Archive for August, 2007

And so we begin

The first things will go in the calendar today. And I’ve already made some changes to what I was thinking last night. Remember I mentioned last night I’d write lesson plans each Saturday afternoon? That isn’t going to work, at least for this term when we are involved with football on Saturday mornings, because I’ll need to do the shopping for the week on Saturday afternoons. Saturdays are also the days when I take any personal time I need (about a day a month). So, first things first, I am writing in a “specials day” after every 15th day of school and a teacher’s work day for the day after that. Specials Day will involve science experiments, art projects and just such as this, and teacher work days are for me to write plans for the next 16 days (no surprise, right?). We are also taking off the day after Thanksgiving. Experience has taught me that DH is off that day, and I try to give the kids the day off any time he’s home.

This is going to put us with 60 regular school days and 4 specials by Dec 7, provided nothing goes awry. (Remember, I;ll be in Vegas for almost a week.) This leaves the cushion I wanted, but also allows us to take off most of December provided we stay on track, which is something I also wanted.

I guess this is as good a time as any to mention that it doesn’t bother me at all to school year round as long as we can have an enjoyable experience. And also, if I find that we can’t fit in all the art and science we want, I’ll just give us another specials day each period.

Continuing Education

Teachers in public schools are required to take so many educational credits per year to keep their certifications. Now, most home schoolers, myself included, aren’t real worried about certifications and such, but I am going to encourage you to do some continuing ed anyway. It never hurts to refresh yourself, and reading a book that aims to improve your technique as a mother and/or educator can help you help your children.

This school year, I am aiming to read three books related to school, and I am going to be right up front and tell you that these are affiliate links and if you click and buy, I’ll earn 4%. As a matter of fact, consider this a blanket announcement that almost every time I link a book it will be an affiliate link. I’m going to be talking about a mountain of books over this series of posts, and odds are some of them will interest you. If you would buy through Amazon anyway, please click from here. If you wouldn’t use Amazon, then feel free to go wherever you normally shop for books, and it won’t hurt my feelings one bit. Psssst—I’ll never even know ;)

First, I plan to read Educating the Whole Hearted Child. This book has been on my list for a couple of years, and when I ordered the LLATL for the children, I stuck this in the cart as well. We’ve already discussed how God paid for it. Then, I’ll finally read The Charlotte Mason Companion in it’s entirety. I’ve been nibbling little bits out of this for a couple of years now, but it’s time to sit down and do the deed, I think. And finally, I’ll read Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, just because I have heard it is a wonderful book for moms. It’s been on my shelf for quite a while as well. I’ll mostly likely do my reading out of these books early in the morning, so I can concentrate.

77 plus

After I posted last night, I did pull out my calendar/plan book. Just for future reference, they are the same thing. I am making notes in a notebook, then my actual plans will be written in a calendar. (Since I’ll be posting about this quite a bit, I wanted to explain.) There are at least 77 school days between now and Christmas, and that’s after deducting the holidays and the time I will be in Vegas.

I was really glad to see that, because it means I can concentrate on the journey. I’m less likely to decide we don’t have time for science experiments or art projects. I’m more likely to decide that a chance to serve others is more important than math now and then. I’ll be able to teach that life is about living and not just about books. After looking at all that, I’ve decided we will start school next Monday. The materials are here (and that’s the subject of my next post), and there’s no reason not to take the plunge. Well, except that the plans aren’t written yet, but I am working on that!

Silver

ooh, it’s so shiny and glittery, and it’s almost blinding when it shines in the sun. I’m not talking about the stuff in my hair, though it’s coming in faster and faster. I’m talking about the metal, specifically about acquiring it for investment purposes. So why is silver such a good investment?

It’s not a renewable resource. As much as I try to convince dh that yarn I buy on sale is an investment, I have to admit I am just investing in my future knitting pleasure, and not in something that’s going to help us pay bills. Since silver isn’t a renewable resource, once we’ve mind it all, there won’t be anymore and that point is rapidly approaching. Our economy is metal based. No, that’s wrong. Our currency is metal based. Umm, what I am trying to say is that the value of the American dollar is pegged to gold (and to a certain extent other precious metals). But the treasury can just make more paper money, and they have in the past, which has caused the value of a dollar to drop. That can’t be done to metals. If you have silver your proportion of the worlds total silver supply doesn’t fluctuate according to the whims of the government (ours or others).

Say it with Chocolate

Do you have something to say? And are you wanting to say it in a way that is sure to grab attention? I have seen, as of course we all have, chocolate bars that have candy bar wrappers with announcements on them. You know the ones I mean, they say It’s a Boy, or It’s a Girl, or even wedding information. They are cute and memorable, and you can get them from places like CandyUnderCover.com.

I’m wondering if these wouldn’t be put to good use in other ways, too. What about making one with details of your knitting group? Or your church? What about using personalized mint tins the same way? This would be awesome, especially for knitting groups, because the mint tins can be re-used to hold knitting notions. (Ask the girl who bought two containers of Altoids, just so she could have teh tins. Yes, I mean me.) I could even see using these as little gifts for the mailman, etc, if you could get them with “Thank You” on them in a nice font.

Ok, now my mind is spinning with the possibilities. What do I need to say to at least 30 people?

Where I’m at

Ok, all my subjects are laid out. If I were to compare it to map making I’d say that I now know where we are going, and the major attractions. I’ll start filling in the details next. And actually map making is a good analogy because there is so much more to that that just the destination, isn’t there?

My temptation has always been to lay out 12 weeks at a time, but each time I do that, my schedule ends up getting messed up because of unplanned days off for this or that thing. I may try laying out major things–month and week long focii, and then filling in the plans for each coming week on Saturdays. The first thing I will do is schedule the days I know we will miss, then I’ll see how long it will take us to get in 60 days, and then I will add another week (maybe 2) to that, because we are doing the fun extras this year, and we will invariably run over. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if I plan for it, I’ll be less likely to turn into a screaming banshee of educational doom. If we don’t need the extra time, great, but if we do, there it will be. If we can accomplish one term by Christmas, I’ll be satisfied.

This first term will be more of an issue than the next two, because it takes time to get into new habits, and I have a new reader, too. The girls have schooled like this before, and I have let them know we are going back to it. Stuntman has not, because he would have been ready this past year, but it was the year of pumping hell and so school was very basic. This type of school is more work, and there’s no getting around it. But it is a stretching and growing and fun kind of work, where I learn things, too. In truth, I really am looking forward to it. You guys feel free to remind me of that if I start sounding like a raving lunatic, mm-kay?

Let’s make a T-shirt dress!

Next week, maybe on Monday (how do you like the idea of How-To-Mondays?), I am going to have a show and tell on how to make a T-shirt dress. It looks sorta like this:

IMG 0411 1

Here’s what you’ll need:

IMG 0389
That’s one cute t-shirt (you can see this one was clearanced-yay!!!) (a plain one will work just as well), a few buttons or other embellishments if desired, and enough fabric to make a skirt. I think this was a yard. I bought it forever ago.

I like little projects like this, because they are quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive. Certainly less than this viewsonic monitor.

TechPalooza

Pardon me while I stand here on my cyber-street corner like a carnie barker and shout “Bargain, bargain, who wants a bargain? Step right up here, nothing to be afraid of, come get a great deal!” If you need computer products of any kind, do yourself a favor and check out TechPalooza before you buy. I just found Kingston memory there for lower than I have found it before. I have to check with dh and make sure it’s the right kind, but if it is, I should be able to upgrade he memory in this machine for less than $50. That would make me a happy camper.

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