29 December 2011

Christmas vacation

Merry Christmas!!  We're taking it easy this week, sleeping in, visiting with cousins, lots of family time.  The new math books came in the other day.  I had a chance to look through them.  Bob wanted to know who on earth would name math books "The Life of Fred."  It's actually quite the enjoyable series, a funny story of a 5 year old teaching at college and all his adventures.  The math comes in as it shows how math is used in his daily life.  Not sure how that's going to work out when we get to Calculus (I sure don't use calculus every day, do you?) but I guess we'll find out when we get there. 

I spent some time yesterday organizing a few things but still have more to do.  I got a new-to-me laptop and need to transfer over my school files and some other things to it, I need to get the girls agendas done for next week, and I need to spend some more time figuring out how to make school better.  It's pretty good but both girls are struggling with math right now so I think we need to refocus and spend more time on math and less on history (Sweet Pea) and science (Rosie Jane).  I think Saturday while the rest of the family is at the ski slopes I'm going to finish my organizing for the next few months, do at least enough to get us through to our February vacation.

17 December 2011

One more week

We just have one more week of school, and not even a full week at that, before we break for Christmas.  This is the first time I've taken things a bit easy in December.  We went on vacation to Disney in early November, then came home for a week or two, then was Thanksgiving and Sweet Pea's birthday.  We just haven't gotten back into our groove.  We took things easy this month but still got the most important things done.

Coming up this week is a trip to Williamsburg.  We're going to wander the colonial area for a bit before we meet a friend for lunch, then we're going to Busch Gardens for Christmas Towne, there will be some rides open, shows, Christmas fun.  Hopefully the girls will enjoy it; we've never been before so we're not quite sure what to expect.  We have been to Dutch Wonderland (Lancaster, PA) and Hershey Park (Hershey, PA) during their Christmas displays and have had fun there.  Then school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Hopefully we can take Friday off.  Both girls are at the point where I think they need the full week to complete a few things and get the chapter test done.  Hopefully we can squeeze it in!  Sweet Pea and I are also going to be heading to the ski slopes Wednesday and Thursday afternoons for her team practice.  Rosie Jane will go with her dad to her Girl Scout awards ceremony on Thursday night.  Busy week!! 

While we're taking our break, I'll be finding a bit of time to look over school stuff.  I need to get us back on track in January.  They have off from their French and German classes until Jan. 30 so they'll have one less thing to do for a while. Almost done with the first semester of high school and right now I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Merry Christmas to all!  See you in January.

13 December 2011

New books already

This afternoon I was supposed to be ordering some Christmas presents online. Instead I ordered some school books that we'll need soon. I really didn't think that I'd need to order school stuff until sometime in January. 

Both girls are using Life of Fred for math. Rosie Jane has already finished the Fractions book this year and is 8 lessons away from completing the Decimals and Percents book. I was hoping that she could finish it before Christmas break but now looking at the calendar I don't think she'll be able to. Either way, she'll need the next book pretty quickly in January so I ordered the next two books this afternoon.  Funny thing is that they're Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology and Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics. She asked if she had to do the biology and economics and when I told her yes, she asked why.  I think she was thinking she's going to get enough biology with the science she's doing this year and she doesn't want to do economics (although she probably doesn't know what it is), but it's all integrated so she's doing it.

Sweet Pea is using the Bible books from Sonlight's World History in Depth course. I ordered the first three books used, thinking it would (again) take her until mid- to late-January to finish them. Didn't quite turn out that way! She read the first book But Don't All Religions Lead to God and is working her way through the BBC workbook. The next book up was supposed to be How to Stay Christian in High School. The problem occurred when Bob started looking for something new to use in the senior high Sunday school class (he's one of the teachers). Some of the kids brought in some options and Sweet Pea took in that book. She hadn't started it yet, but thought it looked good and the other kids would like it. They did so they're using the book at church (and really enjoying it from what I hear). So that left her with nothing at home so I ordered the other two books this afternoon, Daring to Live on the Edge and Life Like a Jesus Freak. Can't wait to see how she likes these two since she really liked the others.

Hopefully these orders will hold us until the end of the school year. I've already got the next math book that Sweet Pea will need and they should be good with the rest of their things.

10 December 2011

The home stretch for this year

We're entering the home stretch for this year (the calendar year!).  I think we'll do some sort of school through Dec. 22 then take off until January.  We've been kind of taking it easy already this month, too many things to do but some school work keeps going on.  The girls are a little behind in a couple of things so we're working hard on those, math for Sweet Pea (and when I say "working hard" in this case I mean it, it's been hard!) and science as well; for Rosie Jane, it's been English, science, and math.  Sweet Pea has been catching up on some projects for history now that we've gotten a new black printer cartridge.  Printing out a bunch of pictures isn't going to work well without that color.

Both are keeping up with their foreign language.  This coming week is their last until the end of January.  I need to keep them reviewing next month so they don't forget everything before they meet again.  I will have Sweet Pea work on the French unit study in January before her class begins again.  Hopefully she'll know more about French geography, the people, and the country by the end.

I think we'll do some baking (easy math) next week, finish Christmas shopping, hit the slopes at least one day hopefully (p.e.), and just enjoy some time together. 

05 December 2011

I should have known

Grand ideas and all, but I should have known better.  While I like the idea of unit studies, they just don't really work for us, especially at this time of year.  There's too much going on between Sweet Pea's birthday, Thanksgiving (not necessarily in that order), shopping, baking, Christmas,  youth group stuff, and all sorts of other miscellaneous things.

I really liked the idea of the Christmas unit study that I got, but I think it's too much work for this time of year.  While it had movies and books, it was primarily a writing program from what I saw.  Maybe I'll save it for next year, take a closer look at it during the summer so we can work it in during December.  The good news is that I got it for free so I'm not feeling like I wasted money on it.

I do have higher hopes for the French unit study I got.  It's only a week long and looks like a lot of fun. I'll be taking a closer look at that one over Christmas break, maybe while the gang is off skiing.  I told Sweet Pea that we'd do it the first week back to school in January.  Should be a good time to review French for her, her last class is next Friday and they don't start again until Jan. 30.