March 2, 2010

So much going on!

Oh, my! We've been slammed with activities and obligations. I used to joke that homeschooling had made us lazy, but this is the week (or two) that disprove that!

Sunday, when I got online to print out auto insurance cards I saw that our registration expired that very day. What are the odds? So I got on the DMV site to update them but it turns out we had to have a safety inspection done this year (Utah thing, I guess. Never had to do that before) and of course there was no place to do it on a Sunday (also a Utah thing) so I was out of luck.

I arranged with Joe that we would take the van on Monday for the safety inspection and registration, and then again on Tuesday for the Eileen Ivers school concert, and then he could have it for the rest of the week. Then we got an e-mail inviting us to a birthday party on Friday and there was no way we could have the van 3 days in one week, so Joe decided to risk it on Monday with the expired tags and I would do it all on Tuesday so we could go to the birthday party.

Just as Joe drove away on Monday morning we got an e-mail saying that the party would actually be on Saturday! Ha! That's life! But it was good because we hadn't done a full legitimate school day in quite some time and I had a ton of house work and phone call to catch up on. I called and got Hunter an evaluation appointment with the public school speech pathologist, and I am pretty sure he will qualify for services through this one. This will make him an official part time public schooler, but we need the help and are thrilled to get it. If he does qualify, that means we need the van 4 days a week and Joe will have to figure this whole scooter thing out so that we aren't spending our entire days in the car.

Also on Monday, Hunter and Haven officially started their Kindergarten math curriculum. I know...they are 2 and 4, but they are into it and why not let them be excited about math when they want to be, right?

Oh, and I got all of the last information about the k-12 programs. It's shocking how different they are. The one (virtual academy) actually wants you to only vacation on designated public school vacation days (NO WAY) and will almost always only let your child have curriculum that they deem age appropriate. So forget that Hannah Jane is wrapping up first grade math right now and just finished the Gossamer by Lois Lowry. She'd be stuck with first grade material for the whole year next year. To them I said, thanks but no thanks! The other group, Washington on-line, behaved as though they had actually met a home schooler before and understood our lifestyle a bit more. When Hannah Jane finishes her grade work, they send more no questions asked. So if she wants to do a year of science in two weeks (which she has been known to do) we just tell them and they ship more. I like! And we can pick and choose what subjects we want.

This seems like an appropriate time to go on a little rant about the method that the school system uses to teach history! Why, why, why must kids learn about the Mayflower through the civil war over and over year after year, elementary school, middle, school, high school, college? There are other places on the planet, you know! Places where very important in interesting things happened. And it's not like they will forget the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria after they've acted it out a few dozen times. Why not move on? Okay, you get the point.

So, as you may have guessed, I refuse to teach my kids the public school's history curriculum, but other than that I am flexible. WE can use whatever they send as a spine or guide and I will continue to come up with ridiculous ways to make lessons memorable like a day on planet 10 and living inside and ear for a day. I do not plan to give these up, but am super psyched (for those of you who survived the 80's) to get some free curriculum and give it a whirl.

And for those of you who say, "But the public schools will get money for your kids now even though you are keeping them home!" I say, the schools may need the money and I am not choosing home schooling in order to make a political statement. I am doing it for the betterment of my family. Not every one has the luxury of homeschooling and I'm not about to get all upset because their kids will get a few more education bucks because we want our free text books and tempera paint.

Okay, that all got way off track. Today was our day to be superhuman and get all kinds of stuff done. Grocery shopping, safety inspection, registration, drop off the boys at a friend's house and take her son with us to the Eileen Ivers concert through the school outreach program (which was amazing, by the way) pick up a pizza to take back for all of the kids and siblings to share for lunch, whiz home to take the dog out for a walk and a pee, and head to pick Joe up before running off to Bunco and catching the end of feast. Did I mention that this was all one the first day of the fast? But that worked out well because I didn't have time to eat, and Bunco had dinner waiting for me! Perfecto!

Tomorrow we are hosting girls club so we have to clean the whole place only to have it destroyed a bit by 15 or so little one's running around with glue sticks and frosting! Actually, I am really excited about this group! Hannah Jane is finally meeting girls her own age, which is totally awesome! We will be making tha paper bird mobiles that I wrote about, decorating lion and lamb cookies (which, for those of you like Joe who don't get why, there is the saying that March is in like a lion and out like a lamb), and it is likely that some goat chasing will also take place!

Once we have gotten that out of the way, it is time to buckle down and finish preparations for the science fair. The display board is all put together, but we still need to role play a bit, as Hannah Jane gets a little shy about talking to people about her project and she wants to try and look confident. SO for a week or so we will act dumb, like we have no idea what her project was about, and ask her all sorts of obvious questions until she knows the answers like the back of her hand. That is where she shines. She is a factoid memorizer if there ever was one, so she's excited about a week of role playing and fact memorizing.

Wow! I'm tired just reporting on what we're going to be doing this week! I better head to bed and recharge so I can get up in time for my super sized fast breakfast!

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