Friday, February 25, 2011

Quick Takes


We had a big wind storm blow through Nashville last night. We lost our big, very old plum tree. I'll miss the blossoms in spring, the plums in the summer and the kids climbing in it and swinging on it, but I sure am glad it didn't fall when we were outside playing around it. Judging by the roots, it wasn't as sturdy as we had thought.

We also lost our small patio table, but it was pretty inadequate for a family of eight, so I'm not lamenting it too much.

My eleven year old is so torn up about his climbing tree and that his chance at a tree house is now gone, that if he doesn't stop wailing soon, I'm going to start calling him "Dogmatix."

At least this is a good time of year to get new trees. I'm thinking of a couple of new plum trees and maybe a few apple trees for good measure. Perhaps we will even consider a playhouse or something for climbing purposes.


My eight and six year old girls are off on an adventure with their grandmother, great aunt and my younger brother in Atlanta. They sound like they are enjoying the trip.  I miss them. Who knew it could be quiet in a house with only four children?

He tries to keep it from being too quiet and dull though.  Can you believe he's over seven months old? His current accomplishments include: crawling, sticking everything he can find in his mouth, pulling up, falling down and babbling.

I've been busy thinking about next year's school curriculum.  I've been pretty happy with how things are going this year and with the books we have been using, so thinking about next year hasn't been as involved and overwhelming as last year. Even though I'm pretty content with most of my choices this year, looking forward towards next year is always more exciting and interesting.

I can't believe I'll have kids doing sixth, fourth, second and pre-K work. Yikes. We'll be combining a lot of subjects -- as many as I possibly can. I'm also looking at several things that come with DVD or computer lessons.

Sometimes, I wish I could be happy with a prewritten schedule and a preselected curriculum. It would make my life a lot easier, but I never have found something that uses all the books I want to use, so I'm on my own.


Lent is almost upon us. Have you figured out what you will be doing? Last year I turned off the computer during the day, allowing myself computer time only at night. It helped me focus on my family and remind my children that my face wasn't a computer screen. I've never quite gone back to the previous bad habits, but I could use a refresher, so I'll probably do that again. Our family usually gives up meat, as well.

The kids track the days of Lent on a calendar and do special tasks to earn money for the poor. We don't do a lot of lapbooks around here, but I won a CD of Lapbooks for Catholics last year at a homeschooling conference, so we may try to do the Lent lapbook.


My six year has learned to ride her bike. A little over a week ago, my husband go her out in the back yard and started teaching her. At first, he tried the drill sergeant tactics which worked to teach my oldest (a boy). They didn't go over well with my dramatic, grumpy daughter. She claimed he was "murdering her" and she started a flailing, kicking, screaming fit.

New methods were required. Putting her on a slightly undersized bike and offering a bribe of extra Wii time for feet traveled on the bike, she was suddenly much more motivated.  A week later, she is zooming all over the place and learning tricks like riding "side saddle" and pedaling with one foot.

It's cool to see them learn something.


My two year old the nipple nazi. When I sit down to feed her brother, she likes to bring a doll over and tell me she's "noorsing" her baby too.

More Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.


melissa said...

Love, love the photo of your wild-haired daughter. What a smug expression. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your girls are having a special trip with grandma -- and you can have a bit of a break!

A climbing tree is a sad thing to lose, not to mention its shade this summer. Maybe you'll find a free playhouse on Craigslist? I see them occasionally.


Mary @ A Simple Twist Of Faith said...

That is a great picture of your two year old! Enjoy your "break".

I am going with Peace Hill Press next year for Reading, Writing and English, History for my first grader. I will continue with Saxon Math and several Kingfisher books for Science. Last year I started with Seton but it wasn't challenging enough for my kindergartener. What do you use for catechism?

Kathy said...

I loved riding my bike as a kid, but my kids haven't learned. We just don't have anywhere for them to go! I might have to try that Wii-time bribing thing.

Jordana said...

Mary, I've been fairly pleased with Seton's religion books, although I don't use the rest of their program. I don't do catechism exactly, at least not this year, but between those books (which I ask them questions from weekly), their RE at church which uses the Faith and Life series for the older kids and Catechisis of the Good Shepherd for the younger ones, reading saint stories and from the Bible every week -- plus just the usual practice of faith in Mass attendance and prayers, I think they are getting a good religious education.

Next year, I am trying to decide what to do. I may go with Memoria Press's Christian Studies as our main religious ed at home and work on a bit of the Baltimore Catechism during circle time each week.

As for Peace Hill Press, I think their books are good. A Well-Trained Mind is probably the book I refer to most in how I run my home school. I highly recommend buying the .pdf workbook format directly from Peace Hill Press (and activity guides for History), if you plan to use it for more than one kid (and you do have two!). You are allowed to scan and print within your family from the books, but printing from the .pdf is so much easier.

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