Rhys awaits his turn to point out the New England colonies.
Well, some stuff stuck I am glad to say! We are reviewing Cycle 3 of Classical Conversations and Henry remembered the history sentence about the Mayflower Compact and the cute little boat hand sign his tutor, Mrs. Lori taught them. I LOVE the boat hand sign, I cannot express how much I love that silly boat. I used to make him do this over and over just to see his little fingers do the boat. This may be why he remembers it…hmm…
Our little orchestra has been practicing and here are the fruits of our labors:
Today was week 23 of the program and there was a sense of urgency in the air, to spend time with those you will miss, to talk to those you haven’t seen much, to find the elusive tissue in your purse and avoid the dreaded pollen that was killing half the group. We had a great time. I can’t believe next week is our final week – then on to Cycle TWO!
Today was CC day and I thought I’d tape the boys’ presentations. I particularly wanted to tape Rhys’ since he was reciting poems, so I thought I shouldn’t exclude Henry.
First up, Rhys reciting three poems: ”The Caterpillar” by Christina G. Rosetti, “Hearts Are Like Doors” by Anonymous, and “Work” by Anonymous.
I think he was a little nervous at first because he knows “The Caterpillar” the best and he messed it up a bit. But once he got over his nerves he did fine. I am so proud of my Rhysie! There’s no way I could have stood up in front of a group and recited poems when I was four – and these are poems he’s learned by hanging around the table while Henry does his school work, they are from Henry’s book, First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise (a great book, by the way).
Now for Henry. We finished up Little House on the Prairie last night so I coaxed him into taking it in today as his presentation. He was going to take “The Odyssey” in but since we haven’t read it yet he didn’t have anything to say about it. The Little House book just made a lot more sense. We’ve found a lot of other CC’ers reading the series, so we’re either spoiling it for them or we’re getting spoilers ourselves. It’s kind of funny. ”CLOSE YOUR EARS!” Gosh, I hope no one tells them Mary goes blind, that’s a biggie.
This is one thing I really love about the CC program. Notice how the presentations evolve and mature between Rhys’ class and Henry’s class. Both classes use the same method (child stands at the front, introduces himself – mother doesn’t get the camera on quickly enough…) and then addresses the class with their presentation. When it’s complete, they know to ask if there are any questions. They call on the question askers and answer the best they can. Usually there isn’t any chaos. Usually
This type of presentation (in Rhys’ room it’s more like show-and-tell most weeks) starts them on the road to public speaking, giving them the ability to speak clearly and confidently in front of a group of peers and adults starting at four years of age. By the time they’re ten, they’re poised, confident and old pros at public speaking. I’m 36, never had this kind of opportunity and I want to stammer and stare at my feet when I have to speak to a group. Where was this when I was growing up?!
Oh and fever and auge is malaria. Sorry we never clarified that, but you probably guessed it.
Part of our fine arts curriculum this cycle of Classical Conversations is learning the “Orchestra Song.” I first saw it performed way back in…gosh, when would that have been? 2011, I guess, at the Durham, NC Classical Conversations group when we visited one day. The group is divided up into “instruments” and they each “play” a part with their voices. Rhys’ class is the violin and Henry’s class is the trumpet. There are also drums, clarinets, and the horns. I think that’s it, I hope I’m not missing anyone!
Today was the first time we put our vocal orchestra together and we sounded pretty good if I say so myself! The video will show everyone singing after a brief glimpse at my jeans, shoes and purse.
Sorry, no Ricky Martin. Actually, you’re welcome.
We’ve been working pretty hard on Classical Conversations the last two weeks even though we’ve been struck down by the plague for the last 10 school days. So far this week we’ve gotten all of Henry’s core subjects done and spent a generous amount of time on CC. I found a great little motivational sticker chart on Half-a-Hundred Acre Woods to use for Memory Master Proofing. I just realized she also has a sticker chart simply for memory work, this may have worked better in truth. But the former is already decorated and printed, so we’ll use it for now. Next cycle I’d like Henry to proof for at least me, if not me and his tutor and possibly our director. He’s getting to the age that he can be a memory master, if not next year then definitely the next. I’m putting it on next year’s goals as a “hopeful” goal and 3rd grade year as an expected goal.
Here’s the charts I made for their memory work. I attached a piece of construction paper to the front and they decorated it with crayons and stickers as they saw fit. Whatever inspired them!
So they’ve started allowing me to record them working on their memory work when the mood strikes. They are temperamental artists. Yesterday they granted me the privilege of recording their latin recitation. They’re doing singular and plural declensions (noun endings). Rhys has the plural endings down-pat, Henry has the singular. Now we’ve just got to meld the minds somehow so both have each other’s knowledge. You know how brothers hate to share.
Today is a sick day so I got a few minutes to myself to blog. This should automatically clue you in that it’s not a stomach virus.
I hadn’t felt well Monday, my stomach hurt like my (non-existent) belt was on too tight and I didn’t eat much. Yes, this in and of itself is astounding. This morning I woke up to Rhys beside me in bed and then I looked down and Henry was curled up at my feet like a cat. He said he’d been there half the night and felt awful but didn’t want to interrupt my sleep because “he was brave” and could handle this himself. Aww. I felt his head and he was burning up, said his stomach still hurt but he didn’t feel like he was going to get sick.
So he’s laying on the couch with his pillow and I’m trying to do 14 things at once.
And this blog entry was one of them. It’s now 6 pm, I started at 9 am and I typed three paragraphs of nothing.
I’m having homeschool malaise. I have so many ambitions but we always end up doing our schoolwork aaaaand….that’s it. We’ve been slowly working on this awesome CC lapbook that I will be reviewing sometime soon. I feel like an Egyptian slave driver “CUT FASTER! GLUE FASTER! NO, NO EXTRA BRADS, DO IT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, ISRAELITE!” because we need to get it finished but it’s my fault we’re behind because I don’t make them work on it every day.
Several friends at CC recommended a website called edHelper.com and it’s come in handy the small bit I’ve used it. So far I’ve made several hidden word searches with Henry’s spelling words and printed out a book for him to read and color (waste – he did not color it. What a surprise). I tried to print out some stuff for Rhys but the printer sort of flaked out and it was indecipherable. I think I need a new ink cartridge. Time to cash in that 5-year CD.
Ah! We finished Farmer Boy and we’re on to Little House on the Prairie tonight. Averaging a chapter a night, I think it will take until October to finish the series unless they get bored and want to mix things up – or I do!
Two Henry funnies and then I am off to lay down because I think he’s given me his funk:
Yesterday he told me that robins enjoy being in the rain because they get moisturized. I knew he was paying attention to shopNBC the other night when I was watching a segment on eye creams! I knew it!
Last night as we were reading in Mark, we came across the story of the man whose son was possessed by a demon that would throw him into fire and water and do all sorts of horrid things – Jesus said if you have faith he will be healed and the man said “I have faith. Help me with my faith!” (I wonder how many people notice this as they read the story?). At any rate, Henry asks again,
“Can I be possessed by a demon?”
“Why? Because only the Holy Spirit is partying up in here?” Points to self.
“Yes and haa!”
Welp, the elderberry syrup was sort of a disaster. I am so disappointed. I’m going to try again, but I’ll show you what happened anyway. First, let me explain the title.
I think there may be a pox on my house when it comes to natural remedies. There’s this elderberry flop, the Classical Conversations Information Night Hindenburg Situation and then the more recent Christmas Eve Master Tonic Bomb.
Out of self-respect I never wrote about the Classical Conversations Information Night Hindenburg Situation but I may as well come clean as it falls into the “natural remedy fail” category. Back in August, on one of those days that it was about four thousand degrees, we had a meeting for potential families who were interested in joining our particular CC group. I was to be a greeter along with my friend Anna. We just had to stand out in the vestibule of the church and direct people to the room where the meeting was to take place. Easy, right? It should have been a breeze but there should NOT have been a self-created breeze coming from the back of my tent dress. But there was.
I’d decided earlier in the day that I was done with kombucha. It was a pain, I was sick of dealing with making huge quantities of tea and I decided I’d just buy BioKult from Amazon and take that as my probiotic instead. I’d consumed all the tea-like kombucha in the jars and all that remained was the starter and the SCOBY. I used the scobies to fertilize my plants around the mailbox but I couldn’t let that starter go to waste. My tolerance for sour had gone waaaaaaay up – I could drink apple cider vinegar straight – so I decided to pour all the left over starter into a cup and drink it. I’d say it was eh…close to 10 ounces, maybe 15. It was a good bit. Oh it was sour and SO strong. It was almost too strong for me, keeping in mind I could drink vinegar straight. It never occurred to me that it might inadvertently start a cleanse in my colon.
I drank it about 2 pm. The meeting was at 6, I believe. Around 4 pm I noticed that my stomach had blown up like a basketball and I looked pregnant. It hurt. I could feel air moving around, I could HEAR air moving around inside. Dave got home and I had to take a shower and get ready. That’s when the air started coming out. Oh my goodness. I almost drove myself out of the shower. Eye-watering, gag-inducing, “who pelted my bathroom wall with a dozen rotten eggs?” air was escaping from my body! WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO?! I HAD TO GREET PEOPLE!
“Hello, can I kill you with my gas? Wouldn’t you like to join our group? You might end up in my class!”
I was so bloated none of my pants would fit, not even my go-to fat jeans that always fit. My J Crew capri pants I can always count on cut me in half like a blob of play dough and my gut stuck above and below the waistband like a cartoonish park ranger. I only had one item in my closet that might work and I shuddered at the thought of actually wearing it in public as an actual garment.
My black swim cover-up.
It could pass as a maxi-dress but it was a $12 swim cover from Target. There’s no denying, it was not a dress, not meant to be worn without a bathing suit underneath. But it was the only thing that would conceal my gut, allow the gas inside to bubble and roil and make me entirely miserable. So I put it on and threw on a short-sleeved crocheted jacket and went on my way.
No one seemed to notice. The dress anyway. I had to run outside a few times and hide in the bushes and pretend to “look” for something, sighing in relief and shaking out my swim cover/dress, hoping it didn’t carry my dirty secret with me. Then we had to sit still in chairs for an hour in a very small, packed room.
Buns of steel. That’s all I’m saying. Nothing embarrassing happened, thank the LORD!!
Then I went home and let it rip. And I will never, ever drink kombucha starter ever again. Ever. Unless I am going to be trapped in a small room with an enemy.
End of Part I
Not as funny as Part One.
“Mama! Are we going to Luke’s house?”
“Not that I know of, why?”
“Because Rhys said we are; he’s just pulling my pants off!”
I am southern and while I am no southern belle, I like doing things southern-ish (much to Dave’s befuddlement) which include:
Wearing a gauzy scarf with sweatpants and a sweatshirt to dinner last night. I thought it added just the right touch of “lady” to an otherwise Walmart look.
Traipsing around the house at 7:30 this morning in perfume and wearing an apron. I love aprons. My friend Ede makes the most gorgeous aprons and I want her to teach me how, or at least point me in the direction of a good pattern for a fitted apron. She has some – dare I say sexy – aprons in her collection. They are sort of 50′s style aprons, fitted at the waist and just beautiful with ruffles. Unfortunately I’ll have to buy out half of JoAnns to get enough material to make one for ME, but the end result would be very cool indeed.
Really wanting a china cabinet to display our good china, even though we never eat on it, at the expense of using the space for things that might have an actual use sitting in the china cabinet. Like school books (NO!!!)
He’s confused by this new wearing of perfume and scarves. I LOVE the scarf trend. It’s like a dream come true. They’re luxurious, and soft and lady-like and make me feel pretty even though there might be an unbrushed, un-makeuped, head sticking out above. You throw on a scarf, you feel like a queen. I’ve been buying my scarves from Target because they’re inexpensive and pretty but my mom went all out (read: Target was sold out and she gets the senior discount at Belk) and got me two beautiful scarves at Belk for Christmas. One is so nice I don’t even have anything good enough to wear with it. Hah. I guess I can find something but it’s really nice and I feel like I’m not giving that scarf it’s due.
Here’s an awful picture of me and Rhys and one of my scarves. I think it’s the ONLY scarf picture I own:
Red eye and all. We had gone to a Mexican restaurant that had been one of the best in Raleigh but it turned out to be an absolute nightmare. I think we waited an hour for our food, then they only brought part of our order, no silverware, there were some other issues I can’t remember now but waiting an HOUR on food? With kids? Night. Mare. Waiting an hour on food with ME?? Just as bad.
I am almost off the Neurontin which sucks my ability to think and type, hence the long hiatus in blogging. The shingle spot is still there but almost healed. There are days I still have residual PHN (post-herpatic neuralgia) pain from the shingles that goes down my leg and partially up my back and over my hip to my hipbone. If you’ve never had it, it’s a hard pain to explain. The pain in my leg feels like it goes all the way to the bone but the hip/butt pain feels very superficial, like a cobweb of fire is laying on my skin. It’s uncomfortable, to say the least. And the hip was sore, like a bruise. That really surprised me.
Well that was a whole lot of boring. Maybe this will liven it up, it’s Sarah riding the heck out of her zebra. This child is ROUGH! You can tell she is growing up around boys.