Friday, October 15, 2010

Observations of the Week

God Bless Chile!
Wasn't it fantastic?  The girls and I watched until we fell asleep Tuesday and then all day Wednesday, we had CNN on as we did our lessons.  We would stop each time the capsule ascended above ground and watch another miner, another mine who had been trapped underground for more than TWO MONTHS, emerged into the loving arms of his family.  I cried every time.  I love the stories...Elvis, prayer and especially the white butterfly that should not have been angel that saved those men's lives...unforgettable.  My thoughts and prayers are with those men as they recover.

If you put it out will happen!
Last week I was concerned about socialization.  This week, we spent a ton of wonderful time with friends.  On Sunday we met new friends in Central Park.  On Monday we had our homeschooling neighbors over and another new homeschooling friend.  On Tuesday we were invited over a homeschooling pal's house.  Tomorrow, weather permitting, there is a homeschool park day and then we have A's new close friend from co-op over.  

I am meeting the coolest women!
The homeschooling moms that I meet are women that I admire and respect.  They are supportive and helpful, they are kind and thoughtful, they are smart and they are free-thinkers.  Free thinkers always get me; I have a ton of respect for free-thinkers.  I am learning about organic food, composting, energy, holistic health and knitting.  These women are not gossip-y, we have thought provoking, eye opening stimulating conversations.  I love it!

I can't believe it has been twenty years!

Tomorrow is my twenty year high school reunion!  I can't believe that Z Cavaricci's and Bel Biv Devoe have not been around for twenty years!  (I'm glad they are gone...just can't believe it has been that long!) I am excited to meet up with some friends tonight at a pre-reunion party!

Paperback Swap is the coolest thing!
At one of our playdates this week, the moms filled me in on PaperbackSwap and DVD list books, send them out and request other books to be sent to you for free!  It's sharing and recycling at it's best!

If a book isn't working for you...put it down and try again later...
I've heard many homeschoolers talk about this...we are not that deep into our homeschooling to have experienced that phenomenon.  But, I have always found certain authors a little too "light and fluffy" even though many of the patrons that came into the library told me how great their books were.  It's really, really hard for me to put a book down once I start it (did I mention that I live to read fiction?) ... recently I started a book that I was excited to read...only to find that after a day of pre-viewing books for the girls, reading curriculum, working with the girls, read-alouds and listening to audiobooks...I just could not get into this book, I just could not keep the story straight...and I was too tired most nights to even open it --which is really unlike me.  So, the other night, when I was at work, I grabbed a Jennifer Weiner novel and it's perfect...light enough that I can follow it, well developed interesting characters and a plot that is not too deep, just deep enough to keep my interest.

What we accomplished:
This week we focused our writing on blogging.  The girls wrote about meeting new friends in Manhattan and they both worked on All About Me pages for their blogs.  We tried our hand at vlogging and we made a point of commenting on blogs that we follow.  A had her second Bridge in "Life of Fred" and P had her first quiz in Teaching Textbooks.  I downloaded the first 8 lessons of Sequential Spelling, we tried them and we love it!  We worked on our lapbooks about our state (my girls beg to do lapbooks) and we took notes on some history of our state.  P added to our list of places we want to go: Thomas Edison's lab in West Orange, NJ.  We worked on map skills and map reading, we found our town on a big map of our state, as well as the towns where relatives lived, where we used to live, the beach we go to, other places we have been or want to go.  On Tuesday night, Jason showed the girls where Chile was on the globe.  P has learned all of the capital letters in cursive and the lower case letters to h.  A has been doing copywork for her handwriting, which teaches spelling and good writing.  The girls both worked on biography book reports, then gave wonderful oral reports on the women they read about, which we recorded and uploaded to their blogs.  I finally ordered Story of the World, as well as the Student Books for Drawn into the Heart of Reading and Sequential Spelling 1.