Tuesday, December 27, 2011

grades, schmades


There won't be an actual promotion to the 4th grade for Little Dude, but he will be doing the 4th grade curriculum, just as he did the 3rd grade work without being a 3rd grader.

Paperwork, deadlines, requirements we were not aware of etc

Makes no matter - we will keep working & he will keep doing his thing on his pace & when he gets to public school it will be just fine one way or the other.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Crunch Time

When Rile goes to his father's, I create lesson plans they can complete offline & still stay on track. Since it's Boy & Dad time, I save all the Science experiments for them to enjoy together. Since Dad isn't as sharp with the math facts, I juggle around units sometimes so they can have math to do without needing to both be scratching their heads or calling me to teach over the phone. The last time Rile was at his dad's was for over 3 weeks due to last minute schedule changes. When he came home, we were trying to get the routine back, I was sloughing through correcting the work done away from me and getting it all marked off on his On Line School (OLS). Throw in a sudden need to move & I am a little behind. Toss on that he has to have as much logged in the OLS as possible by Monday because we are putting in for a mid-year promotion. So what I had put on the back burner to do over the long Winter Break needs doing today & over the weekend.

The good news is he has done much of the work - just not the handful of math problems in each lesson which need to be done on-line to pass the lesson with Mastery. And since he wrote a NANO novel again, most of the composition was done in different forms. It's just a matter of time - time for him to do the on-line math problems & time for me to assess which elements & hence lessons he did in his novel or other writing to mark off.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hard Work in a Difficult Year

We have had another difficult year - we have "lived" in Wisconsin for a week, a hotel for a week, a time share for a month, a vacation rental for two months, the Morning Glory Cottage since late April & we are moving again at the end of the year.

Thankfully, our home school program is flexible & portable so we can continue working no matter what our living situation is. And Rile hasn't just worked; he has worked hard. He finished the 2nd grade curriculum last January, a semester ahead even with our having moved about 5 or 6 times since the start of the school year. Now, almost a year later, he has completed the 3rd grade curriculum at the end of the Fall semester. While it took him a full school year, he is still ahead by a semester. This time I have requested his teacher put in for him to be advanced to the next grade level not just to the next year's curriculum.

He & I have discussed that we are going to make a renewed commitment to this blog. A plan in place had been that he would return to public school next year for the 5th grade. I am not too sure about the school district in the part of San Diego where we are moving to temporarily. Just because we had said public school next year doesn't mean I will send him if the school district isn't up to the level he has achieved. I know the few districts I will happily send him to; if I can relocate us to one of those before the beginning of the next school year then I will stick to my "plan" for his re-integration.

My main reasons for sending him back into the fray are; socialization before the scary preteen years are in full force, so I could either go back to school or work and because I am finished with home school. It has been a rewarding & fulfilling experience. But I am tired. I know we could do another year; even continue into middle school. I just don't think it's fair to all of us. He needs friends, I need something else besides staying focused on my son.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Nearing the End of Week 1

The Little Dude is getting better at getting up earlier, working on his own & not freaking out about long division. I looked over our assignment sheets and did the math - we will complete the required lessons well before the end of the quarter if we work at our usual pace. I am structuring our work so we can cover what is needed without overwhelming either of us.

Our newest tool in home schooling is Turntable. We leave it open in another window so we can have music in the background. The classic rock room really helps keep Little Dude motivated. Neither of us likes silence unless we are doing a lesson with audio.

For his free reading he has actually begun to read the first book of the Harry Potter series. I am going to let him read these books without any sort of writing attached. Tomorrow, I am sending them to the library (or taking him) and he will need to checkout at least 3 chapters books. I may have him just write something different for each one, or a basic one page book report for each. I don't want him to be bored or negative about having to do more writing, but he needs it. I don't think the blog is enough writing for him, but I will add more slowly. Using his mind isn't the issue, but actually writing down thoughts with good sentence structure, proper grammar and decent printing is. I know he wants to start doing cursive, but his printing is still very sloppy and lazy. Lots more practice writing and doing printing worksheets are in the boy's near future.

I feel we are close to finding a rhythm, and of course now we throw the wrench in - his father is back this weekend and we have to deal with visitation next week. I am going to try a combination of our actual visitation schedule and maybe a day over there during the week. If they can't get whatever home work I send with them then I pull back to the occasional afternoon and overnights. While I seriously need a day off here & there, I am not willing to sacrifice schoolwork for my peace of mind.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

3rd day

hey guys.

it's the 3rd day of school. any who, i found my glow skulleltin head flashlight where you press the
button and it glows. I had to do math, history, grammar, Spanish, y es stufa. yo voy a l'escuela todos las dias. Which means, ''i go to school every day'' in Spanish. i usually do one week's worth of Spanish lessons a day. I'm about to finish the 3rd grade by the end of the semester. i'm studying about the age of discovery. today i learned about Bart Dias in 1434. did you know that back then salt y pepper was worth mucho? math is seriously getting hard. I'm studying ''long division'' which is once again really hard. At least i get to use base ten blocks to solve my math problems.

That's it for the daily ''Blog''.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 2

I am sitting here looking at our daily plan - it's a heavier load of stuff, just in that there is MORE for today, but another good thing about this home school gig is that I control what lessons we do when. So if Mr Stinky doesn't get it all done I do not have to freak out or stress, we just move the lesson over to tomorrow & get it done when we can. However, I think a Little Someone I know is taking this sleeping in thing a bit far today. : )

Monday, August 15, 2011

1st day

hey........... today's 1st day of school. Stupid 1st day of school.

any Who , today i had to do math, history, Spanish, literature, and spelling. We also have to do study island. study island is a thing where you have to play mini games for school.
i just got done finishing ice cream and playing plants vs zombies.

Best thing about homeschooling is that i don't have to get up early in the morning, i get to go to school in my pj's, and i also like that i get days off. i even get to do my work wherever, even on the bed, i get to take breaks to play Legos and play with puppies.

that's all for the daily ''Blog''.


began with the wonderful part for which I am ever sooo grateful ~~ we slept in until 10 am! then Little Dude & Eldest Daughter did some chores while I looked at our lessons for the day. It was a pretty light day; answering some Lit questions on a chapter of a book we read over the summer, an Art lesson about Leonardo (whom we already know soo well), the beginning of a Science unit on physical changes and a lesson on division with remainders which involved a few rounds of an online game. We took a 3rd grade Science pretest on Study Island & Little Dude only got one wrong.

I intentionally left him to his own devices with the Lit assignment & Math- I know he knows the stuff & how to write correctly. I wanted to see how much he was going to screw around after a summer off. I want to see how much actual one-on-one we are going to have to do this year. He should be better at this but we did just start backup. Math is still going on here - he is really dawdling. I am doing my best to not lose my patience already. Slow & steady is ok, Mama, it really is ok.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

mom bucks

hey guys! i wanna tell you about mom bucks. Mom bucks are this thing at my house where if you do chores you get mom bucks. if you get enough mom bucks, you get a prize! like:
15 mom bucks= watching a movie
30 mom bucks=30 minutes of video games
50 mom bucks=take-out choice
70 mom bucks= half a fun day
150 mom bucks=a full fun day
{{Fun days mean getting to play Wii or Plants vs. Zombies or DS on a weekend}}

i feel weird ever since we had mom bucks. in fact, i don't really like mom bucks. i think they are kind'a dumb. -rile

P.s. i don't like them because its like i have to do every thing but play video games.
and that's all for the daily "BLOG''.


Rile's Mom here ~ yup, Mom Bucks are here again!!! But this time, I am doing it up right; there are chore charts for everyone, there is a chore chart conversion table with values for each chore listed & there is a Mom Buck conversion table -which tells what can be earned with Mom Bucks. So far chores have been done, MBs earned and then MBs have been lost due to behavioural issues. My favourite item on all the lists is that both R & Eldest Sister have to pay me MBs if they do not complete all of their chores for the day!

Preparing for the 1st Day of School

For home schooling, getting ready for the first day of school is different; in many ways it's more laid back & in some it is more hectic.

There is no frenzied shopping trip for new clothes, new shoes, supplies. We aren't worried about a fresh hair cut {even though his dad made sure he got another of those way too short hair cuts from his neighbor, egads}. There is a craziness about getting our ISMA (legal paperwork for the state which requires signatures & to be mailed by the 1st day) and making sure our mailing address is correct. Instead of worrying about a new backpack and supplies, I will be worrying today about rearranging things so Little Dude has multiple work spaces; one where he can work on offline material or tests, making sure there is a way for both if us to sit at the computer together, and since he has issues with sitting all day, some other place where he can work laying down or on a ball or whatever.

I have to organize our book & supply cupboard, find a new "box of completion" & make up charts for our daily schedules. Last semester, I instituted a "box of completion" and need to set that up again. We have multiple text books and what I do is set out the stack of books we will need for the day's lessons the night before. As Little Dude completes the lessons in each book for the day, he gets the satisfaction of placing it in the "b.o.c." {as we call it}. Seeing the to do pile get smaller & the done pile get bigger helps him not feel so overwhelmed and actually cut down on some of the whining last year.

This year, I will be making him even more responsible; he will have to help set up the night before, he can help decide the order of subjects he will tackle each day, he will be able to choose his P.E. activities for half of the week & he will be responsible for helping choose which lessons will be turned in to his teacher for conferences this year.

We have moved since last semester and now live down the block from a library. I am planning on a library day once a week, either with me or his sister. He has also always wanted to help me facilitate a children's writing group and we are going to be approaching a local book store with a proposal for that. Last semester our lives were hectic and in turmoil, and I neglected reading & writing to the level which we usually functioned. Once upon not so long ago, we had a bazillion library books out at a time, he was winning prizes every week for the amount he was devouring, and he was writing every day. He has written skits which have been performed by our author friends. He has been a NaNo Young Writers participant twice. Now he is grumbly about writing a blog. Sheesh, Mom, time to set this right.

Well, I have to organize our text books, move the Wii games off of the foot stool, find our science kit & sharpen enough pencils. Two days until we log in and pickup where we left off in June. Wish us luck. His goal is to complete the remainder of the 3rd grade material before his birthday. He completed the entire 2nd grade before the end of the 1st semester last year & wants to get back on that pace. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 12, 2011

End Of Summer

writing a blog sucks. i can't believe i have to blog 15 minutes every day. in the first grade, i had to write in a journal for 15 minutes.

what a boring day. i'd do anything, but write a blog. :c

anyways, i had a great time this summer. we raised 7 puppies. they brought them when they were 3 days old. i also went to the fair. my favorite ride was the Ferris Wheel.

i'm not sure if i'm ready this school year. i'm in the 3rd grade, and the #1 student. i got done with the 2nd grade the fastest.

wish me luck! ;D


Rile's Mom here ~ Yes, he is not thrilled about writing this blog, yet. A few years ago, he wrote in a daily journal & that was wonderful; he wrote short fiction & poems. I decided since I was going to be writing a daily blog, it would be a great exercise for him as well. He knows all about punctuation and capitalization, but I am going to do as his former writing teachers, and for now, just care that he wrote & that they are complete sentences, then slowly start making him edit the blog until he is writing properly as he should.