Exciting and scary all at once

We’ve just kicked off our 11th year of homeschooling. Our oldest will be graduating high school this year. In fact, in 5 years all three will be high school graduates.

Let’s just all pause a moment, and take that in. In five years, our wonderful homeschool journey will be over. I will have three high school graduates.

Honestly, if I stop and really contemplate that idea, I get overwhelmed very quickly. I have to just pull back and focus on this year.

Tho, my oldest, is taking the Math-U-See’s Stewardship course, which looks to be a personal finance course with a Biblical slant. Most of his courses in Switched on Schoolhouse again.  Language and Government & Economics are in SOS, as are the two half-credit Networking courses. He’s decided he wants to get into the cyber security field, so he’s got more than a few electives in computing this year.  Hacker Highschool looks to be the best course so far, as it provides alot of hands-on work with both Windows and Linux operating systems.  He’s also taking control of his own education, by finding podcasts and websites devoted to cyber security, and learning everything he can about the field.

Diva is starting 9th grade this year.  Most of her classes are in Switched on Schoolhouse as well, which is helpful because we already have most of the disks, so it saves us some money.  English 9, Geography, New Testament Survey, and Health are all SOS course.  Math-U-See’s Pre-algebra, PE, and Apologia’s Physical Science round out her coursework. She’s also doing some amazing digital art work.

Lt, AKA Tiimmy, has skipped up to 8th grade.  This is on purpose, as 8th grade is available to get high school credit for up to three course in our state & with our umbrella program.  So by skipping him up to 8th grade, he can take Apologia’s Physical Science with his sister, and get high school credit for it.  This way, they can work together on experiments, and when Biology rolls around again next year, I only have to supervise on more frog dissection.  His other courses include MUS’s Pre-algebra, and using SOS for Language and History.  He’s also doing very well with his swimming, and has already passed the deep end swim test!

The Loom of Doom, & so much more.

So week 2 came and went.  Way too fast I’m thinking, especially since here it is, Monday morning of week 3, and I’m just now remember to post about last week!  So much went down… Lets see…

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Last weekend (Aug 21-22) I spent making a DIY loom for us to use with BigBoy & PinkDiva’s history lesson.  It turned out awesome!

The loom itself is made from a Cross Stitch Frame, the kind you can use to turn your fabric into a scroll.   The frame was too short to make an effective loom though, so we cut the bars in half and attached them to small pieces of scrap wood.  The rigid-ish, and I say “ish” because there is a lot of flex & bend, heddle is made of two pieces of plastic canvas, cut and stitched together.  The shuttle in the picture is made of cardboard, but DH has since made a nicer one out of thin wood for us to use.

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BigBoy was thrilled to give weaving a try.  ThePinkDiva had tried weaving in a class at the Cultural Arts Center last year, and fell in love with the art form.  BigBoy is still a bit young, and doesn’t quite get the hang of it…  but PinkDiva loves to weave.  This time we’re making a small green blanket.  But now that we have a loom, I see plenty of doll blankets in our future.  Pinkdiva is even talking about stitching a few pieces together to make a bigger blanket.  Should be fun.

Thursday, thePinkDiva began vision therapy.  I don’t think I’ve ever explained that one anywhere online, so it really needs it’s own blog post.  Soon.  I hope.

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Friday was spent at the Podiatrist’s office.  Because I messed up my foot. Everyone got their Math tests done, and that was it.  I was too worn out/in pain to do much else.

Then, on Saturday, Soccer Season officially kicked off.  One night a week for practice, and then games on Saturday.  Should be fun.  BigBoy is thrilled because this is the first year he’s actually part of a team, instead of the “Tots”.  Geekboy discovered at least 3 friends from last year’s team on his new team.  So even though he is the shortest guy on the team, and playing in the 10-12 division (he’s only 9, but they didn’t have enough 8-9 boys to make a team in that division), he’s looking forward to a great season.

Venus & Amerigo.

Week one went pretty ok.  Yea, we had a few bumps…but over all it was fun.  It generally takes about 2 hours to teach 3 different grade levels.  Wednesday we did a science project that involved pouring melted butter over a plate of flour to watch the “lava” carve it’s own paths.  Thursday, the weather was soooo pretty, that we declared a “Nice Weather Day” and the kids played outside, all day.  It was great!  Friday, we whipped through lessons in record time and even had time to get ready for Daddy’s birthday party.

We’ve got a full week ahead.  GeekBoy has soccer practice on Monday – yes, on labor day.  Hopefully most of the team will show up, because we only have one practice a week, and last week was rained out.  That means we will be heading into our first game next Saturday without ever having a full practice. Not a good position to be in to start the year.

First Game of the Season

Kickin the ball

BigBoy had a great time kicking the ball around until the other parents took the field with their kids. There was like two parents for almost every kid!  We had two dads drag their screaming 3 yr olds on and insist they were going to play, and another mom rolled her stroller on the field… and keep in mind the whole “field” for the 2-3yr old is maybe 5 ft wide & maybe 10 ft long. Not very big, so with all the grown ups, the kids didn’t have much room!  Then there was the dad who decided that while the 3 yr olds were kicking balls into the goal, he would play goalie, and he kept blocking them! They are 3!!  AHHH!  Next week, I swear I’m taking more control of BigBoy’s side of field, and kicking off the parents and organizing the kids.  But whatever, the chaos was enough to make BigBoy decide he was done.  So we left & went to watch GeekBoy’s game.

My Ball!

GeekBoy played goalie.  They got one past him, but that was it.  I have photos of 7 different saves, and I know there was at least one that I didn’t get a picture of.  So, he had 8 saves.  He was all over that goal line.  Even his coach was impressed.  Coach said he has a natural talent for the position.  We have a few shots where you can see he was on the other side of the goal, and the ball looks like it’s going in, and in the next half a second, he’s behind the ball, and has caught it!  The boy moves fast!  At half time, one of the other boys on his team asked to be goalie.  GeekBoy didn’t mind, so the switch was made.  While GeekBoy was playing somewhere out in midfield he stopped the ball, with his chin.  Poor guy.  It stunned him more then anything, but after a tooth check, and a slug of water, he was back out on the field.  The other boy lasted in goal for all of about 5 minutes before he started yelling for GeekBoy to come take the “penny” shirt and be goalie instead.  GeekBoy didn’t mind one bit, he loves being goalie.

HA HA! Denied!

Final Score – Our team – 3, their team – 1.

View the whole set here.

Soccer!

So, GeekBoy has decided to play soccer this year.  August 30th was his first day on the field, and yes, I’m just now getting to write this up!  tell you anything about our week?  *S*  Anyway, it was the Opening Day, come meet ur coach type clinic.  Coach K seems to be a nice coach.  He seems very mild mannered and understanding.  “He’s nice & good.  Teaching us good stuff. Showing us how to exercise our bodies and stuff,” says GeekBoy.

Practice was last Thursday.  After a few drill Coach broke everyone up into teams and let them play a little mini-game.  GeekBoy requested the goalie position, and he loves it!

SAVE!

Coach said he’s not nailed into it, but if Goalie is what he wants, it’s all his.

View more photos at flickr: the soccer set.

Learning never stops… even if the blogging of it does

It’s been a rough week.  Giants won the Super Bowl!  Plus my Carpal Tunnel flared up.  Badly.  Like I didn’t want to see a computer by the time last Thursday rolled around.  But, it’s been productive nevertheless.

GeekBoy has been working on his multiplication table.  I’ve got a chart up on the wall in the kitchen, and when he feels like it, we fill in another row.  He’s also started playing Hot Shot Business, and is totally rocking it.  He’s learning a lot about business, and marketing, and keeping up with demand.

thePinkDiva has been working on her math and practicing her reading.   Seriously, she drives me insane.  Since birth, she has been the one to just lay back, and let you do everything for her.  If there is a way to get you to do it for her, she will find it. It’s frustrating the heck out of me.  I’ve completely backed off the reading.  It’s not that she can’t do it.  It’s not that she doesn’t want to.  She really does want to, as evidenced by her constantly bringing it up.  And she can, because she knows the letter names and sounds, knows how to put them together.  Heck, she’s even writing already!  GeekBoy barely writes, preferring to draw, but tPD would rather write her name, over and over, and over.  I don’t want to just plop her down and say, figure it out and walk away, because, HELLO!!!  She’s only 4! (well, almost 5, but still!)  But she is frustrating me to no end!!!  AHHHH!  and worse, she thinks it’s hilarious to see mom so frustrated!  AHHHH!

But, we had fun at PE the other day, and we’ve been having a great time, getting out to enjoy the nice, 60 degree weather while we have it.

PE with an Outsider

We went to PE with our Co-Op yesterday.  And we had fun, at least, most of us did.

Backtrack just a bit, to yesterday morning at breakfast.  I announced what day it was, and GeekBoy declared, “I don’t want to go, I don’t like leaving the house.”  Now, reality is, he said this mostly because he was already knee-deep in a pile of Legos, working on his next creation.  But I can’t blame him.  I’m not a big social person either.  I’m a wallflower.  always has been always will be.  I’ve always been on the outside of popular.  I blame public school, where I got bullied and made fun of daily.  I also blame private school, where I was shut out of virtually everything “cool” because of who I am, and who my dad was (he was a business manager at the school).  I do have to recognize the genetic factor, because both of my parents were also outsiders.  Being an outsider is not a bad thing.  But it is incredibly frustrating for a child of 7, who just wants a turn with ball, but isn’t given one.

So we had a talk yesterday morning.  I told GeekBoy that honestly, I’d rather home too.  But.  We can’t.  PE isn’t just playtime, it’s also a good way for him to learn how to interact with other people, and other kids.  Yes, you know how to behave here at home, and playing with your brother and sister is good.  But!  You need to know how to act around other people, not just us.  That’s why we go.

He accepted that and off we went.  We all stretched out, and then the kids ran laps around the big fellowship hall the Co-Op borrowed.  And by “kids ran laps”  I mean my older two ran around a few times, while I jogged next to Lil’Chicano, who insisted on doing 4 laps.   Then the kids played 4 corners, where 2 “its” tried to tag the child running from one corner to the next with a ball.  And by “kids played”  I mean GeekBoy got it, thePinkDiva especially loved when she won one round, and Mom ran the corners with Lil’Chicano, who insisted on playing with big kids.  It was fun.  like i said, tPD won one round, and Lil’C won another.  Those little kids, always overlooked.  See GeekBoy,  sometimes being short pays off.

We played a form of tag, which meant mom following Lil’C again, and playing with him.  During this game, tPD had a run in with another kid.  She wasn’t hurt physically, but her pride was apparently damaged beyond repair, so she sat in a corner and sulked for the rest of the day.

Then we played Caterpillar.  Some weird game where the circle of kids tries to hit the kid on the end of a four person caterpillar with the ball.  Only problem with this was that we had about 10 kids, and only 3 or 4 actually got a turn with the ball.  So of course every time the ball rolled out of the circle it was a mad dash to get it!  The mad dash not only made the game hard to play (because most of the circle wouldn’t stay put), but it also resulted in a minor meltdown from GeekBoy.  He’s not the fastest, or the biggest, or the strongest kid there, so he constantly lost out on the Mad Dash.  Which left him frustrated to the hilt.

So they kids played Freeze Tag instead.  This time, mom actually got to stand on the sidelines while the kids ran wild and crazy for a little while.  Then a quick game of Shark & Minnows (without the water).  And truly, the line of the day –  GeekBoy to the big guy (a teenager who is taller them me!), after the big guy tagged him twice,  “You already tagged me once, I’m on your side.  DU-U-UH!!!”  he he he.

Then we came home, and discussed various situations that occurred throughout PE, and how we should have handled each event a bit differently than we did.  And by “we” I mean whichever kid that was involved at the time.

Overall, though, it was a good time.

the Snowspeeder dance, a lost art.

GeekBoy is taking dance class with thePinkDiva.  I know.  Threw the teacher for a loop too.  Although, I doubt his motives, still, it’s movement, it’s fun time, it’s social time, and it doesn’t involve a computer…  BONUS!

This week, at the end of class, he taught the girls in the class (including the teacher), his “Snowspeeder Dance.”   I’m not saying he’s obsessed with Star Wars or anything…

“Is this fall be-cation?”

thePinkDiva asked me that earlier this week after her daddy told her he would be on “vacation” this weekend.  Being that Mom, aka theTeacher, is so stressed out over the upcoming wedding, and Lil’Chicano’s potty training…   Yes, this is fall vacation.

Sort of.

thePinkDiva has been doing her math every morning, and we still read, read, read.  We even made it to PE with the rest of the co-op this past Wednesday, although the kids were ornery and we left early.  And, technically, since I’ve made “Photography” part of GeekBoy’s art curriculum this year, it will be a working vacation for all of us.  thePinkDiva actually wants to bring her math book to show her Gramma.  I think my heart smiled when she said that.

Physical Education

Yesterday we had PE with our co-op.  It was fun, and the kids had a blast.  We got to the park, did some stretching, practiced our pushups, and ran a lap around the tennis court.  Then the little guys (8 & under) played kick the ball while the older kids played games on the other side of the field.

After a little soccer, the younger set ran off to play on the playground.  My three had a great time.  GeekBoy recruited a few of the other boys onto his super spy team.  Lil’Chicano had a blast going down the slides and thePinkDiva was not happy until she got on the swing.

It was fun.