Home Works

We work at being at home; our home works for our family. We are regular; regular seems rare. I try to look at the stars like my mother does each night -- proof we are all under the same sky.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Para Caminar

I just made it back inside into the air conditioning after my 6 am 95 degree Mississippi walk. Isaac, who is from Ecuador (think EQUATOR) says it is hotter here than at his house. Anyway, I've done my morning two miles and will hope to make it to the gym this afternoon. My old football injuries tend to act up when I don't exercise.

Just heard Nick's footsteps up the steps outside my room. Patrick told me yesterday he wants to get up at 7 to run, but I haven't checked to see if he is up. Kevin didn't take the trash out this morning, but I had him so busy yesterday, that instead of our usual method ("Wake up NOW because you didn't do it last night!") I had mercy and rolled it out to the road myself. I'm not sure that either of us knew what day it was yesterday, much less had enough brain cells to think that means trash day today.

One of the things Kevin did for me was take Isaac to Walmart to buy the precise school supplies his teachers have specified as well as a new "bag" (which is a backpack to us) to replace the one that has torn since he arrived. At least he understands the concept of "cheap," as in cheaply made, which was not something he could talk about when he first arrived, so I consider that some language process. He was surprised to have spent over $40 in school supplies -- in under an hour -- because Kevin had to rush home to get himself to martial arts class. And people say that homeschooling "must be expensive."

Isaac showed me his description and requirements for an English class project related to Beowulf, and it's a decent project and not so different from a unit-study a homeschooler might do. This gave me confidence both about the English class and about homeschooling, tho' I could kick myself that I still measure homeschooling by school standards. Of course, Isaac's challenge is that he must do it in English.

We're considering buying the Rosetta Stone Spanish program http://www.rosettastone.com/home . I picked up a catalogue from FUN Books http://www.fun-books.com/ at Virginia Homeschool Day this past weekend, and they have a good promotion for purchase of Level I and Level II together. With the catalogue, they had a sample CD, so we've tried that, and I like the fact that it's not just a textbook "put" on a computer, but a different technique.

Everybody asks, "Have you started school?" This is a hard question for unschoolers, because, truly, we never stop. But with everyone else hitting the books around us, Patrick is delving back into the very end of his algebra, we're reading history together, and Kevin is also reviewing some math.

I think I may have found someone who will help Patrick with his "build-the-computer" project, and he is going to be really excited when I tell him that.

Some homeschool friends will come see us for the day today. The little ones will play or swim, the big ones will work on designing computer games and websites, and the mom and I will work on poetry and other creative stuff together. Wednesdays are the days that I get some of my social needs met -- a really important ingredient in Mom Maintaining Sanity.

Alas, this means I should clear the trail that leads into my kitchen. I wanted to write about Virginia Homeschool Day, but I want to get some lunch prep done so that when friends are here, I can concentrate on them. The last few weeks of Wednesdays have been less satisfying because the time has been rushed or we skipped meeting, with pressures of exchange student hosting, travel for conferences, and the start of school for the high schooler in our friends' family. (Yes, he was a lifelong unschooler who very successfully entered high school last fall, made good grades, excelled on the soccer team, and generally got along very well).

I think I have pretty well stiffened up from sitting here in my chair in the air conditioning after the walk in the humidity anyway. Time to see if I can unfold my muscles.


Anonymous Silvia said...

Hi Jeannne,

Rosetta Stone is coming out with a new HS version that will make it easier to incorporate the speaking part of the program. I bought the Italian version for my kids, and it's supposed to track what they do, but it was a pain to log out and log back in as a "guest" in order to use the microphone for the speaking part. So that is probably why they're offering a discount right now on the current version. FYI. You might want to wait for the new one, or call them and see when it comes out. :)

5:45 AM  
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