't be labeled under one subject or another. Maybe Drama? As you can see, two action heros are attempting to climb the vaccum cleaner chord. There is some sort of set-up beneath them. I see my space heater and a pile of toliet paper...along with other odds and ends. I can't tell you how creative this little guy is. He can make something out of nothing. And I do my best to encourage it. You can also see a crumbled up poptart in the picture. I'm trying not to think about it.  It was a long week. I wonder if it is still there!
I just had to take a picture. This is the top part of the last picture. He made a pulley! The circle is a craft ribbon holder. It's being held by a length of mardi gras beads from the Dollar Tree. And yes, that is the vaccum cleaner cord around the pulley.
I thought this was hilarious. I walked out of the bedroom and this was the first thing I saw in the hall. Power Rangers are defending the turf. ,I am writing this post The Blue Power Ranger has completely knocked off Mr. Whoever That Is and is standing triumphantly on top of the thermostat.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

108 Things About Me

I can't sleep. So what's a girl to do? Blog! And here is a complete nonsense blog. I read another blog that had posted 100 Things About Me. I had to go further with the nonsense and write 108 things. When I got to 100 I found I wasn't done talking. Typical.

108 Things About Me
1. I was born in Managua, Nicaragua

2. I don’t remember it. I was just a baby when we left.

3. It was the coolest thing about me when I was little.

4. It was hard getting much of any kind of driver’s license/permit. The only documentation I had that I was even born was in Spanish.

5. I don’t know how to speak Spanish.

6. I took two years of Spanish in High School.

7. I know how to ask for the bathroom and ask you “what’s happening.” In Spanish. That’s about it. Oh. And I can count to 10. But that might be because of Sesame Street.

8. I am the oldest of 3.

9. I am not quite the bossiest of my 3 siblings.

10. When I was younger we lived way out in the woods.

11. Almost like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

12. Except we had TV.

13. Barely. We got PBS and NBC, exclusively.

14. I knew more about the mating habits of certain water mammals than most girls my age.

15. That is what comes from watching PBS.

16. I know how to gut a chicken.

17. And can my own vegetables and preservatives.

18. I also know how to sew.

19. See. Laura Ingalls Wilder.

20. My Dad is a pastor.

21. He is also a genius.

22. I didn’t inherit those genes.

23. My mom is an artist.

24. I didn’t inherit those genes, either.

25. When I was little I won several writing contests.

26. I didn’t want to be a writer when I grew up.

27. I wanted to be an archaeologist. Like Indiana Jones.

28. I was practically have a minor in history. I suppose that doesn’t count.

29. I got married when I was 19.

30. This year, my Studly Muffin and I, will have be been married 20 years.

31. That’s a long time.

32. I only knew The Studly Muffin a few months before I married him.

33. I like buttermilk.

34. The Studly Muffin loves buttermilk.

35. Which is why he thought I was trying to get his attention before we started dating.

36. No other girl he knew liked buttermilk.

37. Laura Ingalls Wilder. That’s all I’m saying.

38. I went to beauty school after I graduated from High School.

39. No. I am not a beauty school drop out.

40. You can say I am a beauty salon drop out.

41. I went to two different High Schools.

42. I went to 3 years at one High School and then graduated from a different High School.

43. I was a theatre and choir geek.

44. I never had a leading role in the theatre.

45. But, I absolutely loved it.

46. I did do really well in choir.

47. I love to sing.

48. I’m an Alto.

49. I come from a long line of musical people on both sides of my family.

50. Most play a few instruments.

51. My parents play at least 3 apiece.

52. I barely play the piano.

53. My major when I started college was Music Education.

54. I was teaching Music at an elementary school when I first went to college.

55. Then I had a massive car wreck.

56. I almost died.

57. I had to learn to walk again.

58. A few years later I went into Congestive Heart Failure.

59. I was 27.

60. I almost died.

61. My ovaries don’t work very well.

62. I have one baby in heaven.

63. We bought our little boy.

64. He was almost $10,000.

65. You can say that he was our ‘major splurge.’

66. Adopting him was the best thing we ever did.

67. If I could I would buy another one this minute.

68. My husband is a pastor.

69. We’ve had a rough couple of years.

70. I had a second episode of heart failure a couple of years ago.

71. We had to take a break.

72. Break is about over.

73. We homeschool.

74. Yep. We’re those kind of people.

75. My little boy needed some constancy. Not everybody’s mommy is so sick so often.

76. He would have been in 4 school districts already.

77. I love to read. It used to get me in trouble when I was younger. I did things like reading instead of homework, chores and eating. I don’t have a trouble with much of that anymore. At least the eating part :<)

78. I love libraries.

79. I would love to be a librarian.

80. I’m a nerd. Not a smart nerd. Just a nerd.

81. I daydream.

82. I love classic poetry. It makes me feel happy.

83. I love classical music.

84. It makes me feel smarter. And much more adjusted than I really am.

85. One of my favorites is Léo Delibes'. Flower Duet.

86. My other favorite is Bach. Specifically the Cello Suites.

87. Speaking of adjusted. I have 23 pins and screws in my hip and legs.

88. I seldom take narcotics. I would be a good druggie.

89. I can predict an approaching storm system or cold front.

90. I don’t make metal detectors go off.

91. At least, none I’ve never encountered.

92. But you can see all of my pins in any kind of scan or x-ray.

93. I love Sushi.

94. In fact, I love most Asian inspired food.

95. But, my heritage is French, English & Irish.

96. I do like a good cup of tea. With cream.

97. I like my jewelry to dangle. Dangly earrings, dangly bracelets. I feel more alive if it all moves.

98. I also enjoy a good pair of flip flops.

99. They are my choice of footwear in the summer.

100. When I was little I also wanted to be a ballerina. Like a lot of little girls. I still love to watch people dance.

101. I never had a dance class.

102. Closest thing I came to a dance class was square dancing in High school P.E.

103. And learning choreography for the school musicals.

104. My favorite forms of pampering include pedicures, dangly jewelry, a new book, an afternoon at the movies & sushi.

105. My favorite color is red. It makes me feel sassy.

106. My favorite chapter in the Bible is Psalm 91. Look it up.

107. I sometimes suffer from insomnia (if you had 23 pins and screws you might,too).

108. When I have trouble sleeping, I do silly things like post 108 things about myself.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Wow. I'm suffering what could be called a 'pity party'. It's not the first time I have thrown such a party for myself. I have a few good reasons. I've been sick for almost a month now. And every time I seem to be heading up that glorious trail towards health...I run into a (metaphorically speaking) rattlesnake. Not to worry. Spring is almost upon us and there is only so long I will allow myself to wallow in the cavernous, dark pit that is my life. You can see that I am making the most of my sad, sad situation.

1. I am on enough medication to start my own pharmaceutical consulting business. Though undoubtedly illegal. My melancholy could be explained by the steroids and estrogen being pumped simultaneously through my system. I don’t know whether to cry hysterically or lift weights. The upside is that very soon I will be able to wear my favorite hair flower in the hair that is growing on my face. Just kidding! At the very most a cute little clippy will be adequate ;<)
2. My son called a little girl ‘poop’ at the gym today. Sadly, by the time it got to me it was really blown way out proportion and everyone had him calling her the ‘b’ word. I’m not quite sure what ‘b’ word that was…but, anyhoo. I wandered out of the gym crying a little because of the steroids and estrogen being pumped simultaneously through my system. Obviously, the estrogen is winning out.

3. I have watched some good TV while being under the weather. I watched a documentary called “Circus” on Netflix. There were a few words that we aren’t allowed to say (I watched on my laptop with my headphones), but I was so inspired I spent the next few days planning my escape to the circus. I had it all figured out. All except my act. I couldn’t figure out what I would do at the circus. Now I have it figured out…I can be the bearded lady!

4. I really have the best husband in the whole entire world. Yes, ladies. You heard it here. He isn’t called The Studly Muffin for nothing. He not only kept me supplied with my meds, Diet Sprite, my favorite herbal cough drops & Puffs Plus, but I had cashew chicken not once, but twice during my convalescence. I couldn’t really taste it, but it was the thought that counts. Chinese food is not his favorite. He loves me…facial hair and all.

5. I read something about a Clap Bra today. Yeah. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Clap twice and your bra comes off. Folks. That could be really bad. Especially because I am Pentecostal. We clap. About most everything. First time we get a really good Camp Meeting song going and there it would go. I don’t think these Clap Bra people thought this thing through…they for sure don’t go to a Pentecostal Church.

NOTE: Any donations of Nair or any other equally effective hair removal product will be gladly accepted.  
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