Thursday, July 29, 2010

Changes in attitude...

I am spending too much time on this machine and not enough time on the things that are important in my life. (Which sadly includes housekeeping) I have become sucked into this world of a shiny new toy that I can use anywhere. (meaning the couch) The house is chaotic, my office is chaotic, and my attention span has come to rival a small gnat. Not a good thing in there.

I think I need to set some ground rules for using the computer. Give myself some time limits as I give my son. When I first thought of this I was thinking I would take a weeks vacation from all things electronic. I quickly realized that wasn't realistic. I have obligations that require me to use the computer on a nearly daily basis. Cub Scouts is just getting ready to start and I'm the Committee Chair, I can't be incommunicado for a week the week before Back to School Night. I also do bookkeeping work for a friends new law office and I can't ignore that either.

So I think what I will do is reframe how I think about what the computer is used for. I will get on for an hour in the morning before the boy wakes and check email, update anything that needs to be updated and avoid FB. At lunch I will allow myself between a half hour and an hour depending on what HAS to be done to check email and update anything. Then another hour in the late afternoon to check once more. I am taking my gmail account off my phone and not worrying about it on a constant basis. It will have a couple of positive effects I will no longer be getting made because it forgets my password weekly and I will stop checking it every 5 minutes to see what new email has come in.

OK, I'm off to check emails, update a database and then join the real world. See you later. (You will notice I have not forbidden myself from updating here)

Monday, July 26, 2010

More preping for the new year...

I spent most of the day letting my boy and his buddy run wild around the house while I did data entry for the Pack. I think we are up and running with the new system. I want the den leaders to look it over before I add the parents as users. It will make things much easier we are hoping. I need to get with our treasurer and set up that side of it as well. One stop for pretty much everything we want to do. We are super excited.

Now I'm getting ready to put all of our books into Homeschool Tracker and see how I like that for tracking what we are doing and when. I'm still working out how to get assignments into it and if I really think that is going to work. One of the things the boy did not like last year was how regimented the schedule was with COVA. I don't want to replicate that here, but I do want an idea of what we need to do to get everything covered in a school year.

Oh in the knitting front I have the jumper done except for the sewing in of the ends and blocking. Now to make the pair of socks and Mama, Papi, and Baby can have the gift set.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Camping, again.

We spent the last 3 day camping with a million other cub scouts. Well maybe slightly less than that, it may have just felt like that when the WEBELOS descended to eat. We participated in a flag ceremony, baked in an open pit fire, shot paint balls from sling shots, ate lunch, canoed, archery, shot bb guns, didn't go swimming, ate dinner, participated in another flag ceremony, slept, ate breakfast (without caffeine), participated in yet another flag ceremony, made a lizard, learned to use a compass, went though an obstacle course, ate lunch and went on a nature hike.

We had fun, this does not include all the free time to throw pine cones, find caterpillars, and hang out with your best buddies.

Things we will bring next year:
emergency caffeine
fewer clothes
not my phone
a watch

Things to remember for next year:
If you wear your class A uniform you will get to actually participate in the flag ceremony. (The boy was chosen each time they did it)
While they may run out of real coffee on the last day, the last weekend isn't too bad a time to come.
Drink your pizza, and lots of it!

I will post pictures soon. We had a wonderful time and I think this may have been the best thing we have done as a family in a long time. So wonderful!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Busy Week...

This week is crazy busy and isn't going to slow down until Monday, and then next week is actually crazy in the evening 3 out of 5 night so next week isn't looking all that quiet either.

I'm trying to pack and make sure we have everything we need for Magness Adventure Camp this weekend. The only thing I can't find is a child size rain poncho, I may end up at the Evil Walmart tonight to see if they have one. I have tried Kmart, Target, and Dick's Sporting Goods. At Dick's they said they had a church youth group come in and buy everything they had. Ugh, so Walmart may not be any better if they cleaned out all the stores in town. Sigh.
I am working like a mad woman on my knitting project since the recipient decided today would be a good day to be born. I'm writing this here because I'm fairly sure her Mami & Papi are going to be a bit too busy to be reading my blog anytime in the next, oh year or so. ;) And as such I'm gonna post some really poor pictures of it here. It is Anouk from Knitty 6 years ago. I have been wanting to knit it for someone ever since I saw it and I finally had a chance! Hooray!

So I have front, back and one pocket finished. I have second pocket half knit then I need to embroider the flower on it, and knit 2 little side straps, find buttons, graft the shoulder, knit the neckline and wash it. Nothing much right? Then I have a pair of socks I want to make to go with it. I can do this I know I can. Let's ignore the fact that I'm away at camp for the next 3 days, then have a busy day Sunday planned and am out with friends/work for 3 of the 5 nights of the next week.

Oh btw if you are in Denver and want to see a fun band Sunday Girl is playing at the Larimer Lounge on Tuesday the 27th. Come on it will be fun!

Ok I am needed to help with a video game, and I know that won't last much longer. ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Camping fun...

We spent the weekend at Pueblo Reservoir. It was so much fun. Hot, but fun. The kids had a blast finding toads, fossils, beetles and lizards. We had fun hanging out with friends and just chilling. It was crazy hot, and the wind was trying to drive us crazy at moments, but overall a win.

I reminded DH and I that we need to get out of the house and go camping more often. We live in CO after all. We have beautiful mountains that are only 1 hour from our front door. Why are we spending so much time in our hot, non air conditioned house? Crazy people that is what we are.

So we are going to try to get out of the house at least a couple times a month. We are going to get to go camping again this next weekend. We are going to Cub Scout camp this weekend. The boy and DH are both very excited at the idea of the bb gun range and the archery range that they will get to play at. There is just so many things we will get to do, and we will get to enjoy it all as a family. So happy and excited.

This year is turning out to be pretty fabulous all said. We have visited both coasts, the Capitol of our Nation, spent time as a family. It has been really great.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dang Missed a day

Oh well, yesterday was a fun day and I ended up not having lots of time online so there you have it.

All of the curriculum I ordered has come in. I'm very, very excited.

I ordered Suppose the Wolf Were an Octopus for K-2 and 3-4 grades. The boy was excited to see that since there was a picture of an octopus on the front. It is "A Guide to Creative Questioning for Primary Grade Literature" The Classics in the Classroom is another book to give me ideas on questions and analysis for literature. It is meant to be used across the K 12 spectrum of books, and has a list of 1300 Classic book in the back, including things from Archimedes to Angelou. It will hopefully give me some ideas to work on with him. Then there is the Michael Clay Thompson Grammar and Language set. It includes thing on grammar, poetry, vocabulary, and writing.

Then we have our math and logic books. Oh and the all important Geometric Shapes. I decided to go with 2 years all at once on the Math program. If we don't get through it all in one year I can use them the next year, if we find that they are no longer working for him we can sell them easily. Either way we are good. I am gather a nice collection of Singapore Math books right now. We have 1-4 all text and work books at this point. The Venn Perplexors are kind of fun, they use nursery rhymes to then work out the logic of how many of each type you have. So fun language and fun math. I think this is right up the boy's alley. The geometric shapes are just cool. He was the most excited to see those come in and made up a game kind of like skeeball with the different sized boxes we now how EVERYWHERE and tossing the blocks, also calling out what the shape was as you threw it. The thing I'm excited about is the slices taken on some of them that can help us understand 2-d projections of 3-d shapes.
So that was the bulk of yesterday's fun. I also had a meeting to learn how/when we will be doing our packs join night festivities. Fun. Lots of interesting information there. Need to get together with our Cub Master to talk about it and update the rest of our leaders on what we are doing. Fun, fun, fun. I'm really excited about this next year and the fun things we are going to get to do with the boys.

Now to go shopping for the camping trip this weekend, oh and get a new wireless router. So excited at the thought of having access to internet in places other than this little room. (Why hello there 21st century it looks like we might be joining you after all)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wow, how long do you think I can keep this up?

So as I said on my facebook status I managed to get a whole bunch of Cub Scout duties taken care of. I turned in my application to hold the position I'm holding. I turned in an application for one of our boys who joined last February (I will not go into why that took so long) I bought my son's hat, belt and book for Wolf Cubs. He is so excited about Cub Scouts. It actually makes all the phone calls and nagging my position requires worth it. Or well mostly it does, the other thing that makes it worth it is one of the people I'm nagging is a good friend so I get to talk to her often.

I also talked with our Cubmaster for an hour and we hashed out some dates for the coming year. Pinewood Derby February 5th, Blue & Gold Banquet February 24th. I need to call the Rec Center we used last year and see if we can use it again this year. I need to talk to my husband about the Pinewood Derby since he is in charge of that.

I'm trying not to stress over the fact that it looks like we will be camping in 100 degree weather this weekend and then camping in 70 degree rainy weather the next weekend. Guess which weekend I will enjoy more?

I received the Astronomy book I ordered for us and it looks like it will be great. The book is called Astronomy for All Ages. It has 51 different activities that are a nice mix of both indoor and outdoor. My only complaint is that all the appendix has lists of the moon phases and the position of the planets for an 11 year period that go from 2000 to 2010. So I need to go online and find these, not that I think that is going to be difficult at all.

I'm also writing this blog entry to procrastinate packing up the computer and monitor to send back to K12. I don't know why I've waited on this. I have no doubts about our choice to not use COVA next year and have no love for that particular computer. It was slow and drove me batty with the babysitter program on it. Really it just need to go back. I think I'm afraid it will break in transport and I will have to pay for a truly crappy computer. I just need to take a deep breath and do it.

Ok off to find boxes that I can pack it all in and then figure out where I can buy packing peanuts. Anyone know?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer is here...

We are lazing around the house. Cherries to deal with, camping equipment to check, and a year of lessons to 'plan'.

I have about 10 pounds of pie cherries from our tree this year. A cold hit just as we brought in the majority of them so I am going to freeze them and can them later. Don't need to be coughing and sneezing into the canned cherries, but I don't want to have them in such large containers in the freezer so will get them canned in a couple of weeks. Maybe once tomatoes start coming in and I can just have a crazy canning weekend. Or peaches, yummm peaches.

We are going camping this weekend with my BIL & SIL. It should be loads of fun with loads of kids and fishing, and food, and well fun. I can't wait, but before we can go I have to make sure all our camping equipment is ok and pull it all together. Need to get DH to help me with it. Then I also need to get a food list together and make sure we have everything we need food wise. What do you like to take camping?

I placed orders for our homeschool curriculum with 3 different companies last Thurs & Friday. The one on Thurs packed and shipped it on Friday the one on Friday packed and shipped it on Tuesday. The happy news is they should both be here on Thursday! Happy Birthday/Christmas to me. Yea!!!!

Well we are going to complete a game we found today on Kongregate called CellCraft. Go play it, it is on cellular biology and from my earth science background looks pretty accurate. (That is to say I think it looks good but I could be completely wrong. heh)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ack Moths!!!!!

The boy told me 2 days ago, with a gleeful voice, that we had 'silk moths' downstairs. I looked confused and then realized he meant cloth (wool) moths. (He knew it was a moth that ate the stuff I knit with and he had heard of silk moths and knows I knit with silk so, yeah anyway not silk moths in my basement) Yesterday he caught one.

Now here is where I tell you I am sorry, very, very sorry that I ever taught him to respect all life and that you don't kill any living thing just willy nilly. I told him to kill it and he looked at me like I had grown a 2nd head and wanted him to sacrifice the moth to the evil goddesses of knitting or something. So I told him to take it outside and release it. (Hoping in my heart that it will starve to death with no wool out there to eat.)

So, what the heck am I going to do???? They are in the basement with the majority of my stash. I could get moth balls. But they stink and are poisonous to us and the moths. I could throw away all the yarn down there, fumigate and never knit again. (dramatic much) I actually have no idea how I'm going to deal with this. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ideas, they keep coming

I ordered our math books today and the astronomy book I had been looking at. If I hate it when it comes I'll just return it.

I 'participated' in the #gtchat on twitter this evening and the discussion was on role models for gifted children and using biographies to give them some role models. I was very interested since the boy has been watching too much Suite Life of Zack & Cody. He commented the other day that he didn't want to be a 'brainiac' like Cody when he was a teenager because he didn't want a girlfriend like Barbara. So many reasons that comment sent me to the edge. First I was alot like Barbara and don't think that was a bad thing, second seeing it as a bad thing to be smart is not ok, and third he is basing how he wants to be in the future off a tv show. OMG I have failed as a parent. Well maybe not yet but it looks like I'm on my way to it. Ugh!

So back to the biographies idea. I think I'm going to add a biography or two to our outline for the year. I need to think about it and who I think he will enjoy learning about and seeing the similarities with himself. There were many good ideas in the chat and I will now be going to the library and seeing what I can find.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What will I teach, what will he learn....

I'm deep in the middle of figuring out and then purchasing what we are going to use for next year.

Math is easy, Singapore Primary Math US Edition. The boy loves it and so do I. He loves it for the pictures and the word problems (he loves word problems) and I love it because it is really inexpensive. A very important fact at this juncture in our schooling. I switched us back to Singapore mid year last year when he finished K12's 1st grade math and we saw that 2nd grade was exactly the same thing with slightly larger numbers. It wasn't pretty.

Language Arts I'm going to use Michael Clay Thompson Grammar Island, Music of the Hemispheres, and Building Language. I have heard really good things about it and am excited to share it with the boy. He loves language and using it to create specific effects (yes this means he uses it to drive me crazy) so I think he will love learning how to get more power out of his words. We'll see, if anything is going to send me crashing it will likely be this.

Reading, ah reading. He has decided that there are things that would be much easier if he could read and is willing to work on it this summer. I found some reading comprehension worksheets for free online so will be using those. Google is my friend. Books to read I'm thinking I will be checking out books from the library at his reading level through out the year and we will read together 4 to 6 novels for discussion and analysis. The books I've picked for that are James and the Giant Peach, The Cricket in Times Square, Stuart Little, Mouse and the Motorcycle, Frog & Toad are Friends, and Little House in the Big Woods.

I just read James and the Giant Peach yesterday for the first time. I don't know how I missed that book when I was a child. Maybe it wasn't presented to me because I was a girl, maybe I ignored it because I thought it was a 'boy' book. I don't know but I'm sad that it took me so long to find it, but happy I finally have. I also read The Cricket in Times Square today. Another lovely little book that I had never read. I remember my sister reading, of course I think my sister read every book in our school and public library at least twice. Next I'll read Little House in the Big Woods, then I will need to find copies of the others so I can read them prior to school starting.

History, he was/is excited to learn about the American Revolution and the Civil War. This is in large part due to our lovely visit to Washington DC & Gettysburg earlier this summer. I am getting the History Channel show America:The Story of US sent sometime this summer so I'll use that and see what else I can find to fill in. Historic Williamsburg has virtual tours that we can do. I need to do more specific research on this to find things to use.

Science, he has decided he wants to study astronomy. His reason is "That way I can use my telescope and call it school" Well yes he can. I'm looking for a book to use as the spine for that. I found this one Astronomy for All Ages but I will keep looking and make sure that is the one that will work for us. He was very excited to learn about it after he had his space camp this summer. I also have a Teaching Company lecture series My Favorite Universe that we will use for part of it as well.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, you know music, art, etc. Music I'm not really sure what to do. I think I'm going to go to the local music stores and see what they have for music theory books and maybe we can swing violin or guitar lessons for him this fall. Art, well we can go to the art museum and yea I don't know.

Oh and the knitting thing, I am still knitting. I finished a robot for the boy and I'm working on a something for a friend of mine. Once it is finished and gifted I will post pictures of it. Well it and the robot. The boy loves his robot which makes me very happy. Worth it really.