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

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Belated Happy Valentine's Day!

Again, it has been a while since I updated this blog! I keep meaning to, but life has been very busy lately.

What has changed?

  • We got a new (to us) vehicle last weekend after a string of incidents, starting with the unfortunate demise of Clarabelle, the 30 year old Honda Civic passed on to us by my dad. Around the same time that died, my mom's Acura broke down on our street, and then lived in our driveway for a month while The Boy rebuilt the cooling system. My mom and I then shared her 15 passenger "church" van, until that blew a spark plug. So we had to get something, and we happily settled on a 2003 Nissan XTerra in excellent condition. The downside? 20 months of payments. :(
  • The Boy dropped the mythology class early on in the semester. It turned out that it was very fast paced and highly academic, and he does not feel ready for that. BUT, he's loving figure drawing, and his sketches are amazing! Here's an example: 

  • My second semester teaching is flying by! I love, love, love it. We're reading a memoir and a novel this semester, and have actually just about finished up the memoir -- A Place to Stand. My students seem to be loving it! We're about to do a service project with first graders, and then will be jumping into The Book Thief. Last semester, our theme was how we identify ourselves by social binaries and concepts, and this semester is all about how words can shape identity.
  • I might shift up my employment again a bit in the fall. I want to teach another year while I write my Master's thesis, but I think instead of the junior college job, I may work in the writing center at one of the two campuses. I haven't been getting as many students in these days to my tutoring hours, and I hate feeling that I am wasting the college's time. Writing center experience would also just be excellent, both for my own development, and for my cv as I prepare to actually enter the world of teaching in another year plus. I haven't decided for sure though.
  • Homeschooling is moving right along. We're reading a lot... A Little History of the World; All About Cats; Son; and Exploring the Way Life Works: The Science of Biology... watching Z: The Beginning of Everything, and Mankind: The Story of All of Us... working on algebra and prealgebra... and writing, largely essay practice, though both kids are doing some creative writing on the side!
  • We're mostly enjoying the rain, though I know the flooding has been difficult for many in California. What's that saying about flood to famine, or vice versa? I complained a lot about the drought in the past, but we seem to be well past that now! Though it hasn't stopped us from going outside! As you can see, we were so wet by this point that The Girl gave in to her puddle stomping instincts!

Hope all is well in everyone else's homeschooling world!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Nose to the Grindstone...

image courtesy of Saxton Studio
My winter break has come to an end. Today, the junior college starts back up, and next week, the university. So I am prepping like crazy for classes next week! I have almost finished my syllabus and a reading schedule for the first few weeks, so I just need to polish those up. This week, I am visiting the classes I work with as an instructional assistant, and next week, I will be teaching and studying. This semester, I am teaching the same students as last semester, moving them from English 100A to English 100B. The class I am taking is in composition theory/application and rhetoric... a practical class for a college instructor!

The Boy is also gearing up for classes, which for him start tomorrow. He's taking Figure Drawing and Comparative Mythology. The mythology class will likely be the most academic class he's taken so far, but I am pretty sure he can handle it. It will provide us with a great opportunity to practice his essay skills!

We started homeschooling again last week, so here is a brief run-down:

Math: Both used their "new" textbooks to do review work, which went well. We're using Jacobs Elementary Algebra (The Boy) and AGS Basic Math Skills (The Girl).

History: We started reading A Little History of the World (3 chapters), and watched the first episode of Mankind: The Story of Us, which lined up very nicely.

Literature: We read 3 or 4 more chapters in The Messenger, which we'll probably finish up in the next week or two. We'll most likely then read the fourth book, Son, before moving on to something else.

I also found our science book for spring! It seems very readable, I love the illustrations (as do the kids), and I love how it presents everything in an interconnected fashion. We'll start reading from it this week, and I'll weave in a few hands on projects here and there, though the bulk of our hands-on work will be gardening and nature observation.


I hope things continue to go as smoothly for the rest of the spring! I still have writing to work in as well, and spelling for The Girl, but we'll get there.