People Peeking in...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day Eighty Three

Firstly, the coop isn't finished, it's close but it's not done enough I can put the girls in it.  Another week of them in the gazebo all day is fine, it's being squished together in that box at night that seems a bit tight.  I know they won't perish, I just wish they had more room.  


On the school, life, house, front.  Husband has left for a business trip for the week.  Life will be calmer. 


But, wow, as much fun as freedom is, it sure is a lot of work!  At least if Banker was in public school someone would be telling me what to do and keeping me on track.  I'm having a "am I allowed to make these decisions" moment.  Stupid, sure, but it still has affected my committee pretty seriously. 


We have my mother here and we're having loads of fun, I'm trying to balance school and freedom and schedules and no schedules and feel like I'm failing on all points.  Although, I also can't quite figure out why we can't just take the week off.  


Do we just not do the 'easy' stuff?  Do I have him do math and science and that's all?  Do we just do the quick and easy work? Save the hard for next week?  Is part time worse than half time?  I wonder if we should even bother to do, attempt to do, pretend to do, school at all this week?  All this is running through my head.


I'm feeling great angst about it to be honest.  


I am supposed to be sitting here working on the Banker's schedule for the week.  I look at the work he's supposed to be doing and then look at the fun we have planned.  I don't know what I want to do and not do.    Mum and I have two lunches planned this week, without Banker.  We have two evenings and 3 days planned with the Banker.  Does he work between fun? Does he work at all?


I'm stressing about whether to just take the week off or not.  I'll be honest, I feel as though I'm screwing up royally this week.  I'm going to go think about it, fret about it and wonder if I'm breaking him (sure, I still think that!)


Aarrgghh


Ok, I've made a decision.  Sort of.  English today, Math tomorrow, review both Wednesday.  Off on Thursday (his 13th! *gasp*) birthday and Off on Friday, we're San Antonio bound.  There.


/Tracy

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day Eighty One and Eighty Two (weekend)

There's family happening, the coop is being built.  Yes, I am totally dismissed from any involvement in the coop.  I was yelled at for asking a question. The Banker tried desperately to be involved and help and was also dismissed, my mother wanted to hammer a nail and was also, dismissed. 

Errands, shopping, playing is the name of this weekend's game.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day Eighty

Home School Science just got way cooler!

The Banker got a microscope yesterday from FriendC, Ms. Zan and CD, he's a lucky kid.  He was polite, smiled sweetly, said thanks and wandered off.  This morning, he came dashing downstairs with it, we hooked up plants and a yeast smear from the bread I was making, it MOVES!  Oh we had fun!  We need to get slides and see if there's some way to hook it to the net or tv or computer, although I don't see how to do it yet.  He's excited and asked to swap today to Science day.  Sure, kiddo, have at it :)

We had a fun time yesterday with the Ladies Who Lunch, as always.  I cooked, mum cooked.  We laughed and all had a lovely time, you wouldn't have known there were so many children in the house, all perfectly behaved.  I knew they would be.

We've been cooking and playing a bit today.  I made bread and ciabatta to take to friends this afternoon.  I played with the pancake puff maker and we all snacked.  I think it makes school cooler when you're handed little plates of tidbits to sample while you work.  The Banker is going to check out the microscope some more and then he's going to watch some of the Khan Astronomy videos, he loves those.  We'll call it a day after that. I love the freedom we have during this visit!

The girls are getting crazy big, I'm going to have to remark their heads they're growing out of their markings so fast.

4 wks 2 days
 

 
We are leaving shortly to head to a couple of stores mum wants to hit then to happy hour then to happy hour somewhere else.  We worked hard so we are going to play hard!

Happy Friday!

/Tracy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day Seventy Nine

It's play day.  Not a field trip, better, friends and family coming here to play!  There will be eating, drinking, chicken watching, child playing, Minecraft and lots of giggling.  Some say we're blowing the day off school today... I say never!


Lessons today? 


International food, a study in Canadian and British specialties;  
101; Canadian Bacon isn't rolled ham!  We'll be experimenting with Peameal and it's delicious, loiny, brined, mealed, history.  
102; Pancakes aren't thick and doughy and stodgy!  We'll be sampling British thin pancakes with lemon and sugar.  Oh and Tate and Lyles those in the loop!!


Cocktails, how to make 'em, how to serve 'em.


Wine, White v Red, health benefits, taste benefits, Italy v Chile. Economic effect on both countries by my Ladies Who Lunch soiree's.


Chickens 101, backyard chickens, raising baby chicks, brooder boxes, outside play for chicks, chick development. How to keep chickens IN and dogs and children OUT of the gazebo!


Socialization; how 10 children can survive 1 game-room.  


Physics;  how 1 game-room can survive 10 children!


Meteorology;  Austin weather and how it has been affected by whatever joyful patterns to ensure we get the best local weather has to offer!  Could we have planned for nicer weather for a cocktail lunch?


English; how 10 children trying not to get in the way of 10 ladies mirrors the story line of Lord of The Flies or worse...Children of the Corn?! :)


Computer Science;  how to plot and plan to secretly extend your Minecraft time with friends.


PE; The General Store is a bit of a hike, exercise will happen when we toss them all out of the house to go get treats! 


This, is the stuff of memories, not sitting in some classroom having your joy and brains ooze out your ear.  A houseful of good friends, good food and family is the only way to go.


Sounds wonderfully busy to me! 


/Tracy







Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day Seventy Eight

My mom is in town. 


This is one of the extreme bonuses of this home school experience. My mother flew in from Canada last night.  We didn't have to worry about the time, the homework or schedules.  We didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn, make lunches, drive to school.  We didn't have to plan our day around the school board, look at a clock or think about a schedule 


Sweet. 


The Banker did his social studies day, albeit a lighter load than usual but he still did some work.  He read for a while then we got to hang out with my mom. We hit the local store, he sat at the bar while she and I cooked.  It was memories happening.  It was family.  It made me very very happy. 


The girls are getting crazy big, they spend every day out in the Gazebo and back into the garage at night.  I think they are getting a little big for their brooding box.  Husband says he'll finish the coop on the weekend and we can do the girls first overnight, safely outside, at the end of next week.  Weather permitting of course.  They are kind of scaredy cats and do run into their crate when the wind blows.  I love them. 


It's Ladies Who Lunch day tomorrow.  Friends are coming from far and wide to visit, cocktail, visit, eat a little, play a little and I am so very excited about it.  I made copious amounts of bread and rolls and then roasted off two enormous Peameal  roasts.  Sandwiches for all tomorrow, mountains and mountains of them.  The wine will flow.  The weather is supposed to be fantastic.  No sit down this time around for the Ladies, it's wander and visit cocktail lunch day.  I think the head count is 10 women and 10 children, all fun, all chaos.  Fun.  Life.  Joy.  Laughter.  I cannot wait.


FriendC and Ms. Zan will both be here.  Ms. Zan doesn't make it out here too often but the trips are highly and excitedly anticipated.   Banker's 13th birthday is next week,  they have a gift for him.  He's going to explode.  I'm so excited for him.  I'm excited for us, to have such wonderful people in our lives for so many many years.  These women have known him since he was 9 months old.  I will never worry for his safety or care because he has these people to turn to should he ever need.  The family we were lucky enough to pick.


The Banker does have to do a little school in the morning but I already told him he can blow off most of the day to help organize for friends and family and then entertain children.  


This is the stuff of memories, this is the stuff of life and this is the reason I do this.  The quality of Banker's life has been so enhanced by that which we have altered.  I owe a deep debt to my friends who have been shining examples to me, over the years, of what a successful home school experience can, and should, be. 


Oh and we hardly feel broken at all.  


/Tracy

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day Seventy Seven

We managed to get it all done yesterday. Yay us.

The Banker got his work mostly done then we moved, together, into errands, laundry, a tiny tidy and a toilet clean.  We both worked, we both played, not a bad deal at all. I made a killer chicken divan for dinner.  Husband even came home a little early to eat with us, which resulted in Banker being told to be quiet too many times while we giggled while we ate then he got moaned at then husband collapsed in that stupid recliner (how can someone hate a piece of furniture? I do!) and fell dead asleep.  Banker was upset, he has an idea in his head of how every evening will be different and it never is.  I am torn between trying to try to help fix it or just move dinner way early again.  I get that you're tired and fed up when you come home from work, hell I did it for years and years, and not a nice office job with set hours.  I just never kicked my dog or blamed him for a crappy day when I came in.  I'll have to think about this one.


I asked Banker to spend some time with the girls outside, for fresh air.  They are getting so big!  He wanted to have some time online playing Minecraft with his friends.

I told him to work it out.  He did. Way to multi-task baby!

Computer on lap, chickens in the hand.  Sweet multitasking, dear. The chickens are sweet, they look hungover as they are part fluffy, part feathered with oversized feet.  They don't like to eat their feed from the ground and prefer to be hand fed.  I think I broke the chickens! :)  They all love to be held and cuddled, except Martini.  She is the largest and has taken over Punk duty from Chicken.  Chicken and Edna (Flossy) are the cuddlers of the group.  Alouette will sit with me for long periods of time and fall asleep on my arm.  I sing to her in French. Peck and Sunny are indifferent to me but love Banker and FriendA.

Today is math day, and it was going to be "move all that Lego" day but really, we LIVE here.  I want him to move it when we have the 10 children (oh kill me now) over for lunch on Thursday so it doesn't get destroyed or mess up my house too badly up there, but certainly not because his grandmother is coming to visit.  I remember when I was a kid, it was a mad dash to clean, tidy and remove all evidence of anyone living in the house before my Nana arrived.  Now, she was a hell of a gal, she'd call it like she saw it and had no, seriously, NO, filter when it came to offering her opinion of ANYthing.  I watched my mother wither many times when Nana would describe the chaos, anarchy or filth (??? hardly!) of our home or anything inside it to all and anyone who would listen.  I'm not going there and my mom has too big of a filter (directly of course :)).

Is my house pristine?  Oh heck no.  There are piles of who knows what on every flat surface.  There's Lego, books, blankets and a million pillows everywhere here.  I keep finding socks on most floors but pushed to the edge and corners of course.  There's boy stuff, man stuff and me stuff everywhere.  We live here.

I have clean toilets, clean linens and clean bedding for mum as well as all the brandy, vodka and wine she can drink. Her carpet is vacuumed, her TV works and she has hangers and empty drawers.  There are new batteries in the remotes for her TV and overhead lamp/fan. Yeah, I'm good.  I'm going to cook big and thoroughly enjoy having her here.  I'm not going to fret over a spider web or some dust.  She does have enough of a filter and lives 1,684 miles away so if she hates anything, she'll wait patiently and complain about me/it when she goes back.  I won't hear about it so we're golden.  Also, cocktailing and eating sounds better than steam cleaning then worrying if it's good enough.  HEY, maybe SHE can vacuum tomorrow??  Oh yeah, I'm a lovely daughter.

Back to school.  It's math day but if he's not completely done by the time I need some assistance or by the time we need to go, he can finish it tomorrow. Oh and for those keeping score, no, he hasn't finished his book yet.  I told him we'll reevaluate how we pick the classics when he finishes this one, I'm sticking to my guns and need to find a better literature system.  I want him to read these books but I do not want it to be painful.  I'll think of something I'm sure.

On a side note, I got up at 4am, snoring spouse and back of my head fretting were the culprits.  I've been having dreams that disturb me a bit.  They sort of go against what I think I would do given the same circumstance.  Maybe letting my alter ego have at it in the wee hours takes the edge of the drudgery for me?  Who knows.  At least there's familiarity, the same dream for months now.  In any event, I have loads of coffee, loads to do and think the excitement of the Banker seeing his Nana 'live' for the first time in 4 years will keep me going nicely.

It's 6am, is it too early to start cooking?

/Tracy

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day Seventy Six

 WHAT a weekend!


We had a blast at the Crawfish boil, Banker dashed off with friends.  Husband and I drove around town running errands.  No, I wasn't allowed to participate in the coop plan but he bought the wood.  Then on Sunday he started building!  Banker was allowed to help and hammer nails and everything.  There wasn't any angst.  Would it be overly dramatic to thank God for that one?  Wow. 


I had the girls in the Gazebo all day Sunday and Lola learned to cope with them and their noise and their movement.  BONUS!  They don't actually like to peck from the ground and prefer to peck from my hand.  Um, can you spoil a chicken?? 


     

I told Banker he can do a very very short day today, we have Nana prep to do.  She arrives tomorrow and although I'm not going way out to do anything spectacular, I want to have the drink she likes, the food she likes and clean sheets.  Easy peasy! 


We will do a shorty English day then he'll help me with the basic quickie dust and standard 'get ready for your mother to come and stay' things.  We will run to the store later to buy the necessaries.  I'm really excited she's coming and even more excited Banker is home schooled so we can play and futz and there's no time restrictions or issues with doing what we want, when we want.


Did I say, Bonus?? 


/Tracy

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day Seventy Four and Seventy Five (weekend)

Plans?  Besides pushing Banker into finishing reading his book, we are going to a "crawfish" boil on Saturday and maybe a picnic on Sunday.  Although since I blew off Friday, we may Nana-proof the house instead...my mom comes Tuesday and the least I could do is put clean linen on the bed *grin* 


I also intend on spending quality time with the 'girls' in the gazebo, in my chair, with a glass of wine, watching them peck and scratch.  It's very Zen for me.


I dread the beginning build of the coop but am trying to not fret.  Dread, dread, dread.  I feel like I brought toys to a friends house and they stole 'em; because they're sure I'm stupid.


/Tracy

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day Seventy Three

WHAT a difference a day makes.

Yesterday, the Banker slept late, ate heartily upon rising (I'd made buttermilk biscuits for him).  He worked at his tasks without whining, moaning, bitching or pre-teen angst.

He blew through his work, 100%, 100%, 100%.  English, all complete, 100%.  Math (one particular concept he's fought with) reviewed, re-watched, re-worked, he asked for extra practice sheets (!) ASKED for more work to practice!  Practice lessons, 100%.  Test retake, 100%.

Brilliant.

We discussed some process issues, book issues, moving some pending work to another day.  We talked about life, chickens, happiness, his future, my future, my mother.  We giggled, danced and he sang, sang, sang, while he worked.

Brilliant.

I took some mental health time today.  There's so much to do here at the house, it's a mess and I feel out of control with it.  It feels overwhelming for some reason.  I need some me time.  I took the girls (chickens) outside to the gazebo, set up a chair and sat in there with my glass of wine and just watched them peck and scratch.  They ran to me, climbed on me and little, ugly, Edna fell asleep on my arm.  I needed the time out.  I can't believe how I feel for these chickens.

Brilliant.

Husband went out to play with his friends, probably laughing, joking, relaxing.  All the things he doesn't, can't or won't do here.  So long as he's happy and having fun.

Brilliant.

I cooked and experimented, liked some and hated some.  I cooked the best pork fried rice ever, way to use up the two teensy scrawny little pork chops leftover from last night.  Hardly enough to feed one of us let alone a mountain for both plus loads of leftover for Bankers lunch tomorrow.

Brilliant.

The Banker is going to shadow FriendA today at a co-op. He wanted to get the feel for one and she invited him, excellent timing.  I am going to try to get some stuff done here, I am sort of paralyzed when he's here working, I feel I need to be available, across the table for him, during school.  I am sure it'll find it's level.  All in all, even after the blow out of the other day, I truly think he's happy with home school, excited to be able to check out the Co-op and I am going to try to get SOMEthing done here with time all by myself.

Brilliant.

I came downstairs at 6am and found the Banker dressed, milk in hand, at the computer working through Language Arts Extensions to finish up some work.  Really?  I might love this. He flipped over to a little Minecraft when he finished.

Now then.  THAT is a conversation.  ALL the teen boys seem to be fascinated with the build your own world game that is Minecraft.  The graphics are crappy, the movement slow to medium at best and they love love love it.  It looks like Lego on the screen, well, if Lego had no sharp edges, unfocused Lego.  There has been some discussion between mothers as to how long to allow them to play this obsessive game, in one sitting.  Now, there's no killing or gore, or very little and it's amateurish at best. They have to work with each other to gather, mine and harvest what they need to build this world so perhaps there's a little ethics in there? They call each other in Skype, use the conference call program and all chat while they all play. They all call into one server (old school!) and play and build in the world they've created and saved.

They have been playing way too many hours in a row lately and one of the moms suggested a time limit, I love that.  We've decided they have to be off by 9pm, sounds reasonable.  We decided they have 3 hours (maximum) in a sitting, that also works just fine.  But I'll be honest, I wonder whether they need and use this time more so for social engaging rather than for the actual computer game.  They talk the whole time about what they need to do/work/buy/sell/harvest/mine/build and are dedicated to it to a fault.

I don't think we're turning them into sociopath ax murderers by letting them sit staring at screens for hours.  In a ridiculous manner, they are learning typing skills, keyboarding, some minor programming, how to get along, how to bargain, barter and negotiate.  They are learning to plan, to plot, to design and to build.  I hate to admit it but none of the items on this list is a bad thing.  They aren't shooting each other to smithereens with blood splattering across a screen.  Thank goodness.

Under the "super mom" category, it gives me a break when he's online with the friends.  *nice*  I can exhale, be inside my own head and make my own plans for my own life.  I need changes around here and when he's occupied so deeply, I can think about what I need to happen, for me, it's time.  I do know how easy it is to sit and start playing an obsessive game, Lemmings comes to mind.  I could play that all day, 3 hours was a blink.  I do understand their not realizing the time when they're so engaged.

I guess I wonder whether it's really that big of a deal if the work is done, what's wrong with engaging with your friends playing a group game instead of sitting in front of a television watching what other people want to put in your head.  Would we time limit them if it was a board game?  A card game?  Lego, Megablox or Lincoln Logs? Would we be concerned if they were playing with army men? GiJoe? Marbles?   I wonder if the conversation, time and energy spent with each other building relationships usurps the fact it's over a glowing rectangle.  What if it was just on the phone?  This is how home school kids, public school kids, friends and neighbors, from an area over 90 miles wide spend time hanging out when all their work is done.

I'll be thinking about that today.

/Tracy




Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day Seventy Two

Well, I was right, yesterday deteriorated into stupid angst for no reason.  He got mad, I got mad.  Work got shoddy, sloppy and rushed,  I got annoyed, frustrated and fed up.

I called it at 12:30.  Sometimes, the day just needs to be done.  I wrote out the work I want him to re-do, re-watch and re-work today.  I think it's supposed to be English today, welcome to winging it.

Luckily, dear FriendA, FriendC, FriendJ and FriendG came to play.  FriendC and I sat outside with bread I'd made, good cheese, wine and giggled.  The underage friends played Lego, played Minecraft, ate popsicles and played with chickens in the gazebo.  Way to swing the day back.

FriendA stayed for dinner and ate everything on her plate.  I love that in a teenage girl!  Banker and FriendA hung upstairs, online with friends, and laughed until their sides hurt.  There are few things to fix a mood than hysterical giggling, side splitting, tear wiping, knee slapping laughter.  There was a lot of that in my house yesterday.  Stupendous!

So, today will be a re-do of the ridiculous yesterday.  The girls will get another couple of hours out in the gazebo to play and stretch their ever growing wings.

They are 3 wks and 1 day old...  wow
 

 

I need to do spend some time doing more thinking about next year's classes.  I am trying to determine if I want to do just one math, I think so, work through PreAlgebra then Algebra before we jump into any others I think.  I am going to get hold of my friend about the project based science curriculum, I have English, grammar, language arts and history.  I need to nail down the electives more directly and have them be slightly less chaotic than this years.  Maybe fewer, we'll see.  I will spend time thinking about it today. 

I am going to try to actually move one piece of furniture out of the guest room so that, at the very least, there's a path to the rest of the junk in there.  My mother comes on Tuesday, no pressure!!  AACCKK. 

Banker is still sleeping, 9:16am, I'll give him till 10 and then we start.  Husband is out tonight so it's mother/son evening, which I love, we hang out and visit wit nothing to do with school, home or work, just hanging and giggling and talking about life; there's nothing better.

/Tracy

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day Seventy One

Sweet road trip yesterday to Houston Science Museum.

The drive was long and fun.  The Titanic exhibit was haunting and informational and the Tornado movie was windy! :)  The kids all had a blast, we snarfed down McDonalds in the museum for lunch because no one wanted to give up their sweet parking spots, me included, and hey, it's a field trip, McD's is fine.

We got stuck in all sorts of ridiculous gridlock but with Banker at the helm (and Siri) we managed to make it to our friends beautiful new home and had a cocktail, a visit, a giggle then went out for a fabulous dinner at a brand new, completely empty, restaurant where the entire staff fussed over us.  Excellent.

Banker and I pulled into the driveway at 11:04, exhausted.  We'd left at 6am.  Long, wonderful day.

We were supposed to go to the Alamo as a field trip on Friday but it's too much for one week plus I forgot I double booked ?!  Besides the fact that I need to get things done here and I see we are busy both weekend days.  Dagnabit, where's the time going?!  I'd arranged for the Banker to go with FriendA to observe her co-op on Friday.  It gets him so exposure to that co-ops are all about and it gives me 3 uninterrupted hours to work on the guestroom and do some laundry and maybe vacuum.  All alone.

We both had slow starts today.  We cleaned out the chickens, they are looking pre-teen rough those girls, half feathers, half fluff.  Alouette and Chicken will both happily leap into my hand, Edna sometimes, Martini...never...scream scream scream.  Peck and Sunny are the most docile but they're the two that Banker and FriendA play with the most..."their" chickens.

I'm taking them outside to play in the gazebo later, contained seems to be the way to go with 3 wk (tomorrow) chicks.

Banker moaned about today being English day, he was flipping through his schedule and I'd put optional day order on it.  I told him he could do ANOTHER day instead if he wasn't in an English mood.  Do Science today, I said.  He looked SHOCKED.  It's funny that he still doesn't get it.  I give him a schedule for the week with a "this is your week, do one page per day" and he thinks it set in stone, he won't even ask to futz it around.    Now, he does like order and continuity and I do love messing with that.  So we flipped, he's happily learning about quasars and human evolution as it pertains to the stars and the planet. He is in a pissy mood, lovely, but I'm busy and have a million things to do, my mother is coming to visit.  Enough said.

I think it'll be a very long, slow, science day with medium opportunities for preteen angst, stroppiness (my Nana's favorite word describing me at this age) and periodic eye rolling ... oh and heavy sighing ...  his father's DNA in action there.

I'm going to be busy and I'm not going to be taunted or drawn into any confrontation because of a mood today.

Wish me luck!

/Tracy

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day Seventy

FIELD TRIP DAY!

We are off to Houston Nature and Science Museum with a bunch of friends.  We are checking out the Titanic exhibit, 100 years and 2 days anniversary.

We also got tickets to see the Tornado Alley 3D movie.

A couple of my girlfriends moved from Austin and now live in Houston so after the all kid all day adventure I'm stopping to have a cocktail with people who make me feel good just sitting in a room with them.  Yeah...

It's gonna be a sweet day.

/Tracy


Monday, April 16, 2012

Day Sixty Nine

After a very busy, very fun, weekend, the day has started just fine.  The Banker and I both slept in for a bit, we both just laid in or beds thinking about the universe, me, figuratively, him, literally.  I was waiting for husband to leave for work and since he insists on going out the garage, running the very loud door up and down (which is directly under the Bankers bedroom) it ensures it wakes him up.  I can't figure if it's on purpose or not.  Either way, luckily, he came downstairs happy and doing some sweet dance moves while he got his cereal.  Cool. 


We are shaking up the week and today is Math day (instead of English).  He is starting Chapter 8 in Pre Algebra and I have him working the review chapter in Time for Learning, a review of the 'year'.  He is going to write the problems on paper and answer them, easier than me printing out 52 review sheets.  I told him that's the end for him in the math in that program.  He will continue with the English, social studies and language arts until he finishes the level 8 in them.  He is still working 7 of course.


We are going to Houston Museum tomorrow (Math day) so it'll be our social studies history day.  He will do English on Wednesday and Science on Thursday this week.  We are supposed to go to the Alamo on Friday but it may just be too much for the one week considering my mother comes next week and I really need to work here.  Oh and yes, we are out Saturday and Sunday next week.  I'll get through today and figure it out from there. 


"Chicken" she's a food percher/punk
The girls are getting crazy big.  Their feathers are really coming in on their wings and tails.  We put some wood in their box so they have a little perch, they love it.  Husband is secretly playing with them, and I wish he'd start their way too involved coop.  if I had the money I'd go grab one of those little sheds, add roosts and two boxes and bingo, coop but I don't so I can't.  I won't be allowed to be involved at all.  Wait wasn't this MY idea?  I had it all planned out, on paper, using the gazebo and a run and it was supposed to be quick, easy and FUN, it's none of those things now  I'm not going there, I'm going to smile and nod and be dismissed.


I have great faith it's going to be a great day, a great week.  I'm excited about the Titanic exhibit tomorrow.  It's gonna be a great time. 


/Tracy



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day Sixty Seven and Sixty Eight (weekend)

Friday was great, I let the Banker sleep until almost 10:30.  Yeah, I'm a rock star.

He worked, read, managed to get a Sudoku mostly right and didn't go mad doing it.  We worked through the beginning stages of it together and he sort of "got" that you can't work these things in a straight line.  He was less frantic about it.

I let him back online with friends and he happily played MineCraft for hours.  We'll call it creativity in action.

We have a busy weekend planned, friends coming here, we're going to friends to play and eat.  All good.

We are helping a friend with a garage sale, shopping.  There's friends over, hamsters and chickens to deal with.  This is the kind of weekend I love, we're busy here, playing, getting things done and having fun.

The girls are getting so big, it's amazing.  Banker hopes to start building the coop this weekend, we'll see if his hopes are crushed.  I hope not.

We have a busy week coming up with 1 or 2 all day, out of town, field trips planned.  I may blow one off, we'll see.

So far, he doesn't look too broken.

/Tracy

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day Sixty Six

Banker is still fast asleep, at 9:30am, after his jaunt to the Opera last night. He loves it and wouldn't have had the opportunity had we not jumped to home school land.  He went with friends, they dressed to the 9's and looked fantastic!  I was so proud watching him walk out the door in his dress clothes, with his favorite tie, wandering to the waiting car with his best friend in her high heels and body draping, va va va voooom when did she turn into a GIRL? dress.  Wow.

We have very loosey goosey plans for today.  He is going to take the pre-algebra unit test today, he should ace it, he aced the test yesterday.  He is going to do some more experimenting with the Nova Hunting the Elements series, some physics, some reading and any work he didn't finish earlier in the week.  The Soduko isn't done, he hates those but I like the way it makes him think so he'll do one.

He is futzing around on the reading thing, he really doesn't like being assigned books.  He tried to make deals with me last night about swapping books but I stood firm.  He has to learn to read for information sake, retain it for a bit and move on.  He's been spoiled only reading that which interests him and dropping the book the moment he either becomes a bit bored or hits a dry part.  This is what this exercise is for.  Read it already, geez.  He used to be a great reader but when he ran out of the series he was reading, he sort of came to a screaming halt and has really struggled to find a new series or even book that he loves.

I'll keep fighting the fight. I am infuriated by the fact it IS a fight!!??  He only has a week left to finish 20,000 leagues and it's a big read.  I think he'll try to skim or speed read.  I can't really catch him unless I sit and watch him and I don't want to do that.  I will, however, expect one hell of a details report and I'll share that tidbit with him so he doesn't try to give me a vague "i liked this book, it was interesting" type report, not ok anymore, kiddo, sorry for your luck. I want names, dates and details!! I will let him be more involved in the book picking process, maybe give him a list and have him read reviews?, either way he IS going to read the classics, case closed.

He has a relatively light day and we have a busy weekend so we'll do some errands before rush hour this afternoon too.

The chicks are growing like crazy, here they are at 2 weeks, 1 day.  We took them outside for a peck and scratch and they loved it.

Look at them! wow, they grew necks and legs! :) I can't believe how big they are getting daily.  They are sprouting butt feathers too which is pretty cute.  They have solid personalities which is really funny.

Chicken is the punk of the group.  Martini is a screamer (yikes, girl!) Sunny is cute and calm, Edna is sort of ugly and just sits there.  Alouette loves to sit on my finger and Peck is almost excited when the Banker comes into the room.

I think building may start on their coop this weekend.  I hope it goes smooth and easy.  I hope it goes simple.  I hope it goes low key, low tech and I hope, most of all, that the Banker is allowed to help, plan, have a say and a vision, I hope he can hammer nails and paint wood wacky colors.  I hope he can participate.  If he can't, it'll be so bad for him, he'll be crushed.  Fingers crossed for him.

It's 10, I'm going to go wake him up, it's long enough to sleep on a school day.

I think it'll be a good, easy day.

/Tracy





Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day Sixty Five

Yesterday was a bit rough.  Banker was in a snit from the snit I was in the day before.  The work didn't flow as smoothly, he futzed and moaned, I futzed and moaned.  All in all, not the best.

Today is science day, yay.  It is also math chapter test, from the chapters he did Tuesday.  Should be easy, he worked the problems through, eventually *ahem*.  Thee is also a unit test for the first section which I may spring on him later today or tomorrow...  I'm such a delight.

He just reviewed his day schedule and has decided to do the tests first.  I let him do tests in the studio because there's no computers in there, he rarely fiddles with the sewing machines, embroidery machine or serger.  :)  So long as he does fine on the tests, he's going to love the rest of his science day.

He is working the environmental science textbook on the iPad and really enjoying it, it's a bit cerebral but he loves the facts and spouts them regularly.

For the rest of his science today, I am sending him off in a different direction. I found an AMAZING book/app/project/show/series for my iPad called Nova Elements. It's all about the elements (d'uh) and there's an interesting show about the elements, little projects and a VERY cool interactive section where you learn about each element, can watch a short video about them then you can try to build the different elements with protons, electrons and neutrons, based on number and weight then wait to see if they are stable...if they're not they explode.  sweet.  Every one I've done has exploded.  HAHAHA  It's TOTALLY cool.  It's with David Pogue.  I'm floored at the quality and the coolness factor, Banker is going to love it.

I think we need to shake it up every once in a while... it's science day so we stay in science but no one says we have to stay in the same science.

It's going to be great, I have science faith.

/me

**honors level pre-algebra plus tests, 2 chapters, 100% *proud mother moment*


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day Sixty Four

I have edited my post today, I crossed out that which is bull**** and italicized that which is relevant further down in the story.




The banker worked really hard yesterday.  **


I forgot to mention that we had one of those spontaneous evenings the other night.  FriendA came over to see the chicks then we drove over to their house so Banker could see her lizard on a leash then everyone decided to go to the movies so we hopped in cars and drove up to a lovely theatre no one ever goes to and saw the 7:45 show of Mirror, Mirror.  We were the only ones in the the theater which was super and Banker and I talked about how great it was we could just go.  When he was in public school, we never went out in the evening.  Too much driving, too much gas money, too few hours between finishing dinner, homework and bed to go and do anything fun.  Daytimes, straight after school (with at least a day lead time for travel plans) or weekends were fine.  We both agreed this being able to just go and do whatever we want, any evening we want to do it in, is one of the biggest perks of how we've altered our live and academics.  Life gets to happen without planning 2-3 days in advance and the time of day doesn't matter anymore.  I love not watching a clock (although I still do) it's lovely that it's not mandatory anymore.


For math day, he moved his laptop into the living room, I was making bread and banging around in the kitchen, and stuck to it for hours.  He watched and re-watched the video lessons he was doing.  He went slowly and was actually challenged for a while until he got it.  He moaned a bit that it was different from what he'd been taught, I told him that he can and should use the methods in the video because it'll set him up for all the years of subsequent videos from the same organization.  We did some work together (thank you teacher manual that shows the progress to the answer not just the answer {whew}).  I think he got it.


He also finally figured out he can use the video lessons as primers when he's actually doing his lesson review sheets.  It's not a test, kiddo, use whatever you need to use to get the information in a comfortable spot in your head.  He thought he had to watch the video then turn it off and sit and do the worksheets, I told him that's how we do the tests, these are lesson work sheets... use the videos!  work through problems with the video running, it'll help you wrap your head around it.  There is no human to answer your question so you want to review again how he worked a problem... go for it baby!  


He's such a serious, hardworking kid.  I'll be honest though, I was surprised at the length of time it took him to work through some of the lesson practices.  I thought he should take mind wander breaks but he said no.   It's my biggest fear, that he loses his initiative and drive.  I don't really have any indications that's happening or will happen.  He's been driven and a self starter, academically, since long before he even went to school.  It's just one of the many things that nag at me in the wee hours.  That and the fact the whole chicken, reuse, recycle, environmental friendly, let Banker build a reclaimed coop with his own hands, his own hammer and nails...{he's been so excited about being able to build something}... but no, it's going high tech, high pvc (what's wrong with a chicken pecking on rope? or sitting on a stick?) and it's just been hijacked away from him.  That and the fact I am apparently the most stupid person on earth, chicken-ly speaking.  I've been researching this for 6 months but I digress. 


I like that he's entering the land of new information and is having to think hard.  He said a few times that he was sorry ?!?!?!?! for taking so long.  I told him that's WHY we do this...so he can take as long as he wants or needs.  He still can't quite wrap his head around the fact he can be as fast or as slow as he wants to be, as he needs to be. 


I like that he has to think with this math, that he has to work and that he takes his time.  He's learning, he's loving it, he's working hard, he's free to take breaks when he needs them, we talk about what he's learning, how it's going and he gets to play with chicks when he takes breaks.


I might throw a surprise field trip on him later, I wouldn't mind hitting some of the natural gardener places in town and may hit the road with him.  Depends on how he does today with social studies, it's his easy day because we tossed a workbook to the curb, so we'll see. 


**Well well well...    my mother radar went off, didn't it?  I'd written this post and then had a nagging feeling.  My committee wasn't content, wasn't happy with the words before me as I read them back. You know when you just know something isn't quite right and your entire committee tells you that you simply have to look into it more deeply?  I checked the history on Banker's computer.  Good grief, child, are you kidding me?  *sigh*  {yes, he was present...and duly horrified}


Children don't see the big picture, like the one where the mother sits at the computer and becomes increasingly furious at the number of ventures to various 'net sites while math was happening.  Or rather, supposed to be happening.  


Before I went "off", I did a quick mental review.  Did he do his work?  sure.  Did he finish what he set out to do? almost.  Did I tell him a number of times during the day to take a break? yep.  Did he? secretly apparently.  THAT is what has done me in.  I feel lied to.  I feel disappointed.  I feel taken advantage of.  I feel "had".  I feel as though I dropped the ball by not supervising to the degree I obviously should have been.  I am not a happy camper.  NOT happy...and it's really bad to be the Banker.


New rules that instantly were put into place:
Laptops stay in the kitchen, facing the wall so I can see the screen at all times.  
ALL work will be completed downstairs, where I can observe. 
ALL work will be completed on assigned day.
ALL work will be reviewed upon completion (not put into check work for later review)
NO headphones.  
NO surfing of any kind.  
NO "off site" research without prior authorization from me.  
NO phone.  
NO Xbox360.  


We are not going down that road.  OH and there won't be any surprise field trips or kudos on hard work or dedication today.  Get it done, get it done right and sit the hell up straight.


It's military here today. 


/harumph

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day Sixty Three

Ah, this is a nice quiet week.  I like it.  We have huge field trips next week plus a number of other activities and then my mother comes for a 2 week visit to celebrate Banker turning 13 that I'm really thinking this is going to be the last full week of work for a bit.  The nice thing is we can do this, I just don't want us to get too far off track.  oh wait, it's OUR track, so we're just fine! 


I had a long conversion on Sunday with a former 7/8 grade science teacher who now writes science curriculums (bonus!) and she had a long talk with Banker and I about working with us on some project based science work next year.  OH can I hear a hallelujah?  YAY!  I JUMPED at the opportunity and Banker was delighted too, we are going to meet up with her in the not too distant future to get more details.  YAY!!  Science is the only subject I am concerned about next year so this was indeed a blessing. Did I say YAY?


English yesterday and math today.  We are going to try for 2 chapters in the pre-algebra math u see program and see how it goes. He did 3 in one week and the one chapter last week took him longer than usual so we'll go for two and be happy with one.  I have a review built into the schedule for Thursday so if he can't finish the chapters he can in 2 days I'm sure then he can test Thursday or Friday.  I like like like this new one subject line/day thing.  I like our 4 day futz-able schedule.  I like how we work.  I am so much happier in my skin about his life and future.


The only thing anyone talks about tho, is the girls.  The girls were very happy to see me this morning.  Peeping and jumping into my hand.  I quite like them :) 


The chicks are so much larger each day, it's quite remarkable.  We are having discussions about the coop for them.  I hope hope hope that husband lets Banker help.  The whole chicken thing was his idea and I hope his father doesn't exclude him from the plans and building.  This is such a great learning experience and could be great bonding and I just hope hope hope it is  joint project.  If Banker is left out or chastised constantly, it'll do damage.  He's really excited to be involved.  I'm not going to fret just yet.  



  

  



I want to do this right, and easy.  I feel sick when the plans become so elaborate and involved and we can't use nails, oh no, we need special extra long, extra thick, extra extra screws and we can't use a dowel or board for them to roost, no, we'll have to buy imported lumber, treated for birds with the hairs of virgins, no really, it's never simple and straight forward.  Geez, this is supposed to be fun! easy! recycled! where'd the thread of this get lost?Can't this be simple?  I hope we use recycled materials, maybe use the building we already have out back, make it by hand with wood we have here, paint it fun colors.  I want us to do it together, nail some stuff together, surround it with wire and they'll be fine.  I am so very worried it's going to be over thought, over worked and over stressed about that which should be an easy, fun, family project.  We don't need Fort Knox out there and I worry that's what we'll end up with.  Just a little house, we have fence wood, we have a garage full of wood, that'll work FINE, for the girls to lay eggs and be safe at night, that's all we need, that's all we want.  Now there's plans for pvc piping to go through so they don't chew rope and for perches? c'mon, let them chew some rope? they're chickens... they'll slip off pvc, gee, a little piece of wood is all they need to perch for the night :(.  I have cool, multi colored drawers I said might be great for nesting...  it was poo'd and there was a sighing, stomping episode.  I am so sad this can't be a fun  family eco friendly recycling project.  


I actually prayed about it working out sweet and simple.  How sad.


School went well yesterday, Banker worked hard then FriendA came over to play with her chicken (one is hers in exchange for chicken sitting services down the road).   School went well today so far, math day moves him into the studio for privacy and he's less distracted.  He secretly wants to move his laptop and system into the studio full time so he can have his own room, nice, um, no.  I do, however let him have it one day a week ;) 


I'm trying to quietly think about organizing my guestroom and game room for my mother's arrival in a couple of weeks, stress free tho because I refuse to let it stress me out.  I am looking forward to her visit and the Banker is very excited she's coming, all in all it's not a bad time.  


Well, except for the coop.   


/Tracy



Monday, April 9, 2012

Day Sixty Two

We have no field trips planned this week, it'll be the first full week of working here since we started home schooling.  We have two huge trips planned next week so I don't mind a quiet week.  Well, it's not going to be quiet in the slightest:


I went on the Funky Austin Chicken Coup Tour on Saturday.  We came home to pick up husband and drove straight to Tractor Supply.  We got chickens. I wanted 3, we have 6.  

Welcome to:

Alouetta, Edna, Martini, Peck, Sunny and Chicken !!  

*gee I hope none of you die too soon.

There's really nothing else to add today.
       

*what on earth was I thinking :) 


Two days later I'm delighted to come home to a garage full of girls :)   I swear they are bigger than they were last night, I'm trying to get daily or almost daily video to keep track, we'll forget soon how small they are.

/Tracy

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day Sixty and Sixty One (weekend)


Happy Easter Weekend!

We are having an egg hunt on Sunday morning, also husband birthday, before we go to friendP's for Easter Dinner. I love being included in a holiday meal and it makes me/us feel like we have family here. Even husband's eye roll at me planning a weekend outting, ah, it feels just like family! It matters and it's a huge deal to me. Banker is really excited to go and be part of the celebration and feeling of family, husband is indifferent. Same old same old. He used to be excited about things and I wish I knew how to bring it back...an enthusiastic response to anything would be such a small thing but the payoff would be so very high with Banker...and with me. It's exhausting to be responded to so frequently with abject apathy. It sometimes feels like giving into a good laugh and having a conversation that didn't include constant, serious, correction is a weakness or something. I miss playing with him a lot of the time. But, I digress.

Ah, weekend. Easter Weekend, husband birthday weekend. No stress at all. We are going to buy chicks (maybe today) for the Banker as a surprise for Easter. I've wanted chickens for a very long time. I don't think we are allowed to have them in my neighborhood but I don't care. The HOA is after us for so many other things I say let's go all the way! Husband says he's in a fight with them, I don't care. In for a penny, in for a pound, we're doing it. I merely smile and nod and don't really care in the slightest.

Back to the (hopefully) imminent arrival of chicks! I have all the stuff to keep them alive, I hope, in the garage. The garage is historically warmer than my house, I'm an a/c junkie, so they should do better in there, in box, with a light and we'll hope Lola doesn't eat them immediately. My plan, hahahaha, is to introduce her to the chicks and let her see them every day, as often as possible and let her (hopefully) get used to them running about and the noises they make. I may be deluding myself but I'm going to give it try. If, however, I fail miserably, I do have a home lined up for any chick that lives. I am not prepared to play the dogs in dogs out chickens in chickens out game. Everyone plays nicely or they simply cannot stay. Easy.



No school today :) or "officially" this weekend, ALTHOUGH, I did assign the next English Literature book...with a crushing (to him) 2 week deadline to read and write me something about what he read, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

"BUT it's 385 pages!"
"Yes, my sweet, it is, you'd better read often and read long then hadn't you?"
"BUT I only have two weeks?"
"Yes, my sweet, here you go, on the calendar in RED!"
"BUT, I had 5 weeks to do the last book!"
"Yes, and you failed your due date miserably, obviously too long a time doesn't work for you, perhaps you need a little pressure in your life"
"Oh great, thanks mom, trying to kill me"
"Not yet, dear"

We have no field trip planned this week, he had better get it done or we'll have words and no one likes words.



So, in quick summary;
  • I hope Boyo starts his book without comment from me this weekend.
  • I seriously hope we find some chicks. 
  • I hope Lola doesn't kill them. 
  • I hope they don't die immediately. 
  • I hope husband smiles and has a free giggle. 
  • I hope Banker finishes his book report so he and I can move on and have a happy weekend. 
  •  I am VERY pleased to report Banker did finish his book report yesterday.
  • I hope I don't moan too much at him because he took advantage of my stupid foot issue and stayed online playing for hours past when I asked him to get offline, poor Banker, offline until I cool down.
  • I hope I bought enough wine for this weekend.


/Tracy





Friday, April 6, 2012

Day Fifty Nine


We have had some gentle pushing, academically speaking, back and forth.  I would like it if it had anything to do with ideology, considerations, theories or challenging public convention but it's not, it's little things that, frankly, are pissing me off.  A little fire is a good thing but make it about something that matters.  Banker doesn't think he should have due dates that matter, I do, Hello I win!.


He's been futzing around not finishing his Literature book, he goes out side to read but stops, "to save for later".  Bull, my dear.  Yesterday, granted, it was a long day and I had plans to be gone early so he was trying to be sure he was completely done everything so he could play the whole time I was out, which he did.  Still, when I say something needs to be done, it does. 


I wonder if my contemporary home school people have the same due date issue.  I think it's the only consistent thing we've faced.  I get that there isn't the threat of a failing grade, or of telling his mother ?!  I wonder whether I overlap and take personal things away, restrict online play until due items are submitted?  On one hand it makes sense on the other it muddies the mother/teacher/guide line and I don't want that line muddied.  I guess to some extent it has to be just by fact I am more than one influence on him simultaneously now.  


If he got a bad or late grade in public school would I punish him somehow here at home with extra chores or work or restrict his "screen" access?  I don't know, he didn't have them.  How sad is that?


The other, being eaten by an ant moment; I noticed he wrote his name in crazy spelling on everything for the past week or so.  It bugs me for some inane reason, no rhyme or reason, your name doesn't have a K or any Z's so leave them off... oh and add back the vowels, you're not gangsta enough to pull this off.  


Ok, two things, spelling of his name, and everything actually.  He added "do Gernal" for the bring forward of his journal entry for the week.  Really? it's up my nose.  I quietly pointed out that paperwork in this kitchen is all school related and as a result I will grade it, schedule alterations and notes included.  I don't care whether it should bug me, it does. 


Now that I've sat and thought about it, I am going to muddy the waters.  You don't hand something in on time, no "screens" until said item is completed, handed in AND graded.  Don't want some shoddy piece handed in to satisfy a criteria.  It has to be done AND it has to be good, sorry Bucko. 


I'm the mom so I can be the meanie, at my whim.  He's a preteen so he'll think anything I do, think or determine is irrational and stupid anyway, added bonus.  I'm the teacher so I also have carte blanche to be persnickety (his 5th grade teacher horrified him with that tidbit) and demand the most unreasonable completion dates and answers to questions, (full sentences when when you look at the wording of the question, a single word or number is still a grammatically correct option, she bugged me, but I digress) I can, frankly, do whatever I want to do and having the mother and teacher hats on I should drive home the fact that as wonderful as the Banker is, as hard working and as dedicated...he isn't going to win. 


Spell properly and kiss your screens good bye until I have a book report in my hands...a book report that is complete, well thought out and that is representative if your skill and talent. 


It's going to be a charming moment when I share that little tidbit with him.


We are going to take a break during the day at some point to run to the store to find Easter and birthday cards for husband as well as a little birthday present for him.  Husband is the hardest person to buy for, he has everything he wants, he just goes out and buys it...I have a couple of little ideas so we'll check them out.  


I think I'll drop the 'no screens' bomb on the Banker when we get back, no sense wandering stores with a hissy preteen.   Then I anticipate a particularly quiet rest of the day.  Maybe later I'll flip around my new Netflix account and find a fabulous movie to watch on my iPad  out side in my lovely new seating area ...  ahh, that sounds nice.  Add wine to the shopping list and bingo, happy mother!


ADDENDUM: 


Threats by mother:  1
Happy "LOOK how hard I'm working to get that book report to you" child:  0






/Tracy

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day Fifty Eight

We are having a very good day.


Banker gets up out of bed with such joy every day, knowing he is facing another day of home school, self teaching, Internet research, testing and copious amounts of note taking yet...he dances and sings when he walks down the stairs.  How did this get so right?  Sometimes, as ridiculous as it sounds, I get a little teary at how incredibly lucky I am to have this child with this joy of learning and happiness in his heart.  Sure, we get surly preteen angst, stroppy storm away flashes but really, I hardly ever truly want to cook and eat him. 

Today is math test day, next pre-Algebra chapter.  Then it's science day.  DNA unit, Khan and NASA astronomy and cosmology unit, environmental science unit and then some physics.  The Banker loves science day.  He's working through, easily it seems, the math chapter test, excellent. 

Husband is wandering around not telling us whether he's staying here today or leaving, it's terribly distracting. Some days he leaves at 8:30 and some at 10, it's hard to get a handle on keeping our own schedule.  I try not to obsess but it drives me crazy.  Pick a time and go to work. Banker and I don't settle in well to our groove until he's gone so right or wrong, it affects both of us.

However, I am really proud, again, of how enthused Banker is about learning and how easily he gets tucked into work, seriously and with notebooks and excitement.  He cheered when he realized he could do science day today.  Like the singing and humming and dancing, it really doesn't get any better than that. 

He is a really dedicated kid and hasn't tried to cut corners or goof off, I didn't think he would turn into a slacker or a 'just get it done already' kid but I'm very pleased he hasn't.I think, still, we are finding and staying into a pretty sweet groove.  I like the feel of these days, he seems to and says often he really enjoys the one subject per day.  It surprises me how many more hours he will give to a day without thought of the time when it's just (for example) "English" that day as opposed to the 7 or 8 subjects we were doing before.  Even though he is flipping between English, grammar, literature, diagramming sentences, doing both his workbook and online class, he doesn't check the time now or think he's doing more than just the one thing.  He told me he really likes keeping his head on one subject stream and he thinks he's learning more, easier, and I agree wholeheartedly.  

He moved his computer and work into my studio (sewing room) saying he needed the privacy for math the other day, I agreed but then noticed he hadn't moved back out.  This morning he set up shop in there and, um, no.  I like him here in the kitchen.  I'm not so distracting and I like being available in the same room for questions or comments or conversations.  I work at my computer, for now, and he works at his while we face each other.  We are both quite silent workers which cracks me up considering husband is eternally telling both of us to be quiet in everything we do.  He dislikes conversation at the dinner table or in the car or watching TV, anywhere actually.  I don't let him shut us down, life is for enjoying, for singing in, for laughing about and the Banker and I are cut from very similar cloth and constantly crack each other up, and will continue to do so.  Sometimes poor husband doesn't stand a chance.

I have a few ideas for my own work in the studio, I lay in bed thinking about designs and ideas for things to make to love and to sell.  To be truthful, again, I have lost some confidence in that department which I am working to regain but that's a different story on a different blog.  

I feel like I am still setting him, and us, up for a really exciting and challenging time in the 8th grade.  I have his literature, history, math and some English already planned...science is the thing that is doing me in.  I need to do some research to get that organized.  Maybe today.  When I research some AISD middle school teacher blogs about what they are doing the rest of the year, wow, I think he's mostly done the academics his contemporaries will complete by the end of  7th grade.  I love that he hasn't lost any fire or joy from learning and it feels as though we are really finally getting into new topics and new information rather than just review and reworking information he's already been given.  It's an exciting leap into the new.  I'm ready and he's ready and I hope I don't screw this up.

I have made the summer decision, I'm not going to just stop in June and restart in August.  We will continue to do school, either one "full" day or 2 mornings a week, half math and half English/reading.  If he wants to continue through any other subject (graded) he most certainly can but he'll have to make a commitment. k Also, if he wants to continue through any subject for fun he can, obviously, and I think that's what he'll do.

I'm going to hook us up to NetFlix (for the documentaries, no, seriously, for the documentaries!) today, there is a one month free trial but for $7.99 and for the fact we can watch on our laptops and iPads, I think it's totally worth it.  I'm going on a group date with my husband tonight, to see Jake Shimabukuro at One World Theatre  tonight, I'm looking forward to getting out with adults.  

/Tracy

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day Fifty Seven

I'm in a soft boot brace for my ankle and am on crutches.  The Banker is having way too much fun with the crutches. OH and I talked the husband into chickens.

We are heading out to do a walking tour of Lockhart and then to eat fantastic BBQ at a historic restaurant, or two.

Academic opportunity? Oh you bet!

We did have a fantastic math day yesterday.  Banker wasn't comfortable with a new concept so he reviewed and reviewed and spent a few hours researching and watching instructional videos until he got it and by Jove, he got it.  THIS is what this experience is supposed to be.  Fly through when you get it and meander through reviewing what you need to when you don't.  BRILLIANT!

He passed the 3 tests from the chapters the week before with flying colors, all good math with only one or two inverted positive/negative determinations but the calculations and the math was good.  I'm proud.

Today is social studies day and he will do some more reading later today.  Easy and fun considering how hard he worked yesterday and for so many hours.

We are off now... I'll update today's post when we return!

WHAT A GREAT day for a field trip.

We drove to Lockhart, to Kreuz's one of the best bbq joints in texas and talked about it's history while we snarfed brisket, ribs and sausages.
 
We walked around the City square, a true old school small town historic square.  Fabulous.  We stopped in a couple of stores, had a long chat and visit with the woman who owns an antique store downtown.  Then we drove around to check out some of the fabulous old houses.
 
Trying to leap up to peek over...  heheheheh
 

A beautiful day.  A relaxed day.  After how hard he worked yesterday, all the hours of reviewing his work, he needed a day to run around outside, eat some great barbecue and I got to spend some time just hanging out with The Banker and with friends.  All good. 

I think the things he learned today were worth the drive.  He giggled, he joked with friends, we talked about Texas historical towns then we went to Dairy Queen and ate sundaes in the middle of the day.  I am treasuring every day with this kid and this time and this education we've opted for.  I love how happy he is.

Back to the grind tomorrow.  He has school tomorrow and Friday even though it's Good Friday and the schools are out, it'll give him added incentive to get it done so he can play online or in person or on the phone or text his friends who are usually in school during the day, he'll probably be done long before they are up and moving around anyway. 

I'm going to put my wrecked foot up, crutches all day is tiring and I'm about done.  Husband is out this evening, again, so Banker and I can hang out and nibble on our leftovers for dinner.  A quiet, easy evening before we hit the books again in the am. 

/Tracy