Thursday, November 22, 2007

Today I actually sat down with the boys and read with them. It has been a really long time since I have done that, like at least not in the month of November. So we each read a chapter in the bible, we are going through the gospels in honour of the holiday season approaching. Then we each read a chapter in The World of Columbus and Sons. The kids and I totally love this history series by Genevieve Foster. It is linear history told in story form, looking at what was going on in the world during the life of certain historical figures. Augustus Caesar; Christopher Columbus; and George Washington. I want to pick up the George Washington one as we will be starting our Canadian History unit after Christmas.
I have given up having them work mostly on their novels this month, they were mostly fooling around on their computers and getting little writing done. So we were back on most of their regular studies. Math, Geography, French, writing/language arts... what am I missing... oh science, we had experiments to do today, but for some reason I am out of tissue! We need Kleenex for all 4 experiments. They are a series and the last 3 look to explain the results of the first. Cool!
I have gotten my housework back on track this week too, to my huge relief. I was feeling so overwhelmed by the tasks I was putting off to write, that I couldn't write at all. I am hoping in the next couple days to catch up on my writing, now that my bathrooms are sparkly and my laundry is folded.
Speaking of which, I really need to go switch the laundry now!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Homeschooler get-together

Yikes, I haven't posted here in a week!
Today we had our first official homeschool day at the Servus Centre, the recreation centre that we regularily go to. I finally took the initiative and sent out an email to a couple of my homeschool groups and asked if people would be interested in getting together there for an afternoon. There is a regular get together of homeschoolers at another recreation centre in the area every Friday, but it is at least a half hour drive for me. And I hate the highway out there in the winter. Anyway, it was awesome! 5 or 6 other families attended with children ranging in age from 2 to 15. I met the most wonderful women, I can't wait to get to know them better. Most of them were around my age and all extremely friendly, and a number of them were Christians as well. Not that age and Faith matter, but it is always nice to have some common points of interest when beginning a new relationship.
Everyone decided that they would like to do it again, and we are going to meet up again next Monday.
My social schedule is jam-packed this week, not sure where writing and school are going to fit in. We don't usually have a lot scheduled during school days, so I guess one week won't hurt us too much.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Found some terrific music websites today. This Canadian one has wonderful unit study-style teacher kits. Completely cross-corricular, check out the Vivaldi Four Seasons one, looks terrific!

The website is

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This morning I walked up to my dh as he was making coffee and he put his arm around me and said, "Welcome to the crazy house."
I replied with a tired sigh, "Welcome to my everyday."
There was a huge Pokemon battle brewing in my kitchen, all three boys pretending to be different Pokemon complete with super loud sound effects and Pokemon battle moves. The noise level was deafening, the action a little disorientating.
"Of course," I added, "There is not always a Pokemon battle in my kitchen."
"Just think, if we weren't home educating, there might never be a poke battle in your kitchen," dh reminded me.
Tears started to fill my eyes as I watched the bunch of them having fun together, the older kids including the younger ones in their play. I am so thankful that I have this opportunity to watch them grow together and that they have this opportunity to know each other and teach each other. If they were in school I think it unlikely that they would be so willing to play with each other, their interests would be so diverse.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I must have spent hours yesterday downloading and unzipping those children's recordings. Why could there not have been a nice torrent file available? There is a link on that page to another page that has old Disney recordings among many others and they are available in a torrent file that I will download as soon as I get some file sharing again.
My kids really enjoyed listening to stories all day as they avoided their schoolwork like the plague.
I decided that since they wasted Monday and Tuesday supposedly working on their novels all day, but not actually writing, that I was going to keep doing their regular school with them and let them write when they were done.
They are both behind in their word counts now. B is perfectly capable of reaching his and catching up by spending a few extra minutes here and there. But I am afraid of R, my reluctant writer who is 10, feeling overwhelmed and just giving up or being frustrated. It is really important to me that they have fun with the novel writing, I want writing to be enjoyable for them. I know that school took the fun out of writing for me. Especially the crappy high school English teachers I had, who taught us absolutely nothing. NOT A THING. The teacher I had for grades 9 and 10 was in the middle of a nervous breakdown, and came to class only very sporadically. His substitute let us watch videos most of the time. Often women's weight-lifting competitions. weird.
In grades 11 and 12 I had the drug-dealing, stoner teacher. I am not exaggerating in the least, he actually sold pot to students. He did not know any of the 20 students names, unless they partied with him. All we did was read aloud in his class and we had 3 essays to write which he randomly assigned a grade to, based on if he could put a face to your name or not. After handing in my second essay and receiving a C ( a mark I had never seen on a paper of mine before!) I refused to hand in anything else. I didn't think it was worth my time to let him grade my work. At the end of the school year he had us come to his desk and tell him what grade we deserved, so I said a B. I had never received lower than an A in English, but I figured with a C on my paper that wasn't gonna happen. He gave me a B, the lowest percentage B.
When I wrote my departmental exams I received honors and scholarship qualification, thanks to the excellent elementary school teaching I had received. Nothing on the exams had been taught to me in all of my high school career. but the basics were all there in the back of my head I guess.
anyways, after my experience in high school I decided I hated writing. And I do not want that for my kids. They have amazing imaginations and I want them to be able to express those thoughts on paper.
So I decided for R, I will spend at least one day a week as his scribe for his novel. I will let him just tell me the story and I will do the typing and help get his word count up. So that is how I will spend my afternoon.

I took a deep breath...

and went to my room to enjoy a book and some stolen treats.
Thanks Jane:)
They did eventually finish their work, I am still waiting on chores, but the 10 year old is not going to Taekwondo.
Sorry for unloading:)

Help me please.

I can not begin to explain my frustration to you. The boys were ready to start school at 9 and they sat at the table with their math. It is 11:15 and they are still sitting there and are not finished. They have tortured their younger siblings, used the bathroom repeatedly, fought with each other, stared into space, thrown things at each other, made annoying noises, sang, rolled their eyes, stomped their feet, knocked their chairs over, thrown more things, but they have not done their math.
B at least pretends to do his math. R outright mocks me. I stayed calm for over an hour. I asked R to read his questions aloud to me so I could make sure he was doing them. He sputtered and argued and outright mocked me. He does not do it. I repeat myself every few minutes, "Read me each question and your answer." He gives me dirty looks, stares me down, laughs, mocks. He does not do his math.
He had a page of multiplication drills, no big deal. Very easy. He refuses to do them. He is now rapping. and interspersed with the rapping is humming the macarena. I just screamed at him to just do his work. and I told him no taekwondo today. and I called their father and asked him to come home today and discipline his sons. (his? oops I mean ours. grr.) Their father is sleeping for nightshift, I am sure he did not appreciate my call at 11:15 am. But I am at the end of my rope.
Can anyone give me any ideas? This behavior is not okay, and I am a pretty good disciplinarian usually. I don't make idle threats, I follow through with discipline when it is needed. I do not allow this sort of behavior.
What is happening here? I am seriously gonna lose my mind. I don't know if I can deal with him anymore today without screeching. I hate that.
I just keep repeating myself. Read each question aloud to me. NOW.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Free Children's Music

My Dad sent me this link the other day for arts reformation dot com. This page is filled with Children's recordings, mp3's of vinyl records from the 50's and 60's. I am madly downloading them as we speak. Tons of recordings of Fairy tales, fables and nursery rhymes as well as interesting schooly stuff like Songs Children Sing: Germany or Italy or...
I am also interested to have a listen to their Children's Introductions to: (orchestra, ballet, Shakespeare, multiplication.....)
I can't wait to unzip some of these files and share them with my kids!

Word count as of November 6

Just wanted to say, before I got in bed.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

word count for day 5

Word count as of last night
Me: 7004
DS#1: 3440

We all fell behind on the weekend, but it was a good learning experience for us. We can not reasonably expect to write on the weekends, we often have hockey at 6:30 in the morning and often til 11 pm. Activities fill our weekend schedule to over-flowing. I figured out how many words it would take each day for us to only write on weekdays. 2300 for me, 1400 for ds #1 and 560 for ds #2. ds #1 and I made our word counts yesterday, but I am afraid it is too much for my younger son. He is stressed at falling behind and now the new bigger word count is stressing him. 400 words a day is a huge stretch for him. Going from maybe writing 5, 5 word sentences a day to 400 words a day in a very short period of time is a big deal. Add to that his extreme difficulty with spelling I really think I may be pushing him too far asking for that extra 160 words a day. Yesterday he wrote for hours and hours and still did not meet his goal, I don't want him to feel like he can't do it, I want it to be fun for him. But I want his goal to be achievable for him.
Not sure what to do about this for him, I will try to schedule at least 2 hours on the weekend days for him to write I guess. Maybe that will be less stress for him.
Any ideas?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Busy weekends = no writing

Okay okay, I know I told you to bug me about my word counts every day. My word count for the weekend? About 800 words.
I learned something about my family, we do not have time to breath, eat, or sleep on weekends-never mind writing. So I reconfigured our word count needs. I figure to only write on weekdays I need to write 2300 words each weekday, so that is what I am gonna do. That being said, I have had company today and am on my way to hockey right now and I have the flu. So I will be writing tonight after hockey as long as I can keep my peepers open.
My boys have been writing all day, so I should be able to post their counts as well.
Thanks for asking guys, I will keep you updated.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Word counts for Friday.

Me: I just finished right this second with 4245 words.
DS#1: 2025, he was finished pretty early today, I am thinking he could have done the whole 50000 instead of just 30000. But I didn't want to push it, I like them liking writing!
DS#2: 809 and still loving it. I just can't express how excited this makes me. I am so flippin' proud of my little authors!
I am tired of writing now, so I think that there will be no blogging for me today. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Woo Woo! We have all surpassed our word count goals for today!
Kristen: 2141 goal: 2000
DS#1: 1012 goal: 1000
DS#2: 407 goal: 400

Okay, well we surpassed them by a very few words, but still! We are all super excited, and maybe a little high on sugar. I told the boys we would work in half hour increments and try to reach our quarter goals each half hour. When they reached their quarter goals they could reward themselves with a break and a Halloween treat. Worked wonderfully! I think we are off to a wonderful, positive start on our novel writing journey. The boys were a bit intimidated by the whole word count thing before today. But now that they have reached their goals today with seeming ease, they both feel a bit better about the whole thing. You should have seen my 10 year old beaming with pride as I told him how proud and excited I was for him. Last year it was like pulling teeth to get him to write 5 sentences. It could literally take him 10 hours to not accomplish even that. He fought me at every turn. Today he sat and happily wrote 400 words. In less than 2 hours! I am so excited for them. And for myself too. I actually feel like a different person since I decided to do this. I feel like someone who may have something to contribute to the world. I have really struggled with that, so it is a really wonderful feeling. I am actually excited by my life again. I can't wait til January when I start my University courses!
had to share, so excited over here!

It is started!

K, I wasn't gonna start tonight, cuz I am so bag tired. But I was too tired to close the computer and I looked up and it was midnight, so I opened my word processing program and wrote, "This is my novel." and then the words just started coming out of my fingers. 367 of them in 15 minutes. So tomorrow I only have to write 1300! ;) I seriously can not keep my eyes open or I would have kept writing, but I wanted to post my progress.
Good luck to the rest of you, can't wait to hear how you are all doing.