10 Random Things on My Mind

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This week’s iHomeschool Network 10-in-10 series theme could get scary. Ten random things on my mind? There’s no telling where this might lead.

1. I am really impressed with Lexercise. I know it’s been less than a week, but I’m so excited about the possibilities for Josh’s reading improvement with this online therapy. The games that he plays, at this point, only take about 10 minutes, so he’s getting daily practice in specific skills without being overwhelmed.

On top of that, I get an email telling me what we need to work on, based on his mistakes, literally within seconds of him logging off.

He has his second therapy session tomorrow afternoon and I love that this does not involve us having to be somewhere at a certain time – well, other than my laptop by 4:00, but that’s so much easier than having to be somewhere across town.

2. I’m posting at The Kennedy Adventures today. I know I said that last week, but I really am posting there this week. I hope you’ll visit and read my article, Becoming a Healthier Homeschool Mom.

3. Last night, I made the niftiest little craft project. Since the kids and I have been using the SOAP method of Bible study each morning, they’ve needed pencils before getting out their binders which contain their handy-dandy pencil pouches.

That means that everyone is getting up and scrounging for pencils from the jar in the kitchen, which may or may not actually contain a pencil since the person who got out the pencils the last time they were used may or may not have put them back. I’ll let you ponder the probability of that for a minute.

So, I decided that I needed a pencil jar on the table. I went and dug through the glass recycling box and found a pretty little Marzetti jar (from their wonderfully delicious pepperoncini). I stared to just wash it out and use it, as is, then I remembered how much fun Megan and I had with our little Modge Podge project recently.

So, while Megan worked on long division (horrible stuff), I made this:

pencil jar

4. Our local curriculum fair is coming up on Friday. I am so excited! I always enjoy going because it’s a great chance to catch up with my homeschool friends and ooh and ahh over sparkly-new books. This year should be extra fun because Brianna is going with me to help decide what curriculum she’ll be using this year.

5. I am so impressed with All About Spelling. We’ve used All About Spelling off and on for about two years. The therapist from Lexercise who evaluated Josh told me that he needed explicit spelling instruction to overcome the phonological delays that he is experiencing because if his dyslexia.

If you know anything about dyslexia, you probably know that Orton-Gillingham is one of the most highly-regarded instructional approaches for people with dyslexia. In light of that, I was considering two different spelling programs for next year, one of them being All About Spelling.

I asked our clinician if she would mind giving her opinion of the two. Having previously worked in a public school setting, she wasn’t familiar with either, but after looking at them, she told me that All About Spelling looked like it was straight from Orton Gillingham, which is something that they emphasize on their site.

I was so impressed that someone who is really familiar with Orton Gillingham could confirm that for me. So, since we’ve used and enjoyed AAS before, we are back to it again, for the long haul.

6. I’m writing our sponsored child tonight. We sponsor Nathan, in Kenya, through Compassion International. I’m writing him tonight and sending him some Pick and Draw cards to play with.

We get so excited when he writes back. When we discover a letter from him in the mailbox, everything stops. Everyone drops what they’re doing and comes to hear the letter read aloud. We have been so blessed by Nathan.

7. Sometimes we need a reminder. I love my youngest. I wouldn’t take anything in the world for her. She is so loving and encouraging. She’s my “words of affirmation” kid. Yesterday, however, was one of those days when I had to remind myself that she does not drive me crazy. Her behavior can be frustrating, but she is amazing and beautiful, talented and loving.

I’m not a saint. I’m not above needing to re-read that post a time or two…but I am eternally grateful that God spoke those words to me and that I can remind myself of them, rather than continuing down a path of negativity.

Little Passports

8. We’re enjoying Little Passports. So, I had this vision of Megan getting so excited about learning about the countries about which we get Little Passports packages that she would devour whatever information she could get her hands on about them.

Um, yeah, right. She loves that goodies, but she’s not exactly been beating down a path to the library books to read about their country of origin. So today, we needed something to fill the 20 minutes she had until time for some new episode of a TV show she wanted to watch. I suggested that she read one of the library books about Brazil.

She didn’t want to, so I threatened gently suggested that if all she wanted to do with Little Passports was get the goodies and play the games, maybe I wouldn’t continue the subscription. She decided that maybe she’d read a little bit.

She spent the next twenty minutes saying, “Hey, Mom, did you know…” and “Oh, listen! This is so cool!”

So, there. Round One goes to Mom. Maybe even Round Two since, when I said, “See? Wasn’t that interesting?” she replied, “Why are you always right?”

9. Reading Horizons. We slacked off on Reading Horizons over the summer, but we’ve picked back up now that we’re back to school. It’s pretty cool. Josh has gotten past the first chapter, so he’s unlocked the library. He had to take an assessment to determine his reading level, so that all the books that he reads online are at his level.

It’s been great practice at with some high-interest stories that aren’t at the “frustration level” for him. It’s been a nice complement to what he’s doing with Lexercise.

10. I miss running. It’s been so hot lately, even in the mornings, and my running buddy has had some other commitments, so my accountability has been missing and I haven’t been running much lately. I’ve run a time or two on the treadmill, but that’s not much fun. So, now, I’m missing running. I might be missing it enough to get up super-early (so not my thing) and go one morning this week before it gets too hot.

Those are the random things on my mind. What’s on yours?

This post is linked to iHomeschool Network’s 10-in-10 series and Top Ten Tuesday.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. You said it’s hot?!? Oh, to be hot!!!!
    It’s freezing here. My knuckles are blue. Guess that means I should run, not type, but it’s way past bedtime and no way am I leaving my cold house for the almost arctic great outdoors!

    Liked the variety in your list 🙂

  2. I’ve been toughing out the very hot and humid morning runs. They are definitely not runs for speed–it’s just a matter of toughing through it. Thank goodness for A/C when I’m done! Imagine a giant ice cube at the end when you go! Good luck.

    1. I ran all summer long last year — even in the upper 90’s. I just haven’t been feeling it this year. Guess I just need to get out there.

  3. Random thoughts . . . been thinking about the curriculum I need for next year. We still haven’t prepared for the upcoming year. We just finished remodeling our kitchen and replacing floors throughout the house, but I still have some organizing to do, especially the school room. I want to plan a vacation for the family for this fall, but I don’t know exactly when or where yet.

    1. Ah, remodeling. That seems to mess up every other room in the house, doesn’t it? It’s so nice when it’s done, though. A vacation sounds wonderful.

  4. I like your list… especially #7. I have shared with you before that my daughter can be a bit frustrating, too… I need to remind myself that this is her God given personality (which is so much like mine!) and I’m thankful to be home to guide her and watch her grow.

    Little Passports looks cute, too – I don’t know much about that, but I’m going to visit the link next!

  5. Hi Kris, Have you done a review of Reading Horizons? I have signed up for their 7 day trial but would be interested in hearing what you think of it for the cost. My oldest son has dyslexia and dysgraphia and is doing quite well with it (we have worked hard) but I think he would benefit from some serious phonics training. My #2 son does not seem to have any reading or writing disabilities but seems to be slower on the reading side of things (perhaps auditory processing more than anything). Just curious on your thoughts. Thanks!

  6. I have a question for you. I have followed your blog(s) for many years. I have been eclectic and hodge-podged my favorites together in the years past. This year we are beginning Trail Guide to Learning, POE. This is new to me and I am having a hard time deciding what not to do since POE covers all subjects. I have a 2nd and 4th grader. I have been reading your reviews and have a question. In your opinion, should I do just POE and Math or would you recommend doing Easy Grammar/Daily Grams with it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts:)

    1. We are not currently using Easy Grammar/Daily Grams with it. The jury is still out on whether or not I will add it later. I do like the kind of hands-on, practical application of grammar that POS (we haven’t used POE) offers, but my kids already had a great foundation in grammar when we started.

      My suggestion would be to use POE exactly as it’s laid out for awhile — one or two units (6-12 weeks), at least. Then, you can change or add whatever you feel is necessary at that time, once you’ve got a feel for the program.

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