Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Few Years Back...

an experienced home schooler said to me "You need to make a choice..either you home school or they go to school...make it and stick with it, and take away the other option" At the time I was really wavering in my commitment and belief...ok..that was like until 6-12 months ago..I also did have a hard time swallowing her advice...

As it turns out...she was right. When I took away the option of putting the kids in school and delved into and believed in the process of everything home education entails...my doubts faded. It was almost magical...there were doubts, they went POOF!

Not only was she right, but she was wise. Why? Well...when you are with small people nearly 24/7 and are responsible for educating them....some days...will...NOT...be...fun. For me, today was one of those days. There was arguing between the kids..non stop...the sky was all gray, the brilliant leaves are off the trees and mouldering on my lawn, did I mention the kids fighting???? Everything was wrong.

In hindsight I see where I slipped up...I didnt keep us in the structure we all need...I had a hard time getting motivated...and it showed. The day ended up ok...and tomorrow is the day I go visit with my Mom and Mr. C takes the kids...so Thursday we will begin again, on the right foot.

Odd how yesterday was a wonderful productive day and today was just blah....
Im also thinking of maybe getting a sun lamp this winter? The lack of sunshine is already getting to me...when there is sun I chase sunbeams around the house to sit in, but it's not enough.

*Obviously some people operate fine when they have the option of putting their kids in school....I dont work well in anything without a solid single minded dedication. Having other options makes me second guess what Im doing.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I registered for the college course I will be taking winter quarter today.
The new math level went very well, did two lessons.
As for the rest I wanted to yank out my hair...but we pushed on..I bit my tongue and the boys finished their grammar work, spelling and handwriting. I think boys are allergic to handwriting. They want to learn cursive but they have atrocious printing...and the cursive book we are using does do a review of proper printing. My 7yo saw that I wasn't going to budge and did his work as quickly and neatly as possible, my 9yo complained and took awhile..but finished. Tomorrow I will be adding the history curriculum in. Gwen did some phonics work and read a few words on her own...she was very happy!!

Schedule Change

In an effort to boost productivity around here I am embarking on a completely new schedule. The plan is for me to wake up at 5am (yes, 5 am) write for an hour, then exercise, shower, get dressed, do breakfast, morning chores, start school, stop at noon for lunch and recess, finish school, do errands, afternoon chores, free time, dinner, showers, more exercise for me while the kids do that, then bed...and I get a couple hours free, and go to bed myself at 10.

Got that?

This is a drastic change for me as normally I stay up till 1am, and then wake up grumbly around 8...Im not a morning person...but Im sure I can be if I actually got to bed earlier.

Today is day one...I got out of bed at 5:10...came downstairs, and noticed I had set my coffee maker to PM...again. Turned it on and stood and stared till there was enough for one cup.

We have an office space off of our bedroom that right now is sort of a storage room...our intent is to make that my "writing cave" It isnt done yet, so I figured I would sit at the kitchen table and write...but while waiting for my coffee I realized that it is REALLY dark out and I dont like being by uncovered windows in the dark...and our kitchen has an entire wall of windows, and then a sliding glass door...so that is a lot of uncovered windows that zombies can watch me through. ;-)

I opted for the couch, drank some coffee, thought about how insanely tired I am, and that I feel kinda sick. I tried to write..but it didnt work. However, I did manage to discover the Word Processor program on my computer and that I can print out greeting cards and menus with templates that are already there.

Hopefully I can get through today without too much fatigue. All of our new curricula is in...and we are all looking forward to getting started with it. In the afternoon we have a library run to make and grocery shopping.
I also need to make time to start clearing out the office...so I can get it painted this week. Im going to go with a deep plum for the walls..and make the room extra cozy and cave-like..hence the term writing cave.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Curriculum

I ordered some new curriculum today...the kids have learned past what we had on hand so I figured the responsible thing to do would be to order some more. I always get giddy excited when I buy new things for us to work on!
For history Im going with Pandia Press History Odyssey: Ancients
Language Arts is Classical Writing...Im starting off with the Primer just to get a feel for it, and then will adjust accordingly..it is for my boys, and I have not had them do any formal writing...unless you count writing "I will not hit my brother" 50 times as formal writing. :-P
Continuing our math with high emphasis on review work and making sure they have all basic principles down we are going into Saxon 3. My goal is to be well into Saxon 4 by next fall...if not finished.
Then I ordered Classically Cursive....and now Im wondering if that was a good pick....but we will see.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I haven't said anything about going back to school for awhile...but I still am. Registration is on the 26th and I will be taking 2 classes...and Mr. C is requesting that I pay for them when I register instead of waiting..because then I won't back out. Last time I did...but that was because I couldnt add one more thing into my life that would potentially add more stress. Now I realize that it would have been a good stress...something productive, and a good distraction...so it gets to be that when classes start in January. :-P

The kids are having an interest in Stonehenge lately, so we have been watching documentaries about it...as well as nature videos.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It seems....

That life is racing past me and Im not grabbing on....but just standing and watching and...

The kids are changing more and more each day, there are so many things to finish....or begin... laundry is undone, walls need painted, plates need washing, weeds need pulling, phone calls go unreturned, my mom's transplant failed and there are no other treatment options. Am I missing optimal windows for teaching the kids things they need, will need, may never need??

Things pile up, my stress level grows...showing itself in various forms...twitching left eye, clenching teeth, grinding my teeth while sleeping, crying in my sleep, chest pains, insomnia.

Everything spins....Im stuck...

My dreams are all about loss...of things that Im aware of, and losing things I never knew I had to begin with....extra rooms in my house...a child that slept on a bed for years waiting for me but now she has to go.

Someday....maybe....things will return to some level of calm.....

Monday, October 12, 2009

It was a Date!

Saturday night my mother in law offered to have the kids spend the night at her house. Naturally we accepted.

We made plans...dinner at a great fusion restaurant we love..and miss going to, finding places to go that we can't go with kids in tow, and then when done with that going to a diner and writing.

Dinner happened, and was great. We originally considered staying in a cheap motel...but then we realized that it wasnt all non smoking..and smoke makes me really sick...and then there was the whole thought of quality control and clean sheets and towels....so we opted for a nice hotel. After getting checked in and situated we tossed around some ideas...head out and check out some clubs or bars...but it was only 8:00. Movie? Only thing that seemed remotely interesting was Zombieland...but zombies make me ill...and Mr. C does not like Woody Harrelson or the other guy actor. We thought again about the bars....Mr. C doesn't drink...and neither of us was really in a mood to sit and stare at people being obnoxious.

Soooo....we looked at the time again....8:20.

A shy suggestion....one borne of 13 years of marriage...3 children..being happy and settled in life....and having a crazy schedule.....

How about we go to sleep early and get a good nights sleep and wake up early??

and we did.

OK...my HUSBAND did. I tried, and instead slept not at all really....woke up to every sound in the hallway, felt like the blankets didnt breathe well enough, and the room had no air flow and was suffocating, the bed was too big, and my husband too far away, and my dreams when I did sleep were too weird.

We did have a nice happy breakfast the next morning though, then picked up the people, went to the Cleveland Art Museum and revisted old favorite pieces that are back on display. THe museum underwent an extensive renovation and has basically been closed for the past few years...WELL worth the wait though.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Best $2.24 I ever spent....

Last week we went to Target, and they had notebooks on clearance for .12 ...so I bought all of them. The boys really wanted calculators so we found a couple for $1 each. When we got home the boys sat down with a notebook and calculator each and challenged each other to a math duel. They wrote down math problems, took turns calling them out, and whoever got the answer first got a point. That lasted for about an hour. When they tired of their game Eli went to "train" his Pokemon cards...and kept track of their improving hit points with his notebook and calculator...Add went to figure out real life problems...like "If I were to earn $50 a day and worked 7 days I would make $350 a week" I would toss in things like..take 10% off for savings and then another 20% for taxes...then how much do you have left?

I came across an article on Salon.com about homeschooling....and naturally I had to read the scathing comments. It amused me for awhile to read the sheer viciousness some people evidently hold toward homeschooling. One thing that kept coming up in comment after comment was "HOW will homeschooled children EVER learn to deal with DIFFICULT people??" Uh.....I thought that generally speaking, the most difficult people are usually in ones own family...see...problem solved. :-P

I need to blog on a regular basis...I havent been on the computer during the day, and at night Ive been binging on books.

My mom is out of the hospital....but the latest news is that it looks like the transplant has most likely failed....Im not sure what the other options really are...or if there are any. The Dr. mentioned the possibility of her taking an older chemo drug...but she has to get stronger first.