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.