Monday, January 30, 2012

Some Days Are Like That

Most days I just have a general outline in my head of what I want to get accomplished. I'm lucky if we get most of it covered. If I write it down, we're more likely to get it done ... but when I don't write it down, it's sometimes more interesting where the kids take things themselves.

Today is a work day for me, which means that I have to get a shower in the middle of our "school day" ... because I'm not one of those "early to rise" people. Quite the opposite. I stumble from the bed after waking "naturally," and it's best not to ask me anything too complicated before I drink at least a third of a cup of coffee. It's just who I am.

I generally put the shower off until an hour before I have to leave, but today I taught up until lunchtime, then took off to get that shower in ... really, just because I was cold and wanted to stand in the hot water, not because I was feeling ambitious. 

My plan was to return to MY plans for the school day after my shower, but Annie had other ideas. They are playing games in Sunday School as they learn to recite the books of the Bible in order. When I came back downstairs, she was busy crafting Books of the Bible flashcards for herself, and alternating that with reading from a Bible storybook so she can learn more about the people from the Bible.

Yeah, some days are like that. Self-directed. Self-taught. Why mess with something that's working?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snow Days

We don't usually take snow days at our house. The neighbors (public-schooled) have a free day today because we had freezing rain last night that left the roads icy-slush covered. Since we don't leave the house, we have no need to skip school due to weather, although, because we are kind of laid-back schoolers, and because we rely on some electronic media for our schooling, if we had a power outage, we'd probably use that as an excuse. Then again, I might use that as a day to read extra history or do some kind of science experiment I've been saving, or paint ... something we don't do as often.

Nope, we don't need the weather for this mom-teacher to declare a day off. But I wanted to share some reasons for why we DO take the day off from school sometimes.

  • "Ugly Gray Days" - Sometimes, when the weather is disgusting, ugly, sloppy, wet, gray and nobody feels like doing anything productive, I just don't force it. We take the day off.
  • "The First Nice Day" - Oh me oh my! We live in Ohio ... we wait and wait and wait sometimes for a nice day to finally get here. Once it does, you might as well forget school! The kids head outside to play, the dogs go outside to the kennel, the windows go up, the door stands open, and Momma gets busy cleaning ... because nice weather energizes and inspires me! (And having everyone out from underfoot finally is ... ahhhh, wonderful!)
  • "Sick Days" - If I have a child who is sick enough to need care (i.e. vomitting), or they have something that makes them miserable (one just got over a sinus infection and pink eye in both eyes), or they are sick enough to need a doctor, then school is definitely not in session. 
  • "Momma is Sick Days" - No substitute teachers here ... if Momma is sick, school is canceled. That said, there are days when Momma is sick, but school work can still be done, albeit a little differently. The kids can watch PBS shows like "Fetch with Ruff Ruffman" and "Wordgirl." They can play educational games on the computer. They can do their independent workbooks. (Now that we're also trying Time4Learning  they can work on their lessons on there as well.)
I will go a little more into "Momma is Sick Days" in another post, because sometimes Momma is REALLY sick, and I want to share my thoughts on this. Until then, what excuses reasons do you use for canceling school?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Time4Learning Review

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for a month in exchange for a candid review. Their online program can be used for homeschool, as an after school tutorial and for summer learning. My opinion will be my own, so come back and read about my experience. You can write your own curriculum review, too!

You'll be able to read my review in a later post! Until then, happy days, everyone!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sonlight Curriculum

I've been drooling over the Sonlight catalog for months now. Have you seen all these glorious learning materials, all in one lovely bundle?!? Do you suffer from create-your-own-curriculum-itis? I did. That particular disease was causing lethargy and discontent in this homeschooling mama!

This is our 3rd year of homeschooling, and we love it. But I'm tired of reinventing the wheel. Also, I started working part-time, and my kids aren't getting any younger. I need someone else to do the research, find the books, make the worksheets, and lay out the plan!

As I started looking for an answer to my desire for someone else to do the planning for me, I remembered Sonlight. I had resisted it in the past because of the money and because it seemed like more work than I could handle (I had been sick for some time until we diagnosed my severe lactose-intolerance, and, in addition, a condition with my uterus that required a hysterectomy).

I started looking at Sonlight again, a few months ago, online. Then I requested that they send me a catalog. Oh me, oh my! Let the slobber run! (Ewww. No, don't.) But I think I did actually maybe drool a little.

I read, and noted, and read some more, and changed my mind about the levels, and finally wrote out all my decisions on every aspect of where I wanted to start the kids as soon as we can start. I wanted to start with the New Year (2012), but the finances haven't jived right (hubby has a new, better-paying job, but their payroll department has messed up our budget with the timing of their MAILING of his first few checks (always over a holiday weekend, making it come several days after the anticipated paydate).

Soon, soon, I will be ordering from Sonlight. Until then, keep something handy to protect yourself from the drool!

What curriculum materials make you drool?

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Time to regroup.
Time to think, rethink, get it figured out.

Get what figured out?
The homeschool curriculum conundrum.
The budget.
The schedule.

I was doing great. I was making progress. And I was being SO patient as I waited, and waited, and WAITED for some money to work its way into our lives. Then my main man, my hunka hunka hubby, got a new job! With more pay! (I know, call me blessed.)

So finally, it's almost here, and I was trying to make a plan for a little to go here and a little to go there and a LOT to go THERE ... when the man came in and effectively shut down my operations.

See, he's been waiting too (it's only fair, he's the one working for that check!) ... and it seems he had plans for that money too. Unfortunately, his plans and my plans don't jive. He wants a LOT to go SOMEWHERE ELSE, and then a little here and a little there.

But alas, that extra money is only trickling in! I am slowly, ever so slowly, doling it back out to pay this bill and that bill as they come due ... and waiting for the new employer's payroll department to get onboard with MY program!!!

I think they need to regroup. ;)

Did you regroup over the winter break? (Did you take a winter break?!?)