Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where I Was Out-of-Town…Again

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Happy Friday! It doesn’t seem like Friday to me. My week is all messed up since I’m out-of-town again. Yes, again, I’ve left my husband and children to fend for themselves while I’m away being pampered.

I won’t be learning any great blogging things this weekend. I’ll just be having a great time hanging out with a couple of girlfriends eating meals that we don’t have to cook off of dishes that we don’t have to wash and sleeping in beds that we don’t have to make (though I’m afraid I’m going to be missing my new Sleep Number bed).

Does it sound heavenly? It is. I’ll tell you all about it next week when I get back.

As far as school goes, we’ve just finished the first week of our last unit with Paths of Settlement. That’s strangely exciting to me, finishing this volume and getting ready to start the next one. I would apologize for sounding weird, but I’m talking to a bunch of homeschool moms, so I bet you understand.

This unit is different than the others. The last week of each six week unit is a review/wrap-up. Well, the last unit is a review/wrap-up of the entire volume. So this week we’ve been reviewing the first unit we studied – and reading about Teddy Roosevelt, who is a fascinating man.

I had some fun pictures to share with you of Megan’s latest Little Passports shipment, but they’re on my camera, which is at my house. (I know I just shared some pictures with you last week, but we missed a shipment, somehow, so we got two close together.) I did, however, want to let you know that they’re offering 15% from now through October 24, 2012.


So, if you’ve been thinking about using Little Passports as your homeschool geography, but haven’t gotten around to signing up yet, now is a good time to do it.

Brianna has started on her WWII unit and she’s really enjoying it. She’s told me at least 3 or 4 times this week how much she’s enjoying Anne Frank. She’s already asked me to get the movie from the library. I want to watch Schindler’s List with her, too. It’s such a sad movie, but it offers such a moving portrayal of that period of history. It’s been years since I’ve seen it, but I remember it being a big deal about the pains that Stephen Spielberg took to keep it historically accurate.

Well, I guess I need to get back to enjoying my weekend getaway. {grin} I hope you all are having a wonderful Friday and continue to have a fabulous weekend.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: The One That Was So Busy

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Oh, my word! You know those school break weeks that are so busy they make you wonder how you ever get anything done while you’re doing school? It’s been one of those. It’s mostly been household and blog stuff that’s kept me busy – not running errands, thankfully – but, still…I’m ready for a break from my break.

Megan was excited to get her second Little Passports package while I was out of town last weekend. She is obviously the daughter of a blogger – she didn’t rip into everything until I could get home and snap a couple of photos to share with you. {grin}

Little Passports Japan

This month’s package was from Japan. It contained a luggage tag (with the special code to play games online at Little Passports); stickers for the map, passport book, and suitcase, a photo (always a favorite with Megan because it’s a real photo), origami paper and instructions, and – her favorite this month – plastic sushi.

She said Brianna was trying to take the sushi from her. When I go by the library this weekend, I’m going to pick up a book on Japan so we can turn this into a low-key geography lesson. We may even make sweet sushi. Yum!

Maybe I can convince Brianna to give Megan an anime drawing lesson. Brianna loves anime and is quite a talented little artist.

That’s it. That’s the most academic thing we did this week. I’m not complaining, though. I couldn’t have timed our week off any better. Though it wasn’t planned, it happened to fall on the week I returned from Savvy. It was nice to be able to catch up on laundry and online stuff without stressing over school, too.

On Monday, Josh, Megan, and I will be starting the last unit in Paths of Settlement. We’ll finish before Christmas break and be ready to start Paths of Progress in January.

Brianna just finished the Uncle Eric World War I book – which she really enjoyed – and will be starting on World War II on Monday. She’s looking forward to this unit because WWII has been a big interest of hers for many years.

Oh, and my big exciting news is that our Sleep Number Bed is being delivered tomorrow! By Saturday night, I’ll be doing this in my own Sleep Number Bed:

Sleep Number Pillows

Except, I may be doing that by Saturday afternoon. Brian and I may have to take a nap, just because.

Tonight, we’ll be moving the old mattress and box springs so that we can vacuum up all the dust bunnies that have been living there longer than I’d care to admit. {ahem}

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Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Party

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Happy Friday! First things first, before I forget, would you take just a minute to answer a quick, three-question reader interest survey about a post series that I’m considering doing? I want to make sure there’s enough interest here because, if there’s not, I know exactly who to bug about guest posting. {grin}

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but it has been a gorgeous fall-like week here with cooler temps and beautiful, sunny, breezy days. I think the rain earlier in the week ushered in the wonderful weather for the end of the week.

The timing couldn’t have been better since, today, we enjoyed our annual Not-Back-to-School Party with our homeschool group today. Most of us have been back to school for several weeks now, but we like to wait until near the end of September to (hopefully!) enjoy the cooler weather. It doesn’t always work here in the south, but it did this year.

CFA Cow

(I mean, seriously, where else would you expect my Teach Them Diligently bag to show up?)

We had a wonderful time with a great turnout. My kids enjoyed seeing some old friends that they haven’t seen in awhile and meeting some new ones. The party made me realize something a little bittersweet, though. It won’t be long until I’ll need to pass the party-planning torch to someone else.

My kids were among the oldest there and we welcomed a lot of new families with young children. It made me very nostalgic. Our homeschool group was started several years ago by a group of moms who met and became friends with young girls who met and became friends. It was me and three or four other moms. The mom who officially started the Yahoo group where we all interact was my friend, Christina.

We’re nearing the first anniversary of her death and she’s been on my mind a lot today. I miss her. I miss the years when ours were the little kids running around on the playground. It was a reminder to slow down and take some time to enjoy my family because, as the saying goes, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

I’ve spent some time enjoying my family this week. We took Megan and my niece bowling on Tuesday for Megan’s birthday. Her birthday was last Friday, but the bowling alley has $2 Tuesday where bowling, shoe rental, and laser tag are all $2 each, so we waited until we’d be able to have more fun with less money. Homeschoolers are frugal like that. Or, we’re just poor because we’re a single-income family. Frugal sounds better, though.

We’ve only got two more weeks of our current unit in Paths of Settlement before our next break (and only one more unit before we move on to Paths of Progress). Can I just say how much I’m loving this six weeks on/one week off schedule? I never would have tried if it it weren’t for the fact that Trail Guide is set up in six week units, but it’s been wonderful. It seems that we’re never too far from a break when I start to feel like I need one.

It’s also nice to be able to plan things like doctor’s appointments or hair cuts while we’re on break. Except, I put off getting my hair cut on our last break because our errand day was already filled with doctor’s appointments. So, I got my hair cut this week. I figure that will make it about 8 weeks until our next break, so maybe I’ll just start making an appointment to get my hair cut every time we’re on a school break. That way, it won’t wind up being six months between cuts. {ahem}

Kris Sept 2012 2

We’ve really been enjoying WriteShop. I had a little trouble staying on schedule this week because we had some other things going on, but it wasn’t hard getting caught up. Megan is really enjoying the hands-on activities that go with WriteShop Junior and Brianna? Well, I thought she was way behind because she hadn’t turned in her paper that was due last week.

Turns out she had finished it, but had forgotten to give it to me. She gave it to me yesterday and I can honestly say, it was the best paper she’s ever written. Really. It had some basic grammar errors, but (and this is a huge but), it wasn’t full of run-on sentences, it was laid out in a way that made sense, and it was just interesting and well-written. I was so impressed! And, the funny thing? She actually enjoyed the pre-writing activity we worked on together yesterday. Um, yeah. I think we’re going to like WriteShop.

Our highlight for the week occurs this weekend. We’ll be seeing Tim Hawkins live! We missed him the last time he was nearby because the tickets sold out before we got around to buying them. We purchased early this year and we’re all so excited!

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

And, then you know what? On Monday, we’re going to the Sleep Number store to get our IndividualFit 3D imaging and find our sleep number! That’s right. We’re getting a Sleep Number Bed! I am so stinking excited that I just can’t wait! I’ll be telling you all about it soon. I’m already daydreaming about sleeping on it. I’m not even going to tell you how old our mattress is. That’s partly because I can’t remember. It’s older than Josh and he’ll be 13 in December. Um, yeah, it’s time for a new bed.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for School Is Where the Home Is devotional book for homeschooling parents.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where the Toad Returns

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Happy National Lazy Mom Day! I gave you notice last week, so I hope you celebrated accordingly. With Megan’s American Girls book club this afternoon and the fact that my people like to eat, necessitating a trip to the grocery store, I didn’t get to celebrate quite as much as I’d hoped. I did wake without an alarm today, though (earlier than I thought I would), and let the kids sleep in a little so I could enjoy some peaceful time alone before they got up. Not a bad start to lazy mom day.

It’s been a busy week around here. I don’t think we’ve really done anything of great import, it’s just been busy. Do you ever have those weeks?

We’re in our second week using WriteShop. So far, so good. I’ve helped everyone with a practice paragraph and everyone has written a sloppy copy on their own. Next week we’ll do edits and final revisions. I’ve actually been impressed with everyone’s work, so far.

Megan’s first assignment has been to write a letter of invitation. That worked out great since her birthday is next Friday. She’s been working on a real letter of invitation to send to her cousin. I gave my sister a heads-up since she won’t write the final draft until next Wednesday. I thought they might like more than two days’ notice.

Brianna finally finished the cape she started (with the help of a dear friend of mine, not her domestically-challenged mother) weeks ago. It turned out great and she already has the material to start another one.

cape

cape back

Remember our toad? You may remember that we kept her inside for a couple of years, then released her in the spring year before last. When we released her, Brianna took her to the wooded area at the end of our street so she’d be safe from the dogs (one of whom we’d rescued her from) and cats.

We almost brought her back inside because she wouldn’t leave the spot where Brianna released her. She finally left the spot, but came back to the house and set up housekeeping right outside our garage.

All that summer, we’d have to look for her before we pulled the cars in or out of the garage because she’d be sitting right there. We were going to bring her in for the winter, but she disappeared.

We didn’t see her at all last summer, but now she’s back! You may be wondering how we know it’s the same toad. I guess it may not be, but if it’s not the same one, someone had to have kept this one for a pet because I’ve never seen a toad more tame than the one we had.

This one that has reappeared sits and lets us scratch her on the head like the one we kept used to. Not only that, but she leans into it like she likes it, just like the toad we kept used to do. She sits right in front of our garage door and lets us pick her up without trying to get away. I guess it may not be the same toad, but it sure seems like it is. The kids were begging to bring her in last night. I almost gave in, but I didn’t. Yet.

While we were working on our Paths of Settlement stuff the other day, I looked down and noticed this:

Penny with shoes

Yep, that’s our dog – hugged up with Brianna’s smelly work shoes and dirty socks. Weird animal.

I think that’s it for me today. After having a horrible, really-need-chocolate, maybe-I-should-send-at-least-one-of-my-kids-to-public-school kind of day yesterday, I’m going to commence enjoying the rest of National Lazy Mom Day today. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

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Weekly Wrap-Up

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Can you believe it is the last day of August already? Where has this month gone? While it’s still pretty hot here in the South, I am starting to feel little teasers of fall crispness in the air. I don’t like winter, but I am looking forward to fall.

I am doing the happy dance today! I’ve been wanting/needing and saving for a new laptop for a few months. I finally have enough money, so as soon as Brian gets home, we’re headed to Costco to pick it up!

Our first week back to school after a week off went fairly smoothly, especially considering we introduced some new stuff.

WriteShop

The kids are going to be using WriteShop this year. Megan is using WriteShop Junior, Book D, Josh is using WriteShop I and Brianna is using WriteShop II. Yes, Trail Guide to Learning includes basic writing instruction and assignments, but with Josh’s dyslexia, this is an area in which he needs more detailed instruction.

Write Shop

Brianna wasn’t using anything for writing with her new curriculum that we started a few weeks ago, and Megan…well, WriteShop Junior just looked like fun. She enjoys writing and I wanted to nurture that. For both her and Josh, we’ll be incorporating the Trail Guide writing topics into their WriteShop assignments as we get into it and get a bit more comfortable with what we’re doing.

Trail Guide to Learning: Paths of Settlement

Since it was a new six weeks, we also started a new unit in Paths of Settlement. I love when we discover compelling, well-written books that would have gone undiscovered apart from the Trail Guide to Learning series. Janie’s Freedom is one such book. It’s one of those that leaves us disappointed when read-aloud time is over. We want to read just a little more.

In science, we’re learning about climate. One of our assignments this week was to make a graph of the average temperature and precipitation in our area and another graph for a different city. I chose Honolulu, Hawaii, just so I could daydream a bit. The kids kept saying, “Can’t we just go live there.”

I wish.

gus in closet

I discovered my exceptionally lazy cat asleep in my closet the other day…on my shorts!

Homeschool High School

I know I’ve said it before, but I really wish we’d started this World War I/Bluestocking Guide stuff a long time ago. Brianna is really enjoying it and learning so much. It’s exciting to see her really enthusiastic about school for a change.

She also starting Teaching Textbooks Algebra II this week and, believe it or not, is excited about that, too. Well, maybe “excited” is overstating it a bit, but she appreciates the way concepts are explained with Teaching Textbooks. She says it makes a lot more sense to her than some of the other things we’ve used in the past.

Stuff You Need to Know

I’ve got a giveaway going on through Monday for the first DVD in the Art Class series. If you’ve been looking for an easy way to add art instruction into your homeschool day, be sure to enter.

art class 3

I think I’ve got all the kinks worked out in my blog feed now. If you’re an email subscriber and you’re still getting duplicate emails, please let me know. If you’re an RSS feed subscriber and you haven’t subscribed to the new feed, you can do so by clicking the RSS feed button in the blog header above. And, if you’ve never subscribed, I invite you to do so, either by email or RSS feed.

Oh, this last one is really important. Next Friday, September 7, is National Lazy Mom Day. I plan on milking that one for all it’s worth and I wanted to make you aware, so you can take advantage of being lazy, too. {grin}

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