Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What Are We Doing????

I admit, there are moments I raise my hands in defeat and ask that question. But this time, I mean it literally....this is what we're doing:

Our math curriculum repeats concepts over and over, so in one day's lesson, they're each doing several different things. Right now, Alana is doing 3-digit addition with re-grouping (in the olden days, we called it "carrying") along wth some time and money. Erin is doing time, money, simple fractions and 2-digit addition and subtraction, without re-grouping.

We're still working basic phonics with Erin, but her reading ability is really improving. Alana insists she doesn't like to read (pretty sure she inherited that from her father) but does very well. We're struggling with our Language curriculum....I think it is wonderful, but the format just isn't us. I've been adding more grammar (parts of speech) that may be pushing her a bit, and I'd really like to do more writing work with her. She just tends to rebel against that.

We do science and history together, which I think I'll continue to do for as long as I can. However, I'm thinking seriously about adding a more formal science curriculum. I think I need more than the "guidance" I get with our current curriculum. We have just wrapped up talking about dinosaurs and are now moving into life cycles.

With history, however, guidance and library books work just fine! We began the year with North American explorers, moved into the colonies, and are now at the pilgrims.

Then, based on the calendar, I throw in bits and pieces. Yesterday, for example, was the death anniversary of Harriet Tubman, so we read about her. Today is the celebrated birthday of Johnny Appleseed, so we'll discuss him. Alana is a bit of a tv geek....forget cartoons, she goes for Nat Geo, History, and Discovery! I swear, she could watch that stuff all day! I try not to promote tv, but she really does learn a lot. Sunday night, for example, we watched a 2-hour show on the people of 10,000 BC. Yep, we're geeks! :)

I personally can't wait for spring to come. We love to take nature walks and I can just imagine the projects and studies that will follow!

Anyway, THAT'S what we're doing!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Experience

On Friday night we had the opportunity to stay in an Eau Claire hotel for free...a gift from Barry's employer for 20 years of service. We were staying in the Presidential Suite...a $230 value. Now seriously, who pays that much? The most we've ever paid was $75 (in the Twin Cities) and we hated paying that! So we expected the beds to be made of gold!

The room was fairly impressive...a living/dining area with a fireplace and flat screen tv, a separate bedroom with a whirlpool tub, and a kitchenette area with a frig and micro. We immediately changed and headed to the pool area ( the main reason for our stay). The kids had a blast and even mom & dad took a dip. Unfortunately, the later it got, the more kids entered the pool. My girls are pretty "low-key", so obnoxious, splashing kids really bug them. So, they were ok with leaving. We took a bath in the big ole tub, and then ordered Pizza Hut. We concluded our night with tv. I should mention that the girls were really not impressed with this whole hotel experience, save the pool and elevator. They'd have rather been home at this point, as would I...

Whenever the heat kicked in, it made a sound similar to our tv turning on, so it generally woke both of us up. The girls were sleeping on a HORRIBLE hide-a-bed. And then around midnite, Barry and I were woken out of a deep sleep by a very loud noise. Barry jumped out of bed to see if the tub or shower was running. Nothing. It was loud. It eventually stopped...it was some other room filling their tub, I think. Definately not my idea of a $230 night's sleep!

I may be picky, but I wasn't even impressed with the continental breakfast! At least now we know not to spend our own money on a night out! We were all very happy to go home.

On another note...I'm praying fervently for my lil sis. She's due in just over a week and is immensely sick. She is completely congested and miserable...and has been for over a month. She suffered with the same stuff when she was pregnant with Avery. I'm just hoping that she has the babe soon, and that she quickly recovers to enjoy her new blessing!