Tuesday, June 12, 2007

School Daze

"School Daze" was the theme of a back-to-school bulletin board when I was in second or third grade and for some reason the phrase always stuck with me. I thought it was clever at the time. Now, I find it just sad that a teacher would promote lethargy in her students like that. At the moment I am simply using it to refer to the year-end whirl of activity that we have going on!

Friday night was Family Night for our 4-H club. We had an exceptionally good potluck so, with my being the recipe hound that I am, I had to beg everyone for the recipes and compile an e-recipe book. Maybe by the end of our 4-H years I'll have a huge collection that we can sell as a fundraiser. There was also a silent auction going on throughout the night and Boy Howdy, did we score! We came home with a big pink horse, a pull-and-go truck, a music box, a Unicef book on children of different cultures, a knight-themed board game, an animal alphabet themed board game, and 29 Magic School Bus books. All for only about $14! Homeschoolers sure know how to donate items!

The rest of the weekend was spent rearranging our house. Our house has three bedrooms: one for DH & I, one for the kids, and one for DH's computers (mine is in the kitchen). Well, DH's new job has made it possible for us to move all but one of them out of there and turn that room into... drumroll, please... a schoolroom! We were able to move the huge, heavy table that was supporting the three monitors out of there and into the dining room where such a grand table belongs. (Our previous dining room table is being donated to a homeschooler in need, because like I said, homeschoolers appreciate used items.) The mammoth computer desk has been replaced by a much more modest one and several bookcases. With all the books I've been buying lately I really needed some more shelf space! Now my biggest challenge is organizing all my books into something workable. So far, I've got reference, science, and history in one bookcase and fiction on the other. The non-fiction case is much fuller though so I may have to rearrange some. Or I could move some of the books from the kids' room into there so that both cases will be overloaded. Yeah, actually I think that will be the way to go since I have several poetry and fable collections that will definitely be a part of our schoolwork.

I couldn't finish organizing our schoolroom without a trip to the local office supply store too! I bought some window stickies of the planets, some new pencils and pens, a pad of story paper, a couple cute pencil sharpeners, some magazine holders, and a school planner. You should see what I put back! ;) I was going back and forth on the planner. I'm going to need something to keep track of attendance - it's the one record that our state requires we keep - and I kept debating how much more than I needed. I looked at traditional grade books but kept thinking that the ones at Donna Young were so much more appropriate and I'll probably never use them anyway, lol. Finally, I settled on a small weekly planner that ran July to July - perfect for year-round school.

Speaking of school, no, we haven't done any. LOL. We did read three chapters of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone yesterday. The kids have been watching the movies lately and really loving them. They're casting spells on each other left and right. That will be really fun once we start studying Latin and they know what they are actually saying! The good thing about Cameron having seen the movie first is that I can use it to hype what's coming up next in the book. Like, don't go yet, it's almost time for them to drop Harry off on the doorstep! Or, don't you want to read the next chapter? The part where all the letters come through the chimney is coming up soon! I have noticed that the parts that are in the movie hold his interest much better than the more boring background-y parts. I'm not sure if that's just because of the amount of action or because he can visualize it better since he already has that mental image but I'm going to keep taking advantage of it.

Did I mention that I did pick up a bunch of DK readers last week? We started reading What is a Wookie the other day. It's hard for him but with my help he's doing pretty well. He's remembering words like "alien" and "talking machine" which never would have happened before. I can't believe what they are calling "Level 1" though. I don't know, maybe I'm just being a Phonics Nazi but it drives me crazy that they're asking kids to guess at these words that are so far above their decoding level. But he *is* interested in the story so that's a good thing. We also got one on space flight, Spiderman, and a couple on dinosaurs. The dinosaur ones I mostly got for history next year.

This entry is all over the place, so let me conclude by saying that we have a busy day ahead of us today! We have both the 4-H end of year party and the t-ball end of season party with only an hour and a half between the end of one and the start of the next. I just know the kids are going to fall asleep in the car on the way home from the 4-H Pool Party and then I won't be able to wake them for the T-Ball Pizza Party! Ah well, at least they'll sleep good tonight. I better go get them out of the bath before the bubbles take over the entire house. ;)


G said...

Okay, I am officially jealous of your schoolroom. Isn't it amazing that no matter how many times you rearrange, books always seem to take over? Or at least, we always have that problem here.

Meesh said...

You know that first HP book takes until oh CH 5 I think before it just takes off. Once he hits Hogworts it is much more interesting. I'm in the final chapters of the 4th book with O, we've done them on audio in the past and I think it works out better- we don't do much reading during the day and before bed he keeps falling asleep- it has taken up FOREVER to read this book!!!

I want to see pics of your school room! Honestly- I need to get myself in gear- I have a great closet for homeschool stuff, that is basically a catch all that is nothing but a mess. *sigh*