Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No More Monkeys!

A few days ago, Rachel came downstairs, very excited.  "Mom!  You have to come up to our room and see this!"  She was smiling and I thought maybe they cleaned their room as a surprise or found something that had been missing.  Surely it was something great.  I walked into their room and it was still a mess, so option A was out.  Then I noticed Tori's bed was looking a bit odd.  Rachel then says, "Tori and me were jumping on the bed and IT BROKE!"  Hmm, yes, it did.  And that is exactly why we do NOT JUMP ON BEDS!

What were they thinking?  They have been told this before.  Josh looked at it when he came home and said he could fix it but he wouldn't trust it as a bunk bed again.  So instead of fixing it, we are throwing that frame away and Tori is currently sleeping on her mattress on the floor while we look at other options.  I am loving some white bed frames with drawers underneath.  But they don't have white dressers.  And I'm not sure I want to get a whole new bedroom set for both.  Tori might be on the floor for awhile.  And now, ironically, she can jump on her bed all she wants.  But I'm not telling her that.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Real Food

I have been going back and forth about this idea for awhile now.  This idea of only eating real food.  There are some differences of opinion about what that means exactly but the rules I've read say anything in it's pure form and nothing with more than 5 ingredients.  It is also supposed to be whole grain.  I know that processed food isn't good for me.  But it felt like a big jump - to stop eating all processed food and only eat real food?  So I made up my own rules and decided to just slowly ease into it.

Haha.  We did that for a couple months and then, instead of easing into real food, we were easing back into processed food.  Why?  Because it's easy and it's what I know.  When I'm stumped with what to cook for dinner, I can think of many recipes using processed food because it's what I've always done.  And then because we were still eating some processed food, it was harder to say no to the doritos or candy.

I'd like to make more of an effort this time.  There is a 10-day challenge and I'm thinking about it.  It would mean no coffee creamer, no mt dew and no candy.  It would mean some special trips to the store.  But it would also mean a break from some bad habits - like cereal or pop-tarts for breakfast.  And my kids do love smoothies.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The saga continues

Tori is in 6th grade this year.  I started the year trying Analytical Grammar for her and Brendan.  It has been great for Brendan but it was a bit too far ahead for her.  So I ordered Christian Light for her.  We had used that in the past and there were some things I didn't love about it but overall I thought it was good.   We used it for a couple months and I noticed she was having trouble with some basic skills.  So I got out Winston Grammar and went back to the basics.  We started with nouns and verbs.  Then we added adjectives and then adverbs.  Then we found what they modified.  Now we're finding prepositions and then we'll go back and figure out what all those prepositions are modifying.

I feel like she's really getting it this time and it's making sense to her.  When we've finished these worksheets, we'll go through and diagram them.  Then I want to go through sentences in a book and have her label the parts of speech and diagram those.  I think by 7th grade, definitely 8th grade, she'll be ready to use the Analytical Grammar curriculum.

For math, we were using Math-U-See Epsilon.  It is the fraction book.  Lots and lots of fractions.  She was getting pretty tired of fractions and so was I.  I decided to try Teaching Textbooks.  I had looked at their Geometry book and thought it looked great for Brendan next year and then looked at their 5th and 6th grade books.  Tori has been about a year behind in math but after looking at their programs, I realized she could start the 6th grade book.  There are a couple things she hasn't had yet so I will spend extra time with her on those but for the most part, she'll do fine.  I know it has bothered her to be behind in math and knew she'd be excited to feel like she was "caught" up.  We started that today and it went really well.  She likes doing it on the computer and I love that the program grades it automatically and tells me what she got right and what she missed.  I also love the automatic feedback she gets when she answers a question.

Just when I was thinking I found the curriculum to use for the rest of our school days, I found out that the Teaching Textbooks high school math is a bit lacking if you want to test well on the ACT.  So now I'm wondering what curriculum will prepare them for the ACT and feeling like we're back to square one.  No, that's not entirely true.  I think this math will be great for Tori for the next few years.  Now to figure out what to use next for Brendan.