The adventures of a homeschooling family

Howard and Rachel
Annie, Emma, Sarah, Laura and Adam

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thankful musings

I am thankful for a husband who understands me. Even though I have some crazy ideas (let's move to a different state in 2 weeks, let's have 5 kids because sanity is overrated, lets buy lockers, tonight, and put them in our dining room, let's throw away our sofa without plans for replacement) he is supportive and tries to see where I am coming from. I'm also thankful that he is the reasonable one, and keeps our family running smoothly. 

I am also thankful that he shares my love of IKEA and their affordable merchandise. No, it's not the highest quality stuff, but we have kids, and I change my mind, a lot. 

Last week, our old workhorse of a 10 year old couch, decided to go out in a blaze of ants. It was crawling with them. 
It had been needing to be replaced for over a year. The leather was not so happy anymore, the side lining ripped, so anything that fell down the side went to the abyss below. The bottom lining had been removed and stapled back on multiple times to retrieve errant phones, kindles, remotes, keys, etc.. The springs were shot, the cushions were flat and it kind of hurt your back to sit on it. But hey, it was already here. 

In a perfect storm kind of situation, after Halloween and the ravenous devouring of candy, the couch may have been full of discarded candy, wrappers, and about a million missing pencils. Then it rained, and the local ants sent out scouts. They found our stinky sofa and moved right in. 

That was it for me. I had been hating this thing for a long time. I hauled it to the front yard, and persuaded Howard that it had to go. He called up the trash company, and that is how we used our final large item pick up of the year on a non-essential. Well, 2 non-essentials, as we also had them pick up our warped ping pong table. 

Anyhow, we went about 1 whole day with just a loveseat when we realized 1 loveseat for 7 people just wasn't going to cut it.  

Today, after a fruitless search for a suitable leather sofa, ( I mean 2 sofas, because let's be honest - sofa and loveseat aren't enough seating for 7 people either) I decided we may as well get 2 IKEA sofas, since they are closer to our budget of $Nothing than anything else, they are kind of cozy, and we can get them today. 

Howard agreed, as he hates sitting on the floor. At the store, we made the wise decision together to just buy 1 sofa, as our car is not actually bigger on the inside than the outside. 

Our new addition is now assembled, we have some seating, and some day in the near future, it will be joined by its identical twin sofa. 

I'm am super thankful Howard understood my level of done-ness with the old couch, didn't think I was crazy for tossing it, and agreed to go get a new one, with about two hour's notice. Oh, and assembling it for me, because he is pretty awesome. 

I do need to acknowledge my oldest kid, for watching the other kids, and ordering pizza so this trip to IKEA was possible, especially since she was also writing a paper on The Last of the Mohicans while she was watching them. She is awesome, too.

Howard also agreed that since the new seating is grey, instead of the previous light brown, we probably need to paint, or redecorate in some way. And by redecorate, he means put up Christmas stuff while we decide what to do with the decor. Which is great, because I am ready to bust out the Santa next to the turkey on our lawn. Seriously. 

Yup, my life is ideal, I know. Thanksgiving, Santa, new couch, great husband, 5 rowdy kids, what more could I want? Pictures of this new seating arrangement? Maybe. 

I do have 1 of the kids playing in the box...

Okay, fine, Katie. Here's the couch with a cozy Adam. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Frantic school year 2015/2016

This year, we added Adam as an actual student in our crazy homeschool. He is a kindergartener now, and I wish I could say he is loving it, but that would be a big fat lie. He hates pretty much all of school, except science experiments, playing outside and field trips. Oh, and gym. I've been consulting with my friends who are moms of boys and they say this is pretty typical.* I can actually spell and grammar, but I haven't slept and the iPad hates blogger.*

So what's going on in our school? Are we doing any actual learning? What curriculum are we using?Well, let me tell you.

Adam, Kindergarten
Sing, Spell, Read and Write- Language arts, phonics
Horizons Math-K
Apologia Human Anatomy
SOTW Volume 3 Early Modern
Piano lessons
Homeschool PE

Laura-2nd Grade
LLATL yellow book
Soaring with spelling
Growing with Grammar
Daily journal/writing activity
Book reports, writing to a prompt
Horizons Math-2
Apologia Human Anatomy
Scott Foresman 2nd grade Science
SOTW volume 3 Early Modern
Piano lessons
Homeschool PE
Swim team

Sarah-4th Grade
LLATL orange Book
Soaring with Spellilng
Growing with Grammar
Daily journal/ writing activity
Book reports, writing to a prompt
Horizons math 4
Apologia Human Anatomy
SOTW Early Modern
Studies weekly California History
Violin lessons
Ballet/tap lessons

History odyssey modern times
SOS 7th grade science
Teaching Textbooks PreAlgebra
STEM engineering class
Online English-Emma is a beta tester for an English program for our charter
Piano lessons
Ballet/tap lessons
Swim team, basketball

IEW American Literature-Honors
Glencoe American History
Teaching Textbooks algebra 2
Glencoe Physics
Rosetta Stone Spanish 3
Shakespeare Conquest
French 1

How do we do it all, you might ask? We don't. Annie is on a block schedule, and also does school work on the weekends, in addition to interning at our music school. Emma's history and English are combined, and she is learning how to write essays and complete more involved work than ever before. History and science alternate days for the younger 3, with Adam bowing out of most of it, or refusing to color a related page. But that's cool, he won't remember much of it anyway.

Monday, we have Homeschool PE at 1:00, in a different town. The 3 elementary school kids go to a gymnastics place for instruction and activities for 1.5 hours. The older girls either stay home and work in the quiet, or come along and go to the library, or we do any necessary shopping. They usually stay home. We get home around 3. Swim goes from 4-6. Dance goes from 5:30-6:30. Instead of trying to manage all that, we skipped swim on Monday. Makes life easier. Then I'm not so stressed for my meeting. Did I mention I started a Brownie Troop? Yeah, I did that. Council meetings are 1monday a month, 7pm. So jam home from dance, go to council meeting.

Tuesdays are blissfully uneventful, with just swim in the afternoons.

On Wednesdays, we have to get Annie to her class by 2pm. We have music lessons in the same building at 2:30. So we sit in the car and work on either science or history,while Emma reads. Then we go in to music until 3:30. During swim team, we then had to drive back to our town, drop off Emma and Laura by 4,then go home and finish any schoolwork. Depending on if there was Girl Scouts, the swimmers were picked up at 5, or 6. On Girl Scout days, Emma would jump in the shower, eat dinner and be at the meeting with Sarah by 6:30.

Thursdays, Annie has class once again, at 2:30. I drop her off, Howard gets her on his way home. Then it was swim, 4-6, depending on Girl Scouts, and them scrambling to get Laura to her meeting, and be reasonably prepared to lead the troop in fun, engaging, girl-led activities.

Friday, Emma has STEM class, and 1 x a month, our certified teacher drops by for 4 hours to see how we are doing, collect samples, help with whatever.

Saturdays we can breathe, as long as we get Annie to her internship and guitar lessons in time. We try to clean up the hurricane cause by our frantic week.
Sundays are relaxing, and also the day we do all the laundry we need for the upcoming week.

So there you have it, a sample of the crazy that goes  on here on a weekly basis. Thankfully, swim is over for the fall. Although Emma and Laura dearly miss it.

I often feel like my wheels are just spinning, I get pretty stressed sometimes. Thankfully, I've made friends with a few local homeschool moms. We can get together and talk, and reassure each other. It  is nice to have support. As a bonus, one family lives within walking distancs and our kids get along well.and she is pretty laid back.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Space bedroom

Adam hasn't had a real theme in his room. He finally decided that he wanted a black space room. Well, a black room wasn't happening. But a dark blue one, totally doeable. 
With a bit of painting, some creativity and lots of stickers, his idea came together. 
The Tardis, next the the crack in the universe. Emma free-handed the crack before we started painting.
Adam helped today.

Star Wars side of space
Toy Story/Space Ranger side of space. 

He pretty much loves it.