Friday, January 9, 2009

Wine Time

Did you really think I'd be able to keep up with a posting schedule? I mean, really?

Yeah, I didn't either.

So it's been awhile. But I do have good news. We finished the year strong and have started on schedule and man does it feel good!

After the nonsense and holiday time-sucks, Zane and I finally got to catch up with our homeschooling buddies (and just all around peas-in-a-pod friends.) No matter how much time we spend together, it's never enough. Quite bittersweet.

Towards the end of the evening, we give our boys the "5-minute warning" y'know--"We're leaving in 5 minutes." Except they know we can't tell time. I'm pretty sure they walk away whispering that they've got about an hour to play. The last time we were there and were leaving in "5 minutes" it turned out to be 2 hours.

So we got to talking about how bad we're being teaching these boys about time. Last night, I tried a different approach. Instead of saying "5 minutes" I said, "See the wine in this glass? We're leaving when I'm finished with that." Then my friend's husband added, "And when she's finished with that, I'm pouring that much more in her glass because it's all that's left in the bottle, so she'll be here until then."

My son panicked. Apparently my drinking time is faster than my warning-leaving time. He said something like, "C'mon! We have to hurry!"

My friend, coughTonicough, and I again ruminated how to fix this problem we have. No. Not the drinking problem! Shame on you!

I figure maybe we'll leave the time lessons to dad?

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

How Do You Stay On Track?


Come here.

Don't say a word, okay?

We're caught up. I know! Can you believe it?? I don't want to jinx it, but we worked super hard last week and this week, we're right on track. We even did a little extra work on election day. But Zane didn't seem to mind coloring the map and watching the results come in. (Though he was as confused as we were trying to figure out how the media could "call" a state with less than 10% of precincts reporting.)


To stay on track.

I'm clueless. I wish I could offer one of those neat bullet point lists. Y'know, like:

  • Make sure there are absolutely no family emergencies.
  • Tell your mother you can't just not do school to come over.
  • Tell your best friend (who doesn't homeschool) the same thing.
  • Tell your other best friend (who does homeschool) that nice weather doesn't mean we should drop lessons for a park day. Okay. Forget that one. Nice weather and park days always trump boring lessons.
  • Tell the internet to quit distracting you.
Yeah, see. I told you I'm no good at this!

So now--YOU get to make the bullet point list. What's your best tip for staying on track?

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Math Problems


My way? I memorized that 7x6=42.

Zane's way: (2) 7's = 14, so (2) 14's = 28 and another (2) 7's would be 42.

We're all different, right? Sheesh. What did I get myself into? Phil's truly a mathematical genius in my opinion. His older son, Michael is at Missouri S&T and scored highest out of 400 kids in his placement test for his first year of engineering.

Who am I to think I can teach Zane math? I mean, yeah, I took calculus my senior year. I can DO math. I'd just rather not. Words are far more interesting to me.

Zane was doing multiplication as a three year old. I'm so not kidding. He'd sit on Phil's lap and say, "Daddy? Two two's make four right?"

And in the car--Save me!! The kid does math every.single.time we get into the car and wants me (me!?) to tell him if he's got the right answer. I NEED a pencil and paper or a calculator. Period. He knows it. He just wants to prove he's better than me at math.

Fine! I can write a short story better than him. ;)

Are your kids little you's? Or are they your spouse in living color?
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fiction Woes

I was an avid reader growing up.

My son is not.

Though I hesitate to say, it hurts me. I want him to love the Box Car Children, Black Beauty, Where the Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller...

Okay, I'll leave out Little Women and Heidi.

Or should I leave out the rest too? Am I being girly? Because I was such a tomboy (still am.)

Are there other books that might get him to fall in love with reading? Or is he just too young still? (He's 9)

You mothers of boys--help me!
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

How Your Child is Smart--A Life-Changing Approach to Learning by Dawna Markova Ph.D.

How Your Child is Smart is probably one of the top reasons I still homeschool Zane.

A few years ago, I was having non-stop problems teaching him. I'm fairly certain he'd have issues in public school. He's Phil's little clone and he's not far away from my brother as far as learning goes.

Phil and my brother, Johnny, both got horrible grades. Johnny quit school. Phil joined the Army. Both of them, however, are mechanical geniuses.

I got straight A's, made honor roll and honor society, all that nerdy, smart-kid stuff. But can I fix any-freaking-thing? NO!

The differences became glaringly obvious when I was trying to make Zane love letters, words, sentences, reading and all he wanted to do (at 3) was tell me how three three's make nine or four two's make eight. He was counting money and doing mathematical things I have trouble with, yet he wouldn't say the alphabet or spell c-a-t.

So I did what all Horrible Homeschooler do.

I gave up.

But then, someone told me to get this book.
God bless that person, I have no clue who it was, but it saved me. Saved us. Saved our little homeschooling gig.

(and as an added bonus, it helped me with the arguments Phil and I have. Had. Since reading the book, the issue has been put to rest.)

Check it out, it might just save your sanity!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Economic Slumming

With the economy in the slumps, I've been giving thought to how we can tighten our belts. We are, and have been, a one income family since Zane was born nine years ago.

Before Zane was conceived, Phil and I owned our own semi, drove together, made a butt-load of money and spent it freely. We bought a little square of land and a trailer in Missouri, I came off the road and Phil kept driving. Shortly after Zane was born, though, was the first time diesel prices shot through the roof. Phil was gone twenty-nine out of every thirty days. I was alone, with no family and one friend (Jill) and a new baby.

There is a two week period I remember. I had enough gas in my vehicle to get to the emergency room and back. I stayed home for two weeks straight. Right now I wouldn't mind leaving me house for two weeks, but back then, I was a little more of an extrovert.

And thank God I was breastfeeding because I never would have been able to afford formula.

It cost upwards of $800 a day to keep the semi rolling and paychecks coming in. Then our trailer broke down for a week and we found ourselves $12,000 in the red. Then it snowballed. We ended up filing bankruptcy on the business. I didn't want to raise Zane without Phil and I couldn't handle the financial stress.

Zane doesn't remember those days. Since then, things have been a hair above failing. We still live paycheck to paycheck and a couple of years ago, Phil took a job we thought would better our future, instead it almost cost us our home. Instead of filing bankruptcy again, we took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and changed our lives. (There are online courses now!)

Dave Ramsey had a sale sometime last year and I bought Financial Peace Jr. and I got it out, but we really haven't spent a lot of time with it.

It's time.

Along with lessons like:

  • You don't get to spend $10 every time we go to the store.
  • You don't get a Happy Meal every time we leave the house.
  • You need to learn to play with the hundreds of toys you already have.
  • Use your imagination and make mud pies and dirt trails and forts.
What are you doing to teach your kids about financial matters?

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Thursday, October 2, 2008


Do I take advantage of homeschooling?

We're now like 2 full weeks behind. My grandma's funeral was last week, Phil and I went to a writer's conference, I sprained my ankle and am pretty useless at this point, and I'm wondering, how do I get so off track?

Do other Homeschoolers have this problem?

How do you manage to stick with the schedule and how do you determine what is priority?
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