Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fair 2015

I can't leave the month of September on this blog until I do a post about the fair.  It was a good trip overall.  We didn't make it to see the animals.  Instead, we spent an hour at a truck and tractor pull, which we will never do again.  It will remain a mystery to us what people see in such repetitiveness, but we'll just have to trust that some people really do enjoy them.  The highlight for all of us is always the food, and Kylen went on my favorite ride with me!  And liked it!

Heaven in a bowl.

Here we go!

Those are my feet splayed out!


Thanks for being my riding buddy, Kylen.  :)

Why so serious??

Time to be Greg's riding buddy.

I guess the lady in the back doesn't approve of me taking pictures?  Didn't notice her face until looking at them later.

This truck couldn't handle it, and we couldn't handle another hour.  We left early!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Field Trip for French

Wow, it's been awhile since I last blogged!  We haven't done much this month other than school-related activities, but we did get to try a new restaurant.  And technically, even THAT fit into school!  :)

The owners and cuisine of Fleur de Sel are French, which made for a unique experience.  In fact, I counted our time there as a field trip for French class.  Greg and I did not care for the food - perhaps French food just isn't our style - but Kylen found an appetizer, main dish, and desserts he loved.  Pretty rare!  If anything, it's usually the opposite at "fancy" restaurants: we'll like the food, and he won't!

We ate outside, which was lovely on a warm evening.  Even though part of the view was a parking lot, they did a fine job with ambiance - greenery and lighting in particular .  We noticed some unusual details such as the design of the knives, but our biggest surprise was their reaction to being asked for a dessert menu.  Apparently that is not done until the table is cleared.

As the meal progressed and the diners around us left, we were eventually alone.  It made for a strange sensation.  I think it's because there were still people inside, and our lighting was dim, but it felt like we were isolated . . . and through the windows I could see a warm and lively group of which we were not a part.  It would have been perfect . . . if we were on our honeymoon!

Overall, it was a worthwhile outing, and we may visit again.  Only next time, we'll do things a little differently.  We are teachable, after all, especially on a field trip!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

10th Grade Homeschool

It's time for a post about Kylen's schooling for the upcoming year!  (Here's an evaluation of what he did in 9th, for comparison.)  He has a pretty heavy schedule, because we are preparing him for college.  Click on the subject links below to see what curriculum we're using.  :)

Our first day of school was yesterday, but we ease into it slowly by staggering the harder subjects.  Yesterday, he did math and all the easy ones.  Today we'll be adding English.  Probably add science tomorrow.

Math ~ Algebra II ~ 1 credit
We're FINALLY switching to Teaching Texbooks.  We have high hopes that this will be a happy math year instead of a nightmare like the last three years.

Honors English II ~ Poetry & Literature and Composition ~ 1 credit
We're using the same currick as last year (literature based), but I'm bringing in a poetry unit this time.  We will also be substituting our own essay topics.

Science ~ Biology ~ 1 credit
Most of the homeschool families we know use Apologia, but Kylen has never liked that curriculum or even science for that matter.  Last year, we tried A Beka, and he didn't like that either.  So this year, I decided to try a video based program.  In addition to watching videos, I will be printing out the book that goes with it and having him read this book: Exploring the World of Biology by John Hudson Tiner.  Also, he will be doing live biology labs at co-op.

History ~ World History ~ 1 credit
Identical to last year.  Kylen will read BJU's World History textbook, and I'll be doing read alouds from Sonlight and Notgrass.  I don't text, quiz, or give assignments for this subject.  It's mostly reading, and it's incredible how much stronger his history knowledge is than mine.  Memorizing a bunch of dates and facts got me A's, but it sure didn't get much history into my head.

Social Studies ~ World Geography II ~ 1/2 credit
This isn't a subject I planned for this year, but our co-op is offering it, and it sounds like a fantastic class.  Can't have too much geography, right?  Last year, we focused on location of countries, lakes, rivers, etc., read about flags, and went through an atlas and another book with information on a variety of world topics.  This class will have more culture with map work, games, missions/prayer, and personal projects.  Very different from what we did, so I think it will be worth another year of social studies.  We'll also get current events from WorldTeen again.

French I ~ 1 credit
We're going to try Rosetta Stone.  Last year's curriculum was fine, but Kylen feels he needs a change.  It was workbook based, but Rosetta Stone is on the computer, so it will definitely be different.  I may supplement with watching movies in French, reading Asterix comics, and memorizing French scriptures.

Bible ~ 1 credit
Between church, Bible study week day evenings, and youth group, I could count this as more than a credit.

Art Appreciation ~ 1/2 credit
This is a class I'm teaching at our co-op.  I'm not using a curriculum but am planning it from scratch.  Class time will mostly be devoted to fun educational games and activities that will reinforce the information, and there will be optional homework for those desiring to earn a half credit.  I will probably do posts about it.  Homework will consist of reading through a textbook at home, watching online videos, drawing, and writing assignments.

Violin ~ 1/2 credit
Kylen is switching back to violin, which he's very excited about.  He tried cello over the summer and didn't care for it.  He's taking lessons at Creative Music Learning Center.  To get a half credit, he has a half hour lesson each week and 1 1/2 hours of practice minimum.  It works out to practicing about 1/2 hour four days a week.

PE ~ 1/2 credit?
I'm not sure he'll be able to pull this one off, especially since he won't have basketball at co-op.  Greg wants him to try, so I'm having him be in charge of making it happen.  If it doesn't work out, no big deal.  He'll still have two years to finish up PE credits.

Summer's Last Hurrah

I'm an amusement park enthusiast.  I would much rather spend a week at Disneyland than a week at the beach.  :)  I was crushed when Kylen admitted a year or two ago that he really doesn't care for amusement parks.  Or the fair.  At all.  Part of the fun is enjoying rides with others, especially my own son!  I tried to swallow my disappointment and accept that he's different from me that way.  But then he surprised me when he enjoyed the fair last year.  Which brings us to Tuesday.

It's been our goal to visit Silverwood one day each summer.  I don't think that happened last year . . . or the year before.  We were strolling past the discounted tickets at Costco recently, and I thought, "We should go!"  My boys were willing.  We procrastinated until the last full week they were open (this week!), Greg took off work to avoid the crowds, and we made the 45 minute trip over.  We arrived shortly after they opened and stayed until they closed.  A FULL day.  And Kylen LOVED it!  He said it was the best time he could ever remember there.  Yahoo!!

Some of his dread came from roller coasters.  He was pressured a lot as a child to ride them.  I won't say I wasn't in on it, but I didn't push him as hard as some.  And there were attractions at Disneyland he was scared of that we talked him into.  He thinks all that pressuring turned him off to rides, and I've felt pretty bad about it.  Yesterday, once again he was dreading the roller coasters.  We told him he didn't need to ride them, but he wanted to.  And he wanted to get them over with first.  Well, he rode one, and rode again.  Then he went on another, and another.  He rode one several more times - in a row!  Then, he wanted to see what it was like to ride after dark and stepped off proclaiming it was the best ride experience of his life!  And he's really looking forward to going next year!  Well, how about that?!  We might turn this boy into an amusement park enthusiast after all!

We ended with me going on the SpinCycle for the first time.  My boys didn't want to try it, but Kylen said he might go next year.  It was much less intense than I expected, easier to ride than a roller coaster.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

August Update

Summer is nearly over!  We will be starting school tomorrow.  I got sufficient rest and am ready to plunge into fall!!

August was fairly calm like July, and in between the few regularly scheduled activities of basketball, youth group, and cello for Kylen and Bible study for us, we had several gatherings with loved ones in a variety of settings, including a trip to the KROC for a chat with a friend while our kids exercised, having two of my siblings' families over, going out to dinner with Greg's parents, meeting at a house with several families for dinner/games, entertaining a group of old classmates from our Gonzaga days, having a friend over for an afternoon of conversation while our boys played Risk and chess, and we even managed a trip to the Farmer's Market during their Pie Festival. And we even bought a pie!  We decided our own homemade blackberry pies are much, much better and made perhaps five of them over the span of several weeks - all the berries picked from our one blackberry bush!  Kylen had fun at a summer swim bash.  We also had a great time trying a new pizza place, bowling, and playing basketball with friends.  I spent oodles of hours researching for my art class.  Greg has been connecting with his uncle via phone a couple times a month.  He lives in Europe, and it's been great for them to get reacquainted after all these years.  That's one new activity I don't think will be ending with summer!

And now it's time for me to do a post about the upcoming school year.  I shall begin  without delay!