Friday, September 23, 2011

{Homeschool} Education Revelation

Homeschooling has been rewarding, and Kendall is doing much better than he was in public school. I attribute this to keeping focus on the fundamentals such as Bible, Math, Grammar, Science, Reading, History, and Writing.

At some point it got into my head that I should be doing more. Why? Because that's what I do. I always want more and more and more. Yes, I am an overachiever. I always want to do everything, and if someone doesn't think I can't do it, then I want it even more.  So I thought, "I want to teach him Latin. What's one more thing?"

So I purchased the Latin stuff. A few weeks ago, we started doing Latin. It has become the thing that we put off and put off. We are now about 5 lessons behind. It's not that it's difficult, it's that this "one more thing" has become the thing that has fallen off my plate onto the table.

Aside from Latin being the thing we put off, another thing came to pass that pushed me further on toward my revelation. I was grading papers (mostly Grammar & Math) and noticed that Kendall was not doing as well as I expected on his work.  So why should he be doing something extra if he's not performing well in the fundamental classes? He shouldn't.

One of the things about public school that I hate is that they send ALL the kids to Spanish, Art, Music, etc.. Even if they are in 4th grade but read at a 1st grade level. Now, someone please explain to me how 40 minutes of Spanish is better than them spending 40 minutes working on their reading? I digress...

I realized that I was doing the same thing. I was doing it because I thought it would be neat. So, for now, we are going to stop Latin. I may go through the curriculum and modify it so that it can be incorporated in spelling, but that seems like a lot of work at the moment. All in all, it's not more important than fundamentals.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crock Pot Recipes

I was asked about crock pot recipes, so here goes. I'm posting my favorites all in one place! This links to Google docs. If you can't access it, let me know! If you have a favorite recipe, send it to me and I'll add it to the list. Not all of these are specifically written for the crock pot. Basically all you need to do is brown the meat & onions and throw everything in the crock pot.

Santa Fe Soup
Slow Cooker Jambalaya
Ground Turkey Chili Stew
Shredded Chicken
Buffalo Chicken Chili
Black Bean Chicken

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vacation & Homeschool Update

Wow. I haven't posted since July 26. Miss me? Here's what's been happening:

Since July 26, we started 5th grade homeschooling, which is going well. Normally, I give Kendall his assignment, let him finish it, then give the next, let him finish that one, and so on. I think that this might be the reason that we end up doing school for 7 hours a day when it could only take 4 or 5. He has no incentive to hurry the heck up complete his work in a timely manner. So today, I am giving him a time limit on each assignment and whatever he doesn't finish will have to cut into his free time instead of cutting into my time.

Kendall is also joining a bowling league for homeschoolers. It starts tomorrow and I'm looking forward to A) this counting for school because it's PE B) him meeting other homeschoolers his age. While we try to get together with his friends from his old elementary school, apparently it is too much to ask someone to call we're on the frontier of meeting new friends. I can tell that this may be a big struggle. What else can I do? Send him back to PS because his social needs aren't met? I don't think so!

At the end of August, we (my parents, 2 brothers, 2 brothers' wives, and the three of us--that's 9 people) took a trip to San Francisco for a week! None of us had ever been there. We packed as much as possible into the trip: Golden Gate Bridge, Wine Tasting, Alcatraz, Pacific Coast Highway, Redwoods, seeing friends in Sacramento, visiting an aircraft carrier, stopping by M5 Industries (aka Mythbusters) and going to a Giants game.  Here's a link to my Flickr Set of SF photos:  CLICK HERE.

I am already getting busy stocking my shop for the Christmas season. I also have an open house/showcase planned for October 9th at my house (or maybe my mom's house--it's bigger). This is where people will have the opportunity to come over and see my work, have some refreshments and place orders if they wish. I'm really looking forward to sharing my work and hanging out with some people for a couple of hours!

I think that's all. I will leave you with my favorite photo that I took in San Francisco. This looks cool with my regular lens but I bet it would be much cooler if I had a fisheye lens!