Monday, September 13, 2010

1 down, 179 to go

We survived our first day of homeschooling, despite it being a calendar day for Murphy's Law.
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong:

  • Laptop would not recognize the USB connected printer
  • Laptop power cord is fickle and does not like to charge the battery unless the laptop is on it's side, sitting on the cord and the cord is at just the right angle.... which means I can NOT use the laptop while it's charging. 
  • Couldn't print out or access my lesson plan from last night
  • Reinstalled printer software, tried to print lesson plan, crashed document software 100% of the times attempted, unable to print. 
  • Laptop now does not recognize ANY USB connected device - was going to do a full recovery on it but couldn't move data to the hard drive.
  • Backed up data to 6 CD's. Attempted to recover laptop. Discovered this can ONLY be done with the discs that came with the laptop... and they're ummmmmm someplace safe. 
  • Weather was not as sunny as I had planned on it being, made our science experiment not quite perform like it should - you really need hot sun to be able to demonstrate the differences in evaporation between sun and shade. 
  • Winged it through our lessons, but later found not exactly what I had planned. 
What did I learn from today?

1. Winging it is ok.
2. LD will tell me what he can and can't do - no lesson plan can account for that
3. Fewer than 3 meltdowns per day is a win!
4. We still have 179 more days to go.

I did take a picture... one that made me feel SOOOOO much better about all of this. But now, Murphy is showing me that he's more powerful than I am.... I can't access the memory card to get it.

Thanks for reminding me that technology is NOT all that and a bag of chips.

Now for strange of all strangeness...... I pulled the memory card from my Nikon.... put it in my Cannon. connected the Cannon to the heathen laptop with a USB cable and was able to retrieve my precious picture. Perhaps the laptop realized that I was "this close" to tossing it out on the highway? At any rate - here's LD's "first day of school" photo:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

School Starts Monday!

Well, it's finally here.... we start our homeschooling adventure tomorrow!

I have already run through the following emotions:

And that was all before noon this morning.

LD says he wants to do "numbers" first tomorrow..... ok kiddo, welcome to Math!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Retro" resources.

I challenge each and every one of you who homeschool to find a Retro resource and add it to your curriculum, and soon!!

A couple of weeks back, we spent an unplanned afternoon with my daughter's paternal grandparents at their equine sanctuary. When we were getting ready to leave, her grandma gave me a bunch of books, magazines and old school stuff - mainly the "teacher's copy" of books. These could be considered "Retro" by some or discarded and useless by others. I just love the "old" way things were organized and written, the pictures etc. Special thanks to Donna Kyle for these GREAT items. I know we're going to have a wonderful time with them!

This one is older than I am!

As you can see, things look pretty much the same as they did 39 years ago:

Well ok, the girl's clothes don't quite look the same do they?

And this one?? I WISH text books were this colorful now:

And don't even get me started on how this proves inflation:

Some assorted workbooks, etc:

A "mystery" book:

Mystery solved:

Inside the mystery book:

And then there's this little workbook:

Looks innocent enough right?

Oh no!! Ray's lost his marbles:

And frankly, I don't even want to know why Jack had THREE to begin with. Poor guy, then he lost two of them.... He's going to need some serious therapy for YEARS.
Just makes me wonder why the boys keep losing things...of such... importance...

Oh, and you've got to love this one!

And finally, some magazines - which are really great - you can use them for all kinds of stuff - art projects, reference (such as finding pictures of things), cutting out words to make sentences etc.

Just goes to show that there are all kinds of resources out there - and just because they're dated, used or discarded, does NOT mean you can't make use of them. Especially now, when we should be focusing on how to make things last, learning to repurpose these old text books is a really great idea! New stuff is nice, but these will also allow me to teach my son an important lesson - that no matter how much things change, they really stay the same!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The decision?

After agonizing hours devoted to the idea of homeschooling, I made a decision..... I am going to homeschool LD. Frankly, public school lost it's appeal to me a LONG time ago. It happened in college actually. I was going to be a teacher - Kindergarten specifically. I loved it.

And then I did some "field work" - internships. I worked in REAL classrooms. I saw some really phenomenal teachers. I saw some, which if I called them mediocre would be giving them more credit than they were due. But it wasn't the teachers. It wasn't the children. It wasn't even the parents who felt it was the Kindergarten teacher's job to teach their children basic hygiene.

It was the politics. I realized that I could never really enjoy teaching when there's so much CRAP that teachers have to put up with. Not to mention, the union. Ok, don't get me wrong, I believe the unions are needed. But, when the union says strike, you do. Regardless of how that impacts YOUR class.

So I didn't go on to the credential program after my bachelor's degree. I stayed home with my daughter until she was 3. Then her father & I divorced and I went to work full time - for an insurance company of all things. Definitely NOT teaching..... well, sort of. I did educate people about their insurance..... But it wasn't the kind of teaching that I loved.

Now that I'm not working any more, I started thinking of teaching again.... but on a more personal level. There were lots of reasons that I finally decided to homeschool our son, and here's one of them:

If we hadn't been together, I would have completely missed the first time LD overcame his fear of small crawly things and actually HELD a bug for more than a few seconds.

Homeschooling allows you to witness your child trying foods from different cultures.....

Arts and crafts, while you wait for dinner!

Field trips become a family affair - and if you want to spend more than a day at Sutter's Fort in fifth grade, you can.

Physical Science = learning that something that you can see through can still keep you from falling 30 feet into the ocean!

Finally, homeschooling was our decision because I asked LD, "do you want to ride the bus and GO to school, or do you want ME to teach you?" and LD didn't even hesitate when he said "I want you to be my teacher!" and then he went on about "Mommy" being his teacher for the next two days! I needed no more incentive than that!