Friday, January 14, 2011


My mother has sweetly hinted, and I obey!  I had had some vague idea of trying to post something (maybe a picture) every day this year, but maybe it was better to begin as I mean to go on.  Actually, now that I've gotten off to such a slacker start, I've left myself plenty of room for improvement!  Weekly or bi-weekly postings don't look bad, and if I manage three in a week it will seem positively stellar!

So.  We'll been trying to get back into our school groove.  Despite the short holiday we suffered some loss of brain momentum.  Mostly mine.  I was having such a nice time being On Holiday that I didn't do the lesson planning/notebook preparing for a new Tapestry unit stuff that I meant to do on my break, so I started back to school already behind.  I hate that.  Travis is a Huge procrastinator, and it drives me absolutely bonkers because I am one too and I know what a idiotic way it is to be.  I finally got the kids' notebooks put together, the lessons planned, etc. but our new year didn't get off to the calm, idyllic start that I'd imagined (In my imagination, I am always calm and sweet, our house is spotless and lovely, and we move harmoniously through our lessons and our days.  I have one heck of an imagination.). 

This week things have pretty well fallen into place, and school has gone tolerably well.  Katie is doing much better with multiplication and division, and is enjoying grammar.  Her writing skills are really improving, though her penmanship is still not so good.  A friend introduced us to Quizlet, and both Travis and Katie are having fun practicing their Latin vocabulary there.  And they are loving our brain study.  We are nearing the end of the book (I'm ordering their new science programs on Monday -- they'll both be doing physics, though with different books), and we've been learning about dreaming, which is interesting.  Travis has been dragging his work out spectacularly and will once again be working all weekend in order to get his work done so he can go to co-op on Monday.  He's finding the unit in Singapore Math (on speed) less impossible than the last, and we've finally gotten back to Fred this week.  Fred is fun.  We are currently stalled at Lessons 10 & 11 in Second Form Latin, and will probably be there another week while we learn our prepositions thoroughly.  I finished reading Johnny Tremain around 1:00 am on Monday morning (I am leading the discussion for the older kids this coming Monday) -- what a great book!  I'd forgotten how much I like it.  Travis hasn't started reading it.  If he isn't done on Monday he's not going (and I mean it!). Fortunately (for him) we'll be in the car for a few hours tomorrow, so maybe he'll get it read after all.  How do you cure your children of faults that you can't cure in yourself?  I need to start working on my discussion ideas for Johnny Tremain!

We still have snow and ice all over the ground.  Well, except in the patches where it isn't.  But the driveway is still icy, and last night Katie fell down on it and skinned her knee.  Poor lamb.  And today, going to Katie's piano lesson, I almost killed our car trying to drive up our teacher's very steep, icy driveway.  I thought it was just snowy and didn't get up enough speed, and when smoke started coming out of under the hood I got scared and just parked it part way up, at a weird angle.  Fortunately the emergency brake is a good one.  And even more fortunately, a good, brave (noble!) friend who knows how to drive on ice was there for her daughter's lesson and turned the car around (without crashing into any trees, which is what I would have done), and got the car properly situated for me.  Good thing we moved to North Carolina, rather than a really "up north" state -- I do Not like ice.  Except in Dr. Pepper.

Oh, and I found out at piano that we have finally settled on a Shakespeare play for this spring (Katie's piano teacher is also our homeschool group play director.  Small world.)!  We will be doing Much Ado About Nothing!  We recently watched the Kenneth Branagh version and loved it.  (We briefly considered Pericles, but thought better of it.)  Travis is going to be Claudio.  He would have preferred Benedick but is resigned to secondary roles while the other boys have their turns at playing the leading man (and I will remember not to make any more comments about what a jerk Claudio is!).  Katie is Ursula, and is not particularly resigned.  She wanted Beatrice or, failing that, Hero.  Our script is being customized for our homeschool group, though, (how cool is that!) and I have promised her (hoping that I am right!) that Ursula  in our version is a Major role.  At any rate, I'm glad and grateful that we're doing Shakespeare again this year, and it is a play that we really like.

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