Saturday, April 13, 2013

From the mouths of babes

My teen may not be a "babe" anymore, but she said something truly insightful the other day.

We were talking about her grade 10 science course, one she's doing online to meet provincial requirements for credit. There is a LOT in this course and she has been very discouraged because she is so behind. I told her how they had cut back on what used to be 3 separate courses (chemistry, bio and physics) and crammed it all into a single science course. I can't remember exactly what led to her comment, but here it is (more or less):

"Why would they want students to rush through all of this? Wouldn't it be better if we had more time and really learned the stuff?"

She is learning the unfortunate lesson of standard high school education (and even the education for many college-level programs) that is not really about learning and mastering, but about just getting through the work. She is determined to get the provincial high school diploma (only high school diplomas granted by the provincial government are recognized as authentic diplomas here), but is starting to see she's going to have to sacrifice really knowing the material.

My son has 2.5 years before he is high school age. I'm not sure which direction we'll go in with him. There is definite work that needs to be done before he can even consider starting high school credit courses, should that be the route he pursues, which may mean waiting an extra year (he has a birthday that would easily allow us to do that). But even if he doesn't do official credits, there's still a certain level of education that would be good for him to attain, wouldn't there be? Having a longer range vision in mind may help me figure out what to do in the short-term.

Friday, April 12, 2013

One of Those Days

I'm having one of those days, it seems. But it's a "hahaha" kind of day, so it's all good. ;)

I had a bit of a rough sleep, was awake in the middle of the night for about an hour, then fell back asleep. Then had a cat start annoying me around 6am; I finally got up at 6:30.

Around 7, went for a shower. Washed my hair twice (I wash my hair every other day), washed my face then went to put conditioner in. And realized that I had conditioned my hair twice instead of washing it. (When I did wash it, it was quite sudsy, so I'm now wondering if one could get away with just conditioning hair! :D) I just laughed at myself.

I was super slow at getting ready. Got downstairs, made some oatmeal. And 10-15 minutes later, realized I was hungry and hadn't eaten my oatmeal. It was still a little warm at least. lol

I think I just need a good nap. I've let my son have a computer turn and he said he'll work later. My daughter's still sleeping and I just hope I'm in good shape for her. She'll probably sleep another hour, as her pattern has been lately. Maybe I'll take a nap now. (Who naps at 8:30 am? lol)

ADDENDUM--8:45 am. My daughter is up. (?!) She's walking around like a zombie. This could be a very "interesting" day!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Writing Idea!

I just had a writing idea for my 12yo: write his opinion about this month's National Geographic cover page.

What's the topic?

Reviving Extinct Species: We can, but should we?

Oh dear...

It's been nearly a month since I last posted. Life has just been so crazy and there has been continued illness and low energy levels... My new website project has taken a back seat and I'm just trying to get back into it properly now. It's just been *myheadshakesasItrytofindagooddescriptor*.

But life does continue. What are we doing school-wise right now?

*12yo son*
-Got him back to working on Life of Fred. He's doing the Fractions book right now and I want him to do at least a lesson a day to move onto the next book before the end of the school year. I also want to make sure to have some fun with him--I saw that we have a good multiplication bingo game and since his multiplication table knowledge is weak and he doesn't really like doing booklets and such, I will invite him to play with me today.
-Have started reading Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (did you know the author disappeared after taking off in a plane?? I had no clue; English: The Little Prince). It was recommended by one of the Confirmation prep leaders as a story to (re-)read with our kids. I figured it fits nicely with language arts, too. :D
-He's finding Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde rather challenging; he's not used to the style, so we are switching to me reading to him and he has to have a novel he reads on the side. Right now, he's chosen a book from the How to Train Your Dragon series, but I think I will see what selection there is a step beyond that and see if I can get him to move onto something a little more difficult when he's done.
-Social studies? Um... Still having an issue with that. I do have some books out on Canadian history, but I can't seem to figure out how to start tackling the subject.
-Writing: Today, he writes. Just a sentence. I'm going to have him say one sentence to me about something he's read or done today and then have him write it down. We will do this each school day and progressively add more sentences. I do know that a guided research thing could also help.
-Herb garden: I'll have to take pictures and share sometime. I'm not sure we'll manage to keep the parsley alive, but the basil seems to be doing okay!

*15yo daughter*
-She's having issues. Health, stress, both... She's quite behind and we may have to carry over some work into June, which means it won't show up on her report card until next semester. Which is fine. I think she can finish her social studies, ELA, art and phys. ed. on time; it's science that's a bit harder. We have started looking at the possibility that wheat is causing some of her emotional levels and health issues. We had gone gluten-free for a week and a half in December and it was the happiest, healthiest she'd been in a while. She had had a couple of blips with rice krispies, but that didn't seem to change anything, so we are now just trying wheat. She'd gone two days and messed up by accident last night. She gets today, tomorrow and Friday, but chances are there will be wheat in the evening on Saturday and since this doesn't feel like a "I've GOT to do this" situation, she will indulge. Having 3.5 days wheat-free and then some wheat at the end of the day may provide us with some info, or not. She might need longer for us to see a real difference. And we need to somehow work on changing negative thoughts about things to positive thoughts. (Will she actually listen to me? I keep thinking some sort of seminar or book or other resource might be better. Or maybe just play motivational audiobooks from Jack Canfield and the like when she's not working on school work? :D)

-She's been wanting to practise driving. She's had her learner's licence since she turned 14; she's now 15.5 and has only driven in a nearby parking lot maybe 3 times. Well, now it's been one more time because I took her out to the parking lot yesterday. I need to find something to know how to guide her better and what she can practise. And then there's an issue: We've got a minivan and a 4Runner, neither of which are ideal for a 4'11.5" girl to learn to drive in. I've been starting to look for a smaller vehicle largely because I just want one but I think it would be better for her, too. The van would be reserved for just transporting numerous children when needed--I do expect to be running the "after-school bus service" next year, too! (I pick up my two nieces and nephew after school and sometimes have to have my daughter and or/son with us.) I'm thinking of a Toyota Echo 2-door hatchback. I see one every day when I pick up my nieces and it's just so darn cute. lol

All right, enough for now. Time for me to "get back to business"!