Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekend Daybook {June 27, 2015}

Outside my window . . . . 
cloudy today. Much cooler than it was all week. Weeds have taken over . . . . I would pay someone to pull them for me. I had a few minutes to pull weeds while the dog was playing outside and I got a rash. I need to remember to wear gloves! It was the ragweed! I'm allergic to it and get a rash when I touch it.

Pictures . . . .
are from scout camp family night. This was Tyler's first year. They had a crate stacking activity. The pictures are of Tyler seeing how high he could stack the crates. Scott did it too and got 13 high. The other pictures are from Tyler's birthday party at the pool.

What I'm hearing . . . .
not much. It's the last few minutes of being home alone since last Sunday while the boys were at scout camp. There is the sound of Lucy whining a little at the window. I guess a neighbor is outside and she would like to say hello.

Thankful for . . . .
some down time in the calendar! There was nothing outside the home on the calendar this week besides going to family night at scout camp. I really enjoyed staying home. 

I'm very much thankful that Lucy's separation anxiety problems were almost nonexistent this week. I think it was all in the send off. I will have to remember this for the fall weekend camp outs!

Also, I'm thankful for a wonderful, supportive, online, homeschool community who is always there when I need advice or help (just finished my annual planning week). 

Around the house . . . .
My days are normally spent in mostly domestic duties . . . . and I hardly did any those this past week! What a difference when you only have to clean up after your self and the dog. I did maintain the sweeping schedule since that is mostly due to puppy fur. 

With all the rain we've had it has been a reminder that the back yard needs some work to get the drainage under control. It gets put off because it's going to be a big job and we forget about it unless we get a lot of rain. 

This coming week . . . .
Oh! I haven't even looked at the calendar. I'm in denial that I have to go back to the regular schedule. That's not a bad thing but I've enjoyed the "holiday".

What I'm reading . . . .
or what I have not been reading and that would be the boys books for the upcoming school year. I'm not making any progress on this. I did finish Harry Potter this week after putting it down for a while and the boys will be happy to watch the final movie of the series sometime this weekend. I have picked up Charlotte Mason's sixth book a few times. I have a big stack of started and haven't touched books. : (

And they all fell down.
I am working on . . . .
school planning. It's almost done.

I had hoped to clean out the boy's closets but that project remains on the to-do list. More about that below (yes, under the I am struggling section).

In the school room . . . .
Planning season, as I mentioned above, is about done. This is what I did most of the week. I think I wasted a day going back and forth on history decisions. I went back to the original plan in the end. I'm hoping to have the last details in place very soon so that I can enjoy a week (or two) off from all school related stuff before school starts back up. That start date has not been determined yet.

I'll have a post sometime in July with all our plans for the upcoming year. We have switched to Ambleside Online. I usually plan our school from scratch since I'm not good at following other people's instructions.  ; ) AO is different in that regard. Tyler will be doing year 5. I picked to start him there because of the history. Caleb will start AO in year 7 mostly because of the history. This program is well advance and since we didn't use it from the start there is no way we could go in at "grade level". Year 7 is high school level work! More later on all of this!

I am struggling . . . .
with storage and too much stuff. We don't a clutter problem here. I've downsized our house in the past and I'm selective in what I purchase and I always get rid of stuff as soon as it has served it's purpose. I don't have the typical American too much clutter problem. What we have is a small house that can't handle the amount of stuff we need to function. It hard to get all the males in the house people to realize that even though we use all this stuff (or may use it in the future) it doesn't mean that we can keep it. It has to have a place in the house and if you run out of places then something has to give. LOL! And why is it my stuff that always has to give? Our basement is overflowing with camping, hunting, and taxidermy stuff. 100% of it is used.  This is a big struggle at the moment. I am beyond overwhelmed with the lack of organization in the basement. On a related note, does anyone need a tent? I think we have an extra old one. Seriously!


I am pondering . . . .
temperament lately after hearing a talk at the KC Catholic Homeschoolers Conference. I got a recording of the teen talk on temperaments and Caleb really enjoyed listening to that. I played it in the car and everyone heard it. Tyler goes around labeling everyone he knows. It's hilarious when he says that so-and-so does that because they are a (fill in the blank with one of the 4 temperaments). So true!

I've also been pondering high school at lot lately. Trying to decide if and what changes need to take place in the homeschool. It seems the popular notion is that high school is a different ball game. I just think of it as the same path as the previous years but a little deeper. It tough to stay focused on that when you feel pushed to make changes.

Day 5 of scout camp. Someone was begging to go home . . . . . and I reminded him that he drove there and had a vehicle and could leave at any time, lol!

Friday, June 12, 2015

7 Quick Takes {June 12, 2015}

1) I have high hopes that things are going to settle down for the rest of summer break. I haven't done a 7 Quick Takes Friday in a while so I thought it would be a good way to catch up. Mostly pictures!

2) Tyler turned 11 this week . . . .  I try to get a pictures taken on birthdays and that didn't happen this year. We celebrated the day by going out to the family farm, dinner at Steve's (local restaurant that serves fried chicken, which is Tyler's favorite), and a family movie (Night at the Museum). We have the local community pool rented out in a week for a party with family and friends. Surprisingly, it's not too expensive and since I won't be serving a meal it won't cost any more than his usual party. Tyler got a kayak from us. He bought a bike a few weeks ago since his broke and he couldn't wait for birthday cash. So, he has a loan to repay. I haven't decided if I should charge interest. ; )

3) The boys had a Scout camp out at the end of May. I stayed home, which turned out great because it rained and was cold. But, bad because the dog was sick. : ( 

On the way out. The float trip part of the camp out was canceled due to flooding. Tyler did get to try out his new kayak on a pond instead.

4) Just some pictures from a few visits to the family farm. We made it out again today but it was a short visit just so Lucy could run around. (She isn't so naughty when she is tired!)

Picnic lunch by the lake.

Lazy boy fishing.

5) More fun at the farm!

Lucy loves to swim. She does NOT love to swim with the boys. She refused to get in once they were in and was one anxious puppy! The boys expected her to be playful in the water and wore life jackets in case she was a handful . . . . but no need.

6) Tyler's new hamster has turned out pretty well mannered. Humphrey hasn't given us any trouble. He is more concerned about getting out than the last hamster though. It's a little weird when those red/pink eyes are staring you down!

7) The new curtains for the living room arrived last Friday. I was able to take back two panels since they were very full and we didn't need four panels for the double window. I still haven't hung up pictures in the living room. Hopefully soon! I'm just not sure where I want to put them and I think I would like something new to add. We really need to work on some outside projects now! It's going to be a sad day when the massive pine tree is cut down in the back yard!

Have a good weekend!


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Year in Review {2014-2015}

I intended to write this post the day we finished school . . . . I know I even sat down to do it . . . . yet there was no draft so I guess I somehow got distracted. This will be short because it's been summer break too long now. ; )

Here are some post with the material we had planned to use: Term 1Term 2, and it doesn't look like I did a post about term 3 (but I think I talked about it in other post). Tyler completed 5th grade and Caleb 8th grade this year.

I have the boys fill out a survey during our last week of school. There is a rating system for all the books we used and a page of other questions. It's not their favorite thing to do but I find it certainly insightful every year. The following is from that survey and my thoughts on the year.

Tyler's Favorite book/subject was Cuthbert Joins the Bush Boys. His favorite activity was nature study at the farm. His least favorite thing this year was written narrations. His hardest subject was math and his easiest subject was free reading. When asked if school was too hard, too easy, or just write he replied just right.

Other things that Tyler enjoyed and ranked high on his list were Life of Fred, Story of the World 1, St. Joseph's Baltimore Catechism #1, dictation, Fix It, weather study, and morning basket.

Caleb's favorite book/subject was history (20th century). His least favorite was LifeWork: Finding Your Purpose in Life. He complained about the author's tree comparisons. Tyler has requested NOT to read that book in the future, lol.

Other things that ranked high on Caleb's list were Seton Science 7, Winston Grammar, morning basket, nature study, and Xtra Math.

We had many changes compared to the book list in the previous posts. Too many to talk about! Yet, there were some great changes. Saxon math was a hit. Switching Caleb's history and science were very favorable, too. 

I saw great improvements in both the boys independent work. I had some much needed "free" time during school hours. It was just enough of a break that I needed to get through our day.

Keep in mind that these were our positives and to respect the boy's privacy I'm not going to discuss any goals not meet.  : )
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