Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - December 27 (Tuesday edition)

Current Mood: annoyed
Outside: snowing and 33
Wearing: yoga pants and a sweatshirt - gonna get dressed up later
Tunes: Wicked soundtrack
Kids Are: all vanished upstairs instead of doing their chores
Hubby Is: matching socks
Something New: my Book Nerd necklace
Something Yummy: FUDGE - I love fudge!
Blessings: Working from home on a flexible schedule
Reading: just finished Black Silk by Judith Ivory, re-reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller. 
Watching: mostly Parenthood. Also watched Under the Greenwood Tree (period drama) and Nativity! (a Christmas movie with Martin Freeman - the dude that will play Bilbo and played Watson in the BBC Sherlock).
Considering: all the things I can choose for New Year's Resolutions.....
Working On: lesson sheets for January, essays to grade, setting up a new essay class for January
Accomplishments: Beat Suzy on Just Dance 3 (Wii) - lol; also I got through Christmas.
Looking Forward To: seeing WICKED tonight and going out to eat with friends, hopefully getting together with another friend this week, New Years' Day (my fav holiday!)
Pic: Getting a decent pic of all 4 kids is harder than one might imagine.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - December 11

Current Mood: relaxed
Outside: sunny and 35
Wearing: jeans and a sweatshirt
Tunes: Christmas music
Kids Are: Three are working on decorating the tree, 1 is being anti-social
Hubby Is: working on decorating the tree
Something New: Christmas-y blog background; also bought myself some wool socks at the mall.
Something Yummy: Tarla's mystery balls! lol
Blessings: sleeping in!
Reading: Henry Tilney's Diary by Amanda Grange, A Praying Life by Paul Miller. 
Watching: Sherlock (BBC) - all 3 episodes with my Rollicking Readers, Parenthood, Psych, Camille (1984 w/Colin Firth & Greta Scacchi)
Considering: some gift ideas
Working On: Christmas preparations
Accomplishments: got the tree up!
Looking Forward To: seeing the new Sherlock Holmes movie, getting together with family this weekend, staying in a hotel with the kids

NOTE: I have a personal blog, mostly a review of our weekly activities - NOT school related. If you need the link, let me know. It's not private, but I don't link to it. It's called Quingly Things.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Elbow Grease

It's Elbow Grease Week here at Cornerstone Home Learning Academy. What does this mean? 
Working 25 hours a week from home means I don't have a lot of time for house cleaning and chores. The students here at the academy are on a work-study program (meaning they do the cooking, cleaning, and yardwork). 
My children's approach to chores tends toward minimalism. Also, they appear to be wearing blinders when doing their tasks. For example, one might clean all the normal surfaces in the bathroom, but since the floor is not a daily chore, the child would probably ignore a muddy streak in the middle of the floor. 
Each child is responsible for two rooms/areas during each week, with normally specified chores to be done daily and weekly. The instructions I give do explain that the entire room is supposed to be clean, but the children seem to be ignorant of how to tell if that's the case.
In an effort to improve their thoroughness, I have declared this week Elbow Grease Week. I have put forth a challenge: choose one additional (normally unassigned) area in your assigned room that needs some cleaning or organizing attention. And Clean It! 
The area that shows the most effort and benefit will get a prize each day! And the best for the week will get an even better prize! You know that great feeling that you get when you've done a good job and that surface is now shiny clean and organized? Hopefully they'll get that reward too.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - December 4

Current Mood: wistful
Outside: 45 and damp, was raining, more rain coming
Wearing: black jeans, long sleeve blue tee, multicolor top, socks, slippers, wet hair
Tunes: Christmas music mainly - Michael W. Smith, Straight No Chaser, Relient K, more
Kids Are: Three upstairs - making themselves scarce; 1 cleaning muddy boots
Hubby Is: laying on the bed
Something New: flannel sheets
Something Yummy: Mint Moosetracks ice cream!
Blessings: Warmth!
Reading: The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn, A Praying Life by Paul Miller. 
Watching: Persuasion (95), Parenthood, Monarch of the Glen
Considering: purchasing a swing-arm towel rack and a Kindle decal
Working On: Christmas shopping
Accomplishments: December lesson sheets ready, finished book club book early!
Looking Forward To: going out with friends; getting my new pillow; Christmas season being over

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

National Novel Writing Month - The Wagner Report

This is the 5th year I've participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the 5th year I've won! For those not in the know, the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel (or the start of one, since most novels are longer than that) in 30 days (the month of November).

The kids have been participating along with me as part of the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program (YWP) for three years now. This is actually David's fourth year! All of them met their goals this year! WTG kids! I am so proud to see you writing!

Suzy wrote 4,500 words!

James wrote 18,536 words, exceeding his goal of 13,000 words!

Emily wrote 32,311 words, exceeding her goal of 30,000 words!

David participated in the adult challenge this year - he wrote 50,000 words!

Isn't that awesome! I am so excited they've done it again!

How did I get them to do it? Well, I don't assign much other language arts work during NaNoWriMo - no Spelling, no Vocabulary, etc... This year they actually did more language arts than I've required in the past.
Suzy had phonics and reading; Emily and David had their Brit Lit class for co-op (reading and writing assignments), and James and Emily have their Wordsmith (writing class) assignments. James also did his reading assignments. I also did not require any History assignments during the month for anyone. David did not have to do computer programming or ACT prep. Emily did not have to do her Spanish lessons.  If they chose NOT to participate in NaNoWriMo (which is an option), they'd have ALL their regular work.

I also reward them periodically - setting goals at 10%, 20%, 30% and so on. Sometimes small rewards, sometimes larger ones. Even when we've been basically penniless, I was able to offer free or low cost rewards. Some would include computer time, movie rentals (even from the library), sleepovers, chore-free coupons, etc... I was able to offer more lucrative rewards this year, but it's not necessary for participation.

So, basically I bribe them and make it so attractive to participate that NOT participating would be a poor choice. But, hey, it works!

NaNoWriMo YWP has some of the best fiction writing curriculum I've ever seen and it's FREE. You don't have to even participate in NaNo to use it. It would be great in any situation where you'd like to motivate children (elementary through high school) to write fiction. If you go to the website, also check out the Resources and Educators sections. There are lesson plans available, though I haven't used them so I can't vouch for the effectiveness or lack thereof.

Editing will happen in January.  This is the place I usually lose my motivation with the kids. I have a plan in place though; it may or may not include bribery! LOL I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - November 29

Oh, lookie, another of the Tuesday editions - not so rare anymore. ;-)

Current Mood: Grumpy and feeling a bit icky
Outside: Windy, winter storm warning, rainy, No Snow Yet
Wearing: PJ's, robe, wool socks
Tunes: Christmas Music
Kids Are: 1 is getting ready for bed, 2 are writing, 1 is doing Who-Knows-What
Hubby Is: puttering around getting ready for bed
Something New: Waiting on new flannel sheets, pillows, and towels to arrive - thanks to Black Friday ONLINE
Something Yummy: thinking about making Nanaimo bars
Blessings:  Bob being able to re-roof the barn rather than having to hire that done
Reading: A Praying Life by Paul Miller. Recently finished 3 books that I was reading all at the same time, but haven't started a new one.
Watching: Super 8 (liked it!), Metropolitan (1990 indie movie - boring), and some other stuff I can't remember right now....
Considering: how we can make a "built-in" storage area upstairs where there USED to be a closet
Working On: The Rollicking Readers' Guide to Jane Austen (my NaNoRebel Book)  
Accomplishments: Finished my NaNo book - 50,000 words, Read my book club book for the month already
Looking Forward to: staying in a hotel with the kids in a couple weeks

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - November 20

Current Mood: I have a headache, so a bit down... 
Outside: Overcast and low 40's 
Wearing: jeans, Browncoats tee, pink hoodie, slippers, wet hair 
Tunes: Mandisa, Straight No-Chaser, Wicked soundtrack 
Kids Are: 3 are outside and 1 is working on a robotics fundraiser. 
Hubby Is: puttering around in the dining room 
Something New: bought a "new" fluffy pink robe at the thrift store yesterday and also a Panthers football tee, as well as a couple pair of navy pants. I've needed navy pants FOREVER! 
Something Yummy: Had a couple slices of pumpkin creme roll at the ladies craft day yesterday - I love that! 
Blessings: I love Netflix instant! and fast internet! 
Reading: A Praying Life by Paul Miller. Jane Austen: A Life. Lady Susan by Jane Austen 
Watching: continuing my Austen theme with Northanger Abbey (2007), Emma (2009), Pride and Prejudice (1995), Mansfield Park (2007), Mansfield Park (1999) & The Jane Austen Book Club. Also watched The Change-Up (HORRIBLE! BLECH!) and Gamer on DVD, and The Immortals in the theater. 
Considering: the differences in convictions between Christians who all believe in the same God and are saved by the same Savior! Interesting thoughts... 
Working On: The Rollicking Readers' Guide to Jane Austen (my NaNoRebel Book) Accomplishments: finished teaching Oliver Twist 
Looking Forward to: Brit Lit movie night, Thanksgiving weekend - calm and quiet!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - November 13

Current Mood: Relaxed
Outside: Dark, 58, and really really windy!
Wearing: PJ's - flannel pants, wool socks, tee shirt, sweatshirt
Tunes: No tunes except in the car
Kids Are: Emily is here with me at the B&B and the other 3 kids are at home with Bob
Hubby Is: probably in bed - he worked hard this weekend on the barn roof. David helped too!
Something New: "Bought" a whole bunch of free Kindle e-books on writing. Enough to keep me busy the whole rest of the year. LOL
Something Yummy: chocolate/peppermint fudge at book club last night - delish!
Blessings: spending the night here at a local B&B with my daughter - a little writing retreat for us
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (continuing my re-read - I HIGHLY recommend this book!). Oliver Twist (for Brit Lit - on the last 6 chapters of the book). Jane Austen: A Life.
Watching:  Pride and Prejudice (1995 - yeah, Colin Firth!), Bright Star, The Secret Garden (1993), Sense and Sensibility (2008), Sense and Sensibility (1995) (Do you sense an Austen theme here? lol)
Considering: whether or not I really want to break wood at the Break-a-thon for charity tomorrow. What if I hurt my hand? I need my hands!
Working On: The Rollicking Readers' Guide to Jane Austen (my NaNoRebel Book)
Accomplishments: Hit 21,000 words this afternoon! Finally my bar graph has caught up!

Looking Forward to: watching more Jane Austen movies, going to the theater sometime this week

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - November 8

This is the rare Tuesday Edition of the Logbook. :-)

Current Mood: Stressed
Outside: 50 and overcast with rain coming
Wearing: brown pants, pink and brown striped long sleeve top, slippers
Tunes: nothing
Kids Are: working on their lessons
Hubby Is: at work
Something New: a new 10" skillet; had to throw my old one out as all the food would stick. I am trying to replace my kitchen tools bit by bit as they are looking a bit old and grungy.
Something Yummy: Halloween candy! Mmmm.....
Blessings: my job
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (Re-read - 50% done). Oliver Twist (for Brit Lit - on the last 1/3 of the book). Jane Austen: A Life. Watching:  Parenthood, Glee Season 2, Emma (Paltrow, 1996), Persuasion (2007)
Considering: going to see a movie soon! But what?
Working On: The Rollicking Readers' Guide to Jane Austen (my NaNoRebel Book)
Accomplishments: Hit 10,000 words this morning. Way behind, but plugging away.
Looking Forward to: the Leader Dog field trip later today, watching Pride & Prejudice, book club on Saturday

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - October 30

Current Mood: Cheerful and rested
Outside: 49 and sunny
Wearing: jeans, long sleeve magenta tee, heavy blue hoodie - all bought for $1 each at the thrift store on Friday
Tunes:  mostly Tron or nothing. lol
Kids Are: 3 are carving pumpkins, 1 is showering
Hubby Is: sitting, drinking coffee, and listening to the Tron soundtrack
Something New: got a few items of clothing for $1 each
Something Yummy: Sheryl's cornbread - sooooo yummy!
Blessings: David's robotics team is a blessing!
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (Re-read). Oliver Twist (for Brit Lit). Listening to Voyager by Diana Gabaldon again. Going to start The Secret Garden. This is funny. I've read ALL FOUR of these books before and am re-reading them now.
Watching:  Lie to Me, Firefly, The Three Musketeers (in theater), Equilibrium, X-men Origins: Wolverine
Considering: reading aloud to the kids again - it is one of my failings that I can't seem to get into a routine with that.
Working On: lesson plans for November, figuring out a costume for Emily
Accomplishments: Did NOT volunteer for something that I was being asked to do (and guilted into). Huge for me!
Looking Forward to: writing for NaNoWriMo, trick or treating with the kids

Saturday, October 29, 2011

James - Soccer Fall 2011

Finally got some pictures of James - his LAST game of the fall season. James is in his second year of U12 AYSO soccer. He has realized that he does not really like playing goalkeeper. He usually plays very hard as a forward and has made three goals this season. His team does not have a great record, but they are improving. Aren't the blue uniforms pretty? :-)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - October 23

Current Mood: Cheerful
Outside: Sunny and 61
Wearing: black exercise pants, green tee, grey Pistons hoodie, slippers
Tunes: mostly listening to audiobooks this week
Kids Are: 1 is doing dishes, 1 is cleaning her room, 1 is testing our new Wii, and 1 is at loose ends
Hubby Is: folding laundry
Something New: bought a used Wii (for Christmas), also bought some brown leather dress boots to wear with pants
Something Yummy: pizza with bacon
Blessings: being able to take my concerns to God in prayer. I know that sounds trite or commonplace, but it means more and more to me as time goes on.
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (Re-read). Oliver Twist (for Brit Lit). Started listening to Voyager by Diana Gabaldon again. LOVE IT.
Watching:  Glee Season 1 (finished it), Lie to Me, The 5th Quarter, Psych, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog 
Considering: future book choices for Rollicking Readers
Working On: counting calories, Halloween costumes, learning my Tang Soo Do forms, basic actions, and self-defense moves (for testing Nov 11)
Accomplishments: stayed in bed til noon today! Taught week 1 of Oliver Twist.
Looking Forward to: seeing The Three Musketeers (at book club this weekend) & Anonymous (and yes, I know it's fiction, lol). Also looking forward to James and Suzy's last soccer games.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Co-op Classes 2011-12

I thought you might like a taste of the classes my kids are taking this year at co-op. The co-op meets every other Friday and each child takes 4 classes.

David (age 16)
1 - assist in Visual Basic Scripting (which he took last year) (computer programming)
2 - Government
3 - British Literature+
4 - Sports (PE)

Emily (age 14)
1 - Babysitting
2 - Chill Out (games and fellowship, to connect teens)
3 - British Literature+
4 - Writing for the Love of It

James (age 11, almost 12)
1 - Babysitting
2 - Junkyard Art
3 - Karate (same teachers we take karate with on M/Th)
4 - Reptiles

Suzy (age 9)
1 - Destruction (taking things apart to see how they work)
2 - Art Masterpieces
3 - Cooking
4 - What's Under My Skin (human body)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - October 16th

Current Mood: Bleh
Outside: Overcast and 58 with moments of sunshine and showers threatening
Wearing: jeans, black top, black boots
Tunes: Tron soundtrack, listened to some Ed Byrne comedy on youtube, slacker radio
Kids Are: 2 are riding bikes, 1 is upstairs, 1 is in here getting a back scratch from his daddy
Hubby Is: heading out to replace brakes
Something New:  a fancy new mouse - very comfy
Something Yummy: good thing I like rice cakes
Blessings: writing back and forth with my kids in their communication journals
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (Re-read). Oliver Twist (for Brit Lit). Can't find anything else I want to read. Reading slump....
Watching:  Glee Season 1, Scrubs, Real Steel (in the theater), something else I can't remember
Considering: signing Suzy and James up for a more competitive soccer team
Working On: Oliver Twist lessons, counting calories
Accomplishments: can't think of any
Looking Forward to: the end of the soccer season, NaNoWriMo

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - October 9th

Current Mood: relaxed
Outside: 81 and sunny
Wearing: black exercise shorts (since I packed my summer clothes away!), Ted Logan tee (brown) and barefeet.
Tunes: Have been listening to slacker radio online - Christian rock, new country, 80's hits
Kids Are: 1 is at Improv class, 1 is playing xbox, 1 is at a friend's and 1 is riding bikes.
Hubby Is: napping as usual on Sundays
Something New:  a new wireless mouse, but I am not sure I am happy with it.
Something Yummy: Dove chocolates filled with caramel!
Blessings: this lovely Indian summer!
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (Re-read). Oliver Twist (for Brit Lit)
Watching:  Friday Night Lights (finished all the episodes....Sigh...), North and South, A Knight's Tale, Bridesmaids, The Hangover, She's The Man
Working On: getting back to exercising (hard to fit into my schedule), a denim quilt made from old jeans (if I can ever get started)
Accomplishments: Got all my work hours done so I could have a FUN WEEKEND!
Looking Forward to: getting my Rollicking Reader badges; National Novel Writing Month! Seeing Three Musketeers, Anonymous, Machine Gun Preacher, and a few others....

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - October 2

Current Mood: Lazy
Outside: Sunny and 51 - brrr!
Wearing: jeans, navy tee, white socks, slippers, wet hair
Tunes: Christian music on the radio all day today (Bob's choice)
Kids Are: 1 is painting the stairwell, 3 are supposed to be cleaning their rooms.
Hubby Is: helping 1 with the painting.
Something New:  found refills for my eyelash curler at Sally Beauty - looked at Walmart without success.
Something Yummy: Brownie sundaes for my birthday - delish! (No cake - bleh)
Blessings: My writing class is going very well. The great curriculum (Wordsmith) gets most of the credit for that!
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (started my re-read). Getting ready for a quick re-read of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, in preparation for teaching it to Brit Lit. Thinking about some Gabaldon.....
Watching:  Glee Season 1 (kind of a guilty pleasure), Moneyball (in the theater, long and very slow), Friday Night Lights (season 5 is on Netflix instant now!)
Considering: churches again....
Working On: Oliver Twist lessons, writing class lesson plans, sorting books and getting rid of things.
Accomplishments: Finished Three Musketeers! Got the October lesson plan sheets completed and printed. Finally made it in to get my hair cut - love it!
Looking Forward to: Seeing Twelfth Night at GVSU. Girl time coming up this weekend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

David Soccer

David plays varsity soccer for a local homeschool team. He plays right center defense or sweeper. This is his third year on the team.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Suzy Soccer

Suzy is playing AYSO U10 soccer again this year. She is a good player and works hard on the field. She has made 2 goals so far this season.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - September 25

Note: I just posted last week's entry today, though it is dated Sept 20. Scroll down and take a look!

Current Mood: Relaxed
Outside: Overcast but bright, and about 72.
Wearing: black jeans, grey AYSO tee, white socks.
Tunes: Church music on the radio all day today (Bob's choice)
Kids Are: 1 is sorting clothes, 3 have vanished upstairs.
Hubby Is: helping 1 sort clothes
Something New: Ordered NaNoWriMo tee shirts and a NaNo mug and they arrived this week. Those will stay put away until November though.
Something Yummy: hot apple cider at Tim Horton's!
Blessings: James blew out his karate pants but a friend is giving us a replacement pair outgrown from her son.
ReadingA Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz. A Praying Life by Paul Miller. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark.
Watching:  Glee Season 1 (kind of a guilty pleasure), Abduction (in the theater), Henry's Crime (Keanu!)
Considering: What to buy myself for my birthday. Oh yeah, I mean what to ask for.....
Working On: getting through the soccer season
Accomplishments: Got the summer and winter clothes switched out.
Looking Forward to: my birthday! Also to getting Season 5 of Friday Night Lights.
Here (finally) are the "First Day Sundaes" pix.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - September 20

Current Mood: satisfied
Outside: Dark and 54
Wearing: PJ's
Tunes: yeah, the 80's music still
Kids Are: 3 are in bed (hopefully 2 are asleep). 1 is supposedly doing his algebra.
Hubby Is: asleep
Something New:  a new toilet plunger! It has a cool case! :-)
Something Yummy: Sheryl made something DELICIOUS and chocolate-y for the belt promotion tonight.
Blessings: Our family reunion turned out wonderful!
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (80% done). The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark.
Watching:  Glee Season 1, 24 Season 1, Castle Season 2, Hanna, Something Borrowed
Considering: if we can afford the karate tournament which is a TON more expensive than I expected it to be. Even just for David to participate would be pricy. :-(  Also trying to see if we can go camping one more time this year.
Working On: Seeds of Faith directory
Accomplishments: Got my orange belt tonight!
Looking Forward to: getting the house in shape this weekend, maybe going to a movie?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - September 11

Oops, once again I forgot to post this. Was waiting on a pic, but I never got one. Sorry! LOL

Current Mood: cheerful
Outside: 78 and sunny! Perfect!
Wearing: green and brown top, brown capris and bare feet.
Tunes: Dugongs, dugongs, living in the ocean, causing a commotion.....
Kids Are: 1 is at her friend's house across the street, 1 is eating cereal, 2 are on the computer. Yeah, I should boot them all outside. We will go for a walk after Bob naps.
Hubby Is: napping
Something New: Teaching a new writing class starting this week. Looking forward to working weekly with eighteen students ages 11-15.
Something Yummy: Roza's pizza with bacon!
Blessings: I love September!
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (which is EXCELLENT. As soon as I finish it, I'm going to start over!). The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Have a book by Ron Clark to peruse.
Watching:  Friday Night Lights (Completed season 4!), The Help (LOVED it; go see it if you didn't already), Psych season 5
Considering: what to put in the side yard to replace all the juniper trees Bob cut down this weekend.
Working On: lesson plans for homeschooling
Accomplishments: Finally cut all 4 kids' hair!
Looking Forward to: James' 1st soccer game, season 5 of Friday Night Lights, getting my orange belt!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - September 4

Current Mood:  a bit ungracious
Outside: 73 and rainy
Wearing: Firefly tee, brown capris and flip flops. And a feather in my hair. Thinking about putting on jeans and socks though. Chilly now!
Tunes: nothing really
Kids Are: 3 are impatiently waiting for me to be ready, 1 is with a friend
Hubby Is: at work on a Sunday!
Something New: bought a DVD of a movie I love - Management. Also bought sheets for the camper - in GREY, lol. Oh, I also bought 2 large flower pots that look ceramic but are plastic (and they were on clearance). Want to put mums in those.
Something Yummy:  I am loving Greek yogurt. Any kind, any brand. If I buy plain, I add a swirl of honey and a dribble of real vanilla extract. And I eat it with Kashi Go Lean.
Blessings: I was able to BE a blessing to a family in need at the campground. Maybe I can post the story separately.
Reading:   A Praying Life by Paul Miller (which is EXCELLENT. As soon as I finish it, I'm going to start over!). The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Have a book by Ron Clark to peruse and several magazines also.

Watching:  Friday Night Lights (Completed season 3! LOL), I Do (But I Don't)
Considering: memory verses
Working On: last minute co-op stuff, last minute soccer registration stuff, Brit Lit plans and preparations, lesson plans for homeschooling
Accomplishments: Went through the entire camp "week" (4 full days) without getting online at all. 
Looking Forward to: Seeing The Help, the first day of co-op, James and Suzy's 1st soccer games
Pic: These are the black belts from the record-breaking testing last Sunday. Since I was IN the big group of everyone all together, I couldn't get a photo of that. You can see how large the facility was. This is only part of the large soccer field and there were THREE fields in the building! Amazing. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - August 27

Current Mood: tired
Outside: 69 and dusky
Wearing: pink tee, white and pink plaid shorts
Tunes: Toto and more tunes of David's choosing, like Black Veil Brides, Abney Park, Saviour Machine, etc...
Kids Are: 1 is showering, 1 is probably dozing, 1 is packing, and who knows what the other is doing 
Hubby Is: getting the van and camper ready
Something New: bought some new pants - 2 pair of jeans, 1 brown lounge pants, 1 pair dark brown. Also joined the Star Teacher club at Office Depot and got a goodie bag and some yummy breakfast today!
Something Yummy:  I have a couple HEATH BARS in hiding.
Blessings: homeschool camping week!
ReadingOutliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. Also reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller (which is EXCELLENT. As soon as I finish it, I'm going to start over!). Listening to Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Going to start The Three Musketeers.
Watching:  Friday Night Lights (almost finished with season 3! LOL), Limitless
Considering: how to get out of my soccer commitment sooner! lol
Working On: lesson plans
Accomplishments:  Got the van packed and camper ready the NIGHT BEFORE CAMPING!
Looking Forward to: karate testing with 2000 other people, camping week!
Pic: Lake Huron - Suzy and a friend

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - August 21

Current Mood: calm and cool

Outside: sunny and 72
Wearing: pink tee, white and pink plaid shorts

Tunes: nothing new really

Kids Are: 1 reading a book, the other 3 have vanished

Hubby Is: reading the newspaper
Something New: We have a new ALTERNATOR! Woo-hoo! I also have new running shoes!

Something Yummy: Suzy made delicious brownies. And I made a yummy crunchy coleslaw salad.

Blessings: my book club!

Reading: The Passion of Mary-Margaret (recommended by my mom!). Also reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller. Listening to Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, and soon will listen to Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare.

Watching:  Friday Night Lights (finished season 2! LOL), Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (theatrical edition), the new Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender (liked it!), and at book club we watched True Grit (both versions - the John Wayne and the Jeff Bridges)
Considering: Bible Memory and hymns for the upcoming school year

Working On: learning my karate terminology and self-defense moves, also working on lesson plans and getting ready for camp week!

Accomplishments: logged 6 miles today (please note I did NOT say "ran" 6 miles. Not sure I can call THAT running, but I surely slogged through every yard of 6 miles.)

Looking Forward to: going to Lake Huron, our karate testing, camping week!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - August 14

Current Mood: sweaty

Outside: overcast and 70
Wearing: black yoga capris, blue striped tank (running clothes)
Tunes: right now the radio is playing some gospel quartet music (Bob picked that)
Kids Are: 1 doing dishes, 1 painting the landing walls, 1 on computer, 1 bored
Hubby Is: reading the newspaper ads
Something New: I can't think of a single "new" thing!

Something Yummy: Creamsicles
Blessings: having someone else to handle the soccer uniform order

Reading: Current audiobook is Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Also reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller.
Watching:  Friday Night Lights (finished season 1 and now I'm HOOKED with a capital H), Soul Surfer (loved it!), Unknown (could have skipped this one)
Considering: lessons for the upcoming year, also considering the specifics of the writing class I'm teaching this year
Working On: my to-do list - some real doozies on there!

Accomplishments: sewed curtains for David's room and the landing, ran 5 miles again today, made some progress on the literature class I am co-teaching this coming year.

Looking Forward to: Girls night, book club

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reading About Education

I've been reading a few things on education. One is The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner, which was recommended by my friend Sarah (two blogs:  Teach a Fish and Ordinary Canary). This book makes me much less worried about my kids missing out on a public school secondary education. (Not that I was very worried about that in the first place.) It's clear that most high schools are not doing enough to prepare kids for a high tech future in a world where you can't make a living on the assembly line. Am I doing enough, though? Well, there are a few things I am going to change after reading the book - much more writing, more discussions to encourage critical thinking, more experiences designed to make my teens comfortable in the business world. How will I do this? Not sure. But textbooks are not part of it.

You should read this book.

Something else I've been skimming through is The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn, first published in 1991 when the author was 26. This one isn't as valuable to me for a number of reasons. The author was briefly a middle school English teacher and then began to promote unschooling and even anarchy to teens. The book is written directly towards the teenager and includes advice a homeschooling parent may not want them to consider, such as drug use might not be all bad. The subject area chapters do seem to be fairly useful, but this is a book to be seasoned with a whole salt shaker.  Skip this one, unless you are truly into counter-culture and the concept of total unschooling. 

I also recently finished reading I Saw the Angel in the Marble by Chris Davis. I started this years ago and read a little bit at a time. The book is a collection of essays on education and homeschooling by the owners of the now-defunct Elijah Company, Chris and Ellyn Davis. I highly recommend this to give you a new outlook on education.

I have my set of Chris Davis seminar audiotapes back again. I'd lent them out and almost despaired of ever seeing them again. We'd been listening to them in the car and we will again, when we are driving in the vehicle with the antiquated audio cassette deck. I'm trying to find a place online that you can download these. Thought I had found one a couple years ago, but now having no luck at all. If you have the opportunity to hear these seminars, do it.

Chris Davis has a blog - http://chrisdavis.wordpress.com/

What have you been reading to encourage you in your homeschooling and to enrich your knowledge of education?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lisa's Logbook August 7 & 8

Started this yesterday but didn't finish. So you get partly today's answers and partly yesterday's - just to be confusing! lol

Current Mood: Cheerful and tired
Outside: dark, 70, raining
Wearing: Black tank, pink pj pants
Tunes: David made a CD of some of his stuff for us to listen to in the car.
Kids Are: 1 is in my bed, 1 is in his bed, 1 is on the computer, 1 is on X-box Live
Hubby Is: in bed reading the Bible
A Giggle: Laughed at a commercial - here it is. (I don't usually watch TV with commercials, so when I do, they're all new to me!)

Something New: Bought a set of double-12 dominos so the kids can play Chicken Foot. Also bought Farkle.
Something Yummy:  Fudge is tasty! Had some at Golden Corral.
Blessings: Got to spend a sunny afternoon at Lake Michigan
Reading: Current audiobook is Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Finished my other book and haven't picked out a new one yet.
Watching:  Friday Night Lights, Psych (finished season 5), The Adjustment Bureau, Who is Simon Miller?
Considering: Camping at a Lake Michigan campground next year. Also thinking exactly when I will teach the writing classes that have been requested this fall.
Working On: finishing up some soccer details and co-op details.
Accomplishments: Ran 5 miles twice (combination of jogging and walking), gave my mom a perm
Looking Forward to: Seeing a movie, scrapbooking, finishing my digital scrapbook and ordering it.
Pic: The kids with my parents. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lisa's Logbook - July 31

Current Mood: Cautiously relaxed
Outside: 87 and Sunny.
Wearing: black shorts, hot pink tank top, bare feet
Tunes: David played some of "his" music for me. Hmmm....
Kids Are: 1 is at a friend's house, 1 is scrubbing rust off her bike wheels, 1 is upstairs, 1 is bored
Hubby Is: helping the rust-scrubbing child
A Giggle: lots of laughs in The Tempest, which I saw with my book club at a park in Royal Oak last night
Something New: school supplies! LOVE buying those!
Something Yummy: Chicken chimichangas at Grand Azteca! Delicioso!
Blessings: Having someone to take over the uniform ordering process!
ReadingThe Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner (no relation); Current audiobook is Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Watching:  Friday Night Lights, Source Code, A Shine of Rainbows

Considering: when the heck I am going to do lessons for the upcoming year!
Working On: printing out soccer rosters in preparation for coach meetings this week and also raising my Zuma Blitz score
Accomplishments: organizing the book club trip to Shakespeare in the Park, also got through co-op registration! Printed out all 37 soccer team rosters! Ran 2 miles without stopping at all!
Looking Forward to: swimming with friends twice this week, going away with the family over the weekend
Pics: Karate Tournament