Would you look at this, I'm here on a non-Friday. I just finished a week of gratefulness on facebook where I listed three things per day that I was grateful for. I'll keep the listing going with a linkup of the five favs variety. As a side note sometimes I think it makes more sense to list five things in the same category and other times I like to go crazy and just list five random things. Jake has to be in the band room in under 15 minutes, so we're going to go wordless for the rest of this post...
1. We had a great first day with two eager homeschoolers. Madi managed to finish the never ending world history class last week and is already ahead in Algebra 2 on FLVS! We've had a great week with Notgrass American History and we'll survive Chemistry.
2. Jake and I are contemplating dropping his FLVS Language Arts class. There are pros and cons of each option. He doesn't need to take it for any reason, my very well spoken teenagers didn't even "do language arts" in middle school, the material so far seems arbitrary, with questions that aren't really a part of the lesson, I know it has something to do with the whole common core issue that I refuse to engage in debate over, we could spend the time that the class would take actually reading (silently, aloud, and audiobooks) really good literature, facebook is filled with grammatical errors and everyday I could have him correct some of those for practice, etc...etc... Those are all reason to drop it. Reasons to stick with it include: the teacher is really nice, and it doesn't matter what his grade is anyway (it is middle school) and it's not really going to hurt him to have more work to do.
3. Speaking of great books...Jake and I are finally reading the third Michael Vey book aloud and we are listening to The Giver (Jake's first time). The Giver is seriously my favorite book of all time! I'm nervous about seeing the movie because I think I'll be disappointed. I have lots of thoughts percolating about The Giver and life in general, but for now they will have to stay swimming around in my head.
4. My first take and picture have been sitting up on my blog for the better part of the day, somehow it posted earlier when I hit enter, I was vaguely aware of it, and I continued on with takes 2-4, then it was time to take Jake to band (and what is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the day) the carline. I'm not even being sarcastic here, I like the carline. Basically people begin getting in the line one hour before school gets out. Since Jake is only at school for one hour I generally drop him off and get in line to pick him up. The carline is a good place for quiet time, daily readings, regular reading, and a little Catholic Channel on satellite radio. If I were to not get in the line then I could potentially go home and get in line much much later, but I'd wait until most kids were picked up because waiting in a stagnant line is peaceful waiting in a long moving line is borderline torture. I can't wait that long on theatre days anyway, so for now I am enjoying the carline. (I've made carline one word in the same way that I believe homeschooling and breastfeeding are one word). Eventually we will probably carpool with theatre people on theatre days and neighborhood people on other days, but I'm not ready to figure all that out yet. In the meantime if you're looking for me between 3:00-4:00, I'll be in the middle school parking lot.
5. I'm getting pretty good at commenting on the local homeschool group facebook page. Remember a couple weeks ago I discussed sharing the wisdom I have gleaned from years of homeschooling with those just starting out. Today there was a question about how homeschoolers handle birthdays and socialization, and I didn't know where to start with that one so I didn't respond. I can only do so much.
6. Jonathan has worked until o'darkhundred four nights in a row, getting home between 1am and 2am each night. It is killing me. I can doze when he is at work and on his way home, but cannot sleep soundly until I know he's tucked in his bed. Tonight he is not working and I plan to be asleep before 10.
7. My mother-in-law is still staying with us (I've said that before right?), she bought a house 10 minutes away two years ago and moved down from Connecticut last month to live in it. She's not ready to sleep there yet so for now Jake is once again misplaced, as she is sleeping in his room. Twice she's bought bags of Hershey's nuggets and left them on our kitchen table...I cannot stop eating them!! After the first bag I apologized and said we'd buy another one because the kids and I ate so many of them, but she said no that it was for us and the next day there was another bag. If you're looking for me and I'm not in the middle school carline or in bed fretfully waiting for Jonathan to get home, then I'll be in my kitchen with my hand in a bag of Hershey's nuggets.
For what are sure to be more interesting quick takes, go here.
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...
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.
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...
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.