Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I was so lucky this week to receive a new CD that tells the stories of some of the Greek myths through story and song. It happened to be a bit of a harder day for me, and I was the only one in the kitchen making dinner which actually doesn't happen that often, when the cd came so I went ahead and put it in the CD player. I LOVED it! It made me so happy. I really like Helen Slater's approach to the myths, in the beginning she talks about why the Greeks had these myths and how the myths helped them to understand the world around them and explain so many things. Her explanation is set to happy, uplifting music, and then after each story or part of a story she sings a song to go along with it and it was just so refreshing and fun. My spirits were instantly lifted, and it makes me happy just thinking about the songs now. My husband and kids all wanted to know what it was and we all enjoyed it and have listened to it a few times. I have a greater appreciation for the Greek myths now and I feel like I understand them a little better because of the CD. One of the songs is called "It's Never Nice to be Mean", and it goes along with the story of Echo and Narcissus when Narcissus was so mean to Echo and then Nemesis sings this song to Narcissus. One of the most valuable things I think I can teach my children is to always be kind, and apparently the Greeks also thought that was a good lesson to learn, but I didn't really realize that lesson was there in the myths until this CD. So I even incorporated this particular story and song into our family home evening lesson this week which was on kindness. It's nice to have different ways to share the stories, I am going to have to buy another D'Laires Greek myths book for the kids and brush up on it ( our first book was very loved and pretty much in pieces now). Very fun and very fun to be learning Greek along with it, really a fresh approach to the old myths. A big thumbs up from me! Here is the website if you'd like more info!: http://helenslater.com/moag/
Monday, November 11, 2013
So this post is just to let you know that there is a great brand new website out there where you can post your own events to the public or make them private, you can even make your own group for whoever you want to join, it's easy to communicate through the comments and it's easy to use and search. It is brand new, been out about a week, so most of the public events so far are in Utah, so definitely if you are in Utah, go check it out! Http://happen.io
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
#4 was disappointed when his older siblings went to public school last year, at the girls' concerts as we were walking out of the building he said how he wanted to go to school. We told him he would get a chance. Then the following Friday he ran over to the park near our house because he saw some friends there, but they all left when he got there and never said hi. He told me he thought it was because he wears glasses. I assured him it wasn't. But he told me how much he wishes he had friends. Later when I talked to my husband about it, he said, well, let's send him to school. I of course don't like sending my babies off not to mention getting up super early every day, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it probably is the best thing for him. He is super smart although short for his age. His eyes are working pretty much normally now and his reading is consequentially better because of it too. He is ahead in all his school work and very conscientious about everything, so it did seem that it is time to let him grow socially and have fun at school. Our school and the teachers have been outstanding, so on Monday I got all the paperwork ready, and on Tuesday, he went to school for the first time. So far he is loving it. There were four boys in his class that he already knew and his teacher seems really nice. The only problem he had is that he was supposed to ride home on the train bus, but he forgot his lunch bag and thus got separated from his classmates after school and could not find a bus that looked anything like a train. Fortunately he had his cell phone and called home, but his sister answered and by the time I got there he had started walking home. But all's well that ends well. I do miss him, but he doesn't miss me and I am proud of him. It is also giving me some extra time with his older brother who got a little behind academically when he went to school last year and was getting frustrated that his younger brother could memorize faster and easier and may soon overtake him in Greek. So that has been nice. He doesn't have anyone to compare himself to anymore and he can feel good about learning and persevering which is what I try to emphasize. That boy is incredibly stubborn, but he will do just about anything to play screens, so it ends up working out fine. I also set the timer for him and tell him I need his undivided focused attention for the set number of minutes and he actually gets through his work pretty well that way with the promise of it only lasting a set time with an instant reward when he's done. It's also nice to have one less student to worry about, although #4 was pretty self motivated and easy, every little break helps. I bought the whole collection of Roald Dahl books at Costco the other day. All my readers love them and my new reader even read his first chapter book by himself that way! He is reading everything now it's great. My girls are enjoying part time school, but have expressed the desire to take more classes. I looked at the classes to see if it would be worthwhile for them to at least stay one whole day instead of one half day, but they just didn't appeal to me. Finally yesterday for the first time this year, they both got their school work done early and spent some time working on other projects. This whole year, they have just kind of lazed around and barely get their stuff done. The oldest spent a bunch of time adding music and special effects I to a movie the kids made last year. That's what I hoped my homeschooled kids would do eventually, I swear they don't appreciate the freedom they have, but maybe just maybe they are finally going to take advantage of it. It does help that we are more settled with the baby turning into a boy-- sad, but good. The twins are really into coloring. I bought a subscription to www.education.com, they sent me a discount email and I signed up. I'm so glad I did. I love their coloring pages and their online workbooks. I am also using their state maps for geography. It helps that I am feeling better, I was sick last week and we didn't do hardly anything beyond the basics. I really love homeschooling even though it is dang hard sometimes, days and weeks like we've had this week make it all worth it. I hope it continues this week!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
So our extra curriculars are winding down. Flag football and volleyball are both over. The kids enjoyed them both and developed their skills and made some friends. Some of those football games were sure cold though! The girls had their band and choir performances this week and we ended with the Cub Scout pine wood derby. #1's volleyball team was excellent. They really played well and improved a ton, their coach was excellent, he knew the game and he really helped them. They took second in the tournament. The team they lost to had some really good players which our team did not. It was exciting to watch their games, they really did well. She played the piano with her jazz band and did great. She also accompanied the Song Bird choir. I really like the choir director and my husband was actually impressed with one of the songs and would have liked to hear it again ( which says a lot coming from him, he knows his music, he was not impressed with the orchestra at all last year). A lot of the girls said their parents cried on that song and my husband also said that it was really like the choir was complimenting her piano playing. Unfortunately, I missed the performance because my baby was screaming so loudly I had to take him outside, turned out his shoes were too small, it's partly my daughter's fault for giving us the wrong time we showed up an hour early and I never took his tight shoes off that whole time so by the time it came to be her turn, it was over for him. I was really sad to miss it, but I am so proud of her. I expect there will be many more performances to come and this is just some of the hardship of having babies and teens at the same time! She was scared to accompany the choir since she had never done it before, and she wanted to give up a few times, but she persevered and learned the songs well and did an excellent job. #2 had a really lousy volleyball team. They were so focused on having fun and trying to not make the girls feel bad about losing than they were on winning and doing well, that they lost every single game. It was hard on my #2, but she improved a ton. It was her first year playing and she was nowhere near getting the ball over the net while serving, and now she gets it over most of the time. She is playing the trumpet in band for the first time also and we enjoyed her beginning band concert. She is excelling in art and one of her pieces is on display at school for all to see. I am really proud of her too. We have really great kids. #3's football team didn't win any games until finally today they won their last game. That was pretty frustrating for my boy as he is a bit of a perfectionist, but with the help of Minecraft as a bribe, he made it to most the practices and games and he made some nice friends. His coach said that of all the teams he's coached since his son was in preschool, this team was his favorite. That was really nice and they enjoyed their pizza party. He also earned his Webelos badge in cub scouts and his Arrow of Light, I love the values the scout program encourages. #4's football team won every single game. My boy is the smallest on the team, but he scored a few touchdowns, pulled a few flags and had a pretty good time I think. Then we ended with the Pinewood derby. He did a great job on his car and won a few races, came in 2nd, 3rd and last a few times too. It was really a lot of fun to watch, and a relief his car did not come in last every race! I am really looking forward to having some freer evenings though, although we are moving into the holiday season, so I'm sure there will be plenty to do still!
Monday, October 7, 2013
School has been going well. The biggest new change I have implemented is to make our big meal in the morning while the kids do their individual work and have it for lunch, which has been around 2:30 or 3:00, but the nice thing about it is with all our practices and games, I don't have to worry about making a nice healthy meal at 8 pm and then eat it at 9 which is what was happening. Now we eat at 3 and if anybody is hungry later, they can have leftovers or whatever else suits their fancy, I know they got their salad and veggies and smoothie in the morning and then everybody is more willing to help with the clean up in the evening too, except for tonight, we spent from 4:30-9:00 pm watching #1's volleyball tournament games-- so the kitchen is a disaster, but at least everybody got a good meal. Then I do group time after we eat and help the kids with the stuff I have to help them with. I am liking it. I'm trying to not get so caught up in a schedule. We will do what we can, it may not be everything I had hoped, but it is pretty good. #4 and 5 both passed their math test levels this week. #1 got an A on 2 of her assignments for independent study. We have some things to hit hard in other areas, but overall it has been a great week. We also went to the Children's Museum at the Gateway in SLC. It was AWESOME!! Maybe it's because I didn't have a tiny baby or because the twins are older and we went with friends, but my kids played the entire time we were there and did not want to leave after 5 hours!! It was so nice. They have really done a great job with that museum. I highly recommend it. We all needed that break, I didn't make them do any schoolwork that day. We need that sometimes, break up the routine and the monotony. The kids have done better with their chores (except for today) and the house is so much nicer to be in and I am not so stressed. It is hard to make them help, but it is good for everybody. The girls were even able to invite some friends over because we were caught up, that was nice. Sports have been really fun to watch this season. 2 flag football games on Thursdays and 2 volleyball games on Saturdays. Volleyball is pretty much over, I will miss it for the girls, they really love it and have benefited a lot from it. Just a couple weeks left of football and there is nothing til basketball in Jan. We may get a pass to the rec center and go swimming and play in the gym and run around the track once a week. It is getting very cold and Sports Day at the park has petered out.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Some weeks are better than others! We were going strong getting a lot done, but one of the twins and the baby threw up this weekend and the rest of us didn't feel so great either so when it came to anything productive, we were not there this week. That's OK. We are all feeling better now and I'm hoping we can get caught up on our cleaning, that's really the worst part of getting sick is getting behind on stuff like cleaning. And then we'll be ready for a good week coming up. Plus we have a field trip scheduled with some friends which always makes the week go better. As much as I would like to just keep going strong all the time, life happens ad we have to rest and give ourselves time. Oh yeah, plus we had a birthday this weekend-lots of nerf gun wars have ensued this week and my and my husbands's anniversary. It was so fun to go out with him, we go out fairly often, but just for an hour or so, we took longer this time and went further to a fun little place, I loved spending more time with him. But wow, when we don't have our regular weekend time to rest, clean and recover from the weekend, I just couldn't keep up with everything, that's when I realized I had burnout and there were a couple times I just went and laid down because I knew I'd do better if I did, and I was right. The kids did most of their basic stuff and we'll do a lot today, but wow! And it's OK. The laundry is still waiting for me and so are all the other chores, we'll get there!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I was so excited when I saw this post on teaching Spanish curriculum and it was full of resources. check it out: http://www.teachbesideme.com/2013/09/homeschool-spanish-teaching-resources.html The links to videos is Spanish is exactly what I have been wanting. When I lived in Mexico there was no English TV so we watched everything in Spanish and we all became fluent. When I was out of the house, my family moved back down and there was another American family whose kids did not pick up the language, the biggest difference was that they had English TV, so we are going to give watching Spanish TV a try. We watched a cute show about a little for tree today, the frat one that comes up in the page. http://pacomova.eresmas.net/paginas/videocuentos/videocuentos.htm While homeschooling is a lot of work and is hard, I love working with my kids and helping them with their assignments and watching their progress. We are doing way better on chores too, I may have finally developed an after meal chart and a chore chart that work for us right now. I am really liking our schedule now too, get up get going get the core stuff done, take a break for lunch, I exercise, the kids play and then we have group instruction and finish up in the afternoon. Yay!