I am excited right now with reading. We just finished lesson 29 or 49 in All About Reading Level 1, it looks like the next three lessons are reading. I know I can get us through at least one story a day, maybe two. So at the most the next three lessons can still be done by the end of next week. I like being able to see that we’ll progress quickly. I’m trying to focus on my excitement because if I loose sight of that I’ll start feeling behind again. Though right now in this moment everything feels manageable. Since we had a big break in December and then we were sick last month we kind of lost track a bit, so I think a finishing point for 3rd grade is reasonable at July, the end of July. I think for some things that will be more than enough time, and with others we may need more time. Still it’s a good goal to have. Really I don’t need to confirm any solid change of grade level, I just like being able to say, you’re in the next grade now. It’s a bit hard to do that now though since we have moved in a more varied approach to curriculum. Our history curriculum doesn’t have a solid grade level attached, with science we are working with a 3rd grade level book but are supplementing beyond that. Reading is below grade level but with the struggles we’ve had (and possible dyslexia) I think we are in a good a place and I’m not trying to push that. Math is the only solid on grade level curriculum we have right now, I don’t always like the methods and sometimes we slow down to review or speed ahead, so it’s hard to gauge the pace. Math and Science are mainly what I’m hoping to have finished up by the end of July. I don’t think we are in the half way point of Math yet though. I’m not sure, we recently took a break from the main curriculum to review. I’ve seen a wonderful amount of improvement with it though, so it’s been worth it.
I want to refocus reading starting next week. I love reading, but I had the hardest time learning to read. There were a lot of tears, a lot of frustration, and I’m starting to think a lot of the dyslexia symptoms seem to apply to myself as well. Which would explain my struggle. We lost track of reading aloud with my being sick, so I want to pick that back up. I also want to refocus Mini Riceball on reading more outside of school work. I just don’t want to push too hard, I want her to love reading too. She seems to enjoy it when it starts coming easy. Then she wants to read that story over and over, it’s just getting her to challenge herself without feeling defeated.
On a different note, I’m about 5 balls of yarn into my Amy Pond scarf. I’m starting to pick up a quicker rhythm with going through the pattern and it’s taking me less time to go through the rows. I’m also starting to get used to how the pattern plays out row by row, so I don’t have to look at the paper as much. I still need it to keep track of what comes next though.
I also am really excited to pick up more baking supplies soon. I want to try to make fondant, sugar cookies and royal icing. Mini Riceball has already picked out her birthday cake and though it’s a simple design I’ll still need to learn to use fondant before I can make it. I want to make sugar cookies though just because they look so fun to make. I’m also excited to draw on the cookies with icing, and the recipe I found sound like the sugar cookies will be quite tasty.
Posted by riceballmommy on March 8, 2014
I’m starting to seriously thinking about changing some things around here, not much but maybe just starting to use my other blog for everything, personal and art. I’m not sure though. Another blogger I admire uses two blogs, maybe I could maintain something similar.
We lost a day of school yesterday because everything went kind of haywire in the morning, so it was hard to get back on track. If we do school tomorrow we should be able to finish up the things I had planned for this week. I’m not feeling well today now, but I think we can get through school today.
After art at the co-ops I’m feeling a renewed desire to rework our art. I had wanted to design something of my own and I just lost track of it. I need to find that again. I’ve also had a simple assignment with complimentary colors in mind that I may try today. I may do it too, in my sketch book. I was inspired by some of the art that was left on the wall from the older kids class.
Posted by riceballmommy on March 7, 2014
I have so much I want to write about now, so I think I’ll break it down by topic,
I’m very excited about the coupons I have for this week, I have a great coupon from Target for household goods. I’ll be able to stock up on a lot. I’m also getting more into the groove of meal planning and I might just try out a new recipe this week. I’m thinking about trying Giada’s Fettuccine Alfredo, I love Alfredo sauce, so it will be fun to try it. I’m not sure yet, maybe not this week maybe next week. I’m going to have to finish up some of my meal planning while in the grocery store but I’m feeling confident.
We didn’t do much school this week because we all go sick. So it was just kind of a bust but now that we are feeling better I’m going to be dropping us right back into things. We’ve jumped around a bit with history since Disney World, the Kinsey Collection exhibit they had there really got Mini Riceball interested in African American History, so we’ve taken a bit of a break from Ancient history to come forward a bit in time. We had a great field trip last Sunday to the Reginald F Lewis Museum to see the Kinsey Collection exhibit there. Mini Riceball was very excited to see the exhibit and get the book. We had seen the book in Disney World but it was very heavy and we were hoping to order it when we got home. Looking for the book is how we found out about the exhibit touring, and being on display locally. The Reginald F Lewis Museum was very nice, and especially informative. The museum focus on Maryland African American History, though the Kinsey collection itself is more broad. I did related the school house exhibit the book we read about Ruby Bridges. Taking this deviation in study has been interesting for me too. I didn’t know anything specially about Ruby Bridges and I really enjoyed reading the book with Mini Riceball. We were both impressed to learn that she grew up and created the Ruby Bridges Foundation which we are looking to learn more about. Mini Riceball was also impressed to see a real photo of the woman Ruby Bridges has become. I think it’s one thing to read about these people in stories they so easily become characters of the past; it’s really great to be able to see the person from the story.\
With science I still hope to do a project to round out our unit on space and we have a book to finish as well. I am hoping it will warm up and we’ll be able to get out to look at the stars. It’s just been so cold though and then it’s been snowing so much it’s not practical to go outside. Though I may have mentioned it before, but I was reading about someone else using the same science book we do and they do the units in a different order. I think we’ll try that so that we can cover space in the warmer months.
My scarf has been advancing rather quickly now. I still don’t think I’ll have it finished in time to wear it this season. I’ll have it for next fall/winter though. I should be able to finish and move on to another project before long. Of course Amy Pond will probably be two companions ago by then. Maybe Clara will start wearing some clever knits that I can create, or perhaps the next companion.
I started playing Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, and I’m enjoying it again. I read an interesting article, saying that the tone of the story shifts a bit if you look at as though Lara has feelings for Sam. Which even so far with the dialog I can see it, and it’s interesting to play through this time looking at her not as a close friend but someone that perhaps she has unrequited feelings for. Also playing through know Mathias is this time around, is extra interesting. I forgot you saw him so early on in the game.
I have been slacking with my art, my knitting my be progressing but my drawing is stagnant. I have recently had a bit more time to interact with my subject on a social level, and I think I’m partially reinvigorated to work on the drawing. I’m not sure though. I feel all full of zest and then it drops off very quickly. I think I’ll finish up this drawing and then focus on sketching for while or maybe sketch while working on this drawing. Do a bit of both. I’m also thinking of moving this blog to my other account or moving my other blog to this one. I might find out if I can link the two accounts. It would make it easier to post to both. I’m also thinking that maybe I don’t need to keep the brands separate. I’ll have to see how it goes.
Posted by riceballmommy on March 1, 2014
I’ve been feeling a bit burned out, which is apparently a normal February thing to feel. Though I haven’t felt justified in feeling burned out since we just had a big break in December. I’m feeling really good about the coming week though. I’m looking at my plans for tomorrow and I’m feeling like they can happen. History has taken an education side track with Black History Month, we’ve jumped ahead to some American History. We read a really great book about Ruby Bridges, and it was interesting for me to find out that she went on to create the Ruby Bridges Educational Foundation, which was really interesting since prior to reading the book I didn’t know much about her. I knew of the kids like her. I’m happy Mini Riceball picked the book out of the scholastic catalog. I went a little book happy and bought a bunch of the books she circled in the catalog, that book is definitely one of the reason I’m glad I did.
I think we’ll be able to finish the one Kumon math book this week, and then we’ll get back into Calvert Math. I think some of the math has started to click for her. Reading has advanced rather well, I was a bit surprised when the next lesson wasn’t a new sheet of works and cards, but more stories. I think I should definitely look ahead. Last week though i was really impressed with Mini Riceball’s reading. I’m hoping to keep on track with reading The Hobbit this week and get up to Chapter 10 at least.
Provided there’s no snow this will also be our first co-op week finally. I’m excited, and nervous, Mini Riceball is just excited though. She’s excited to see some old friends and make some new ones. I’m excited for her.
I just wish it would warm up soon. We are in the middle of the space unit but the weather hasn’t been great, so we haven’t been able to go outside. Maybe next year we should rearrange some of the units. I read about someone else using the same book we do, but doing the chapters in a different order. I may try that. Maybe end on animals, and start space in warmer weather next year. I’m not sure though. I need to finish up this year’s science before I get too deep in planning next year.
Posted by riceballmommy on February 17, 2014
I’m just now starting to realize that Instagram, and Twitter might be a good idea to try out/again. Instagram might work well with my art, just for posting in progress shots. I’m not sure though. I think I’m one of the few people left that really doesn’t like taking photos on my phone. I’ll occasionally take a photo on it if I feel the need to and just don’t have my camera. Twitter might work better for some of my out bursts. I don’t really feel the need to write whole blogs sometimes but just to voice an opinion. I’d love to express more on feminism, video games and comics. I doubt I’ll get super popular for anything but just the possibility of interacting with more people is nice. I’ll have to look into all of it more. Especially when I start to find a balance that allows me to spend more time on my art.
Posted by riceballmommy on February 11, 2014
History is slowly becoming more difficult for me. We are using Moasic, with a lot of alterations. It’s really very good, it uses the Usborne Encyclopedia of World history as a spine which is generally accurate, though I have had to correct some of the information a few times. I have not been happy with the amount of coverage on some of the civilizations but I do understand it’s a lot of history and already a very thick book. Something has to be left out. I would have preferred more time spent on Ancient Africa, and now we’re on two pages of the “first North Americans” and I’m not sure how much I want to add on. I know we’re going to be covering more with the Aztecs, but I’m wondering if the tribes further north will be touched on at all again. Also since that could tie in to US history, more so as pre-US history than maybe it might best be left to touch on more then. All of this seems important to cover but it’s just a matter of when. I think I will stretch this out for at least another day or two and we’ll definitely be touching on it again later after I’ve had more prep.
I’m starting to think about possibly changing history curriculum but then I also think maybe we should just continue to work through this book as a spine. We can keep a notebook as we go and maybe I can make notes on different civilizations to do further studies on later.
Posted by riceballmommy on February 5, 2014
I really get annoyed when someone tries to take a stand against “over serialization” and all they seem to be doing is slut shaming. A long sleeve sparkly dress with no cleavage and a slit up to the knee is not super sexy. So I really don’t see the “barf, gag” reaction. Also teaching your son to react that way to woman dressed that way doesn’t really seem positive to me. And to the person that said “I don’t really care what women wear” after commenting that the dress design was indeed “barf” inducing is a bit contradictory. Apparently you only care what women wear as long as they aren’t “shoving their boobs out there,” All of these reactions are against Queen Elsa’s dress in Frozen. I took away from the moment the freedom she felt, she took her hair out of the tight bun, a more fun, loose style is how I thought of it, and put on a bright fun, dress. Now I may be biased because I do always try to see the bright side of Disney. Though I think you can’t argue that they did a lot right. They didn’t follow the love at first sight thing, they had the princess rescue herself. And they finally gave a us a Princess into a Queen moment. I like the dress. I can relate to her sense of freedom when she lets go. Sometimes after wearing extra layers for so long you want to feel the wind on your skin and sometimes you just want to feel pretty. There is nothing wrong with that. I feel like she was still dressed rather respectably.
As for those that “don’t care what women wear,” even though they do, I think a woman should wear whatever she wants, as long as she understands the implications that come with that. Wear the super short skirt if you want, but know when it’s probably going to work against you. You shouldn’t be wearing your club wear to an interview at a law office, any more than you should be wearing sweat pants. “You” may not think that women need to dress a certain way but society certainly does, and some women don’t have the privilege to not think about it. Society expects certain things of a “professional” woman, certain professions expect to see certain things. Not wearing make up or a nice suit could cost you a job. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what skills or intelligence you have, if you don’t look the part you don’t get the job. I know we all love to be judged solely on our mind and our skills, but we also have to exist in society the way it is. You can sit back and talk of lack of make up and wearing what you want (as long as it fits your guidelines) but it’s not going to change the way society is now, maybe down the road we’ll have less false expectations but you can’t expect women to give up opportunities for the cause.
I’m the type of feminist that I think women should make informed choices for them. Stay home, work, wear a short skirt or long skirt. Just understand your reasoning behind it, influences from society and how it affects your future. Don’t be afraid to change your mind either, you learn, you grow, you change.
Posted by riceballmommy on January 26, 2014
I finally went ahead and ordered math, I ordered Math in Focus we’ll give it a try for the year. I’m excited to get the box and check out the books. We are only in about chapter 3 or 4 of 3rd grade math right now. So it will be awhile before we need it but I couldn’t pass up the sale. I decided for sure today that for 4th grade we’ll definitely need to change curriculum for science. I like the textbooks we’ve been using but they are repeating themselves and not going in much more depth with each subject. I think I would have liked it better if it just would have skipped the section on soil this year and spent more time on rocks and minerals. Maybe next year we’ll pick a focus, maybe biology, and try to focus more on that. I just need to find something I like, with good reviews and that will work for us.
Posted by riceballmommy on January 16, 2014
Suddenly middle of errands yesterday it hit me that I had gotten an email earlier in the day about Calvert’s 30% off sale. That sparked the sudden urge to make a decision on next year’s math, even though we are no where near the middle of this year’s math. Saving 30% is a bit of big deal, it’s also a great deal. I had considered changing over to something different than Calvert’s classic math, though we love the look of this math, the method isn’t always working. Calvert also offers Math in Focus now, which actually seems to be the main math now since that’s the only one in the virtual catalog. I looked at grade 3 Math in Focus just to compare what we have, and it looks like the bar method I had heard about from a friend is used in that. So I had instant regret about our current math, because that bar method makes a lot of sense and I’m a bit lost about how to teach multiplication, it’s coming up soon but not here. I might have to look up the method itself and try to integrate that into what we have now. Then switch to Math in Focus for grade 4. I asked Hubby for his opinion but in setting up samples for him to look at I completely ruled out Math Mammoth, which seemed great because of the bar method (another mom posted a sheet she had), but I wasn’t too fond of the look of. Would be a great extra workbook (still might look into those) but we are used to the big colorful Calvert books. I rejected Saxon Math just on aesthetic and feel of the paper, same for Singapore math. It looks like Math in Focus gives us Singapore method with the colorful look we want. After narrowing it down to the two Calvert offered maths, I consulted with Hubby and Mini Riceball. It looks like a decision has been made for Math in Focus, it still doesn’t stop me from questioning my decision to go with Math in Focus next year.
Posted by riceballmommy on January 13, 2014
Mini Riceball asked me today about my mommy blog, she asked if I still had it. I told her I did but I just hadn’t updated in awhile. She told me I should write a post today. I’m still struggling with this blog and my other one, the timing doesn’t seem right for either. I have a few things on hold and a few things I’m picking up after a hiatus.
We are starting school back up this week after our long break for vacation and the holidays. It seems like I picked the worst starting week, but there has not been a good solid week anyway. This week I had a teacher’s meeting, which was great, I got to talk to my co-teachers for my classes at the co-op. I feel a bit more solid that I can do this and that I’m doing what I should be doing right now. I’m excited for the co-op to start too. I know I’ll have to make an adjustment to my schedule too because we won’t be able to do school at home those days.
This week I’ve started us back with a lighter schedule, trying to ease into things. I need to check out the science book and see where we are too. I know I’m behind the schedule I laid out at the beginning of the year. Our break ran a little over and we took a bit more time on the units than expected. Science is a bit hard to plan, I use a textbook as a spine that Mini Riceball loves, but I feel like I try to add so much extra into each unit that we spend too much time on each unit. Then I feel behind. I keep entertaining the idea of switching to a new curriculum that just covers one subject like biology for the year, but then I worry we’ll miss something. Which really is a bit nonsensical considering all I keep hearing is that elementary school is just for building a foundation, and the details can all be picked up later. Of course the moment I start thinking of focusing on biology, I think of how much Mini Riceball enjoys space, and rocks/minerals. Then I’m not sure if it’s best to focus on one subject. Also we always get a lot out of the other units and the activities and experiments that go with them. So I’m no closer to figuring out science than when I started but really I don’t need to be thinking about next year, since I have so much of this year left.
Posted by riceballmommy on January 9, 2014