“GOOD BYE, FAT MAN!”

Kids say the darndest things, don’t they?

I’m still so embarrassed. I had to write this down since I’m still replaying what happened in my head. Although, I know more embarrassing things have happened to others.

Yesterday, Michela’s friend, Amy invited her over for a sleepover. Amy’s family was staying at a very nice hotel while the floors in their million-dollar home was being worked on. So Michela and Amy were going to have a room of their own.

I took Li with me when we dropped off Michela. I should’ve known better. Li had not taken her nap. And yeah, we know how that is when a 4-year-old hasn’t taken her nap. UGH.

So Amy’s mom showed us their rooms when we got to the hotel. Li was just so excited about everything in the hotel and exclaiming how it was “so beautiful!” and how she didn’t want to leave. Amy’s dad also showed up, and Li was wanting to hold his hand and walk everywhere with him. Then they invited (ie were really insistent) us to eat a snack with them in the hotel’s cafe. So we went.

Li wanted to walk everywhere but managed to sit down and eat and drink something. And of course, she kept interrupting Amy’s mom and I as we were talking. And she kept asking Amy’s mom questions and then showing her the food in her mouth. Lovely. I know Amy’s mom was getting annoyed. Then Li said, “I have to go potty!!!” and of course, she had to repeat it like 4 or 5 times. So Michela and Amy took her to the bathroom. Amy’s dad had run into some people and was talking with them.

So Amy’s mom and I were talking about school etc. Of course, she was shocked to hear I was going to be homeschooling, and told me some stuff she heard from the former school principal on how she didn’t know she was going to be fired and took it to the bishop who didn’t care etc but that’s not the point of this post.

When the girls got back from the bathroom, after a little bit more chit-chat, I told Li to say good bye to everyone. Amy’s dad had gotten back to our table by this time, and he was standing, looking down at Li, with his arms wide open, and she screamed, “GOOD BYE, FAT MAN!!!” Silence. Amy’s mom’s mouth literally dropped open. I was so embarrassed. I mean, in Li’s defense, he is a really tall, fat man, but I just felt so bad. Of course, Amy’s dad played it off like he didn’t care and made the comment, “Kids are so honest.” Li and I got out of there fast.

Hopefully, when they drop off Michela this afternoon, I will be busy with something.

So I may have overdone it

I’ve been doing more research on online curriculums and decided not to do T4L just because I really wanted a stronger Science course. Also, I could see that Jared (my 8th grader) would probably get bored with T4L’s Science and Social Studies sections since, from what I read, it’s mainly just reading. I haven’t found any really good Social Studies online programs…maybe Alpha Omega’s Monarch? Still not sure. I mean, the boys are already signed up for a Session 1 class for Minecraft Homeschool. Jared’s going to be in the Castles and Cannons class, which supposedly covers “Ancient History,” so that could count towards Social Studies, right? Hayden’s signed up for Build Your Own Adventure, which is supposed to cover “Creative Writing/Videography/Public Speaking/Research”…so that’s more Language Arts. But he wants to do Castles and Cannons for Session 2. We’ll see.

For Math, we’re going to use Math-U-See. Even though Jared took Algebra for 7th grade, I showed him the sample Math-U-See Algebra lessons, which he didn’t recognize, so I got him the Pre-Algebra packet. I got Hayden the Delta package, but I’m thinking I should have started him at an earlier level even though he saw the online sample Gamma lessons and thought they were too easy. Initially, I was going to go with TeachingTextbooks for Math instead, but Jared didn’t like the teacher’s voice. heh.

I found this Homeschool Buyer Co-op site and decided to get the ScienceFusion program. I’ve read the complaints of the ScienceFusion site’s layout, but it seems like a solid curriculum, and I like the online/workbook combo.

I’ll probably also end up getting the Wordly Wise 3000 Online to use along with Vocabulary Spelling City. The kids used Spelling City when they were in school, and I always thought that was a good site. For Li’s Handwriting Without Tears, I ended up getting the following items: Blackboard with Double Lines, Letters and Numbers for Me workbook, Little Chalk Bits, Little Sponge Cubes, Pencils for Little Hands, Rock, Rap, Tap & Learn CD, Wide Notebook Paper (500 sheets). She already had done some writing in Pre-K, so she’s doing fine with HWT for now. She likes the CD and also that I let her draw pictures on the chalkboard after doing a lesson. No issues really with the workbook either. She’s also signed up for Starfall for more reading, phonics etc. I’ve always liked that site!

The Discovery Education Streaming Plus also looks good as a supplement for many subjects! I’m signed up with their Free Trial at the moment and was surprised at how much there is. I thought it was just going to be a collection of boring, old videos. 🙂

For Reading, Jared finished “A Christmas Carol” and is going to start on “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” which I don’t know much about except that it looks like a book he’d be interested in since he likes those Lemony Snickett ones. Hayden finished and loved A Wrinkle in Time – that was one of my favorites as a kid. I had no idea Disney made a movie on it, so we watched it after he finished the book. I could tell there was a lot of green screening used in the movie. 🙂 He’s also started reading The Lemonade War. And as I mentioned in my previous post, Li is doing a lot of reading of children’s books.

I’ve also found a ton of sites to use for FREE for Foreign Language, Music, and just educational games for supplement. These are the links I’ve looked at:

Funbrain

Hoffman Academy

123 Teach Me – Spanish for Kids

Duolingo

Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool (ton of stuff here!)

e-learning for kids

Teach Your Monster to Read

ABCya

MrNussbaum

Khan Academy

Xtramath

Lesson Pathways (lots here, too!)

Scratch

Kindersite

Codeacademy

Code Maven

Typing Web

So now, I’m working on Lesson Plans etc, but I’d prefer to use an online planner just because if I wrote it in an actual planner, I could see myself rewriting and crossing out things, which would be a mess. I looked at a few and settled on Mardel’s online one. It’s ok. But if anyone has other favorites, please let me know.

“Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” – so far so good!

I found some homeschool forum that recommended the book “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” by Siegfried Engelmann for teaching your child to read. I checked the book out at the library and have started using it with Li. It seems pretty easy for a parent to follow. The beginning lessons were repetitious and super easy for Li since she knows her ABCs and letter sounds and some sight words. But even though she knows all that, I’m still doing each lesson with her.

We’re not doing any of the writing lessons that come with each lesson, though. From the reviews I’ve read, some moms have also opted not to do the writing, and their child has done extremely well even when not completing all 100 Lessons. We just started doing Handwriting Without Tears a few days ago, which she loves. No tears so far!

Anyway, based on many of the book’s reviews, the overall recommendation is to not do the Lesson if your child is just not ready nor interested. Makes sense so your child doesn’t start to hate the book everytime you take it out. I’m trying really hard not to push Li to complete a lesson if she’s starting to get bored or would rather do something else. And we also haven’t done it every day just because either I’ve been busy with something or she would rather play something on my Kindle or go on sproutonline!

We started Lesson 1 on 5/18/2014 and have averaged a couple of lessons per day. We’re now up to Lesson 52! Just a little over halfway there, and she has definitely improved. I think the book, though, says something about not doing more than a lesson a day? Or maybe I read that in a review. But we don’t follow that especially since the beginning lessons were way too easy for her. I like how this book actually helps with comprehension, too. The book itself is easy to follow, but I don’t always follow the instructions (ie what the parent should say verbatim) and that’s just because Li will see the words on the page and just start reading them so sometimes, we don’t repeat certain words as instructed. Since the book will be due back to the library soon, I ordered a used copy off of abebooks.com, so she loves that she has her own book. Of course, when I take out the book to do some lessons, she still likes to jump around and say stuff like, “Ooohhh!! Why do I have to read??!!” But once she gets into the lessons in the book, she can go super fast! Sometimes, we’ll do things such as rolling a ball back and forth and saying the words on the page, or she’ll just jump around or use a balance board while reading. Try doing that in a typical classroom! She definitely does not like to sit still for long and read. The horror. :p We’ve supplemented by reading other books as well, and I’m definitely satisfied with her progress. I’m thinking I’ll do a video of her reading when we’re close to finishing the book. I wish I had done a video of her reading level when we started a month ago just to compare.