Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up!

We finished Anne Frank tonight. We are reading the afterward tonight and tomorrow. This marks the 6th novel study completed for the year. :)  Yeah for literature!  I love reading with my child. And, he loves reading so much more now, too!

He begins Latin I for high school credit in the next week or so...probably after Thanksgiving break. Or we may just wait until after CHRISTmas. The holidays means a lot of gathering and going as it is. We will see and take it in stride.

It is odd to think of my child in grade terms anymore. When I realize in a matter of weeks, he will be taking his first high school credit class, while in 7th grade...the thought is overwhelming. Within a matter of months, he will be in full swing of 4 high school credits, while completing 7th grade language arts and electives. Essentially, our subject matter of study will stretch across three grade levels. This boggles my mind when I stop to dwell on it. 

One thing that I had forgotten most of all until this year, is the sound of my youngest child when he giggles. I had forgotten that. Hours of school work took that laugh away from him. A few months back, my husband took him on an outing and commented he had not heard the child engage in a full out belly-roll giggle in so long before that day. It is saddening that we became so bogged down in life that he did not giggle anymore.

Homeschooling returned this to us and gave him a chance to just play and be a child again. To think we did not do this sooner. Wow!

In closing, a situation occurred today to someone I care for much. It did not happen to me, but it makes me realize all the same how much you MUST care for your loved ones and let them know...ALL the TIME.

This is one of the many examples we live with weekly where my child arranges objects. I love this about him.

Friday, November 18, 2011

We Made Butter!

We have talked about doing this several times. Tonight we had mac-n-cheese for dinner...and we used all the butter. I am not talking about the vegetable oil fake stuff...real butter!  The child agreed enthusiastically he wanted to make some, but looked rather skeptical.

Below is the end result...the child's last request from this project is for us to have buttermilk pancakes or waffles for breakfast in the morning using the remaining buttermilk and some preserved blueberries from this summer's picking.

the main ingredient is the heavy whipping cream.

This is the first stage of whipping the heavy cream. Like making whipped topped - just have to be careful not to go too far if you want whipped topping, because once the cream starts to get grainy, you have gone too far.

This is where the mixer is making more of whipped cream, than it is butter. It will soon change.

I decided to stop briefly here to gather it all back together in the bowl's center. This is right before the cream 'cracks' for the butter process.

We had to pause here for a few secs as well. This is right after the cream cracks and the graininess starts to set in. A few more minutes and the buttermilk will start to separate. I took a small amount of this mixture out on a spoon so the child could feel the texture of the granules to note the difference between the graininess that occurs from the constant agitation of the cream to make butter from scratch.

buttermilk is starting to appear.

more texture and separation

draining the butter from the buttermilk and getting ready to squeeze the remaining moisture out to preserve it better...

squeezed it a bit too hard perhaps? The child found this funny that the butter was being squeezed through the cloth!! :)

ball of homemade butter!!

then we added a bit of kosher salt...

and it is ready to refrigerate to eat in the morning on those buttermilk blueberry pancakes I have been requested to make for breakfast!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Survival Lesson 1=Success

I taught the child over the past week how to create his own form of a sterno can for camping and make shift cooking heat.

The creation has been finished now and been successfully tested. He compared these to his sterno cans. I do not know the burn time on our creation, but it was quite hot, quite quickly...the burn time will be tested in full on the next camping trip.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A week in review...

...week in review for the facebook point of view...
Last Friday posts:

picture from zoo field trip!!

Posts from Sunday:

post from Tuesday:
you know you are a homeschool mommy when you trap the scorpion you see in the bathroom at the chiro's office and save it in tp and a baggy for your child to view up close later on (maybe in a few days after i know it is good and dead)!

love sitting here on the couch with my son as he translates the first book of genesis from latin to english while reading it aloud to me...not the greatest translation, but interpretable nonetheless

child is explaining to me how shuffling cards or hustling for card sharks is like braiding over the other - alternating outside pieces over the previous one - never thought of it like that, but pretty good observation - def not a connection i would have made

Post from Thursday:

It has been an interesting week!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Updates and Living Life...

Look what was delivered to our house today:
 The child cut opened the box for me!!
I am so excited to have this to review. We will be starting this in the next few days for a review to come in the near future!! I am giddy...yes, over curriculum!!
People have asked about some of the things we were growing back when up until now and have emailed about what the chickens look like now that they are are the updates...
 parsley is growing well...
heirloom carrots are growing well...
 little pear trees starting to grow
 one lonely little apple seedling starting to grow...
 cabbage...yum yum yum
 chickies eating dinner!! louella is the chicky on the far left side!!
 this is flo...the fat and fluffy chicken...
 this is matilda - known as 'tilly' for short...she is the medium chicken.
 our 'yeggs!!'  love this part the most!  store bought eggs have nothing on fresh!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

What we are learning/have learned (I think)...

This past week:
1.  John Hanson was the first President of the United States, not George Washington.
2.  The moon this past week, at the beginning of the week, looked more like a gorget than a moon.
3.  The word Hosanna is not an expression of gratitude or direct praise. It literally means Save me! or Save us!
4.  Reading Anne Frank is not as interesting as it was when she is constantly talking about falling, being in love.
5.  Multi-step, binomial expression complex fraction equations that also require use of the distributive property can be difficult, even for a child considered by all academic measures given thus far to be mathematically gifted.
6.  History is fun to learn about.
7. We are grateful to have completed one content subject for the academic year to be able to focus more solidly on the other subject at hand.
8. The child has no clue what an outline is, claims to never have seen one, and so now I must teach him what it is and how to use one.
9. The child has no clue what parts of speech are or how to differentiate between them, making grammar instruction difficult.
10. When asked about diagramming sentences and shown such, he looked at me with the most forlorn expression I believe has ever crossed his face.
11. He appears to be learning Latin easier than he learned the English language.
12. I never knew he had such a low attention to task ability. I am trying to think of ways to help this endure for longer durations of time.
13. Teaching your own child is much more rewarding and tiring than teaching someone else's.

On another note for the week, we have been given the opportunity to review Bridge to Latin Road to Phonics curriculum. So this information will be forthcoming soon!!

My World...

The pA problem this afternoon was 5(b-2)=3(b+6).  The child gets to 5b-10=3b+18 in the problem. He gets ready to combine the like terms and asks if the correct answer will be 2b on the left. I state: '2b or not 2b, that is the question.'  He looks at me perplexed and I state it is a line from Hamlet. He states: 'Oh, yeah...the pig from Toy Story.' 
I have to tell him that Hamlet is a play by Shakespeare.
I go to tell the hubby the funny of the moment, and tell the child: 'I will be back!"  He states that is from The Terminator
When I later return, he has still completed only combining the b variable terms of the math problem from where we left off, and asks if Shakespeare was Hamlet?  I have to reply that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. He tells me that if I were to ever watch the television show Everyone Hates Chris, that the saying would have been 'I'll be black' 
This is why it takes us SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long to get through the math lessons.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Visual Latin Curriculum Review

Recently I was provided an opportunity to review Visual Latin.

Name of Product: Visual Latin

Price: Latin I (lessons 1-30 DVD Single/Family)$80.00

Age Range: 9 years and up

Okay, so here is the honest nitty gritty from me...We decided to homeschool my child (7th grader) in or around March. One of his first formal homeschooling curriculum requests was to learn Latin. I cannot pretend I was so happy about this request at first, as I took French in middle and high school and college. I did believe it would assist him tremendously in his phonemic awareness and root word knowledge, if he was successful with the skills. My biggest fear was how my dyslexic child with learning disabilities in multiple areas would master this dead language. The child expressed reasons much different from my thought processes about why he wanted to learn this language...which made much I agreed to pursue it. (in the back of my mind, I still wondered why he wanted to pursue this foreign language.)

In September, Timberdoodle contacted me about completing the Visual Latin review and sent us the first 10 lessons. I know it is now November and you might wonder why it has taken me so long to complete this review?? Timberdoodle might wonder the same.  I tested this product out on my homeschooling son and we plan to finish the program this year. He has completed 7 of the first 10 video lessons sent. We plan to purchase the remainder of the package and finish the series...unless, the publisher would like to contact me to send me the remainder for another final product review!!

Each video lesson has more than one short video component in it. These build upon each other. I watched the first 3 video lessons with the child...and then he simply left me behind as he pursued the Latin world. Each lesson also contains worksheets that reinforce the skill taught and give a means for the parent to have a visual and realistic assessment piece to file away. (An answer key is provided as well!) He completed the first three lessons and did well. I left him to view the video for the lessons of session 4 while I was at  work. About three days later, I reminded him to review lesson 4 and I would print the worksheets out. He informed me he had already viewed each of the lessons in sessions 4 and 5 independent of me and had repeated them for review as well. He was waiting on the worksheets.

This LD and Aspie child completed studies independent of me asking him to do so and was waiting on me to get the message and catch up!  I will admit, in the world of Latin, he has now left me officially in the dust.

In better news, since we have began this program, he is recognizing the roots of multiple words now and associated them with their Latin origins. He has completed simple translations from Latin to English, both verbally and in writing. He is doing this without complaint as well. So, this program has impressed me more than I can say and he has done well with it.

Timberdoodle does provide other homeschooling materials that one can view and purchase. I reviewed this item free in exchange for an honest review.  As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free set of Buddy Blocks in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

What we dug up or picked today...

 dirty sweet potatoes - like 10 or 11 in all
 clean sweet potatoes
 weirdly shaped potatoes
 looked fine when we cut it open
 avocado pit set to root
little tomatoes  :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vent, Rant, Revelation, Inspiration, & Thoughts

My head is swirling. I wonder at times if I am losing it and I wonder at the same time if things are just becoming known. Sometimes I feel like I am not cut out to teach my own child, yet I know I am most qualified to do so. I am watching my youngest child mature and grow before my eyes.

Today we watched the baby the next door for awhile. I received my baby fix. I mourn for the one we don't have. I watched him with this he was so good with her. Tonight out of the blue it seems, he is at the end of his 'handle it pile' and I watch him slowly melt.

He has such a good heart and watched that baby like all get out tonight. She was all over the yard and in the play area. He did so well with her. She has a fascination with the and out of that pen...over and over again. She wanted to pet them. So, the child would take the baby - time and time again - into the chicken pen to catch a chicken to hold it still so the baby could pet it. She would giggle, leave the pen, run around the back yard, play in the play area, roam around the swing, pet the doggy, pet the cat, and repeat the chicken pen process. The child did this with her repeatedly. He was so good with her.

I miss the days of having a small child. I told him tonight they were many babies all over without mommies and brothers...he responded she had made him tired! :)

We were doing preAlgebra last night and tonight. Complex fractions combined with binomial expressions and multistep equations are beginning to take their toll on us. I do not remember this from preAlgebra. This text he uses seems to be advanced to me. Maybe it has just been a LoNg LoNg time since his mother took preAlgebra. I feel like he needs so much from me in this subject, when it really is one of his stronger ones. I told the hubby that I think we might switch gears for awhile after this chapter and do some shape lessons. I need a complex fraction equation break.

In Latin, he translated the first chapter or so of Genesis from Latin to English the other day. His original request was for me to create a course in Ecclesiastical Latin for him to take. I opted to begin with Introduction to Latin/Ecclesiastical Latin this year and start Latin I with him next year. Of course, our homeschool year is shaping up to look as though next year will begin in March (approximately). So, I am left to wonder is what he is now doing in Latin is still considered introductory...or is it more like Latin I?  Peanut gallery comments would be more than welcomed on this topic.

I am bewildered that I have all these years in the field in education and feel as though these questions are not anywhere near being answered right now?!?!?

My revelation of the week may seem strange to some...but, I am trying to put this in, I relate it as it occurred to me. I could be totally wrong about this entire concept of where my thought ended, but I don't think so...honestly, I will never know. Here are some of the great-grandmother was murdered long before I was born. The story haunted me for a long time. I think often of the path we must create for the Lord here now, to honor her life, and such. Without her, obviously the groundwork for my current generation would not exist. When she was killed, my grandfather and his brother was wounded in such a manner that by all medical knowledge of the time, they were not expected to live...but they did. Hence, here I am and my children and so forth.

The other day, I needed to drop some letters off at the post office and was in the neighboring town. I punched the post office into the GPS as the local point of interest and proceeded on my way. I did not realize until I was in close proximity to this post office where I was. The land this post office sits upon was the original homesite of my great grandparents. I have a feeling of anxiety each time I am near the locale. My skin gets goosebumps and my stomach gurgles in discomfort. My child becomes nauseous on this land.

I have known for many many years that the older house that sits catty corner to the post office is where the person who murdered her lived after his release from prison. What occurred to me the other day made me nauseous. It suddenly occurred to me as I am sitting in my SUV in the post office parking lot facing the direction of the convict's old home that his front porch is in direct line with the homestead location of her. The original place of the barn where she was killed was in his line of sight on any given day. All this man had to do was walk out onto his front porch and look upon the place of his crime. He could waltz out on his front porch and look upon the place where he destroyed a life and a family. What kind of person chooses such a location to live out his life?  I wonder if my grandfather and uncle felt the rage that I feel now knowing this?  I am not dwelling on it, but it makes me realize a spirit of mockery that resides or holds to that land. A mocking biting spirit...only a mocking, bitter, biting personality of a man could do such and then stand there to watch over it in his old age. I pity him and his life for the sorrow of never knowing true happiness.

He may have destroyed her life and broke up her family, but we bounce back. We are resilient. We are strong. We are stable. I, my cousins, our children...we are living proof of a legacy and a resilience he did not know, did not have, and did not destroy.

On another note, I have often looked at other couples my husband and I are friends with and hoped to have the kind of relationship they have one day. I have often envied some of our friends for the compatibility they exude. How often I have looked at others and wanted to grow in our relationship as a couple to get to where others are in their relationship. I have often thought of other couples as the 'model' couple. These couples seem in-sync with one another. The last few weeks have shown us that we are the couple we looked at others as being. We are the couple that is in-sync. We are the couple that is compatible. I am married to my best friend. I am married to the man the Lord chose for me. I am married to the father God chose for my son. I am married to the best stepfather the Lord could have chosen for my oldest child. We are the couple I yearned to be like. I have to look no further than next to me to see the other half of the couple I longed to be.

Final thoughts come to bring two remotely not like things together in my I miss the child I do not have, I also miss my oldest child now being an independent young man. I miss the child of his youth. I miss the brilliant young man he now is that I do not get to ever spend enough time with. On the baby, I miss the memories I will never have an opportunity to make.

Pending thoughts also reside on the two whom only the Lord knows their names. My prayers continue Lord for the daughters you will bring. Protect their virtue and hedge their hearts. Bless their families and their walk toward You. Bring them safely to their place, in Your time, in Your will, in Your way. Protect my daughters to keep them for You.

So, these are my my brain is a bit less jumbled and maybe I can sleep.