Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall is here!

Well, for the moment anyways. Georgia always has a warm front, or eight warm fronts, that move in after the official start of Fall.

The air is cooler. The leaves are changing. Pumpkin candles are lit. And my hoodies have been moved to the forefront of my closet. Woot!

Things are going smoothly here. Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself, lol. Scouts is fine. Soccer is great. The boys are absolutely LOVING Masters Academy. Which I'm thrilled about. I was really worried that the first week was a "oh this is cool and different" fluke. But they are a month in, and still just as enthusiastic about it so that's fabulous. November will see our first Masters field trip. We are going to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and we are visiting the High Museum of Art.

I'm enjoying the Thursday time for myself as well. Since it's a little too far to drop them off and go pick them up again, I just hang around Athens for the day. Lunch with friends, errands, shopping, pedicures...not a bad way to spend the day! :)

No problems with school. Yet. They are plugging along with Time4Learning as always. Braeden is working on 2nd grade Dolch words this week in spelling. Bailey is working on words from "Treasure Island." I'm hoping he enjoys that book... Both of the boys are playing US States games too. Kinda cool to try and memorize all 50 of the states. That's all I'm asking of Braeden right now, but Bailey is also working on the state capitals.

I'm still working on posting more Dragon*Con pictures. That will happen. I promise. I have to find my camera. :D This past week we spent days, DAYS, working on cleaning and thinning out the house. This is hard for me. Think "Hoarders." Anyway, we saw mucho progress and I am very pleased with what we accomplished. Having said that, I am notorious for putting things away when cleaning, only to lose them later. I really do thrive on that whole organized chaos thing. Once I locate the camera that I found a new, organized home for, I will post more pictures. :)

Hope everyone has a great week next week, and enjoys the first week of Fall!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm always grateful that I am a homeschooler...

...but this time of year really rams that home for me. :)

I'm sure it won't come as a great surprise to you to learn that I, as a blogger myself, like to read other blogs. I like all blogs, but homeschooling blogs are of a particular interest to me. I like to read how other families handle certain situations and what curricula/programs/resources they are using. Even though I am very comfortable with our current curriculum, I'm not opposed to adding or supplementing with additional books or programs.

I also like to read about current homeschool trends. We ended up homeschooling because I showed my butt and pulled Bailey out of public school in a fit of anger thinking (ok, hoping, but whatevs) that someone in that school office would call my bluff and bend over backwards to make things right for my kiddo. Obviously, that didn't go as planned. Heh. Having never thought about it before that, I hadn't given any thought to why people would choose to homeschool. Now, being much more secure in my decision, I find it fascinating to see why others make this choice. Is it a religious or spiritual issue? Are the schools in their area really that bad? Are other parents as selfish as I am when it comes to wanting to squeeze out every possible second of time with their children as they can? :)

Crap. I've digressed again. One day I'm going to be able to be focused and concise when it comes to my thoughts. One day. *sigh*

Back to being grateful. Why am I so grateful this time of year?

Because I know, at least mostly, what our year holds for us. I am not scrambling and searching through curriculum choices. We aren't trying a new program and having to adjust. I don't have a lot of hoops to jump through with the school board (In GA, we are very lucky. Taking a glimpse of other states' homeschool laws...all I can is yikes!). I have been reading other homeschool blogs and I see posts about changing curricula, AGAIN, because something was tried and didn't work. I see posts about homeschoolers having to submit homeschool plans and syllabi for school board approval. I see homeschooling moms kinda freaking out about how they are going to prepare and keep their homeschool portfolios for the year (this is something that I honestly don't have to worry about because Time4Learning has excellent record keeping... all I have to do is print off what I need, when I need it, and voila: portfolios! Lol.).

So for all of these reasons of me NOT worrying, I am grateful. :D

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Post Con Sadface....

With all of the build up for Dragon*Con, when the end rolls around, we are all left a little pouty.

Exhausted to point of drooling and stuttering, but pouty.

This year's con was good. The hubs had to work more over the weekend than any of us liked, but such is life I suppose. Going down a day earlier this year compared to years past was fun...the boys didn't know what to make of Atlanta without the 50,000 freaks and geeks. Arriving on Wednesday rather than Thursday (when most everyone else arrives) made checking in to the hotels easier, parking MUCH easier and we were actually able to enjoy a nice swim on Wednesday almost completely alone in the pool!

The new staff position this year was a BLAST. It keep me busier than I had expected, but not in a bad way. Got to meet some interesting people this year. There were name droppers (blarg) and butt kissers (blarg-er), but those folks didn't take away from the good stuffs and overall it was a fabulous experience. Already looking forward to next year!

The boys had a great time this year. They love the costuming and cosplay that goes on  (during the day...nightime Con is usually adult only, lol) and they enjoy just wandering around looking at everything. I will have a lot of pictures to share. Eventually. This is what happens with me and D*C photos. There are hundreds (Nope, not a typo. Hundreds. As in multiple of a hundred) of photos to go through to decide which ones to share. Some, like the parade photos, look almost just like the parade photos I shared last year. And the year before that. are few pictures that you guys can start out with. Sorry if they are blurry...I had to thieve them from Tracy's facebook, lol. I haven't even dumped them from the camera cards to my computer yet. :/

Costumes of 3 of the 4 boys... Bumblebee, An Empty Child (Dr. Who) and Aragorn
One of my FAV costumes from the weekend. Nope, have no idea what she is supposed to be. All I can tell you is she was fluffy. And pink. And fluffy + pink = awesome! ;)
Daddy: "See what happens when you misbehave? It's a wrench to the face for you!"
The hubs and I. And Jayne hats. :D
Bailey and Buck Rogers! No, seeing how he has aged does NOT make me feel old...
Jefferson Starship (who are ALL kinds of nice, btw)! Nope, still don't feel old... :P
The boys and Mark Sheppard! We totally accosted him in the hall on the last day of Con as we were leaving. The boys know him as Badger from Firely, Sterling from Leverage, Canton Delaware from Dr. Who and Crowley from Supernatural. Yes, they know him from *all* of those shows, lol.
What was my boys' highlight from this year? Meeting three of their favorite cast members from one of our most favorite family shows, Eureka!! They got to meet, and get autographs from, Jordan Hinson (she plays Zoe), Chris Gauthier (he plays Vincent) and Colin Ferguson (Sheriff Jack!). They were all incredibly sweet and from that little moment, the kids got their most prized picture from this year...
Aaaaahhhhh! While this was my boys' favorite photo op, this was also my total fangirl moment from this year! This photo is now my computer wallpaper. And that has *nothing* to do with how cute Colin Ferguson is. Nope. That's all about my boys. ;)
When I can sit long enough at my computer to sort through the rest of the photos, I will post some more.

As far as getting back to normal around here, that was a slow process this week. Tuesday I spent my day in a vegetative state, trying to start recuperating.  The boys are being troopers about starting school. There was only a little bit of whining, and mostly that was from me.

7th grade started off good for Bailey. He had a little math anxiety when he started his first math lesson. But he did fine. I'm hoping that he starts to feel more confident about math. While it's not his favorite subject, he doesn't do poorly in it...but he still worries about it.

Braeden is off to a good start as well. It was apparent to him right away that the 2nd grade lessons were different than the 1st grade lessons, but it didn't scare him or deter him. He enjoyed doing his first real wordsearch...that wasn't on his nintendo ds. He definitely does not prefer the paper version over the handheld game version, but they don't prefer paper anything over the electronic gadget version, lol.

Ok, that's it for now. Hope errbody enjoys the rest of their weekend, and has a great week next week.

Tomorrow, say a little prayer for all of those who are remembering 9/11...the lives lost there, the families that are still grieving, and for the country that was changed so much by one awful, crappy day...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Back to School...

Yep, finally. This week is our official start to our school year.

Nothing is really different than every other year we start back. I know I'm very fortunate in that. I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, and soooo many parents spend the end of summer struggling to find a curriculum, worrying about scheduling and revisiting that whole "pros and cons of homeschooling" thing.

We know we are good with continuing to homeschool. We know what we are using. We know schedules don't work for us (School schedules don't anyway. It's all I can do to keep up with the schedules of everything else going on with us), so we know that we really don't know how our day will go but we will take it as it comes at us, lol. We know about when we will take our holiday and planned breaks. I'm good.

How lucky am I? ;)

To start off, we are going to jump in one subject at a time. Years past, we would take time off in August, go a few weeks without actually doing anything, then WHAM!...back to school with a normal (haha, what's ever normal around here?) school day. This year, we were working on spelling throughout the summer, and did more reading than we have before. But I still don't want to overwhelm them and have 4 days of whining. Mostly it's me whining. But whatever. Still don't want it.

So, we are going to start with more spelling, but more formal spelling, rather than just game play. I have some spelling lists by grade that they will work on. Besides the spelling, they are only going to work on math this first week. Then next week, I will add language arts. The following week science, then social studies. As much as I don't want to overwhelm them, this is to also help with our new weekly schedule. With the extra homeschool group meeting and the weekly Masters program, I want to make sure that things don't get hairy before they even really get started. :)

By the way... I wrote and scheduled this to publish before we left for Dragon*Con (I like to try to keep up with a weekly posting if possible, otherwise, I end up pushing things back and I only post about once every 6 months, lol) so if this post is sandwiched in between some weird and freaky convention posts, I apologize. If you haven't seen a convention post before you see this one...don't worry. The weird and freaky is coming. :D