Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It's been a pretty uneventful couple of days. K and W went back to school. K's science fair project was complimented and she found out her first play rehearsal is this Saturday - the same day as J's competition in NJ (of course). W is getting his preK graduation photos done on Friday. He had to write his name for homework over and over on 5 big pieces of paper the teacher gave him. He was bored of it after one page, so that's all he handed in. I will never force him to do homework. I learned from experience that handing the responsibility over to the kids works wonders. I'm just there to give gentle reminders and help. The teachers gave him a happy face on it anyway. J had an added dance rehearsal at 4:15 where she got some good pointers on her solo and ran the new group number several times. Then both girls had Musical Theater class while W played cars and "homework" with N, J's friend's sister who is 7, and C, one of the boys on J's dance team who is 9. W can be very mature when playing with older kids. And yet he has recently started throwing full-blown temper tantrums at home. I guess that's better than the maturity at home and the tantrums out in public, right?

Today, J played a lot on the computer and read a couple of pages of her book. She spent at least a 1/2 hour sewing that yarn thing from Sunday and started playing with her "Bitty Twins" dolls again. W had hip-hop class today and had his best day ever. All the kids got to perform the whole number alone and when it was W's turn, he turned on the personality and lit up the room. Not a shy bone in his body, either. He needs a solo, that kid.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

J's friend, S, called last night and asked me if we were going back to the Queens Museum for the Sunday family program. I'm glad she did because it totally slipped my mind. The kids had CCD (Sunday school) this morning and we made a plan to meet S and her parents at the museum at 1pm. B, all 3 kids, and I went today. Today's project was based on a piece of art that looks like paint splattering, but is really embroidered cloth. We blew black ink around a paper with a straw, traced the image we created onto mesh plastic, and sewed yarn into the mesh following the pattern we made. I know it sounds confusing, but it comes out awesome looking. All of us adults made one, too! Afterwards, we went down for ice cream and found a paper with a museum scavenger hunt on it. We spent the next 45 minutes finding all the answers to the questions. It was hysterical. We won a small prize for getting 10 answers right. I took the kids back to the Art Zone where they did some more artwork. W saw a cute girl his age and acted all macho and funny around her. He always does that around girls (especially ones with long, blond hair, LOL). We finally left around 4pm.

In the evening, J was on the phone and the IM with a bunch of friends and K finished printing and gluing the last of her science fair project. Now W is almost asleep and K and J are working on their sewing project from the museum today. I really want to finish up mine too!

Link of the day:

Saturday, February 25, 2006

At dance today, they focused mainly on the new jazz dance. It's finished and all they have to do all week is clean it up. P decided to keep the forte turns in J's dance. She looked very comfortable with them today. At the break 3 of us moms decided to go to a diner around the corner. All the others heard we were there and showed up - so we had a big table for 10 kids and another for 7 moms about 20 feet away. We kept looking over to make sure the kids were ok and I was so impressed at how well they all behaved. They even came over to us with their coats on 15 minutes before we had to get back! (God forbid they should miss a minute of dancing! LOL.) It was wonderful seeing J laughing, singing, and eating with all her best friends. Then back at the studio they ran solos for about an hour. J and 4 others never want to leave so they went over their new number again by themselves.

K stayed home to finish up her math biography and science fair project. B helped her set up the experiment (cut flowers in different liquids) and K did all of the written work except for the data, results, and conclusion, which she'll finish up tomorrow.

I'm creating a plan in my head for this coming week. B wants to practice some catching, throwing, and hitting with W so he'll be ready for baseball. J wants to go back to the Japanese restaurant we went to a few weeks ago. She's also eager to have alone time so she can concentrate on some academic stuff. I was trying not to roll my eyes (and shake my head and smirk) today when some of the kids and moms at dance were complaining about all the work assigned over the vacation and how they'll spend all day tomorrow getting it all done. I think B, the kids, and I will go somewhere fun for the day.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I see my first quote was quite a big hit in the blogosphere. I think I got about 115 hits today - probably from folks who wanted to see who the crazy lady was with the foul mouth. LOL. I might just make that quote my new blog title. Or maybe: Diary of a Bullshitless Education, or The Adventures of a No-Bullshit Homeschooler. ha ha ha

Anyhoo, J had solo practice this morning and group tech in the afternoon. The forte turns are coming along ok. P is going to see by tomorrow if J does them well enough to add them to her solo or just leave well enough alone. Tomorrow's rehearsal is 2 hours of group work, a break, then solo cleanup. Me and the other moms might go get a cocktail or two around the corner while the kiddies are dancing. Ahh, I love girl time.

K went to the movies today with Y (the NLBG from last year). I'm still not over how she treated K last year, but K says she's nice now and one of her best friends (ugh). They saw "When a Stranger Calls", which is PG-13. I thought it might be too scary, but K loves that sort of thing. She had a great time and this marks a milestone for her - her first movie without adult supervision.

On the way home, W said, "Mom, I want to look up dinosaurs on the computer with you and learn about their bones and fossils and other science stuff like planets and rain". So when we got home, we did. I love him.

Link of the day:

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ok, so I came up with some of my own homeschooling quotes. Let me know what you think.

Homeschooling - An education without the bullshit.
(bullshit = cliques, busywork, bullies, conformity, teacher criticism and humiliation, tedium, rigid rules, and control over when you can eat, go to the bathroom, play, and learn)

Unschooling - an education through two "I"s: Interest and Involvement.
("eyes", get it?)

Well, I was sitting alone in the car with W sleeping while J and K were down at dance and I had nothing to do but think. That's what popped into my head.

K was looking around online for science fair ideas and I swear I almost lost it today. All of a sudden I got so angry at the ridiculousness of this. She couldn't care less about the science fair. She isn't going to learn anything from it - no one really does. And why do they have to demand work from kids while they're on freakin' vacation? Now I have to go and spend money on a display board and the tons of supplies she needs. I would rather spend money on something she is really interested in that she wants to research further. Not something rushed to get a good grade on that she'll forget by next week. A few science fairs ago she got points off her project because she drew a graph rather than make it on a computer. That's a great way to encourage learning and make the kids feel good about all the work they did, huh?

J had some intense dance today. The teacher is including lots of brand new moves in this new number. J does a scissor leap across the stage at one point - she just learned that last week. The teacher also wants J to do forte turns at some point - I'm pretty sure J is the only one who can do them in her group. J's so excited for the next competition. It's in New Jersey and we'll be staying over at a hotel 2 nights. Some parents complain about all the money involved with dance, but I really enjoy it. These competition weekends are like a family vacation for us. Give my kids a hotel with a pool (and a bar for me!), a great dance show to watch with kids you love performing their hearts out, tons of best friends to be with the whole weekend, and none of us can ask for much more.

Link of the day:

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's been a bit chilly in NY, so our plans to get into Manhattan are slow going. It's not a good idea to make these plans on the days J has dance at 4:30. I know she'll be tired. And W will probably be able to walk about 4 blocks before he starts whining to be carried. He's too big for a stroller, but to little for long walks. It's hard to make plans with 3 kids, lol.

So we ended up staying home :(

K and W stayed at MIL's house while I brought J to technique class. They worked on barrel turns, scissor leaps, and several things I can't pronounce nor spell right. They learned a new jazz number over the weekend and all the kids want it to go out on this upcoming competition. The teacher believes they may be able to pull it off. The parents aren't so sure. That would mean a mad rush to get the costumes fitted, sewn, and stoned by next weekend. I wonder what they'll decide.

K is working on a science fair project that's due Monday. She hasn't even chosen a topic yet. SIGH. W is doing lots of reading, writing, drawing, and playing this week. He has to write his name over and over again for homework. How boring. He decided to change his name to "Lion". He picked "Pumpkin" for J, and "Gorilla" for K. K wasn't amused. We ate dinner over MIL's house tonight. I swear she just does not like me. I think she's just about had it with the fact that J's homeschooling and whenever I talk about J's dancing, she is uninterested and almost resentful or something. WTF?


Link of the day:

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The girls woke up around 7:30, played for a bit, and B made everyone eggs, bacon, and bagels. J and S kept very busy reading the new Discovery Girls magazine, playing ball in the hallway, and dancing. At 1:00 we left for the Queens Museum. They have a Sunday drop-in art program for kids every week. W woke up with a headache and a fever so B stayed home with him. We got there a few minutes early so we checked out the NYC panorama and the Tiffany lamps again. The guide brought all of us over to an exhibit that was a bicycle attached to a cart full of various things (a printer, a can of beans, thermometers, books). J guessed it was a for a person traveling by bike across the country who packed everything he or she would need. She was right, actually, and the project was to create a miniature bicycle with fully-stocked cart attached out of pipe cleaners, buttons, beads, paper tubes, glue, tissue paper, and small cardboard boxes.

I have to say the girls had a blast. Even I got into it, creating my own masterpiece. The guides took so many pictures of our projects, that they finally asked us if we would mind posing in front of the original exhibit with them. The kids held their bikes/carts and sat for about 10 pictures, as I signed a release for the museum to use them in future promotional items.

We bought a few things in the gift shop and were about to leave when we spotted the "Art Zone" which was closed during the week when J and I were there. This was a nice red room with big bean bag chairs, a long desk filled with oaktag paper, crayons, and colorful tape. In a big stand next to the desk were bottle caps, confetti paper, foam cutouts, beads, tissue paper, and pipe cleaners. We spent another 30 minutes in there. K wrote her name on black paper with orange tape and J and S created large posters for the dance studio they plan to open together. I took a ton of pictures today - still with the disposable camera I bought. I'll scan them all this week.

We picked up some McDonalds, went home, and W still had a fever. After the girls ate, they played dollhouse, monkey-on-the-stairs (like monkey-in-the-middle, except, um, on the stairs), other ball games, watched a few minutes of The Sixth Sense, played V-Smile, and finished up their posters. S's mom came over about 8pm to pick her up. S didn't want to leave. *g* I'm actually looking forward to the next sleepover!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

B took J to dance at 2. I stayed home to clean the bathroom, swiffer, and put away several big piles of clean laundry. J's friend S is sleeping over tonight. She's such a pleasure to be around and I'm glad she and J are good friends. We had pizza, popcorn, cupcakes, watched a movie, and they watched old dance recital videos and painted their toes.

At dance today, P (J's solo coach) decided she wanted to put some forte turns into J's routine. She was surprised that J did them so well. J has another solo rehearsal Friday morning so I'll get to see them then. J's next competition comes with an all-day workshop. She loves those. B also took W this morning to sign him up for baseball. He needs cleats and a cup (That is so cute! I had no idea what that meant at first. I was thinking that I'd just give him bottled water, what does he need a cup for. Hey, I had 2 girls first, ya know. So that's my big "duh" for the day).

While K and I were discussing the rules of multiplying and dividing negative and positive numbers the other day, J was listening and picked up the concept. K is doing algebra now, but did poorly on the last test only because of calculating errors - she totally understood the algebra part, though. So, later on, J asked me to give her more math examples. I gave her a bunch like 32/-8 = x and 7(-3) = x. We also talked about addition and subtraction using negative numbers. She gets it. And I told K that I could help her with math up to the college level, so she better not hesitate to ask me. Besides, I think I could explain it better (in K's way of learning) than a teacher could.
I will never understand the whole socialization concern issue with homeschooling. My mother once again expressed her socialization concerns to me yesterday after reading an article where a teenage homeschooled girl did not know how to make friends or be around other kids her age. The unsocialized homeschoolers in this world are the result of neglectful parenting, not homeschooling. These are the kids who would have probably been bullied and teased and humiliated (or bullies, teasers, and humiliators) if they had gone to school. I would NEVER shelter my kids from experiencing all of this beautiful world. I may put a few filters on, but J is pretty streetwise and holds her own very well in a large group. Actually, she is usually the one everyone wants to sit next to or tell secrets to. I don't see why a kid has to be forced to sit in a room with the same 25 kids for 30 hours a week. How is that good socialization? It's almost like an arranged marriage. Here you go, these will be your new friends - they're all your age! Sorry, but you're stuck with this group whether you like it or not. Who cares if this one is stealing your pens or that one puts gum in your hair.

So, I told my mother that I just read about this 15 year-old boy in public school who couldn't read. See how baaaad public schools are? They can't even teach reading! A kid from J's dance group is so nasty to the other kids and doesn't seem to have friends there. She goes to schoooool. How can they not teach this kid how to share and treat others nicely?? 3 public high school boys robbed and beat an elderly man in Brooklyn the other day. And you guessed it - these are not homeschooled kids! 4 parents I know are sending their kids to Sylvan (or an equivalent). What's going on here? Aren't the schools doing their job?? And one of the parents has both kids in Catholic school - so she's paying at least $7500 per year for school PLUS the $150 or so per week to have 2 kids in Sylvan! Isn't it funny how those who don't homeschool will take a negative article they read and decide that THIS is how all homeschooled kids must be, but no one seems to do that when articles show public schools just arent' working for many kids. The problem is that homeschooling has never been written about unless it was about one of the "bad" families - usually overly religious families who won't tolerate their kids even being around anyone who doesn't believe what they believe. I want J to know about all religions and beliefs. I thought it would be cool to celebrate different religious holidays (everything from Buddhism to Wicca). I feel that J should see what's out there so that as an adult she'll be able to select path to fulfilment that suits her best. I think we're a very regular normal family, open to new ideas, in with the latest trends, and not pushing anything down anyone's throat. I wear makeup and look cute, and do not own a denim jumper or braid my hair. Let's all lose the homeschool stereotypes, please.

J and I had another talk about homeschooling and I told her to tell me if there's anything she didn't like about about being homeschooled. I said I want to know so we can fix things and she definitely wouldn't be hurting my feelings or anything like that. I said her education is so important and we can change whatever she felt wasn't working -even if that meant going back to school. I got the most odd look. She said, "Ma, homeschooling is better than anything. I love all the things we do. And I have the coolest friends now!". Yeah, that's true. She is having a sleepover tonight with S, and another one with G next week. J is so personable, that she usually forms an immediate bond with other kids the minute she meets them. There was a birthday party for a couple of the dancers the other day with pizza and cupcakes. We're going to a competition in New Jersey in a couple of weeks where everyone from the studio will be staying over at a hotel for 2 nights with a pool. J doesn't seem to be lacking on the friends front. Nor is she deficient where respect for adults in concerned. J has become conident and self-assured and can hold her own when speaking with adults. So, until my mother does some intense reading up on homeschooling and unschooling, I will not be debating about such things with her.

Link of the day:

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Keeping with the plan to get out somewhere every week, J and I went to the Queens Museum of Art yesterday. It had a really nice Tiffany glass exhibit, lots of rooms full of World's Fair memorabilia (the 1939 and 1964 World's Fair were held right in Flushing Meadow Park), and a huge panorama of NYC. The panorama is a basically a miniature model of the whole city made perfectly to scale. You walk around above it and look down at it and it shows all 5 boroughs, including tops of houses. It looks like what you'd see from an airplane. The detail is phenomenal. Manhattan looks so breathtaking - even in miniature. I took pictures, but with a disposable camera - I have to use up all the film, get it developed, and then scan them into the computer. I'm getting the digital camera fixed next week.

W stayed with MIL while K and I brought J to dance. While J was in technique class, the studio owner showed me J's scores from the 3 judges for her solo from Saturday's competition. It was so great. The judges checked off everything in the "stage presence" category and she averaged a 19.5/20. She got 5/5 from all 3 on costume, 34/35 average on technique, 24/25 average on something else, and another score I cant remember. All in all, her composite score from all 3 judges was like a 289/300. The owner said that is awesome for a first-time solo. She was well into the "high gold" category. A platinum award needed over a 293.5. J can't wait for the next competition in 2 weeks!

Link of the day:

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

J spent time doing her Bridge workbook today. The first part was on capitalized days and months. She did the whole thing in cursive, and I saw that she found a handwriting page online to remind her how to make certain capital letters (like "D"). The next section was all about rocks. She defined all the types of rocks by looking up the words: igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic, etc. Then, all of a sudden she was begging to go back to the Hall of Science. I told her that since we just went there a month ago, there aren't any new exhibits and she'd be seeing the exact same stuff. She was almost in tears about it. She also wanted to go back to the Japanese restaurant we ate at last week. I promised her we would, but tomorrow, not today. Again, she got annoyed at me. I think she's still tired or something. She went to sleep very early tonight.

W had dance class this evening and the girls came with us. W did great again and the teacher for the next class told me she can't believe he does so well at so young an age. I think he wants to take tap next year (and in case you're wondering, he is as tough and masculine as they come, lol). He even said he wouldn't mind if there are mostly girls in the class because he'd be "older" then (I don't get it either). Some of J's friends were there today and she danced and played with them in the back dressing room. K hung out with the older girls (teens) who were lamenting about Valentine's Day and talking about the weekend's competition. Speaking of V-Day, K received gifts from 3 boys today (WTF?!?!?). I hate middle school more and more every day.

Link of the day:
Happy Valentines Day!

This morning B handed me TWO boxes of chocolates - one heart shaped box of "Pecan Delights" and a box of chocolate covered cherries. He also got the kids a small box of chocolates each - which they ate at 7:30 am.

We relaxed all yesterday morning since I think we're still tired from Saturday. After dropping off W at school, J asked me where her new big workbook was and she did another page of making sentences out of new vocabulary words (like arbitrated and baleen). We played a game of chess after that.

K got her report card and it stunk, so B and I decided she is to have no computer or phone indefinitely. I know taking away privileges is so not effective, but I felt I had to do something. She's been lying to us, being very disrespectful, and overall not listening to anything we say. I've had enough and even my mother said to tell her that homeschooling is going to be the only option (wtg, ma). I had a talk with K saying that it's obvious she is learning nothing in school and that the only reason she goes is to be a part of who's wearing what, who likes whom, and the rest of the girly gossip. Looking at me with this face on that I wanted to slap, she interjected with, "you are NOT homeschooling me". I explained to her that she won't even know any of these friends in 2 years since they'll all be in different high schools. These kids don't care about their grades so now you don't either. I told her how many wonderful things she could be doing with her time right now, how much time she'd have to write those beautiful stories and poems. How she wouldn't fall behind at all and would probably jump way ahead of her peers academically. K even admitted that her best friends are from the dance studio - which doesn't involve school at all. So socially, she'd not be lacking. I would like this to be K's last year of school. I'm sure she'll soon understand that homeschooling will be better for her than these NYC public schools where latest reports show that only 43% graduate on time. Yikes!

Keep us in your thoughts, please.

Link of the day (you may have to register for nytimes - it's free):

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Ok, so the 2 day competition was squeezed into one day due to the blizzard we got here in NY. I think Central Park was up to 22 inches last time I checked. J was supposed to do her solo on Sunday, but did it on Saturday which gave me one less day of anxiety, which was good. J did better than I'd ever seen her before. She scored a High-Gold and won a special award for Best Hair and Makeup. Her 3 group numbers also all won High-Gold and 2 of them were among the top 10 best of the day. J was also chosen to be a part of a special dance team run by the competition company. She got a one-year contract and will get a photo-shoot and portfolio, learn 5 new fully choreographed routines, career counseling, and will perform in 3-8 shows and performances throughout the year (like theme parks, sport stadiums, state fairs, etc). 2 others on her team were chosen, too, as well as 8 of the older kids from J's studio. So all in all J came away with 2 medals, 4 High-Gold ribbons, and a congratulatory certificate and contract for the performance team. What a day!

My mom came and got to see all the excitement. After one of the award ceremonies, she did us a favor and took W home with her. I was glad about that since he was so bored, but I knew that meant I would probably end up staying over her house. And that's where we are. It's STILL snowing and I'm just praying we don't have to stay here yet another night. I wanted to pick W up and try driving us all home, but it was very dark, 11pm, blizzarding, and my car had a crappy windshield wiper on my side, and we were sliding around the road a bit. I finally resigned myself to the fact that I just couldn't make it home safely in those conditions. It doesn't look like we'll be leaving here today either. (Big loud heavy sigh). It's very pretty out, though. And it doesn't bother me a bit that the kids might miss school tomorrow, lol.

Link of the day:

Thursday, February 09, 2006

At the bookstore yesterday, J selected a biography on Martin Luther King. It was an easy read, and she finished it in 20 minutes. While I was in the shower I asked her what it was about and she gave me a great summary (oral narrative in "eduspeak", ha ha). She was eager to try out the big, new workbook and did the first page while I was getting dressed. It had a list of 10 'vocabulary' words she was supposed to look up in the dictionary and write a sentence for each. She knew the meanings of 8 of them so didn't feel like looking them up, but wrote good sentences. The words she didn't know were "gable" and "negotiated". After that we played a game of chess. She learned when she was 5, but hasn't played since and forgot the rules. She set the pieces up correctly - without looking at the box - which was interesting. I went over the rules once and she picked it up immediately, even capturing my rook within the first 5 minutes (hey, I didn't see it coming, lol). It's 9:15pm now and she and K are playing a game.

K tried out for the school play the other day and got a callback for one of the leads. Only about 15 out of the 100 who tried out got called back, so she's pretty excited. Callbacks are Tuesday, so hopefully she'll find out by the end of next week whether she got a good part.

While J was at dance this afternoon, I drove out to Flushing to pick up dance tights for the competition. She ran her solo 3 times today, for cleanup and last minute instructions. I can't wait til Saturday!

Link of the day:

Hey, watch the news lately? http://wcbstv.com/health/health_story_039182743.html (I can't believe 1 1/2 years ago I was told J had ADD. I'm glad I didn't listen.)
http://wcbstv.com/health/local_story_039183634.html (I'm pretty sure the self-esteem issues and peer pressure have their roots at school)

Here are my local education headlines from December until now:
Struggling Students Have Longer School Day
Special Needs Girl Abandoned on School Bus
Alleged Voyeur Janitor Sent Off to Rikers (jail)
Teenagers Attacked on Way to School in Queens
Hazing Allegations End JV Season
Testing Problems on NY 7th Grade State Exam
Girl Arrested After Brawl at Duchess High School
13-Year-Old Collapses in Gym Class and Dies
School Battle as NYC Student Gets Left Behind
Roslyn School Embezzlement Scandal in Full Bloom
2 Students Shot at School in Jersey City
Secret Recordings Expose Cheating
Autistic Boy Comes Home From School Bruised
(You can watch all of these videos HERE)

Keep your kids healthy, happy, smart, safe, and whole - Homeschool.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

J complained today that we're not getting out too much. She's right. It's winter and cold and I've been lazy. I always had so many plans to "do NYC" but between the 2 kids in school, the weather, the endless dance practices, and the not-getting-done housework, I haven't really had the ambition or the time. But I decided right then and there that I'm going to change all that. We talked about our week and planned a weekly library day as well as a weekly trip somewhere. Then one day for shopping and errands and the other 2 weekdays she'll get to do stuff at home like workbooks, reading, science experiments, cooking, arts and crafts, computer stuff, tv, or whatever else she wants. The way it will work is if we plan our trips around places in Queens instead of Manhattan due to the time crunch. So today, I did about an hour of cleaning, brought W to school, and took J to the Noguchi Museum. It was wonderful. They have a cool exhibit called "Imagery of Chess" with tons of artist interpretations of the chessboard and pieces. J loved it and wanted me to get her a new chess set so she can re-learn the game and we can play together. We also watched a movie on how Japanese paper lanterns are made and noticed the ones in the movie were all over the museum.

After we left, and in keeping with the "theme", we stopped at a Japanese restaurant for lunch. J ate miso soup, 4 California rolls, and chicken teriyaki. Her tastes must have changed since she didn't like any of that stuff a year ago. We picked up W right after that. He was supposed to come with us, but chose to go to school instead at the last minute. It's sort of a good thing - the museum wouldn't have interested him at all. After picking up K, we went out to Bayside for some shopping. At Barnes and Noble the kids got some books and magazines and J was interested in the "Comprehensive Curriculum" workbook. It's a big $25 book. I skimmed through the 4th grade one and then 5th grade one and was a bit perplexed at the fact that she's already covered most of what was in them. So we settled on the 6th grade book. I don't know if that series of books is on the easy side or what, but she like the book's setup so I bought it. J had dance at 6:45 today and they went through all they're group and solo numbers for this weekend. She's supposed to go to a birthday party, but since it conflicts with the competition, they decided she'll just have to come for a sleepover another day.

Link of the day:
I've been tagged by Joanne. So here goes:

4 jobs you have had in your life

1. Cashier in a drugstore
2. Office temp in the World Trade Center
3. Outreach liaison at a residence for mentally ill, homeless adults
4. Mary Kay consultant

4 movies you could watch over and over

1. Overboard
2. The Color Purple
3. Titanic
4. There's Something About Mary

4 places you have been on vacation

1. The Hamptons
2. Venice, Italy
3. Florence, Italy
4. Orlando, Florida

4 websites you visit daily

1. MDC
2. Ivillage Homeschool Board
3. Insideschools.org
4. NY-HEN yahoo group

4 of your favorite foods

1. Pasta
2. Pork chops
3. Chocolate
4. Buffalo Wings
(so much for being a vegetarian!)

4 places you would rather be right now

1. Venice, Italy
2. At a karaoke bar
3. In a house that I own
4. At the beach

4 Cars you have owned

1. Volkwagon Beetle
2. Buick Riviera
3. Pontiac Sunbird
4. Nissan Quest

4 bloggers you are tagging

1. Kathy
2. Patyrish
3. Miranda
4. Jules

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I spoke too soon. B stayed home today feeling very nauseous and crappy.

Yesterday J and I played for almost an hour on aaamath.com converting decimals to fractions and vice-versa. Like, what's the decimal for 6/18 or 12/30. She and K had Musical Theater at 5:30 and I stayed in the car with a sleeping W, reading more of the Unschooling Handbook. I love reading that over and over. I still love TTLHB, but I know most of it won't be applicable to J for at least 5 years.

Today, we walked W to school and checked out the trees on the way back. There are these little buds on them that I never really noticed before. J can't wait for spring when the buds will grow the new leaves. We stopped at the store and J bought herself some chips and ate them at home while she painted with watercolors in her sketchbook. W had dance in the evening and was complimented on doing things correctly. He really adores the teacher and tries to look just like him when he dances. W was performing better today than a few of the 10 year-olds. J and K came with us - they obviously can't be there enough.

4 days until competition!

Link of the day:

Monday, February 06, 2006

I think we finally got the stomach virus out of this house. I don't know how B was spared, but he was and he's very thankful, lol.

J is still doing lots of drawing every day. She can draw a cartoon character perfectly and has been experimenting on ways to make human faces and bodies. We read the chapter book together on Friday. Then she was on the computer this weekend on websites like brainpop, bonus, neopets, disney, quizyourfriends, and verbnow. She also spent some time updating her blog and website, emailing and IM'ing her friends, and creating different things with icons and photos. She had dance all weekend - 2 hrs Friday, 4 hours Saturday, 4 hours Sunday. They're mainly going over all their numbers in the competition order. Saturday, I think they ran them a bit too hard. One of the technique teachers had them dance with leg weights on after they had already went through their numbers for 3 hours. The kids all came out looking green and sick. After a little rest at home, J was fine (and the rest of the kids were, too), but that was totally uncalled for. I have never been fond of that particular teacher.

The Saturday studio fundraiser was a huge success. We have raised thousands of dollars already this season for Nationals. Now we have this coming weekend's competition to think about. All of J's costumes are complete (except for a couple of stones here and there) and we're so ready. Her solo goes out for the first time and her group numbers are the best I've seen so far. She's so excited.

Link of the day:

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ok, so we're on rounds 3 and 4 with this stomach virus. W started puking last night around midnight and woke up puking with a fever. K called me at 10am from school to come pick her up. She's been puking since she got to school. I cancelled J's solo lesson this morning and the sleepover with S. Well, I'm glad we're all getting this now than for next week's competition. I told B to prepare himself, cuz he's probably next.

There's a dance studio fund raiser tomorrow night so we're dropping the kids off at my mom's so B and I can both go. It's a pain in the ass driving an hour all the way out to Long Island and then back early the next morning, but B and I never go anywhere alone together and I'm sure it'll be worth it. The fundraiser is at a pub and there will be food, discounted drinks, and game called "LCR" where most of the fundraising money will come from.

I did over an hour of costume (touch-up) sewing yesterday while J watched an online video called Growth of a Nation. She also spent some time looking through a new dictionary and thesaurus (she said she just wanted to look up words) and did a language arts page in her bridge workbook before I needed her to come over and try things on. I was so happy to get most of the sewing done! I was also happy to get the green return-receipt card back from the sup't office - signed and everything!! That's a first! I took it and the certified receipt and stapled them to a copy of the quarterly I sent. Now, they usually send me a checklist with everything I sent checked off. Let's see if I get that (didn't get one last quarter).

Link of the day:

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Uck. I think I got what J had. I went to bed at 6pm last night and I don't think I ate anything all day except an orange or 2. I still feel cruddy this morning, but a lot better than yesterday. J recovered well. I think she slept for 40/48 hours on Monday and Tuesday. I didn't get any costume work done so I'll probably cram that all in today.

January 31 was the 1-year anniversary of when we started homeschooling! I can't believe it's been a year already! We're still lovin' it and I feel we're in a nice unschooling groove. J wants her friend, S, to sleep over tomorrow night, but she needs to straighten up her room first or no deal. She kept herself busy yesterday with so many things, but right now I cannot think of one. I swear, if I don't write down stuff J does right when it happens, I forget instantly. But, I don't want her to constantly see me writing things down about her, so it usually doesn't get done. Maybe I'll keep a small notebook on me (discreetly)! I guess I still feel the need to keep track of her learning. I probably always will - it's just how I am.