Monday, March 17, 2008

Entirely too long post

Gosh, I'm such a slacker! What is up with me not being motivated to blog lately?? I have good stuff to show you too! Who abducted my brain? Oh yes, it was Blobby. ;) And for the record, we will find out if it is Blobby or Blobbi in about 6 more weeks, I'm guessing. I don't have a date yet, but I'm 14 weeks now and the "big ultrasound" is usually around 20 wks. DH says the u/s picture looks like a boy face to him. I think that little one looks like sugar and spice and everything nice. Anyone care to place a bet? I should put an official poll on the sidebar.

Anyway, for one of the first times ever, I'm going to actually have to look at my lesson planner/log to remember what we did to blog! Usually my planner is what's not up to date and I have to read my blog to fill that in.

Wednesday: Wednesday was a quiet, catch up day at home. Cameron did Spelling (s blends), Phonics (two-syllable review), Language/Grammar (review Mr. Nobody), Math (subtracting 98 or 99 from a number), and History (Assyria's Ashurbanipal and the Nineveh library). I can't remember anything remarkable that we did besides that.

Thursday: Ballet started the day and there was something remarkable that I do remember. We were running a bit late so I told everyone to hustle - and they DID! We made it out the door in plenty of time. Wow, what a difference when you actually have cooperation! LOL, it really is the little things that make my day.

You know, that actually reminds me of an article that I read in a local homeschool magazine, California HomeSchooler. It said that there were many ways to define success and that if you depend on external verification of your successes then you are bound to be disappointed by them at some point. They (things like degrees and awards) represent things you have done in the past and also require other people to be impressed by their meaning. People's views may change and your ability to still do those things may change... does that mean you are no longer a success? A better option, they said, was to define your own internal measure of success based on integrity, authenticity, acceptance & adaptability (resourcefulness), and purpose. The author said that people who seem genuinely happy possess these traits and feel successful regardless of their current circumstances. (Apparently, the entire article "Four Elements of Success" can be read at the author's blog though I haven't actually gone there.) I know that I don't completely possess all those qualities, and even where I do, I don't possess them to the extent that I feel that I could/should BUT I can definitely see the value in them. And I definitely look at my life with that sort of a measure. My DH has every degree and every award he's ever received hanging on his wall. I never even bothered to request a copy of my University degree, lol. It's just a piece of paper after all and I have enough clutter around here. ;)

But I digress. Thursday was actually a great day scholastically. Cam did more two-syllable word review in Phonics and read a passage whose length he was sure would literally kill him. ;) For Language/Grammar we reviewed Mr. Nobody again and Cameron surprised me by knowing almost all of it. Then I read them a poem called The Star by Jane Taylor. Go read it if you're not familiar with this poem. I guarantee you'll be surprised! Then Cameron drew a picture inspired by the poem and copied the first stanza. It was quite a bit of writing for him (especially since I was a Mean Mommy and made him actually form all the letters correctly without any silly embellishments) so he would basically write one line in between each subject. Here is the final result:

Math was a review exercise. For History we read about the Assyrians in our history encyclopedias and then - get ready - actually did a couple of history projects!! There were two in the SOTW Activity guide that sounded fun so I did what any good homeschooling parent of more than one would do and assigned different projects to different kids based on what I thought they would enjoy most and get the most out of. Cameron made a Assyrian siege tower out of LEGOs and then attacked the castle in our history encyclopedia and then a LEGO castle that he and Cassia made, lol.

Cassia made a book for Ashubanipal's library in Nineveh. (Picture a smile somewhere in between the first one and the last, lol.)

It was a great day for school and I followed it up with something I didn't really think I would ever do.... I dropped Cameron off for baseball practice. It was cold and windy and I just plain didn't want to sit out there in the cold for an hour watching Greyson dissolve into shivers while Cassia kept begging to take her jacket off. I'm sick of people being sick so I opted for the easy route and dropped Cam off at the edge of the playground and popped Dora Dance To the Rescue into the minivan's DVD player where we sat in warmth to wait. I feel like a slacker and a hypocrite for all the things I think about the moms who normally just drop off their kids, lol, but it was COLD. (Yes, I know I wouldn't survive one day in the might-as-well-be-arctic Midwest.)

Friday: Now I know Friday is normally Favorite Park Day and doesn't usually get blogged but last week we started something new: a really super fun Science class! The teacher is one of those traveling science guys who does workshops and programs for schools, rec centers, and homeschoolers. A local homeschooler decided to hire him to come to her house and give lessons to a group of no more than 10 kids for 10 weeks!! It's really hands-on fun stuff and although I had only signed Cameron up for the class, I let Cassia sit in and within five minutes it was obvious that I needed to sign her up too. The teacher is great and we all (even the parents) learned a lot. This week's lesson was on magnetism and they each got a bunch of magnets, paper clips, and ball bearings to take home to experiment with. Afterward, several of the kids stayed and played Epic Castle Warfare Battle* (*not a real game, lol, but an epic battle involving many children and many plastic swords and shields). I tell you, it was hard to drag those kiddos away from there to go to the park! But we made it there too and, as always, were glad we didn't miss it. There we had an adventure to hunt down a golden treasure which ended in a stand-up comedy showcase in a gazebo. Let me tell you, six-year humor is universal! (Universally bad, that is.) Phew! Busy day!

Saturday: Saturday was Cameron's very first Little League game. *sniff sniff* They looked so cute! I was so proud! Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures. The one wonderfully amazing thing that did happen - besides the kids playing extraordinarily well for being the first game of a brand new team - was that Cameron got to hold the American flag while everyone sang the National Anthem during the opening ceremony. Want to know how to make a proud pregnant momma cry? That's how. It was actually quite funny - DH didn't realize that the kids were supposed to stay with the team and go out on the field during the ceremony so he had Cameron with him in the stands. Well, the boy who was supposed to hold the flag wasn't there for some reason so this lady just came out, saw a cute kid in uniform and said, "Hey kid, want to hold the flag for us?" LOL, he was thrilled to do so. If you remember, he carried a flag in a 4-H parade last year and it's just one of his all-time favorite things to do. They really couldn't have picked a more enthusiastic volunteer. He even started waving it around proudly after the song when everyone was clapping. I really wish I had had my camera.

Monday: And that brings us, finally, to today. For school Cameron did Spelling (y as a vowel), Phonics (possessive 's), Language/Grammar (Mr. Nobody review and an oral narration of The Boy Who Cried Wolf), and Math (multiplication by 4s). Cassia has also been doing Phonics every day and is all the way up to "W" in The Consonant Rhyme. We've actually almost got a little routine down where we do her phonics while Cameron works on his spelling or math. The trouble is that Cameron likes to join in on her lessons too and doesn't really get his own work done in that time. But it's ok. I think it makes them both more excited to do it. I'm really nervous about next year though when I'm going to have to make a real effort to get her schooled every day - and hopefully in more than one subject at a time, lol. And with a newborn too!

And that is my entirely too long catch up post. I promise to try to be more regular so I don't have to bore you with these epic sagas. The mundane details of my life are much easier to take in small doses, I'm sure. ;) But hey, you know what? Based on my internal definitions, my life is a success... so there! :P


G said...

Sounds like a really good week, and you guys got a LOT done! I wish I could get my 2 to cooperate when it's time to go out the door ;)

I like "The Star" a lot better than the normal version - I'm going to have to read it to my kids.

And no, that quiz isn't the best one.... like I mentioned, it leaves too many choices out. You should write a better one!

crystal said...

will do Jenny. I was weirded out the other day when I got an invite. I wasn't aware that she'd made it private!