Saturday, April 18, 2009

school outside...

I almost forgot this....I'll try to keep it short.
Yesterday, I decided to enjoy the beautiful weather by having some school outside on the back porch. It was half sunny and half shade and after lunch time.
Do you know that I heard nothing but complaining. Sis didn't mind but Zack hated it. He kept saying "can we just go in and finish and then come out and play", which we ended up doing.

I thought it was so funny. Most kids (myself included when I was a kid) would have given anything to go outside to do school work but not mine. Lol! They'd rather just finish up at the comfort of the kitchen table, then go outside.


Oh, how I love spring. It is a season that can give me a lift no matter how I am feeling. All you have to do is step outside, let that warm sun fall across your face and take in all the beautiful smells and colors of the blossoms.

This morning we went to our town's farmer's market. It was the first time we had been and I think I was expecting it to be bigger, but I am not complaining. I enjoyed it none-the-less. There was live music and we bought a loaf of bread from another homeschool family who owns a local store. It was pumpernickel and of course I had to sample it as soon as we got home!

We got a dozen fresh brown country eggs and a bunch of starters (cabbage, lettuce). We also got a bag of fresh mustard greens (dinner tomorrow). It was more artsy than I expected, I was thinking more fresh veg but maybe it'll pick up as the season warms.

We then ran around buying bunches of gardening supplies and then came back to plant. I have to say that I LOVE GARDENING! The kids love gardening....well, sis did until she sat in the ant hill. She jumped up yelling and screaming and slapping at herself. She was covered in tiny black ants. They apparently were biting or pinching her. (oh and we're covered in black potting as I was slapping ants off of her, she and I were covering her in black dirt, lol).

After that trauma, she declared that she hated gardening and stayed inside. I had to make her come back outside and we avoided the ants. I explained that they just thought she was going to ruin their house. She was apologizing to them. :) She ended up helping me finish up the planting and doesn't hate gardening anymore.
This was far less traumatic than her sweat-bee incident last year! She probably doesn't remember that though.

But today, we planted peas and potatoes and set out our onion, cabbage and lettuce starters. I also got some marigolds because they supposed to be natural deterrents to insects.

In a few weeks it'll be time to set out the rest of the stuff. :D I know this is off topic but it is one of the few things (other than the kids) that makes me happy these days. I just love spring...(please, no 'but your name is Autumn' jokes, lol).

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hanging in there for the end of the year....

There is just so much going on here. I just can't even get into what all I have to do on top of the things I'm going through. The passing of the tests was a huge relief. I can only wonder how well they would have done if this year hadn't been as messed up as it was. That's life I guess.

I'm just trying to ride out the rest of the year for now. We're going light and easy for experiments, science videos...etc. We have tried the rock candy experiments twice. It wasn't a complete success the first time but it was still good enough to prove the point of the experiment, but still very liquidy. We tried it again and it looks like it's going to turn out the same.

For History, we're just watching video's about Tall Tales and Legends. It's a really cool series on the Netflix instant watch from the 80's maybe....full of stars. I'm thinking of switching History next year. I am thinking of doing the Va History that I got and just forget about Story of the world for now (I love the chronological order, but I hate how they're missing the general basics for now).

I am seriously considering ditching Saxon math. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Saxon, but it is so is the one thing of our homeschool day that makes me cringe! I love what is taught but it's just so huge of an undertaking each day. 30 minutes for morning meeting and then 1 hour for the lesson which includes teaching, timed facts and worksheet review.

If I switch, it would be to something we could do a little quicker. It is just a big decision for me. I love how thorough Saxon is but my takes too much time!
We'll see, I'll have to think about it...and I have plenty of time.

I just want to make school as easy as possible. It might end up that our life experience right now is too great to overcome and be able to do homeschool at the same time, but right now...I'm really hoping not. I think we can climb the mountain while maintaining our school preference.

But to end on a much more positive note....Sierra now "teaches" me. She has a tone that she uses and goes right into instructional mode whenever she tells you about anything she's showing you. It's really funny. :D

Thursday, April 9, 2009

YAY! We passed!

I haven't posted in a few weeks. We took our achievement tests week before last and then a few other things came up so we ended up taking spring break last week. But we got our test results back today.

I am so tickled. Even with the obstacles that we've faced this year and the setback from having the problems in January (having to stay at Papaws because of our heat/water issues) and then moving last month....


Before I list results....The results are based on what the average students rank. Our goal to be able to pass is to get a 4 stanine or higher.
stanine 1,2,3 = below average
stanine 4,5,6 = average
stanine 7,8,9 = above average


Zachary's test was for end of 2nd grade:

Vocabulary 65 percentile 6 stanine
comprehension 26 percentile 4 stanine
Language Mechanics 61 percentile 6 stanine
Language Expression 86 percentile 7 stanine
Math Computation 36 percentile 4 Stanine
Concept&Application 84 percentile 7 stanine

Reading total: 41 percentile 5 stanine
Language total: 81 percentile 7 stanine
Mathematics Total: 56 percentile 5 stanine

((I want to remind you that the 4 and 5 scores look low, BUT that is what the AVERAGE child taking this test in 2nd grade scores, so it is a good score!))


Sierra took the end of 1st grade test (even though she TECHNICALLY is registered as K with the school and even though we switched to 2nd grade curriculum to be with Zack about half way through....but we won't have to submit her tests until next year).

Anyhow...I'm rambling....for an end of 1st grade test:

Vocabulary 91 percentile 8 stanine
comprehension 60 percentile 6 stanine
Language Expression 63 percentile 6 stanine
Math Computation 44 percentile 5 Stanine
Concept&Application 98 percentile 9 stanine

Reading total: 79 percentile 7 stanine
Mathematics Total: 83 percentile 7 stanine