Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Homeschool Plan - 6th Grade - September

We really went back and forth about what to do with Jack and school for this upcoming year. After 4 full years of homeschooling, I'm getting a little tired (yet I still love it. Mixed feelings, I guess). I was also surprised at how much more difficult it was to homeschool just Jack last year with Kate back in public school.

So we looked at a bunch of options, talked to our trusted ones, and decided just in the last couple weeks to homeschool again this year. Only I am going to outsource much more of the work and attempt to simplify what I do. I'm really happy with what we are pulling together.

I originally was going to write out a year long plan, but I know well enough how homeschooling works in our household to know that we won't stick to a plan that long. So I'm going to go month to month again in my planning

LANGUAGE ARTS
Tutor - 3x/week - reading, spelling, writing
Paragraph Basics - online writing class with Scribblers
Independent Reading - Gregor the Overlander series
Reading Aloud - finish Heart of a Samurai, then Ivanhoe
Read Grammarland

MATH
Tutor - 3x/week - she's reviewing and switching us to Singapore Math
Read Sir Cumference series
Life of Fred - Honey

SOCIAL STUDIES
The Story of the World - volume 2 - start at beginning to review but work through fairly quickly
Library books & videos related to history subjects

SCIENCE
Experiment packets
Hovercraft Making - 1 day coop program
Homeschool Science - monthly library program
MINECON - oh, yeah... we are going...!!!

ELECTIVES
Waldorf Homeschool Program - 1day/week
Keyboarding Without Tears
Speech Therapy - 2x/week includes writing lessons
Piano - TBD
Swim Team - 3-4x/week
Learn to Draw - 1 day library program
Dock Diving - TBD

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Room By Room

I mentioned that I feel like my house needs a bit of fine tuning. It isn't a disaster, but there are just a bunch of little, undone tasks that I'd like to get finished. I don't want to tackle too much or make any major changes since we are looking at a remodel in the next year or so. Just get some of the routine decluttering and finishing jobs accomplished. Let's see how much I can get done!

Entry
  • Make & hang pallet hooks
  • Hang L's or other wall decor over pallet hooks
  • Update photos on family photo wall
  • Clean out/organize cabinet
  • Hang wall decor in rest of room
  • Paint banister
Hall Closet
  • Clean out/organize coats
  • Hang hooks for backpacks
  • Clean out whatever other junk is in there (this is a closet that slopes back under the stairs, so the back tends to easily collect junk)
Powder Room
  • Organize cabinet
  • Get a real wastebasket
  • Buy handtowels
Desk Nook
  • Move big computer monitor somewhere (we don't use it as a computer but it might be nice as a smaller TV somewhere)
  • Clean off shelves
  • Clean off desk
  • Declutter drawers/clean out files
  • Hang wall decor
  • Move standing files to desk
Master Bedroom
  • Move armoire
  • Buy full length mirror
  • Update bedding
  • Clean out bench storage
  • Move Tripper's crate
  • Clean out bedside table
  • Tidy up bookshelves
Guest Room
  • Hang wall decor
  • Buy cute desk chair
Kids' Bathroom (this room needs SO MUCH work but is targeted for the remodel, just going to make do with what we have right now)
  • Clean out wall cabinet (this is another deep, awkward space over back stairs that easily collects junk)
  • Clean out sink cabinet
Other Rooms
  • Tidy up bookshelves in family room
  • Clean out dining room hutch
  • Hang wall decor in living/dining rooms


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer Goal Wrap Up

I know summer doesn't officially end for over a month, but since school started last week, it is a good time for me for fresh starts. Pretty happy with the progress I made on goals this summer (except for quilting). I'm starting to think about what I'd like to accomplish the next few months. Probably won't start any official goals for another few weeks.

FINANCIAL
  • Maintain Mvelopes - DONE
  • Review midyear finances with Matt - DONE - reviewed, moved some stuff around, set some goals, discussed some bigger spending
HOME
  • Participate in neighborhood garage sale - DONE - did well but may be my last garage sale, although I said that a few garage sales ago
  • Set up backyard hammock - DONE
  • Plant summer garden - DONE
  • Plant lavender and rhubarb plants - DONE - rhubarb is thriving, lost one lavender plant and another is looking not-so-good
  • Trim back lilac bushes - DONE - for this year anyway, I'd like to hack some more but then I'll be cutting off next years blooms
  • Plant around front tree - DONE
  • Plan a second eating area in the back yard - DONE - although I changed this to just a sitting area
  • Figure out what to do to deter wasps - DONE - these have done well, need to get some new ones
  • Clean out the homeschool room and potentially set up as a sitting room - DONE
  • Plant window box flowers - next summer...
  • Learn to use smoker grill - not yet
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • 2016 Reading Challenge - DONE - or rather on target, have read 56 books this year with a goal of 60
  • Complete 3 quilts this summer - I only got one top done. Maybe I'll move into super mode the next couple weeks.
  • Work on daily routines - nope, might work on this the next few weeks before I set autumn goals
  • Complete Upstream Field Guide class - nope
  • Sign up for goat cheese making class - nope
  • Blog more - DONE - not as well as I had hoped, but better
FAMILY
  • Plan 1:1 dates with kids at least every other week - this didn't go as well as I had envisioned, although I did get to spend some quality time with each one
  • Don't go insane driving them everywhere they need to be all summer - I haven't been institutionalized but I do feel like I spent a good deal of my time in the car
  • Join library summer reading program - DONE
HEALTH & WELL BEING
  • Bake bread at least weekly - not once. Boo.
  • Make a list of summer meals - DONE
  • Maintain weekly Pilates class - DONE - weekly while we were in town and nothing was going on
  • Try a new yoga class - DONE - I went to one in Vancouver
  • Maintain 2x/week bootcamp workout - nope - did so well at first but I'm finding it hard to get up that early
  • Choose, train and run a 5K - no, no no
  • Do the 30 Day Green Smoothie challenge - missed it, will try for the Oct 1st challenge
FUN & RECREATION
  • Make and complete summer hiking bucket list - made the list, but didn't hike as much as I hoped
  • Make and complete summer restaurant bucket list - calling this DONE - we didn't go to every restaurant, but I loved having a list to reference when we wanted to go out
  • Make and complete summer outing bucket list - DONE - as above, we didn't actually do everything on the list, but it helped us get out and try some things we've wanted to do
  • Go camping - DONE (technically) - we camped at a music festival but I was thinking more wilderness camping

Monday, August 22, 2016

DayBook 8.22.16

Outside my window... another beautiful Colorado morning. Really, Colorado does late summer mornings really well. It's already starting to get pretty chilly at night which makes the morning crisp but sunny. 

I am hearing... family walking around upstairs, hum of the fridge, and the butter chicken simmering on the stove

I am feeling... a little out of control. Don't yet have a handle on life since coming back from vacation and starting back to school. Feels like I'm missing something!

I am thinking... that I need to buy Jack some new pants! He's growing and his ankles show in all his pants!

I am thankful for... tan lines. I know I'm not supposed to worship the sun, but I feel so good with all that vitamin D!

From the kitchen... I've been killing it. Made butter chicken last week that everyone LOVED. Also braised turkey legs for Vancouver tacos. The cabbage/kale/carrot slaw that goes in them is good enough to eat plain! I think we'll have salmon cakes with kale salad tonight. Also summer corn & ham soup and flank steak later this week.

I a wearing... black leggings, old t-shirt that I slept in, old comfy cardigan, and my fuzzy slippers. I'm a sight!

I am creating... a baby quilt. Really want to finish it this week!!

I am going... to take a shower in a few minutes. I desperately need one!

I am reading... Being Mortal - started this on our vacation drive but just now getting back to finishing it. Started & finished Don't Hurt Laurie. I was reading this book in my 5th grade classroom and didn't get to finish it when we moved to Texas. I've been wondering how it ends for 35 years! Finally spent the $4 to buy an old copy on Amazon.

I am hoping... to organize the house room by room this fall. None of it is awful but it feels like it needs to be fine tuned (or as close as it can be with 3 other people living in my house!)

Around the house... met with an architect on Friday. So excited to make some changes! 

In the garden... cut back the kale last week, so it's starting to sprout up again. Zucchini galore. Herbs galore. Need to do something with chard. Pulled the last of the carrots

In the homeschool room... gotta start working on the upcoming year this week and next. Need to do some review and test Jack soon.

How I am exercising... not much the last week. Thought I'd be back to a normal routine this week, but Pilates was cancelled this morning. Hopefully I'll drag myself out of bed for Bootcamp later this week. And start back to running. Ugh.

A few plans for the week... meeting with a math tutor, orthodontist appointments, open houses, tennis, pretty much back to the routine.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Weekend Review - 1st of School Year

Friday was the first day of school for Kate, so this was officially our first weekend of the school year. Matt worked Friday and Saturday nights but still found time to get in on the fun.
First Day of School Photo
Kate and 3 of her school friends celebrated the first day of school with a campout in the backyard. There was candy and chips and cookies and a huge thunderstorm and even a little brother trying to scare them with mountain lion noises on YouTube.
Camping Gals
 Saturday night we went to see Pete's Dragon at the Drive In movie theater in Pueblo. So fun!
Ready to watch the movie
Drive-In Movie Sunset
(This was done with the app Prisma - really cool - learned about it from Amy)
Sunday was the swim team's annual trip to Water World in Denver. Perfect, hot day to be there. I love waterparks, but I'm sorta glad we only go once a year.
Jack working on his moves

Naturally everyone is crazy tired (& crazy cranky!), so we are all getting in bed crazy early tonight!

Monday, August 15, 2016

DayBook 8.15.16

Outside my window... it's a beautiful Colorado morning! I'm sitting outside enjoying my backyard. I've been gone for 3 weeks, and I'm quite satisfied to be home again.

I am hearing... highway traffic, neighbor's water feature, dogs barking, and Tripper's collar tags jingling. Noisy morning!

I am thinking... "How in the world is it the middle of August already?!?"

I am thankful for... long travels with good friends.

From the kitchen... no idea what is going to happen in the kitchen this week. Definitely Vancouver tacos. Some good salads. Gotta check the garden to see what's growing there. One of the top items on today's to do list is just to figure out tonight's dinner!

I a wearing... light, loose sweatshirt and army green shorts.

I am creating... organization from the chaos. This week is get-back-to-the-routine week. In a good way.

I am going... to review my summer goals and start working on my autumn goals soon.

I am reading... Ready Player One and Stargirl. Finished a bunch of others the last few weeks. The only standouts where Kitchens of the Great Midwest and A Long Walk to Water.

I am hoping... to share some travel thoughts and photos sometime later this week.

Around the house... clueless as to the state of my house! 

In the garden... haven't looked a the garden in a few weeks! From a distance it looks okay. Might pull some stuff and put in more kale for autumn. My pots are looking a little sad, but hopefully they'll be feeling better by the end of the week.

In the homeschool room... gotta start working on the upcoming year this week and next. Need to do some review and test Jack soon.

How I am exercising... the last 3 weeks I've just been active - swimming in the lake, taking long walks, hiking, SUPing, walking around Vancouver. Will do a long walk today and try a run tomorrow. I hate getting used to the altitude again...

A few plans for the week... I'm not organized enough yet to even know what is going on this week. School starts for Kate Friday (egads!), I'm sure I have some tennis, I think I have a therapist appointment, and I know we have a weekend trip to Water World!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Weekend Review - Grand Junction

Another fun weekend (and they are going to keep coming for a few weeks!)

The Colorado State swim meet was this weekend in Grand Junction, and Kate was chosen to participate in a medley relay. That's a 5 hour drive to swim one time across the pool! So early Friday afternoon the kids and I drove across the state to Grand Junction (Matt, unfortunately, had to work this weekend).

We stayed in the little, historic downtown area which was lovely. Had dinner outside at the Rockslide Brewpub and then walked around downtown while eating ice cream (and catching Pokemon! I could not believe how many people were walking around playing!!).
Pokemon everywhere!

Saturday we were up and out early for 7am warm-up. Lucky for us, Kate was just in the first event and swam the fly leg of the 200m medley relay. She did great & dropped over 4 seconds off her 50m fly time.
Pretty Dive
After a second breakfast at a cute bagel shop in downtown, we made our way to the Colorado National Monument. We saw all the main sites, stopped in the visitor's center, and got junior ranger badges. It was just too hot to do any longer hikes, so we'll have to go back sometime soon with Matt.
Grand View
Kiddos

On our way back east, we stopped in Palisade. I bought a painting that I found in the local co-op gallery, we had an amazing mid-afternoon meal at Palisade Cafe 11.0 (um, yum!), and bought some just-coming-into-season peaches.
Fresh Peaches
My new painting

Spent Saturday night at our place in the mountains. Made peach crisp topped with ice cream and called it dinner. Our mountain neighbors were having whipped cream fun, and Jack happily joined in the fun!
Yum!
Yuck!
Thought we would make a few fun stops on the way home on Sunday, but we were tired and headed straight home. Spent the rest of today unpacking, packing for our next adventure, doing laundry, catching up on life, etc.