Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Summer is here in NYC.  It's so hot.  The kids are keeping busy throughout the days and I just prefer to stay indoors with my air conditioner on, lol.  K went to a water park called Splish Splash with her friends yesterday, the beach a few times, and will probably go to the movies tonight.  Her last day of school was Monday.  She chose all her classes for senior year.  It looks like this:  Trigonometry, AP Literature, Government & Economics, Astronomy & Forensics, Latin, and Yearbook.  She did very well this year and is already planning for college.

J has been spending lots of time with friends.  They usually hang out at the park, running through the sprinklers, and watching the boys play basketball.  They all had a great game of dodge ball going the other day, too.  Sometimes they grab a bite to eat at a nearby diner or catch a movie.  Today she's taking advantage of the heat and spending the day in her friend's pool.  Summer dance classes are in full-swing.  Tuesdays she takes ballet, tap, and lyrical, Thursdays she takes contemporary and hip-hop, and now on Mondays she's part of a class based on the show "Glee".  Her dance team (her immediate team of 6 members) was just notified that based on their platinum first place performance at one of their competitions this year, they won a full scholarship to 8 hours of master classes and free competition fees to an "Ultimate Overall Challenge" in NJ in July.  It's like a mini-Nationals and is spread out over 3 days.  Needless to say, the studio owner is thrilled and we are all so proud of them.

W is spending his summer so far doing what he loves best - going to the playground and playing Nerf Gun Tag with his friends on the block.  Auditions for a summer musical are coming up and he is looking forward to that.  It will be 2 weeks of rehearsals - 2 hours each day, 5 days a week - with 2 Saturday shows.  He was in this program last year and loved it.  J may join again, too, with her friend Amanda, but she's right at the age cutoff and besides, she'll be dancing at a fundraiser for St. Jude's Childrens Hospital that same day as the performance.

W will also be finishing up AO Year 2 all summer.  We took a lot of time away from our schedule, so it's time to catch up.  We have a lot of fun with it and W enjoys it all.  We really only spend about 2 hours each morning on academics.  The rest of the day is his.  I want to try and get to Year 3 by autumn.  I ordered a few books already, like Writing Strands 2, Simply Grammar, The Story of Inventions, and Science Lab in a Supermarket.  Those cost about $68 total.  I only need to buy 2 more books on the schedule - American Tall Tales and The Princess and the Goblin.  Then I still need to buy about 8 of the "free reading" books (all the others I either have already or downloaded free on my Nook).  I can get those for a few dollars each, though.  So I probably won't spend more than $150 on his total 4th grade curriculum.

Loving life here in NYC.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

J's Series Finale

It's that time of year again for the annual assessments to be mailed in.  Yes, I still use the same format that's in my sidebar from 2005.  The highlights are fun to add, because I go back to September in my blog and make a note of most of our classes, activities, and trips.  Having it all here makes things so easy.  J's assessment was hard to write.  Where I normally put "J will begin ____ grade in September __", I put that J will begin 9th grade at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts in September 2010.  Wow.  That was the last bit of homeschool paperwork I will write up for her.  I didn't have to put that.  I've always liked to, just to make sure the district and I are on the same page with what's going on.  This time, though, it was more for a sense of closure.

I remember when I was first considering homeschooling.  At 8 years old, my daughter started to hate to be taught anything, became indifferent to anything new, and 4 teachers told me she had ADHD.  She was in a great gifted school and had tons of friends, but was not the same kid she used to be.  Where was her bubbly personality?  Her enthusiasm?  Her zest for life?


Homeschooling gave me my daughter back.  She started becoming her old self in only a matter of a few months.  I knew it was the right thing to do.  She taught me so much in our 5 years at home.  I learned to see life through her eyes.  Life (all of a sudden) became fun and exciting again and full of incredible things to experience.  And we tried to experience it all.   I will treasure every moment of it.

This new chapter in J's life is something she's more than ready for.  She's spent over 5 years becoming someone who is confident, independent, and ready to take on any challenge.  Since she was 3, her passion has been dance.  It's what she eats, sleeps, and breathes.  Acceptance to a high school where she can live her passion is the ideal finale to these incredible years of homeschooling.  She is living her dream and I can't ask for anything more.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Buncha Dance Stuff

The big dance recital was last night!  J was in 9 numbers and W was in 1 (the 20-minute long musical theater piece).  It was a nice 3 hours and went very smoothly.  J's "baby" class that she assists in every week aren't babies anymore.  They are all about 8 years old now and don't need someone in the orchestra pit to guide them through their performance.   J made sure, though, that she was close by and watched them from offstage.  She's so proud of her "babies".  Afterward, we all went out for wings, sliders, pizza, and drinks with the dance families.   

K took a bunch of Regents exams last week and is just about finished with her junior year of high school.  She's really looking forward to being a senior.  I love that she knows exactly what she wants to do with her life and is making plans towards it.  But for now, K plans on a lot of beach-time this summer.  As a matter of fact, she's out in Long Island with a friend on the beach today.

J is going to her friend's 8th-grade graduation party this afternoon.  This friend also got into a performing arts high school (not LaG), for drama.  J is getting more and more eager to begin high school.  We were watching So You Think You Can Dance and a guy in the top 11 went to LaG (as did Tyce Diorio).  Later in the show, a couple danced to a song by Kelis (who went to LaG).  It seems that every day, we come across someone else famous who went there.  So, J is more than excited.  She's ready to start some summer reading now, too.  One book is required, but she can pick others from a list of over 50.

Summer dance classes start Tuesday.  J will be taking all advanced levels of Ballet, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Hip Hop twice a week for 6 weeks.  She also wants to take some summer workshops and classes at a few places in Manhattan.  In high school she will have 2 ballet classes and 2 modern classes (3 hours total) every morning.  They don't mess around there, lol. 

We adopted a red-eared slider turtle today, too.  It's 3 years old and huge.  B went out to buy a bigger tank, lol.  We named him Herbie.

Friday, June 11, 2010


W's morning academics are going so well.  I love that time with him. We're planning on using the whole summer to finish AO Yr2.  I can't find the TT math CD, so we've just been using the workbook.  We both actually like it this way. If we use this program again, I may only buy the workbook.  I've already started accumulating some Year 3 books.  A bunch of them carry over from Year 2,  I found 11 that were free and I've already uploaded them to my Nook, and I only have to buy about half of them.  I don't think I'll spend more than $100.  I'm already looking forward to next year.  Having W as my only homeschooler is going to be so much fun.  It's going to be weird not having J here, too, and I think he's starting to worry about that.  

J has officially come to the end of her home education.  Technically, she's still mine until September, lol, but our academic time is complete.  She has summer reading to do for school and of course I'm here to always help with schoolwork, but she is no longer a homeschooler.  I will be writing up her final 4th quarterly and annual assessment in a week or so.  Yesterday she went to her new school and took a math placement test with all the other incoming freshmen.  This is to see which math class you belong in.  J thinks she did ok, but prefers not to be in any honors (accelerated) classes.  She hasn't been in school in 5 years and the unknown is scary enough without it having to be an accelerated unknown.  She can go into honors (and then AP classes later) anytime if she qualifies, though, so she'll see how the first half of the year goes.  So, J joins the rest of the schoolkids who have over 2 full months of summer freedom before school begins.  She's more excited about this than anything ever.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Group Dance Shots

I took these from the website of one of J's competitions.  They were just put up this week and I plan on ordering these shots.  I just couldn't wait, so I posted these right from the website.  These are 3 of J's group numbers.  They are comprised of the 6 members of her team, so they are always in the "small group" category.  The other 3 groups she was in comprised of her team with the older team's (ages 15 & 16) 6 members, and that's in the "large group" category.  Those haven't been posted on the comp's website, yet - but I'll probably find some great shots to order from those as well.  Yes, that's a huge watermark in the middle of each one, lol.  The actual prints come out much clearer, too.  But you get the idea...