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Friday, August 27, 2010

Our beach vacation

We got to a somewhat cloudy Ft Fisher at around 11 am on Friday. It was too early to check in so we headed for the beach. We let JD swim and play in the Atlantic Ocean for about two hours while Jeff and I teeter tottered with the waves and picked up sharks teeth. Then, we decided it was time for lunch. We ate lunch in a cozy family restaurant that was close to the peer. After lunch we took a walk on the peer. JD was a bit afraid that the boards would give way or something. We had fun watching the pelicans and jellyfish. After our walk we checked into our dorm room. Yep, back to the dorms. Nine years of my life were spent living in the dorms. It wasn’t until I married Jeff and transferred to Oklahoma that I finally broke free of my dormitory cell. (Thanks babe!) After we dropped off our suit cases and changed JD we all headed to the historic Fort Fisher site. There they fought a portion of the civil war. It was HOT out there with no sea breeze. We left there and all changed into our swim suits. We all went back to the beach. There I faced my fears and went body surfing with Jeff. For anyone that knows me, they know I don’t swim in water I can’t see my feet in. I guess I don’t trust the fact that sharks will attack someone else. (Too many JAWS movies when I was a child.) The waves were vicious. They tossed us this way and that way, flipped us over, and turned us backwards. It was so much fun and JD loved surfing the smaller beach waves. (We all have road rash to prove it.) There were hardly any good shells on the shore. (Bummer.) Since we had a late lunch we also ate a late dinner. We showered and headed out for dinner at a nearby beach. After we ate our Italian food we walked around the soft and silky Carolina beach. Since we didn’t swim we then went window shopping. We walked into lots of different stores. I wanted coffee, Jeff wanted candy, and JD wanted toys. After that we headed back toward our room. I wanted to walk the beach at night so JD came with me. It was way too dark to see anything so we walked back to our dorm.

I woke up at 0700 Saturday morning in the hopes I would get out of my room early enough for shell hunting. We all ate our cereal, drank our coffee, and headed out to face the bright sun at about 0800. The waves we still pretty big and they just toyed with us. I got back out and body surfed. I did a lot of yelling at the sea weed that kept touching my legs. One wave literally picked me up and slammed me down on the water and forcefully swept me onto the beach. (Good thing I’m a strong and confident swimmer.) Jonathan built a beautiful “Utopia” sand castle (pictured above.) It was beautiful. We ate lunch back at the family restaurant by the peer. We left there and went to the Aquarium. It’s not real big but it was jammed full of every kind of Atlantic animal. We watched the scuba diver “play” with the sharks. (Um, not me thanks.) Then, we left there and played some more at the beach. We showered and headed out for a somewhat light dinner at Chic Fillet. We wanted to save room for ice cream and funnel cake. Then, we walked on the fine sand of the Carolina beach. It was getting kind of dark so we strolled through an amusement park area. There JD and I paid $5.00 each to be put in a huge clear plastic ball that floated in a pool. The object for the next 15 minutes was to try to walk or run inside of the ball. We looked like human hamsters. I was able to travel pretty good and I learned to fall very well, but it started to get really hot inside and I felt like I was getting claustrophobic. I asked the guy to leave JD in and take me out first. UI learned later that JD was feeling the same as me. It was nice to breath fresh air, but it was fun! We called it a night and headed back to the dorms.

It had been a tough two days thus far so Sunday I woke up at 0730. We all ate cereal and headed back out to the beach. We played until around 1030 because check out was 11am. After we showered we ate at a Hamburger Shack. We left there and drove to a nearby petting zoo. There was 10 acres of cramped living for many animals. JD and I had fun feeding certain animals their peanuts and corn. After sometime in the gift store we left to come home again. That’s when I taught JD the lessons I made for the trip.

All in all…it was blast and we hated to leave. Jeff enjoyed the beach too even though he’s not a beach guy. He even mentioned taking me there in the winter. (Get ready for JD Grammy.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hard to concentrate

Today we were very slow on starting our ½ day. We were pretty lazy until the afternoon. I had a haircut appointment at lunch and then we got started. (I had my hairdresser cut a pixie cut. It’s cute, but all my hair on the sides and back are pretty nonexistent.)
The first thing we did today was our devotion. Then we did a lengthy Science review. It had lots of words and few pictures so it was very easy for JD to get distracted. He’s been talkative all week. I have to stop my review and wait for him to recognize he’s talking out of turn or talking excessively. He finally “gets it” and we press on. One of our class pets (Tater) participates in the disruption many times. I may have to put her outside some more. The last thing he did was read for thirty minutes. He went long again today (on his own.)
Football practice went well from what I can see. I look at all the boys (and one girl) and think “Oh my goodness JD is the second smallest child on the field. I sure hope the older and bigger ones take care of him.” The comradery on that team is great. They help each other up when they get knocked down, and I even see the bigger guys telling JD how good he did. This football thing is really a blessing.
We did lose one boy tonight. I thought that child might get snapped in half like a twig when he got hit. Well I guess he got hit too hard tonight so he called it quits. JD also got a slobber knocker tonight. I tried not to say too much. Luckily, more boys were getting hurt and hanging off to the side so it wouldn’t look like I was just talking to JD. I said, “Ya’ll are going to get hit. That’s football. Shake it off and get back in the game. That shows leadership and initiative.” JD got back in the game. (Yeah)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lazy school days

It's tough to go from summer to school again. I loved those lasy summer days.

It's been a slow week, but its also been an easy and fun week thus far. Today we did our normal devotion and then slowly transitioned into a short Social Studies review. We have a lot of ground to cover in Social Studies this year. I know I stated earlier this week that I would not introduce new information this week, but we started working on a globe of sorts. We tried to start a globe on a balloon but switched to a ball I purchased years ago for the 40 Days of Purpose Driven Life study at our church. I had painted this huge blue ball to look like Earth. It worked perfect for us today. Today we transformed it into a globe with four different colors of yarn glued to it. They represented the equator, the prime meridian, longitude lines, latitude lines, and the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. To reinforce this longitude/latitude lesson we played a version of a game called “Battleship” using two world atlas’ with longitude and latitude lines on them. This represented our “grid.” We called out like this, “Approximately 41*N longitude and approximately 38*E latitude.” He was the first to attack my army. The last task of the day was to read for 30 minutes.

I have been busy planning our 3-day “Ocean enrichment field trip.” Okay, the truth is it’s a much needed and desired beach vacation. But I will still count Friday as a day of school. I have typed up and copied and pasted information and questions for the ride to the beach. (Hey! I take my job very seriously.) It’s not like I’m going to ask him for a 5 page essay on his trip to the beach.

When Jeff saw me typing up the field trip questions and information he said, “I thought this was a vacation.” I told him it was and this would fill the drive time to the beach. Then I said, “Don’t worry I’ll be the primary teacher on Friday. But you’ll have to be the substitute teacher on Saturday, because I have an appointment on the sand shores with the sun.”

I have math (area and perimeter), science (ecosystems, climate, tides, and breezes), social studies (regions of NC, continents and oceans review, depth of oceans), and History (Fort Fisher battle field and pirate history) covered.

I was looking at the website for the aquarium and they said, “Registered NC home schools are offered free general admission for a self-guided tour ONCE A YEAR. This includes children in a home school family and two adults only.” (Cool!)

So you won’t see blog for Friday’s school day until at least Monday….’cuz we’ll be on vacation!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day two of 6th grade

We had another easy review day. We’re just trying to ease back into the school mode. The first thing JD learned about today was an “alarm clock.” He learned it will keep BLARING until he shuts it off. I’ve always been there to wake him up to get ready for school or church. We’ll I love my husband and plan to remain living with him while JD goes off to college. I won’t be there while JDS is at college so I’m trying to school him in self accountability. So when that alarm clock is across the room he has to get UP to shut it off I have been successful. The second thing he learned about was his “tasks” chart. Unlike a chore chart where he would earn an allowance, he now knows he’s has to be a productive self sufficient member of our home. AND it’s a lot less time for me reminding him of morning tasks, school tasks, dinner tasks, and finally bedtime tasks. He knows he is to do nothing like play or TV until those tasks are completed and checked off by me. The key to this chart is Colossians 3:23-24. “as if working for the Lord.” I’m striving for a polite response and a positive attitude. Today was a big success in this lesson.

I love football coach terms. When the coach says “On the hop” that means “hustle up” and I have become accustomed to using it freely. “Up/downs” is a cruel exercise where they drop flat to the ground like a push up and they get back up again only to repeat it again and again. That’s all I have to do now is threaten JD with up/downs and amazingly things get done and the icing on the cake is it gets done “on the hop” and with a positive attitude! (Smile)

We did the morning devotion and asked God into our day. Then I had him read for 30 minutes. He read for over an hour! Apparently “Robin Hood” is an interesting book.

The last thing we did was review Language Arts. I explained what we would be learning this year. Since he’s good with “comprehension” I will focus most of our lessons on writing. I was able to incorporate the necessity of this skill when I told him “Officers in the Army write all the time.” I went on to explain the different types of writings like: disciplinary (Ex: Why were you late?) or mission related papers that say, “First we’ll do this and then we’ll do that.” JD’s brain started churning and I think he started rethinking this whole being an officer in the Army dream and then asked, “If I was a Private in the army would I have to do paperwork?” I said, “The only paperwork you’ll do as a Private is writing you very long explanation of why you were late that morning.” (Smile)

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Monday, August 23, 2010

I have a "Middle Schooler" now!

Faith Christian Academy is back in session. This week we will only be reviewing what we learned from the last academic year. I will not introduce any new information or have him do any sort of “work.”

Today we reviewed math only. It was approximately 2 ½ hours of review broken down into three sections. (There’s a lot of information that I have forgotten how to do or explain.) I looked at both the North Carolina Education webpage and Time4Learning.com and they both say we will be doing most of the same math lessons again this year. Every year it’s about the same the curriculum just expands on the lessons and add new terms. (Like I need to memorize any more terms.)

JD did really well during the review time and even corrected me on some things. He was ever so polite by asking, “Did you mean…?” He was extremely talkative during the review but most importantly he remembered many pictures, phrases, acronyms, or hand gestures for formulas, shortcuts, or memory aides. (Yeah)

We also did our daily devotion and I had him read for 30 minutes. Overall I think the first day of school went well and he enjoyed it.

JD is signed up for contact football this year. This is his first year EVER playing football, but after watching him during the practices I have no doubt in my mind he will do well if he sticks with it. The first game for the Spring Lake Tar Heels is 18 Sept. His position is a right guard linebacker. He is a completely different child on the football field. He's focused, patient, kind, and shows good sportsmanship. He's even making friends. I praise him constantly about all of his newly formed character traits and tell him we may have found his nitch in life. (I may be talking too soon. I'll wait to see how he reacts to his first slobber-knocker! His sport of choice might quickly change to boxing!)