16 April 2020

Homeschooling 2019-2020


 What a weird month!  Well, I've gotten caught up on a tiny home project or two and upended everything in the process.  I have stacks and piles and tools strewn about and no intention of cleaning it all up because I want to get other things done and why put the tools away?  Not yet.  Maybe I'll blog later on that one. 

So I'm taking a break and uploading a few pictures.   This one is of our exciting science experiments - finding whether things are acid or base using litmus paper.  Can you tell that some young people are no longer enamoured of having their photos taken?  Oh well.  It's a package I bought a few years ago at a homeschool convention and have finally opened!  I'm finding all sorts of useful and fun things in my homeschooling boxes and piles, and I might as well use everything up.  The children will (barring pandemic and such... ya know) go to school full-time next year.

Here's their guess as to where everything will fall on the litmus scale.  I went to go look up the curriculum provider so I could give you a link and sure enough, they're out of business.  It's a shame because they had quite a number of everything included science kits and little games or things like element playing cards.

And here's our history curriculum!  We're continuing with the Story of the World series.  This one is the last in the series, covering the Victorian Era through the end of the USSR.  As you can see, the reading level is pretty much as you would expect in a sixth or seventh grade textbook.  It can get quite detailed.  I lived through some of the stuff in the latter bit of the book and I don't remember many of the events!

The textbook can be purchased with a very thick activity workbook with maps, questions, and rather involved activities.  This year, we haven't done many activities.  But if you wanted, this book could double as an art and home economics curriculum because there are projects at the end of each of the 42 chapters. 
At this point, I'm not even caring about spelling as much as I have in the past.  I'm getting lax. Only a few more weeks in the school year here anyway!

02 April 2020

Recent Homeschool Happenings.

School is out for the forseeable future.  I don't believe anything they're telling us at this point.  At first, notices read something like, "YES! We're coming right back after spring break!"...and then... well, the school will do online learning for a week and THEN have all the germy kids back within inches of one another... and then... well, now they say school will begin at the end of the month!  Nope, I don't believe them.  Even today, I got a "Senior Parent Note" telling me that sure, Prom is just gonna be pushed back a month.  I wish they'd stop jerking these kids around and just close the school for the year already. 

Anyyyway.  The title of the post is "Recent Homeschool Happenings," so here we go:

Previously, the children would pop up at six, get the bus by seven, come home at 11 and then have lunch and do schoolwork or go skating or whatever because they homeschool half days.  Right now, we're on stay at home type orders and my two college students are back home all day as well as my high school senior.  My husband is also working from home downstairs. It's just more crowded and we're working out ways not to get on one another's nerves.  Maintaining at least a good framework of a schedule is key to doing this!

Now, we get up around 7 or 7:30, have breakfast and start public school stuff on the computer around 8.  It's a joke, really.  Woodjie and Rose are popping 'round looking for more stuff to do well before 11 when we have lunch.  I don't fault the school for just assigning a bit of busywork and calling it good enough.  So many families have NOT been homeschooling for years on end and this is a huge change for them.  The school seems to aim to make the work simple and ease that transition to staying at home all day.  Some families are losing jobs, working from home, and just plain old stressed out.  Simple is just fine for now.  If this continues through next fall, I'll have to consider homeschooling full-time as I want my children consistently learning as much as they can.  A little break for now - I'll allow that.

By chance, this is what I had my sixth-grader Rose begin reading last year.  How apropos.

Everyone finishes lunch at a slightly different time (Rose is a very slow eater and Woodjie is known to eat quite a fair bit!).  After about a 15 minute break that the children think is only 10 minutes, I call them back down to the dining room table to read Kindle books aloud for 20 minutes each or do a history lesson.  We'll work on something less intense such as playing chesskid.com or watching Horrible Histories on Amazon Prime for a bit.  Then back to the Kindle book or history lesson.  Occasionally I'll pop some science in, but at this point in the year I have done all of my "required" hours by law and so I've sorta sluffed off on that.

Things have changed so much and the children can't see their friends or go skating or do the things they used to for the most part.  So we're taking things a bit easy for the rest of the school year.  We have gone to the park and walked about the trails.  Some other visit, I will bring our Missouri Bird or Missouri Tree identification books and we'll find black walnuts and chickadees and so on.

11 December 2019

So Much Has Happened...

The smaller children and I always took our neighbour Karola out for the day about every other week, as well as needed appointments and so on.  Elf would bring her trash out each week and spend an hour or so speaking German with her in her living room.  She was a war bride whose first home after Germany was Hiroshima!  Eventually they settled in Missouri and built a house here.  She died this April and we miss her very much.  I have scanned some of her photos on this website if you're interested in looking through them.


I also finally got all my paperwork together and have been inducted into the Daughters of the American Revolution.  To join, you'd just have to be a woman over 18 and be able to prove you're descended from a revolutionary patriot.  Not all patriots were soldiers or signers of the Declaration and so on - some were women!   The DAR focuses on education, patriotism and preservation of history.  I've been volunteering at a local thrift store that benefits the homeless about twice a week and logging my hours under "patriotism".  (I don't think I'm educating anyone or preserving history when I hang clothes or sort through shoes and what-not, and it counts for something, right?)  If you can see any detail in the photo, you'll see that my patriot's name is Rudolph Litz and he was from New York.  He is my sixth great-grandfather.

I grew some tomatoes this year which looked pitiful but weren't bad, really.

And of course the children are still skating.  They're pictured here with their coach, Bernie Gilliam. 

14 January 2019

Woodjie's Roller Dance Routine!



Only a few people were selected to perform their routines at a recent club fundraiser.  I went to upload this video and was pretty shocked that I've been away quite this long!  Hopefully you'll see that he has improved immensely! 

PS - I swear those pants were actually a bit long when I made them a few months ago!  Proper skating pants are meant to rest about halfway down the top of the foot.  Ehmmm... nope.

08 August 2018

Star Trek Roller Skating!

Woodjie LOVES the audience.



 I made these little outfits for the children and they danced to the Star Trek: Next Generation theme song together at a recent skating competition in Union, Missouri!  They came in second for the regional pairs dance in their division. 

02 May 2018

My Scottish Family, the Jacks.



Here's my great-great grandfather William Jack.  He was born in 1857 in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, and sailed with 74th Highlanders in HMS Troopship Jamar to Singapore in 1879.  I played with the filters on this one as the original copy was rather browning.


This is my third great-uncle, or if you'd rather, William Jack's big brother.  His name was Thomas Jack and he was born in August 1839. According to census documents, throughout his life he was both a cotton weaver and an "Ingine Keeper at Coal Pit."

20 April 2018

Homeschooling 2019-2020

 What a weird month!  Well, I've gotten caught up on a tiny home project or two and upended everything in the process.  I have stacks a...