Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekly Report 8/24-8-29

-rosary (only said one decade with W, J, S, B)
-took J to chess camp
-B and S did penmanship
-S did math with daddy - times tables, division, money review
-B did math with me - patterns; read to her from Devotional Stories
-W read history and did copy work from Intro to Devout Life
-H went to first Spanish class
-B did 1 exercise in LoG reviewing captial letters
-B read all 15 spelling words in her spelling lesson
-S and W jammed on guitar and piano - sounded good!
-S and W did VT exercises together
-S did grammar and spelling in WT
-Lunch - (J back from chess) - read aloud next lesson (1.3) in Art of Arg. also read 1st ch. in F&L4
-After lunch watched first two dvd lessons in LfC
-Cleaned up dining room a bit
-met with Rahima in re: science at co-op
-R came home early and took W and J to see Batman at IMAX at Air & Space museum
-J did his Religion and history reading at night after movie
-W did his Rhetoric after returning home from movie

-1 decade of rosary (H joined us!)
-cursive penmanship for S and B; copy work from Intro to Devout Life for W
-J went to chess camp
-S read Pedro's Journal
-B did spelling lesson and a little grammar (titles of respect)
-Read B her first F&L lesson
-B did a couple of very short math lessons on operations and equations
-S did a number of very short lessons on writing out long numbers, measuring and polygons
-W and S jammed on guitar and piano
-Ate lunch out at chick-fil-a after picking up J from chess
-J did history reading and religion
-W, J, S & B reviewed Chapters 3 & 4 on LfC dvd
-W did Class. Rhetoric reading and answered questions (strung this out all night!)
-Read Art of Argument, Nacar and about Artemis from Greek Myths at dinner
-forgot to do Greek!
-Read a little bit of Homer Price but then fell asleep!
-H went out to dinner with friend who speaks Spanish and is going back to college. She said he'd help her with her Spanish. Ha!
-H went to library to read history and do Spanish homework

- 1 decade of rosary
-J to chess camp
-little bit of cursive work for S and B; W copy work from Intro to Devout Life
-B reviewed money
-S wrote spelling words and dictated retelling of The Crow and the Pitcher
-S reviewed 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 times tables with flashcards
-W read lots of American history
-W and S jammed again on guitar and piano
-after lunch did read Art of Argument - overview of Relevancy Fallacies
-reviewed N G D A A and first declension, plus some vocabulary words, did 1 p in Activity book
-Greek; reviewed more of alphabet; everybody is working at their own pace
-H got up early and did Spanish homework then went off to class

-didn't get rosary said at all; woke up late on rainy, lazy day
-J's last day of chess camp
-B, S did screen while I showered (not our ususal school day beginning!)
-did a tiny bit of cursive, tiny bit of spelling, tiny bit of religion with B and J
-W did copy work; what else?
-B asked about lizards she saw on our porch so we looked Reader's Digest Guide to find out
-somehow talked about the Panama canal; googled it
-S read more Pedro's Journal then I read some; he's getting kind of interested
-B spent a lot of time on starfall she's getting better at reading
-B colored lots of prints out and made everybody cards from starfall
-did a midday tidy up
-dog trainer came
-took W to guitar lessons
-S to VT

-read Mass readings for this Sunday
-tiny bit of cursive penmanship and copy work for myself and W
-Read Art of Argument at breakfast
-did more Greek alphabet review
-S took spelling quiz and dictated retelling of the Crow and the Pitcher
-S read more Pedro's Journal
-pretty lazy, unschoolish day; raining all day
-almost finished Homer Price
-read about Hermes in Greek Myths

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Plans for the coming week

I was a bad, bad mommy and completely forgot to sign J up for chess camp this coming week. I meant to do it; I proceeded through life as if I had already done it; I can even go so far as to say I actually counted on sending him as if everything was squared away, but I never actually wrote the check and sent in the application. So tomorrow morning will see me begging the chess master to please, please forgive me and let J attend. He's gone the last two years, so I hope our dear chess master will relent (and actually has room for him). Otherwise, I have to do something really, really nice for J to make up for my sin of omission.

So if J gets into the camp he'll be there every morning. I think the only other thing I'll require of him is to keep up on his history reading.

If he doesn't get into the camp, well, I guess we'll just proceed with business as usual but I'll have to come up with something else to make up for my oversight.

For S and B we are going to start folding in Religion and Latin. I think for the first day I'll just do read alouds over breakfast in re Religion. For Latin, I think we'll just review the DVD lessons we covered last spring for the first couple of days at least.

I'm relegating Greek to 10 or 15 minutes after dinner on Mondays and Tuesdays.

H starts up her Spanish class at the community college on Mon and Wed. I am glad her school is finally starting up because she has been in a totally different orbit from the rest of the family and it felt alienating and it made me feel alternatively sad or resentful. But she's home today and she even helped clean up the kitchen.

So far I have been typing up a checklist of all the things I'd like to get done in day and keeping it on the fridge, checking off items or adding little notes as we go through the day. It's been working!

Okay, just felt compelled to jot these semi-plans down. Now I'm off to do the checklist!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Unschooling Friday 8/22

Today was a nice unschooling day. We went to Mass at our parish at 9:15 a.m. Then we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts to eat breakfast. While we were there we ran into another family that used to homeschool from our parish. This was lucky because we had been planning on meeting other homeschooling families at the Zoo and we were running late. So they gave W a ride home for me. Being 16, I guess he didn't feel like going to the zoo. He wanted to stay home to read and practice on his guitar. He's writing songs for his band. H was at home; she'd slept in this a.m. She's been working the nightshift at Starbucks and closing the store.

Anyway, the rest of us (me, J, S and B) headed into town. We got there just a couple minutes after the 11:00 Octopus feeding which was a bit disappointing but the octopus was still very cool! We only stayed in the invertebrates section for a short time. It was dark, crowded and humid and B really wanted out! She kept saying she wanted to see mammals! We ran into only one family that had signed up for the fieldtrip.

The thing that really interested us the most was the Orangutans. They swing on 'o-lines' across the zoo from the Great Ape House to the Think Tank. The Think Tank is an exhibit that all about the brain and if animals 'think' like humans etc. Orangutans are incredible! We were fascinated. They have volunteers walking around the zoo, hanging out in front of certain exhibits and they have little items to help explain the different exhibits. One lady showed us plastic replicas of an organatans hand vs. a human hand. They have such long fingers! But other than that the skeletal structures are the same.

After the Orangutans we wandered over to look at the big cats. We saw two female lions, one gorgeous male lion (huge head!) and one tiger. Tigers scare me for some reason (I mean why don't lions scare me as much?).

We also saw in no particular order (because I forget now what the order was!) lemurs, prairie dogs, zebras, Przewalski's horses, and tortoises, seal lions and seals. We were focusing on North American mammals to tie it in with our American history studies, so when we went into that area of the zoo we saw Bald Eagles (had a very nice film about DDT and the recovery from the that). We saw the Bald Eagle feeding which we thought sounded like it would be neat but really the zoo keeper just tossed a couple of dead rats out and the eagles kind of half-heartedly pecked at them. The eagles made me sad because their wings are clipped (or maybe they are eagles who have been injured) and they can't fly. They probably aren't hungry because what do they do all day but sit around with people staring at them.

We went over to see the beavers across the pathway. The beavers were tame in that they'd get really close to us. They look like big rats with comically stupid faces! Their tails are otherworldly! They are just so weird looking. We also saw some otters frolicking. Next to the beaver exhibit were Mexican wolves. Apparently these wolves are almost extinct and they are working to bring them back. They were shy and liked hiding up among rocks at the very top of their area. But a couple times they got up and trotted around. Big, beautiful species. Oh, at the beaver exhibit there was another zoo volunteer with plastic skulls of otters and beavers. She also had pelts of beaver and otter that we could feel.

In the midst of all this visiting of animals we had to walk clear across the zoo (no mean feat) to get to a money machine because yours truly had forgotten to get money out beforehand. Then we walked all the way back because we decided we really wanted hot dogs for lunch. We kept running into the other homeschooling family, so that was nice.

Rick joined us after we'd done the North American mammal part. His office is just a short subway ride away from the zoo. He hadn't had lunch and it was 3:00 o'clock already. So he stopped to get something to eat and we walked toward him from the opposite side of the zoo. A very nice feature they have at the zoo are sprinklers that spray a mist at you as you walk through. The weather today was wonderful; mid 80's and not humid at all. But still it was hot enough that walking through the cools mists was very refreshing. B went wild and got herself drenched and then complained about not having a towel.

After meeting up with Rick we decided to go to the Great Ape House. More orangutans and gorillas too. Watching them was fascinating and also sad. They look so human and so imprisoned. The gorillas were shy and had their backs to us. The orangutans weren't shy and came right up to the windows and looked us right in the eyes. We saw a gorilla using a tool! The Think Tank exhibit made a big deal about how we used to think only humans could use tools. But this gorilla had dropped some food in a spot he couldn't reach and so he got a stick and scooped the desired object out and popped it into his mouth!

Rick didn't want to stay any longer so he went back to his office, taking J with him. I took the other two home with me in the car.

Once home, we all decompressed. Didn't get home until around 4:30.

Over dinner I read an article about unexploded bombs in Vietnam from MaryKnoll magazine. They have a little educational supplement to help you teach different age levels. We looked at Vietnam on the globe and noted that it wasn't that far from Borneo, where the orangutans are from.

Now I'm going to read Homer Price to B.

Catholic Bubble

Jill, a lovely homeschooling mom I know, just started her own blog. She's a wealth of wisdom!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekly Report 8/18-8/22


-Said Rosary with B, S, J and W

-did last lesson in Greek book - Gr. word for helper

-cursive penmanship for all

-W, J did Saxon drill sheets - multiplication and reducing fractions

-Shiller with B learning about rows and columns, S-reviewed 8 x tables

-J did Voyages in English (VIE) grammar lesson

-S began first lesson in Writing Tales (WT)

-B played barber shop with many stuffed animals using a paintbrush instead of scissors! Didn't get to her CHC lang. arts this a.m.

-J read history

-W read history

- J practiced piano

-H had visiting out of town friend over unexpectantly. H cleaned her room and now went to lunch with friend.

-11:09 right now everyone is supposed to be cleaning their rooms because the cleaners are here at 12:00. J, S and B are listening to Boomerang cd in boys room. I guess W is going to clean up after B then.

B worked a little but then went out to roller blade. W, J and S cleaned their rooms. I tidied up our bedroom, then the steps and front hall which had become junk piles. I found stuff from May!!

B and I went grocery shopping.

-W did first lesson in Classical Rhetoric; he seems mildly interested in it.

-J did first assignment in vocabulary and short story lit program

-B wanted me to read next ch. of Homer Price which I did

-B did first page of spelling (we cuddled on my bed to do it); did 1st p. of Language of God (LoG) then she wanted to do the next page but we only got through 1/2. Mommy gave out!

-Read Nacar, and Greek Myths to S and B after dinner

- W is trying to teach himself Moonlight Sonata on the guitar

- J, S and B loved Duck Soup so much they begged to watch it again with W tonight, so that's what they are doing now.


-rosary (W, J, S, B)

-W mowed lawn in a.m. and consquently didn't do any morning work with us

-penmanship (J, S, B)

-Started new Greek workbook

-Math - B learned about patterns and skip counting; S reviewed 8, 9 times tables

-J - grammar, vocab

-J - history reading

S - did day 2 in WT1

B - did next spelling page; finished page from yesterday in LoG

Finished by 10:35!!!!!

Lunch - started Art of Argument

after lunch

B read a tiny bit from her reader

W - did all his school work for the day.

J, S, B and I went to visit H at Starbucks and then to library

Home again - read B 3 picture books and next ch. of Homer Price

W and R (via phone) are figuring out some way to hook up program to Mac for music composition.

Read Nacar and Greek Myths (Athena and Acrachne)

Watched the original Herbie the Love Bug movie - Fun!


-said rosary during breakfast

-did several pages in Greek workbook; kids didn't want to stop

-S looked up vocabulary words in dictionary

-B did tiny bit of spelling

-S read more in Pedro's Journal

-J did Kolbe Lang. Arts (VIE, Vocab, Sh. Story)

-J history reading

- ended at 10:00 a.m.

-went to 11:00 co-op meeting

Good day for socialization B played with friends at co-op meeting and then next door neighbor, S went bowling with his friend Joe and then played at his house all p.m. J's friend Steven came over in p.m. W went to his band practice and then SoR practice and then CLC. H was out all day with friends. Gave blood with too. Now she's off to work. R worked at home today.

-read Nacar and Greek Myths


-rosary (B, S, J, W)

-penmanship (all except W who couldn't find his book!)

-Greek (reviewing alphabet)

-W, S did Vision therapy homework

-B - Shiller math on patterns

- J read Am. History and did some language arts, says he needs me to complete this p.m.

-W read history; started on Rhetoric

-B did spelling words: I reviewed on whiteboard but then she insisted on copying over so I could grade her. She copied over 11 of the 15 words on her own initiative. I gave her 100%

- S read Pedro's Journal and actually seemed to like it; I read the next entry out loud to him.

-S reviewed 8, 6, 5 and 4 times tables with flashcards

-S did WT assignment on sentences.
-read Art of Argument at Lunch
-after lunch finished up grammar with W and J


We are going to Mass and then spending the day at the zoo!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Homer Price, Dog parks and Duck Soup

I just thought I'd record this day. . . .

Woke early and did internet stuff. Sat out on the screen porch with Tillie the puppy and listened to the birds chirp, that is until they started construction again on the housing development behind us. Somebody is out there working every day between 7 and 8 a.m. It certainly ruins a peaceful Sunday morning.

B asked me to read her Homer Price last night, so I read the first chapter. She was interested in it because S has such fond memories of being read that book aloud. He listened in too. This morning J got up and found the book and started reading it to himself. He carried it around all day until he finished it.

H got up, went to Mass and then on to work. I told her no more working on Sundays unless there's a really good reason. The rest of us got ready and went to breakfast and then on to Mass. After Mass we walked by Fr. Pat and stopped to shake hands. Even though it has been weeks since Grandmom died, Fr. Pat remembered R and told him how sorry he was to hear of it and blessed us both. I just find that phenomenal because our parish is really big and I don't know how he keeps names and details about people straight. R was very touched by it.

Since we spent yesterday inside most of the time and the weather continues to be beautiful summer weather, not too hot or muggy, we decided we'd go on a walk at a park. But then we decided we'd take Tillie to the nearest dog park. She's only 5 months old and hasn't been introduced to too many other dogs. We all got ready to go (except W who said he was staying home to take a shower). The dog park was fun. Tillie adapted right away and ran and ran with a couple of other dogs, then she got hot and laid down. We had to go into the small dog fenced area but could see the big dogs on the other side of the fence in their area. Some of those dogs were huge! Made me happy we decided on a Sheltie, not too small, not too big! Just right! We also discovered that we are supposed to have a dog license. I didn't know! Shouldn't the vet or the breeder or somebody have told me that? Anyway I have to look into that. You are supposed to have your license number or something when you go to the dog park. What silliness!

After that we hung out for a bit in the playground, R talked to his dad on his cell phone. Came home. R went to visit H at Starbucks and B went with him. S played Super Smashback Bros. J read Homer Price. I didn't do much but finally got up energy to put away laundry and unload dishwasher and other boring putzy stuff.

H and W went to a surprise going away party for one of their friends who is going to the University of Dallas. W dressed up in a suit for some reason. He also cut a cd for dance music before he left.

R brought home a new lion fish. We've gone through 3 so far. I hope this one lives. Then we did something silly. I'd been noticing these stickers of cartoonish families on the back windows of car/mini-vans and I had wondered about them. Suddenly R was inspired to get one for us. So he googled and went to and we custom made our own family sticker. We are supposed to get it in ten days or so.

R grilled steak and I made a salad. We ate on the screen porch.

After dinner we watched Duck Soup with the Marx brothers. The kids thought it was hysterically funny! They were hooting with laughter. R is reading the first Artemis Fowl book the B and S.

So tomorrow we start up a slightly fuller week. I'm adding in Vision Therapy exercises (we're supposed to have been doing this all along but I just kept forgetting. But now I'm going to try to work it into our routine since we really didn't have a routine before. So many things slip through the cracks if I don't have a regular pattern for getting things done. I'm also going to add in language arts.

The Nine Tailors

Yesterday, I did nothing. I didn't clean my house or do any laundry. I hardly interacted with my children at all. I did manage to provide breakfast and a kind of dinner. I got everybody bagels in the a.m. and I ran out to the store and bought a roast chicken and other sundry items for dinner. But mostly, I laid in bed and read The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and high recommend it, but only if you can ignore all your responsibilities for the day.

Now I must go netfix the old Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries that played on PBS back in the late 70's (or was it early 80's?).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tridentine Mass

Yesterday, The Feast of the Assumption, I went to Mass twice. In the morning with B and S at our parish, where our good Monsignor was ten minutes late starting the mass, gave us a good homily about the many misperceptions of Mary, and conducted the whole Mass with his usual gentle and humorous way. The choir sang Ave Maria after Communion and it was lovely.

I can get a lot of praying done at our parish Masses. Of course B made that a bit hard. She kept insisting that she find each hymn in the big hymnal on her own. This meant that she would take almost the whole length of the actual hymn searching for the right number, stubbornly refusing help from me. So she was brimming with frustration because as she'd finally get to the right page the singing would end. Ah, dear. So she was reduced to tears by the end of the whole thing. When she gets mad she forgets to whisper! And we were sitting in the second pew from the altar and no one sat in front of us. I hope Monsignor didn't notice too much. It is hard sometimes with a very willful 7 year old! S on the other hand just droops the minute he gets into Mass. It makes me think of that Jerry Seinfeld bit where he talked about how when you are little and you go shopping with your mom and suddenly your legs won't hold you up anymore and you'd begin to droop? That's S! Suddenly he can only slump. I'm forever telling him to sit up or stand up. I rub his back, tousle his hair, touch his arm, point towards the altar (as in, direct your eyes up front, dear!). When he kneels he has to put his head down on his arms like he's about to go to sleep. His body language yells I'm bored! I used to be on him all the time, giving him little lectures about how when you're visiting God's house it isn't good to act like you need to nap! A bit rude! But I think it is better to get him excited about it in other ways, indirectly instead of nagging him. And surprisingly he'll come out with some profound comment after Mass or even days later that shows he was paying more attention than I gave him credit for.

Anyway, in the evening it turned out that H went and sang at our parish 7:30 p.m. Mass but W and J came with me to check out a Tridentine Mass a couple parishes away for the first time. R got home in time to watch B and S.

I wanted to get there a bit early so we could see if there were missals that would help us follow the Mass, as I really am woefully ignorant about it. But we got there just in time; I took a wrong turn and got us lost briefly. I remembered to borrow H's mantilla, but it turned out only about half the women there were wearing them.

The organ and the choir began and the priests and acolytes processed in. (I noticed that this parish has four priests listed in its bulletin. That amazed me. Our huge parish has our one pastor and our retired Monsignor. How can it be that one parish gets 4 priests and another gets what amounts to 1.5? And just judging by the seating capacity in each church, ours is much larger.) Anyway, it was an all men's choir and the singing was absolutely breath-taking. I couldn't follow the beginning part of the Mass at all. There were no missals, only some laminated sheets of paper with a few Latin prayers on them. We didn't know when to sit or stand but just followed along. Lots of incense! I could pick out some Latin words of course, but not enough to let me know what was going on.

The celebrant prayed in Latin to himself and there was quite a choreographed sequence of altar boys and assisting priests moving this way and that, now taking up the lectionary, now putting it down, now incensing, now kneeling, now standing, now moving in front of the altar, now moving to the side, now bowing. The celebrant kept saying prayers at the altar then sitting down, putting on his biretta, praying, taking off his biretta, getting up again. Everything was perfectly timed and it made me wonder how often they'd had to practice the whole thing.

All the music was in a minor key and very glorious but very solemn too. The pastor of that church had recently been hospitalized for a stroke. I had seen him years ago when he was at another parish. He has aged considerably. His hair is snow white and it looked as if the stroke had really taken a toll on him. He walked with a cane. But he got up and read something in Latin before the celebrant read the Gospel in English and then delivered his homily. I don't know the name of the priest but his homily was superb. It was all about how Mary preceeds us in what God wants for us. Mary was assumed into heaven body and soul because the division of body and soul came from the Fall and she is already with her resurrected body just as we will be on the last day. He talked about how our culture views the body without the dignity something that will one day be in heaven deserves. He said that part of our society worships at the cult of the body beautiful, where people spend more time at the gym than at church, where they make it their utmost goal to hold on to the body of youth resorting to extreme measures. He said that some in our culture loath themselves through their body, as in the teen fad of cutting or people who have eating disorders. And others see the body as merely utilitarian and he cited infant stem cell research, harvesting organs before one is brain dead, in vitro fertilization.

He talked about how the church honors the body, even through mortification such as fasting, because it trains the soul, through the body to resist temptation. He said that being chaste and waiting for the holy union of marriage and then giving one's body to one's spouse is honoring the dignity of the body. And those who are consecrated virgins or celibates also honor the dignity of the body by sacrficing their sexuality for God. He said more too, but I can't recall it all. But it was an excellent homily.

We were able to follow along when we said the Credo and the Pater Noster. The Liturgy of the Eurcharist was beautiful. I kept looking at J and W out of the corner of my eye to see how they were doing. J looked engrossed, W was pretty good but he was doing his little ADHD quirky tics and I had to signal to him a couple times. He does these weird movements with his hands. It's just pent up restlessness, but it looks slightly schizo so I'm trying to get him to be more self-aware about it.

Right before communion J whispered to me "Do we say Amen when we receive?" I said yes but then immediately thought maybe that wasn't right, so I whispered back, "Just watch and see what the people in front of us do!"

We went up and at our turn knelt at the altar. The priest came by (he looked to be a visiting African priest) and said something in Latin while forming a little cross in the air with the Host. You don't say Amen and of course you receive on the tongue.

After Mass was over the organist launched into this incredible piece of music. I almost laughed at first because it sounded the the soundtrack to a really gothic monster movie to me! I guess I am so unsophisticated about real organ music than I can only associate it with how it has been parodied.

W loved the organ music and clapped when it was done which embarrassed me greatly as no one else did! We left the church with red faces. But the first words out of J's mouth were: "That was awesome! Can we go to Mass here again?" That is saying something because the Mass was one and half hours long and it was now 9 o'clock. How many 13 year old boys have that reaction! W also gave the Mass two thumbs up! He loved all the gorgeous music. He announced that now he was pumped to try to learn Latin again.

I was so busy taking in everything and in awe of all the splendor that I didn't really pray the way I usually do in church. I guess my awe and appreciation were a kind of prayer!

I know the Tridentine Mass we attended was a 'high' Mass. I know that particular pastor is very into music and always has a paid choir somehow at his parish (his own money????). I wonder what a low Tridentine Mass is like? Just chanting and spoken perhaps?

It was a lovely experience and I now am in complete sympathy with those who prefer the Tridentine over the Novus Ordo in the venacular!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Weekly Report 8/11-8/15

Monday -

Last day of relaxing before switching into LCC mode. We are easing into things this year so hopefully we'll be completely up to speed come the first week of Sept. For now I'm just focusing on copywork and penmanship, finishing up our summer Greek study, read alouds and reading practice for the youngest two and some math for them too.

B said rosary with me in a.m. So sweet!

B read from Little Angel Reader A - she'd lost interest in reading lessons so I was unschooling her, but Mon I told her we needed to start up lessons. She picked the reader and wanted to start from the very beginning. She read the whole list of words in the first lesson out loud to me while I fell asleep on the couch!

Took W to lunch to talk about expectations for the year.

Tuesday -

Had horrible migraine all night; didn't think school would get done at all, but we:

- started penmanship: S did MP cursive; B - CHC cursive; J yo Italic cursive

- finished up Greek alphabet

- W read 3 chapters in Am. Hist.

- J read some in Christ and the Americas (not sure how much)

- S and B listened to D'Auliare's Greek Myths and more of Nacar, the White Deer

Took S to lunch and showed him all his books and talk about expectations.

In the evening, B read me 4 pages from her reader. I kept expecting her to be like her brothers and want to stop after every page but she was so enjoying herself she kept going.

R is reading Through the Looking Glass to B, S and J.


B got up early and I told her I thought we'd break into new math program after breakfast. She was so excited about it though she demanded we start before breakfast. She took the first diagnostic test and got 100% She was so proud of herself.

S came down while I was doing math with B and wanted to do his math too. He did the first lesson on telling time. He said he felt he didn't know how to tell time well enough but he answered every question perfectly, so he felt really good about himself then. He certainly deals with insecurity issues a lot. What to do about that????

Wonderful morning rosary with W, J, S and B. What a blessing!

After breakfast:

W - Italics cursive, J - copy work from Intro to Devout Life, S - Classical cursive, B - copy book (she drew a picture and then asked me how to spell Don't ask!) Me - another quote from Intro to Devout Life.

Greek - practiced writing Greek alphabet and learned Greek word for "Lord"

Read more of D'Auliare's Greek Myths

J - read more from Christ and the Americas; W - read from Story of US

H - stayed in bed all morning reading Northanger Abbey.

Took B to lunch and showed her all her books. She is so proud of learning Greek and Latin!

I restricted screen time so J started reading a book about UFO's. Not sure if it appropriate for a 13 yo! S and B dug out old puppets and played with them off and on all day.

W - practiced guitar and then went to band practice then CLC

H has been her usual distant self. It's like living with a ghost who just pops up to complain about something or ask to use the car.

Read more of Nacar, The White Deer. Did a little bit of our first art lesson after dinner. Started S on McGuffey's 3rd grade reader. Read about articulation.


Morning Rosary with B, S and J

Greek- reviewed alphabet, reviewed word for Lord and learned word for 'my'

Religion - read a long story about Maximilian Kolbe, his feast day today

J and W did some Saxon math facts on mulitplication and division, just to get gears rolling

Did Shiller math with B and S - what fun!

S began reading Pedro's Journal

J read his history, don't know if W did

H has read all her history for the week; is finishing up Northanger Abbey and we reviewed some Spanish vocabulary today.

W to guitar lessons

W and S to VT

Read Nacar the White Deer after dinner and read about Io and Zeus in D'Auliares.

B read a page from her reader very well but was grumpy and didn't want to do more.


Is the Feast of the Assumption so I'm toying with not doing much and trying to make the 9:15 Mass for the littles in the a.m. That way H can sing in the choir at the 7:30 p.m. Mass and I can go to the 7:30 Tridentine Latin Mass tomorrow night (I've been wanting to check out the Tridentine Mass for a while and this seems like a good opportunity). However, I need R to be home from work in time for all this.

I do hope W and J finish up their assigned history for the week. I hope S reads more of Pedro's Journal and I'll read Nacar and D'Auliare's Greek Myths and R will read more Through the Looking Glass.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Thinking of home

We've been on vacation this week. I haven't had time to really blog as I've had very little private time with access to a laptop. In fact, right now I feel a little furtive and I can hear someone walking around. So I don't know if I'll get to write this out now anyway.

We've been having a pretty good time but it has been overshadowed by some bad attitudes especially from my oldest beloved daughter, who seems intent on having a parallel vacation as opposed to actually vacationing with us. I'm a little fed up with the distant attitude, the constant irritation with everybody and the as constant attempts to make everything go her way so that she can do whatever she wants with complete disdain for everybody else. Not fun to live with! She's a good girl going through one of those bumpy self-absorbed phases. In my head I call her the Paris Hilton of Catholic homeschoolers! She is a party girl. Everything is about friends and having a good time. I am so glad we homeschooled her as I think she'd be soooo attracted to the party lifestyle. She is so very extroverted.

Here's why I like St. John Bosco's quote so much: Enjoy yourself as much as you like, if you only keep from sin. There is a balance there that is needed. It seems we, as a family, and some of us as individuals, really need to keep the two elements of the quote in mind. You can do whatever you like, but if it makes you petulant, inconsiderate, manipulative, and self-indulgent, then you may not do what you like, for you are not keeping from sin!

So I'm kind of looking forward to home again. This is our last day. I've always thought that the sign of a good vacation is the desire to go home again. Poor B does not want to go home though. She's been having a blast.

At home we will get into a healthier routine. I think this will help a lot in reducing petulance (not at first, mind you, because it is hard switching gears) but clearer expectations and keeping busy do wonders for children's attitudes.

They'll be some structure to the day since we're starting up LCC and the older kids need to begin reading some assignments.

For me, psychologically, it will be good. In my head, summer will be over, and summer is always hard for me, and fall will be coming, my absolute favorite time of the year, and we'll be busy learning and involved in activities and all that is good for my soul!

I'm a bit nervous about getting home tomorrow. I might have to drive because a very unfortunate accident occurred yesterday. We had a little 3 car collison. R's car was damaged pretty badly, rendering it undriveable. We had to rent a car but H can't drive it because you have to be 21. So it may be that I drive one car and R drives the other. I hate, hate, hate driving so I'm pretty nervous about it.

Anyway, today I'm going to let the kids pick what they'd like to do before leaving. It looks rather cloudy out right now. I'm going to take the puppy for a walk, shower and then try to make it to the 9 0'clock Mass here. I really need to focus on prayer! Then today will also mean packing up and cleaning up which is always a bit depressing at the end of vacation.

Alright, gotta run.