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Friday, May 14, 2010

HOT and fun day

Today is Astronomy Day! Throughout the centuries humankind has been fascinated by the stars and the planets. We should remember when we gaze into the sky that the one who named and placed each star is there. Psalm 8:3-4 says, “ When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” How true…I’m speechless about his. I’ve never been a “star gazer.” When we look up into the night we see stars…but how many of us think about God? I don’t, but I will from now on. I guess Cheryl’s mind has always thought “because it’s dark when I see the stars, God must be asleep.” (Ok this is coming from the same woman that thought turtles could be moved out of their shells without harming them.

Today was the last day to do anything in JD’s AWANA book until September when AWANAs starts again. Today JD learned three bible verses to remind him to pray for others. The AWANA book wanted us to find a missionary and perform some research about the country he works in, the capital, and any important businesses, and five sentences about what our missionary does. We did our research on Cuba. Our family supports two missionaries so we selected the one from Cuba. The last lesson was reviewing what was already learned early on in the book. So it took some thinking to answer. JD had to tell me four answers about 1. What God says about my home and family 2. Why he should go to church 3. And how to help others. Then he had to give me two verses for each answer. Did you know there are college scholarships for passing off the AWANA books? Yep. So this will benefit JD in the long run and give him options.

We did not do math today. Instead we started an English workbook that one of my friends gave me. We started in unit one with the “study of sentences.” Today JD learned what a sentence fragment is. He quickly picked out complete sentences verses fragments. Then, he learned the four kinds of sentences. They are: declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory. Again, JD quickly identified each type and put correct punctuation on each sentence. The last thing we studied was complete subjects and complete predicates. This one was a little bit tougher but JD did well with it as well. We will continue to do this workbook through the summer.

Today in keyboarding JD did level four, stage ten. He learned the keys “X” and “Z.” I asked him to give me a percentage of time he spent looking at the keys and he said, “Not that much.” (Um, OK.) The lesson messed up on him when he only had three more screens to type so I allowed him to call it quits for today.

We did not do edit/rewrite today. There was much more important stuff going on. I mean after all putting up the pool outranks English lessons. (Smile) There were minimal spiders, no snakes, and tons of centipedes. It’s been five hours of running the hose and the pool might b halfway full. But JD has been having fun playing in it while it fills up.

I called JD in to finish our school day. And he jokingly said, “If it takes me out of this pool, I don’t want to.“ My response was to verbally test him on his spelling words. He missed two out of ten words. So I called him in the house to do it on the computer. He scored a 100%.

Since the health lessons are over and today is National Astronomy Day I decided to start a study on the planets. We researched and learned about: the sun, Mercury, Venus, and finally Earth. Back in December or January I bought Styrofoam balls for such a craft as this. I broke out the balls and cut them in half. I had JD poke a toothpick through the half ball and paint it accordingly. He had a great time doing this. And they look great! We’ll finish this lesson next week and we’ll glue them to a black piece of construction paper and label them accordingly.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Movie day

The devotion was about Winston Churchill waging a war with Germany. Churchill said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.” He also promised nothing less than “to wage war, by sea, by land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalog of human crime.” While we don’t use the same weapons or methods to fight Satan we certainly need to have the same attitude.

We did three more discoveries in JD’s AWANA book today. When JD saw the book he was upset. He wanted to read the bible only. I said, “Well we read the bible in order to get some of the answers.” But he really wanted only the bible. I think because it does not require him to think of an answer to my questions. The discoveries focused on how we should treat one another, reaching out to the community, and being a missionary to people around us. He memorized four new verses. When I say memorize it was enough to repeat it. Not engraved on his heart. But one day maybe he’ll remember them and say to some one the bible says…

We did not do a math review per say. We went straight to goal 4 which was “data.” There were only 7 questions with various types of graphs. They forced JD to find one or more of the following in order to obtain the answer: range, mode, median, and sum. He did well and understood the quiz but I think he went to quickly without looking at all the information and looking twice at what the question was asking. He missed two of the seven questions. I got upset toward the end of the quiz review on the missed questions. I had asked him numerous times to sit up and focus. When I asked him if he understood why he missed the question and I got a head nod. I gave him a second chance to “use his words” but to no avail. Again, I got a head nod. I assured him I was not an 11 year old classmate (Though I feel like one sometimes.) He owed me the respect of a verbal answer. So I was not real happy at the end of math and neither was he.

We crammed two civics lessons into one again. One more set of civics lessons and we’ll be done. Today JD learned the term “entrepreneurship.” He learned what an entrepreneur was and the risks he/she takes starting and running a business. He also learned these vocabulary words: human resources, innovator, and capital. We took the chapter quiz and scored a 100%.

For lunch today we watched one of my favorite movies call “Drop Dead Fred.” (We needed it after my blow up during math.) JD was looking for the movie Brave Heart but stumbled on my movie and asked about it. I said, "Oh let's watch that one. You'll love it." I had forgotten there was mild language and a few adult themes in the movie but he LOVED it too. We watched it during our lunch break and into some school time so I turned it into a lesson. I dictated an movie review for the Email/snail mail and language arts time period. I had him hand write part of the review. I went out to mow 2/3rds of the lawn in the heat of the day while JD was writing his movie review. What I think is cute is at the end I asked him on a scale of 1-10 what rating would you give this movie? He said, “An 11 for being so hilarious!” (I love our together time.)

After he finished writing the movie review JD came outside and tried his best (bless his heart) to get me side tracked on the upcoming science lesson. I mentioned that we had one more lesson for the day and school would be done. This excited him and he said while sitting on his trampoline, “Observing nature is science.” Um no…We did the last of two lessons on “Timelines.” It gave us examples of a first civilizations, world event, a major scientific advancement timelines. These helped us to see the relationship between events to see the correlation.

After we finished school I went back outside (in the heat of the day…when will I get off the face of the sun?) to finish cultivating the dirt that goes under the pool. It’s one of those pools from Wal-Mart. The kind with a blow up side. Well the year before last I did not do a good job (at all) of leveling the dirt so our pool slanted a whole bunch. This year instead of calling in a concrete company to take care of this dilemma, I decide to do it myself. Level the dirt…not pour concrete. So I’ve been working on this for a couple of days now. I finally got all the debris and rocks out and the dirt is level. Oh yes, I had a leveling tool on a 2x4 just to make sure. So tomorrow, I will drag the folded up pool from behind the house and fill it with water. **Pray I spray enough spider killer to get all the “riders” off. ** I’ve seen black widows in our yard and we have many brown recluse here too. Not to mention all the spider webs (tunnels) I have seen around our yard this year. It’s amazing what you see when you’re home all day. I might just be able to get my entomologist (the study of insects) degree right here at my house. (smile)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Take it easy kind of day

Today’s devotion was about Florence Nightingale. She felt early on that her calling was to serve others. So she became a nurse. Each night she would walk the halls of the wounded soldiers with a lamp. She became known as “the lady with a lamp.” That’s exactly what Jesus wants us to do. She devoted her entire life serving and helping others. We are called to help each other and share each other’s problems. So what can you do? Listen and offer encouragement…and we will shine Jesus’ light and love with all we meet.

We did the AWANA book today too. JD passed two more discoveries. The first one focused on encouraging others. Wow! The same as the devotion. The next lesson was about doing good to those people around us. He memorized three bible verses. All dealing with “Doing unto others as the you would want them to do for you.”

We got back into the math review. Today we did Goal 2 which is measurements. He only had 8 questions, and unfortunately he missed 3 of them. I can’t say I would have done any better. The questions that stumped him were metric to customary measurements. Things like: liters to quarts, centimeters to inches, and meters to feet. But we reviewed before and after the quiz so hopefully it will stick now.

The only word in the word bank lesson was “Limerick.” (Today is also Limerick Day!) We had house cleaning to do today for a dinner visit/rapture bible lesson from one of our church families. So we learned what a limerick was and wrote three of them.

We wrote them during our journal time. They are somewhat hard to write with the syllables and rhythm, but JD really got creative. Here are two of my favorites.

There once was a small man named Bob
Who’d soon lose his bug killing job
To kill he would not
He wanted them caught
People quickly turned into a mob

There once was a boy in a zoo
Who always said, “Boo!” to Sue
A penguin was she
Who didn’t like he
So hit him she did, with a shoe

There was no formal music lesson today. JD just practiced songs he already knew. I asked him if he came up with anything new. No. I didn’t press it. He went on-line to look up new songs and got stuck on the song track to Brave Heart.

The history lesson today was not strict either. JD asked if he could watch the history channel while he found the floor to the room he calls “His room.” I’m not sure what he learned because I was knee deep in laundry, carpet cleaning, and dusting.

So today was a take it easy day kind of day. And the best part is I will have nothing to clean tomorrow. Our dinner and bible lesson was great. We don’t entertain often but when we do it’s nice.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Errands day

We had two main errands to run today so school lessons were short or dropped. I had a routine doctor’s appointment for a migraine medicine refill and I had to take Jeff’s truck to get a North Carolina inspection in preparation for the North Carolina vehicle tags renewal. I was so tired of waiting today I just needed to relax a bit after school was over.

We did do the devotion today. It was about the “gift of song.” I showed JD that there are more people in the world that play instruments by ear. One of those people was Irving Berlin. He was most famous for the songs: White Christmas, Puttin’ on the Ritz, God Bless America, and There’s No Business Like Show Business. He never learned to read music and when he wrote more than 1,500 songs he used a musical secretary to transcribe the songs he wrote. (Sounds like me and JD.) God delights in the use of our gifts, talents, and abilities. I can only hope JD figures out his gifts soon to keep bringing pleasure to God and us when he uses them.

We worked in JD’s AWANA book again today. He passed off three more discovery checks. The theme in this discovery series is serving one another. We read three different bible passages about serving one another. JD also learned to encourage other people and memorized three new bible verses. Then, he learned to be patient with others by learning two other bible verses.

We did the social studies lesson next. It was about the Northeastern rivers. Even today we use them as highways for carrying goods to markets around the country and world. The lesson hit on three main rivers and they are: The St Lawrence, the Hudson, and the James rivers. He also received three new states to gather facts on. They are: Louisiana, Maryland, and Massachusetts. He did this while we were in the doctor's office. I wanted to do more with the river lesson like an outline map or the chapter quiz but I was trying to get ready to leave the house for our errands.

During our lunch break JD asked about relaxing on the math review and quizzes. I had been thinking about that anyway so I made it look like he had a great idea and agreed to scrap the math review for today.

We killed two birds with one stone today. I had JD write a “Five Senses” poem during the email/snail mail and language arts time periods. I guess I initially thought JD would not like writing poems but he’s pretty good at it. Today he wrote about the color green. Green is a happy color. Green tastes like cold apple juice. Green sounds like trees waving in the wind. Green smells like fresh cut grass. Green looks like flower leaves. Green makes me neither sad or happy, just normal. After I dictated it I offered the choice to write it or type it. He chose to type it. It was done in no time at all. (Yes!)

We also did not do science today.

After school was done I relaxed a bit. Then after dinner I went out and worked on leveling out a spot in the yard for a pool. I had it up two years ago and didn’t put it up last year. But since I’ll be at home all summer long I thought putting it up this year would be a good idea. Though it is al lot of work to keep it clean. Our summer plans are still being formulated but it looks like a summer long pool pass and a summer long bowling pass on base.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another good day

I notice sometimes when I look at the blog a day later that I have errors in it. Sorry about that. I type it, spell check it, copy, and paste. I sometimes forget to check it for accuracy. That and I type it at night when I'm tired.

I loved the devotion today. It’s called “National Clean up Your Room Day!” (When I mentioned this during dinner the two male specimens in this house out voted me.) God also likes order in the world. Look around at everything he created. Paul, from the bible, spoke about worship and God’s desire that in be done a certain orderly way in 1 Corinthians 14:33. Where there is order there is God’s peace. But when there is disorder and chaos, God cannot work.

We did some more work in JD’s AWANA book today. We got through another 3 discoveries. Last week it gave reasons why people need to go to church. Today and for the next couple of days it will explore the ways we can help other people. So today we learned we can love others as God does us and we can put others needs before ours.

Today we reviewed everything we knew about Geometry. It wasn’t all that long ago that we did those lessons but the whiteboard in my head was nearly wiped clean. The questions that gave JD the most difficulty were the shapes names. But our of 13 questions he only got two wrong. That’s an 86%. And I didn’t even assist him. Looking good for the assessment. Two more goals to review and then I’ll give him that practice EOG again to see if he can improve that 70%.

We combined keyboarding with journal again today. We went to Wacky Web Stories and created another funny story about a pet show. In the story JD had a pet mouse named John who balanced an apple on his nose. JD asked if I was going to make him write it in cursive. I said, “No, today you can retype it. It didn’t take nearly as long to retype as it did to print it or write it in cursive. It was ten sentences long. He typed most of it and asked for a break. When it was time for lunch he begged me to wait for him to finish typing it. (What? Those aliens sneak in and out so quickly.)

The online art lesson kept messing up today so he got about ¾ of the way through “learning to draw” before it quit. So I told him art was over.

JD has 10 new compound words to study for the week. Who am I kidding? I type them up and ask him to hang it in the bathroom to be looked at, at least twice a day when he brushes his teeth. But he does most of his studying is on Friday right before the test. I counted the words given to him since January and he’s up to 189 words learned thus far.

I’m up pretty late typing this but tonight I found my childhood friends on Facebook. Actually I found their mom’s Facebook page and looked at her friends to find them. I chatted with one of my friends for almost one hour. It was nice to play catch up but it makes me miss her so much. The three of us girls were like sisters when we were growing up. When one of our families moved to a different state so did the other.

Lyndell has loaned me a Christian book series that I am simply addicted to. In the series the grandmother always talks about her life long friends. I don’t have that luxury. In the Air Force we moved around so much that making best friends was hard to do. But connecting with my two life long childhood friends brought a smile to my face.