Friday, August 13, 2010

"What are you up to"?

What am I up to lately? People keep asking.


I've calculated the number of school lessons I want each child to do in a year, and I've been going through their curricula one at a time (that's 5 years worth of learning), checking each lesson that's on there to be sure I didn't overdo one thing or not cover another. I've been also searching out lessons online to fill in the gaps (I figure the big kids need 2100 lessons for the year, and Nathanael needs 720. That's a lot of ABC videos and color games on a preschool level!).

We started school a week ago, so we've been getting used to doing that every day again.

I gave Caleb a standardized test to satisfy the homeschooling law. Without even doing most of 3rd grade math, he ended up in the 92nd percentile overall. The law states you have to be above the 17th percentile to continue homeschooling, so we have no problems there. We're also trying to finish 3rd and 4th grade math for Caleb this year, so that he's not behind anymore.

I came to the conclusion that it's easier to just tell everyone what grades my kids are in by age instead of ability level. So they are now in K, 2, and 4. Never mind that "2" in our house means college biology, 3rd grade language arts, and 2-4th grade math all in one year. Never mind that 4 means college history and biology. He's just in 4th grade, and our curriculum is a little different from yours, that's all! (Or not, since so many of you have gifted kids, too!).

The downstairs toilet flusher arm broke (the nut cracked and fell off), so I bought a new one and installed it. Then the upstairs toilet flusher arm broke (the arm itself cracked and fell off), so I recycled the old one I'd removed and used it with the still-good nut from upstairs and fixed it. I love having just a little mechanical ability--saves us lots of stress, time, and money, and allows me to fix things even when Tim is out of town or busy.

Nathanael taught himself how to use the computer mouse to point and click (still can't click and drag yet, but we'll get there). That's pretty good for a guy who is still learning the names of the foods he eats! So I've spent a deal of time teaching him how to use the computer. I had to teach him what an arrow was and what sparkles were so he could use, which is very toddler-friendly and educational. He's only 19 months old, so teaching introductory computer science is a little tricky, and we sometimes have tears when he can't get a non-link to do something (you mean you can't click on anything on the screen and get action?), or when he gets to the wrong page and doesn't know how to go back. It's especially frustrating for both of us when he can't explain what he was trying to do or what he wants, only just sit there and cry and say, "Help, mommy. Help. Aggigator." (This morning I had to go through half a dozen, "Is this the website you wanted?" before we found the right site, and then half a dozen more "Is this the game you wanted?" before we found the right screen.). We also had to switch him to a one-button mouse because he kept right-clicking on flash animations, which puts up a little box you can't just get rid of by clicking somewhere else. And I have to get up every five minutes or so and pick up the mouse and move it back to the center of the workspace because he gets mad that he can't move the pointer low enough to click on something without the mouse falling off the table.  But he's pretty sure he's cool because he can use the computer by  himself now. (And now you know why I keep all those old computers sitting around set up. If he clicks all over and fries the hard drive, which has happened before to other of my toddlers, we just throw it away and hook up another old computer. No great loss.). And I think it's pretty cool that my toddler can stay busy by himself long enough that I can do insane things like go potty or take a shower ALL BY MYSELF.

We took the kids out to hang out with a naturalist who had a telescope and a lot of knowledge, and we watched the Perseid meteor shower together.  Boy, that guy can tell ancient myths so that they are more interesting than any movie you've ever seen. Perseus and Andromeda was suddenly the most exciting story ever told!

Also we're doing the usual round of dishes, dinners, shopping, reading to people, trash, baths (these got put on hold yesterday, though, because one of the kids lost the bathtub plug. Again. Last time I found it on the roof.).

There has been a measure of "How are we going to get a trip to Nebraska to work for all of us," since Tim got a gig there.

What else? Trying to set my brother in Utah up on a blind date with a girl in Utah--going through me in CO and my friend in New Zealand. Go figure.

Spent a lot of time on the phone this week getting news from home as the parents get geared up to leave on a mission in a month and my sister just had a baby. (Hooray Beth!).

So, yeah.  Normal life. Not much to report.

1 comment:

Misty Lynne said...

Hee hee hee! Isn't life fun?