Saturday, February 4, 2012

Long Overdue Redirect/Farewell Post

So sorry to leave you hanging. I got so busy with life, I just didn't think I had anything to say on here. I knew I wanted to take my blogging in a different direction; something more focused and more for the readership, less babbling about my life in general.

I invite you to come follow me at my Wordpress blog. Thank you for your faithful readership!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Non-Post, Topicless and Vague

So sorry I have not been able to post recently. I'm going to college four days a week; between classes, homework, homeschooling, SCCK and working for my husband, I just don't have much time for spouting off on my blog. I even had such good fodder for a post, what with that psychotic drama teacher who left us hanging a week before Specials started...oh, yeah; I can't post about that anyway because it would be rude to slander her on par with how she is slandering SCCK. Nevermind.

I also have the evil satellite-from-hell, which frustrates me constantly. I really would rather post only when I'm at the office, mooching Wi-Fi off my mother-in-law. I have to remind myself that there are starving children in other countries who would happily consume my cast-off bandwidth. Gratitude - it's all relative.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm not sure if this was a compliment

I was in the grocery store today, standing at the deli counter, when I notice a nice, elderly gentleman standing off to my right, smiling at me. I smiled back and gave a little head-nod his way. He's about 82 years old, with a crisp white button down shirt, two pens in the front pocket and creased, grey trousers. Moments later, he's shuffling in my general direction, clasping his pint of potato salad in both hands. I cast around briefly, figuring perhaps I'm impeding his quest for Kaiser Rolls when it dawns on me that he intends to talk to me.

Still smiling, he says, "I saw you as you walked over here to get your deli ticket, then you walked back to the vegetables, then back here again. And I must say, although you've probably heard it a lot of times, you have quite a nice pair of legs." Oh, thank you...wait, WHAT? I laughed. What else can I do? My legs are being assessed by Mr. Magoo. Okay, it was kinda nice to hear...weird, but nice to hear anyhow.

P.S. I haven't heard that since 1986, when Mike Sherman in my High School used to call me Legs.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Curriculum Line-Up for This Year

Coming down to our last little smidgen of summer here, and that means just about all the curriculum is lined up and ready to go. Here's what I've got on tap:

* Magnificent Firstborn, Grade 8: Life of Fred Algebra, Apologia Physical Science, History Odyssey Ancients, Lightning Lit Grade 8, Sequential Spelling Book 5, Vocabulary - I can't think of the name of this now-discontinued program just at the moment. Volleyball through Park and Recs, Piano when I can figure out when in the world the lesson can happen, Art through the co-op.

*Dynamic Middle Child; Grade 5: Life of Fred Fractions, then Math-U-See Decimals and Percents (Zeta); NOEO Physics II Science; History Odyssey Ancients; Beyond Phonics; Sequential Spelling Book 2; Literature of our choice. Piano when I figure out a half-second to fit that in; Art mostly through Art Treasury and Art Skills by Usborne; Soccer through West Howard.

* He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Crossed Youngest Child; Kindergarten: Math-U-See Alpha and some Saxon for months, days, etc.; Phonics Pathways; Handwriting Without Tears; Daily reading of my selection; History - younger books on Ancients, History Pockets Ancients; Science - younger books on Physics; Musical Cultures at co-op for music; Art at co-op and some Art Treasury and Art Skills by Usborne; Soccer at West Howard.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Our Fantastic Homeschool Co-op Fall Schedule

Today is the release date of South Carroll Covenant Keepers' fall schedule of classes. I'm pretty giddy about it. I'm the board member in charge of organizing all those classes and I think this fall's schedule is something to be proud of.

Our co-op offers Specials Day - a series of Friday classes, two semesters a year. Here's what my kids are signed up for this fall:

* Magnificent Firstborn - 13 Ultimate Frisbee, Iron Chef, Survival II (investigating hands-on wildlife and self-sufficient living skills) and Drawing.

* Dynamic Middle Child - 10 Ultimate Frisbee, Bridges: Engineer a Marvel (creating structures from K'NEX), Circus (Yep, that's a professional circus performer teaching our kids performance skills and balance/agility tricks), and Rubik's Riot, taught by a certain Brilliant Boy who can solve that crazy cube in less than a minute.

* Born-to-Negotiate Youngest Child - 5 KinderArt, Playdough, Musical Cultures Tour and Open Wide and Trek Inside, a Health class focusing on dental care.

The concept behind Specials Day is remarkable and unique among the co-ops offered in this area. It's a day to knock out a lot of those niggling homeschooling "extras" - P.E., Drama, Art, Music, Cooking, Sewing and a bunch of other classes - while seeing friends. Plus, every kid has a place to be, so there isn't that constant question of, "Well that art class sounds nice, but what do I do with my other kids while we're there?" We have both parent teachers and outside professionals offering classes at Specials Day. I'm quite proud to be part of this fantastic group and I'm totally jazzed about our offerings for this year!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book of the Week: The Year of Living Biblically

I recently finished reading The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. Can I just tell you, A.J. Jacobs writes hilarious! In this book, Mr. Jacobs, a self-described agnostic, spends a year attempting to follow the laws and rules of the Bible as literally as possible. Although he often takes this to extremes that were surely not intended in The Word, it's rollicking fun to read anyhow.

The author reasons that since the Old Testament is more substantial than the New, he devotes 3/4 of the year specifically to attempting to fulfill Jewish law, figuring he'd leave the last 1/4 year primarily to New Testament commands. Mr. Jacobs, though not practicing any particular faith (prior to the experiment), is from Jewish roots. I think his pursuit of fulfilling Old Testament commands rings truer than his abbreviated focus on the New Testament. Possibly, he feels more connection to his Jewish heritage and it shows. I mean, a person could spend a whole year just trying to fulfill the directives that Jesus gave. (There's an interesting book concept as well.) There were a lot of potential subjects he could have canvassed in the New Testament that he never mentioned. (For example, I don't think he ever mentioned Communion.)

Anyway, I greatly enjoyed his forays in the weirder and more extreme religious tangents that exist. He met with Jews who sacrifice chickens, had his wardrobe dissected by a man trained to find mixed threads in fabric, sought out fruit from trees that were older than four years, went to a snake-handling church and built a hut (can't recall the Hebrew name for it) in his Manhattan apartment. Pretty funny visual, there.

He found that sometimes, even following laws whose purpose is not known, or that are generally disregarded in modern society, still can lead to peace and well-being. Examples of this are: wearing white garments, observing the Sabbath and avoiding certain foods. He also found that participating in rituals where he initially was uncomfortable, such as daily prayer, ultimately becomes integral to daily life.

This book was fascinating. I enjoyed it all the way through. If you're one to take your faith very seriously, you might not appreciate his literal application of verses you consider metaphorical, but it's still a vibe read if you can see humor in the sacred.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book of the Week: "Mr. Darcy's Diary"

I recently finished reading Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange. Since I love Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, I expected to enjoy this book as well. The author writes the storyline of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of Mr. Darcy. This was one of those books that started out great but left me a little cold at the end. For the first 3/4 of the book, the author wrote very convincingly. I could barely perceive a difference between the character designed by Ms. Austen herself more than a hundred years ago and the voice given by the modern-day Amanda Grange. This was not so much true as the book came to a close. Grange's version of Mr. Darcy comes to see the light too completely to be believed. He suddenly has no difficulty seeing his former behavior as arrogant and wrong. People don't usually come around one hundred percent, even if they do come around. It would have been truer if we could still get little glimpses of Darcy thinking he's all that.

Nevertheless, this book is a great diversion for P&P fans. I didn't mind terribly making it through the less-believable final quarter. If you like Jane enough to be depressed that there won't be any new novels out of her, might as well give this one a read. Darcy is a great character anyway, and I didn't mind spending 320 pages in his head.