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If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Stuff...

A run-down of what we've been up to, and a few pictures...

The kids won a month's free skating, so they've been skating once or twice a week.

We fixed all the bicycles, so there's been a lot of that too.

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My bicycle

I've been working out 3-4 days a week, plus doing steep hill walks with my sister, and regular walks with The Girl and her dog.

We spent a lovely afternoon out at the coast...

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The "creek" that runs out into the ocean

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Dunes, beach grass, cypress, and waves

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A giant dune that we scrambled up a dozen times, and rolled and jumped and slid and ran back down

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Sandcastle in progress

You can see how pretty and sunny it was, and then we drove 45 minutes home into a thunder-and-hail storm. Just crazy!

We've been reading The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and really, really enjoying it. We watched part one of Peter Jackson's movie version, and we all agreed... while we do love the LoTR movies, we just don't feel the same love for The Hobbit films. There was just far too much extra stuff added. ONE movie, that followed the book, would have been so much better.

Documentary watching has been half hit, half miss. We're enjoying our history selections, but haven't started science ones yet. That's okay. We will get there, and we've basically come to accept that we are year-round homeschoolers anyway.

Math is going pretty well. The Boy likes his Great Courses algebra lectures quite a lot. The Girl is making great progress through the Prodigy math game, where I set up problems several times a week to match her textbook.

The kids have taken to biking to the teen club, which saves me time... and gas. They visit it once or twice a week, and spend almost all their time in the art room. The Boy might be doing a job training program there soon, and they both want to take barista training.

I'm taking a very intensive Spanish course at the moment.... online. One semester of Spanish covered in only six weeks. So far, I've kept up. The Boy is teaching himself computer coding (I think javascript at the moment), and The Girl is working on her butterfly identification skills.

I'm also on the hunt for a job, as my position at the junior college has been frozen due to decreased revenue. I was supposed to start back next week, but that is not to be so at this time. I don't know about fall yet, though I am still hopeful. I may fall back on my grocery experience for the summer. Thankfully M is working a gazillion hours, so we're scraping by.

We're hoping to get out to the coast, and the river, soon. We have FOUR boogie boards now, so that will be fun! I plan on teaching the kids to grill -- they've been taking turns once a week to cook a dinner start to finish, and grilling in this weather would be nice.

And there's housework, decluttering, a recent return to fencing (The Boy), and gardening. I have tomatoes, squash, lemon cucumbers, peppers, and loads of herbs going now!

Hope anyone who reads this is having a lovely summer so far! Here are a couple of random pictures to wrap things up, then I'm off to make breakfast.

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The local lake during my early morning trail run last week
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A two hat kind of day

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

[Bitter]Sweet Sixteen and Summer Schooling...

From newborn to sixteen

The Boy turned SIXTEEN this month! I am still amazed daily, even after sixteen years, that I get to be his mom. And it is bittersweet because it is going by so quickly. In only two years, he'll be, legally, an adult.

We've had a few homeschooling changes since I last posted, and we decided, together, on summer schooling this year, as life got in the way far too often over the spring. We don't want to fall further behind, so we'll be tackling math, literature, writing, biology, and a survey of world history over the next twelve weeks (we started yesterday). Here's a run-down of our summer plans:

Math:
The Boy is using a combo of the Great Courses Algebra 1 and Jacobs Elementary Algebra

The Girl is using a combination of Prodigy and Basic Math Skills

Literature:
We are reading this beautiful edition of The Hobbit, to be followed by the Lord of the Rings trilogy

Writing:
The Boy is using bits and pieces from Writing with Skill, and he's started a car blog.

The Girl is using Junior English and free-writing.

Biology:
We're using a combination of documentaries (Life, for example); nature observations; and biology experiments. We'll be doing this microbial ecology experiment at last, which we will be using with the lecture series Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future!

World History:
We are keeping it very simple, and are watching Mankind: The Story of All of Us (I might use at least some ideas from this study guide)alongside the Big History episodes, and a few select movies.

In addition:
The kids skate once a week (roller derby is over for the season), and The Boy fences occasionally. We'll be heading to the beach when it's a tad warmer, and we plan to ride bikes a lot. The kids continue to visit the local teen club once or twice each week. We have gardening, decluttering, pets to care for, and so on. Plus, we have a new dog! Her name is Fiona, she's about three, and she's a pitbull-mix.


Hope everyone else is off to a good start to summer!