Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#8 is on the way!

yes, that's baby #8! We are very excited and looking forward to the new addition. I have felt pretty lousy and tired, but fortunately, the kids have been on a pretty good schedule and do a lot on their own. There hasn't been a lot of extra activities or enrichment activities but we have been covering th basics. The girls are half way through their pr-algebra book and understanding and enjoying it, I wanted t go twice as fast, but I'll take it. They are moving along in Latin with their dad as their instructor and moving right along in everything else. The boys too. They are a third of the way thrugh their first year Greek book. Starting next week thpugh the 9 year old will have a lot more to do. I'm going to add scripture reading and additional required reading. He won't like it, but he'll do just abut anything to play on the wii.

We were sick over Christmas which was a bummer, but o.k.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mormon Market Ad

One of my readers has asked that I mention their website .  They didn't give me any incentive to do so except some nice comments on my other blog when I was complaining about stuff.  Anyway, they don't have a huge selection, but they seem nice and I want to support anyone who is trying to do a good thing, and I think they are.  We all have to start somewhere right?  Go check it out at least!!

Thanksgiving Week

We had 2 good full days of school.  #3 passed his 3B math test- Yay!!.  The girls are moving much too slow through pre-algebra so we're going to have to speed that up although, they seem to understand it fine, they have a hard time staying focused on it and finishing in a timely manner.  They had another Latin class since their dad was extremely busy at work they got a little break, but the NLE is in March, so they will have to hustle there also.  #1 needs to focus on reading the scriptures on her own.  She reads a lot and enjoys it, but it's about time to move on to harder stuff.  I think scripture reading will help her make that leap.  Once the Latin exam is over I will have her start reading some classical literature as well as the Gateway to the Great Books series which consists of several papers on all different topics.  One thing I need to make sure I do with her is either have her write a paper on what she read or talk to me about it.  Academics just don't come easy to her.  I have to follow through with her better than I have been.  I don't think she's getting much out of her American History book, because of my lack of follow through.  In character, art and music, I couldn't ask for more of her.  We all have our weaknesses I guess.  #2 is super easy to teach and moniter academically because she gets things so quickly, but character wise we really have to work on especially when she's tired.  She's grown up a lot though and has been very helpful.

We pretty much let the kids stay up late and watch movies and play the wii all weekend long.  We all needed the break.  The boys are moving along just fine in their workbooks, it's so much easier to teach them since I've been through it with the girls, I know what things will be helpful to add and which things are probably not as worthwhile.

We got our Christmas tree on Saturday and it's all decorated.  We've got most of our Christmas stuff out and we've been enjoying the music on the radio.  We also got our main Christmas gift-- a mother and baby goats.  They are really cute and the kids love playing with them.  I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I think it will be easier than driving to milk daily and it will be cheaper than buying the goats milk.  Is is worth it?  I don't know yet.  I was having some serious anxiety about it the other night, but if it doesn't work out, we can sell the baby and keep the mother at our friend's house and still milk her like we were before, so I think it will be O.K.  I've been doing a cleanse though, and I'm really tired of it and ready to be done, so I don't think my mind is quite as straight as it should be.  Good luck to me this week!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Life-- what's been going on

This week went fairly well.  We were better at cleaning up after ourselves which always makes the days run smoother.  The kids all finished their assignments for the week.  We only had an official group time once.  I read scriptures with them and had them recite and practice our Christmas song in the car while we were waiting for #4's eye appt. to start, so I feel a little bad about that but we had some fun things going on this week.  I'm proud of all the kids for working hard and finishing their assignments.  We even got piano in again- except for #1-  I'll have to do it first thing in the morning. 

Also, one morning I was doing aerobics right before lunch-  I've decided that in order to keep my sanity I have to exercise at least 20 min. a day-- if I can't spare 20 min. for myself to do that- then I'm doing something wrong.  So anyway, I felt like doing an easy aerobic workout of which there are a few on netflix- so I was doing my 10 min at a time workouts and all the kids were just sitting around watching the T.V. so I made them do it with me and told them it's part of school.  It was a fun active workout- we turned the volume up high and I think everybody had a good time even though they complained at first.  I'm going to try to incorporate that into school- just 10 min. worth-- we should be able to make time for that right?  at least a couple times a week.

We had a fun party at the Classic Fun Center for #2's birthday Tuesday night.  All the girls, but 2 she invited were from our new homeschool group and ward.  I am so thankful for all the new people we've met.  I love our homeschool group.  Everybody is very nice and I just  like being around them all.  They've all done a great job with their various assignments and my kids all feel comfortable and welcomed.  I'm so thankful for my girls to finally have some good friends.  They both love it.  The driving is getting to be extremely difficult- it is just so far and so hard to keep everybody happy that long- and we are still uncertain about even getting our lot still after 3 months!!!  Anyway- it's hard to keep positive and to keep faith and hope that our house will actually work out and that we will be able to move because things just don't happen for us.  Anyway, that is topic for my other blog.  But we are benefiting by going and being around these new friends we've made, and #2 had a great party.

We got to see some old friends this week.  One of our favorite homeschooling families who left us came over for a little bit on Saturday, and that was a joy.  I got to visit with some old high school friends on Wednesday, and my old neighbor brought her sons over to play on Saturday too.  I love having people over- not only for the nice times, but also for all the picking up and cleaning help I get.  I almost got to mop the kitchen floor-- maybe this week!

So overall, it was a good week.  We have to keep on going.  We are a little behind in pre-algebra and latin for the girls.  We will take Thurs. and Friday off for Thanksgiving, but we should be able to get a lot done the other 3 days.  I love not having commitments-- this week should be commitment free-  I'm looking forward to just having time to work with the kids and get stuff done!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This was a boring, but very good week.  The kids finally got all their schoolwork done.  We didn't have any outside obligations especially since little #7 wasn't feeling well so all we had to do was work.  We started Miracle Music again which really is a lifesaver.  It's awesome to watch all the kids running to make their beds in time for the music.  I exercised Mon., Tues. and Wed.  I always miss Friday because our co-op is so dang early in the morning, and I was planning to run on Thurs. but I never made it out the door, but I felt much more in control this week and things moved smoothly.  We even had piano lessons and science experiments.  I have to take those 20 min. for exercise.  I'll try to get up earlier this week which of course begins the night before.  Also, it is clear to the girls that instrument practice should be done before or after school hours, and 5 hours a day are set aside for academic subjects.  So far so good!

The kids went to their first football game on Sat. It was cold, but fun for them. They were bundled up good.  The girls made a short film with our co-op on Friday based on Home Alone.  It was pretty funny.
On Monday night they dressed up like pilgrims and indians and performed with their ukelele class for a retirement center.  I was very proud of them all.  Life is good!  

We've got a lot going on this week.  I hope it all goes well and that we'll be able to do science and piano lessons and all the regular stuff again.  We are definitely going to have to get up earlier in order to do so !

Monday, November 7, 2011

Review of the week-- good and bad

We had group time 4 days this week and starting learning time of day and time telling vocabulary for Spanish.  We all love group time, we've been reading Chicken Soup for the Soul series and the kids love that the stories are set in modern times and it gives me an opportunity to explain a lot of things that are just common knowledge, but not to these little ones.  I also enjoy discussing the scriptures with them, and they are really learning a lot.  We had some fun singing time games to make it go quicker and it was good. 

The boys finished most their assignments.  We've had some trouble keeping track of our books this week, but I think we'll take away wii minutes for not having them.  The girls did most of their assignments but they didn't finish.  I told them that they need to be working for at least 5 hours a day not including piano, but including group time which is about an hour for them, then I send them off to do their work and keep going with the boys a little later.   When I see them talking to each other I tell them that that doesn't count, and it has helped some, but they are not as far along as I had hoped, so we're really going to have to buckle down this week and get started earlier.

We went to the Bean Science Museum at BYU where they have all kinds of real stuffed animals.  The kids really enjoyed it and I think they learned some new things about animals and living things.

The twins were really hard this week, the non-climbing twin would not stay in his crib to sleep, so not only did he not sleep, taking away my precious 2 hours of not taking care of them, he got his brother to get up and he was super cranky and just wanted to be held all the time.  So we put the side back up on his crib and I think I will feel much better and actually get some things done!!  Not a bad week week considering we had Halloween and a birthday celebration.  I was pretty cranky, but my husband took me on a date, helped organize the kids to clean the house and gave me some time to crash.  I feel rejuvenated and ready for this week.  Also, I love daylight savings.  And I have to exercise-- I only do it for 20 min,. a day, but it is 20 min I take for myself and when I don't get it, I am cranky!  Priorities!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Beginning of Celebrations!

Halloween really does start the season of celebrating.  We are going to have to really work hard to get our stuff done through this season.  This week we only had 3 days to work mostly because I chose to go on Thursday in the morning to find out some things about our new house and then #3's birthday party was in the afternooon.  We were gone all day Friday for Halloween parties and then the Pinewood Derby in the evening which was  a disappointment for #3 as his car didn't do very well. Poor oldest boy- guinea pig for boy stuff- his dad will do better next time.  The biggest thing we think is to make sure the car weighs the full 5 oz. so that it's heavy enough to keep the momentum, but according to youtube there are a ton of other things you can do too.

We had another party on Saturday, so there wasn't any time to work then either.  So we just go on and try to get back on track.  We had a good 3 days, but it's just not enough time for any of the kids to finish everything.  But I had to get stuff going on our new house.  Until we move, I think schooling will continue to be quite tricky.  We should have all 4 days this week, there shouldn't be any emergencies come up.  We just may have to work a little during normal vacation times since we are vacationing a little now.  We have to be so efficient and protective of our time!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This week--stamina

Overall this week was pretty good.  I spread the kids work out to fit in in 4 full days of work with one day to finish whatever we didn't get to in the 4 days.  The problem is that right now is that we are commuting 1 hour to church and homeschool events.  The weeknight activities are not too bad except they take away from my cleaning time which has to happen in order for us to able to get started in the morning so I have to do it and then I'm a little tired and cranky.  But the really hard one is our Friday morning homeschool group-- I love the ladies in it and the kids are all nice and the activities have been good, but in order to make the drive worthwhile and in attempting to save time I do my weekly grocery shopping afterwards and take #4 to his eye appt. down there.  We have to leave by 7 or 8 a.m. depending on when I decide to schedule the eye appt- before or after -- we then get home at 3 or 4 or 5 p.m. and the last thing any of us wants to do is schoolwork or piano lessons after we've carried in all the food, been in the car and in the store and it's Friday.  So we pretty much lose a whole day which wouldn't happen if we only lived 15 min. away because we'd just come home and finish up whatever we needed too instead of going on a monster shopping trip.  As a result nobody finished everything this week and science and piano lessons once again fell to the back burner for the girls.  The boys got their lessons and science discussion, but not the girls.  It just may take more stamina than I have to get those things done.  Also, the girls got all their algebra, latin and piano practicing done, but they did not finish their easier assignments like journaling, required reading, and workbooks. 

I really wish we could move sooner. We haven't even started on our house yet-  the builder's agent has said each day that he would have the bid ready and we still don't have it.  It is so hard to wait, and it is so hard to commute- but there really isn't anything for us up here anyway-- we'd have to commute either way, so I guess I can happily and patiently wait.  Each day needs to be savoured and enjoyed, but I would like to move.

Anyway,  we did have group time each of the 4 days and "boy time" - younger kids stories, history and science 3 days this week.  That was pretty fun.  After our long break from Spanish we reintroduced it and I think the kids finally realize they can say stuff.  Our new stake has a Spanish ward and when we move out there I would like to get involved and find opportunities to speak Spanish with real people.  I think I know how to teach Spanish now and I think the kids will continue to learn more especially if we can find some opportunities to use it.

Also our new electric piano keyboard and colorful ukeleles came this week.  The four older kids are all going to take the ukelele class we signed up for.  The teacher is awesome and has some really great music.  I'm glad everybody is excited about it.  The kids love the keyboard, especially my oldest.

Soccer is over so we got a lot of much needed cleaning done in the yard.  I have been throwing away all sorts of random things instead of trying to put them away-- it just takes too long.  It feels good to get rid of stuff in my way making my life difficult.  I wish it was easier for me to do so, because most the time I don't, but I think that will have to change just like I don't really naturally like to clean, but I do it because otherwise I can't do the things I need to.  I will get there.  It's easier now too, because I know we'll be moving soon.  I love having full trash cans!

So that's that.  School ran pretty smoothly, we just need to be even more organized, start earlier and endure to the end-- keep going til we finished.  I think I burned out a little early this week just cause I wanted to clean instead of teach.  I need to keep my priorities in mind and make sure I teach instead of clean in the morning.  But I know we are on the right track even if we are moving slow, and that just may be the case until we can move and not have to spend so much time on the road.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Scripture memorization

I just read a conference talk by the apostle Richard G Scott on the scriptures.  He talks about how memorizing scriptures is like making new friends.  We usually work on memorizing a scripture each week- it usually takes us 2-3 weeks to get them down.  I think I'll start listing the scriptures we are memorizing so that I remember which ones they are and we can review them more often and I won't forget what we've done.

So this week it's D&C 88:123

"See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Redwoods Vacation

We have read things about the Redwoods and we needed a vacation so that's where we decided to go even though it is a 14-20 hour drive from here (Utah).  None of us had been there before. You can read the long version on my other blog: .  We had a great time.  Some of the kids were disappointed that they could see the tops of the trees, but it gave them perspective.  The views were breathtaking and the ocean was wild.  There was a big swell coming in when we were there so we didn't get to go tide pooling, but we went on a couple hikes and saw some HUGE treees-- they were so big and so tall, they figure some of them are 1500- 2000 years old!!  The hikes we went on were so cool and fantasy like.  It was so worth the long drive.

We also realized that our kids had never been to San Francisco since we lived there when we had our first little baby, so we decided to come home through San Fran at night so the kids could see all the activity and bustle of a big city.  We've driven through Chicago before, but San Francisco is really cool especially at night.  We drove across the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges and drove along the Embarcadero.  We looked at the sky scrapers and determined that they were bigger than the Redwoods, but not nearly as nice.  Then we drove out to our old stomping grounds east of the city in San Ramon.  It was fun to reminisce- those were nice carefree days for me with just one kid working in a city organic vegetable garden, giving tours, teaching classes and pulling weeds 5 hours a week and hanging out with other young moms and shopping all day.  It was awesome!!!

Everybody did great.  I think they learned a lot about oceans, tides, swells, forests, rivers, trees, climates, weather, camping, traveling, safety, cities, jobs, bridges, traffic, government, police officers, laws, crazy people, vineyards, Paul Bunyan, the list goes on.  They all traveled well, didn't complain much, took care of themselves as best they could and we had a very pleasant trip although we had to stop for the bathroom a lot!  We're all ready to explore another place, but I think we stay closer to home and do the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Dinosaur National Park, Colorado, Montana or Idaho next time! It's nice to have the kids getting older and know that they will remember these trips!

Homeschooling then and now

This article was written by a mom who was home schooled in 1985 and is now homeschooling her children. I really liked her perspective and I've seen a little of what she talks about just in the past ten years. We as homeschoolers would be better off to just go with what we know rather than trying to find the perfect philosophy-- just make sure your child is learning what they need to to be successful in college and life!

Here's the link:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Much Better this week

It is amazing how much we can accomplish when we're home to accomplish it.  No more morning appointments of any kind for me except in dire circumstances-- like a broken bone or something.  Art class during the day is over and the only morning stuff we have left is on Fridays for our co-op.  This is the last week of soccer too.  Yay!! 

So anyway, everybody finished all their work, we even did piano lessons and a science experiment, which is always my goal.  Unfortunately we were unable to do the enrichment reading and music and languages I like to do in group time, but I will have to clear our afternoon appointments to get that in.  It's all about priorities. I won't be in charge of scouts anymore, we cleared out violin and like I say this is the last week for soccer, so I'm excited to prioritize better and get some of these more important things into our lives.   Overall, I'm pleased with our performance this week.  Everybody worked hard and we are on a good roll.

My husband wrote an awesome computer program to help the girls drill Latin.  Now that I know how talented he is, which I knew-- I want him to write me a computer program to keep track of everybody's progress instead of doing it on paper.  All in due time.  In the meantime, we'll just keep plugging along!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review-- Just not home enough

This was one of those "learning experience"  (a.k.a. failing) weeks.  The first mistake is that I had some scheduled appointment every morning this week.  They were all good and important things, but had I been more organized and had planned ahead better, I would have been able to do them all in the afternoon instead of the morning.  Lesson learned is that 10 a.m. is my kids' best hour for learning and that is when we need to be working on math, Greek and Latin -- no exception.  I was not home to work with my kids at that hour any of the days of the week this week.  The result:  no one finished all their requirements this week.  They watched a lot of Inspector Gadget and they could not focus well enough in the afternoon to get their work done.  They also need me to be home keeping them on task so that they will finish.  So this week was pretty much a disaster as far as school goes.  I made them all do some math on Saturday and that was good so that it wasn't a complete disaster and they know that they have to do math.  We will definitely be doing extra math this week unfortunately.  No more dentist and doctor appt. in the mornings, no more art classes or any other classes in the morning, no more being disorganized so that I have to do x in the morning.  I have to be home-- I have a full time real job educating my children and my morning hours are the most precious especially for those boys.

I did print out lists for everybody this week, but it was discouraging for them because we lost our mornings. Our week is much more open this week without a bunch of scheduled appts. so I think we'll do much better.  I have some serious decluttering and organizing to do.  We have got to keep up on our 5 min. pick ups and after meal dishes.  I can't wait to move-- it's still happening slowly, but I think it will happen.  Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review of the past 2 weeks

It sure has been busy around here.  I have got to be more organized, my printer was jammed so I wrote out on paper what each kid had to do each week, but of course, we can't find those anymore and I'm pretty sure the kids haven't completed all their assignments these past 2 weeks.  I will definitely be printing new sheets and making sure they check it off with me each day before they can do anything else.    This is a new week and we will start off on the right foot this week.

That being said, we have made some good progress in some areas.  We finally started piano lessons and we did a couple of science experiments.  I had a thermometer so we could complete our science curriculum, but the babies broke it- at least it was only a $1.60-- but it's the time it takes to go get one- not the cost so much-- hopefully we can going on that this week also.  The girls are doing great with Latin with their Dad-- it is so nice for me to not have to teach that important subject.  We have also been working in a pre-algebra book and the girls are getting it and enjoying it.  They've been reading their history books and literature books.  They've also been completing their English grammar workbooks and writing in their journals.  The things they tend to forget are what we need the checklist for which is to read their scriptures, do music theory, practice their instruments EVERYDAY-- even on the weekends, and write their reports for their reading.  We should get there this week I hope!!

The boys are doing pretty well and since they don't have as many things to do, it's a lot easier to do it all without the checklist, but they'll need one too- to make it easier for me to make sure they did what they were supposed to.  #5 is reading pretty well and likes all his workbooks and being a big kid.  #4 has made another great leap in his vision and seems to have finally taken off in his reading-- yay!!  #3 has had a couple of crying tantrum episodes about how hard 3rd grade is and how he can't do it and doesn't want to, but since it didn't get him out of any work, he has learned to buckle down and just get it done.

We've had some nice group times, but we haven't implemented Spanish yet-- I'm bored with what we were doing so I'll have to figure out how to make it interesting and fun again.  Although we still sing Spanish and French songs, this is why I have to get more organized so that we can fit everything in!! 

Also, we had a long dentist visit filling cavities-- we need to practice better oral hygeine for sure!  We also had a birthday this week, a visit with my old high school friends, a mother daughter activity in our new ward, and a swimming party to go to, art class, ukelele lessons and of course soccer practices and 5 games on Saturday. We also picked tomatoes and dried them and froze peaches and pears. I did get to clean my kitchen ceilings and the kids helped clean a lot of spots and I got a lot of papers thrown away and other stuff put away so that was really nice-- oh and my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and we met with an architect to draw up the plans for our new house which really couldn't be moving any more slowly-- stress!!! And the power went out Sat night for almost 3 hours-- that was annoying!!!!  Oh and we had colds and I couldn't breathe out of my nose.  I can't wait to start exercising again!!  I always feel so much better when I do.

Well- this week should be much more predictable and calm and organized-- I'm excited!! I want to see all those checklists checked!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Week Finished!

We finished our first official week on Friday!!  It went well, although we will tweak a few things.  The main thing I will tweak is to have the girls' summaries and compositions due on the Monday following the week they read their required reading and history assignments so that they can use Friday to read, but don't have to write about it until the following week.  I have to buy a thermometer today so that we can do our science experiments and I have to teach piano lessons.  Science and piano seem to be the 2 things that are the hardest to stay on top of.  Traveling an hour away to our new ward and to our new co-op is taking a lot of time and gas money.  That just won't subside until we move- probably in December.  I need to get my mp3 player working so we can listen to audio books.

The girls started Latin and their dad is their teacher and he was very pleased with their knowledge of declensions, parts of speech, number, gender, conjugations, and word modifying rules.  They will have to move through the Henle Latin book rather quickly and it looks like they will be able to do so and be ready for the National Latin Exam in March.  This is a huge relief to see that the path we've laid out for their education is working!!

The boys got right into their program.  #3 want a wii game and wondered how he could earn it, so we went ahead and bought it and told him that when he finishes his math book and passes the test, he can have it, so he worked really hard and finished the last 30 page of his math book.  We'll do the corrections today and he'll probably take the test tomorrow.  I'm very proud of him.  #4 worked on his times tables and learned the  6s pretty well.  #5 loves his workbooks and sits for a long time working on them.  So this was a good first week.

The twins like being able to sit on my lap a lot while I read to the older kids.  They've enjoyed singing in group time and all the attention they get since I'm not trying to clean constantly.

Also I'm reading a great parenting book that focuses on being positive and encouraging to the kids.  I really needed the reminder because I think I was using their wii privilege too much as a punishment and not encouraging them to do things for the sake of being kind and good and benevolent.  They really respond better when I tell them what a good worker, strong boy, kind person and acknowledge them when they are kind and loving and hard working and diligent.

So off to a new week!

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Day of School!

It went well!!! I'm so happy!! We fell back right into our old routines and it was really nice to see the improvement in the kids. #1 said that her history book that was kind of hard last year was easy to understand. #3 was surprisingly fast on his times tables and finished his 4 pages of math quickly, he also had no trouble reading his assignments and he finished his language arts work pages for the entire week. #2 stayed up late Wed. night and finished her Greek book well- I was pleasantly surprised. #5 is still able to sound out words and is doing it more quickly. #4 drug his feet in math, he forgot how to do long division, but overall, it was a good start to our school year and I am very much relieved. The twins liked story time and music time. What I need to do today that I didn't do yesterday is set the timer for the individual time with the kids. #4 drug his feet so much that he took more of my time than he should have and #2 didn't get any of my time, because I wasn't expecting that she would need help with math. So today, they will each get 30 min. of my undivided attention and will have to wait their turn. That worked really well last year, I am reminded of why that is important. The kids all really liked having their lists ready of what is required for the week so that they have the option of finishing before the week is out, but it's a lot of work, I don't think they will be able to finish early, but they like that they can try. The girls were cute and packed their backpacks to "walk" to school, kept to their schedules and then "walked" home. Good day-- I think I will be able to do this. And I think I'm going to get rid of most the stuff in my house this weekend- one way or another-- so if you want anything- come on by-- I probably have whatever you may want and you can HAVE it!!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We start Tomorrow!!

This year I will be teaching 7th, 5th, 3rd, 1st and a beginning reader. I made up our schedule about 2 weeks ago and saw how much work it was going to be, so I just put it away, decided to start September 1, and proceeded to let my house go a bit and cringe from any sort of a schedule. It doesn't help that we'll be building a new house an hour away, and will put this one up for sale as soon as possible. My eyes are extremely open to my major messes everywhere. I like things out of the way, but I do not like organizing, so I keep putting things out of my way and into the garage or random closets, and now I just want to get rid of all of it. But I'm frustrated because we've been traveling to our new area for church and other things, and I have no time at home to even get anything done.

The house is picked up for school tomorrow though-- no more leaving the kitchen for the morning. We found everybody's books except for #4's math book and journal. I don't have all my scheduling completed yet-- I need to print out their weekly assignment sheet so they know exactly what they need to do. I need to pick out our memory scripture, poem and primary song. I am looking forward to the reading and the one on one learning. These things can't be done in a mess, so organization is of utmost importance. The kids also did their kitchen jobs, their zones and their rooms tonight. Although, I think one little girl didn't finish her room. It is so hard to grow up.

I'm looking forward to watching the kids learn and grow, but I am not looking forward to the time crunch. I looked at our schedule and decided that I have to be much more protective of our time. It's too easy to schedule activities during school time, but the reality for us is that if we don't finish in those hours, then we won't finish that day. We can be a little flexible, but we have to finish and I don't like working evenings or weekends, so it's paramount that we finish by 4, and even better if we can get most of it done before lunch.

I'm sure I'll feel better after tomorrow. I would just rather pack and clean right now. Teaching takes so much time. It is rewarding, but for good reason. I'll just have to do a little at a time. Maybe I'll be lucky this first week and they won't need much help-- we'll see!

Friday, August 19, 2011

last 2 weeks of summer

My sweet girls are having a heck of time with passing the Singapore math 6B test!!! It is hard, but I think they know the material-- they seem to be able to solve the problems fine on their own, but then they choke on the test or the test takes the problems one more level and they just can't make it. The test problems and a lot of the singapore math problems are intense story problems that I had a hard time solving without using Algebra. They are the type of questions found on the ACT or SAT, so I would really like for my girls to master the program. I'm sure a lot of it is the inconsistency of summer. But I think they need a change and #2 has a lot of Greek to finish by Sept. 1 when her dad will be teaching their Latin 1 class. They know he is a lot more strict than I am. I hope they do well. I think we really need to work on our test taking skills. I think this is an area I have overlooked as a teacher. We've got time to remedy the situation, but aaaaaahhhhh!! I was hoping to be all done!! Oh well!!

So these last couple weeks of summer, #2 has to finish 8 chapters of Greek which means she main not have time for much else, and #1 has started a Pre-algebra book we have. She likes it so far, it is mostly review, but I think she needs the practice to really hone her math skills.

Wish us luck!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dog Bite

This week will forever be entrenched in my memory as the week my 8 yr. old boy got bitten by a dog. Let me start off by assuring you that he is fine and is recovering well.

We went to pick apricots with some friends at a dentist's house she found. It was a perfectly immaculate estate and very nice. Their were a couple kids we had not met before and they loved my little babies and wanted to take them for a little walk. #6 is very attached to me, so he of course wouldn't go with them, but #7 did. I sent #3 to stay with him and soon after realized they were out of sight, so I found them, called them and told them to stay closer to me where I could see them. They were right near our van where we had left the side door open and it looked like they were making their way up. I went to check on the other people on the other side of the house and #1 came running up telling me that #3 had been bitten by a dog. I couldn't believe it, I had heard no barking and I had no idea there were even any dogs over there. It turns out that this dog probably a labrador/ pit bull mix of some sort got out of his fenced yard and scared the kids and the kids all ran. The girls got the baby in the van, but the dog bit #3 when he was about 4 ft. from the van on his upper right arm.

#2 had brought her little first aid kit, so they had him bandaged up before I got there. I am such a baby when it comes to blood and pain -- I really hate it and I have a really hard time when it is my baby so I just left it wrapped and went to find out about the dog if it was sick or anything. The other mom had some neosporin and looked at the wound which I was too much of a baby to do and told me it would probably need stitches, then they told me I ought to take him to get it looked at and stitched. So I left and called my husband and had him call animal control.

My poor little guy was really shaken, I was pretty shaken, but we made it to our doctor's office to find that neither our doctor who is in our bishopric nor our bishop who is also a doctor and works there were in, so we went to the only available doctor there. Once my son was on the operating table and we were waiting for 30 minutes and showed it to the nurse, I found that I was O.K. to look at it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. My son was more worried about the pain and if stitching it up would hurt more or getting the numbing shots. But he was very brave and did very well through the whole process. He cried a lot, but it wasn't too bad once the numbing medicine kicked in. He ended up with 9 stitches and a tetanus shot. We're putting medicines on it and keeping it covered. It's looking good so far, but I felt terrible because I forgot about his arm and grabbed him by it at #1's recital tonight because he was being squirrely. I felt so bad and apologized multiple times.

Anyway, I think he will be just fine. I'm still a little shaken. I am so thankful that it wasn't the 18 month old. My husband gave him a priesthood blessing at the beginning of the school year when he gave us all father's blessings and blessed my little #7 that angels would help protect him and keep him safe. I think we are witness to that happening this day, I'm sure there have been other times that I have just taken for granted. I thought about praying before we left that day, but pushed the thought out of my mind because we had prayed earlier with my husband before he left for work. I will be more mindful of the thoughts I have to pray in the future. So this has been a learning experience for us all.

It has taken a lot of time though and I'm still shaken and unnerved by the whole experience. I really don't like pain and suffering-- I think that's a big reason why I'm so into health food-- I don't like being sick or tired or anything. I am getting stronger though! We had a good lesson on civics and how to treat dogs also. The owner of the dog has been very cooperative and the dog will be put down after being quarantined and observed for 10 days. There have been no cases of dogs with rabies in Utah for ages, so everything should turn out just fine and we will all be a little wiser and better for it. My children need to stay in my sight at all times when we are in unfamiliar territory and I need to check and know the surroundings well before I let them all go.

What a day!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Planning the New School Year

I'm looking forward to the new school year. I think we're going to learn a lot and accomplish a lot. We are going to have to get back on a regular schedule and get up in the mornings. I think it will be nice to actually be able to do that since I am not pregnant or nursing this year. Our main focus will be on Algebra and Latin this year. I've scheduled in Science 3 hours per week since that has been our weak point and I've scheduled in piano lessons. I think it is a great schedule for the kids, but it will be pretty non-stop for me. I am going to have to work in some down time for myself or I will get burned out. It does help to help a younger kid, then an older kid, but this will by far be my busiest year. Fortunately my husband will be the Latin teacher and I don't think Algebra will be too bad after Singapore Math. A couple more review sessions and I think the girls will be ready for the final test again ( we only worked on it twice this week). We will definitely have to step it up this coming week-- we need to be done already!

Anyway, I think the weekly schedule is doable, I have to remind myself that it is only 4 days a week. One day will be spent grocery shopping, going to vision therapy and running errands. The kids have their lists they are responsible for finishing each day. My next thing to plan will be and extensive meal plan with days for soaking, sprouting, baking and chopping so that we'll have homemade bread and salad and veggies ready to eat at all times. That will cut down on daily meal prep and keep me from wondering what we'll have for dinner. I think I can do most the meal prep by making extra and chopping extra salad each time I make dinner, but there are a couple days where we won't be home until dinnertime, that I'll need to have our fast, easy meals pretty much ready to go. Food is very important for growing children and it is one of my main priorities. We can't learn if we're hungry, so that definitely needs to be planned out before school starts.

Finally I also need to declutter and de junk my house. I'm not sure if I will be able to get that far, I'm probably going to have to review flylady, and do it a little at a time. I probably ought to include it in my schedule. I know I'll feel better with less stuff around. I like empty counters and cupboards, and they are all pretty full right now. Time to get rid of a bunch of stuff!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the past 2 summer weeks-- Leaving Utah

It doesn't feel like we've done a whole lot, but I know that when I think about it and write it down, I realize that we've done more than I think. The babies are really toddlers now at 18 months and they have been needing more attention as far as playing with them and keeping them entertained. So the few weeks where they played happily on their own in the mornings and I got a lot of cleaning and organizing done are gone for now. They get cranky and bored at about 10 a.m., so I get as much of the kitchen done as I can before then and then I just have to stop cleaning and go do group time with the kids. They enjoy singing time. They enjoy the attention we give them for the other stuff and unless they are tired or feeling sick they usually make it through the whole thing. Although I usually end up changing their diapers and have the girls do the scripture reviews or poetry reading with everybody else while I do so that we don't waste any of our precious time. I have decided to do Spanish with everybody, concentrate on Greek with the girls immediately after group time while the boys go run around and enjoy their break and then I'll pick up French with just the girls in the fall or when we have completed our Greek course.

#1 just has one chapter left in Greek-- then we'll review all the words and make up a test for her and she will be all ready for Latin in the fall-- YAY!!! #2 still has 12 chapters to go which is a lot for the next 6 weeks of summer, but I think she'll be fine. She is very smart and needs the challenge. A neighbor girl has been coming over 4-5 times a week to review math with us. It has helped so much to get my girls motivated to continue working math problems, otherwise I'm not sure I would have been able to get their attention. I had them work through a whole bunch of long division problems and then review their basic math facts. Now we will be working through the problems that are actually on the final test with the numbers changed and then they should pass that test at last. I can't wait!!

The boys can't find their Greek workbooks, so we've just been reviewing words and concepts. They are doing so well. It really does make a difference that I have already gone through the program with the girls-- it's a good thing too, because I don't have as much time for them as I did for the girls. Anyway, it's fun. I got them some summer workbooks, so that is all I'm having them do this summer-- just get them used to lots of writing and reviewing their basic math operations. They've got their summer reading too. I think they have enjoyed the summer books, and I appreciate the time to just review.

We were going to do science this summer, but so far we haven't. We've also been terrible at piano lessons, although I continue to make the kids practice. This is another good reason to record what we've done-- it helps me remember our goals and keeps me on track with those. We definitely need to start up piano lessons again. I think we will make science another priority in the fall. I'm going to try to get a science group together. I think my boys especially will like that.

Unfortunately my frustrations with the homeschool community out here have not subsided. My 12 year old needs more than what is available here to us in Utah. We are Mormons, but we really don't fit in with the other Mormons around us. Many of our homeschooling friends have been non-Mormons. Raising our children to be good Mormons, faithful in the gospel of Jesus Christ is one of our primary objectives. Unfortunately living in Utah around Mormons is not helping us do that well. I love my non-Mormon friends, but if our main friends are non-Mormons, then why are living in Utah? We may as well live out of state where it makes sense that our best friends are not Mormon. Also, Utah is behind in a lot of ways. We lack museums, YMCA's, community centers, educational programs and other opportunities. There are some really nice things about Utah though-- not one place will have everything. But all things being equal we'd rather be surrounded by lakes, rivers and lots of vegetation. We also have family in the East. So over the next year or so we will be moving East. We are really looking forward to it. I have to admit I do have some feeling of trepidation about actually moving, but I am also very excited to see what the future holds. I think I will feel a little more at home in the East. I wasn't raised in Utah, and I am just now understanding better why some things here are the way they are. I am looking forward to a new adventure and hopefully better opportunities and friends for my children and better support at church.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We are just about done with the chicken tractor and we picked up our chicks today. The kids love them. I think it will be a good learning experience for the kids in a lot of ways. We bought a heat lamp, picked out the chicks they wanted- we got 2 of each kind of breed- Rhode Island Red, Easter Egg chickens, and 2 black chicks, I can't remember what kind exactly. We bought their food and set up the light, the box, the food and the water. We have been watching them a lot and the kids love to hold them.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Progress

We're not getting a whole lot of academic work done, but we are enjoying the warm weather. It finally got hot and it is so nice to be outside in it!! I bought some summer workbooks at Costco and the kids are enjoying them. Those should at least keep them from forgetting everything. I think we are going to join the local swim club. That way the kids who know how to swim can do so often without me having to worry so much about the younger ones. I've pretty much decided that I don't like the homeschool community around here and I think that swimming and soccer will fill the void we have for team work and some social interaction until 9th grade when I'll have my kids attend seminary and possibly orchestra with the local schools. There are some great people I have met, but they all live about 20 min. away. So we will participate in some good homeschool activities like a talent show, economic fair, math club, field trips and 4-H. But I think my kids will benefit from participating in swim club. We definitely need to go swimming to brush up before I start them out. #2 scraped her elbow and knee when she crashed on her scooter so we've had to wait for those to heal before I could take them to a pool. This week!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer's fun so Far

We have been having a great time. I have been getting a little more organizing and cleaning done which I love. The girls have been doing math, Greek, piano and violin 3 times this week. I think#1 finally has speed and rate down so I htink she's ready to take the 6B math test. I sure hope she passes. #2 has really been dragging in academics this week and was reading the Harry Potter series for the 2nd time with plans to read them all a 3rd time. I told her she can finish reading the series through a second time after she reads 2 Anne of Green Gables series books or other like literary works and then no more Harry Potter. I told her it's O.K. to read it for fun once, but that she needs to fill her mind with more ennobling books and ideas. I am really tired of Harry Potter. I will be glad when she's through this phase. I need to keep better track of what she's reading. I think we'll start required reading again this week.

We had group time twice this week. I liked it, there's just not enough time for everything though and it has finally been nice outside so our focus has been cleaning, yard work and playing outside. We spent one day at This is the Place Pioneer Park in Salt Lake with some new friends we've met through blogging. That was very fun and all the kids have gotten along great and they actually don't live too far from us. We spent one day in Salt Lake running errands and going to vision therapy. We've had plenty of time to do lots of fun things all week. I am amazed at how much my kids complain when I finally ask them to do one little thing. I think they are a little spoiled and need to do a little more. I am getting a little better organized, but it is hard for me. Having lots of kids is really forcing me use my time better and organize this house better.
The boys did some reading, math and piano this week. I will have to be sure to give them all a piano lesson this week. We are looking forward to our sewing class this week.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

National Parks

We visited Arches and Canyonlands National Parks this week. We camped in the desert for 2 nights. The sand was so soft and orange. The kids had a great time playing in it. There were also some cool sandstone hills to climb. We had a good time. The kids filled out the Junior ranger booklets and earned their badges and learned some about the parks. Their favorite was Delicate Arch which we hiked up to the long way. We had a great time. We have all decided that we prefer camping in the forest to camping in the desert though. Not even the Indians lived in that area. The Colorado river was very high and some of the campgrounds and bike trails were flooded (that's why we chose the desert for our campsite-- we didn't want to be too worried about little ones washing away). The kids had to see Moab and Arches, it was their first time. Now they know!! It was fun, but we sure were glad to get home!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Science Fair

We participated in our first annual science fair this week. There were no judges this time around, so we did demonstrations instead of turning it into a question and using the scientific method. My husband thinks the scientific method is overrated. We would rather teach our kids why things do the things they do and help them see cause and effect. However, the kids who used the scientific method at the fair had very nice displays. They looked really good and were very interesting. Next year there will be judges, so we'll turn our projects into questions and hypothesis.

So #1 built an electric motor. It turned using the power of a magnet and battery. It was pretty cool to watch. #2 built a telegraph also using a battery and turning a nail into an electromagnet by wrapping several coils of wire around it. #3 built a lever with a folcrom and demonstrated the amount of effort used at various lengths. #4 built a pulley system which tok me a very long time to untangle the rope when we got to the fair. He demonstrated the amount of effort used with differing numbers of pulleys. They had a lot of help from their dad. That's pretty much what we spent doing on Memorial Day. It was fun and educational for us all.

I'm newly optimistic about homeschooling in this area. It's looking like we've got some people who want to do things with their kids that will be beneficial for them and others. I'm so relieved- homeschooling is so much easier when you have friends to do some of these bigger things with. There weren't a lot of participants, but there were quite a few people who came just to look. So I think come January when we have the next one and with judges, we'll have a better turnout. We've also got plans for an economic fair, talent show and field day. Yay!

Also this week we got a lot of gardening done which has been nice. It has also finally been warm enough to send the kids outside which has made a huge difference. We only did a little bit of school work this week, but we'll hit it hard next week. We essentially took off last week for my brother-in-law's wedding. It was so nice to spend time with family. Love it!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

No School this week

My husband's brother got married on Friday so we had a lot of family come in from far away and we're all tired of school anyway, so we cleaned and played this week. It has been very nice and very fun, but we are all tired. We have the science fair coming up, so that' what we'll be doing tomorrow, and then those girls have got to finish up math and greek!!! I hope the weather clears up, although I hope we don't get too much flooding!! We drove up the canyon after church today and the river is very high and there are a few fields already flooded out. Crazy weather!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wrapping things up

We didn't get as far as I had hoped. I hoped we could take off a couple weeks starting now. I let the girls do only math for a week in hopes that they would finish and could move on to spend their time finishing up Greek. It didn't work that way- they just did math and not their other subjects but didn't finish math and now they are a little behind in Greek too. So that was a bad idea. We should have just kept going. Oh well.

The boys are both excelling in math and are very far ahead for their age. They have both started Greek and are getting it. #3 is reading for fun now, but has yet to write much on his own. So for the summer I'm going to focus on writing and spelling for him. #4 is close to reading for fun, so I will focus on his reading over the summer.

I'm going to let the boys take the week off of school. We have a wedding on Friday and family coming to stay with us this week, so I want to spend some extra time cleaning and of course as much time with them all as possible. I would also like to get the garden planted if there is any sun this week. I also need to spend some extra time with the girls keeping them focused and help them finish Greek and math. They will have time to do 1 hour of math and 1 section of Greek each day this week, even with all that's going on. I wish they could take the whole week off too- but they really need to finish up and a little bit each day seems to be more effective than a lot on one day. It shouldn't be too bad.

#1 has been working on review problems getting ready for the test and is happy to find that she is getting most of the answers correct. #2 took the test twice already- the first time she left a bunch of questions blank because she wasn't sure how to do them. The second time she just ran out of time so she definitely needs more practice. I think I'll have #1 do some more practice problems also and they can both take the test on Thursday. I really hope they pass. They have been left pretty much to independent study. I have even had them check their own answers so I think that's why it's taken a little longer. So if I focus on them this week and let the boys have it off, they should get through more material a little faster.

We are finally getting Spanish and French. I made posters with some of the sayings and vocabulary we know and during the sessions had them say things and talk only in the language we were doing. They seemed to enjoy it and I think for the first time realized that they can speak both languages a little. I definitely want to continue that through the summer, but we probably won't be able to this week.

We do need at least 2-3 weeks of no school once the girls finish math and greek and then we'll go to our summer schedule of school 2-3 times per week and focus on things like science, art and sewing. I also signed everybody up for 4-H. It looks like a great program and I think it will be good for us.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We didn't Finish Everything!

It's hard to get everything done with one day slotted off to go to vision therapy. In order to save on gas and time, I then have to do my grocery shopping the same day since the stores I like to go to are 15-20 min away from home and I pass a few on my home from the eye doctor. We do listen to books on tape on our trips, so that does help some, but the girls left too much work for themselves to finish on Friday and with a birthday party, play practice and soccer practice they didn't have enough time.

Oh well, I knew that with a baptism and 4 soccer games and regular cleaning we wouldn't have time on Sat. either. We didn't. Oh well. I may have to put the eye doctor on Wednesdays so that we have Thursday to finish up. we have a tendency to try to leave more than we should for later. Also we have been going to bed very late and getting up very late. So it may be time to return to our schedule. I also been very distracted dealing with a problem at church. It has weighed heavy on my mind and I haven't given my kids the full attention they need. It looks like we will be coming to a resolution soon, and it will be nice to focus back on the kids and make sure they're doing what they are supposed to. It turns out that #2 has not been doing enough pages of math or greek, so I have to follow up better. The boys are still in the easy phases. The girls do better when they start earlier.

I can't wait for summer break. I keep telling the girls that once they finish their math book and take the tests, then they are done for the summer. And once they finish Greek they are done for the rest of their lives. I'm so ready for them to be done!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Glad this week is over!

This week was very busy. My husband was in San Francisco for a conference this week. If there was any way we could have all fit in his hotel room, we would have all gone, but there wasn't so we stayed and he went. Next year though it will be in D.C. so we'll turn that one into a vacation and all go.

Anyway, we pretty much got all our stuff done. Monday was rough as usual. I have to blame the weather a little bit- we are getting some cabin fever. It has been unusually cold this year and we really miss being outside. Tuesday it was cold and windy so we skipped the park and went to the library and watched a movie. Wednesday we went to visit some good homeschool friends who moved 30 min. away a couple years ago and we had such a good time, we are getting together to let the kids play and we moms are having a little Great books book club- next time we will discuss Julius Ceasar. The girls just had to do math, greek, piano and violin that day and the boys took it off. Spending time with good friends is so important to making the homeschool experience enjoyable. Even though it takes time away from studying, it makes the overall experience doable. Especially as moms we need to have friends to support us and just be able to talk about what we're doing. It was very refreshing for me. The sun finally came out at the end, but I think it was gone by the time we got home.

I did a short presentation on sprouting and took a couple salads and dressings to Relief Society class that evening,so it was a busy day and the kids watched another movie while I was gone. Fortunately the babies went to bed just fine.

Thursday we had #4's eye appointment. His eyesight has improved so that he is now with his glasses he is 20/20 in one eye and 25/20 in the other. When we started a year ago, with the same glasses he was 45/20 in one eye and 40/20 in the other. Before our break he was 25/20 and 30/20 so I am pleased with his improvement. He is using both eyes together up to about 3 feet, so he is reading well. Only with very very small detail does his eye cross and they stay straight pretty much all the time. So we will go ahead and continue vision therapy and work on extending out that stereo vision to greater distances. The doctors think he has a very good chance of doing so. We are rested from the weekly trips-- it is 45 min. away-- but so worth it. #4 is so energetic and enthusiastic about life. He doesn't like to miss anything and is usually the first one up, so it is especially heart warming to see him gain vision that I didn't realize he was even missing.

After the appt. we stopped by the store for snacks and headed to the zoo. I was a little worried it would be too cold, but it was O.K. We got there 1 1/2 hours before it closed and there was hardly anybody there. It was overcast but not too bad. We saw the animals doing things we don't normally see- a monkey nursing her baby and a peacock with his beautiful tail feathers a ll spread out. I was surprised to find that it was relaxing for me since it wasn't hard to keep track of everybody with so few people there. We pretty much had snacks for dinner, but it was nice. I think the kids enjoyed it too.

We have been listening to Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm in the car. Great book.

Friday, the kids took a long time finishing up all the stuff they had missed because of our travels and then the girls went to their friends house and I took the boys to costco and the health food store to get our weekly groceries. They all have hours of minutes of on the wii from Easter candy so I let them trade in an hour each for a new wii game. I also spent about 1 1/2 hours just folding clothes while the kids were working. I wanted to get most of my cleaning done, but it didn't happen. My husband came home late that night- YAAAAAAY!! I really missed him. It was so nice to have him home.

The Saturday was crazy-- too crazy. In the future I will have to opt out of Saturday parties during soccer season. We had our usual 4 soccer games in the morning- 2 of which were played amidst falling snowflakes. Then I had just enough time to make hummus and bean dip for a family party to which we stayed much too long-- then we came home with just enough time to clean a tiny bit and use up some wii minutes before a Young Men/ Young Women dinner/ party/ "talent" show. At least I didn't have to make dinner.

Anyway, that was just too much for one Saturday. In the future I will have to be strict about leaving or just skip something. We need time to be at home and relax and clean. I actually love cleaning now. I really appreciate the ability and time to do it. I'm going to try to have people over a lot more often and try to keep the house cleaner and have the kids do more cleaning.

So for Sunday, we went to our early 9 a.m. meetings for 3 hours 'til noon and then came home and crashed. It was a nice restful day. Now we'll be ready for the new week and maybe this Monday won't be so bad.

Also, I am officially done nursing the twins. #6 can walk across the room at last, he just needs to learn how to get up on his own. We'll keep working on it- he's not as slow as #5 was! I have to gear up for a good cleanse- not excited about it yet-- I'll have to go look in the mirror at my tight clothes- that should motivate me!

Whew!!! I'm also hoping for sun this week-- we'll do some serious gardening!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter- Review

This weekend was so crazy I didn't even post about the week and now it's 4:36 a.m.! Oh well, I feel pretty good and awake.

So anyway, it was a good week once we got past Monday. Mondays are always super hard. I'm going to have to figure something out. Everybody finished their assignments for the most part and are doing well. The boys are moving along through their workbooks at a great pace. They are both pretty far ahead and #5 is reading with me everyday.

#1 is on schedule to finish 6B in about 3 weeks and Greek in 7 weeks. Greek has gotten a little tricky so I have had to help her a bit. She has learned to use reflexive pronouns, 3rd person pronouns, and the passive voice and has not had any guidance form me, so she finally got frustrated and I've had to walk her through some of the concepts, but she gets it now. She also took a couple of days to review the vocabulary. I'm very proud of her.

#2 should finish 6B this week and start reviewing and take the test next week and be done with Singapore Math!! Then she'll have to review some more and take all the previous tests to be ready to start Algebra. Because she loves math I will probably let her start algebra if she wants, but we really want her to start Latin with #1 in the fall so we'll probably hold off and have her focus on Greek until she's completely finished. She still has 14 chapters left- 14 weeks worth so she will be working on it this summer unless she can do more than a chapter a week. The goal for her is to do o 2 chapters a week.

#1 had her 12th birthday party on Friday, so we had to spend some time getting ready for that. We had math group on Tues. which went well although we could use a few more people. We read a lot which is always nice. Saturday was stressful because me, my husband and #1 were assigned to give talks in sacrament meeting on Easter Sunday. #1 did great. I did my best- which was not real great. I think my husband did well, but I only heard about half of it because I was in the hall with the babies. My mom and #2 mostly took care of them but by the time it got to the end, the babies had had it. I think they were a little hungry because with 9:00 church and everybody finding their Easter baskets and getting dressed, they didn't get to spend their usual long amount of time eating and I didn't have time to make a smoothie- then on our way to the church I realized I had left my talk at home and we were almost out of gas.

But we made it and we took nice long naps that afternoon. I had been up 'til 5 cleaning and doing Easter bunny stuff and writing my talk. What a night-- I did sleep from 10-1, but still. No wonder I took so long to recover this week. So far this week has been tough, it should pick up though!

My husband is out of town and I miss him a lot. I also realize all the things he does around here when he's gone-- like setting and turning off the house alarm. We set it off when we let the cat out- we wondered what the beeping was I ran to the box and it said- calling police-- aaaah!! I shut it off and the police never came so I guess we're O.K. I didn't get the trash out to the street in time either and I didn't have much adult conversation. I can't wait to have my husband home!!

Holidays are pretty rough when your life is full with just regular living. It's really hard to add anything else. But the kids love it. Life!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On the final Stretch of School

Monday again-- the boys finished all their stuff, but the girls didn't. I thought it might help them to see exactly what they have left and how when they finish, they'll be all done for the summer. We have 26 school days left
-- 7 weeks and then we'll take off 3 weeks where I won't even make them read if they don't want to.

#1 has 40 pages of math left and the test and the final test-- so if she does 4 pages a day, she'll be done in the next 3 weeks. She has 7 chapters of Greek left, so 1 chapter a week equals 7 weeks. One section of science left-- I've just got to gather the supplies for the experiments so she can finish-- it won't take long. She has a lot of English workbooks left, but the grammar practice ones are full of things I haven't learned yet like the pluperfect tense- so she'll be fine doing that alongside Latin-- it will probably make more sense that way too. So she can finish those up during the summer. I will also have her continue with history, required reading, a little science, music, art and writing over the summer after our break and only a couple times each week just to keep so good habits and keep boredom at bay. I think this will help her see the end and keep going to the finish!! She is way excited to be done with math. We've been going strong a long time and I think she's a little burnt out.

I will also have her do a couple practice tests of standardized testing each week over the summer. She took a reading test and passed adequately, but she needs to ace it. She just needs practice taking tests and reading the questions. I'll probably have her start with the early levels until she is acing those and then move her on up.

#2 just has about 15 pages of math left, so she'll be done very soon. She has 16 chapters of Greek left, so that will take some time over the summer, but she is very good at memorizing and being exact so I don't think it will be too hard for her. She has the same science section left as her sister and about the same workbooks. So they'll continue to work together. She's pretty far ahead so I don't worry about her so much although we're pushing her to start algebra and Latin in the fall with her sister so they can be study budies.

The boys are pretty far ahead so for them it's just a matter of building good habits and keeping them challenged which really isn't hard. They're not burnt out, their stuff doesn't take that long and it's not that hard yet. So they'll keep their regular routine, but I am excited to have a break myself!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Week after "Spring" Break

Mondays are always a little difficult to get into the swing of things and this Monday was the Monday after our break, so it was a bit trying. I just could not get the little boys to focus and get their work done. I finally gave up and figured we'd do extra on Friday- but that didn't happen either. The girls finished everything except their Friday writing assignments and I don't think #2 is doing enough Greek. Also one of the days, #1 needed extra help on math and the babies got woken up early from their nap, so instead of the kids getting their stuff done all at the same time, I had them do "preschool" with the babies which means entertain and keep them happy so that I could help #1 with math. It doesn't come easy to her, and it's way too frustrating to me to even try to help her onkey children all over the place. So it was nice to have everybody out of our hair so that we could concentrate better. As usual it took her awhile to get the new concept, but once she has it , she has it.

We also celebarted #1's birthday with her favorite spring rolls and a trip to the pioneer museum in Salt Lake City. We also went to the library that day and I gave a couple of piano lessons, so we didn't get a whole lot of schooling in on Tuesday either. Wednesday was a normal day, but Thursday I spent 2 hours at the dentist with #3 getting a very large cavity fixed. Friday the kids had some extra activities already planned so I had to do my weekly grocery shopping earlier than usual-- so no wonder not everybody finished their schoolwork!

I think we'll be more into it this week although it gets really hard to focus when the weather's nice. Oh yeah-- that's another thing that happened- the secondary water came on and I had to remember how to turn off the sprinklers and once everybody gets outside and out of the routine, it sure is hard to get back. This week should be better-- if we can just make it about 7 more weeks, we'll take a nice long break and then we'll move into our summer schedule.

It sure is nice to write and realize how much we did this week. You can check my other blog for the business of the twins.

Here are some more highlights:

#1 turned 12 and started attending the Young Women's organization at church
she loves it so far and can't wait for girls' camp

#2 was a little sick

We attending cub scout pack meeting for #3 and he loves it-- so does the whole family.

#4 is now riding a 2 wheeler by himself!!! he started learning at the end of last summer and he is so happy to be able to join the other kids on their bikes.

#5 has started reading lessons and he has been the easiest to teach so far-- I guess I'm getting pretty good at it-- and he gave his first talk in Primary at church-- it took some serious bribing, but he did it and is so proud.

#6 loves to walk around by holding 2 hands, but we have tricked him enough that now he'll walk just holding one hand-- walking is in his future

#7 has a few molars that have finally cut through, but there are still more on the way.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Standardized Tests

I haven't had my kids take a standardized test yet. But this will be the year. I think that test taking skills are important to have. It is the one thing I learned in high school-- how to take tests and it helped me all through college. Now that we've had a couple years of doing some good learning under our belts, I'm not afraid to have my kids take the tests. I found these practice ones online:

We'll try these first and then maybe I'll find one we can take for real!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring (winter???) Break

We took a break this week since we really needed it and everybody else was doing it. It was soooooo nice for me. The kids had to do math, greek and piano, but nothing else-- except play and clean which they did. They didn't do much schoolwork, but they all did some. It is good to keep it up, it doesn't take them that long. The break was more for me than for them. It was soo nice and very needed.

Instead of teaching school during the twins' morning nap, I got to clean!! I never knew what a luxury it is to be able to clean. I got basically 2 uninterrupted hours a day to clean. I finally got caught up on the laundry. finding socks was becoming a nightmare. Teh bottleneck is in folding the clothes-- the kids are usually good to put them away once they're folded. I could just never get to it. Plus we had some extra projects the week before and I was extra tired- must have been fighting something. anyway, we were really behind on the house. The break gave me the opportunity to get caught up. Once caught up, the kids can help maintain. So we are there and it feels so good. I got rid of a few books and cleaned up some areas that haven't been been cleaned since I was pregant with the twins. I love walking in my bedroom now. I would help the kids with their rooms and not make it to mine. We still have a long way to go- there are plenty more places in my house that need to be ordered and cleaned, but what a nice week.

Now we'll get back to our regular schedule. We have a ton of snow. It has been a most unusual winter and very long. We usually have weeks of warmth and sunshine with isolated bouts of snow that never sticks. But this year so far I think we have had maybe 2 weeks worth of warmth and it has been snowing for days and it hasn't melted. I almost feel like I'm in Narnia where it is always winter but never Christmas. It's very depressing. I miss sending the kids outside. I am really glad that we'll be getting a greenhouse.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to a regular week. I will miss my 2 hours of cleaning and organizing time, but I think we'll be back to a smooth running household. We'll be concentrating on kitchen clean up before we go to bed. We can't usually clean right after dinner because I am usually finishing my meal after spending most of the dinner time spoon feeding the twins. If I could be organized and have dinner ready on time, it would be easier and it will get easier as the babies are able to feed themselves better.

I'm looking forward to spring!! Please come spring!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review of the Week # 21-- super busy

What a week!! The kids in the neighborhood have spring break this week and I think we could use a break so I think we will take a couple days to clean and do yard stuff if the weather is nice. We'll see though-- I think the kids do so much better when they have a schedule and a checklist. I also got some science equipment so we can do more experiments.

We went to 2 park days this week. The kids also planted their own veggie plots and we participated in a nice little history/ geography fair Wednesday night. Each kid did a display about a different country and they had a great time printing and taping maps, flags and pictures on their display boards. They chose Sweden, Qatar, South Korea, Nigeria and Peru. The fair itself was very nice and all the kids gave a presentation even my shy 4 yr.old. It was great.

We have also started back up with soccer practices and 4 games on Saturdays. So it has been extra busy and we haven't been home much and the house has been a huge wreck all week. We got quite a bit done on Saturday so we had a pretty good conference weekend experience, but wow! I never cease to be amazed at the messes my lovely children and I can make!! Hopefully we can get things under control this week too.

We still did school work even with the extra things going on, but we didn't clean until Saturday afternoon. I don't like living in chaos like that, but it happens every once in a while. Hopefully we can get things back together this week!!

Sorry this is short. I'm just done and ready for bed so I can get up early and start the week out right!!
'til next time--

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Review of the week #20-- Concentration

A lot happened this week as always. My boys are following the same path the girls were on a couple years ago. It is so much easier on me this time around because I've been through it once and I actually know what I'm doing. I didn't push my girls hardly at all because I was worried about pushing them too much after I went through a phase where I really did push them too much. When #1 would complain about how hard something was like math, I would let her get away with only doing one or two pages cause maybe it was really hard. Then when she turned 10 I realized that she was behind where she needed to be in math, so she ended up working on math for 2-3 hours a day until she was caught up.

I'm smarter this time around, so now this week when #3 told me his math was soooooo hard, I told him he had to do it anyway. He rolled around for awhile and I wondered if he needed extra addition and subtraction practice since he seemed to have completely forgotten how to add big numbers. Then I remembered past experiences with the girls and told him that he does know how to do it and I had things to do and to let me know if he needed help, that when he finished he could play his turn on the wii since it was Friday. He wasted a bit more time, but finally at some point in the day-- I think his friends were coming over-- he buckled down and finished the assigned pages in about 15 min. It was not too hard for him-- he just didn't want to do it. Life!!

O.K.-- The girls worked mostly independently this week. They are moving right along. Their compositions are getting better. They are finishing in a timely manner and have had more free time than usual. #1 did write down some of her songs, we have to continue that. #2 is working on character building. She has a tendency to yell at people for the slightest provocation and also whines and cries way too much for a 10 year old. So she starts each day with 10 extra minutes on the wii and loses a minute on the wii for every outburst and whine and cry that she makes. She is doing amazingly well. The first day, she lost all her minutes, but she only lost 2-3 the rest of the days of the week. For her she just needs to realize what she's doing. What a relief. She is trying hard and I'm proud of her. She just requires a little more parenting than the other kids have in this regard.

#3 started 3B this week and is continuing with the Greek. It is harder than he likes to do, so his main work is to learn to focus and concentrate. Lucky for him, I'm smarter as explained above and it shouldn't take long for him to adjust to his new requirements. #4 focuses really well and likes checking things off. He finished the last 11 pages of his math book and took the test in the same day and passed. He also hung around whenever I was helping #3 with Greek so I let him go ahead and start Greek also. So those 2 boys will be working together just like the girls did. I'm very proud of him. It's fun to teach one who is so willing and finds it so fun.

#5 started reading lessons for real this week. He is learning to blend the letters and is doing better at that than I remember the other kids doing. He's very proud of himself. He read his first BOB book.

The babies were happier this week. They made a lot of messes and require a lot of time and energy, but it's O.K. because they are waaaaaay cute!! I love them so much. They actually enjoy group time and I can usually read and help the other kids with their school work when they're around. But when it looks like I'm going to leave the room-- watch out!! They start crying. It worked fine for school, but it was a pain trying to clean anything on Saturday. Oh well. We survived.

We had Group time 4 days this week. We memorized a short poem and D&C 14:7. We read a weird story in the Bible stories for children and continued discussions about the New Testament. We also started the Great Composers series and learned about Bach and Hayden. We also continued our music time, exercising and stretching, and languages. It is fun for me. We only had story time twice this week. We spent some time outside before it started snowing. We visited a petting zoo of the cutest baby animals ever. The girls are planning to perform an original play with some new homeschool girl friends they have made. We also went to the Classic Fun Center and left #5's tricycle there. We have to remember to go get it back this week.

We planted seeds to be ready to plant outside when it's warm. We tried to plant some more fruit trees but it was too cold for all of us. We want spring!! Whew!! No wonder I'm tired and it's late, but I'm glad I got all this down so I remember that even though the house is no where near perfect I have been doing stuff and it's O.K.!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review of the Week #19 --current events

It seems likes ages ago that the Japan earthquake hit and yet it has really distracted me this whole week. We spent time each day checking the news and watching videos of the terrible devastation. I feel really sorry for the people there. I was so distracted that we didn't get off to a real good start this week as far as schedules go. I would say that we are still off track a little. I also haven't been getting the kitchen clean before bed and I haven't made a new kitchen chores chart yet. Those things are really necessary for a good homeschool, but this is life too and sometimes we just need a change especially when we our mind is somewhere else.

Fortunately, even though we weren't perfect with our schedule we actually accomplished quite a bit-- thanks to our checklists!! I let the girls take off 1 day of English workbooks, and we had to get some additional science materials before we could do those experiments so hopefully we'll get caught up on those this week. #1 did much better in math this week and was very happy to do some pie charts. She is still plugging along in Greek and actually enjoys it especially doing translations-- I think it is because she finally knows enough for it to be interesting. #2 had a couple of crying episodes this week. She was afraid she wouldn't finish in time to be able to do some things she wanted to do. I tried to explain that if she spent her energy working instead of crying that she would finish in a timely manner and be just fine. It took awhile, but she was able to calm down and finish her work. I think she learned a lesson and did much better the other days. She is growing up, but it's hard.

#3 passed his 3A math test on the first try. Yay!! I still think he needs more practice with a bunch of these two-part story problems, but we'll be moving on anyway-- I'll just give him a couple to do each day until I think he really has it down. He also started the 1st year Greek workbook since he finished his phonics workbook and is reading and writing well on his own. It is so much easier to teach to him than it was to teach the girls because I have already been through it and know how to teach it and what to expect. The girls have been very good guinea pigs!

#4 is moving right along in everything also. He is so conscientous and loves to get up and get started on his work. He just likes to finish things I think. He is very bright and it all comes very easy to him. We haven't been doing eye exercises though, so I think our break from that has been long enough too and we'll start those up again this week.

#5 didn't do much schoolwork this week. He was still kind of getting over his cold, and he wss pretty happy to just play. But I will have to follow up on him this coming week.

The babies were very high maintenance this week which is another big reason we were so off schedule. The younger one is cutting his molers and has needed to be held, which makes the other one want to be held too so then I have no hands. The good thing about being a homeschool teacher with no available hands is that I can still help the kids read and answer their questions pretty much. I can also still read to them. The bad thing is that that is all I can do. Once those babies went down for naps I just needed to lay down too- just for a break. The good thing is that they are pretty much over their colds-- yay!! I think this coming week is going to be much easier.

We did manage to have 4 group times. They were short and sweet. The babies didn't make it through a whole one at all. They both went to bed right after music time each day. I have started reading George Washington Spymaster to the boys right after group time. I think we need to add in some science at that time too. The girls haven't been as demanding of my time as they have been in the past so it's nice to have this time with the boys while the girls work on their other stuff.

We had either 2 or 3 story times. I really can't remember- it must only be 2 because we only read about ancient Japan and haven't started on India yet. We only also got through 2 chapters of Little Women. One of the times I read to the kids outside after we had been weeding out front. It didn't seem very efficient, so I'm not sure how often we'll do that. We just weren't really excited about story time this week. I think we'll be more excited again this coming week.

So let's hope the babies are happy, I get our chore chart printed so that I can finish the last of the kitchen before I go to bed. One thing I am realizing is that there is no way I can keep up on all the chores that need to be done to keep up this house. I am also realizing that the kids are old enough to be helpful. They need to help both for the necessity of keeping a clean environment and also for the opportunity to learn to take care of themselves as they grow up. It is so tempting to try to do it all myself, but I am being forced to grow as I have been my whole life. I'm learning management skills. It's rough!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Learning about Radiation and Nuclear Disasters and earthquakes and tsunamis

As many of you probably have been, we have been watching the horrific events unfold in Japan. If there is enough radiation, the radioactive material could reach over half the United States. It may be nothing to worry about. We will know once it hits California-- then Utahns will have about 2 days to prepare if necessary. Better to be on the side of caution and have too much food and water than not enough. The good thing is that it is just fallout and not a bomb mixing witht he earth so we will just basically have to stay inside preferably in a basement surrounded on all sides with dirt or other mass to soak up the radiation. This Nuclear Survival Handbook has a lot of good info on how to protect yourself from radiation. I hope we don't need these skills- but here it is:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review of the Week #18 -- a little off schedule

We wee a little off schedule this week since we had colds and other ailments witht he little guys. Monday was quiet because the 3 younger boys slept a very long time. It was nice. It was way easy for everybody to get their work done, but we missed our little guys. Tuesday was a little more normal. Some of the kids seemed whiny and had runny noses, we skipped some outings and just watched T.V. but everybody got their work done. Everybody seemed O.K. on Wednesday. We played with some homeschool friends.

We woke up on Thursday though to a crying 4 yo that his ear hurt. I put garlic oil in his ears and gave everybody echinacea, colloidial silver and a cherry bark blend. We turned on the T.V. and he started to feel better. I even made a hot cooked onion pack to hold over his ears. His dad also gave him a priesthood blessing before he left for work. When my kids get sick, I just give them everything I know. I'm not sure which thing works best, maybe they all work together. But he started feeling better and said his ear didn't hurt anymore. I decided to go to the health food store and get more herbs for him and so I decided to go ahead and do my weekly shopping. I told the girls they could finish the one movie they were watching but then they would have to get working on everything they can do on their own except math and greek. I took the babies with me and we got all kinds of errands taken care of. The boys hardly knew we were gone. We don't watch much T.V. so when they do get to, they love it.

The girls did very well and finished all their work for the week so that on Friday they only had a couple fun things to finish up. Then we got the house all cleaned up and had friends over. It was very refreshing. The boys finished everything they needed to also. I think we've got a good system in place. Even though we didn't do everything according to schedule, we were still able to do what we needed to because of our checklists. We had 4 group times and 3 story times this week which is the goal. The kids had time to play and the house was clean. One thing I discovered this week is how much the kids can pick up and clean in 15 min. when we all work together. So we will start incorporating that in too this week.

I didn't spend as much one-on-one time with kids as I needed to this week since I was playing doctor mom and went to the store during prime school hours. So this coming week I will have a lot of checking to do. #3 finished his 3A workbook and needs me to check it and help him get ready for the test. #2 has passed up #1 in math this week. It comes easy to her and she asks me for help when she needs it. #1 spends way too much time trying to figure out problems before I realize it. I need to make sure she is progressing and not wasting time better.

#1 has been playing really good pieces of music that she makes up on the piano. She is amazing. I need to help her write her pieces down on music paper and on notepad ( computer program we have). She did great at her violin recital also. Music is a very strong point with her as is anything artsy really. It is so fun to see their talents develop and see them turn into young adults.

I can't wait to see what they each turn to, they all have their natural likes and abilities and they are all so different. Even though we are giving them all the same strong educational foundation, I can see that they are all going to choose to delve deeper into very different areas.

Also this coming week I think we will try to get our garden beds ready and maybe plant some peas.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review of the Week #16 -- Steady

Our schedule continues to work out well. No day is ever exactly the same, but we know what we need to do for the day and we do it. Now that that is figured out well enough-- of course it's no where near perfect, I will be focusing more energy on making our food prep easier, efficient and cost effective as well as on losing my last 15 lbs. of baby weight. Wish me luck.

The girls learned how to find the area and circumference of circles this week. #3 continues practicing big problems of addition, subtraction and multiplication. #4 finished his unit on fractions and will start measuring on Monday.

We memorized D&C 82:3:
For unto whom much is given much is required and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.

We continue to read a section a day out of the Golden Book bible Stories for Children. We are reading about the last words of Moses. We are also reading the New Testament and are on chapter 16. We discussed how Jesus fed the 4000 and the 5000 and that if we keep his commandments and follow the prophet, we have no need to fear. He will care for us also. We started learning the song "Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words to Each Other". We only did yoga 2x this week, cause we were short on time and the kids get a little bored with singing time, but I make them do it anyway because it's for the 3 youngest kids and they like it.

I still can't find our music snippets CD which is very annoying-- #6 was constantly taking it out of the CD player, so I think we'll start with the Great composers CD and book which may be more interesting anyway. We did very little in the way of languages this week. The kids know the basics of beginning conversation for Spanish and I'm just not sure where to go next. I need to figure that out. I've had a heck of time getting the French audio for our program together-- so I may just do that one and then make my own Spanish program based on the French and Greek programs we have.

For history I started reading them the chapter on Ancient China. The girls have been reading about the New World and their reports are getting better. We will be getting ready for a geography/ history fair at the end of this month. I think the kids will learn a lot by doing that. The girls are completing their science workbooks which makes me happy. We are learning about light and heat and energy. I have got to remember to buy a mirror for one of the experiments. We didn't do much else for science this week.

We went on a field trip to the Air Force base museum. They had a fun education center with simulators for the kids to fly airplanes. They had a good time.

Overall it has a been another good week. I have a lot of workbook pages to correct. I didn't sit one on one with the girls this week making sure they were doing it right so hopefully we don't have a bunch of back pedaling to this week. We shall see!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review of the Week #16 -- Science and History and Laundry!

This has been a great week. We actually got around to doing science, history and catching up on the laundry all in one week!! We didn't get the floors mopped though. Oh well, can't do it all!!

Anyway, #2 passed her math test with an 87% on Monday and both girls are working through Singapore Math 6B now-- their very last book before Algebra!! So far it has been fun and easy-- adding more fractions, working on order of operations and drawing and finding the circumference of a circle. It's nice to have them working on the same thing. It really saves me a lot of time. They are also working much more independently on their Greek. I am glad they are learning, but I am sad too, because I am being left behind. That is good, but I wish I knew Greek and I have some catching up to do- memorizing all the new vocabulary they have been learning.

Their other subjects are going well too. Everything seems to be running fairly smoothly. They know what they need to do and they do it. I've got to be better at fitting piano lessons in. But I make them practice anyway-- #1 alm,ost doesn't need me much anymore- she knows as much as I do and is constantly making up new pieces. I do need to go through a piano composing course with her though. That will be our focus this week. We also need to get our music theory program up on the computers. The girls also completed some activities for science on light and shadows. The boys watched, but don't have to fill out the books yet. They also wrote fairly good reports after a few corrections on the history books they are reading. #1 is reading about the Puritans and #2 is reading about the New World discovery. I am so proud of them and very relieved that their workload seems to be about the right amount for them. I was worried I was expecting too much of them, but they have filled my expectations beautifully and will be ready for more work and leaning in the coming years.

The boys are so easy now that I have been through this with the girls. I sit with them and make sure they get the right answers in their various workbooks. #3 has done very well multiplying larger numbers and using long division this week. #4 whizzed through the fractions section in his workbook and learned to tell time this week. #3 also finished his first treehouse book completely on his own this week and seemed to enjoy it. He is also doing well practicing the piano on his own. #3 completes his tasks easily and well also. It only takes them about and hour and most of the time less than that to complete their checklists for the day. They will definitely be ready for Greek in the fall.

We had 3 good story times this week. We learned about the Phoenicians and reviewed the things we learned through the whole chapter. They really liked making up sentences with the chapter vocabulary words. We've been reading poems by emily Dickinson, and we played music rhythym bingo. We continue to practice yoga in the mornings, read the scriptures and memorize them. We started memorizing D&C 82:3.

Life is good, everybody pretty much finished on schedule and it seems like they have more time to spend doing things they really want to do instead of spending hours being inefficient at their schoolwork. It has been nice. Each week seems to get a little easier. I do want to do better at consistent piano lessons and improve the quality of our singing time and languages time in the mornings, but as far as the basics go, I think we are doing well. We've just got to keep it up. Work is a good thing and I think everybody is learning to enjoy work.