Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 2

We are starting our second day of school.

So far, so good!

Everyone was up on time.  In fact, we even had breakfast fifteen minutes early.  With breakfast over, Todd has left for his first day in the classroom.  Brian is spending thirty minutes on the Wii fit doing push-ups, planks, and other excercise before he dusts.  Bryce has vacuumed the house, and Bonnie, well, Bonnie I think is trying to get as much reading time as possible, so I need to take away her book so that she can clean the bathrooms.

We didn't get everything done yesterday that I wanted.  I have learned a long time ago that we need to do group studies first and then individual work second.  Otherwise, I loose everyone.  Yesterday, we jumped into individual work and I couldn't get everyone to regroup. 

Today, we will begin with group work first.  Our group work comes from the Tapestry of Grace curriculum.  The projects that we have on today's schedule are as follows:
Timeline - We will note on our timelines the people and events that occur between A.D. 250 to A. D. 500 (We were reminded in our Language lessons that A.D. come before the year, while B.C. comes after.)

Maps - We will refresh our memories of the world map ; i.e. locating all the continents.  We will then focus on a map of Medieval Europe and label it.

Famous Men of the Middle Ages - Today we will be reading about Alaric the Visigoth and  Attila the Hun.

Grammar/Composition Notebooks - In these notebooks we will be refreshing our memories on the eight parts of speech and what they do by writing them down with their definitions.

Once the group work is done then we will break into individual studies.  Bryce and I will start with our phonics, while Bonnie and Brian break out their math and language.

I worked out the problem with our Saxon Teacher CD-R.  For whatever reason, it doesn't work well on our netbook, but it works fine on the main computer in our bedroom.  Bonnie will just have to work upstairs in our room for math. 

Well, that is it.  Time to jump off the computer and round everyone up to start the day of right.

Happy Schooling.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Caught Red Handed

Someone has been dumping all of their garbage bags at our church.  For the past two months we have been getting fined for extra garbage.  Last Sunday, Todd decided to camp out at church to see if he could catch the culprit.  He set up the video camera and waited.  Unfortunately, he was out of the room when the culprit dropped off his bags, but the video camera caught it on tape. Todd was pretty sure he knew who it was.  Todd showed the video footage to a few elders who also confirmed Todd's suspicions.  Last night, Todd went on the stake out again this time with another elder.  Sure enough, the garbage culprit pulled up and began dumping.  He was too busy pulling out all of his garbage to notice that Todd had walked right up to him.  Caught!  The perpetrator, who shall remain nameless, hemmed and hawed his way through an excuse, claiming that this was the first time he had ever done anything like this.  Yeah, right!  Todd smiled and said "No problem as long as there is room in the can, but we have been getting fined for the past two months for extra bags outside of the can."  I wonder if he will be back next week?

We started school today.  Not a full schedule, mind you, just half.  We walked through all of their new books and computer discs.  The kids then each did their math and language assignment.  Bryce also worked through his first phonics lesson.  We had to re-establish some boundary rules - mainly that all school work is to be done downstairs.  Brian likes to hide up in his room to work but then ends up playing.  There was a little baulking at that but otherwise a good day.  I am having some issues with the Saxon Teacher.  I am supposed to be able to pull up a lesson and any problem I need help with but it would not let me pull up an individual problem.  I could only get the teacher to teach the introductory lesson for that day.  I will have to spend some more time on that.

Here is our school day schedule:

6:30 Wake Up
7:00  Breakfast
7:15 Chores - Room and House
8:00 School
        Bryce and Mom - Phonics
        Bonnie and Brian - Math

 From that point on the day just flows with a break at 11 for lunch, then back on track by 12:30.  I haven't worked out when we do history, science, or language, except that one flows into the other.  At least, you know how our day gets started.  Time to pack up the table and enjoy a beautiful day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I was asked the other day when I was going to update my blog.  Well, better late than never.  What has been happening during the month of August???

We have had two birthdays. Bonnie is now 14.  Can you believe that?  14!  Yesterday Todd took Bonnie up into the mountains to practice driving.  She drove the '88 Ford Truck.  Believe me, if she can drive that truck she can drive any automatic vehicle.  Other than being a bit timid about pressing down on the accelerator and the brake she did ok, until it came to backing the truck up.  Then she put the truck into a ditch - a big ditch.  Fortunately there was cell phone covered in that ONE SPOT in the mountains and Todd called me to come up with the Blazer and the tow chain.  By the time the boys and I arrived someone else had happened by and pulled them out.  Todd had Bonnie drive the truck back down the mountain (Can we say mom had a few panic attacks about that one.) and survived.  Of course, Todd asked me if we had any valium in the house. lol

Todd's birthday is today.  We made him a turtle cake and plan to go out this evening for dinner.

In the area of school..., all of our books arrived this week.  This is our curriculum for this year.

Bryce's main focus this year will be the Saxon Phonics Intervention Kit.  Bryce is still struggling and we have been encouraged that if we focus on this particular program that we should see improvement.
I do have math, science, and language for him to work on as well.  But Phonics and Math are the two that we must hit everyday.
Math - Abeka 5th grade
Science - Abeka 5th grade (We did 4th grade Abeka last year because I already had it.  He loves science so I think he can handle the higher grade.)
Langauge - Abeka 4th grade.  (This is going to be a challenge for him, but I want him to give it a try.)

Brian will be doing the following:
Math - Abeka Pre-Algebra
Language - Abeka 7th grade
Science - Apologia Physical Science

Bonnie will be working on the following:
Math - Saxon Algebra 1.  Bonnie did Abeka Algebra 1 last year but there were parts that I did not feel confident in. Todd felt that she was ready to go on to Geometry but I feel I made the right choice by having her doing Algebra again.  I chose Saxon because I understand it is very thorough and has a lot of review built in.  I also purchased the Saxon Teacher.  This CD-R set has an instructor that works the student through every problem in the text.  This takes a lot of pressure off of me.  There were times Bonnie needed help and I did not have the time to help her.  Now she can sit at the computer and use the Saxon Teacher to go over the work with her so that she can check her work out.

Language- Abeka 9th grade.  We did not want to use Abeka.  (Bonnie is convinced the people at Abeka hate her.lol) However, we decided to stick with what we know.  We have been using Abeka for five years now.  We know their system and expectations.  I did, however, by their teacher's key this year to make sure we are doing everything right.

Science - Apologia Physical Science.  Here I made another additional purchase.  I bought the DVD-R that goes with the text.  Now the students sit down with the computer and Jay Wile will instruct them on what they are to do, it encourages them to take notes, and goes over experiments and questions and answers.  In all reality, they are listening to the on-line classes that Apologia has recorded.  Once again, Bonnie and Brian can sit down with the computer and listen in to their science lecture and hear further detailed information on the subject they are reading.

Tapestry of Grace is still our core curriculum.  This year we are in Year 2 which covers from 400AD to 1789.   That is, the fall of the Roman Empire to John Adam's presidency.  I am really excited about this year.  TOG covers history, literature, writing, geography, fine arts, church history, and government.

Well, that is our school year.  We plan on starting next week.  I plan on the kids starting math and language on Monday, and then adding the rest of the material on Tuesday.  All the schools start on Tuesday here so they will be on track with everyone else.

In the area of our vehicles....., the truck and Blazer are still working.  We had to replace the battery on the Blazer but other than that it runs.  The van is parked until we can figure out what is wrong with it.  sighh.....

In the area of our NC house....we still own it.  We currently have someone looking into it.  They have been sending us questions all week and we have been giving them all the information we can on the house.  We would covet your prayers in this matter.  Hopefully, they will make an offer and we can sell this house soon.

In the area of our church...., Awana is starting soon so that has consumed a lot of my time, getting ready for it since Todd and I are the commanders this year.  We have added to our church the Sidebottoms.  Jennifer S. has taken over our music and we are enjoying her addition to the Worship team.

Of course, there is more to tell.  Like, Todd taking off at five in the evening to go on a hike that lasted nine hours instead of the four hours he intended.  Brian and I taking off on bikes and biking all over Black Bird Island and having a blast,  Playing in the ice cold river.  Walking through the trails on Black Bird Island and finding fresh bear scat.  Sitting through a whole day of classes on being a child-care provider (which I have decided against), forest fires filling the town with smoke, tragedies on the river claiming the lives of a tourist rafting and a kayaker,  and more.

I will leave it here for now and will do better to keep you better updated.  Until then.....

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Wonder

Do you ever wonder if everything thing you do is part of God's grand design? 

Some do and some don't, but I believe that as I grow closer to the Lord and seek His will, that he orchestrates my words, actions, and deeds in ways that baffle the mind. 

For example,  yesterday Todd and I went for a walk.  Instead of taking our normal route around the loop I suggested we walk into town and walk around Black Bird Island.  Todd consented and off we went.  We were just passing the gas station when we heard a loud crunch, an even louder hissing, and squealing tires.  Turning around we saw a yellow, VW bug spinning its tires (the driver hadn't figured out to get her foot off the gas) against a cement barrier.  Evidently the driver thought they had cleared the cement barrier to drive around and through another lot to get to the main road.  Obviously they did not. 

My first thought was...Tourist.  My second thought was...idiot...(I know not very Christian), but after our little chuckle, Todd and I decided we should do the right thing and see if they are ok.  As we approached the car, three rough, tattooed, pierced guys piled out followed by the driver - the mom of one of the young men.  She was a nervous wreck.  Turns out she had just gotten the car three weeks ago from her husband. 

Todd got down and began to look under the hood and under the car, made a few phone calls, and it was decided that she ruptured the line to the air conditioner.  The car was driveable but had some bad (expensive) cosmetic damage and no AC.  After doing our best to calm the distraught mother down, Todd introduced ourselves and asked if he could pray for them.  They agreed and we got to stand out there in the parking lot and pray.  One of the boys seemed really appreiciative of our praying for them. 

So here I go back to my wonderings.  Did all of that happen by chance, or was God in the midst of encouraging us to walk a different path last night so that we could encounter Lisa and her boys, to minister to her, to pray for her, and to let her know about our church and that we are people who care.

I wonder....