Thursday, July 17, 2014

Great, Not Great

My crazy three year old, Will, is constantly cracking me up. One of the things he says when I'm smiling and talking about something enthusiastically is, "Is it great, Mom?" And, on the other side, when he knows that I am upset, he'll say, "Is it not great?" Cracks me up. I wish you could hear him. Anyway, in the past I had a post or two about things that work for us, and things that don't. Many of you chimed in and shared great ideas or testimonials that helped me out a ton. So, I thought we'd try again, but this time I've renamed it, a la Will. :)

What's Great:

A system for drying our wet stuff after the pool:
My oldest is on the swim team this year, which is wonderful, but that means daily wet suits and towels. Plus, we go to our neighborhood pool often, and with a family of six that means more wet swimsuits and towels. I saw this idea on Pinterest and implemented it almost immediately. It is simple-a tension shower rod, and some S hooks. I bought the shower rod at Walmart and the hooks from Amazon. In total, it cost me $16, but it was worth every penny. The kids, with the exception of my daughter, who is one, know to hang their stuff up right away, and we sort and put them away whenever we need to use the shower. Typically, I fold the towels (if they've only been used a time or two) and hand the swimsuits to their owners to put back in their drawers. Maybe next summer I will get the boys to fold the towels and distribute the suits on their own. For now, I am just thrilled that I am not finding wet bathing suits on the floor of their rooms! 

~Doing laundry on one day from start to finish.

        In the morning, or sometimes the night before, I have the older two boys bring down their laundry. I gather the rest, and Pete and I bring it downstairs. If I am on top of changing the loads around, I can have most of the laundry ready to fold by our nap/quiet time. Then I sit and turn on a show on Netflix, currently Call the Midwife, and fold, fold, fold. Typically, I can have it all folded by the time the little ones are up. The putting away part is sometimes tricky. Jon and Sam are responsible for putting their own away now. I usually put away Will and Maggie's clothes as soon as I can after they wake up. That just leaves the grown up clothes...sadly, this is a NOT GREAT. Often I stick our basket in our room, and get back to the kiddos or dinner, etc. and plan to put ours away before bed. It continually gets pushed off. Even as I type, a basket sits in our bedroom waiting. I spend so little time in our room, besides the obvious sleeping time, that it is the farthest thing from my mind. Does anyone have a tried and true method of getting all the laundry put away? Or do I just need to be more disciplined...

~The Treehouse 

My amazing hubby decided to build our kids a treehouse. It has been quite the project. Many of the kids, our own and several neighborhood friends, have gotten in on the action of building it. Overall, it has been really fun to see it come together. My only complaint is that it has taken many Saturdays to build. All in all though, it has been worth the time and effort to see them playing up there! :)

What's NOT Great:

~Remembering to have my kids practice piano

This picture is from the spring...back when I would remember to tell my kids to practice piano. The consistency of our schedule during the school year made it much easier to remember to have the kids practice daily. Thankfully, our piano teacher is gracious and says as long as they play even once or twice a week during the summer they can just tread water and not lose ground over these summer months. 

~My ability to put things on the wall and get them to stay

My attempts at hanging our dry erase board in our school room! Much to my husband's dismay, I tried to hang our huge dry erase board on the wall without drywall screws. It fell right off. Yikes. I have am now waiting for him to help me find the studs or something like that...apparently I need an education on hanging heavy items. 
Those holes above are where our curtains used to hang in our living room. Ignore the lower set, they were supposed to be covered by the curtains I hung up on the higher set. Then one of my kiddos wrapped himself if the curtains and fell over, pulling the whole thing out of the wall. :( Anyone want to come help me patch the drywall and rehang them? For now we are enjoying the extra sunlight?!?

~Conserving Water
Conserving water is great, but my kids apparently are not great at doing it. They had been playing in the sprinkler with a neighbor, I went in to put my littler two down for naps, they came in and went off to read. THIRTY minutes later I realized the sprinkler was still on in our backyard! *shaking my head* 

So, what's great and not great in your corner of the world?

CC Cycle 3 Science match ups with Apologia

One of the beautiful things about Classical Conversations is that you don't need to add much to it to give your child a well-rounded, excellent classical and Christian education. You really only need to add a math curriculum and language arts to the memory work. That said, this will be both of my boys, ages 7 and 9 (well, by the time we start in the fall they will both have had birthdays), second trip through cycle 3. With that in mind, and several trustworthy recommendations, I purchased the Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology textbook to supplement our first semester science. I love that the book has Scripture throughout and points to our Creator time and again. Also, one friend spoke very highly of the simple science experiments that are included and said they were easy to do with supplies most of us have at home. Since this mama is still learning to love science, and my boys are science fanatics, I thought this might be a good addition to our learning this year.

I am planning to drill the memory work daily, and then add reading the following portions of the book with my boys one or two days of the week. Here is how I will be using the Apologia Exploring Creation book with Classical Conversations this year*:

Week 1: Lesson 1, page 32
Week 2: Lesson 2, pages 46-49
Week 3: Lesson 3, pages 57, 65, 66
Week 4: Lesson 9a, 10, page 150
Week 5: Lesson 11
Week 6: Lesson 4 (part of week 6 is covered in Lesson 4, see below)
Week 7:  Urinary Tract-part of Lesson 4, p. 80
                Lungs-Lesson 6, pages 110-113 (most of Lesson 6 applies more to week 10)
                Skin-Lesson 12, pages 195-203
                Intestines-part of Lesson 4
Week 8: Lesson 7 (this week covers the parts of this lesson, week 12 covers the purposes)
Week 9: Lesson 13
Week 10: Lesson 6
Week 11: Lesson 9b, pages 158-159
Week 12: Lesson 7, pages 119-124 (see week 8)

The goal would be to read the complete lesson, unless specified, focusing on the pages mentioned if applicable. For example, during week 1 we would read all of Lesson 1, focusing on page 32. During week 11, we would read the second half of Lesson 9, focusing on pages 158-159.

Based on the above, the following chapters, or lessons, would not be covered completely by Cycle 3: Lesson 5, Health and Nutrition, Lesson 14, Growth and Development. These chapters would be great to work through with your child(ren) during the time between semesters. Lesson 14, is a great chapter that emphasizes God and His role in creation, although that is done throughout the book. 

I hope that this is helpful! :)

*I will upload this information, complete with the actual science questions to CC Connected once the upload function is enabled again.

If you want to read more:

If you are interested in learning how we review CC memory work at home, check out this blog post. you might enjoy reading Getting Started with Classical ConversationsWhy We Choose to Homeschool or a post about our schedule, What This Homeschooling Thing Looks Like for our Family.

Here are some of my favorite CC blogs to visit: A Stick and SandAnd Here We GoClassical Conversations at HomeHalf-a-hundred Acre WoodHomegrown LearnersMt. Hope Chronicles, and Running with Team Hogan are the ones that I have bookmarked at home, but there are many more. In fact, if you blog about CC, please let me know! I'd love to glean wisdom from others on this journey!