10 January 2009

I'm dreaming of a white...Sunday?

The snow has been falling quite happily outside my contented little home for most of the late afternoon. It's probably the first 'real' snow we've had this winter--although there have been two or three with accumulation, they didn't last and were mostly sleet/freezing rain. This is honest-to-goodness white flakes with a solid two to four inches of ground cover. I'm inclined to take this as a sign that Mother Nature (in all her wisdom and glory) has decided we idiots in the Mid-Atlantic deserve a White Winter too. Amen.

On a more domestic note, I decided to take advantage of our Winter Storm Warning Day and do a little 'redding up' as my PA Dutch ancestors would say. Heaven knows, with four Manlings, a husband, the cat, a Punkin rabbit, and five little piggies in this house 24 hours a day, seven days a week--give or take trips to the grocery store and errands--the place is starting to look a bit rough around the edges. I'm not sure houses were actually built to take This Much Abuse.

The basement got a good going-over since all our school stuff is down there. The 'classroom' needed organizing and sorting. I even found a couple of books I missed which will come in handy for our Geology unit. OH! And I found the planner that had 'gone missing' months ago! ...only I already bought another. Oh well. I'll just erase the started pages and use it again this fall. LOL

The kitchen and dining room got picked up and swept. It is starting to look like human beings live here. Now if I could just do something about my icky stove and cabinets... Our home was rented before we moved in, and the tenants didn't really take great care of the place. Consequently the kitchen only gets So Clean before this gigantic gaping hole in the universe opens, and TPTB sit on my nasty dirty range hood and laugh maniacally at me. I've tried everything I can think of to get the grease off that hood and the cabinets around it...and they just won't come clean. I guess there's only so much accumulated filth you can remove. Thank heavens my DH and I are also in complete agreement about removing that entire section of the kitchen first. Hopefully soon.

On the homeschooling front, the Manlings started homework back up this week. Well...the younger two did anyway. In a spurt of motivated insanity, they finished up their Colonial America lapbooks, worked on their Genesis lapbook, and started their Geology Notebook. Next week we are starting up the American Revolution with sections on all the major players, and they are going to do Noah's Ark for their Genesis lapbook.

Manling #3 is doing better than expected in his reading but lapsed a bit on what he was asked to do in copywork and math. We had a little chat about what to expect now that my work schedule has stabilized and I'm home most of the morning/afternoon to help out more. He's actually quite content with how things are going and is an incredibly happy child.

Manling #4 is my handful, and I dearly love him in spite of it. He's been very grumpy about learning to read and has been pretty resistant to it. DH suggested that perhaps he's afraid that if he learns to read I'll stop reading to him. (I read to the whole family quite a lot. We're working on Johnny Tremain for history with the younger two...but the older two listen in. The 'family' book at the moment is Brisingr by Chris Paolini.) I had a talk with him and let him know that learning to read will not stop family reading time...and the next morning I got much less resistance when we went over his McGuffey Reader lesson. He's started a new copywork book which is children's poems (and he loves it!) and is re-starting his Explode the Code book which he had been refusing to do. Yay!

Manling #1 is chomping at the bit for the Civil War Unit I have planned to start in March, so I'm giving him some upper-level reading to do on generals and important people. I think I might have him start a CW notebook on them that we can then add to when the other three are ready. He is also supposed to start plotting what he'd like to study when he starts 'high school' in the summer.

Manling #2 has been having some "focus" issues and found himself behind in Math and Science. He's playing catch-up at the moment and isn't happy. But he's realized it's better to finish small chunks every day than have to do a whole bunch all at once. Lesson learned. I also told him he couldn't start his WWI Unit until the make-up is done. Ouch. That didn't make him happier.

Overall I think things are going to run a bit more smoothly now that I'm not working as much and at a better time. It's just too distracting and non-productive to put in extra hours all the time and really get nothing out of it. I'm much more relaxed too, both at home and at work. I was a little worried about learning to bill...but I've actually been enjoying it. It's mindless and easy on the nerves and gives me some much-needed downtime in the evenings. I get to unwind, then come home and finish up whatever needs doing yet before bed.

A reference for me:

It's a list of lapbooking resources. Heaven knows I'm gonna need it!

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