Monday, August 24, 2015

I am at a loss...

I sent out an email to all the parents that are in my American Literature and Composition class at our homeschooling co-op almost a month before co-op started (this was when we were asked to send it out because registration was closed and we knew who was in our class...not to mention that fact that I sent them an email with the books we would be reading and the guide book they would need back in April to those moms already in co-op and the ones who came to the Open House and were going to be joining).  The letter told them the books we would be reading, the EIL (Excellence In Literature) Guide they would need to purchase, and other supplies they would need (binder, pens, etc...).  It also told them what would be expected of their students and a general overview of the course. Attached to the email was a letter they were supposed to read with their children that laid out what they should expect from the class, their responsibilities, and their "summer reading" (all they had to read was the beginning of the EIL Guide book that lays out the course, how to deeply read a book-the things they needed to look for while analyzing the book...themes, symbolism, plot devices, etc...It was a couple of chapters. The introduction to a course which is supposed to be an independent study, so you should be reading it even if I didn't actually assign it to you).  The second thing attached to the email to the parents was the syllabus for the first semester...Long story short...Two of the 11 students came having read the "summer reading" and one of them was my child....It is hard to have a discussion on it (which the syllabus told them we would being doing on the first day) when the great majority of the class hasn't even read it. Today (the second week of co-op) we went over the paper they need to write this week that is due next Monday and we had a lesson on how to take notes from a lecture. Class went well.  The two moms that are in my class as assistants said it was great and they are my friends and would tell me if it wasn't great!  They are of course a couple of young men that think they are much smarter than everyone else in the world and made stupid comments. Example: When I was listing all things Benjamin Franklin could be categorized as, I included musician.  One of the extra intelligent boys asked me how Franklin could be a museum...?  I asked him what he was talking about and we finally figured out he misheard me...Ha. Ha. Ha.  Thank you for wasting our time (I only have one hour a week with the class, but who is counting?) trying to be funny. Another example is when I was explaining how to lay out their paper in MLA format and I told them their name goes on the top left hand corner of the paper.  I was writing on the middle/left side of the huge white board (the left was filled with examples of how to take notes from a lecture and the right had their assignments for the week...the middle was the only space I had) and another genius raised his hand (at least he raised his hand.  The first smarty pants didn't even do that), and said (I kid you not!), "you said write it on the top left corner but that is the top right corner."  I paused and starred at him for an uncomfortable 6 seconds or so and then turned around drew a rectangle around it (making sure it appeared in the top left hand corner of the rectangle), and asked him if he saw it now....He thought he was pointing out that I wrote it on the wrong side but he obviously doesn't know his right from his left...Did I mention this kid is 14 with blond hair and he is trying to grow in a creepy little mustache? Yuck...
...But on to my real point.  One of my friends, who is an assistant for me in my class, teaches a science class.  She had a few minutes at the end so she asked them what they thought of co-op so far this year.  All of the students said it seemed harder, to which my friend told them it was supposed to get harder as they got into higher classes and more was expected of them.  She asked for specifics on what they thought was hard.  They said things like the amount of reading and writing (keep in mind I have modified the curriculum we are using to give three weeks to read books instead of one or two because people said it wasn't enough time.The "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" is 160 pages...??? You need three week to read 160 pages?) in every class (science included.  You can't read a chapter in Science, take notes, do a study guide, labs at co-op and then a test at home in 2-3 weeks???).  One girl that is in my Lit class said she was totally lost in it.  My friend (who was shocked because her son who is a grade younger and has auditory processing issues is having no problem...not to mention we just started) asked her why (also keep in mind every time I asked if anyone had questions no one raised their hand) and the girl said she didn't know why I was talking about Benjamin Franklin so much.  My friend (after recovering from such a strange statement) explained it was because we are reading his autobiography.  The girl looked at her, obviously very confused, and said her mom gave her "The Autobiography of Fredrick Douglas" and said that is what we were reading....I can't...I don't even understand.  I am shocked to find out that so many homeschoolers read so little.  SHOCKED.  I am shocked that this mother who gave her daughter the wrong book to read has obviously not read any of the emails I have sent (the two I mentioned before or the one that I sent last week recapping what their students homework was and what we covered in class), the EIL Guide book, the letter to their child (that I told them to read with their child), or the syllabus. What is going on?

Oh! I almost forgot. Did I mention that Jake is sick so he was at home while I was at co-op trying to lead these peoples children (for free) who don't even know what their children are studying...Even though THEY ARE THE ACTUAL TEACHER!!! I am with them one hour a week!!! I  I know everything Jake is studying (besides math...I know what lesson he is on but I don't get it.  That is Aaron's department) because I am homeschooling him. Even though he is getting much more independent I am still guiding him, reviewing with him, assigning things to him, being involved.

Don't get me wrong-I love co-op!  I do!  I just don't love all the people that are there pretending to homeschool their kids. I love that we do all our Science Labs there...but I don't love that the mom leading that class isn't going to grade any of the labs until the end of the year when we have completed all of them and we will give her our child's whole binder.  Negative. What if Jake has been doing them wrong the whole year and we don't find out until the year is over?  Also how do you give your child a grade after the first semester when you don't know any of the grades on his labs?  I will grade them myself. I love that Jake has made some really great friends there and so have I! I love that we can (hopefully...assuming the students actually read) have book discussions. I just needed to vent really.  Aaron keeps reminding me it really shouldn't matter to me what anyone else is doing, as long as we are doing what we need to.  I understand that but it is a lot of work to plan a class and grade papers for students that may not even be reading the right book!  My friend, who told me about the girl reading the wrong book, talked to the girls mom (I left early to be with my sick child) and told her I probably wouldn't mind if she kept reading the wrong book and wrote papers on it...Wrong.  I am not grading a paper on the wrong book because you didn't read anything I sent you.  I am not that nice.  Besides the fact that the 2nd paper we are writing will be on Franklin's 13 virtues.  I could be wrong but I don't thing Fredrick Douglas discusses them in his book. Get it together people or I may LOSE IT!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A "Field Trip" To Pisgah

A week after school started we realized we had not spent nearly enough time in water this summer so we called a few friends and headed for the Mountains.  We left at 12:30 so we had time to do almost every subject of school before we left and then we headed up what Jake used to call "our mountain" to Pisgah National Forest.  We even drove through our old neighborhood and showed our friends our old house.  I didn't take a picture since I was driving and it hasn't changed much.  We had a great time swimming, jumping off the rock (Yes I did it but since I am the photographer there is no documentation. And it is higher than it looks!), and then venturing to a Looking Glass waterfall.  And of course we ended the trip with some Dolly's ice cream.  It was just what we needed and we will be doing it again asap.

1st day of school

Jake was back in school as of August 5, 2015.  He is a 9th/10th grader.  Which means he is in the 9th grade but he is doing 10th grade level I am just not ready to call him a 10th grader so we are /ing it. 

We covered his Biology book old school style (we still need to cover his Algebra 2 book) because we know we will be bringing it to the homeschool consignment store when we are done so we want to keep it nice.  And it is just fun to cover your books.

He got his first grade of the year, a 100%, on his Bio Mod 1 "On Your Own" questions.

He had "hot lunch" just like public schoolers.  He did a whole bunch of stuff!  We covered every subject and finished everything!  Great way to kick off the school year!  We also went on a little field trip to....

...Our new neighborhood Walmart!!  It was the grand opening that morning and we had been waiting impatiently for it to open so we had to go!  We waited in line to get in...Crazy right?!  It didn't take long to get in at all-they were just greeting people and handing out maps of the store.  It is called a Walmart Marketplace because it it just a grocery store.  It took us just under a minute and 30 seconds to get there and it has a gas station.  It is the best of both worlds.  We can buy our groceries and gas cheap and not have all the other things that tempt you at a full size Walmart.  And we got free Coke and English muffins!  We were in and out pretty quick.  We just wanted to check it out.  

I can't believe the summer is over and we are now a week and half into school...we have already had some rough days but we know this is what we are supposed to be doing and we can do this. Here is to our 5th year homeschooling and all the memories that we will make and knowledge we will fill into our brains!!!!

Summer Fun

Random stuff that happened this summer.  Each * is describing a picture....
*The weekend before my parents and Aunt Sheila got home, I spent one night (less than 24 hours) at my parents for some "me time". The picture with the bags is all I packed-several books, school stuff, clothes...I ended up watching Jane Eyre, and the episodes of Poldark I missed...and it was awesome!  *I made the guys cookies before I left because I am awesome like that.  *I also went to a Relief Society activity that I was asked to speak at.  The topic was to  pick my favorite talk from General Conference and discuss it. A few other ladies were asked to do the same and we had a great time. We all laughed and cried together all while eating brunch. *I was eating some Graham Crackers and noticed the back of the box gives you directions on how to make a s'more.  Who doesn't know how to make a s'more?  *The bottom picture is of a feather I actually say fall from the sky while on a walk.  I only heard the bird, I didn't see it...but I saw the feather fall which was much cooler.
*Jake had to take a picture of this water stain in the carport because he thought it looked like a dog pooping...and because he is a boy.  *The picture of the pictures and book case are my view from the love seat (my seat in the living room).  I love the distressed flag my old friend Laura Hutcheon made me.  *Aaron's Star Wars comic.  *Jake and I are officially obsessed with the flavored and carbonated water from Walmart.  Peach is the best.  *Jake had his first frozen lemonade, mixed with ice cream thingy from Chick-fil-a.  I can't remember what they call it but it is delicious.  *My Dr Seuss plant...or what is left of it.  My mom got me a much larger version of this and it quickly died.  I transplanted what was left...and it has since died. *One day we drove over to the fixer upper for Jake to cut the grass. Sadie was so excited because she got to come with us...but a little nervous because she had to sit in the back of the Jeep with the lawn mower. *Jake cutting the grass. *Sadie had to sit in front on the way home because she was very tired after our walk and just couldn't handle sitting with the lawnmower again.  She sat on the console in between us.
*We realized that having missed our trip to VT/NH, we also missed eating creamies.  So we went to McDonald because they have soft serve cones that surprisingly aren't that bad and are very cheap.  Jake liked it.  *And he shared it with Sadie.  I am a germ-a-phob, but that doesn't disgust me.  My dogs germs bother me much less than other peoples.

*Yep.  We did this again. This time with the Smith's.  This is what you do when you don't have a pool and you live in the South...and it is the hottest summer ever...and you want to go outside but you can't do it with out getting sprayed with a hose.

*Summer in the South: waiting in the parking lot at the grocery store to see if the rain will stop.  It will because it is just because of the humidity being soooo high the sky just can's hold it in any more. *Laundry day.  We bought new towels because our old ones were...old and we didn't have enough.  Now we have enough but they are all dirty.  *Jake and Aaron checking out something on the computer. *The Activity Day Girls sending mom and :we miss you: message when she was in VT. *Fruit pizza. Again.  *Riding the Rail Trail. Jake road his bike and I rented one.  Don't let this picture fool you-I was in the lead most of the time!

Gravatopia!!!  The greatest place ever!  We moms that watched decided that if they had a mom's night they would have to hand out Depends at the door because we would all be peeing our pants.  Oh to be young and have command of your bladder! This was after hours.  The people that own Gravatopia are members of the church and let the Youth from the Stake go jump for free from 9-10:30 a couple of Wednesday's ago.  Jake brought his friend Carter (Smith-he was one of the boys jumping on the trampoline at our house a couple of posts ago.  He has on the yellow shorts. Jake has on the green shirt and gray shorts) and of course met up with friends there. 

(I forgot....I am so out of order...This was the night of his first day of school. 8/5)

*Jake wanted a house key.  He has been wanting one for a long time. So while I was at Lowe's getting some paint (I am going to paint the hall and the bathroom) I decided to copy my key and they had Star Wars keys for 50 cents more than regular ones.  I was sold, but knew Aaron would be very jealous so I got one for him too.  Jake was happy. He has since lost it (he swears he will find it).  And this is why you don't really need a house key when you don't have a car key to attach it to.

*Jake slept in one morning (after having worked with Papa Harmon four days straight at the fixer upper house) so I made him breakfast in bed.
*We watched the first Republican debate.  We even made a chart so we could grade them on the things we wanted to hear him talk about.  I love Ben Carson.  I am becoming a bigger fan of Marco Rubio and shockingly I like Huckabee...I don't like him at all...but I did!  He was Jake's favorite too.  Aaron is holding his cards close to his chest and not saying who his pick is.

*Pico de gallooooh!  The rewards outweigh the risks.  I really did a dozy on my finger.  I cut off a good portion of my nail and several layers of skin under it. I was using the proper technique and everything! 

*We went with the Smith's to Greenville to a water park and it was tons of fun!

*We played Settler's Of Catan..and no they didn't plan to match.

We have had lots of fun this summer...Now bring on FALL!  Seriously...I am done with this heat.

Fixer Upper

Some random pictures of the slow and steady progress at the fixer upper....

Cousins...we kind of love them around here.

We had a cousin day with Addie Kate (ADK) and Della (Lala) which involved: eating lunch while watching The Lego Movie, a Wii Just Dance party (sorry for the picture quality but they were moving fast and laughing a lot!) and I worked on school stuff (because I am slightly obsessed)...

Then they followed it up with some trampoline water games.

Later that week we went to Greenville and swam with the Baby Harmon's.  Boy cousins are kind of awesome to have close.

The End. :)

Another Carrie

This picture is just because I love this face.

The day after the 4th we had another family gathering to meet another Carrie who will be officially joining the family in October.  Aaron's cousin Brian, lost his wife to cancer a few years ago and has found love again!  We are all so excited for him and so excited to meet Carrie!

More grilling had to take place for the special occasion. Jeremy was the happy grill master.

And some frying.  Aaron is the fry master.

Those were Aaron's hands prepping the bacon wrapped hot dogs that he is about to fry in this picture.

Brian is in the blue Texas t-shirt and his beautiful bride, Carrie, is standing next to him.  We all approve and some how she did too!  She told Brian she wants to move to SC to be close to family.  She is one smart lady!

These guys are good buddies.

And of course the millennial had to bust out a selfie stick.  Bless their hearts...

Good food...

...good company...

...and more corn hole.  We are easily amused!  Aaron is going to drive out to Texas with his cousins (and brothers of the soon to be groom) for the wedding in October and I will force him to take pictures.  Welcome to the family Carrie!