Sunday, November 25, 2012

I could spend a year giving thanks!

I love Thanksgiving!  It's my favorite holiday!  I was a little sad that we weren't going home to Ohio for Thanksgiving this year, but it's pretty difficult to travel that far with the kids and no other adult to help me, plus expensive, and we have obligations we had to limit our trip to just at Christmas.  Fortunately, I have some AMAZING friends in Maryland who decided to come down to spend the holiday with us and it was so nice.  Plus, I got to go Black Friday shopping with one of my most favorite people.  :) last week was sparse.  We did a little, not a lot.  I've promised myself and my boys that the next four weeks of school before Christmas and moving were going to be purposeful and busy.  They said ok, but  I know they like the weeks of easiness.  :)

I've been checking out where they are now with school as we approach the end of the first half of the year.  Adisson's doing pretty well.  We're starting to get a little behind in math, but we are still constantly working on multiplication tables.  He's getting there and I'm so happy for that.  It's a slow and steady approach that will get us there and that's not typically something we encounter.

Zander is doing really well.  I hope this week we can spend a little extra time working on his reading.  He's doing a great job and I just don't want him to lose his momentum.  Plus, I know he'd be so excited to take a book or two to Ohio and show his grandparents his "new trick" and read a few books.

Jax is being Jax.  Fortunately, I sometimes see a glimmer of hope in his behavior, like maybe he is understanding me when I tell him why we can't throw an xbox controller at the tv.  On a good note, the tv will be mounted much higher in the new house so that will eliminate that particular source of frustration for me.  :)

As I've been going through the boys curriculum to see where we stand and where I'd like for us to be before we break for Christmas, I've realized what a blessing it has been for me to have found Time4Learning.  My only regret is that I wish we would have found it sooner.  It's been exactly what we need.  It's great to be able to recommend a program that works across many levels including special needs learning and homeschooling gifted learners.  I feel that there are so many kids that could benefit from this style of learning. It's also a blessing for me as it's super easy for me to see where we are, what we need to work on, etc.

Anyway, I've been saying that my blog posts will get better and I still promise they will.  :)  With Adam leaving, Zander's birthday, Thanksgiving, this week is Adisson's birthday, getting ready for Christmas, building a new house and getting ready to's been a lot.  But I'm committed to schooling these cute little guys and telling you about it.  So, again I promise that the more detailed blog posts (and with pictures!) will be back...hopefully VERY soon!! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Starting to get back on track.

Finally!  A week where we actually spent some time learning!  :)  What a relief!

We had a busy week getting things ready for Zander's 6th birthday party.  It was a small party, just the four of us and Adisson's friend who spent the night.  Zander had requested a Spider-Man themed party and I happily obliged.  We found a few decorations, I planned a cake and a few snacks (most of which got scrapped in the interest of finishing up party prep so my guy could get to his presents).

But about school...Zander is busy learning about syllables and reviewing rhyming words (which is sometimes a struggle).  He's also been practicing his writing and spelling his last name.  I really want to work on teaching him how repeat and write his address, but we're holding off the writing part until after we move.  I'd rather not confuse him if that's possible.  :)

Adisson spent the week learning about Incans and Aztecs, reviewing how to make change with money, and learning about interjections.  He's supposed to be writing in his journal everyday but he doesn't particularly like writing, unless he's writing about his favorite video game...then he can write forever. I'm hoping we can work together to remedy this situation but it's nice to know there's creative writing help available.

We also took a field trip to the Marbles Museum in Raleigh.  We had been there before over the summer with Adam's parents, but when it's a weekend in the summer, that place is PACKED.  I thought for sure it would be a lot less busy since the kids were in school.  No...they were all there on a field trip.  Goodness, I was wrong!  :)  Fortunately, it wasn't so busy that we couldn't play and the public school kids and daycare centers left just after lunch time so we had a few hours where it was pretty quiet...which the boys LOVED!

My littlest guy LOVES to hang!

He was very interested in the Big Boy stuff.

The real tools section was a HUGE hit.  They got to use REAL saws!
You just wear your socks and it's slippery like a hockey rink.  They spent a LONG time here!

So that was our week in a nutshell.  This week will be a short school week because of Thanksgiving.  I want to do a few Science lessons and some art projects and that will probably be the extent of it all.  If I plan on keeping it pretty simple and light, I'm happy when I meet those expectations!  :)  If I'm not back before....HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Not a whole lotta learning....

It was a very busy week for us.  I feel like I keep saying that over and over again.  But things should begin to settle down a little now.  (Read: husband is finally on his "fishing trip".)  Every time he leaves, I'm whiny because he's gone, but it's also a sigh of relief that the anxiety of all the preparations is over.  So, now I've got to get back to work...literally and figuratively.  :)

Last week was not a busy school week for us.  We talked a lot about politics (which I won't discuss here) and what it means to vote.  I took the boys with me to vote so they could see the process and I wanted them to see me exercising my right to do so.  It was a great learning experience for us, in several ways.  

I still wanted them to have some time with school, no matter how brief.  They each spent some time playing some educational games online.  I just didn't have more time to devote to school last week and I'm ok with that.  We'll be making up for that this week.  Adisson did some spelling/language arts games (hangman, missing letter, and context games) while Zander did some letter matching and math games.

This week will be different.  :)  I don't have many plans, other than doing stuff around the house.  We're beginning preparations for moving so we're going through EVERYTHING to decide what can be kept and what is to be donated.  Tomorrow, we're participating in a Veteran's Day parade with Cub Scouts.  My middle son turns 6 on Saturday so we'll be having a birthday party for him.  And that's about it.  In the meantime, I've got crocheting to finish up and start, Christmas gifts to make, and a HUGE furniture project I'd like to have done before Adam gets home, though I'm not holding out a ton of hope.  :)

I'm hoping my next school update is a good one.  I'm hoping this upcoming week of school is a good one.  I'm hoping for projects, experiments, art, and learning.  I'm hoping I have a much better blog post to share with you regarding our week of homeschooling than I do now.  :)

I'm also hoping that the next few weeks/months are safe, uneventful, and find me on the other side of this fishing trip welcoming my husband home.  :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

.....carry on.

Another hectic week.  We've been working on last minute shopping, making sure Adam has everything he needs before he leaves, making sure I have everything done before he leaves.  We're totally bucking our normal tradition and setting up our Christmas tree this week.  The boys want their dad to see it before he goes.  It's mostly because I'm sooo hormonal right now, but things like that make my heart break.  I ask so much of my boys to be brave, strong, courageous...when some days being a military kid just kinda sucks.  :(

School has been going along, slowly, but going.  Zander is still working on reading skills.  He's doing pretty well!  He doesn't seem too rushed to learn so we're taking it slow.  He does really well with his online math games, but when you're in Kindergarten, math is pretty simple.  :)

Adisson has moved on to Mayan history in Social Studies and simple machines in Science, both of which are pretty interesting.  He could pretty much do those two subjects all day.  Nevertheless, we worked on interjections and idiom games, as well.  Math, the ever present thorn in my side, still comes around to taunt us on a daily basis.  We don't give up, we just keep working on it.  He'll get it.  It may kill me, but he'll get it.

Jaxon is learning many different ways he can tell me he's not interested in peeing on the potty.  I have no hope that he'll graduate from diapers anytime before next summer, but a tired, old mama can dream, right?

I know this is our homeschooling blog, and I try hard to keep it mostly focused on our homeschooling adventures, but you know that isn't always possible.  I want to tell you how exciting is to watch our house being built from the ground up as the boys have thoroughly enjoyed every visit we've made out there (more so for the big pile of dirt in the yard than for anything else, really).  And I have to tell you about what we're experiencing as my husband's trip draws near, because it's here, it's there, it's all around us.  So what I'm asking you now is that as I share our lives with you, would you pray for my family, if you're the praying kind?    Or thinking good thoughts for us if that's more your thing.  Separation is hard for my guys, no matter how brief it may seem to others.  It's not a picnic for me, either, but I'll do ok.

Jax will ask everyday where his Daddy is and when is he coming home?  Is it now?  How about now?  In a little bit?  And Zander will ask me how many times does he have to wake up until his Daddy is here?  And why does his Dad have to miss his birthday?  And Christmas?  And Adisson, my strong, silent guy will wish that his Dad was here for Cub Scouts, for his birthday, and for when Black Ops 2 comes out.  I'll wish I didn't have to go to the store with three kids asking for 8 different kinds of cereal, remember to take the trash to the curb, or fix stuff.  Mostly, I'll just miss having my partner in crime chaos life be home everyday, reminding me that as long as we're together, everything is right.

It's what we do...being an Army family.  And sometimes, it all seems great.  But when I miss Ohio so much I cry or when my husband is getting ready to leave on a jet plane, being an Army family takes all the strength I have, we have.

But man, if we aren't one heck of an Army Strong family.  :)