Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Our Trip to India

The last couple of days have been rather full, interesting but full *smiles*

Maddy finally got her red belt in karate .. we definitely need to work harder on stretching and endurance here at home. She loves her class but its a bit rougher then her other. Rougher in that the kids are mostly red/brown belts or brown belts... and their stances are stronger and deeper and more well defined. We need to work on running laps, and getting that split down.

Math has been a bit more relaxed this week.. but I think thats what she needed. I guess i was going at it with the attitude "lets get it done to have it done" and it was stressing her out. So this week I tried just slowing down a bit, re-explaining things we had done... if she balked at working on the multiplication facts we did them together. I want to find a fun game or games that will allow her to practice the facts so that she gets them... but for it to be fun at the same time. I will have to continue to look around.

We have been having a lot of fun in her history/english segments. She has been reading a ton of books on Pocahontas , pilgrims etc... and having a blast. Tomorrow we will go to the library and see what else they have.

Today was our first Adventure Girl outing... and I think it went well. Maddy was uncomfortable at first, and it took a while for her to warm up. She decided to sit with me at first and finally about half way through the presentation she joined the other girls on the floor. It wasnt the dance or the computer images that drew her... it was little models of items used in Indian homes that she was fascinated with and wanted to get closer to. The lovely woman who was discussing India with the girls chose Maddy as her model to wear the Indian Temple jewelry which pleased my daughter to no end. We left before we got to try any of the foods people had donated for the event... Maddy wanted to leave so we gave our thanks and snuck out the door. Then we discussed what we had seen and heard almost all the way home. It was a good time... and I hope she will want to take part in the next outing... but I am going to take my cues from her. The worst thing I could do is push then she will out and out refuse. I know that someday this stubborness and determination will be a good thing... but geesh... sometimes it makes things hard on Mom and Dad *smile*

The Cumberland county fair is this week... I have to make sure I get the girls there... It will be so much fun. Not sure when we can go though... Maddy has karate tomorrow at 4:45, and teengirl asked if we could go after she gets out at 12:30... but that wouldnt work, and Friday is going to be a long day as thats the day we get our new kitchen floor. The workers will be here between 9-10 and be here all day. Its exciting to finally get the floor replaced from when we had the fire.

Cant think of anything else...

so I am wishing you peace,

Monday, September 24, 2007

The teensy weensy spider...

Today was a busy day in the garden! We went on a nature walk, discovered an odd looking little beetle, a teeny tiny red spider on a leaf, found tons of beautiful red, yellow, and yellow and green mixed leaves on the ground and now Ms Maddy has decided she wants to have a leaf collection. (she was pretty bummed that we didnt bring a container to put bugs in so that she could bring the little red spider home) I agreed that was quite a shame and hopefully she didnt see my shudder as I said that. Maddy also toted home 2 pieces of garbage she found along the path, and had quite the "rant" about litterers and how they are damaging our planet.

We did math (reluctantly) and worked on vocabulary. She wanted to know if she really had to look the words up in the dictionary and write down the definitions in her vocab binder and I said... well lets see... what does dimension mean? or... what is the bow, or stern of a ship? What is a savage? she just gave me a look and went to get her dictionary. *sigh* Savage led into quite a discussion on perceptions. We discussed how an alien civilization might see our planet of animal, vegetable and fruit eating creatures and call us savages for killing plants and animals to eat. Then we discussed Columbus and how he treated the native peoples that he considered "savages" that he found on his journeys. Ms Maddy is not at all impressed with Mr Christopher Columbus and thinks people should write to the President of the United States so that we can stop celebrating Columbus day as a country, she says its wrong to celebrate a day of a person who harmed so many people. My little activist... We will have fun with that I think *smiles*

She and I will start reading "Eight Cousins" by Louisa May Alcott tomorrow. I remember it as an awesome story, we will see if its still as fun when reading it aloud to each other.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Our Week so far

Its been a pretty good week so far. We have made good progress in regards to our studies of Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo. She is just finishing up her second Columbus book as well as working on a book on Marco Polo. Today we made a compass, and tomorrow we will make a quadrant to measure things around our neighborhood. Tomorrow night we will see if we can find the North Star and figure out what our Latitude is using the quadrant we make.

Math is going... that is all I can say about that really. She seems to have forgotten all the multiplication facts she learned last year. I am discovering that taking the summer off was a very bad idea. I would love to help her find that joy she had at the end of last year when she was solving math problems successfully and so proud of herself. The difference from when we took her out of public school in Mid March to end of May/June was pretty amazing for her. She stopped being afraid of math and started enjoying it. Just gotta find a way to get the fun back in it.

Karate is going well. She was the only student in her class yesterday so she got the sole attention of both her Sempai's. They worked her hard but there were a lot of giggles coming for the mat room and they seemed quite pleased with her forms. She will have stripe testing tomorrow afternoon and if all goes well she will graduate to a red belt on Friday night. Woohoo Maddy... you go girl!

Teengirl is sending out her college applications this weekend. I am so nervous... she is my firstborn.. my baby, and yet she is a grown woman. Where in the heck did the time go? She has decided she definitely wants to attend the University of Maine, Orono... and wants to take advantage of the early admission plan. She has grown up into such a wonderful young woman... I am very proud of her. *sniff*

Jasper graduated from puppy class last night. Usually just Hubby and I go to the classes, but last night the girls went as well and they had a lot of fun. Jazzy got his little certificate for graduating puppy class, and we were sent home with lots of praise for him as well as for us for all the hard work we have put in. In class Jasper learned to sit, sit stay, down, down stay, come (when he feels like it or we bribe with yummy treats, otherwise he stands just out of reach the little scalliwag), as well as having time to spend with other puppies, and question and answer periods every class for puppy mom and dads to share their concerns and get advice. I would highly recommend a puppy class to anyone getting a puppy. Petco has a awesome program.. but any puppy class would work well I think.

I finally got all the squares done on Maddy's quilt, and connected them together. Its going to be very pretty when its all done. Next I have to add the borders and then Teengirl will show me what the next step is. I think she is really enjoying teaching her mom something like this. I have always wanted to learn to quilt... have had visions of snuggling up under a homemade quilt with our family on cold cold days... but never understood all the directions in the quilting magazines and books i have drooled over in the past. Teengirl took a class in school last year and now she is teaching mommy.

Maddy's quilt has pinks and oranges in it. I let her pick all the fabrics out with minimal help from me. Its definitely her, thats for sure. Now we need to paint her room to go with her new quilt... what joy! We have plenty of time though, *smiles* it has taken me all summer to get to the point I am at... and that was the easy part I am afraid.

Can't think of another thing to say so I Guess thats all from this front!

Wishing you...Peace and Joy,

Monday, September 10, 2007

new beginnings and memories

Well we started the school year off with a bang. The materials we have for "5th" grade are as follows. Saxon Math 6/5, Oak meadows Environmental Science as well as their Social Studies/English Curricula, Rosetta stone ~Spanish (compliments of the Portland Public Library made available online) and the instrument of her choice to be started as soon as I find a teacher. I am hoping she will choose piano... but she is leaning towards Fiddle, and of course she has her Karate.

So far we have done several lessons in the math book, reviewed subtraction, addition and multiplication, Learned about Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo, read the book "Where do you think you are going, Christopher Columbus" by Jean Fritz, and started a project on birds. Their beaks tell what kind of foods they eat.

Already Maddy is resisting, but this seems to be resistance that is a hold over from the summer of resisting everything, instead of resistance to learning in general. So I need to be tricky. Find more projects that make the learning fun for her. I would like to continue to study explorers with her... so I thought perhaps setting up a timeline that she can plug her explorer into. Making a dish or food from the country discovered (if a country was in fact discovered) We have the plans for making a model ship like one of the ones Christopher Columbus sailed on ... so she will enjoy that. Games that stress math skill instead of sitting at the table filling out fact papers.

I have to come up with ideas to make this enjoyable for both of us. So here i sit looking up ideas hoping something will click. Gotta get started on the day...