Monday, July 27, 2015

The Price of Growing Old

I am sure many of my readers are going through some of the same trails as me, if not now they will in the future. Aging parents. My father will turn 80 in March and my mom is will be 74 in January. My father was very sick when I was 17 and fought his way back after a limb amputation and multiple organ shutdowns. Fast forward 25-30 years and he was pretty much healthy until about 7 years ago. He has had multiple TIA episodes, a mini stroke, more vascular surgery, and a week ago a full on stroke. Not a massive stroke, but a stroke none the less. I should also mention that when he was a child he suffered from polio which semi paralyzed one of his arms. I mention this because with an arm that doesn't work properly and a prosthetic leg he is at a severe disadvantage while trying to recover from the stroke.

My main purpose for the post and quite frankly my main gripe is the fact the when you get old there really isn't a lot of help out there for you unless you are wealthy or are willing to give up everything you do own to be placed in a nursing home. My father was in the hospital for two days and was released into my mother's care on the third day. Yes, you heard that right. Have a stroke then go home three days later and expect the elderly wife to pick him up and move him everywhere because he can't do it. To be eligible to go to rehab for 4-6 weeks a patient must be in the hospital for three days are more. I think the hospital is very good at discharging your right under the wire to not be able to receive that benefit. Also all the doctors are worried about is getting you out of the hospital then it is up to you for everything else. Every phone call ends in frustration. Literally no one wants to help find a solution.

In the process of trying to move my father both myself and my mother have now hurt our backs and cannot lift him any longer. We call his internist and his answer is bring him to the office to be checked on Wednesday. Ummm... okay. How do we transfer him to the car and then get him into the office, because no one at the office will help get him out of the car for my mom. At this point my husband is taking off work to help get him to the doctor's appointment. Well, that solves this one appointment and one problem. We still have weeks and weeks to go of therapy that in the long run really doesn't help all that much. Intensive therapy is needed to get his strength back in his upper body and one remaining leg to be somewhat mobile again and home therapy two days a week for one hour is just not going to cut it.

Seriously, if you are not independently wealthy and you get old with no children to help you, you are simply doomed. Sad, sad state of affairs with the care of our senior citizens. Okay - rant over - thank you for listening.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Compass Classroom Back To School Sale

Photo Credit to Compass Classroom

I receive absolutely nothing from this. I just wanted to let everyone know that my favorite curriculum company is starting a back to school sale in August. Not only do they have a great sale coming up but they also just launched a new website that looks fabulous.
One of my very favorite products from them will be 50 percent off - Dave Raymond's American History. What is also so cool is this was the first time they mentioned in the email to they are in the filming process of the next installment Modern History. Yay!!!! So looking forward to using this in Grace's Senior year of High School.
They also have many other products that will be on sale as well. Please go check out their new website and research some materials that you might want to purchase in early August.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Something I Never Thought I Would Admit to Liking

We are not a boxed curriculum, textbook kind of educating family. I think the best way to describe what we have done has been related mostly to Charlotte Mason and Literature Based Homeschooling. My tutoring students do have a little more textbook type stuff than I did early on with Grace. I always thought the worst about companies like Abeka, Bob Jones, Christian Liberty, etc., because they had mostly boxed sets and textbooks. As the years have rolled by I have found myself using curriculum from some of the above mentioned companies. Last year we used Consumer Math from Bob Jones to help round out Grace's 10th grade math credit. Last year was also the first time I had ever tried Abeka readers. Here is where the love comes in.

The girls did very well with the Abeka readers and enjoyed some more than others this past year. I decided why fix something that isn't broke. So I was able to acquire, very cheaply I might add, used 5th and 6th grade readers. Another first but in the same realm of materials is the Speed & Comprehension Readers. The picture above is the 6th grade set. The student reads the assigned section and is timed. After completed the student is given a short one page comprehension quiz to complete. I plan on have the students do this once a week.

I was also blessed to receive a smaller set of 5th grade readers and Read & Comprehension Skill Sheets that are virtually the same as the 6th grade timed set. Three of my students will be using the 6th grade set and 1 the 5th grade set.

So in a nutshell, I shouldn't judge a book by it's company. Even though I had a preconceived idea in my head that all things Abeka equaled not using in my head - I did find something that really works for us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Getting Ready for the New School Year

Just now starting to plan out some school things. Top on the list today was rearranging the upstairs school room to accommodate one more tutoring student. It is a small room, but I was able to get four desks in the room plus mine. Everyone has their own space. Luckily the private school that houses my Cooperative is trying to sell some items they are no longer using. I was very happy to purchase a 10 dollar wooden desk. Also purchased, but not home yet, are three older computers. One for Grace, and two for the school room. Twenty dollars each for the keyboard, tower, and flat screen monitor. This will come in so handy for online review products and the Teaching Textbooks CDs.

I am also slowly starting on lesson plans for my two theatre classes at the Cooperative, and wrapping my head around the curriculum for my tutoring students. This year's curriculum is mostly items I used in the past with Grace, but still excited to use them again. Planning for Grace will be a breeze. Economics, Easy Grammar, Maries Words (Vocabulary), and some American History reading material to round out her credit for 10th grade. Looking forward to a stupendous year all the way around.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Evolution of a Drama Geek

Drama is now in our blood and has been since Grace turned 9 years old. Each year since then we have participated with 1-2 productions per year. Unfortunately for this post I couldn't find a photo for her first two productions, The Secret Garden and Willy Wonka. Of course there was also short little skits here and there as well as her almost three year run with a traveling drama ministry group, Acts of Faith. The above picture was her first starring role as medium Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Grace is the one in the middle.

Next was Robin Hood and she played the silly daughter of Sherriff Nottingham. This was fun. She Grace got to dress up in very silly attire and basically make a fool of herself on stage.

The following year we did a drama camp and she got to play Bagheera in the Jungle Book.

The following year we performed one of our favorite plays to do, Aladdin. Of course each and every production seems to be a favorite as it is so hard to pick just one. She was cast as the Genie and had an absolute ball with this character.

Last summer I got to join in the fun and together we were wives of the King in the King and I.

Last but certainly not list was Grace's crowning in glory being cast Peter Pan. She had so much fun with this character and making it her own.
Fall semester will find us performing short comedic Biblical skits to perform during the Christmas recital. Then the spring will be our next big musical. We are considering two very different fun musicals and this year we will let the Cooperative vote on which it will be. I write all of this because every family has some sort of passion that they share and enjoy. Ours just happens to be theatre. Performing comes so naturally to Grace and I love all the backstage stuff. We will continue to perform and watch performances together and share something memorable every single time with every single performance.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up - Gearing Up for the School Year

It has been a good little while since I have participated with the Weekly Wrap Up, mainly because with a high school student in the mix there really isn't much to discuss. Everything is the same every week/month. Same subjects each and every day. Until my tutor students return not much going on in the school house, but lots of planning and preparing is going on. For me not only do I have a daughter going into the 11th grade, I also have 3-4 tutoring students to prepare lessons and curriculum, 87 Cooperative students, and volleyball practices. There are little details being handled on a daily basis.

Volleyball - Practices began this week for Grace and she is absolutely loving it. She loves the game, her teammates, and her coaches. This is all new for her as she has never played a team sport before. Four day week practices will continue until October with games beginning at the end of August.

Jazzercise - For the past 6 - 12 months we have exercised at home together (walking, treadmill, yoga, and YouTube exercise videos). When my beloved Zumba instructor became ill and then moved away - Zumba just wasn't the same for me anymore. When Grace started volleyball that took my workout partner away and forced me to make some decisions. I tried a Jazzercise class to see what their new branding was all about (I was a Jazzercise member for two years before Zumba) on Monday. I liked it and even saw some of my former Zumba classmates there. This week I went Monday - Thursday after dropping Grace off at her 2 1/2 hour practices. It works beautifully for now. When November hits and she is finished we will reevaluate.

Tutoring Students - I met with a new family this week that is interested in joining my other three tutoring students. I am praying about it. At the same time I continue to plan for the new year for my other three tutoring students.

Cooperative - This one is a full time job and summer is the same. We continue to register a new family here and there. Current total is 87 kids. I am working on class lists, student schedule cards, creating my lessons plans for Theatre 101 and High School Drama, research for new sound equipment, planning the Meet and Greet scheduled for the first week of August, and so on.

High School Homeschool - This is mostly a facilitator position. I need to make sure Grace has everything she needs to be successful in some of her first classes outside of the home (Geometry and Chemistry). She has always taken classes outside of the home, but with Geometry and Chemistry it will be a little harder and much more time management as science and math are definitely her weaknesses. The only class I really have to set up is Economics and then Government in January.

Human Taxi Cab Driver - This has been a very busy summer with bi-weekly doctor appointments, back and forth to friends homes, spend the night gatherings, summer events, birthday parties, swimming at the lake, etc. So not just work this summer, but also lots of fun.

As you can see no real rest for the weary. It is one month exactly before it all begins again in earnest. Looking forward to seeing all the kids again.

This is a picture we took a couple of springs ago on the property of a close friend that let us use their barn for the Cooperative's Spring Formal.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Curriculum and Books For Sale

Being a homeschooling family equals many, many books, but even I reach a limit of what my shelves can hold. It was either build more shelves or sell off some of the books. I am posting here first and whatever doesn't sell will then go on ebay. All bundle pricing includes shipping and will be handled through PayPal. If you have any questions or wish to purchase please email me at And if anyone is interested I have a unbelievably beautiful adult Elsa Costume size 8-10 that has never been worn. Handmade and I will sell it for $125.00 including shipping. If interested let me know and I will send you some pictures.

Algebra Bundle
Real World Algebra by Edward Zaccaro (Brand New)
Straight Forward Math Series - Algebra Book (Brand New)
Pre-Algebra Concepts w/CD from Math Essentials (First 6 pages written in)
$35.00 includes shipping

Into the Amazon DVD Set from Vision Forum Ministries
$15.00 includes shipping

American Girls Book Bundle
$25.00 includes shipping

Artistic Pursuits Bundle including Sculpture Technique/Model and Elementary 4-5
$50.00 including shipping

Barron's Painless Bundle
Includes Research Projects, Grammar, and Vocabulary
$15.00 includes shipping

Experiencing History Through Music by Diana Waring
$25.00 includes shipping

A Child's Geography Volume 1 by Ann Voskamp
$10.00 includes shipping

Growing Up Wild Volume 1
$10.00 includes shipping

History Bundle by James P Stobaugh (Teacher and Student books)
American History, British History, and World History
$55.00 includes shipping

Homeschool Encouragement Bundle
Learning in the 21st Century, Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners, and 25 Truths by Ed Douglas
$20.00 including shipping

Indoctrination the Movie
$10.00 including shipping

Torchlighters John Wesley Story
$10.00 including shipping

Learning with the Movies
$10.00 including shipping

Life of Fred Language Arts Australia
$10.00 including shipping

Luke's Life List, Luke's School List by Joyce Herzog
$15.00 including shipping

Manga Messiah and The Action Bundle
$20.00 including shipping

Manga Drawing Bundle
$30.00 including shipping

Manga Studio Debut 4
$10.00 including shipping

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 6
$10.00 including shipping

Middle Ages Bundle
Magic Tree House Knights and Castles
Knights and Castles and Feudal Life
Medieval People
Medieval Places
$20.00 including shipping

Art of Poetry
$25.00 including shipping

Ven Conmigo Holt Spanish Level 2
$8.00 including shipping

Vintage Remedies for Tweens by Jessie Hawkins
$10.00 includes shipping

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I Thought Summer Time Was Supposed to be Slower

I really thought this summer was going to be slower. Guess what?? Nada. Not even one little bit. I have not stopped. Between catching up on paperwork like end of the year assessments and left over schoolwork I have also been planning the new semester for the Cooperative in August. Casting scripts, planning lessons for my tutoring students, doctor's appointments, organizing and decluttering my house, swimming, being nearly a daily taxi cab driver, taking care of daily chores, hanging out with lots of friends, and so on. With volleyball practices starting next week it will get even busier. I cannot believe that half of the summer is already gone.

In my defense I do enjoy being busy. If left with too much time on my hands I not only get bored but my natural tendency toward anxiety will rear its ugly head. So busy = happy momma. At least my life. I hope everyone else is having a great summer and getting some relaxation in before starting school again in a month.