Friday, May 31, 2013

Week of May 25 - Story of the World

Photo credit
It is so easy to think about summer and get excited about plans and forget the reason for Memorial Day.  
I am afraid there are times when I get caught up in the planning and forget about the reason for the three day weekend.
This year, there were little things that would happen that would bring my thoughts back to the reason for this holiday and I was grateful for that.  Did you know Memorial Day was not a National holiday until 1971?  I learned that from the radio last weekend.

We did enjoy time with family last weekend.  My little brother and his wife bought a house at the beach.  It's a year-round community just a couple of miles from one of the nicest beaches in NJ!  We had a great day with them and were really excited for them!  The girls enjoyed their pool and Jason and my brother "jammed" together.
My brother is CRAY-ZEEE!  We always have a blast together!  My sister-in-law also likes to get down---ow!  She shared some of her break-dance moves and my brother danced with the dog.
We also went to a barbecue at our homeschool friends' house.  They live in such a beautiful area.  Every time we go there or come home, we look at real estate in their area!  We would love to live in a more rural area.  All of our kids get along great and we had a blast playing softball and just hanging out, relaxing and drinking wine.

On the School Front

Allie and Piper both love to write stories.  They spend hours writing stories and plays.  They write about topics I ask them to write about.  What they don't like is me correcting them.  Enter Grammarly.  This week, after the girls wrote something, I had them enter questionable sentences into Grammarly and let Grammarly be the "bad guy" that let them know about their errors and give them suggestions on how to improve their writing!

Piper has asked if we can do Story of the World Volume 4 several times now.  She has liked the books, but she loves the corresponding activities.  She also asked me to plan it and do it every day like we used to do.  Allie said she also missed having more of a schedule.  (I wonder if this is because the girls were originally in school?  I thought after 3 years out of school, they could handle less structure, but they seem to like more structure).  We discussed it and decided we will engross ourselves in Story of the World Volume 4 this summer.  We will really take our time and get into it when we have little else going on activity wise.  I didn't realize how much the girls both like all of the activities and how they felt a little jilted that we didn't do some of them.  So I ordered Story of the World Volume 4 and the Activity Guide.  As  soon as it came (gotta love Amazon Prime!), I went through and put holds on some of the additional reading.  I am looking forward to making some recipes from The Secret Garden Cookbook!  The girls were eager to get started.  I like how in this volume, rather than write a summary, students are required to fill in an outline.  I was also excited that SOTW Videolinks has links for Volume 4!

We have been working on Time Management, too.  I am as guilty of getting sucked into the computer as the girls are.  We have been all working on being more purposeful with our time.  That feels really good, we had all gotten too lax.

This week:

  • barbecue at my brother & sister-in-law's new digs
  • barbecue with Allie's best friend and her family
  • playdate at the park with homeschool friends
  • watched "Too Big to Fail"
  • Piper worked in her cursive handwriting book
  • planned our vacation
  • several hands of Division War
  • checked out Khan again 
  • checked out IXL - good practice site, but Allie likes Khan better; Piper doesn't like either
  • checked out Saxon Teacher and Dive again and decided it is not for us!
  • checked out Teaching Texbooks again -- it's on the short list of possibilities for fall
  • worked on posters for the Geography Fair at co-op
  • refreshed ourselves on state capitals for the Geography Bee at Co-op!
  • Allie spent HOURS reading Small Pets & Pet Care - we bought it used after looking at several other books like it in the book store
    Reading Story of the World Volume 4, playing a game from the Activity Guide with cookies, baking the naan recipe from the Activity Guide 
  • read Chapters 1-3 of Story of the World 4
  • we attempted to make The Crystal Palace
  • girls started Florence Nightingale inspired Medical records (SOTW 4 activity)
  • Allie made lemon-coconut bars
  • We played East meets West with Allie's lemon-coconut bars (I have committed to doing ALL the activities at my girls' request)
  • completed outlines for Chapters 1-3 in SOTW 4 (I would have done a chapter a day but the girls wanted to do 2 the second day #crazykids)
  • baked some naan bread and ate it with a vegetarian curry
  • filmed next week's videos for 7 Cool Homeschoolers - Allie is doing a tour of our town, so we drove all over filming!
  • watched the documentary on the guy who made Dr. Bronners soaps (we use these soaps and we all read the bottle in the shower and think it's over-the-top, so when a friend told us about the documentary, we had to watch it!)
  • Playing Tetris

Other Stuff

  • Jason started formal, official guitar lessons last Saturday :)  He took lessons as a kid and has been "tooling around" on his own and he has several friends who play who he would "jam" with and they would give pointers, but he had gotten as far as he could that way and it was time to commit to lessons, which should be interesting with his work schedule, but we shall see....
  • Jason volunteered to organize an event for an organization that he is a member of--he really likes this event organization thing.  Who would've thunk it?
  • Our neighbor's pool is in full swing.  We get along great with them and REALLY like them.  Their kids and even some of their friends can be in the pool and we don't even know, but when this kid comes over, I can tell right away.  AND, his mom left his dad and shacked up with some guy up the street from he is around A LOT!  The girls have been invited over to use the pool many times; in fact, our neighbors have said to use it any time we want (Piper walks their dog, we hang out frequently, we have a good relationship).  Jason and I are at odds about what to do when J is around.  I want the girls to come home because I don't trust him; Jason thinks he won't bother girls and it sends a message if they leave when he shows up.

In Other News--Blogger Meltdown

I am seriously considering self-hosting again.  There are just so many things that are driving me nuts about Blogger lately...ALL THE SPAM, issues with commenting, paid photo-hosting, getting "kicked off" blogger and coming back to finding posts are gone, etc.  I had always liked the idea of the FREE service because even when I stop blogging, my blog will be here for our family to look back on...but it seems as though Google is not interested in certain sites and not doing a lot with them and it feels like Blogger may be one of them.  Anyone else having similar experiences?  Anyone else getting tons of spam?  Anyone else getting kicked off while writing a post and when they get back in the post is gone, not saved?