Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this weekIt's been a crazy, busy week. Over last weekend, tornadoes hit our area, within two miles of our house. We were blessed that other than some tree limbs that needed culling anyway falling down, our property is fine. Some of our area's residents are without homes today, and some of the public schooled kids are sharing a school for the rest of the school year. Tex was supposed to have surgery on a benign cyst in his jaw on Tuesdsay, but it got held up by the insurance company. It has been rescheduled for Monday morning if you'd like to pray for him. We are hoping that the infection will be limited, the roots and the tooth will be saved, and a root canal will not be necessary. I will be powering through the coursework for one of my two graduate courses that is due at the end of May. My goal is to be done with this first one (Motivating Readers) by the end of April. My folks have done some babysitting for me, which has helped and it lookes like I might reach my goal.

In our homeschool this week…The kids did their usual online classes, read MANY books, drew some amazing pictures, played a few learning games, and helped me clean up the house for Sunday's company. We were like a well-coordinated whirlwind on Saturday, with Hubby working outside with them some of the time, and them helping me some of the time, and the downstairs of the house looks AWESOME (if I can say so myself, and I do!), as does the yard. It was so nice to wake up Sunday morning to a sparkling home and to head out to church stress-free, and just RELAX all afternoon. I think that all that cleaning counts as home economics, and is character-building, to boot. Next week, we will tackle the upstairs, in between my classes (funny how cleaning looks more appealing when there is something you want to do even less...).

Places we’re going and people we’re seeingWe stayed with my folks for several days as power was out in our area for three days. We went to the oral surgeon and spent three hours waiting to be seen before being sent away. We had a fun Easter egg hunt at church (following a Bible lesson) on Sunday, and family (brother, SIL, Little Bear and Brother Bear, their boys, and Bubba and his lady friend, Miss A.) over for a lovely picnic dinner, basketball, jumping on the trampoline, lots of talking, and delicious s'mores.

My favorite thing this week was…All the kisses Baby Boo (who is almost two, and I am going to have to stop calling him Baby...oh, no!) gave me all week. I don't know what was up, but a week ago he stonewalled me when it came to kisses, and this week he practically woke up with kisses on his lips.

What’s working/not working for us…What's not working is me having two grad classes to do (I am taking them to maintain my certification to teach in my home state as it makes it easier to homeschool here by a lot). What is working is that I am actually learning some useful things from the class (which I did not really expect to do since it is geared towards PS teachers). This week I generated two record-keeping charts for Tex. One is a reading record, and the other is a listening record. I gave him two challenges. The reading challenge runs through September, and if he reads fifty books of certain kinds (for example, I indicated that five had to be unabridged classics, five could be fantasy...his favorite...two had to be poetry, and so on), then he earns a day trip to Barnes and Noble and a gift card to buy a book and a decaf latte. For the listening record, I told him about some sites for free audio books, then challenged him to listen to twenty five audio books, of certain types. The reward for successful completion is a day trip to the big library and an audio cd of his choice. He's already read two books for the list since I gave it to him Thursday (the books have to be over 125 pages and approved by me or his dad). We are trying to broaden his reading horizons (he is pretty stuck in the fantasy genre), and I think this may do the trick. Yay!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…Homeschooling is a blessing. I did not have to worry when the tornado wrecked the local middle school. None of my kids have to get up at five in the morning to catch a bus so that they can start school by seven a.m. since they have to be done by noon, so the next group of students can arrive by one and not be done until after five p.m.. I also don't have to worry about getting behind due to surgeries or doctor visits or pretty days spent gardening. Homeschooling is freedom to live and learn, and learn to live.

Two quotes to share

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them." Mark Twain

"When did you know you were a reader?" I asked Bubba (for an essay I am writing for my class).
"When you stopped telling me to read and I still read books all the time," replied Bubba.

Have a blessed week,


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