16 April 2009

Various Thoughts.

I have strange ways of saving money on curriculum. Here's one. Write all the stuff out in a notebook, do the problems orally or on a dry-erase board. Then save the semi-fresh workbooks for the next children in line.

LIFEPACs aren't *so* bad expense-wise, but doing this is plain old cheaper. And the boys like doing the dry erase marker thing and not having to write in EVERY subject. I suppose that will change as they age but it works for us right now. I am having a hard time with the actual teaching of the science, though, because my children are asking too many questions about how things work and no longer believe the man in the radio story.

They want to know HOW the car works. Not just that it has fuel and runs when you turn the key. If you put gas in it, why does it also need a "battery?" And HOW does the furnace heat the house and since we're studying heat, why do we get burned? Isn't heat a *good* thing? It's listed here in our LIFEPACs as a blessing from God. WAIT! We're made mostly of water! How can it even be possible for us to get burned? I wish I could literally drag a scientist over for ONE LONG DAY and have my kids grill him and let him be the bad guy. I would have to see if he ever tried to pull the man in the radio story... because I get to that point pretty quick.

And I'm probably mean for doing this, but I gave a big bunch of seeds and some shovels to two young men and set aside an area in the front yard for them to do whatever they would like. Of course, it's also an area that used to be entirely covered in pebbles and in which nothing has ever grown (including weeds), but the boys had a great time planting and watering their seeds anyway. Well, don't look at me. D was the one who gave us this area of the yard after much negotiation. Our conversation went something like this:

D: I will mow over the pumpkin plants if you put them in the front yard.

Me: Ok, I will put them in the back yard.

D: No. I will mow over them if they're in the back yard.

Me: Ok, I will put them on the side yard. That would be perfect, because it's near the hose.

D: No. I will mow over them if they're in the side yard. I want to use the side yard to get into the back yard, where I will mow over everything that's there.

Me: But... there is another gate on the other side of the house.

D: I don't want to have to walk any further than I have to (even though mowing our yard is like a 98-mile run and ten extra steps won't kill you) so I need to be able to use both gates all year long. You can plant your pumpkin seeds near the mailbox where all the neighbourhood dogs pee, and the local children coming home from school could easily pick the pumpkins and break the boys' hearts. Smash, smash, smash.

Me: Oh, dear. I'd rather not.

D: Ok, you can have the area near the front door.

Me: Ok, sweet husband. I will happily plant the pumpkins in the tiny circle of earth near our entryway upon which nothing has ever grown in the entire history of the universe.

D: Well, all right then. But you have to keep that entire section of the yard looking nice and trim all the grass.

Me: (sigh) Ok.

(Note that this conversation is only a slight approximation of the real conversation. This is the docu-drama made for TV version in which only one side of the story is presented as the truth. I'm not sure which actress would play me, though.)

Finally, doesn't this post bore you so badly that you want to tuck your curly little head down at the dinner table and sleep? Yeah, dinner wasn't so exciting last night, I guess, after all the chips were eaten.


  1. How lucky you are to have such inquisitive minds, though!

    Homeschooling is not exactly my area, but maybe you could find a college science major willing to put in a few hours of answering questions for beer money or whatever? Or even for free in exchange for volunteer credits, if his school requires them?

    On the gardening side, I use growboxes and they're fabulous. You can buy them starting around $50, but I just hammered mine together using $20 worth of lumber and a handful of 4-inch screws. Mine is a large 5x5 size, but you could go smaller.


  2. You are a patient woman Mrs C. I would have broken the mower by now and then converted the whole of the lawn to a huge vegetable garden. Patient, patient woman!!!
    D doesn't know how lucky he is.

  3. Pamela and I have been planting green beans and yellow squash in little pots. This weekend, Steve is going to till an area for us to grow something. I have a black thumb, but maybe Pamela's is green . . .

  4. What great curiosity! I love that.
    Blessings my friend.

  5. I love these posts [smile].

    Q. Why do you need a battery if it already has gas?

    A. Because gasoline, by itself, is rather useless. To make the car go, you need to make some of the gasoline explode and so push this pistons to make the wheels turn. And to make gasoline explode you need a spark. And we get that from the battery to start the car, and the alternator belt after that [smile].


  6. A, I have thought of the grow box idea but then I heard that if you use the wrong thing for it you will poison yourself! Ok, probably the same reliable source as the syringe-in-the-ballpit email, but still.

    Tammy, I hope it works and then you could show ME how to do it. I hear the secret is in the soil... which is why this probably won't work for us...

    Pam, many blessings back!! (hug)

    Luke, thanks a lot. Now I am scared to run my van. Sparks near my gas! I never knew. Maybe it was better that way.

  7. I hope the boys seed DO GROW ! S-Rose looks so cute there asleep!

  8. LOL I do too, Chris. I'm just not getting my hopes up. And THANKS! She is getting very curly hair. :]

  9. I like your ideas for saving money on your school curriculum! Very clever and helpful to many.

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)