Sunday, February 28, 2016

A new floor

This weekend we ripped up our old carpet and put down carpet tiles. B did most of the work. The Elf helped a lot, too. Mostly I was in charge of sorting the stripes into patterns and cutting the tiles that needed adjusting. Cutting carpet tiles is rough work. My arms, back, and legs are killing me. Who knew you used so many muscles in your legs to cut things? I can only imagine how much pain B is in.

Today B bought us some new tables to put our computers on. That mess in the corner to the left is his new office chair. In pieces. They're assembling it as I type. Five year old style help is so much less than helpful when you've had a stressful, work-filled weekend.

All of this is an attempt to make our house more livable for us. We considered buying a new house but the logistics just aren't in our favor (nine cats and no savings to speak of will do that to you). So for now the plan is to use our space here better. This fall I'll be homeschooling all three boys. The table I was using for my computer is also where we eat. Yeah. And do school work. Not ideal. This weekend we've managed to free the table up for better use. In the future B is going to try and make me some shelves to store homeschool stuff (he made a stool for the Elf's computer table this weekend, too).

Lots of doing. Too much, really. But I guess it all needs to be done.

Monday, February 22, 2016

In need of a good home

I have some handknit shawl(ette)s (they're likely too small to be considered real shawls), a scarf, some shorties (like longies, but.. shorts..), and handspun yarn. Oh. And a bright orange cowl.. thing. Anyone want these things? I can take pictures. You can want them for you, your favorite charity. I don't really care. I just have this stuff and it needs a new home. Please don't make me throw it away/give it to Goodwill.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

reading lists

Okay. I'm trying to put together a reading list for my two youngest who will be in first and second grade this fall. Neither can read on their own so there will be a lot of me reading to them. That will be our "literature" or what-have-you. Okay, it's not the only thing we'll be doing.. oh. Whatever. I have plans, but I need ideas for read aloud books. Sheesh. Why do I over complicate these things?

Here's what I have so far. I want chapters. Something that will last more than one sitting. It can't be gross (they wouldn't sit through the Roald Dahl book with the grandmother who talks about eating bugs). It can't be scary (the Beast didn't like the witches in the Prydain series and wouldn't let us get through The Black Cauldron). Yeah.

(I have no idea how age appropriate some of these are - I haven't read them all myself)

James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl (though I'm not sure about this one. because gross)
Pippi Longstocking - Astrid Lindgren
Bunnicula - James Howe
The Chocolate Touch - Patrick Catling
The Bee-man of Orn - Frank Stockton
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Jackalope - Janet Stevens and Susan Crumel
The Sleeper and the Spindle - Neil Gaiman
Catwings - Ursula le Guin
The Tale of Despereaux - Kate DiCamillo
The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie
Redwall - Brian Jacques
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles - Julie Edwards

Ideas? Additions? I wanted to add The Borrowers. I need to look that up to find the author...

Edited to add:

The Borrowers - Mary Norton
The Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
Tintin - Herge
The Mouse and the Motorcycle - Beverly Cleary

Saturday, February 13, 2016

High school is even more terrifying at 35

Okay. So. This fall, I will have a high schooler that I'm responsible for educating. Yeah. Enter terror here. I've been making myself absolutely bat-shit insane for the last week trying to plot and plan. Curriculum for high school is often extremely expensive and/or religious. I wanted to cobble something together - bits from this, bits from that. But it seems to be a package deal situation in more cases.

Enter me writing an entire ninth grade curriculum from the bottom up. For as little money as possible (in addition to having a high schooler this fall, I will also have a brand new first grader. yes. all three boys will finally be officially in school. gods help me).


Algebra 1 - got it covered. Free online textbook, a $3 textbook from the library's used book store, and I already have 121 days of lessons planned out. No sweat. One of my worst subjects when I was in school (math in general) and somehow I've planned it with nary a bump.

Earth/Space Science (which isn't a thing outside of middle and high school - don't get me started) - This has caused me so much trouble. I've subjected both B and (my good friend) R to so much complaining this past week. Today I settled on a text book. Lessons aren't exactly planned yet, but I've got the bones of this mess figured out.

Programming - Okay, it's not really programming. The Elf will be using GameMaker: Studio (which I always type as "GameMaker: Stupid" if that tells you how much my brain is hating this past week) to learn to create video games. He will also be using RPGMaker..Ace? MV? something. It has a free version. That's what he'd going to use. Got those lessons all planned out.

Art - Drawing. Yeah. Something I don't really have to do anything for. It's a miracle!

Japanese - We're going to use a combination of Genki I and Japanese from Zero. I have high hopes for this. No exact lessons planned. It's going to depend on how we progress, I'm thinking.

History - following the timeline we've been using. We're almost done with the American Revolutionary War. Next "big thing" will be the French Revolution. Working on all those plans in the next few days.

Literature - I'm lost. Seriously. I'm hung up on "but he needs to read all the things!"

This leads me to a plea for help. Homeschoolers, parents, book lovers, opinionated people: help! Do I segregate out literature (America, British, Ancient, etc). Do we just have a "Literature" course in which I (we - sort of) pick whatever the hell I (we - sort of) deem appropriate? I just don't know! And it's stopping me from finishing all this planning!

Also! Ideas for an eighth "credit" for ninth grade? Something not too strenuous as I think it's going to take us both a year to get in the swing of this slightly more serious schooling thing. He may want to graduate a year early, so I want to be prepared for that possibility.

Right. And now I must go play Go Fish with the Beast.