Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Life Lately...

   Okay, so I keep meaning to post something on here. And I keep thinking that if I just put it off a little while longer, than the perfect thing to say or what to talk about will just kind of jump out at me. But then life gets in the way. Well, maybe that's the whole point. Life. Alright, so now I have something to talk (or rather type) about...
   Let's see, right now we're house looking. We'd prefer to own/rent-to-own, but around here that doesn't happen without a large down payment. Something we don't have. So we're stuck with renting. Why move? The schools here suck. While I homeschool one furball, the other two are stuck in the government system, and thus we have to take that into account. So, we're hoping to move to a school system where the kids are actually expected to do work and perform at their best, and given some form of motivation to do so. The system here is little more than a free babysitter. To the extent that B can take in papers where she has written my first name on the "parent's signature" line in her own hand-writing and the teacher accepts it, under the guise that I must have just "forgotten" to sign it. Right... Anyway, so far we've called about around 20 houses, seen 3 and have one more scheduled to look at this afternoon. We like two of the three we've been in, although one screams out as being more practical for us at this time. The one we're in serious consideration over is in Springfield, which isn't necessarily bad. We want out of the Springfield area in the long run, but for right now it's what we can find and afford. Plus, it's close to most of KiKi's doctor appointments and such.
   As for the furballs, they're doing alright.
     ZoKo is still doing school work daily, and I am still keeping records (which I plan to post on here this evening), even though she has already completely her 1,000 mandatory hours for second grade. Oh, and she also just completed a 5 minute math drill in 60 seconds flat...
     KiKi just started speech therapy and occupational therapy (he's on a waiting list for physical therapy), after a 1.25 year hiatus. The speech therapist is the only one he's met so far, and just once. The therapists are not the same ones as the ones who did the evaluations. On the first meeting, I don't really like this speech therapist. She doesn't seem a good fit for him, and thought she was connecting when she wasn't. She also wants to focus on aversion therapy, using things he hates in order to get desired responses. He does not respond well to this procedure, and it has resulted in severe long-term breakdowns in the past.
     B is doing well at home. Not so much at school. Her teacher and other influences have convinced her that she has no reason to bother to do her best while at school. So, while she's at a mid-3rd grade math level at home (and rapidly progressing), she is currently bringing home papers in the 50-55% range from school. Why? Because she doesn't feel like doing the work and the teacher just gives her the answers if she's wrong, so why bother trying... Yes, at home, we make her do "school work", and we make her fix it on her own if she gets something wrong. We also expect her to do her best. Those last two things are seriously lacking in the public school system here. They do not believe in kids doing their best work up front, or in making them learn from fixing their mistakes. If you are wrong, the teacher tells you the right answer. And why do your best when "just okay" is good enough? Sheesh, what is our society coming to? Anyway, this is what brought on the whole "time to move" scenario. And yes, we did try to talk to the officials, they all feel her teacher is too strict (if anything), and there are some other issues there as well. Let's just say that some people need to learn the term "conflict of interest"...
     As for Odie, I'm not going to say much. Sort of like pleading the fifth. I don't feel like arguing with anyone that doesn't entirely know the situation, or like being held on trial for someone who pretends to know what's going on simply to judge first without bothering to take in the full presentation.

   KiKi has been in overload mode for a few weeks now, mostly due to an overwhelming number of evaluations, doctor's appointments, road trips, and new strangers to meet. I really feel badly for him and hope like heck that my baby can snap out of it and return to his former happiness soon, and without too much more of an ordeal.

   As for me personally, my days are filled with doctor appointments, shopping, laundry, dishes, schooling, and a million other things I never quite seem to get around to. I intend to start posting on here more frequently. Although every time that I post that intention I get side-swiped with more time-consuming tasks. So maybe I should try saying I'll never write on here again and see if the internet ghosts are subject to reverse psychology... Just a thought. Love ya and peace out. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Homeschooling - 26.5 Weeks In

   The last few weeks have been short on hours, with holiday break from public school, my husband having a few random days off work, and a bad tummy bug circulating our residence. We plan on getting back on schedule this week, but at least I have the hours logged and everything calculated out to bring us up to date in the hours log and journal.

     Grade 2, progress report 18...

          - Total Hours completed as of December 31st, 2011 -
     Science     105.50
     Math     95.25
     History & Social Studies     89.25
     Language Arts & Reading     438.75
     Daily Review     1.50
     Health & Physical Education     129.00
     Art     57.75
     Home Economics     6.75
     Foreign Language (Latin)     23.25

          - Total Hours     947.00     out of     1,000 mandatory hours -
     Hours Left:     53.00     averaging     2.25/week  -or-  0.50/day

Curriculum used this week (percentage of current status towards completion):
          Textbook - Understanding God's World (Abeka gr 4)     lesson 8 of 158     (5.1%)
          Reading - Burgess Animal Book For Children (Thornton W Burgess)     chapter 10 of 40     (25.0%)
          Textbook - Arithmetic 4 (Abeka gr 4)     lesson 11 of 170     (6.5%)
          Reading - Children's Puzzle Book     page 81 of 85     (95.3%)
          Textbook - History Of Our United States (Abeka gr 4)     lesson 58 of 73     (79.5%)
          Reading - Little Duke (Charlotte Mary Yonge)     chapter 13 of 13     (100%)
     Language Arts:
          Grammar - God's Gift Of Language A (Abeka gr 4)     lesson 4 of 167     (2.4%)
          Comprehension - Frontiers To Explore (Abeka gr 4)     lesson 15 of 43     (34.9%)
          Penmanship - Cursive 3 (Abeka gr 3)     lesson 168 of 175     (96.0%)
          Ind Reading - Fire World (Chris D'Lacey)     chapter 49 of 60     (81.7%)
          Classic Lit - Outdoor Girls On Pine Island (Laura Lee Hope)     chapter 16 of 25     (64.0%)
          Classic Lit - Patchwork Girl Of Oz (Lyman Frank Baum)     chapter 12 of 28     (42.9%)
          Textbook - Your Health (Harcourt gr 3)     lesson 57 of 85     (67.1%)
          Reading - Book Of Virtues (William J Bennett)     lesson 39 of 100     (39.0%)
     Foreign Language:
          Latin - Minimus (Cambridge)     lesson 37 of 81     (45.7%)

Completed Curriculum For The 2011-2012 School Year (2nd Grade):
          Textbook - Discovery Works (Houghton Mifflin gr 3)
          Reading - First Book Of Bees (Albert Tibbets)
          Reading - Polar Bears (Susan Canizares)
          Reading - Rain Forest (Jinny Johnson)
          Reading - True Story Of Corky The Blind Seal (Georgeanne Irvine)
          Reading - To Be A Chimpanzee (Chris Martin)
          Reading - Horses (Harold Roth)
          Reading - Rattlesnakes (ZooBooks)
          Reading - Otter On His Own (Doe Boyle)
          Reading - Day Of The Dinosaur (Stan Berenstain)
          Reading - Kittens And Cats (Intercontinental Books)
          Reading - Creature Questions (Chris Kratt)
          Reading - Bravest Dog Ever (Natalie Standiford)
          Reading - Wild Cats (Diane Muldrow)
          Reading - Where Do Birds Live (Betsey Chessen)
          Reading - Look To The North (Jean Craighead George)
          Reading - Big Dinosaurs (Michael Berenstain)
          Reading - All Kinds Of Animals (Merrigold Press)
          Reading - Ancient Forest (Guy J Spencer)
          Reading - Animals (A+)
          Reading - Penguins And Other Polar Animals (Dalmatian Press)
          Reading - Discovering Australian Wildlife (Steve Parish)
          Reading - First Book Of Bugs (Margaret Williamson)
          Reading - My First Book About Space (Dinah L Moche)
          Reading - True Book Of Insects (Illa Podendorf)
          Reading - Tunnel Builders (James E Kelly)
          Reading - Little Puppy (Judy Dunn)
          Reading - Little Lamb (Judy Dunn)
          Reading - KoKo's Kitten (Francine Patterson)
          Reading - Urban Animals (Barbara Taylor)
          Reading - Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children (Jane Andrews)
          Reading - Face To Face Wolves (Scholastic)
          Textbook - Arithmetic 3 (Abeka gr 3)
          Reading - Brain Games For Kids (Publications International)
          Textbook - Spectrum Geography Grade 3 (McGraw Hill gr 3)
          Reading - Stories Of American Life And Adventure (Edward Eggleston)
          Reading - First Dog (Jan Brett)
          Reading - Orient (Tom McMahon)
          Reading - Story Of Jumping Mouse (John Steptoe)
          Reading - U S Mail (Elaine A Kule)
          Reading - Why The Sun And The Moon Live In The Sky (Elphinstone Dayrell)
          Reading - Finding The Titanic (Robert D Ballard)
          Reading - Stories From Old Russia (Edward W Dolch)
          Reading - Meet The Pilgrim Fathers (Elizabeth Payne)
          Reading - Dancing Teepees (Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve)
          Reading - Abiyoyo (Pete Seeger)
          Reading - If You'd Been Born In India (Gail Ranadive)
          Reading - Russia (Chantal Deltenre)
          Reading - Abby Takes A Stand (Patricia C McKissack)
          Reading - Little Duke (Charlotte Mary Yonge)
     Language Arts:
          Grammar - Language 3 (Abeka gr 3)
          Comprehension - Silly Things Happen (Houghton Mifflin gr 3)
          Comprehension - Foot Prints (Abeka gr 3)
          Comprehension - Worlds Of Wonder (Abeka gr 3)
          Independent Reading - Last Dragon Chronicles:
               Fire Star (Chris D'Lacey)
               Fire Eternal (Chris D'Lacey)
               Dark Fire (Chris D'Lacey)
          Independent Reading - Twilight Saga:
               New Moon (Stephenie Meyer)
               Eclipse (Stephenie Meyer)
               Breaking Dawn (Stephenie Meyer)
               Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner (Stephenie Meyer)
          Classic Literature - Outdoor Girls series:
               Outdoor Girls Of Deepdale (Laura Lee Hope)
               Outdoor Girls In A Motor Car (Laura Lee Hope)
               Outdoor Girls In A Winter Camp (Laura Lee Hope)
               Outdoor Girls In Florida (Laura Lee Hope)
               Outdoor Girls At Ocean View (Laura Lee Hope)
          Classic Literature - Oz series:
               Wizard Of Oz (Lyman Frank Baum)
               Land Of Oz (Lyman Frank Baum)
               Ozma Of Oz (Laura Lee Hope)
               Dorothy And The Wizard In Oz (Lyman Frank Baum)
               Road To Oz (Lyman Frank Baum)
               Emerald City Of Oz (Lyman Frank Baum)
          Classic Literature - Black Beauty - Young Folks' Edition (Anna Sewell)
          Classic Literature - Flower Fables (Louisa May Alcott)
          Classic Literature - Tale Of Jemima Puddle Duck (Beatrix Potter)
          Free Reading - Glory Of Unicorns (Bruce Coville)
          Free Reading - Wishbone - Unleashed In Space (Alexander Steele)
          Free Reading - Wishbone - Salty Dog (Brad Strickland)
          Textbook - Health, Safety, & Manners 3 (Abeka gr 3)
          Reading - It's Not The Stork (Robie H Harris)
     Foreign Language: