March 30th, 2011

me: portrait

(no subject)

This is stream-of-consenciousness at it's finest. There's a lot I need to write, and no real order. So, buckle up! :lol: (I've been trying to post this since 9:30....hope it goes this time!)

Herself: She entered a watercolor pencil drawing in the County Fair. There's no way to put this that doesn't sound like bragging: SHE WON GRAND CHAMPION. The drawing is going to auction (because she has discovered the mercenary side of art :lol:), so today I get to go buy a new mat and frame for it. I have been given strict orders: "Gray or dark green mat - but gray would be better. Wooden frame. It needs to be nice." :ha: (We went to Michael's....big mistake. Got the $4 mat....and an acrylic painting set ($8!!!) oil painting set for $35!!!! BIG bargains. BIG. Both were on clearance for some reason - don't care, they're ours now!)

Also, someone on my Spinning List sent a link to help Japan: . Basically, they have a challenge grant going - for every origami crane sent in, Japan gets $2. I mentioned this to Herself this AM; she wandered off then came back with.....oh, geez, at *least* 500 cranes. "This'll help. I'm not doing anything with them. And I can fold more." :blink: All righty, then - we have to stop at the Post Office as well.

Pictures: Posted photos of Zaphod yesterday, if you missed them. It was nice and quiet last night - hope he had a good night at his new home. Also, when I went to take photos of her crane donation, I discovered a few pictures I had promised to post and haven't. I'll try to do that tomorrow......maybe. :grin:

School: I need to come clean. I promised truth when I started my blog, and I haven't updated my costs. :gulp: Confession time: I have spent right at $2,000 on Homeschooling stuff. Before you freak (and I know some will!) - remember, this is for 6 years of curriculum and extras. Math was for 7 years (and we're almost done with the first year, because he had already done a lot of it - we're basically reviewing.)

This amount also includes ALL the Art supplies needed for 1 kid for the 2-year art curriculum we have ( Artistic Pursuits - HIGHLY recommend this!), the 3 Physics Workshop kits that aren't curriculum, they're extra (and not needed..that was $150.), 2 bookshelves (Yes, I included them, because school is why we needed them), all the office supplies and ink I've bought so far, the microscope and slides, and every dime of every visit to Half Price books - I figured that the "free reading" books should be included. (I won't break that out for you...because I should have a "favorite customer" or "frequent customer" card there, and would if they offered them. :sigh: I love me some Half Price books! - and y'all might be appalled at how much I've given them in the past month or so!) I also rounded up - there's still a few things I need to get for Herself's art that I haven't bought yet - but I have bought most of it -(need more funds.....:heh:). Oh - and I included the Knowledge Quest Maps downloads and books - even the 2 sets I haven't purchased yet. (Printable maps that the students fill in that match most History curriculums. LOVE them! Even if they do replace the Atlases I bought...ah, well....the Satellite Atlas is way cool, and shows the sites as they are *today*, so we can compare.)

If you break it out, that comes to approx. $350 per year, for 2 kids. Or, $175 per year, per kid. (When you look at it that way, it's not too bad! :grin:)

Granted, there's some things I bought that we might not use - the "highly recommended" art curriculum from Christian Book Stores, for example ("Art Adventures at Home, Levels 2 and 3". not impressed. The first 5 lessons are on *lines*. Thin lines, heavy lines - look, we can ALL draw lines, I don't need 5 sessions on it! :sigh:). We might use some of the later stuff...maybe....although "Artistic Pursuits" was cheaper and is - IMNSHO - MUCH better. Some of the books - I have a Geography book we probably won't use, but it was $7. And the "Maps of the Ancient World" book - *I* find it fascinating, but the kids might not. :shrug: I love books, so it's not a loss.

Also, I feel I need to point out that we used the IRS refund for this - we both agreed that we needed to buy everything we could *now*, because we might not have the $$$ for it next year, when both kids are home. Better to spend it all up front. And.....I'm not worried about a curriculum not working, like some HS'ers are. We will simply muddle thru Math (since that seems to be where people jump ship the most) and do our best. Math is math.....I feel confident up to....Analyt and Trig. Khan Academy will help out there. (And it's FREE!) :lol:

We do have library cards....but the 2 libraries here (and we have cards to both) aren't....well, they're rural. Yes, they offer ILL......IF they remember to request the books. I've been waiting 4 years for 2 spinning books I requested...twice.....:sigh: The local one is worse than the other one.....but both aren't great. We'll be going in the next week or so to browse the History and Fiction sections, but I wanted to be sure the kids had *something* to read. I hope I am pleasantly surprised........

Speaking of books, I scored a copy of "The Well Trained Mind" on eBay. I wanted to read it - so many Homeschoolers LOVE this book, and I wanted to find out *why*. Imagine my surprise when I read the first few chapters - seems I did what they recommend without knowing it.

See, I never spoke "baby-talk" to my kids, and I never dumbed down my explanations. I told them what I was doing, why I did it, and why we needed to do it....I had them "read" signs, we played at math...all before starting school. Seems this is what you do in a "Classical" Education - and I had no idea! No wonder the kids are in the "advanced" classes.......(Yeah, that's not the whole reason, but it does explain a lot.) I never did dictation or copy work with them - they were in public school - but I did work with them at home ("afterschooling") and tried to make everything a learning experience - even if the kids didn't realize it. :huh: I feel pretty good, now!

Goats: Inara is giving a solid half-gallon a day, 6 days fresh. Can't wait to see what she peaks at! Annie is still giving a little less than a half-gallon - but not by much! Her production has gone up in the past week. Rosa and Zorra are due in 3 weeks or so.....we'll soon be swimming in milk!

Chickens: Got our shipping notice - the chicks will be mailed out 4/6, due to arrive 4/8 or 4/9. Our eggs are due to hatch 4/13.....that's not too much of an age difference, which is a relief. Of course, this means we'll have (best outcome) 44 chicks to raise. :gulp: We're hoping for the best - I'd LOVE to have 24 blue chicks!

Himself is currently building a ziggurat - he's happily cutting and pasting and generally having a blast. He LIKES stuff like that, so I have been hunting. Anna's linked a bunch (THANKS AGAIN!!!), I've been browsing HS Launch, and various HS sites. Fun times!