Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dea's 1st concert

Ok, so it wasn't technically her first concert. She's been to free concerts and has seen several bands at an annual music festival our city has.

This was technically a 2 day music festival, not just a concert. It showcased several local bands, and was done in memory of the city's biggest live music fan, who recently passed on. My husband took her, though they only went on the 2nd day. However, it was basically her first Rock concert. I'm not sure exactly why Dea & my husband are referring to this as her first concert, but they are. So, that's what I'll call it in this post. Anyway, I wanted to share some of the pics she took at this concert. She took a ton of them. Some got corrupted. Some were blurry from her being bumped into & other people moving. Some were really quite good. I chose a selection of 10. Here they are:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The homeschooling continues

This week, my daughter told me that she wanted to try a year at public school. I wasn't happy with the idea, but I looked into it.

Our school district sucks. I looked into each of high schools, to see how they were currently doing. Every one of them is doing horribly. Even if you ignore the cops in every building, the fights, the fact that one of the high schools was recently shut down for a day because a parent called & informed them that her child had a gun in his bag when he left for school that morning, the fact that someone on staff at one of the high schools was arrested for inappropriate attention to a student just a year or two ago (I believe it included sending an inappropriate picture to the student's phone), and other similar issues, there are still the academic issues.

Now, I don't have a high regard for standardized testing. I am not required to have my kids do regular tests, so we don't. They will take the ACT & SAT, but I won't force them to take standardized tests every year. Public schools place a lot of value on those tests. There is a ton of teaching to the test. They have the students take practice tests. They teach test-taking skills. I was reading the description of the grade 9 English for the Gifted program. It was talking about all the test prep they do for a test the students will take in grade 10. That is an excessive amount of test prep. When that amount of time, energy, resources, and effort goes into preparing students to take the standardized tests & most of the students still fall below expected standards on those tests, that is not a good sign. I can't trust that my daughter would get a decent education in a school where less than 40% of the students meet or exceed standards on standardized tests. Every high school in our district has those statistics. One boasts less than 30% meeting expectations. The school with the Gifted program & CAPA, less than 40%. The school in the best area of town, with more money, where the wealthier students (the ones who don't go to the Gifted program) attend, less than 40%.

Even better, over the last few years, our district has decided to zone all the schools. This means that, unless you are in a special program, where you attend school is decided entirely by your address. We are zoned for the absolute worst high school in the district. It is the one with less than 30% of the students meeting standards. According to someone who works with my husband, the school was without running water for some time last year, while the students were there. The building is decrepit. That is where they expect me to send my daughter for high school.

Our district does not have the same offerings at all the high schools. Only one school has ASL offered as a foreign language. One school has the bilingual program. One school has classes for students with emotional disabilities. One school has classes for the hearing impaired. Various classes may be found at only one or two schools. So, you can attempt to attend a school other than your zoned school, if you will be in a program that is specific to another school. However, that depends on there being room in the program.

So, testing for the Gifted program was done 6 or 7 months ago. She though about going into CAPA for art. However, that requires an audition where she would have to provide a portfolio of her work & draw a still life at the audition. Her talent is in Photography, not drawing. Whoever decided that everyone with a talent in Art is good at drawing, is a moron who should not be in charge of a program that allegedly caters to artistic students. Then, she decided to do ASL as her foreign language. That would have put her in the high school that her cousins attend (and is also closest to us). The program is full, though, and she can't get in. There is nothing we can do to get her into a different high school. I was actually yelling at the person in the Student Assignment Center because she was being rather short & bitchy with me just because I don't want to send my kid to the worst high school in the district. After exhausting all reasonable options to get her into a different high school, I informed them that my kid simply would not be attending public school for high school.

I may hate the idea of one of my kids attending public school, but I was willing to seriously consider it because it's what she wanted. However, I simply will not put her into the worst high school in the district. So, she will continue homeschooling. There may be some changes to how we do things, in an attempt to meet her needs, but we all agreed that she will stay home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do You Know What I Could Do With That?!

According to info I recently found, our local school district had a surplus of $22.5 million in their budget for the 2010-2011 school year. Now, I'm still not certain why they didn't bother to use that money to provide a better education. However, that is not the point. That same year the instructional cost per student was just over $6500! That's just the instructional cost. The operational cost per student was over $11,000.

So, I was thinking, what could I do with $6,500 a year per child? Can you imagine that being your school budget? I have 2 kids, so that would be $13,000 per year. What would I do with that kind of money? Well, let's see.......

First, all those foreign languages that the kids have seriously mentioned wanting to learn, that we don't already have programs for - Gaelic, French, Italian, Chinese - Rosetta Stone for all of them!

There is a local secular private school, with expectations & graduation requirements almost as high as mine. They allow homeschoolers to take some classes, including lab Sciences & AP classes. The only problem is that the lab Sciences & AP classes each cost more than I spend per year for both kids' school materials. Well, guess where Dea would be taking her Chem class? Either there or the local Comm.College, since we'd be able to afford either.

No more being limited to buying only 2 levels of a program at a time. Unfortunately, if I want to be able to buy for all their subjects, I do have to limit the number of levels I buy at once.

More materials for History projects and Science activities/experiments.

More field trips.

More books & bookcases.

More art materials.

A much better camera for my rising photographer.

Honestly, it would mean no more having to worry about the cost of every single thing that I consider getting. With every item, I have to weigh the actual value of it against the price. Is it really worth that much money? Can I find something else that will teach the same thing for less? Are there other options that will meet the child's needs? If this doesn't work, do I have something else that we can use for the rest of the school year?

I hate having to say no to something they wanted for school, because it doesn't fit in our budget. Yes, I'm offering my kids a great education. Yes, their getting a much better education than they would be in public school. However, I can't deny that it could be even better if we had more funds that I could dedicate to the school budget.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Latin For Children

Last year, 2nd grade, Jay started Latin for Children Primer A. We are taking it a little slow, as we focus on mastery. I am not of the mind that exposure is all that is important at this age and mastery can come later. For us, mastery is important. My kids would not work well with the 'exposure is all that's important' mindset. If they don't see a real reason to do something, they won't do it. Between the focus on mastery and the fact that there were some weeks we didn't do Latin, we didn't finish the whole level by the end of 2nd grade. So, he is still in Primer A. We have purchased Primer B, which he will start as soon as he is done with A.

Apparently, this program does not have enough practice for some. Some people have created extra worksheets, which are available free on the publisher site. I've heard people complain that even with those free worksheets, the activity book, and the DVD lessons, there still is not enough practice. I don't find that to be true. If we need extra time to master the words in a chapter, we spend an extra week on that chapter, but have never needed extra materials. Though, I am not saying that those who need more practice are wrong. I'm simply saying it is not universal. There are some who don't need extra materials to master the content. So, I thought I'd outline how we use this program, for anyone who is considering it and is concerned about the complaints of not enough practice.

Now, first I should say that we get the Mastery Bundle. This comes with the Worktext, the Activity Book, the DVD lessons, CDs with the chants, and History Reader.

First we watch the entire DVD lesson. We will run through the chant more than once, especially if he seems to be struggling with pronunciation. Then, he does his pages of work. He does not have to do the pages in the Activity Book, unless he struggles with the chapter and we spend an extra week on the chapter. He almost always chooses to do all the pages in the Activity book, though. He does two pages from either the Worktext, Activity Book, or one from each.

Tuesday - Thursday:
We watch the DVD lesson again. We usually just watch the chants, only watching the Grammar section again once, unless he wants to or is struggling with the concept. He does his two pages of work.

We watch the DVD lesson again, usually just the chants, only watching the Grammar section if he wants or needs to. He does his two pages of work. We do a chapter of the History Reader on the whiteboard.

He visits HeadventureLand whenever he wants, for fun practice. The kids listen to the CDs whenever they want. We don't use the free pages available from the publisher site. We don't use the Clash Cards. We don't make tons of extra sheets of practice. I am considering making some Latin Bingo boards for the chapters he chooses not to do all the Activity Book pages and the chapters with which he struggles. Really though, what comes from the publisher is enough for him to master the concepts & vocab. When we do the History Reader, he parses and translates each word, and tells me the order the words would be arranged to make the most sense in English (word order is not important in Latin sentences). So, I know that he really is learning & retaining the info.

Whether or not this program offers enough practice will depend on the child and on how you use it. It is possible, though, for a child to master the material with what they offer.

Now, I must say that I do really like this program. The chants make the vocab & declensions easier to remember. Between the Worktext & Activity Book, we find there is plenty of practice. I particularly like the pages that have them looking up derivatives, because that really makes them focus on the fact that many words have Latin origins. This helps to show its usefulness, which gives my son more reason to do it. I appreciate the way it teaches. It doesn't focus on just Grammar or just Vocabulary, it includes both. There are no boring rote drills and no busywork. The DVDs and CDs add an extra element to the program. It's nice to have a program that isn't just book work, especially when it comes to pronunciation. Since Latin wasn't an option for me when I was in school, I don't have a background in it and wouldn't be able to teach my son proper pronunciation. Honestly, I wish that I had found this program when my daughter was younger. Maybe if she had used this program, she wouldn't fight me so much about learning Latin.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Week in Review 5/18/12

This was a pretty good week, school-wise. Jay did school every day, and we got a decent amount done. Though, we did not get everything I wanted done. I was hoping that Jay would start on Music Theory this week. We have had Alfred's Essentials of Music Theory for years now. I was installed on our old computer & Dea used it for a little while. When we bought the new desktop, we installed it on that. However, I cannot get it to open, at all. So, Jay was not able to start using it. I've had a rough day & am still fighting the headache I went to bed with, so I'm not dealing it. I tried a few things, they didn't work, now it's up to my husband to fight with it. He also did not get in drums this week, our schedule was just too hectic this week. Other than that, I think we fit in everything I wanted. Though, it would have been nice to do more for Science & History. So, here's Jay week:

PP p.21-25
TTM4 p.19-22, 39 (p.22 was the last page of the review section, I decided to let him choose which page he does in the Skill-Builder section)
Metric1 p.37-43 (p.42-43 was the practice test. He is now finished with this book & will start a new one next Monday)
online Math games, Khan Academy

Language Arts:
CTD - finished the Major Writing Assignment for chap1, started chap 2
AAS3 step 7
EG3 p.18-22
vocab - indurated, virago, prognathous, protuberant, adjacent, prominent

LFCA chap 21

ST vol 10 My Day

LS lesson 8, WW, FWL

Musical Celebration Given by Cardinal de la Rochefoucauld at the Theatre Argentina in Rome in 1747  on the Occasion of the Marriage of the Dauphin, Son of Louis XV; 1747; Giovanni Poalo Pannini 1691-1765

N.A. flute

mapwork for IL

read a few books, finished building trebuchet
We have a few books out from the library right now. We plan to finish them by next week's library day. Then, we plan to take a few weeks off of books from the library & work on building the castle. The castle will take some time, since he has to make the bricks before he can build.

read a book
He's been working on his tri-fold display board & poster boards as he goes along. I won't show pics until those are done, though.

In other news this week, the kitten is now 7 weeks old. He just went in for his first vaccinations. He is about twice as long as he was when we got him. He has big paws, vicious claws, and evil looking dark yellow eyes. He can climb pretty much everything, including the windows. We've stopped feeding him kitten food, since he didn't eat it that much anyway. He eats the cat food and the dog food. In fact, he is the only one who can eat the dog's food without her growling at him. The dog is getting better about eating regular food, instead of the home-made diet she was on. She even chooses her own canned food. I put them on the floor & tell her what each one is. She sniffs all of them, then goes to the one she wants. It' s really rather cute. She doesn't eat anything right away, both the canned & dry food will sit for awhile before she decides to eat.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer Entertainment

With May being half over, I'm looking into plans for the summer. We don't do anything big, like vacations. However, our city does have some free entertainment available each summer. The city does a weekly Movie in the Park night, and has a few series of free concerts in the parks. The movies & concerts run from early to mid-June through mid to late-August. They don't seem to have put out any info on them, yet, for this summer. As soon as they put out the schedules, I'll look through & see which ones we might want to go to this year. I don't know how many we'll do, with how hot & humid the summer will be. I'd really like to get to some of the concerts this summer, we only got to one last year. Of course, there are also the local art & craft shows that will happening throughout the summer. We'll likely go to some of those, as well.

We won't be going to the fireworks for the 4th this July. My younger sister is getting married that day, so we'll be going to the wedding. Actually, the kids will be in the wedding. Dea will be a Jr Bridemaid & Jay will be the Ringbearer.

This next week is actually going to be really busy, though not for me. There is a birthday party on Saturday, a graduation party on Sunday, and another birthday party next Wednesday. We got very little notice on these. For the party next week, we got 2 weeks notice. For the graduation party, we got 1 1/2 weeks notice. We only got a few days notice about the party on Saturday. My hubby is going to all three. They're all for his side of the family, and he wants to go to more family things. Of course, doing stuff with his family would be easier if it didn't involve driving out of town (both b-day parties are technically out of state & the grad party, while in-state, is 60 miles away) and if we ever got decent notice of them. Anyway, he is taking the kids with to whichever events they want to go to. I will be staying home, though. I have been totally exhausted lately, going to bed early, sleeping ridiculously long. I would most likely fall asleep on the ride there & be grumpy through the whole thing (assuming he was able to wake me up when we got there).

One other thing we have planned for the summer is a trip to Chicago. We'll be going to the Chicago Children's Museum on Navy Pier. While in Chicago, we'll probably visit the Lincoln Park Zoo. I have an aunt who lives in Chicago. She's the one who gave us the Family Pass to the Children's Museum. So, we're hoping to stop by & visit her, too. With the pass, all we'll have to pay is fuel to get there & home, and parking for the zoo. We haven't been to the zoo in years, and this will be our first time at the Children's Museum.

Sometime this year, I'm hoping to get to the local Japanese Gardens. I've been there before, but the kids never have. I think they'll really like it. It is so beautiful there. We'll hopefully be able to stick to our biweekly hikes & archery practice this summer.

So, those are our plans for the summer. Hikes, archery, arts & crafts shows, concerts, movies, the zoo, museum, and a wedding should keep us pretty busy over the summer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jay's Math

Today, I had Jay take the placement test in Perfecting the Point (the Decimal & Percent book in Mastering Mathematics). He's been working in this book, doing the section on Place Value. However, I didn't see the point in having him do the entire book, if he didn't need practice in all the areas it covers. So, I had him take the placement test, skipping the last section (percentages). He got all the problems correct in the sections on adding decimals, subtracting decimals, and multiplying decimals. He does seem to need a little more work on dividing decimals, though. So, when he's done with the Place Value pages, he'll do the sections on Percents and Dividing Decimals. Then, we'll move onto the Fractions book (Finishing Fractions). Next week, he'll also be starting on Life of Fred Decimals & Percents. Life of Fred is actually meant to have Fractions before Decimals & Percents, but Mastering Mathematics is set up to do Fractions last. So, we'll do Decimals & Percents first, especially since we'll be doing so little of the book. We will do some of the pages from the sections on adding, subtracting, and multiplying decimals. I'll have him do some for review now & then.

He is not happy about needing to do the dividing decimals section. I told him, though, that getting 3 out of 5 problems wrong on that section of the test implies that he still needs some work in that area. It could just be that he was too distracted. There was a lot going on at that time & his sister kept interrupting him. However, the section on dividing decimals is only 16 pages, so it's not like it will be too much review.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week in Review 5/14/12

Well, as you can see form the previous post, Dea has decided that she wants to do the weekly posts about her schooling. So, my 'Week in Review' posts will now focus just on Jay. This is partly because a lot of her work is difficult to prove at week's end, like the notes she takes or plans for assignments not yet finished. It is also because she really needs motivation to keep track of what she does for school.

So, onto Jay's week.
Math: PP p.16 - 20
TTM4 p.13-16, 18
Khan Academy
Metric1 p.31-36

Language Arts: discussed Irony
EG3 p.11-17
AAS3 step 6
vocab - multifarious, denizens, ascertain, archaic,
CTD chap 1 major writing assignment

Logic: LS less. 7, WW, FWL

Latin: finished up chap 20, since still had one or two pages left from previous week being short, did translation in the History Reader

ASL: ST vol 9 The Zoo Train

History: read some books, wrote own Code of Honor, started building trebuchet

Science: read some books, watched 'The Weather' disc 1

Music - drums

Geography & Art didn't get done.

What I did last week

Hi. My name is Dea, and I am posting on my mom's blog. We have decided that I will start posting everything I do for school each week. 

Last week, I did four assignments for my online poetry class. I got a 0% on the first one, an 83% on the second one, a 100% on the third one, and an 88% on the last one. The reason I got a zero on the first assignment was because I couldn't figure out the figurative meaning to a poem. I also completed 4 math lessons, I took about 6-7 pages of notes for science, and I did research for my history. I started a project for my literature. I had fun last week!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Just a quick post to say Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there! I hope you have a great day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Presents for kids

I hate shopping for presents for kids that aren't mine. Ok, if I'm close to the kid, it isn't so bad. However, most kids are a pain in the neck to shop for.

Our great-nephew's birthday party is coming up, and we got maybe 2 weeks notice. So, yesterday, there we were standing in the toy department, trying to figure out what to get for this child. He is about to turn 1 year old. He lives out of town, technically out of state, so we don't see him a lot. In fact, I have only seen him one or two times. I know virtually nothing about this child. I don't know if he's talking or walking yet. He could be really developmentally behind and spend his days on the floor staring at the ceiling fan, and I wouldn't know. I'm pretty certain he's not some super-advanced genius kid, because the family would be sure to brag about that, especially the one raising him. I don't know any of his interests. I don't know what he already has. I don't know if he likes looking at books. I don't know if anyone reads to him regularly.

Are you seeing the problem here? What do you get for a child when you don't know what they already have, what anyone else is getting them, what they need, or what they like?

We didn't want to waste our money on some cheap toy that would be broken in a week. We didn't want to spend tons of money on something we don't know will get used. We didn't want to get him something he already has or that 3 other people would also get him for his birthday. We prefer buying educational or useful stuff, not just junk. We had hoped to get him a drum from Leap Frog, but it was online only, not in the store. We couldn't guarantee it would get here in time, and my hubby wants to have the gift in hand when he gets there. I totally understand that. So, there we were looking at the Leap Frog stuff and all they had for 1 year olds was the Tag Jr. I don't want to get something like that for someone else's child, because I have no idea if they would purchase additional books for it. Without the additional books, it is useless, and a waste of money. Plus, I have no personal evidence of whether or not it actually helps kids learn to read. By the time the Tag came out, my kids were both beyond that point. It came out in 2008. Dea was 10 and Jay was 5. She had been reading at a high school level for a few years and he had already taught himself to read (though he still wasn't reading in front of us). We simply had no use for it, so never bought it. I would hate to buy it for someone else, only to find out that it doesn't do any good and is just a fancy toy, with no educational value. I would also hate to buy it for someone else only to find out that they don't want something like that for the child. So, it was a no on anything Leap Frog. We also shot down all VTech options for similar reasons.

We eventually settled on a book. There were 3 there that we were choosing between. All 3 were collections of 6 popular early reader books. One was entirely Dr. Seuss books. One had The Foot Book and other titles similar (eye, ear, nose, arm, etc.). The last had a couple by P.D. Eastman and some others that I can't really say I've heard of before. We choose the last one. We figured it was less likely than the others to be chosen by someone else for this child. It had characters I recognized, even if I didn't recognize all the books. It had more variety than the others. We almost chose the Dr. Seuss one instead. My husband asked my which I would prefer to get for my child, and I said the last one. That meant that it was not likely to be the one most appreciated by the one raising this child. Finally, it was the fact that it was least likely of the 3 to be purchased by anyone else in the family that made us get it.

Now, we wait and see how appreciated the gift is.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I've written before about my son's atrocious penmanship. He is now 8 years old, has recently started 3rd grade, and all too often, I still need to decipher what he has written.

I have gotten him some copywork books. I still refuse to pay for a penmanship program like HWT. Spending that much money on handwriting practice is something I just won't do. I'm not thrilled with needing to use copywork, to tell the truth. He obviously needs it, though, so we'll do it. I bought some of the Happy Scribe copywork books when they were on sale. I got 12 on world History, 7 on animals, 15on sports, a few that came as singles - Irish Proverbs, Weather Folklore, Lord of the Rings, Rocks & Minerals, and 19 books of quotes, all for less than $5. Most of these are things he is interested in or that we are studying for school, with the exceptions of some of the sports & the quotes. Hopefully, the interest in the topic or the connection to his schoolwork will keep him doing them without much complaint.

He is doing one page per day. So far, it's going ok. He isn't thrilled with doing the copywork, but he does it. Since it's just one page per day, he doesn't fight much about doing it. Of course, this is not the only thing we are doing to improve his penmanship. He has now gotten to the point where I expect his writing to be legible. If I cannot read his schoolwork, he must rewrite it.

He is still doing his spelling words the same as least year, spell with tiles, then write on whiteboard, then finger spell. He also writes his dictation sentences on the whiteboard. However, we have added one extra aspect to his spelling. He also writes his dictation sentences in a notebook. I read them to him, and he writes them on the board. That time is more for practicing listening skills & improving memory. Then, I write the sentences in his notebook, leaving a few blank lines between each. He then uses the blank lines to write the sentences. The point of my writing them in first is to show him a nicely written copy for him to try to emulate.

While all of his schoolwork must be legible, the copywork & his dictation sentences are to be his best effort. Hopefully, this year will prove to be the last that we need to focus on penmanship at all. My daughter has decided that she wants to do some of the copywork books, as well. She thinks her penmanship needs work.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sun Rise

I stood outside in the cold morning air (cold enough to see your breath), the dog on her leash, my son standing next to me, watching the sun rise. As I stood there, I thought about how nice it would be to live out in the country, away from everyone. I would love to be able to watch the sun rise & set without having to stretch to see over houses, office buildings, and factories or without the disruption of 20+ power lines running right through the scene. I hate mornings, but have always dreamed of being able to go out on my porch, with a steaming cup of coffee or tea, and greet each day. Of course, I'd also want to sit on the porch (maybe the porch on the other side of the house) and greet each night. I guess I could do that here, but it would be sullied by the constant noise of passing cars & trucks, the loud, obnoxious 'music' blasting from passing vehicles, the loud, obnoxious 'music' blasting from the neighbor's friends' cars as they sit in the parking lot next to their house drinking & being loud and annoying, the irritating yapping of the neighbor's children & sewer rats, I mean chihuahuas, as they run through the parking lot, alley, & the busy street, because the idiot drunk neighbors are to stupid to pay attention to what their offspring & annoying pets are doing, and of course, the stench of car exhaust that pervades city air. Somehow, none of that fits into my idyllic little dream.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Screen-Free Week 2012 Update

Last week was Screen-Free week. For, the most part, we did fine. I cheated. I visited two forums that I haven't been to in a while, and responded to a few threads. It was just one day, two forums, and a total of three posts. There was no real reason for it. I just had nothing else going on, the kids were sleeping, my hubby was at work, and I was taking a break from reading. It was early in the morning, and I was checking my email, since I had already read for 2 hours that morning. I decided to stop by. I also posted to my book club.

We spent most of the time reading, and the kids got in some extra play time. They have requested doing a Screen-Free Week once a month. I think we'll figure out some kind of compromise. See, my biggest problem is late at night, after everyone else is in bed. I'm up, alone, for a good 4 hours or more. I usually have the tv on, mostly for background noise, while I read, write blog posts, do work for my classes, do prep for the kids' school, play stupid games on FB, etc. That time is also the only time I get to watch the shows or movie that the kids can't watch & hubby doesn't want to watch.

There are quite a few 'experts' that claim that screen time, especially at night, is a cause of insomnia. Well, I can say with confidence, not for me. Not only did my insomnia not get any better over this week with very, very limited screen use, but it was actually worse than usual. The kids both seemed to have more trouble sleeping, too. Caffeine isn't a cause for me, either. In fact, caffeine has no effect on me at all. I gave up Mt Dew months ago, rarely drink any kind of soda, and only drink coffee if I remember to go make some. Neither amount of caffeine nor time of day I consume it have ever had the slightest impact on my ability to sleep.

All in all, Screen-Free Week was fine. The kids didn't complain. We didn't really spend any more time together, though. Our screen use doesn't really get in the way of family time, so it wasn't surprising that it didn't add to our family time. The kids fought just as much while playing as they do any other time. I did miss some of my basic interaction with other people, though. During the week, most of my social interaction is online. It's not a lot, but without that I had no adult conversation until my hubby got home from work. I don't know that we'll do it again. Honestly, I would prefer to just limit the screen time (which we already do) and teach the kids that moderation is the key.

Week in Review 5/7/12

Since last week was Screen-Free Week, I decided to wait on this post. Last week was another short week. My birthday was last week, and my husband took Monday of work for it. So,no school on Monday. Then, Jay had a headache on Friday. So, no school Friday, either.

Dea didn't get a lot done. We finally figured out part of her problem. She was having some problems with some of her work & refused to ask for help. So, it just wasn't getting done. I had a talk with her about asking for help. Now, those of you who know me are thinking, 'Hmmm. Not wanting to ask for help? I wonder where she gets THAT from.' Yes, I know, she gets it from me, just like her perfectionism. However, like her perfectionism, her approach differs from mine. See, I prefer to try to figure it out on my own, look for resources to help me, and ask for help as a last resort. Her approach seems to be ignore it & hope it goes away, don't ask for help ever. Anyway, I think part of the problem is that when she does decide to ask for help, she is always told "not now." This is because she will come in to interrupt me while I'm working with Jay or when making dinner, or something else that requires my attention. Then, when I ask later, she says she doesn't help anymore. So, I'm thinking that I'll give her a paper with my 'office hours,' the times when I am available to her for help with her school work. Then, she will know exactly when to come to me with questions, and she can work on other subjects in the meantime. Hopefully, this will help.

The new kitten is adjusting well. He's about 6 weeks old and is climbing everything. Well, not quite everything. He hasn't climb ed my bed yet, but only because it's so high & he can't get far once he hits the blanket (the frame is on risers, then the box spring, then a mattress that's about 18 in thick, so it's quite a climb). He also still has some trouble with stairs. He can go up & down 2-3 stairs, but no more than that. He has been able to climb to the top shelf of the cat tree, but can't down when on the top 2 shelves. He enjoys playing in the bathroom, and has made it into the tub at least once. He's doing well with his kitten food, gets into the bowl of cat food to eat that, and eats the dog's food whenever he has the chance. The dog is having some trouble adjusting to the new diet. She likes the food once or twice, then refuses to eat for a few days. I'm pretty sure this is just something we have wait out. We have some canned food for her, some dry food, and some baby food to mix with the dry food (to see if that will help her transition from her homemade diet to commercial food). We're thrilled that she doesn't really have an allergy to grain & can eat commercial food. Honestly, it gives her more variety. We don't often buy venison or bison, never buy lamb, and we never gave her fish. However, with a good commercial food, she can have those. We're using Merrick Before Grain for the cats, so decided to try Merrick for her as well. They have some good sounding options. We bought her the Turducken and the Wilderness Blend for dry. We picked up a few different flavors of canned. The canned food looks & smells more like people food than dog food. I really hope that she adjusts & likes the Merrick. There aren't a lot of really good quality pet food brands, and most are rather expensive. I refuse to feed them low quality crap that is made of by-products and filler, though.

Okay, on to Jay's week of school work.
Math: PP p.13-15; Metric1 p.25-30; TTM4 p.10-12
Language Arts: AAS3 step 5; CTD chap 1; EG3 p.7-10 including a few rounds of Preposition Bingo; vocab - monochromatic, abomination
Latin: LFCA chap 20
ASL: ST vol 8 The Great Outdoors
Science & History: read some books
Music: drums
Logic: LS less 6; FWL

It looks like so little to me, even for a 3 day week. This week will be better, though.