Friday, April 26, 2013

Project Fair 2013

This year Sweetheart chose Ancient China for her project. Since we are using Sonlight's Core F (Eastern Hemisphere), she had studied plenty about China earlier in the year.

Here are some close-up shots of her board (which is going in the trash soon!)

I know those are difficult to see---they are more for our memory. She had some prayer cards in a pocket that people could take to pray for her favorite city--Beijing. And she highlighted the missionary Hudson Taylor, whom she read about this year. Our real life missionary friend is home right now and was able to come watch the girls' presentations. So that was a special treat!

Little Bit did her presentation on Tourette Syndrome. When I first suggested that topic she said, "But Mom, I haven't learned about Tourette Syndrome this year." Oh honey. Every single day we learn how to deal with it!

This was her first time ever explaining TS to anyone. It was very interesting to hear her put it into her own words. Also, since she was so young when she was diagnosed (4 years old) and even younger back when were first noticing her tics (1 1/2 years old), she learned about her own story through all this.

And a few other shots of her project board:

I was very proud of both girls. We practiced their presentations a few times at home and they did a very good job on the real thing. I mean, of course there is always room for improvement. However, they spoke loudly, they made eye contact with the audience, they used their notes, and they answered questions at the end. That's the part that is hard to prepare them for. I pretended to be the audience each time at home and ask questions, but you never know what they are really going to be asked. Overall, I was very pleased with their presentations!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Repeat After Me: I Do Not Have Schoolwork. I Am the Mom.

Do you take on the stress of your child's work load too? If you are behind schedule or one certain subject is stacking up on you, is your child concerned about it or only you? If there is a big project due this week, like us, does the stress to complete it fall on you or them?

I'm kind of bad about this. Some mornings I remember to tell myself, "Hey! I've already been to 7th grade! This isn't my problem!" Other mornings I feel like I'm the student and I have a huge workload ahead of me that day!

Forgetting, of course, that it is my child who has the school work to complete. I am the mom. I have a house to keep and a baby to care for. I have to read to them, yes. And directly teach them at times.

But I am not the student!

I must remember this daily.

But the big projects are complete now and the presentations are today. It's voluntary, you know. We don't have to participate in our homeschool group's project fair. But we love it. The girls have done it nearly every year. Last year Mama said NO because Mama was very, very pregnant.

This is our first year to not do a science-related project. That would be because not a terrible lot of science has gone on this year. We are about half-way through our book, but not nearly as far as I'd like to be. There's still time.

I'm excited about their presentations today and I can't wait to share them with you afterward.

But first, I must go and be a MOM NOT a STUDENT.

Repeat to self.

P.S. Little Bit slept in her room last night sans marsupials. It was lovely. I rearranged her room and we turned all the wooden cubes that her dollhouse sit on towards the wall so there are no more openings for possums to cuddle up in. I dreamed about possums last night.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In Which We Have a Visitor

So I was getting dressed this morning after my shower and suddenly Little Bit burst into my room. She knows she's supposed to knock but she said later, "I wasn't wasting time on knocking!" She was screaming and crying.

"There's a snake in my room!!"

I calmed her down and Bee reached over to hug her. So sweet. I closed her door and put some towels under the gap. Told the girls to let me finish getting dressed and then I'd deal with it.

By "deal with it" I meant "call my dad."
He wasn't home. Shoot.

I figured it was a grass snake. I started to her room and she said, "NO MOMMY! Don't go in there!!!" I told her I needed to see what it was. She answered, "Ok. but watch out for the claw."

Wait. WHAT??? Now I'm the one jumping up and down. SNAKES DON'T HAVE CLAWS. WHAT DID YOU SEE??

So I calmed back down and figured it was a tree lizard. I went into her room armed with a broom. I moved a sack out of the way. I used the broom to move the blue dress out of the way she told me it was under.

And I saw a face. With eyes. And fur.

NO!!!!! I was out of there folks!!! I came screaming into the living room, "IT'S A MAMMAL!!"

The girls were in the driveway in a split second. I made some more phone calls. No one was available. My dad said he'd be home soon. I convinced the girls to come back in the living room and we got some school done. Then my dad showed up with work gloves and a box. He emerged with this

Yes folks, that is a possum. In our house. In Little Bit's bedroom. Ew. Ew. Ew. When I saw the face, my first thought was possum. And I was greatly hoping it was not a rat.

Turns out Little Bit had heard something and went to see what it was. She caught sight of the long tail unfurling--thus, the snake. Double ew.

The girls are spending the night at their grandparent's house. I've got to figure out a way to make it ok for Little Bit to sleep in that room again. I've been jumpy all day.

Triple ew.

Monday, April 22, 2013

In Which We Make Our House Work For Us Again

OK--no more whining. S and I put our heads together and finally came up with a solution for making this house work for us AND a place to put all the furniture. We were actually so perplexed I was praying about it last week. Then, the other day I was visiting with my mom and telling her the problem and epiphany! An answer to prayer: how to rearrange to meet all our current needs.

So now, instead of this:
Homeschool cabinet in corner of living room.
We have this:

An office for S!!! (That's some CHEAP Wal-Mart furniture there. Nobody sneeze or slam the door too hard!)
And instead of this:

One side of the front room.

We have this:

Wow! A place to hang our map! And you can't see it but our spelling board is hung up too!

And instead of this:

and this:

We have this:

Here's the middle of that front room with our new table:

Yes folks, we have a homeschool room again. And it feels good!!! The table is tall, with bar stool-like chairs so Baby Bee won't be able to reach it for a while. And now we don't have to set up the card table in the living room every day.

And S has an office to work in! It's so wonderful!

And that little extra room that used to once upon a time be my sewing room but more recently looked like this:

Now looks like this:

The girls' rooms are clean too. There only remains our room. One day, I'll get all that laundry put away. But for now we are just so excited to make these changes and USE our house the way we need to!

We've got 7 more weeks or so of school. How about you?