September 27, 2010
SWAPPING IS FUN
My swap present this month (photo above)... and its contents:
2 very sweet tiny baby blankets for my baby bees
DARK GREEK CHOCOLATE (oh, my!)
UT Pez dispenser
Weekly Menu chart (framed behind glass for easy re-use with an Expo!)
Ring pops for the kids
Silly string for the kids (they loved this)
I did mention DARK GREEK CHOCOLATE, right? What am I to do when it is gone???
Thank you, Cheryl!
Here's my weekend in a nutshell:
- I HAVE been blogging - just not HERE. Mostly I have been handling the back end stuff over at the Homeschool Post (and I usually am the one who does the Friday A B See Meme over there - which is really a fun alphabetical picture group).
- Computer angst. It isn't a good time EVER for me to have computer problems. I use my computer for everything (including school/blogging/communicating with our homeschool group/appointments/lists/getting the news, etc). However, as most VISTA-INFECTED laptops do, mine has been melting down for quite some time now... and this weekend we finally had plans to 'fix' it. I'm sure you can imagine my shock when we discovered that mama's book bag containing the software for this venture was some 300 miles behind us (on our staircase landing). So, my data is on my external drive and my laptop is still waiting for my Geek husband's axe. No time this week for that sort of thing in the middle of a school and 'work' week... it will have to wait until next weekend!
- Play practice. Our whole family on stage in the summer heat. Thankfully the cold fronts (which amount to about 5 degrees difference here in Texas) are on their way before our production at church.
- More doctor visits for more tests for my daughter's back. This time they are testing for kidney trouble. Awaiting those results still and trying not to be upset that it is 8:07 AM and the office has surely been open for the past 7 minutes (that's long enough for a phone call to a worried mama).
- Nearly losing the 13 year old to the Xbox permanently. Last night he was so excited after we unpacked our suitcases that he was told he could go play, he got careless on the stairs and careened down them on his butt and back. We were terrified when he couldn't move or breathe for a brief moment. After a bit he was up and going again, but we made him sit with an ice pack and take ibuprofen. Now we have 2 kids with back pain and mama's neck and shoulders are so tight that I might need chiropractic help as well.
- Enjoyable time with grandparents. Eating way too much good food (they like to fatten us up), swimming in Grandma Betty's pool (a last goodbye to summer), getting fun presents (glow in the dark bracelets are amazing baby toys for evening drives), and reveling in cable TV and time to do absolutely NOTHING on the couch (you can't beat it).
THE BEEHIVE GEARS UP FOR THE BUZZ
Now our busy week is beginning... doctor visits, the Homeschool Carnival (tonight for me, tomorrow for you), meeting up with a wonderful blogging friend that I admire for a Thursday lunch out, making of menu plans and trying to shop the pantry and not spend any money this week, more planning on the Relevant trip and prayers that the funds come in to stop my skeptic husband from raining on our parade, making history notebooks, putting P-touch labels all over our world, Boy Scout meetings, extra laundry from the weekend, more unpacking, and lamenting over the fact that we can't afford a maid to come help whip this house in to shape... How about you? Do you have a busy week ahead?
Hang in there... one prayer at a time it will all fall in to place.
THE MYSTERY ABOUT OUR HISTORY PROGRAM
And now this brings me to my History dilemma. Last year we were creating our own history plan with a co-op friend and it fizzled out. I couldn't keep on top of the planning and we ended up just reading for history. I wanted a curriculum that was more put together this year - but one that still allows for 'add-ons' since we love them so, and had heard about Mystery of History from a friend who is a history buff (and I think she either minored or majored in it at college as well - so she knows her stuff) told me that MOH was the best of the best. After purchasing a used copy of the Volume 1 (which we are sadly still struggling through - lost somewhere in Ancient Egypt), I discovered that it seems to be perfectly on course with what I was already torturing myself to plan... and her worldview and style is a perfect fit as well. The older kid activities I have seen in the first few lessons seem very deep and thought provoking... BUT.
A friend of mine in our local co-op told me she used to use MOH and switched to Tapestry of Grace for history because it had more meat for older kids (and more church history). She said she didn't think that MOH would be challenging enough for my kids for high school. My curriculum rush I was on vanished and I started reading as many online reviews as I could find. I discovered a note on the publisher's site telling that MOH can be used for high school with additional reading and writing added in 'to make up the hours'. In Texas we don't have hour requirements, but we "ain't no sissies, either." I want my kids to be taking a course that will challenge them and be the very best history course they can take.
That's where YOU come in. I'm at that funny stage in homeschooling where your 'elementary' kids become 'tweenagers' and are quickly becoming 'young adults'. The teacher must change all she knows to accommodate this new capability in her students. Linda Hobar is right when she says that lesson planning, grading and record keeping must vastly INCREASE as a child ages and mom steps back to allow more self-guided teaching and responsibility in the student. Lesson plans are easy for little kids. Not so much with the bigger set. I'm right in the middle of the crosshairs on Linda's teaching map... one line going up (the teacher's work in planning) and one line going down (the teacher's involvement). It makes an old homeschool teacher feel like she needs to learn new tricks - and that is quite painful.
I'd love to hear from someone out there who has tried Mystery of History with older kids - to hear your opinion of it in general - and to get suggestions or tips. It looks like a great program from my initial review and reading through it over the weekend.
Looking forward to hearing from you!