Sunday, June 24, 2012

Renaissance Festival

Went to a small Renaissance festival today with the kids - Mid-Michigan Renaissance Festival. Weather was perfect, not too crowded, not much raunchy stuff. Should have brought more cash.

David created his samurai armor.

Living statue sprinkled Suzy with glitter and
gave her a scroll and a stone.

Flaming sword dance

Flaming bolas

More fire dancing

This was cool!

finale of the Fiend Fyre Charmers
Suzy wanted to ride the horse (named Sir Dan) from the moment she saw him.  The owner was so nice!

He talked Emily into riding too. The boys wouldn't do it.

The Wagner kids in the Fantasy Garden

Lisa's Logbook - June 24

The Avengers!

1 - Getting back into the routine of fitness while trying to balance recovery from these injuries
2 - Finishing all co-op stuff by Saturday (so Dar and I can take off the month of July)
Shakespeare's Coriolanus
- very intense!
3 - Keeping the kids busy.

1 - Bob fixed the AC in his car (Now I wonder if mine will be fixable??)
2 - David replaced the thermal paste on my computer processor and I think it fixed the overheating problem I was having. 
3 - Worked 4.75 extra hours this week 

Projects: Getting books ready for a book sale in July

From the Library: a whole stack of Harry Potter books....
Theater: The Avengers for the 3rd time :-) (took Emily and Suzy)
Have been wrapping
my foot with thi
DVD: Coriolanus (a lesser-known Shakespeare play starring Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler), Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, and John Carter

Cool Product: self-adhesive elastic sports bandage
What's New: A laptop "cooler" stand - angled with 3 fans. Works well to keep my laptop temperature down and I like the slight angle.

Serendipity: A whole day at home alone.... So peaceful!
Obsession: The Avengers... :-) :-)
Laptop stand with fans
Oops: The cable bill was put somewhere that WASN'T the bill basket, so it's overdue....

Fun Times: Went out for dinner with Bob to celebrate our anniversary - he had swordfish with scallops, mussels, and shrimp and I had filet mignon and sweet potato fries; Also got to spend two nights watching movies with friends - so fun!
Anticipating: Beach Day this week and Cousin Camp over the weekend. 
Writing Progress: None again

Gonna buy the DVD

Friday, June 22, 2012

Robotics & Part-time Enrollment

My oldest son, a junior this year, participated in FIRST Robotics through a local high school. He loved it! At the end of the year, the mentor approached me and said he would need to enroll part-time  in order to continue to participate since the school requires students to take 3 classes to participate in a school club.


She didn't realize this at the beginning of the year when she recruited homeschoolers to join the club. When she did find out, she went to bat for the two homeschoolers on the team to allow them to continue. Thus, I didn't know about any of it until the year ended.

I am not particularly opposed to enrolling him part time, especially when she mentioned engineering courses that I definitely can't offer at home AND that those classes could earn college credit at a great STEM (Sci/Tech/Eng/Math) university. However, I will have no way of knowing which classes he can take until August or whether or not there will be room in these classes.

One consideration is that he needs to remain 51% homeschooled in order to participate on his homeschool varsity soccer team. I also don't really feel the need for him to take 3 classes when I already have his school schedule nearly set for his senior year.

He can't take calculus through the school unless he takes FOUR "core classes" since math is considered a core subject. At least that's the way I understand the plan.


I'm trying to find a way to request an exception to the 3 class rule so that he can continue to play for his fall soccer team and still participate in robotics.

Another consideration is that the engineering classes that would best fit him require prerequisites which he, of course, has not taken.  So, I'm also trying to find out if being a senior and having the experience of the robotics club might change which classes he were eligible to take.

A friend of mine that works with the virtual program is helping me think through some additional options. One is the homeschool partnership program; he could take 3 classes there on either Mondays or Thursdays.

I asked the superintendent for an exception for David and I was denied. However, he did give me a couple positive ideas. One is that students at that high school take 7 classes, so 3 classes is less than half-time. So, that's good. Another is that they are potentially adding a Robotics Engineering class (pending budget approval) that would require students to participate in the FIRST Robotics program, thus circumventing the other requirement to be half-time enrolled. A possible problem is that space in the class is first offered to full time students, of course.

A friend's son participates on a Robotics team that is affiliated with a local high school (farther away; perhaps 45 minutes!) that DOESN'T require homeschoolers to enroll. So, maybe that's an option. I do plan to ask the local school if they would consider exempting the FIRST program from the requirement, instead of just exempting David. But I don't have a lot of hope for that query.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lisa's Logbook June 17

Rollicking Readers June 2012
Got away from doing the logbook for a while, but now that I've seen others doing it on their blogs, I wanna do it again! LOL

1 - My shoulder injury (though it finally seems to be improving)
2 - my left foot injury (still seems the same, but I am changing to a more aggressive home treatment)
3 - no A/C in the vehicles.....

1 - keeping my calorie count low
2 - handed off the registrar duties a couple weeks ago to my replacement!
3 - Worked 3.5 extra hours this week - first time in months I've managed extra hours!

Projects: NOT A SINGLE PROJECT! It's an odd feeling. But David is into a cool project, and I hope to be able to post pictures soon.
The Huntsman and who?

From the Library: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (yep finally!) & a couple cookbooks from a Canadian food show hostess - Sandi Richard
On My KindleCrazy Love by Francis Chan; also bought Lord of the Rings - all 3 volumes for $9.99.
Theater: Snow White and the Huntsman is my most recent movie in the theater; could be just The Huntsman for all I cared about Snow White

Rollicked: the new Great Expectations movie

Recipes: Made oatmeal fruit bars that were a dud. I think most of the pan got tossed in the trash!
What's New: a part to fix the dryer; we've been hanging out our laundry for weeks!

Serendipity: Ran into an acquaintance who told me she loved my haircut. That's always nice, right? But that day I had washed my hair and combed it and that's all! LOL
One of my all-time favorite shows!
Disappointment: I wish I were able to run and work out, but between my shoulder and my foot, it's better that I rest.
Obsession: Homefront (the 1991-93 tv show) - a very grainy version is on youtube. It's never been released on DVD (or even VHS); LOVE LOVE LOVE this show, even after 20 years. LOVE IT!
24 years and still together!

Fun Times: Had a lovely time at the beach with our homeschool group this week. And book club was wonderful as usual!
Anticipating: our 24th wedding anniversary this week, also we will be visiting a small Renaissance Festival next weekend
Writing Progress: none at all, even though I did sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo

Friday, June 15, 2012

Midwest Homeschool Convention - Design Your Own Literature Program

OK, I officially am a fan of Adam Andrews & The Center for Literary Education, since this seminar entitled Design Your Own Lit Program is the third of his that I attended during the Cincinnati convention.

Do you have a book list? Or do you wish you had a book list? Not only "a" book list but perhaps you long for THE PERFECT BOOK LIST? If so, then this seminar is for you. Not because Adams possesses or shares this elusive list, but because you'll learn how to create your own list!

Here's the description:
Designing Your Own Lit Program – a Scope and Sequence Workshop
Many parents are dissatisfied with the books assigned in box curriculum sets – and yet, they feel inadequate to strike out on their own and create effective reading programs for their children. Adam puts these fears to rest with an inspiring lesson in scope and sequence development. Presenting a step-by-step procedure that is accessible to even the busiest teachers, Adam makes a powerful case that it’s not how many books you do, it’s how well you do them! Come listen and be set free from the “tyranny of the booklist.”

Andrews began by pointing out that we as homeschool parents (or even as school teachers) usually do not get to "the end" of the book list. This is ok because education isn't the completion of a book list. He then went on to burst our bubbles by telling us that he wasn't going to give out the secret book list.

He told a story about contacting a former professor of his and asking for some recommendations for his child's reading list. The professor listed the Bible, then after some thought added St. Augustine's Confessions, Milton's Paradise Lost, and then Mitchell's The Gift of Fire. Then he stopped. Andrews asked him if he needed more time, but the prof said, "No, that's all." Andrews was shocked.
(And there's more to this story, but I didn't write it down. lol)

Education is a state of the heart, the mind, the soul. Be free from the tyranny of the book list.

What is a scope and sequence? It's how broad of a treatment of the subject at hand and what order to do it.

What should teaching be? It should be DISCUSSING IDEAS. The core education is an oral discussion. (At this point in my notes, I underlined that sentence three times, starred it, and wrote "This changes everything!")

How to Design Your own Lit Program
1 - Which books shall we discuss?
A - children's stories written by great authors (regardless of the age of students)
B - Classics (books read and loved for a long time, those that have stood the test of time)
C - Books YOU choose

2 - How many books shall we discuss?
A - The Great Conundrum is that you can't discuss it if you haven't read it.
B - The Great Solution
C - The Secret Equation (The # of books you can realistically read = the # of books you should discuss)
D - Give the child LOTS of reading even if you can't discuss them all.

3 - How Shall We Discuss the Books?
A - The Socratic list of discussion questions is available (see below)
B - reading aloud is a plus
C - Group discussion is a fabulous tool

Reading Roadmaps includes "step-by-step instructions for conducting an oral discussion using the Teaching the Classics model, with special attention to each grade level from K-12" applied to more than 200 classic titles.
Teaching the Classics: Basic Seminar "contains everything a teacher needs to conduct powerful literary discussions, including our exclusive Socratic List, a set of 178 graded discussion questions applicable to any book on your reading list."

Typing out my notes makes me want to listen again to this seminar. I was so motivated by it that my notes are not very complete.You can purchase a CD or MP3 download here.