Thursday, October 30, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #3: Routines

I signed up for the Homeschool Memoirs meme and then promptly did absolutely nothing with it. So, here I am, playing catch up.

The theme from week three was routines. We're not really that into schedules, but we do have plenty of routines.

The most important routine is that every night, I read to my son for about an hour at bedtime. Any book he wants. The favorites right now a Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Boxcar Children, Magic Treehouse, Timewarp Trio, A-Z Mysteries, Secret of Droon, Calvin and Hobbes, and Harry Potter. So yea, mysteries and fantasy for the most part. (With lots of historicalness.)

The week starts on Sunday. That's the day I plan the week out. I get out all the books and see which sections we'll do, make a list of any books we need form home or the library, get materials together, make any printouts we'll need, and write the plan down. In this time, I also follow up on any tiny bits of learning I meant to impart on the kids -- maybe a topic or concept that should have been covered in the week and wasn't, but isn't really a big enough chunk to bother focusing on for the next week.

On Monday, I go to work in the mornings while my husband works from home and watched the kids. Monday afternoon, we go to park day.

Tuesday is stay home day. I catch up on housework, rest a little, read the news, and we do a large portion of our school for the week! It's the day we read from Story of the World and First Language Lessons. It is sometimes the day we go to the library, too. Usually I'll read from the books while the kids color the activities or play with clay or something like that.

Wednesday is soccer and park day. Yes, it's a lot of park time. We go to the park at 11:30, bring a picnic, and stay until 4 or 5 pm! The night is usually mom-has-a-rest-time. (Good for reading!)

Thursday I go to work most of the day, and husband works from home. This is a pretty freeform day for hte kids, where they mostly play. At night we may go out to eat and then go to the grocery store. I usually read some books to them when I get home. Many of those books are for school, like a biography about a historical figure, something about a particular animal or plant, history mysteries, magic treehouse book, something from the Living Math cirriculum, and so on.

Friday is Fun Day. I catch up on cleaning in the morning, we do some more school things. Often this is the day we'll do a little art project, or science experiment, or finish some printouts. Then, if they haven't been actively fighting me all week, we go out! I often let them pick. Places we often go include: Chuck E Cheese (it's math! Really!), The Children's Discovery Museum, Ardenwood Farm, other museums, star parties (astronomy), etc.. Sometimes it ties into something we learned that week, but usually not. One week we went to Krispy Kreme. It actually tied in! That week my daughter was obsessed with industrial robots and machinery, so we watched the donut machines.

Saturday is karate for the son, and a visit to their grandparents' house.

We have lots of other routines (via FlyLady), but that's pretty much it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

One, Five and Ten Years Ago

A lot of magazines do a feature where they show you what was being published 50, 100, and 150 years ago. (Or any other range of dates). I really do love those sections, and find them interesting. So I think I'll make an attempt to do so here!

I don't have anything that old on this particular blog, but I can grab things from my other one. ;)

Four years ago, I was just beginning: Introduction

Three years ago, I was trying to get my house in order, but I think my most stirring post was about being a Working Mom. (And wow, three years ago I was thinking of moving away. I didn't realize I have been wanting out for that long.) And yes, that post is from August, but oh well. :)

Two years ago, I was enjoying Boneless Chicken Broth and Kitchen Science.

Last year, I was not enjoying my health: Under the Weather.

I hope you've enjoyed this. It was fun for me! Dear readers, what were you up to in the past few years?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Misandry and Society

I ran into this excellent article about men, boys, and misandry. I adore Dr. Helen.

Embracing Happiness

Right now, it's easy to find negativity. The elections, the mud slinging, the financial sector's problems, and so forth. The news and TV are full of it. And it tend to drag me down. So now I'm going to do something a friend of mine used to always encourage -- I'm going to list 10 happy things. Just ten things to be grateful for, and happy about and to embrace because life just isn't that bad at all!

(See also: Losing Sight of the American Dream)

10) I have my health. I'm really healthier than I have been in years. I've sufferend from sinus migrane headache things for a few years now, and after having my wisdom teeth out, going to 87 doctors to get allergy medications that work (among other suggestions), trying to cut out and add different foods, and so forth, I feel better on a regular daily basis than I have in years.

9) My husband has his health. He has also been trying for a few years now to get his things under control. He's been suffereing from daily horrible migranes for two years. He has had his sleep apnea treated, lost over 100 pounds, and had foot surgery. I think he feels better, for the most part, though the migranes are a constant battle still.

8) My son has his health. Okay, he's generally not one to have issues that are obvious. He is getting really good at getting to sleep and staying alseep. He's better about using the potty at night. He is getting more patience and self control. All good things.

7) My daughter has her health. Since moving and taking her out of daycare, her asthma has compltely gone away! It's absolutely wonderful. The eartubes were perfect -- her ears are gorgeous, and the ear tubes are now out. She regained her hearing and she now talks like crazy. :)

6) My job isn't so bad. Seriously, I really would prefer to not have to work, but if I do, this is a good job. I can do a lot of work from home, I can work at night. It's part time. I get a very nice wage. My boss is spectacular. I have an amazing amount of independence. Yay!

5) We have a wonderful homeschool group. My son has friends who love the things he does. He can play with kids his age, or kids twice his age or older! I think that's a heathy thing. And we don't have to deal with weird school rules that make no sense to any of us.

4) My son is, in fact, learning things. Yay! His path is certainly not a normal one, but hey, that's why we homeschool.

3) My daughter is just precious. She is learning too, but just 2 year old things. She loves zombies and aliens and cats and horses. She has such a weird, glorious little personality. And I will make sure she's allowed to be weird and not have to keep her real personality inside just to fit in.

2) The weather is lovely. I like this time of year, even if it virtually kills me through allergies. I don't like hot or cold, so fall suits me. :D We're really not doing a ton of homeschooling right now, since I love to be out in nice weather and sun. We'll get a lot more done in the winter when it's cold and rainy, just as we got a lot more done in the summer when it was too hot to go out. Not that we're doing nothing, it's just a bit... minimal.

1) I love my husband. I know it's been a hard time on both of us, trying ot figure out what we want to do and where we want to go, but he always stands by my side. No matter how crazy I am, he is always there for me. He will always support me and I don't think I could cope with life at all if he weren't there, contantly carrying me above it all. I hope I do the same for him, even if I do feel like I am dragging him down all the time.