Saturday, September 29, 2007
1. Bad diets. I'm fat and my kids eat poorly! I keep meaning to change things, but my attempts are all feeble mostly because of my house being so disorganized, I think. Change is hard and I feel so overwhelmed by the the chaos all the time. I waste so much food because I start out the beginning of the week planning meals and by midweek I've forgotten everything and I'm just pulling things together at the last minute. Also, I keep forgetting to make balanced meals. Too often we are heavy on the meat and potatoes and weak on the veggies. So my new resolution is to post menus on fridge, like I used to, when I'm done planning.
2. The clutter that is everywhere. I simply can't keep up with it. I have 7 people generating clutter at an amazing rate and I'm part of the problem but expected to be the solution as well. I'm a mess so I haven't trained my children well, in fact they have picked up all my bad habits.
So I'm trying once again to take a deep breath and focus on forming good habits. I want to really make it a focus for this coming week. A simple short week! But that will be a huge hurdle for me. This is when being ADD really is dibilitating, when you know you can't stick with something for a week because it will swim out of the main focus of your mind and you'll completely forget what you where thinking on Sat when Tues comes along.
Here's the new housekeeping rules, posted on the kitchen wall:
1. Laundry – bring down dirty laundry when your hamper is full. You must make sure all your clothes are put away before bedtime.
2. Kitchen – must be completely cleaned every night. Hannah washes pots and pans and wipes down island and counters. Will loads dishwasher and takes out trash. Josh – dries pots and pans and puts them away and helps clear table. Sean – clears table and wipes it. Becky – sweeps the floor.
3. Tidying – Before dinner, everybody joins in to tidy up house. Schoolbooks should be put away. Shoes put in mudroom or bedrooms. Coats and such hung up. Other clothing put in laundry or bedrooms. Books put back in bookcases. Trash goes in trashcan. Cups/dishes loaded into dishwasher. Newspapers/comics neatly folded and put on coffee tables. Toys go downstairs or up in bedrooms or in baskets. Mail/paper sorted, thrown away or piled neatly for perusal.
4. Bedrooms – every Sunday after breakfast, bedrooms must be cleaned before any screen time is allowed.
The new rules are about laundry being put away before bed. S was very grouchy about that one last night. Also, last night I had to call H back. She thought 'pots and pans' meant literally pots and pans, but to me it means everything that can't go in the dishwasher and needs to be washed by hand. There was a platter, two bowls and a wooden salad bowl that couldn't fit in the dishwasher and she'd just left them on the counter by the sink. So we cleared that misunderstanding up. What was she thinking? I kept saying over and over that the kitchen must be COMPLETELY CLEANED. The other new thing is the bedroom clean up after breakfast on Sunday mornings. Most Sunday mornings mean 8:15 a.m. Mass then out to breakfast afterwards. When we get home from breakfast everybody usually makes beelines for various screens, either computer, video or TV. This is actually fine with me, because I usually take a shower and then do school planning/food planning then. But I've decided that while I'm showering everybody needs to be cleaning their rooms. Then I'll inspect and then and only then can they go have screen time.
So hopefully these new twists on how to tackle chronic housekeeping issues will work. I just have to remember to keep it in front of me consciously so that I can follow through and be consistent. The very most difficult thing for me.
Most of this is directed at the kids. I'm in charge of managing it and also I'm in charge of keeping down the clutter. That's what I need to focus on this week.
Thursday - woke with migraine. So that really slowed things down. We did a bit of schoolish stuff, then went out to lunch at chick a fila, then ran lots of errands. Gee, my memory is bad. I can't really remember!
Friday - Woke late again! I think I just need sleep right now. Anyway, J went to his new once a month St. George club. He went to 9:00 a.m. Mass and then the club had a meeting with Father Drummond which J says was really cool and interesting but I don't know exactly what they talked about, except Father explained some religious symbolism in art and showed him his cool antique helmet of some sort! After that he went on a hike. The weather was gorgeous. He had a picnic lunch with the boys and we didn't meet up with him until tennis at 1:00 p.m.
B and S - B slept late too. She stays up late in her room playing, coloring, singing to herself and looking at books. Anyway, so I didn't make her get up to go to Mass. We took it easy in the a.m. Didn't do any of our regular stuff. She really wanted to make graham cracker sukkahs but then I discovered I'd forgotten to buy graham crackers! So we dashed to the store and got some and spent the rest of the morning working on that, and making chains out of our leaf prints and rubbings. We cut them out and taped them to yarn and then taped them up around the screen porch, along with our paper chains we'd made Thursday (oh yeah that's what we did Thursday!). The we ate lunch and went to tennis.
H and W - got up at 5:30 went to 6:15 mass and then prayed outside abortion clinic. Came home and went off to Chemistry early because there was something they didn't understand and they were going to ask the teacher about it.
I had my 2nd tennis class. I'm terrible! But I'm still proud of myself for getting out there. But my legs ached!
We came home and I collapsed for a while. B went to play next door at the neighbors. After a while I got up energy and went to sign up at Curves. I'm going to try to work out right after this. S was supposed to go play putt putt golf with his friend Joseph but apparently the lines were so long that they wound up just playing at his house.
In p.m. Rick and I watched more of The Office. I don't know why I am hooked on that show. It is really crude and over the top sometimes and the characters embarrass themselves so excrutiatingly. Rick is always fast forwarding or I'm covering my ears and closing my eyes! So why do I care about these characters?????
Sat. a.m. woke, got bagels for breakfast. W went to help his friend work on his Eagle Scout project. They are making a pathway to the little graveyard behind the church. H is helping out at the crisis pregnancy house with her friend. Good community service hours! Piano teacher should be here in 30 minutes for S and J. B is still asleep. I heard her singing to herself at 10:30 last night. Six years old and a night owl! I really want to go work out at Curves soon. I just realize I have no exercise clothes! I have to figure out what to wear, isn't that crazy?
It is really beautiful out so I'm hoping to do lots of outdoors stuff this afternoon. I kind of want to go the the MD Renaissance Festival but I think the teens wouldn't go.
Update: Rick took J, S and B to the Maryland Renaissance Festival and they didn't get home until 8:30 at night. They had a grand time and all three came back with these wooden swords. H stayed out all day first at Hope House and then helping with the same Eagle Scout project W was helping with. W called me at 6 p.m. asking if he could come home but H stayed out until 10. She wound up going out to dinner and hanging out with a girlfriend.
I relaxed, watched lots of HGTV, decluttered a bit, cleaned the fridge, did some laundry and just relaxed in solitude. It was lovely!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Said rosary at 9:00 a.m. cereal for breakfast. Read some of Book of Marvels.
J - practiced piano, Rolf and Viking Bow, did lesson in math
S and B - circle time, mental math, VT, reading, spelling, new OM story about letter Dd. Painted leaf prints and did leaf rubbings for succah.
H - said rosary with us, took shower, not sure what schoolwork she did. She might have put on laundry and then I know she went to noon Mass.
W - practiced guitar a lot, did a little Seton Comp., worked on math homework. Rec. 1:10 p.m.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
R got up at 6. Alarm went off at 6:30. R left for CA at 7:00. Way too tired to do anything planned. H overslept and was mad at me for not waking her. She and W finished up chem and then went to class. Didn't make it to Mass. W finished Sir Gawain. H hasn't touched it since last class. Mad at her for blowing me off again.
Told kids it would be an unschoolish day. Read chapter on Succos from All of a Kind Family. J practiced piano and read synopsis of Taming of the Shrew. Now he's outside I think wandering around, watching construction. They are digging a mammoth hole where the new pond will go. Very deep.
B is drawing in her new drawing book I got her at B&N. I introduced S to Erik Satie's music yesterday because the little tunes S makes up on the piano reminded me of him. S is completely entranced and has been listening to Satie. He just picked out one of the tunes and played it on the piano. That kid is so talented! In between this they've been doing gymnastics. I've been looking at what to do for Sukkot.
Sukkot ideas - make graham cracker succahs, paper chains, leaf prints, color pictures of fruit, make stuffed pumpkin. It'll be fun.
Now I have to finish reading Sir Gawain, but first another cup of tea! Tonight we go to TAming of the Shrew.
2:50 on break from Brit Lit class. Just watched about Henry II, Becket, King Richard and King John and Magna Carta. Very interesting stuff. The kids were into it. Now I'm baking scones. We'll discuss Sir Gawain and Taming of Shrew and they can work on their timelines.
Finished Sir Gawain this a.m. S spent all morning listening to musics and figuring out both hands for Satie piece. B played and pestered. J wandered around daydreaming. I did manage to give him an oral spelling bee. He'll get a test tomorrow and He read Shakespeare and the The Globe.
During class J played on computer and B and S watched tv. I lost my temper with B because she was whining and interrupting class. I am really tired and I can feel myself bristling and being irritable.
Class is over. Pretty good discussion. Next week we'll watch the movie Becket and discuss The Prologue of Canterbury Tales. Homework is to read The Prologue and work on timeline up through King John. Now kids are just hanging.
Plans for tomorrow. Tonight will likely be a late one and I'm already really sleep deprived so I think we'll bag trying to go Mass and instead focus on our morning rhythm even if we don't start on time. So we'll say the rosary, Geography at breakfast, circle time, mental math, spelling/phonics, a little bit of VT. Also I'll read the story of D from OM 1st grade. Then we'll make leaf prints. We can use these to decorate our succah. Also, I must remember to read Bible stories in the evening. Haven't done this since Saturday. J - we can really work on Latin and history and I'll give him his final spelling test. Also, he should outline The Good Samaritan, practice piano and do his math homework. So he'll be busy tomorrow. No chess tomorrow night. But we still have VT, guitar, gymnastics and CLC.
Monday, September 24, 2007
At breakfast, H taught us Spanish to help her study. Before this I quizzed her via flashcards on vocabulary. She left to take test.
J and W finished up math homework before tutor arrived.
Circle time with B and S, songs and counting by two's and then 2 times table. S had bad attitude.
B played with pattern blocks; I taught out of LLATL about synonyms and compound words. We review spelling words at whiteboard (S dictated). S very contrary but I kept my patience.
Tutor arrived. Worked with J and W.
Did a couple minutes of form drawing with S and B. I mixed up moveable alphabet letters so B could spell out title of Bob book, Dot and the Dog. Becky did this.
Read The King's Flower by Anno, read a little from Seton Religion 1. S got really into pattern blocks and started making rockets and designs. B did big USA floor puzzle.
Now I need to do VT with S and then work with J. Recorded at 11:05
1:31 Just finished with J, boy was he feeling surly. It took him forever to copy over one sentence from Rolf and the Viking Bow. Then we orally reviewed different sentences types and some synonyms and utterances. He also orally reviewed his spelling list. Now he is reading Rolf and the Viking Bow. He decided he'd rather read that than Beorn the Proud. Before lunch, we did a bit of latin. Reviewing singular and plural adjectives agreeing with their nouns. And he translated 3 sentences. He also read about Attila the Hun from FMMA.
I did do VT with S. He just did his Brock string exercise, arrow chart with metronome and reading two pages in reader using his loose lense.
Now I plan to shower. H and I want to sign up at Curves today.
next a.m. I never finished my journaling yesterday! We didn't go to curves. I was feeling up to it. Had a slow afternoon. I did manage to get some laundry done and tidy up the kitchen somewhat. Made kids do some tidying as well. I think everybody goofed off a lot. B had fun playing at the PBSkids.org site. She kept making 'superheroes' and giving them names which I had to spell for her. She printed them out and then pasted them all over her bedroom wall.
We had an early come and get it dinner, leftover chinese, leftover breakfast ham. H made an omelet for those who didn't want Chinese. H, J and I left for RE at church. J and I were a couple minutes late because for some crazy reason I made a wrong turn which put 5 more minutes on our drive and made us a little bit late. We went to Mass first. The 7th grade boys were very rambunctious and talkative but at least they ask lots of good questions. The class got rather chaotic. Tony and I decided we have to be more organized.
On the way home J was saying how much he got out of the class. Then there was silence and then all of a sudden he says "Oh my Gosh!!!!" as if a lightbulb had just gone off. I said 'what?" expecting some profound spiritual insight since we'd been talking about such things, but he said, 'you know how different countries have different kinds of money? And you know about how sometimes there's inflation and sometimes there isn't? Well, you could make money by changing your money back and forth, couldn't you?"
I had no idea where all this was coming from. He was so excited about it. We got home and he immediately asked R about it and yes there is something called 'currency investment' which is based on J's idea. You just never know what a 12 year old is thinking about!!!!
J is reading Rolf and the Viking Bow, R is reading Banner in the Sky to S. I stopped reading Surprise Island to B because we misplaced the book, but then I found it again. H, W and I are all supposed to be reading Sir Gawain.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Goals for today - Mass, breakfast. Rick is taking W, J work on math a bit and then R is taking them to baseball game at RFK. Also B. S is staying home. His friend Jack is comiing over and then they're both going to b-day party.
Need to wrap present, entertain boys, laundry, tidy bedrooms, esp. boys room, clean fridge a bit, grocery shop. Plan for school this week. MAKE DINNER FOR ISABEL!
This week I also want to try to have specific times to read for myself. This evening read lots of Sir Gawain. In a.m. I am going to try to limit myself to only 20 minutes on computer and then read for 20 minutes. Hmmm. Is this realistic? Also, some afternoons I could carve out a bit of time to read. Read a little bit before bed as well.
I think I'm going to post on other blog maybe Sunday evenings, Wednesdays, Fridays. I'll have to see. I have terrible time balancing all this. Plus, I've stopped walking in the a.m. which is a shame! I'd like to get in a walk a couple times a week at least. Hmmmm.
Okay, time to get everyone up for church!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Had to go to Virtus training at parish. Left specific instructions for all. Rick is fasting because it is Yom Kippur today.
Virtus was disturbing but I thought very tastefully done. While I was gone J and S had piano lessons.
H went to confession, then read Sir Gawain and then went to choir practice.
When I came home at noon, Rick was out with Becky helping her learn to roller blade. Samir was here and everybody was playing on a different computer/tv. I got tea and decompressed while tootling around the online.
Then I got ready to take S, B and J to bookstore, really just to buy a present for S's friend's b-day party tomorrow. B misbehaved horribly so she had to stay home. Poor H had to take care of her. She got out a volcano kit we got last Chanukah and they painted it. Then she took B to Starbuck's because H's friend K works there now. They wound up taking B to playground. So B learned that if she misbehaves horribly her big sister will spoil her rotten!!!! Anyway, I took S and J to Burger King because they hadn't had lunch and then to B&N where I wound up spending way too much money.
Came home J read, S watched TV, Rick worked all afternoon on bills and such. W played computer games all day practically. I took shower. Then I ordered everybody off screen. W went outside, J was still reading, S was bored but then we started experimenting with the baking soda and vinegar and polymer fake snow. They are still at it having a blast.
H had a babysitting job. Didn't get home until almost midnight.
I cooked dinner for theother kids. Rick and I ate out. Seafood. He wanted a really nice dinner to break his fast. He tried to go to the synagogue but when it got to the Reformed one there was no one there! If Rick really practiced Judiasm, he'd be Conservative. The Reformed branch just makes him shake his head. It is such watered down Judiasm.
Friday, September 21, 2007
They had to go to Chemistry at 8:30 this a.m. instead of 10 because they were doing some kind of long lab before class.
Sean got up and begged, begged, begged to be able to play some new skater video game that W had downloaded. So I relented and let him. I was still waking up.
Somehow it was after nine and I still hadn't gotten moving. Got everybody up and we all had cold cereal. Then we dressed, got our library books together and set out. Said a decade of the rosary in the car. Went to the library, then starbucks for a snack.
At 10:30 or so we went to the park and met the new No .Va. Waldorf Homeschoolers. I met Rebecca of Today in Faerie School and Kristin who I've been talking to on the Christian Waldorf list for over a year now. Then much to my surprise another Catholic homeschooler came and then another lady came as well. A couple others didn't make it. Very nice group of women. J just read his library books (YuYu Hakusho, graphic novels) but Sean and B played with the other kids. Kristin is going to start up a co-op. It looks like it is going to be two Fridays a month. Each month will have a different focus. October will be nature walks. I volunteered to host baking in January (since my challah success and all the scones I've been baking lately). Kristin said they was one lady who was really good with wool and spinning. Anyway, I'm excited about it!
The weather was absolutely glorious all day. High 70's, clear blue sky, a tinge of fall in the air. When it got to be noon, we skadaddled out of there, drove home, had a quick lunch of ramen noodles and grilled cheese and then went off to tennis.
I had my first tennis lesson. I was seriously afraid I would never even hit the ball, but it was fun! H, W and J were in the next court taking their lessons and would occasionally shout out a teasing remark at me! S and B played with the other kids. They basically played outside with other kids for most of the day! After our tennis class, S had his class so I hung out and gabbed with other moms. H took everyone but J home. He was content to sit in the car and read.
So it was a nice day. Now we are home. Kids are watching TV. I'm about to read Sophie's World to H and W and then I'm going to get my haircut. I'm in the mood for Pad Thai for dinner!
7:27 Read H and W the second chapter of Sophie's World. Got haircut and Pad Thai and other noodle dishes from the Noodle Company. Saw H walking down Church St. with her friend L. It is weird how we are in such a metropolitan area yet this particular town has a cozy, small town feel to it.
9:25 read many library picture books to B and S. J has been reading all day. Read all five graphic novels and is now rereading them all. J practiced piano, S took a bath, B and S both practicing gymnastics and making up dances and cheers. Cheered for me while I tried to clean the kitchen in 10 minutes. I called Will in to help put away pots and pans. Kitchen still only half clean! Rick came home. We said prayers. Rick is fasting for Yom Kippur. I read the story of Jonah from the Golden Bible. Now I'm already in my pjs. Oh, also put on load of laundry. Need to move load and put on another before bed. Rick is reading Encyclopedia Brown to S.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Anyway, got up and worked on Play of St. Francis. H got up showered and then went off to Mass and Spanish. W came down and started practicing guitar. I asked him if he could please practice in another room but he ignored me. So I got irritated with him.
Got everybody else up except B who refused to wake up. W had math homework to finish so it was just S and J for rosary. Rosary was good though.
Had breakfast but it was getting late and J still had math homework and tutor was coming at 10. So I didn't read aloud.
Circle time, B misbehaved and got sent upstairs, truncated circle time! Started spelling with S but he had bad attitude. Patiently worked through spelling with him. B came back down. We did mental math which they both enjoy. I gave B a problem assignment. I wrote number sentences on whiteboard and then drew houses with the no. 6 and no. 7 in the attics. She had to draw the houses in her ML book. Then she had to try to place the right number sentences in each. She did about half and then wanted me to do the writing portion while she figured out which house.
Meanwhile S and I went through LLATL lesson and learned about synonyms and adding -ing and -ed. S was bored but tolerated it fairly well until the end.
J was busy daydreaming upstairs and had only completed 1/4 of math lesson by the time the tutor arrived. Tsk, tsk.
S is hungry early so we'll eat now. Then we are going to try to find true north. And also he wants to read more Wayside school to me. B is busy drawing pictures of people doing gymnastics. S is still smarting from yesterday's gymnastics class. Sigh.
12:17 ate lunch. Went outside and tried to find true north by putting stick in ground and measuring movement of shadow. A bit bungled because when we went out 20 minutes after noting the first shadow, the sky had clouded up and there was no shadow. But smart Josh ran in a got a piece of printer paper and put that down under the stick. We could see a faint shadow with that. So now we know what true north is and we know which way to point our gnomon on our sun dial.
I signed up for a postcard swap on the Unschooling Catholics yahoolist. We have to get a bunch of postcards and mail them out by 10/10 to the other participating kids. I started to read Book of Marvels but B and S were too into gymnastics so I stopped. It was about the highest waterfalls in the states and world.
J is doing Latin right now. Copying over declensions. B and S are upstairs playing. W just finished with math tutor and I don't know where he is. H stayed in the library after her Spanish class because she has to look at video stuff for the class. Another test next Monday.
I need to do prep things for the clubs.
5:15 Finished prepping for clubs. Whew that is taking a lot of time and energy. I didn't quite realize what I had signed off for when I said I'd coordinate these two groups! But we had a good meeting. One of the moms gave a lovely presentation on the Seven Sorrows of Mary Chaplet. The craft was quite lengthy so we wound up not practicing the play. However, we did get the parts assigned to the different children and we know whose going to be presenting each meeting between now and Dec. 6th. So it was good. Sean got the part of St. Francis by chance. I felt bad that the moms would think I just rigged it. Then B was jealous because she wanted to be St. Claire but another girl got that part. Some tears on her part. Sorry, babe! Came home and immediately sent out an e-mail to all the club folks. So now I don't have to think about that for another two weeks!
Tonight we are just having Pizza for dinner. I'm going to relax. Tomorrow we'll do a bit of school in the a.m but then we are going to meet some Waldorf homeschoolers at a park. After that we have library books to return. Then tennis in the afternoon. I am going to take a moms tennis class. That should be very funny, as I am not athletic in the least and it is a bunch of overweight, out of shape moms trying to play tennis, except for one who is in shape and actually plays tennis for fun! She'll wipe us all off the court!
This evening - J practice piano, read King Arthur, start Beorn the Proud. He is totally into this Pendragon series right now. Also, maybe I can read Book of Marvels over pizza. Also want to read to H and W, Sophie's World. Rick is still reading S Encyclopedia Brown books and I'm still reading Surprise Island/Boxcar Children to B.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Will came down and was being all anxious about how much work he had to do. Didn't get the kids up until 8.
Said rosary - we didn't say it at all yesterday. Then I made a big breakfast of bacon and eggs. That took a while. Got interrupted by a phone call about Little Flowers/Blue Knights. H went to 9:15 Mass on her own. Read next chapter in the book of marvels. Phone call lead me to write up e-mails and do business so didn't get started with circle time til after 10:00 or so.
J did lesson in math, very short circle time which turned into a brainstorming session on how we could all learn to interrupt each other less. Big problem always and seems to be escalating. That turned into a family wide (sans Rick) meeting. I wrote up 12 rules for the family that we all agreed on.
S did word scramble for spelling also some cursive practice. B had me dictate some sentences to her.
J practiced piano. He also finished I Marched with Hannibal. We dashed around trying to get out the door for noon Mass. I forgot I had zilch gas in the van, so B wound up staying home with H while I took the boys.
Home again, made various sandwiches and ramen noodles for lunch. Becky was listening to some Christian rock video on youtube H had put on for her. A bit adult for B.
During lunch read the story of Creation to S, finally. Have been meaning to do that for 2 weeks!
W worked hard all morning. He did 30 minutes of Artes Latinae, he wrote a paragraph for Seton English, he worked on his flash animation project and also practiced for his guitar lesson. H took it easy.
J and I did Classical Writing. We finally edited his first retelling of The Fox and the Crow. We read the next story, The Good Samaritan, and I picked out 10 spelling words for him. He has to correct his Fox and Crow story and paste it into his workbook and write out spelling words.
Now it is 2:18 and time to take S to VT. B is coming along and I can read to her.
9:02 Well I forgot the book to read to Becky so we looked at home magazines at the VT's office. Came home, sent out yet another e-mail about club business, then gather B and S together again to go to Gymnastics. H and W were having their guitar lesson. Josh got another book in the Pendragon series from Amazon. Rick must have bought it for him, so J was off reading. I asked him to please load the dishwasher while I was gone.
On the way to gymnastics we stopped and got gas. I suddenly couldn't remember if B had actually eaten anything all day, so I went into the store there and bought a bag of doritos. The kids munched on them heartily until I realized they were going to gymnastics and had this horrible vision of them getting sick from all that jumping around just after doritos.
Got there just in time. B ran into her class. S and I walked over to Starbucks for a tall, skim, decaf, vanilla latte. Sigh, I am an addict! Came back and Sean read 1.5 chapters of Wayside School to me. It was great. He really wants to read. He struggled a lot and I know he knew some of the lines from having the book read aloud to him, but he was really reading too. We ran into a family that used to homeschool but now doesn't. My kids have always clashed a bit with these kids and what do you know they were trying out the gym class S is in. S went into his class. When it was over he came out in tears, this same kid from this other homeschool family had one upped him in some contest but S thought he cheated (wouldn't put it past the kid, frankly) but S gets his nose out of joint so easily. He is so insecure and he wears it on his sleeve. He cried the whole way home, raging at the world. I thought maybe he was hungry. We picked up J from chess club. He'd had a good time.
Came home, J had not loaded the dishwasher. Very put out with him. Quick fed S hoping he'd get over his terrible funk. Crockpot bbq chicken and rice (H made) and baby carrots. H rushed W off to his CLC. Rick working late again. S was so blue during dinner, I asked him what we could do to cheer him up. He wanted frozen custard. B and I went for it and I let him watch a tv show. Came home and fed him frozen custard. Said prayers, added a new thing where everybody says what they are thankful to God for, for that day. I said the fact that S read me a whole chapter and half, he said 'not dying'. That was as good as it got for him, I guess. The funny thing was that J had snuck some food during prayers and when we asked him what he was thankful for he got this 'caught red-handed' look in his eyes and mumbled 'food' through his stuffed mouth. Cracked everyone up.
B and I took care of Hermit the Crab and got ready for bed. Read her some Surprise Island. H went to get W from CLC. Rick just got home. J has been listening to Strong Bad, gotta go get him off the pc.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
We are almost completely out of toilet paper. I think I'll let the little ones sleep late and run right now to get some as well as some of those Pillsbury croissants. We are going to have a French snack today in honor of the Norman Conquest which we're studying in Brit Hist.
Becky lost her tooth last night. First one. Will played toothfairy and swapped it out for a dollar while Becky was sleeping. First tooth gets a dollar, remaining teeth 25 cents. Then Becky got up at 3 a.m. to show me that the toothfairy had come. She was sooooo thrilled.
Went to store to get tp and crescent rolls. Stopped at Starbucks and saw H and W there. Got home, got breakfast going, made phones calls etc. Didn't eat until 9 or after.
Circle time with S and B, did abbreviated VT, S - read two pages from reader, introduced new spelling words, reviewed capitals at begin of sentence and period at end, practiced cursive. B - played matching game with numbers 1 thru 10 and their word names.
J - did some more math investigation, read next chapter in FMMA, we answered workbook questions orally and looked up map locations, review 2nd declension vocab.
Brit. Hist and Lit. - pretty good class. I must be tired cuz I was a little irritated by the constant smarty pants comments. Discussion was pretty good though in spite of it. Have trouble when letting the kids do their research on computer. Sarah and Peter did theirs but no one else. Well maybe Will did.
J - read a lot more of I Marched with Hannibal. B and S played upstairs for quite a while then watched some really dumb movie, Shark Boy or something????
4:11 plans - take shower, put away the many baskets of clean laundry (4 perhaps), read All of a Kind Family at dinner since I didn't this afternoon. Start reading Sophia's world to teens, read King Arthur to Josh, Bible stories to Sean and Surprise Island to Becky.
7:55 Read next chapter of All of a Kind Family and then read first chapter of Sophie's World aloud. It was supposed to be for the teens but Josh and Sean really enjoyed it too.
Read a King Arthur story aloud to J, this time from Howard Pyle.
H and W took it easy. They've had a very intensive 3 days, basically doing schoolwork all Sunday afternoon and late into the night, same with Monday starting early in the a.m. and going until late at night. Then they had chemistry class Tuesday a.m. and Brit. Lit/History all Tuesday afternoon. Time to relax!
After prayers we all went out to try to find the North Star. The stars were very pretty. Rick said we needed to go somewhere darker to see. Will took out a compass and found N but the view was blocked by the house and some trees. I have always been pretty hopeless at figuring out constellations. We might try another way to find true North. But I would like to go out at night somewhere where we could at least find the Big Dipper, Little Dipper and a couple of other ones. I remember when I was little I could sometimes find Orion's Belt.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Got kids up by 8:30. J and S took shower/bath. H was up very early and out to Mass and Spanish. Will had a bad night but still got up at 7:30. He has been feeling queasy off and on for a couple weeks. not sure what is up with that.
We just said a decade of the rosary at breakfast. I read a little from All of a Kind Family. In spite of bad start, day has been going well. B and S have been playing with my camera making photo montages and videos. They've also been playing with these old Montessori sort blocks and making stacks and patterns with them.
Last night B asked if she could do 'homework' in bed before she went to sleep. So I gave her the MCP math workbook and she worked away at a few pages. She came out to tell me that she'd forgotten how to draw an 8. J also remembered he had math and did two lessons last night. W worked all day. He did all his math, lots of chemistry, completed his timeline for Brit. Hist. and read half of Sir Gawain. He was so wound up from working that he couldn't sleep and came into our room at 3 a.m. complaining of a stomachache.
Josh read a short sci fi story called a Subway called Mobius. Rick made a mobius strip and explained it to him. This a.m. he was telling B and S all about it.
Right now W is working on chemistry homework (he has lots to catch up on plus he didn't do well on the quiz, so he's working extra hard.)
I am focusing on laundry right now. Just about to corral the kids downstairs to do an abbreaviated circle time/VT. Then we'll clean up the basement. Cleaners are coming. Math tutor is due here in a few minutes. J practiced piano for a few minutes this a.m. and is now doing one more lesson before tutor arrives.
Tutor arrived and worked with Josh. Josh is excited because part of his homework is taking a survey. He has to ask 10 adults and 10 children a question. He came up with 'what is your favorite season.'
Finally did circle time with B and S very late. They were playing so well together that I hated to stop them. Both participated. Then we did mental math. There was a nursery rhyme in Becky's that was just supposed to teach the number 7 but it wound up being a big math problem that S and I had fun working out. B played on pbskids.org. J reviewed 2nd declension nouns.
H returned. She got an 88% on her Spanish test. She's pretty happy because it seems many students failed. The teacher told her that high school students actually do better. Maybe they're more motivated.
W worked with Math tutor on Algebra II and chemistry.
After lunch, H and I worked on her timeline for Brit Hist. and then we discussed our RE class tonight. Kids scattered and did screen, I think. W did some more chem and screen.
I took B, J and S to playground. Wonderful weather. We could only stay only for an hour. J brought along his math survey to ask people in the park.
Home again, showered, made spaghetti for dinner, packed up and went to teach class. I was very nervuos but I think the guy I'm working with thinks of me as hi s assistant, so he sort of took the lead which was perfect. J wound up in my class. He was shy and I don't think he could hear well. All the 7 grade boys were so big! But they got into the class and it turned out very well. Right at the end I suddenly got a nosebleed and rushed out of class. I think the other teacher thought I was nuts, but I explained later. He's a pediatrcian it turns out. Very nice guy, very knowledgeable about the faith, good rapport with the boys. I am so glad they have men teaching the 7th and 8th grader boys.
Came home to messy kitchen. Note to self DO NOT cook big messy dinners on Monday nights. Will had to watch S and B and study for chemistry at the same time. H and W wound up staying up to 11:30 studying and completing homework. Chemistry is a lot of work. They really can't put it off until Sunday because they have too much other work due at the beginning of the week. It means they have to work all day Sunday and Monday.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
W - Really needs help getting organized and staying focussed. I typed up a list of what I'm requiring for him.
J - Have to get back into the habit of practing piano. M- finish up his first story. We never edited it, so we'll do that and put in final form. T-start next lesson in Classical writing. He's pretty much just doing the next thing, so it doesn't take too much planning.
S - Need to really start reading OT stories to him. Should I do that in the a.m. during 'school' time or in the evening? I think ending the day with a nice Bible story or two is a good idea. I'll try that and see how it works. Also try to get him painting again. This time just playing with color. Sometime this week I want to do the astronomy lesson with a ball an apple and a flashlight. I know I have it somewhere leftover from Stratton House Science. We are going to try to make a simple sundial. Tonight, need to go out and find North Star. We'll also do the next lesson in LLATL and continue with mental math, skip counting and probably a worksheet or two from MCP. M - teach lesson on the Mass from Montessori album to review for Mon. RE class.
B - Give her a little reading/spelling test if she likes that. Read fairy tale for D. Still haven't done tongue twisters!!! MCP math worksheet or two. Painting. Participate with Sean in astronomy. She wants me to read her Boxcar children books. Craft for week - dream catcher.
M - get daily rhythm rolling; cleaners are coming at noon. First RE class in evening.
T - Brit. Lit and History class in pm
W - VT, guitar lessons, gymnastics, chess, CLC
TH - Blue Knights/Little Flowers of Mary
F - morning craft, make challah again?
S - Virtus training
Sun - make meal for Isabel
I'm sure I missed a lot!
J and S had first piano lessons after summer break. Mr. Sylvanis was excited about Sean. Good ear,lots of native talent. Sean enjoyed it. We'll see!
Folks came over about 1:30. We had roast chicken, Susan made a brisket, tzimmes, mashed potatoes (couldn't find boxed potato kugel anywhere!), apples and honey and cantaloupe. For dessert we had honey cake, baklava and coconut macaroons. My challah turned out really well!
After everyone left, I collasped for a good long while. Watched Messiest House in America. Read a good bit of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Rick helped W with Algebra II. H went to planning party for homeschool high schoolers.
Sunday - didn't get the kids up in time for 8:15 mass. H was singing the Alleluia too. So we missed that. We all went to breakfast at the restaurant and then off to 10:00 mass. Ran into fellow I'm supposed to coteach with on Mon night RE. We really haven't done any prep. We've kind of come up with our own plans, so he's doing the Bible study type stuff and I'll do the other stuff.
Came home, showered, planned meals and went grocery shopping, came home had very late lunch. Rick worked with W and H on Chemistry and Algebra. Josh is reading the Pendragon series. He's been reading pretty much nonstop but he's been very anti-social as well.
I told the kids they couldn't watch all those Nick and Disney Y7 shows anymore. Everyone is entirely too smart alecky and it is really rubbing off on the way the kids treat each other. I'm fed up with the snotty remarks they make all the time. So I told them only pbs educational tv or preapproved movies. Right now they're watching a movie about magicians.
The weather is beautiful. I'm on the screen porch typing this.
Friday, September 14, 2007
finished cleaning kitchen, put on laundry, had tea
7:00 Hannah up to shower and study more for chem.
7:30 Will up studying
8:00 woke up everyone else, got dressed myself
Went to 9:00 Mass, met M. J's friend at church who is staying with us for the day.
After Mass went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast
Fieldtrip to park for dedication of sundial. I found it fascinating; not sure if kids got anything out of it. Lots of kids there. It is supposed to be a new county park dedicated to astronomy/science for kids. Very cool! Kids played a bit at playground.
Home again, grilled cheese for lunch and then off to tennis. Praying rain holds off.
2:43 p.m. Went to tennis. Sean is currently having his class. J and M stayed to play more after their class. W and B came home with me and are doing screen now. I'm about to take shower and then start cleaning house for tomorrow's Rosh Hashanah dinner. Need to braid and bake bread. Also Sarah's baptism is tonight and also I'm signing Sean up for Cub Scouts. Must pick up tennis team forms.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
7:05 woke, was up during the night.
Got tea, Hannah got up and was getting ready to go to mass and take her Spanish test.
Spent a while on pc. Put on a load of laundry.
8:05 got kids up.
8:30 kids down except Becky. We say rosary in family room. Comedy of errors!
9:15 finally finished rosary after many interruptions.
Breakfast - cereal, english muffins. I gave Sean Tapioca pudding just to stave off his grumpies because he refuses to eat breakfast and then in the middle of the morning he goes into complete meltdown mode. During breakfast I read from Book of Marvels on Bay Bridge. Will googled and found out about longest bridge in world now in Japan.
Circle time - so hard to settle Becky down and just get started. Constant distractions and interruptions. Finally do prayer and songs and skip counting/movement. Sean the whole time wants to tell me a funny skit Will made up that I heard about 10 times yesterday. I keep trying to get him to wait until we've done our morning routine. Next we went to VT exercises which for the first time he really resisted. We only did one page out of the reader because we were both getting cranky at this point! Becky in the meantime was playing with pattern blocks.
Becky and I retold the story of Dick Whittington and his Cat. However, I could not get her interested in her Main Lesson. We drew a border and then she did one capital C and one lower case c. Then she wanted to put on skits like Sean had done.
During this time Josh was upstairs rereading Dogs Don't Tell Jokes.
Hannah came home. Her test only lasted 20 minutes. She's nervous about how she did though.
Will read a lot of Book of Marvels and then wrote up 49 flashcards on the elements in prep for his Chem quiz tomorrow.
Working with Josh - he didn't do any assigned work on his own. Turns out he hadn't written up his draft for Classical writing yesterday. So he did that today. I checked the two lessons he's done so far in Saxon. Right now he's working in his Latin workbook. We need to do spelling, editing of retelling and history.
During 'recess' B and S started drawing hats and cakes from a lesson they remember from last Advent from a drawing book we used. Have to dig it out. Mark Kistler's might have been the name. I honestly have no idea where it might be.
Lunch - read about Rosh Hashanah from Jewish Holidays book. We listened to the sound of the Shofar via internet. Made me cry because I remembered hearing it for the first time in the synagogue in Rome.
After lunch - S and B went upstairs. Josh and I answered questions in his FMMA on the Niebelungs. We also looked up various geographical locations in Germany and such. Will has been reading his Chem textbook and typing up notes on the computer in the study. I don't know what Hannah is doing!
5:01 Drove J, S and B over to some friends' house. They had played with them at club events and such but had never gone over to their house before. They were so excited! It just happens that three of the kids in this family of soon to be 6 kids, line up with my younger three. I hope they are having a good time.
I came home via Starbucks. I made a couple phones call that I've need to make, I printed out the contracts with the music teachers and filled them out. We've already paid but I need to mail them in. I never seem to be able to work the fax machine right so I'll do the old fashioned thing and mail. But Rick has the stamps so I'll wait til he gets home.
I also managed to send out an e-mail message or two and spent time puttering around blogs. Will did more Latin and really likes Artes Latinae so far. Now he's playing video games. Hannah wanted to get more index cards but she doesn't like the white ones, so she voluteered to go pick up the kids from their playdate and then stop at a Staples or something.
Right now I'm going to take a shower and then start the meatloaf for dinner. I want to move laundry and clean up the kitchen island (harborer of junk!) so that we can try our hand at making challah. If it fails totally, I'll just go to the bakery tomorrow at some point!
9:47 We actually made the challah! It's rising in the fridge right now. I'm a bit nervous. I don't think the bowl is big enough. I also read a bit to S about sundials because of our fieldtrip tomorrow.
H and W have been studying chem. At least I know W has. W also took out the trash. Thank you Will.
Still need to read to Josh and then it's off to bed.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Had cheese, rolls and juice for breakfast
Said rosary late on porch, beautiful weather, noisy construction
Circle time: said prayer, sang songs, S jumped rope 100 times counting to 100! Becky did 10 cartwheels counting by 10's to 100. Did mental math from MCP for both
S did VT and read two pages from reader. He also did one sentence of copywork which he hated!
Becky concocted her own little science experiment where she sent a marble down three different parts of the marble chutes and then drew pictures of each. She had me mark them quick, medium and slow.
Becky copied over words pay, say, may, jay and hay into her ML book using the Montessori moveable alphabet.
Becky started making shadow puppets from a book.
Josh daydreamed a lot and did a math lesson.
Will worked on his Latin program. Finally got it started thanks to Rick. Will really liked the intro and narrations and the way the program is set up.
Hannah went to 9:15 Mass this a.m. I don't know what schoolwork she did this a.m.
1:27 p.m.- well things have fallen apart a bit! I had planned to go to mass at noon on Wed. but completely forgot about it. We were chomping away when it suddenly dawned on me that we wouldn't be able to receive. But I had also forgotten about the pest control guy coming to kill the bees in our front yard. He showed up at 11:50. That would have been bad if no had been here. Though Hannah would have been here by herself. But how would she have paid? So it worked out for the best.
The bee guy kind of threw us off our rhythm though. But I did get to quiz Josh on spelling, and we did a bit of Latin vocab review using flashcards. Right now he is typing up his draft of his retelling of The Fox and The Crow.
Becky and Sean are playing upstairs.
Hannah has been studying Spanish all day. She has her first test tomorrow.
Will has been working half-heartedly on Algebra II. He said he also plans to do his composition and some of the Chemistry homework before he goes to CLC tonight at 7:30.
Guitar guy comes at 2:30. VT is at 2:30. gotta leave here ten minutes early.
4:00 leave for gymnastics
Does J have chess today?
I forgot to get the chicken out last night to defrost so I could make slow cooker bbq chicken. So we'll have pizza tonight and chicken tomorrow night.
Off to take a shower before we have to leave for VT.
3:49 p.m. Hannah and Will had guitar lessons. Will is thrilled and has been working away at playing since the teacher left. He can't find his Seton comp. book anyway. He did exactly one problem in Algebra II. The tutor isn't coming until next Monday.
Took kids S and B to gymnastics; ran over the grocery store while waiting to pick up stuff for challah bread.
H took J to his first chess club meeting. Only 4 kids total. Have to put out a message to TORCH.
Picked Josh up. H had gotten dinner at Jerry's. Ate dinner then took Will to CLC. H was studying for Spanish and was freaking out. I helped her study using flashcards she'd made up. She still had a bit to do in her lab book.
One problem I really have is getting everyone to bed on time. Rick got home late 8:45 or so. We said prayers, he put Becky to bed and I went to pick up Will. Came home it was almost 9:45 and Rick was still reading to S. Didn't stop until 10:00. So he went late. I read King Arthur to Josh. He went to bed at 10:30. 11:05 shooed everyone else to bed. Don't think I turned out the light until about 11:30 p.m.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
9:00 H and W went to mass and then chem class.
Read next chapter of All of a Kind Family to J, S, B. They are enjoying it.
Josh read ahead in All of a Kind Family, then did a math lesson in Saxon
Circle time with S and B. B would not settle down; very hyper! Counted by 2's to 80
Sean did VT exercises. Read two pages from his new reader, Seton's This is my Neighborhood (I think that's the title). Sean chose the reader.
Sean took his spelling test and got 100% right!
Becky was playing with the wooden marble maze all this time.
We started trying to paint the first day of creation. Sean got perfectionistic on me and too upset to continue. Should I make him???? Josh joined us for the painting part.
S and B played up in S's room for quite a while. I don't know what they were playing. Dancing and doing gymnastics and making up games.
Josh did his spelling.
I read the last 11 pages of Beowulf aloud to Josh. I needed to finish it before the Teen class!
Tidied up family room and prepared for Teen class.
Got everybody lunch. Josh got himself a bagel.
H and W came home and helped tidy up.
After lunch Josh did his Latin.
Teen class went well. We had a good discussion about Beowulf; very interesting! Then we made scones (mostly Katie made them!). The teens then did research for their timelines but Peter and Hannah were the most diligent. The others were kind of half-hearted. Katie tried I think. Will, Sarah and David didn't really try very hard.
After class I collapsed. Everybody watched tv or played video games for the next three + hours. I took a shower during this time. H was actually doing Spanish homework.
Somehow making dinner took a really long time; french toast and sausage. Read the last chapter of Sun Slower, Sun Faster. What a great book!
I have decided to discontinue the Ralph McInerny dvds. I just couldn't do them justice. We'd watch them in the evening and I'd fall asleep. I want to begin reading Sophie's World to the teens. I think once they have an intro to philosophy the McInerny dvds might work better.
Read the next fairy tale to Becky from OM; Dick Whittington and his Cat and read the next day of creation to Sean.
Read some King Arthur to Josh.
Rick is working late so nobody read to Sean tonight. He's been keeping himself occupied by playing the piano and the recorder.
it is now 9:27. I'm already in my pjs. I am really bushed!
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
6:45 woke, tea, internet not working, unloaded dishwasher
7:35 woke kids
8:10 rosary, then breakfast. Read Sun Slower, Sun Faster
Circle time with B and S. Sean got into it. We tossed bean bag and counted by 2's and 5's to 100.
Becky copied some a words, hat, cat, pat and day, didn't finish other 'ay' words.
Sean did some copywork but was very frustrated by it. We studied spelling words with 'kn'
Josh did Saxon drill sheet and test for 7/6 placement; read first chapter of Famous Men of MA; spent most of morning reading Asterix comics in bed.
Becky and Sean played; Josh and I did some Latin together
Will was running a slight temperature and feel really lethargic and spacey. He did read a couple of pages in his Seton comp book but that was it. We tried to start Artes Latinae but couldn't get it to work. Argh!
Hannah did admin stuff, like search out a SAT prep course and I am not sure what else.
Ate a snack and then went to noon Mass at St. James
On way back stopped at Starbucks (oh dear I spend too much money!)
Becky and Sean watched tv while Josh and I started Classical Writing
Took Sean to VT; Becky came along. I read more of Time Warp Trio but it really wasn't holding her interest.
Came home; guitar teacher was here. Hannah got a hour long lesson because Will was sick.
Took Becky to gymnastics; Sean wanted to come along; turns out there was a boys' class right after Becky's. So Sean tried it out. Both loved it!
Came home. Had made dinner in crock pot but no one ate it but me. Everybody else made due with hot dogs and frozen chicken taquitos.
Will didn't go to CLC.
Let kids watch more tv while I took a shower.
Rick got home; said prayers; Becky's in bed now; Rick is reading to Sean, Encyclopedia Brown stories. Josh is supposed to be reading I Marched with Hannibal but he might be in there with them listening in.
Still to come: watch a little Aquinas and read to Josh.
Then bed; I'm pooped!
Monday, September 3, 2007
Got up and huddled over cup of tea
Put on laundry
Started working on St. Francis play.
6:30 Becky came downstairs. She'd had a nightmare, wouldn't tell me what it was though. She's like that.
We snuggled and then I read her some of Time Warp Trio. I had never read any of those books before. This one is about Lewis and Clark. She's started trying to pick her own books at the library and this was one of her picks. Pretty awful stuff. Nothinig like turning perfectly good history into twaddle.
7:30 We got dressed and went for a walk. Beautiful rather chilly morning.
Came home. Josh was up and downstairs either watching TV or playing xbox. Becky went down with him for a bit. I worked more on St. Francis play and then published it on my other blog.
Kids came down for breakfast. I made them all get dressed.
Will, Hannah and I went to Mass then Starbucks
Came home and Becky and Sean were watching TV and watching youtube videos of some silly songs Will found via Iambored.com. Rick was helping them.
Josh has been reading a lot of I Marched with Hannibal.
Rick started working with Hannah on her history.
I tried to shoo the boys outside for a while but wasn't diligent enough about it and somehow they wound up back downstairs doing yet more screen. Except for Will who put on his ipod and was wandering around the backyard thinking.
The cleaners aren't coming today so I lightly cleaned all 5 bathrooms. Then I got obsessed with cleaning all the fingerprints off various doors.
Rick and Hannah finished the history book and Hannah is writing now. She still has chem to do plus she told me she'd vacuum for me today. She wants to go out with her friends tonight but I don't know. . . .
1:35 Rick and Will are cleaning the aquarium and the rest of the kids are finishing up lunch right now.
Rick just left. He's going to pick up a new Lionfish for the aquarium. Will's going too because he wants Rick to take him to the shoe store to buy him new sneakers. His toes are coming out of his current pair.
Time to move laundry.
Read the study guide to Beowulf and dozed off for a few minutes. While I was napping, Hannah finished her church history narrations (Yippee!!!!) and Rick took the kids out (except Josh who has been glued to the screen all day) to run errands and what not. I really don't know what they are doing except trying to get Will shoes.
Listened to Seamus Heaney's Beowulf and planned lit/history class tomorrow. Made Chicken parmesan and tidied and vaccuumed family room.
It's 6:52 and I hope they get home soon because dinner is ready! And I am tired but want to read Sun Slower, Sun Faster. Hannah and Will still have chemistry homework to do. Josh is setting the table. Hannah got her license back for finishing her history narrations. Now she's taking a quick shower before dinner.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
7:30 woke up, putzed around on internet and drank tea
8:30 made french toast and bacon with Becky helping. Beautiful weather, we ate on the porch.
Talked a lot about the garden.
Did some school planning, cleaned kitchen
Took a shower, planned meals
Becky, Sean and Samir were so cute playing together on the stage downstair. Samir made up a rap song and Sean was break dancing to it. Rick videotaped it. Becky taught herself to do a flip in the air!
Rick did Chemistry with Hannah and Will
I cleaned out fridge a little and then went grocery shopping
Came home and put groceries away. Rick was doing history with Hannah. He found reading about the Battle of Lepanto from the Catholic perspective really interesting.
Went to 5:30 mass; got there 10 minutes late. Sean could not find his sneakers anywhere, finally Rick made him put his loafers that give his feet blisters. Mass was good.
Came home and Rick grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and satays I got from the store. Corn and fruit salad.
Read to Josh a little from King Arthur. He's been really into his Paper Mario game all weekend. I swear when the kids get really into a game their attention span drops dramatically!
Watched Thomas Aquinas with H and W but I kept falling asleep.
Rick is doing history with Hannah now. I'ts 10:36 pm