Friday, August 15, 2014

7 QT Friday school's starting soon

1. "School" starts on Monday.  I'm so happy to have two kids really homeschooling and my college boy sleeping at home at least part of every night.

2. To explain, last year Jake went to public school fulltime.  It was a great experience, but I'm excited to be back to our normal (if there is such a thing for us homeschooling is it).  Jake will go to the middle school everyday for last period for band where he will perfect his trombone skillz, but otherwise he's a homeschooler.  At middle school orientation yesterday (we went because of band), he was given a full schedule.  As the namesake of his elementary school's 'I love Jake club', he had a few moments of considering just sticking with that schedule.  I know he'd do fine with it, but I'm so glad that as of today, we are both onboard with homeschooling.  I have no idea if Jake will always homeschool, but for now I am ready to jump right in on Monday and I think he is too.  Because the middle school starts late and ends late, Jake will not need to be in the bandroom until 3:13 ( 2:23 on Wednesdays), this is so late, it'll feel more like an after school thing as opposed to part of the school day thing.  This means while Disney passes are still good (only about 6 weeks more) we can go there for the schoolday (EPCOT schooling) and still get back for band (and theatre).

3. Jake will do FLVS Language Arts, Teaching Textbooks 7 (he's a 6th grader, but it's a little behind and he's a little ahead), and what I am most excited for Exploring Countries and Cultures!  He'll do something for science too, but we're playing that one by ear right now.  He'll also do band, theatre, CCD,  church choir, maybe homeschool PE, and lots of reading.

4. After last year where all of Madi's academics were on virtual school, she is going to do two whole academic classes the plain ole homeschool way, and I'm very happy about that!  Homeschool reading aloud and discussions are among my favorite things in the world, and I'll get a lot of that this year with Madi and Apologia Chemistry and Notgrass American History.  (I could put links there, but nope.)  She will also do College Prep genius SAT/PSAT prep, Algebra 2 on virtual school, and is dual enrolled for Sociology and Freehand Drawing for fall.  In the spring she'll take three more dual enrollment classes including English (ENC 1101).

5. My college boy still lives at home...yay!  As I see stuff on facebook and blogs about kids going away to college, I appreciate his "homeness" more and more all the time.  In take one I specified he sleeps here PART of every night because late nights at Disney...ugh!  They are killers for an old mom like me.  Last night Jonathan was scheduled to work until 11:30, I dozed from about 11:15-12, when I woke up at 12, it was with mild concern that he hadn't texted that he'd left yet.  By 12:20 with no response to my text and no answer to my calls, I'd worked myself into a real panic.  Poor boy was working hard taking rockets off of the space mountain track and couldn't stop to look at the phone vibrating frantically in his pocket.  His shift had gotten extended an hour (the Disney magic sometimes gets extended randomly), and the text he had sent to inform me of this had never gone through.  I really need to relax and I think I get a little better about this whole thing everyday (with two teenage drivers I get lots of opportunity to practice). 

6. In addition to Disney, Jonathan will take 5 classes at Lake Sumter State College.  They've changed a couple of times already, but right now I think he's got Astronomy, Economics, two computer classes, and a theatre/stagecraft class.  He'll be around for a fair amount of homeschooly discussions as well.

7. As I've mentioned today and many times in the past, I am a huge fan of read aloud/ discussion schooling.  There's a great podcast about this which I haven't even finished listening to yet, but if I were more articulate, more popular, more whatever I could have recorded this myself.  Since I am not those things and can in no way word it the way these two people did, I'm just going to share the link here so you can go see (hear) for yourself.  There are some experts out there expressing stuff I've professed for a long time.  Go listen...

And for more quick takes go this way.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

7 quick takes another day late

1. A little over a week ago my brother, Rob, got the news that the trial he was on to treat his melanoma wasn't working as well as they'd hoped, and it was time to switch treatments.  On last Thursday he started a new kind of immunotherapy (pills), and he has been a new man ever since.  He is not in pain for the first time since well before his diagnosis, and this is with taking far fewer pain pills than he was taking before.  He stood at their kitchen sink two days ago and did their dishes, and went out socially last night for the first time since his diagnosis in March.  Keep the prayers coming, we might be witnessing a miracle.

2. Mike's mother moved to Florida last week.  She has been staying with us while getting her house habitable (or is it inhabitable?).  She's had painters all week, exterminators, plumbers, and more.  The movers came with her stuff today.  She seems to be adjusting to the huge move quite well.  This might be another miracle.

3. Mike is still in the market for a job.  We're still "fine" for a while, but while we're getting miracles, this one would be nice.

4. Speaking of no job, Jake and I took full advantage of two "back to school bash" charity gigs this morning where we came away with school supplies (including a backpack), a tooth brush and tooth paste, lunch, and a haircut for him all for free!

5. Jonathan's summer classes have ended to the tune of three more "A"s!!!  He now has enough credits to be considered a college sophomore and is sporting a 4.0!!

6. Speaking of sophomore, Madi  has registered for dual enrollment for the fall.  She is a full school year ahead of when Jonathan started, so theoretically she can hit college sophomore status even earlier than her brother.  In the meantime, while she will be a high school junior next week, she is still a high school sophomore in the sense that it is taking her literally FOR! EV! ER! to complete her virtual school world history class.  She should be able to finish without a problem this week, but there goes her "summer break".  Don't let her fool you though, she had plenty of "break" including participation in a mainstage performance, working about 30 hours a week for the local rec department summer camp, a mission trip, and tons of time with friends driving them all all over town.

7. Tonight is the theatre's big awards night.  Always a fun time!  As soon as that ends Mike and Madi will head to an all night youth group lock-in.  They should get home at around 6:30 in the morning, right around the time that Jonathan will be heading to work at Disney.  Tomorrow afternoon we will head to Fort Wilderness for the closest thing to a family vacation that we're going to get all summer.  Monday-Wednesday are the first three days in a row all summer that we've all be available for some rest and relaxation Disney camping style.  In the meantime, I need to go get ready for Mass, so all of these things can go off without a hitch, so my family can be ready to hurry up and relax!!

For more quick takes, most of which were not a day late, go here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What we're reading Wednesday

In addition to Jake and I finishing listening to this yesterday, I also finished reading this scary book.

We are a household of slow readers this summer.  Jake has now started reading this

Mike has had this book out of the library all summer.
Jonathan listened to this and loved it,
and is now getting ready to listen to this one.
Madi is still working on this.
Coming up next for me will be this book and this book.
Yes I know they are upside down.
For right side up book ideas go see housewifespice.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Getting the word out AKA a day late and a dollar short

Here is the most important reason to get my blog "out there".  A friend of my brother Rob and his family has set up a fund for them.  Rob is my only sibling.  He is 40 years old and fighting stage 4 melanoma.  I was able to figure out how to put the linky donation thing on my blog so now so theoretically more people can actually see it, share it, and maybe help.  So today's version of getting out there is to link up with yesterday's Answer me this link up.  Feel free to skip my lame-o answers, but please consider clicking on the link about Rob and adding his family to your prayers.

1. When driving, are you more likely to listen to the radio, to CDs or an iPod, or nothing at all?

All of the above.  Today Jake has a doctor's appointment and we will finish listening to The Lions of Little Rock, which we are both enjoying, in spite of the fact that it has been checked out of the library for over 6 weeks and we are now incurring a 10cent a day fine for it and numerous other books and CDs.  I love our satellite radio and my go to stations are equal parts 80s on 8 and the Catholic Channel.

2. Do you prefer window or aisle?

3. Do you fall asleep on your side, back, or stomach? What position are you in when you wake up?
Side/side...both sides equally.

4. When is the last time you attended a zoo, circus, carnival, county fair, or parade?
I have not been to a circus since I was a child.  I'm kinda against circuses even though I'm really not an animal person, none of my kids have ever been to the circus, they've seen the Seinfeld episode with the circus enough times to get the idea though.  I don't think I've been to the zoo in a few years unless you count Animal Kingdom, Jake's class went on a trip to the zoo a few months ago though.  We have also not gone to the county fair in lots of years, it's cheaper (and better) for us to just go to Disney.  We skipped to 4th of July parades this year, so the last parades we've seen have also been at Disney, just before the summer blackout dates.

5. Do you have a favorite quote or inspirational saying?
Hmmm.  The first thing that came into my head was "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" (you have to say it in a Boston accent), but really my favorite would have to be " Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” ~ St Francis Yes I know people question if St Francis really said this, I'm going with if he didn't say the exact words, he certainly preached the sentiment.  And for good measure we'll go with one more St Francis...

6. What's the best thing about summer?

Theatre summer camp... Aladdin just ended yesterday...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jumbled thoughts of the homeschooly variety

All of the blogs that I read that are written by people I don't know (and some that are written by people I do know), are so well written and witty and while the author comes off as a "life of the party type" they always claim to be introverts.  This is weird to me because their on screen personas are usually so charismatic (otherwise I wouldn't be reading it), but their descriptions of their real life personalities are generally shy and without tons of real life friends.  I feel like some of my grammar may be messed up, but this is stream of consciousness (and MY blog) so I'm not going to change it.  I'm also not terribly sure what my point is except that I'm not so much an introvert or an extrovert and if wildly popular blogger=introvert, that's not me.  But I'm not real life life of the party extrovert either.  I'm just regular. 

As I've mentioned before I'm not a fan of "how to" people.  Like "let me tell you all the things I know so you can be as smart as me" kind of people.  Because of this sometimes I stay quiet even if I think (know) I have so information that could help somebody.  This is especially true when it comes to new homeschoolers.  There is a local facebook group of homeschoolers, so many just starting out with questions like "what is the best curriculum for me to use?"  "how do I find an umbrella school?"  "how do we make friends?" and I generally don't answer except in my head where I say things like "how do I know, I don't know anything about you or your kid" or "why??" or "the same way anyone else ever makes friends".  But when the sarcastic voice in my head shuts up, I know that if I took some time I could really help these people by asking questions and giving them some of the benefit of my 18 (13) years of homeschooling experience.  I know that so many new people start off so unsure and it doesn't really have to be as hard as other so called experts make it sound.  Today I had a brief interaction in real life with a new homeschooler.  She was saying the general, "I figure you can't mess up kindergarten" and I offhandedly commented you can't really mess up 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th ,6th either.  I don't think she bought it, and I didn't have time to explain as I was also trying to count money, give change, open the doors to the theatre and finish two other conversations at the same time.  My point was a generally concerned relatively intelligent mother who has a kid without major issues will most likely not mess up those grades.

So to come full circle, since I only blog about once a month and I am not a fullfledged introvert, my blog will not become wildly popular any time soon.  Meaning this will not be the venue in which I share my wealth of knowledge.  So in the mean time I just might have to put down the money, leave the theatre doors closed a little longer, and make a more conscious effort to put random new homeschooling mom at ease that she really can do this.  I may even risk looking a little like a "how to" person when I comment and say something like you can do this.  I'm just regular and my kids are the proof.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Popping in...

I guess I'm sorta like one of those friends who you don't hear from for a long time and then they pop in from out of the blue to talk your ear off.  I'm constantly fluctuating between "I don't blog any more" and "I'd like to become a more popular blogger"  apparently not blogging is no way to become more popular.  A lot of the blogs that I read (as in the ones I consider popular) have much younger kids than I do and assuming those same people are the blog readers, I figure maybe I could be a voice of reason for them that "this too shall pass" without being all "enjoy it now it only gets worse".  Anyway a fun way to get back on the blogwagon might be to do what Tiffany did the other day and link to some posts from this month is history.  So here we go...

7 years ago August 2007 first blog post ever, really lame and I hadn't decided if I was going to use real names.

6 years ago July 2008 homeschooly thoughts, I spelled awful wrong!  Was that before spell check?  Interestingly, I had 322 blog posts in 2008.

5 years ago July 2009 Daybook post, I have no idea whose 27th birthday party I was going to. (actually just figured it out)

4 years ago July 2010 Ah Charlie Brown...loved that show!!

3 years ago July 2011 busy week, Christmas letter style.

2 years ago July 2012, I couldn't decide between a picture post or a wordy one for late July 2012, I went with wordy...sorry!

1 year ago to the day.  Same sentiments different year.  Now I have two kids driving and my freak out sensor is on all the time.  The relief that come with a text that says I'm here, is very enjoyable!

Friday, June 20, 2014

7 QTs a little bit of homeschool

1. 2 days in a row, can ya believe it??

2. I am getting very excited to homeschool Jake again next year.  He had a really good 5th grade public school experience, made a really good friend who he will do middle school band with,
had two neighborhood buddies in his class including boy next door who continues to ring our doorbell no less than 3 times a day,
  and had a nice homeschool-friendly teacher.
To say nothing of all the girls who fell for him and started the infamous "I love Jake club."  Some are pictured here.
But he and I are both happy to close that chapter and look towards homeschooling again.  We are planning on doing Exploring Countries and Cultures, adding a lot of Catholic-y saint stuff to it, and spending an excessive amount of time at EPCOT.  He will do Teaching Textbooks 7th grade (he's in 6th, but TT is a little behind) for math, and probably do Language Arts on Florida Virtual School.  For Science he is leaning toward flvs also, but I'm thinking of a middle school Chemistry to do alongside Madi and her high school Chemistry.  Jake will get the best of both worlds by participating in band at the public middle school.
3. Madi passed the PERT test to be accepted at Lake Sumter State College for dual enrollment.  In the fall she can take 2 classes and in the spring she can take 3.  Her plan is to take English there as well as two semesters of American History.   That leaves her two more classes to decide on at a later date.  She is planning on going back to plain ole homeschooling with Apologia Chemistry and will do Algebra 2 on flvs. 
4.  This year is ALMOST in the books for Madi.  She finished English last week and finished Geometry yesterday.  She is still plugging along on World History.  Four academic honors classes on flvs is a little heavy (she also had Biology which she finished about a month ago) for a girl who works outside the home (emphasis on outside the home), and is super active in theatre and youth group. 
5.  No longer a homeschooler, Jonathan's summer classes start on Monday.  He is taking a Humanities class, a Harry Potter (how cool is that?) class, and a film class. 
6. I am reading two good books right now, and I'm a little bit accountable for both of them.  The first is the Anne of Green Gables series .  A friend and I are both reading them all at the urging of another friend, and Tiffany has promised to buy us coffee when we finish all 8 books.  I'm on the second one right now and really enjoying Anne.  I am also reading The Little Oratory and listening to weekly podcasts about it in a sort of online bookclub.  I am also loving this.  It is about setting up a prayer space in the home, and actually goes along really well with homeschooling.   Actually Jake and I are also in the middle of two different books on CD, Divergent and Lions of Little Rock.
7. I started this a few hours ago, but was interrupted by our VBS pizza party.  Sadly pizza party is sort of a misnomer because there was some kind of disconnect between people who rsvped and people who actually showed up, but the entertainment more than made up for it.   My role at VBS this year was to get Jake there and spend the mornings with my sweet little Godson. 
Can you believe my own baby has now grown to helper status?  He was a helper with music and had a good time with it.  Here's the only picture I have of that.
This week's quick takes are not at Jen's, but are here, go check them out.