At Week’s End

I’ve run the gamut in the homeschool race.  When I first began five years ago, I set it up much like I set up my classroom when I taught in the schools: we started our day at a certain time and took a certain amount of time to complete each subject.

Now that I am a “grown up” homeschooler, I am much more relaxed in my approach.  A wise homeschooling mom of eighteen years whose three older children have all made National Merit Scholar told me not to worry with all the subjects and projects.  Reading good books and a solid math curriculum are the best tools of learning!

What we did this week

The first part of the week I demonstrated that homeschooling from the bed or the couch IS possible!  Hooked up to a heating pad, I oversaw my daughter’s learning of the intricacies of using proportions to find unknown numbers, finding approximate square roots of irrational numbers, turns, using cross products, and finding the area of a circle. We endured several math-induced meltdowns this week not because my child did not understand the concepts but rather because she wanted to know more than the textbook taught (and way more than my language-minded brain could handle!)  The idea that our number system has numbers that do not have perfect squares threw her for a loop and made her theorize that mathematicians just haven’t found the “right” number system or base system.  In her logic, God is perfect.  God created the universe, so he must have also created a perfect number system that hasn’t yet been discovered. (Once again…homeschooling is NOT for the faint-hearted!)

For reading this week my darling tween is working her way through C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy.  We’ve had some interesting discussions so far about what she suspects will happen in this book.  It will be fun to see if she’s correct!

For those of you who use Wordly Wise to enhance reading vocabulary, we’ve come up with a way to circumvent that dreaded Lesson E of each chapter…those “fill in the blank” exercises are tedious.  I wanted to find a way to make sure my daughter really knew those vocabulary words and wasn’t just learning them well enough to fill in the blank, so I gave her the challenge to write her OWN paragraph correctly using all the vocabulary words from the lesson.  She’s a natural writer and has really enjoyed this part of our week.  Since we are finished with Classical Conversations and IEW for now, this also gives her continued practice in writing.

We did not formally study history…but we did begin our new read-aloud…When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. I’ve found that our study of history is much richer when we read historical novels together rather than plow through textbooks.  We also did not formally study science…but she’s working on a robot for a robotics class in one of our homeschooling co-ops…and a recent robust thunderstorm gave her the idea to try to find a way to harness and store the intense energy found in lightning. If she’s successful, we’ll have to ask the MythBusters to test it out for us!

We also spent several hours this week at the ice rink for lessons and practice.  That place is becoming a home away from home.  I’m slowly learning the skating lingo but have a long way to go.

Things I wanted to do, but didn’t

I wanted to sit down and look ahead in the math book to see if there are any concepts I could quickly teach before she takes the Stanford Achievement Test next week.  Didn’t get that done…but there’s always tomorrow.

Research into “direct drive” in robotic cars…and into all things lightning.  I like to encourage my tween to explore and learn all she can about subjects that interest her.  Who knows?  Maybe it really will lead to an innovation that she and her dad can market to the masses!

Exercise.  I’m supposed to do yoga every day to help manage my fibromyalgia.  On my painful weeks, I don’t do it.  That’s not a good excuse.  I’ve got to get in the habit so I can be on the road to a healthier me…and so I can set a good example.

Meal planning. Eating.  My appetite plunges when I have pain like I’ve had this week. Preparing food becomes a hideous task when your stomach is so bloated you feel like you are going to pop.  Dinner consisted of grits and toast for me (can you tell where I come from?) and waffles for the tween when my dear husband was out of town.

The good, the bad, and the beautiful

The Very, Very Good: watching my tween seek out a special needs girl at the park today and engage her in conversation as they played on the swings.

The Bad: Pain

The Beautiful: Sweet magnolias blooming in the backyard.

Thank you, Lord, for my family, my life, and for walking alongside me through this week!  Even though I walked through the valley of pain, you were with me, and you are my Healer!

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