Thursday, June 23, 2011


Tuesday and Wednesday I attended my second-ever homeschool conference. The first was in PA when Eldest Kidlet was either an infant or not yet born so it's been quite a while in between.

I'm very proud of myself on two counts. The first is that I bought absolutely nothing on the first day, confining myself exclusively to attending lectures and gathering information. The second is that I took all four kids with me the second day. Actually, they were wonderfully behaved even with attending two lectures and spending several hours on the sales floor. Of course the bribe of a book or art project for good behavior probably didn't exactly hurt.

The "gulp" in the title is that we've gotten the curriculum and are really going to do this thing. Something that makes it a little less scary is that the kids are already showing more interest in what they're going to be learning than they did at any time last year. I just checked the accuracy of that statement with Eldest Kidlet and she says she's "More excited for this coming year than for all the previous years combined."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's hard to believe

But today makes one year since John passed away. Fortunately I have the day pretty solidly planned so I won't have much time to think about it. I probably won't mention it to the kids either, although I'm not sure about that.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


There are some major changes going on at la maisson Mommykitten.

Cosmetically, Son and I have been removing many of the bushes planted by the previous home owner and replacing them with berry bushes, roses, and flowers. I'm also removing much of the volunteer clover to make room for flowers and this makes the neighbors happy as well. It's been a lot of work but will be well worth it if most of the plants survive.

The other major change is that the kids have voted and all would like to try homeschooling for a year. It's something I've been thinking about for a while, but several converations lately have brought the issue to a head. It's not that there's a problem with the teachers, bullying, or poor grades. It's that everytime one of the kids asked about current events, and I tried to explain what was going on, it became quickly apparent that they didn't have the background knowledge necessary to understand the explanation. I could understand a little of that but my going-into-eighth-grader hasn't had any of the international geography and history that I did in seventh grade, and won't until ninth grade. Son has had music class all six years he's been in school and doesn't know who Beethoven or Motzart are. Neither of the two oldest spell well and yet spelling instruction stops after 6th grade. The math and science instruction are respectable but now that all the kids are getting mostly A's they will not be challenged any further, and I know the two younger particullarly can be stretched quite a bit since for them getting straight A's is simply a matter of turning in their homework.

All of that is a long way of saying that the older kid's knowledge foundations need shoring up in some areas while they are being encouraged to stretch themselves academically and the two younger one's need to be challanged to make the most of their academic gifts. This simply isn't possible in a standardized public, or even private, school setting no matter how dedicated the teachers are, and I would like to reiterate that I have no complaint with the teachers just the pace at which concepts are introduced.