Friday, February 14, 2014

My Homeschool Mother's Journal - February 14

 Homegrown Learners

In my life this week…we got snow!! Even more after I posted last Friday's weekly wrap up; pictures here. Beyond the snow, it's been a discouraging week. My people keep getting sick and it so stresses me to have my husband get sick. It's a whole different ballgame post-transplant.  Although I am beginning to suspect it's not sick as in a bug/virus, but it's stress driven so I am working to get counseling started for us. It is a never ending battle parenting our Aspie boy; my husband and I are both tired because the effort required is huge with no break ever. We spent quite a bit of time dealing with issues related to the boy yet again this week, and that is discouraging. I am working to make time to spend with God, and this a very interesting read on that topic. Oh and my husband is starting grad school next week. He will be working towards his master's in nursing. I am not sure how I feel about this, but that's what's going on.

In our homeschool this week… it has not been a great week for accomplishing stuff in our books which stressed me. So I counted. We have 71 school days ahead of us and 59 more history lessons. Once I saw that, I relaxed. Tuesday was a self-directed study day because YDD was invited to a game day at a friend's house. I had planned to do Tuesday's lessons on Friday which is our usual self-directed study day, but once I counted, I decided we'd have 2 self-directed study days. ODD is THRILLED because she's working on a piece of art to submit to a contest tomorrow at the library.

Left is my girls not feeling good yesterday. Top right - YDD curled up watching the Olympics on the computer with me. Bottom right - YDD and Daddy snuggling after playing in the snow.
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… see above!

This week's art . . . ODD has been working to deadlines in recent weeks. It's been a learning experience for her and one I am trying to stay very hands off.

This was a project she created for a friend's birthday. She took a favorite song and and created pictures to go along with the lyrics. She bound it together in a book and gave it to her friend who loved it. The pictures above are ODD in the middle of the process. She did get it done, but 10 minutes after we were supposed to leave. I am hoping she doesn't cut this week's deadline quite so tight.
Favorite resource this week . . . I found a new link-up that I really like: Sharing What Works. This week, I really loved the review of Brave Writer.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… just art class & youth group for ODD, and one swim class for YDD. No church or Bible study this week between the weather and the sickies.

What we are reading . . .
1 - Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke I really enjoyed this one, more so than the first in the series. There was more to the characters in this one. 2 - Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown by Maud Hart Lovelace - ODD is reading this because I am making her. I so wanted my girls to love these books because I loved them as a kid, but they do not. I required them to read the book in which the characters were close to my girl's age; neither really liked the book so I am dropping this. Sadly. 3 - The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan YDD: "Intense and very interesting." 4 - Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman YDD: "Weird and some parts were hard to follow."
My favorite thing this week was… SNOW!

My kiddos favorite thing this week was… SNOW!

What’s working/not working for us... I shared A Day in the Life this week and our current routine of life is working for us.

Things I’m working on… Weight Watchers Report. I looked back in my blog and discovered it was the end of March 2013 that my doctor told me to quit limiting my calories to stabilize my porphyria. This means I am in the crucial time period to see if Weight Watchers is really going to be viable for me.

I’m cooking… vegetable soup. I've read online that vegetable soup is many people's key to losing weight on WW. However, I am not a huge veggie fan. Part of it goes back to my childhood of eating canned veggies which are yucko. Part of it goes back to needing to eat a high carb diet and many veggies are not. My solution has been to load my chicken stock with veggies that do have carbs [like bell peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes] and then blend the soup so there are not chunks of veggie to eat. I eat 1 cup portions which are 1 point each. I love that I can get serious nutrition for only 1 point. This also means if I am not tight on points, I can add cheese [usually feta] and have a 4 point meal with a dairy serving, too.

I am thankful … we have very little on the calendar this weekend. I am thankful 3 nights away for DH and me is only 1 week away. I am thankful my husband is a participant in our lives and not a spectator any more. I am thankful for fruit smoothies with only 2 points and lots of carbs. I am thankful for two self-directed study days this week. I am thankful for the Valentine's Day party with our local homeschool group today. I am thankful YDD finally told the truth about taking candy. I am thankful for what was accomplished on a sick/appointment day. I am thankful for the pace we've been working through history. I am thankful we've been able to start ODD learning Japanese without spending any money.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
Dad making a skirt ODD needed to dress as a book character for her friend's birthday party. I was very thankful he could make it from some un-useful bedsheets especially when they didn't end up dressing up since there was so much snow the day of the party.


  1. I remember growing up in Vancouver,BC where snow was rare and a treat. Up here in Kelowna not so much. I am ready for spring.

    You reminded me of Neil Gaiman. I have two of his books from way back not I need to got look at all the books he has written since. The two books that I have are "Neverwhere" and "Good Omens" I remember finding Neverwhere a little hard to follow.

    1. I have cousins who live in Wisconsin where snow is prevalent, so I am learning it's not always a treat. We're spoiled to get snow for a few days and then as soon as it melted we've got signs of spring. My bulbs are starting to peek through the soil.

      Thanks for sharing the books titles; we'll check into those.

  2. I hope WW continues to work for you without side effects. I loved it, but found it difficult when I had to go gluten free. Some how I just got too lazy to calculate the points of all my new recipes. I was in maintenance mode anyway. Good luck!

    1. I cook everything from scratch so I find entering in all the recipes a pain, too. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will ultimately work. FOr now I'm still nervous.

  3. I love to read the blog that hosts the "what works for us" link-up. It's one of my favorites. Sorry about the discouragement right now. I have to say I was a bit discouraged this week too, but for different reasons. I hope you can find some peace soon!

    1. I'm sorry you've been discouraged, too. And I've started following that blog so I can read all her posts and not just the link-up.

  4. 2 days self-directed is great. Are you in a state that requires submitting hours? Just wondering. Where did you find free Japan lessons?
    Keep going, 71 days is so doable! ;)

    1. We do not need to submit hours or even track days which is a huge blessing. We set our own calendar, so we like to take summer break from July through September because June is often rainy for us.

      Japanese: I was fortunate to take a year in college so I have some idea where to start with her. I had her use wikipedia to create flashcards for the Hiragana syllabary. My husband found a couple iPad apps for learning to write the characters properly. They are all in Japanese because they were created for young Japanese kids to use. We also found this channel on YouTube: