(pictures and video below!)
What a day/week/year!
Today we took S. to Childrens Hospital Boston for a check up on her heel. I am happy to report that although she will continue with this condition (Sever's Disease) for a couple years, she now has no restrictions on her! She is allowed to do all her gymnastics and only limit herself if it hurts, but she won't make it worse and she needs to make her 15-20 minutes stretches a part of her daily routine. That one's tough but she's been doing if for a few months now and it's not a bad idea to teach our kids to take time to stretch their bodies every morning.
She also gets her cast off on Friday! Yeah!!! Ease back into full workouts and hopefully she'll be able to compete in January. I hope everything goes well in the next two weeks with strengthening the wrist back to normal.
The worst part of the whole experience was driving into Boston. Driving into oncoming traffic and onto the curb to get out of the way for an ambulance was not pleasant. Nether was the weird drivers or joggers running out in front of me. *sigh* We got home without too much incident. We laughed about it all because, "Why get angry?"
The second worst part was that after the appointment I was in so much pain that walking was almost impossible. We went to eat in the cafeteria and I could barely make it though the hospital and to the car afterwards. Later, navigating the stairs at home was excruciating. I'm glad to be home to rest.
In the doctors office I was impressed to see most of the children, high school and littles, working diligently on homework, flashcards and papers. NOT something I usually see here in Maine. It's always been clear to me that Maine does not have the expectations that Mass does, but it was interesting to actually see it playing out before me. I actually felt like a bad mother letting S. play her DS. It was good for S. to see and even though most of those things we have the opportunity to work on during the day--homeschoolers don't have the need for "homework" but I'm seeing the need to push her a little during our appointments and time outside the house. Paper and "busywork" may be something to add to our appointment times.
On a bright side, we spent time at McDougal Orchards on Sunday. It was very nice to have us all together enjoying the day.
Picked some yummy Crispin apples, went on a hayride -- so seriously bumpy for me! -- did the corn maze with D. jumping out at S. and scaring her, and D. pushing her on the huge tree swing.
It did my heart good to see them enjoying each other so much.
I'm doing my best to get everyone out and about...field trips, playdates, etc. before the babies come and I'm not able to go everywhere. It took a lot out of me but I was glad we did it.
Coming up: Field trip to Plimouth Plantation, a candy store to see the taffy making process, the TEACH science workshop, Scripps Spelling Bee, gymnastics clinic with Tom Koll the National Junior Olympic Committee Chairman, and caroling for the senior luncheon at South Waterboro Baptist Church! Then later...relax (haha) with babies!
(pictures and video below!)
Another couple weeks have come and gone. I ask myself, "What have we accomplished?" and the truth is, not a lot.
In the last couple weeks I have been feeling ill on and off, however it's been better the last 2 weeks. I will suddenly get so tired that I can't even direct S. without sleeping for an hour. I wonder how I can do it when the twins come!
S. also fractured her wrist last week. So in addition to dealing with her Sever's Disease she is dealing with a cast. It's been very frustrating for her.
One of the most important lessons that I think we can teach our children is the value of their family. I'm glad that S. will learn that sometimes in life you have to make adjustments and allow God to take you down a road with which you are unfamiliar. In the midst of the routine, and remember, God is a God of order, we have to learn to be flexible and look at the new lessons God has for us. They may not not be academic in nature, but above those things are your character and important life skills that many kids are simply not learning in this generation. In our local high school they have a class called "Life Skills." I'm glad S. doesn't have to take it!
So, with that said, be encouraged by what we have finished this week!
The highlight of our week was the opportunity to see a beaver, from our creek, up close. We had to have a beaver dam taken out and trappers brought in to catch the family and relocate it. We were able to witness the beaver taken out, see it up close, and talk to the trappers. They showed us what they use and told use how they relocate the family. We got to smell the musk (blech!) and learned about what can happen to the brook, fish habitat and our well water if the beavers were living there, not to mention the flood in the basement from water backing up!Almost everyday we have read from Rod & Staff 4 Bible Reader. They have made for some very engaging conversation and are reminding us that God has a plan through these struggles and is drawing us closer to him.
In math we are purposely moving very slowly. No book work yet as she is very apprehensive about anything math related. In the last two weeks we have only been doing review of multiplication and learning new division facts. I know she will feel more confident if she knows her facts. Then we'll go over the "why" behind it all.
In language we are doing alright in Rod & Staff Grammar 4 although we have missed a couple days. She is reading a lesson a day and then we do some of the oral work together. Again, I have been doing most of the writing for her unless it's simply a one-letter answer. She's doing well with it and no troubles so far!
We haven't ordered the Spelling Workout D book yet (and if anyone would like to share the word lists from the first few chapters, I would love it!) but we have been briefly reviewing her trouble words from last year. This is her idea of how to post her trouble words:
For reading, she is currently working on A Journey to the New World from the Dear America series...she doesn't enjoy it exactly but I think it's important that she be exposed to different styles and genres of writing. Even if she has to push though it. Not everything will be their favorite! But they will be better for it!
We finally finished the first chapter of Apologia Zoology 2 and have moved onto the 2nd chapter this week. For some reason it's a struggle to get through the required amount each day to do a chapter in two weeks. I will be checking out Donna Young's site but really would like some suggestions regarding this. We do a couple pages with the Live and Learn Press...and even with me doing the writing (since the fracture is in her dominate hand) it still goes pretty slow. But we are enjoying the information and she loves the lap book format.
History is going really slow. So far, from the beginning of September we have only gone through 3+ chapters of SOTW 3. No real projects, no mapwork, coloring...just reading (or listening to the CD and following along) and writing a narration. We did make Parkin (a traditional North England cake) this week, but we've not done nearly as much as I want. She seems to be taking it in and enjoying the stories, although she is consistently unhappy with what many of the leaders did. "He's a cotton headed ninnie muggins!" is her new phrase.
I kinda forgot we were doing that. Whoops. I need to make copies of state outlines before we continue. That's what I meant to do. Yeah...
We have come up with a plan for work she can do all on her own for those times that mom is too tired to continue. She has been doing 30 minutes of art/drawing while listening to classical music, she'll play piano (with her right hand only *sigh*), read her book for 45 minutes and play online math drills with MUS. That gives me about 2 hours to nap. It works for now!
We also have met with other homeschoolers for a Friday "playdate" usually arranged around appointments. S. also is still very involved in gymnastics 3 days a week, but is limited in her work there. She's working on much strength and flexibility while doing as much of her routines as her body will allow.
So where are we headed next week? Stay tuned...it could get interesting.
I just found a nice twin site that not only has good information, but is doing a giveaway for cute twin onesies!
"Win Adorable Onesies for Your Twin Babies!"
(pick me! pick me!)
Shouldn't they be called twosies? Just like "infant" is now "twinfant?"
Ahhh...The first week of school. September is here and promises of apples, pumpkins and leaves hang in the air.
Oh and tears. Big crocodile tears. School must begin again and where there is school, there is sure to be math.
S. began the week by working herself up into hysteria regarding her math. "I HATE WORD PROBLEMS!" she exclaims. I spent a whole evening reassuring her that this year would be different, and we would take things slow. And no, I won't even yell at you. At least I'll try.
We began our week by having a little ice cream social on Monday night, the night before we began. I wish I had a picture of the chaotic kitchen counter or the creations that we made with whip cream.
Early Tuesday morning D. went off on the bus and I waited for S. to wake up. After she did, and dressed in a cute "I look like one of those private school kids!" outfit that she thought Daddy would love, we headed off to a nearby park to do "school pictures". I thought it would be a fun way to start our day. I certainly am NO photographer...especially since I don't know how to use lighting, but here is a sample of our time. I need to decide which picture to print and send to family.
This week we played a few fun games with math...my favorite being "Knock-Out" which will progress into "Muggins" when she is more comfortable with division. She played with different hands on math things, I didn't push, and by the end of the week she had no tears and was figuring out simple division on her own. I made her a "cootie catcher" with division problem on it and she was thrilled. I had reassured her that I hadn't even bought her math book yet and I think that really took some pressure off her. She was very relaxed this week.
She is reading aloud to me each morning from a Rod and Staff bible story book and also doing a lesson of grammar, also from Rod and Staff. She silently reads the lesson then we go over the oral drills together. After that I assign various exercises and require her to do them in cursive.
We did a few pages out of Apologia Science Zoology 2 and are using Live and Learn lapbooks to go along with it. She seemed interested in it, but doesn't like reading out loud. I'm just hoping she will get better at it.
Story of the Word 3 is coming slowly. She doesn't seem very interested in it and I need to find a way to make it a little more exciting...or take her to a place of understanding that when she does a few days of harder work will enable us to do some projects and field trips. We just did one section and did a narration for it. I wasn't feeling well at the time and so we basically didn't do a lot on it.
She is spending about 45 minutes everyday reading Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator...she loves the book!
Technically, I think we are building up slowly. And I'm hoping that next week will be a little more productive. But, because she is so excited about the math games and isn't frustrated with it...I'm happy too!
Next week: piano, gymnastics, memory work, and spelling get added. Whoohoo!
- A Christmas Carol (unabridged) -- Mom helps!
- Misty of Chincoteaque
- *Finished* Pinoccio (unabridged)
- *Finished* Dear America: Journey to the New World
- *Finished* James and the Giant Peach
- *Finished* Perraut's French Fairy Tales
- *Finished* Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
- *Finished* Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- *Finished* The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
- *Finished* Robinson Crusoe, abridged version
- *Finished* Island Book 1: Shipwreck
- *Finally Finished* The Winter of Red Snow
- *Finished* Charlotte's Web
- *Finished* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz