Since today was a good day, I am not too embarrassed to share the email exchange…although I still sound like a child.
Me: “School has been going well today.”
Joey: “Oh good. What are you guys doing today?”
Me: “So of course first of all we had to get some munchkins. Then to the gas station to fuel up and get the car washed (the kids LOVE that.) When we got back we did EVERYTHING but tonight they both need to do math and then tomorrow I am just going to have them do this measurement thing together (cup, pint, quart, etc.) before 10am … Also, Luke AND Isabel did some cub scout stuff. I helped him make a two week chart for the whole brush teeth drink water (personal hygeine blah blah blah) AND he hammered it up in his room with a hammer and nail (checked him off on that one) AND Luke and Isabel learned the four ways to not spread a cold (another check off.)”
Luke and Isabel were very involved and excited about school today. Probably because I was more involved and excited as well and worked with them more (or maybe I should give credit to the munchkins.) Speaking of, here is the rest of our email exchange. It is all about my new pregnancy love for Dunkin Donuts Munchkins. To those of you who don’t speak Dunkin Donuts, Munchkins = Donut holes.
Joey: “Cool. How were the munchkins?”
Me: “Well, I was very naive and didn’t realize that they would have another other kind except for the awesome chocolate cake munchkins….(why bother having any other kind, right?) But it was an assortment with only TWO choc cake ones. The kids loved the variety though. They thought the jelly filled and powdered ones were cool. Also, I asked if they are open 24 hours and she said they were when they first opened but not enough people come but that later on when they think it will be busier they will have it open 24 hours again.”
Tuesday night Luke received his Bobcat Badge. It is really fun to see how much he likes cub scouts. They played a Musical Chairs game with a twist. The only way to get out was if you didn’t share, so as more and more chairs got removed the boys would have to share their seat or their lap. Afterward Luke was so excited for me to put his patches on his shirt. I am very proud of myself that I put them on yesterday since that is the type of easy project I can put off for months. Yes, easy. They now have stick on things, no sewing and no ironing. Oh, and by the way, scouts aren’t that patriotic, their patches are made in China. I love it.
Yesterday wasn’t a great school day. I was going to post my ranting email from me to my husband from yesterday afternoon but when I was rereading it, I realized that I sounded very childish and mean. And of course that would be very misleading since I am FAR from those things. Kidding, but yes, partly it would be too embarrassing to post and also I would have to have too many paranthasis to tuck into the email explaining the whole situation etc.
To sum it up, I got frustrated because in my oppinion they were taking way too long on their lists (of things to do) and I was irritated that if I wasn’t right their holding their hand they would just stare off into space. It was my fault too since I should have been more patient and realized that they probably still need a little bit of hand holding through things. I was feeling a little bit selfish. I wanted to just shove school work at them and then go lay down and will these last few weeks (of my pregnancy) to go by faster.
Joey had the brilliant idea to have reading charts for Luke and Isabel where the more pages they read the closer they get to the finish line. At the end they get to pick a restaurant for our family to go out to. I am not very crafty, so this is the best I came up with.
Yes, I named their charts, “Rainbow of Reading.” Sorry LeVar Burton, I totally ripped off the name of your PBS show. Luke needs to read 10,000 pages and Isabel 1,000. Her pages include me reading to her.
A friend told me about this Las Vegas Kids Marathon. Running is probably the perfect sport for Luke (no contact) and Isabel will probably like it because she enjoyed watching the women’s marathon on TV from the Olympics this year. Twice a week they get together at the local elementary school with other kids, and a couple of teachers get them running (I assume.) Then once a week they are supposed to do it at home and after 10 weeks they will have acrrued 26 miles. Today at 3:45 is their first class? session? I think Luke and Isabel will gain a sense of accomplishment from this and have a lot of fun being with other kids.
Now that Luke is eight, he has started going to cub scouts. I had two brothers who went through it all, but I guess I didn’t pay much attention because it is all new and strange to me. Luke LOVES it. His leaders do really cool stuff like making rockets out of 2 liter bottles that they shoot off and they once played waterballoon human battleship. We got him his cute little cub scout shirt and booklet. In order for him to get his Bobcat Patch at the next den meeting, today I helped him pass off eight requirements. It went pretty quick since it was mostly learning and memorizing the cub scout promise, motto, salute, handshake, sign and I can’t even remember what else.
Seriously, I mostly like cub scouts. It’s a great opportunity for Luke to play and work with other boys, have other great men to look up to and they teach honesty, teamwork and other good values. They sure push that patriotism though dont’ they? I keep my mouth shut.
I also spent some time reading Among the Dolls to Isabel and pushing Sylvia on the swings at the park. I feel like such a good mom when I have spent a little time doing something with each of my children that they enjoy.
This morning Luke played at Nicco and Colter’s house (homeschooled kids around Luke’s age) while the two girls and I went to MOPS or “Mops School” as Isabel calls it. Every other Tuesday morning moms can get together, have brunch, a speaker, do a service project, socialize, etc. while our children are just down the hall, having storytime, playtime, etc. I already have a great network of women and moms in my neighborhood and from my church, but with homeschooling, this is a great chance to have a few hours to be able to carry on a conversation without my children interrupting or eating my food. As always, I loved it today and it was a good break for me.
Afterward a woman approched me that had heard that I homeschool and wanted to know if I have a homeschooling group that I belong to. I explained that I have a few women in my neighborhood that I do a few thing with, but no not really. She said that the Hope Baptist Church (the MOPS meetings are held at a Hope Baptist Church here so a lot of women from MOPS attend there) has a group for homeschoolers that do feild trips etc. I told her that would be great if she could email me and invite me along sometime. Now here’s the fun part: We exchanged info on our children’s ages and she made it very clear to me that even though her oldest is five, she is in first grade because she started Kindergarten with her last year and is way ahead. Then she asked me what curriculum I use, I said none (which is kind of a lie because I use Math-U-See for our math.) She acted a little shocked and confused (by what a bad parent I am I assume) and then said, “Oh, so you have your teaching degree?” HAHAHAHA. I guess somehow she would think it was okay that I don’t use a curriculum as long as I have a teaching degree. I said no and explained (which now I am so irritated that I felt like I had to explain myself to her) that my kids are so young and i haven’t felt the need to use a curriculum.
Hey, maybe I misread her. I am not offended and would be glad to join them on their homeschool group field trip or whatever (if she’ll even email me now.) BUT, I personally don’t ask people what curriculum they use (unless I was looking into one and wanted some opinions) because I don’t care. I’ve run across a few homeschoolers that are very judgmental and will only be your friend if you use the same curriculum that they do. Sounds silly, but I swear it’s true! People are weird.
After MOPS we went to the library (first time in a long time) and Luke was so excited to see what books we brought home for him. I overheard Isabel reading a book to Sylvia. Isabel reads great so long as she’s not reading to me. I think she feels a lot of pressure and then starts to doubt herself. It makes me feel so bad and I swear I don’t slap her wrist if she gets a word wrong or anything. I told her that I love to hear her read but she doesn’t ever have to read to me if she doesn’t want to, so long as she enjoys reading in bed at night…which she does!
During Sylvia’s dance class this morning Luke and Isabel got their journals and math out of the way. I call Luke’s journal his “video game journal” which definitely keeps him interested and excited about writing in it. I write on the top a question, for example: If the creators of The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess game were to ask you what you would change about the game to make it better, what would you tell them? He loves it. For the rest of school today, they got through a few worksheets, built a city together and tried to play Battleship. But predictably, Isabel quit and Luke ended up crying in his room because she quit.
A few of our school things are on hold until our new computer comes. Without our computer I don’t have a printer and I think Luke’s fifteen minutes of typing is challenging enough for him without having to use our laptop with a few keys broken off. (Courtesy of Sylvia.)
Last weekend we went to Colorado Springs, CO, for my older brother’s wedding. We decided to make a little road trip of it and travel in a loop. From Las Vegas, NV to Flagstaff, AZ. Next, to Sante Fe, NM and up to Colorado Springs. Then the “fast” route home through Utah and back to Las Vegas.
We had never been to Sante Fe before. What a pretty city. We were able to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe museum (to prevent any priceless paintings being destroyed by Sylvia it was a very quick run though.) We then took a scenic drive up through Taos, NM where O’Keeffe lived.
The wedding was a fun outdoor event. It was so great of them to have a fun kid’s table with games, coloring, Mad Libs, etc. Especially since our kids were pretty much the only kids there.
Vern and Clare