September 20, 2005

Homeschool Mom with the Rubber Eyelids

Need Sleep
Now that school has started, it seems that there are more things to get done than there are seconds in the day. I've been up past my bed time tonight trying to grade last week's papers (because I didn't do it this weekend while my husband was in town). My kids are in the king sized bed behind me (my son keeps talking in his sleep). Earlier, Morgan woke up scratching, and I looked at her to discover a rash all over her body. I carried her into the bathroom and covered her in anti-itch cream and gave her some allergy medicine. Hopefully she didn't get into poison ivy this weekend outside. We said a prayer for her to be well in the morning! I should be asleep right now. I shouldn't have drank that second coke today - or eaten the Monster Tacos, jalapeno poppers or curly fries, either!

Busy School Days
I am finding less and less time to blog, although I constantly think of little things throughout the day I would love to stop and write down. They vaporize in a mist of forgotten moments as the day goes whizzing by. I am going to try and get in here each day, but I may skip a day or two between longer, more researched posts... and I just can't guaranty what I can provide on weekends with our lives turned upside down by this move and commuting. Hopefully we can find a home soon and settle down. It would surely make homeschool easier. I know the children enjoy being at Nana and Pawpaw's... but I am sure they would enjoy homeschooling more if it were done less in transit, and more at home.

Completed First Konos Unit of 2005
We finished our Crime and Punishment Unit in the Konos Volume 1 Book. I didn't cover every little idea that I had scribbled in my lesson planner. I did, however, cover the main items, and we managed for the very first time in my Konos history to finish a unit ON TIME. I can just hear the shocked gasps from my Konos friends as they read this post. I have long been the four-times-as-long tag-a-long Konos Mom. So, this year, I'm truly excited that for once, I'm starting off the year on track!

Worksheets and Math
We are finishing up last year's A Beka books (Math) as review. My son, 8, is doing the end of his second grade Math book. My daughter, 6, is doing the end of her first grade Math book. I suspect this will last a few weeks or so, and we are combining a few 4th and 3rd grade worksheets in from workbooks we purchased at a wholesale club. I am considering buying Math-U-See for them as well. I have the entire Miquon Series, also. I might try to utilize that this year, and see how well they take to it. My son has trouble staying focused on the A Beka because of his tendency to get easily distracted. My daughter seems to be doing fine with A Beka, but gets easily frustrated and I really feel like the concepts are not sinking in as well as they could with a more manipulative program such as Miquon or Math-U-See. This will be a nice year to switch and see how they improve. I am ready to let go of the "busy work" and switch gears.

Making it Memorable - Field Trip Fun
We went on the most wonderful field trip to end our Crime and Punishment Unit. We drove to Huntsville, Texas and toured the "Texas Prison Museum". We got to see the "Thunderbolt", or "Old Sparky" as some residents call it... the outlawed electric chair. The museum was full of glass cases with lots of confiscated contraband from inmates. It is amazing how talented and bright these prisoners were. There was a beautiful delicate sculpture of exotic tropical flowers made from toilet paper, a working home-made speaker and food processor, all manner of knives and guns (some just made to scare people into thinking they were real, but actually only carved art-work without function!), beautifully illustrated inmate-made playing cards, strange weapons, and even a tree stump that had dozens of finely detailed carvings of animals that could have been displayed in a fine art museum! We saw pictures of famous inmates, and read information about the prison's life-span through the years. The kids got to enter a mock cell, and watch a video about Texas prisons. After we left the museum, we drove them on a tour around the town (in which there are quite a few sights relating to the prison). They got to see the crumbling stadium where the Prison Rodeo used to be held, and the "Walls" of the Maximum Security Prison and the area where death row inmates are held (driving by from the outside, of course). The prison guards in the watch towers along the way watched us closely as we circled the building and called out to ask us why we were driving by so slow! I explained that we were on the "driving tour", but I can imagine they are leery of any suspect vehicles! The brochure and map gave interesting facts to read as you drove on the tour, and the tour ended in a fitting place... the prison grave-yard. Tears almost came to my eyes as I saw how many people had died there, and how many of the graves have only numbers on the headstones. It opened up a great opportunity to talk with the children about how important it is to stay out of trouble and build your relationships with others, so you won't ever be left behind and unclaimed like those poor souls in Huntsville. May God forgive them and give them rest. It is almost inhuman to see a man's tombstone with only the word "Executed" and a serial number beside it.

New Unit This Week
So, we are starting Friction and Resistance, Action and Reaction this week... and hopefully, I can find all the interesting Science project supplies to make this unit fun. Today we had the nice distraction of family to enjoy, so we haven't gotten to any Konos activities yet this week. First thing on my list for tomorrow is the library.

Good Night and Good Advice
I'm off to dreamland. Have a wonderful Tuesday! Hug and kiss your children - one day, you'll blink, and they'll be all grown up!


Jan said...

Hmm...I completely concur with your comment that there just aren't enough minutes in the day. Homeschooling is full-time work especially when it comes with all the homemaking criteria as well. I often leave dishes stacked in the sink to respond to someone's cry for workbook help, or to direct the kids onto a new activity. into bed exhausted. (A quick paraphrase of a usual day in my home).
I hope you find a place to nest soon. There really is nothing better than 'Home Sweet Home'.

Barbara said...

i've been enjoying your blog...saw you listed on the KONOS Yahoo site... hope your house hunting ends quickly!

we are starting our very first KONOS unit Oct 3...Responsability/Early Settlers to study Thanksgiving ;-) we are very excited!

i'm over on HomeschoolBlogger, hippiechyck

Sprittibee said...

Thanks Jan, looking forward to it. It's rough living with your in-laws (particularly when your spouse isn't there most of the time). Not that they aren't great to allow it, but it just isn't our own space.

Thanks for reading Barbara. Thanks for your well wishes. Hope your first unit goes well. That sounds like a fun one. We have not done it yet. Stop in and let me know how it goes or give me a link to your posts about it. I would be interested to read.

Barbara said...

well, here's 2...


you'll see i'm a tad looney ;-)



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