Friday, February 14, 2014

February 14, 2014

We have had a great week of homeschooling this week.  Actually, I would say that this might have been one of our best weeks ever.  No bad attitudes, no major issues with any of the assignments, we all got along well and the boys both got their work done with no major complaints.  This was our third week of homeschooling since the boys tried public school for a week.

Our first day or two back at homeschooling, after the public school trial, was surprisingly extremely bad.  I had a new perspective so I handled it very calmly and matter-of-factly but that first day was a real bad one.  We got through it though and through the second day, which was a little better but still bad and then the rest of that week was pretty good.  The first day of the second week was also a very bad day, although not nearly as bad as the first day of the first week.  Since then, things have steadily improved, thankfully.  I was pleasantly surprised that this week was so great. Hopefully we will have more weeks like this going forward.

We had to go to the school to return some of their things and pick up some of ours.  Everyone there was so friendly and sweet to us. I was so impressed.  They had the boys go back to their classrooms and tell their classmates goodbye.  Nick's teacher came out and gave me a big hug and talked to us for a short time.  She wanted to know what curriculum we were using and was just so sweet about everything.  They all said they would miss the boys and told them to come back to visit.  Really just the greatest group of people and it is so nice to know they are there if we ever decide to go that direction.

We are back to using our tried and true spelling and grammar curriculum and I am glad we switched back.  I think they are better programs and we enjoy the interaction together, although I think Ben thinks it goes a bit slower than he would prefer to go (I told him he could switch back to the curriculum he could do on his own but he didn't want to).  He is a speedster on everything he does though so it is probably good for him to be forced to slow down a bit once in a while.  You should hear how fast he plays the songs he is assigned to practice on the piano.  He plays everything in double-time.  His piano teacher gets such a kick out of him at times.

Our writing program is coming along quite well so far.  I am taking it slow but I am pleased on how well the boys are doing with it and excited to see how far they will have come by summer break.  We are enjoying the same history program that we have always used, along with checking out library books about the topics we are covering.  We are still working to finish up Little Lord Fauntleroy as our read aloud.  We are all enjoying it so much but it seems we are having trouble fitting in time to finish it.  (We have had a lot of sickness in our house lately.)  Nick just finished a book called Flight of the Fugitives and today he started reading Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to himself.  Ben is towards the end of Trumpet of the Swan, which is one of my all time favorites.  The husband has been teaching chemistry to the boys and all three of them are enjoying it.  Math is moving along and they have almost finished 2nd grade math and will be moving into 3rd grade math sometime in March.  They have just started learning multiplication and are working on multiplying by 0, 1, 2 and 10 and will soon be adding 5.  They are really picking up the multiplication very well.  I am sure this is thanks to all of the skip counting their math requires them to practice.

The husband is applying for a couple of jobs that would bring him much closer to home, which is what we have been wanting for a long time now.  He took a job that we thought would be ideal but it turns out that it was not quite what it was sold as.  But he has found two opportunities that both sound promising so we are hopeful and prayerful that one of them will work out well.

We are having a beautiful week here this week and boy did we need it.  In the past three weeks, Nick and Ben both got some sort of virus that had them up in the middle of the night vomiting and then fever all the next day.  The strange thing was that Nick had it first and then Ben had it about a week and a half after Nick was over it.  I think we might have been passing it back and forth between us and the neighbor kids or something.  Then Ben had a cold and I caught it and ended up eventually having to take antibiotics for a sinus infection and then Nick caught the cold from me.  Just when we thought he was recovering, he took a turn for the worse and spiked a temperature of 104.3.  I was so shocked because I thought he was getting better.  We thought he might have pneumonia or the flu but he didn't have either.  He has two more days of antibiotics for upper respiratory infection.  I think we might all be well now.  From what I have heard from talking to neighbors, people at church and doctor-husband is that there are a lot of viruses going around right now, in addition to the flu.  Oh, and the throw up virus was running rampant at the public school when the boys were there so we are pretty sure that is where Nick picked that one up.

It is wonderful to finally all be well again.  I can't remember a time when we had so much sickness come through our house in such a short period of time.  I think it has a lot to do with the extremely cold temps we have had over the past couple of months and how it keeps everyone confined.  So this warmer weather could not have come at a better time.

I am planning my raised-bed garden and am very hopeful that we will finally be able to put it in this year.  I would like to plant two blueberry bushes and have two separate 2x4 foot garden boxes for strawberries so we could plant one this year and one next year, since they take a year to get going and they usually only last for 2 to 3 years before you have to replant new plants.  That way we could always have strawberries going in one box or the other.

In addition to these, I would like to start with three 4x4 foot boxes for veggies.  That is what I am hoping for but reality might be different.  If I could just get part of that in this year, I would be happy.  Hopefully we can make that happen.  I am dependent on the husband to finish fixing the watering system, which includes some digging and laying some pipes, and also to build the boxes.  I had bought some pre-made boxes but they were very cheaply built and it was obvious they would not last long so he wants to build sturdier ones.  He bought the wood to start building the boxes yesterday. We are suppose to have beautiful weather for the next week or so I am hopeful he might be able to get this done in time.  We were in the low 60's yesterday, mid 50's today but very windy so it felt colder and tomorrow we are suppose to be close to 70 I think.  I think we are suppose to have several close to 70 days coming up and we are all very excited about it.  I am so ready for spring...and so done with winter.

I have put aside some pics that I am going to load a little later to give a picture update.  The boys are really getting big.  Stay tuned.