Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Crazy, Crazy Week - Glad To Be A Homeschooler

This last week was one heck of a crazy week. It started out last Saturday with my 19 year old son going to the hospital. He has been living with friends for the last month (his choice not mine!). Well, that didn't work out so well. Luckily they called an ambulance. He was admited for pneumonia. Saturday I went to visit him and he seemed sick but okay. I didn't plan on visiting him Sunday as it was a crazy day and I work nights over the weekends so sleep during the day. I was just dropping the littles off at my sister's house when I got a text from his friends (who were visiting him at the hospital) that Brian was being sedated and intubated!!!!

I immediately headed to the hospital. To make a long story shorter, he was on the ventilator for 4 days. He did go home today thank goodness.

The part of this that angers me the most is I found out he was living in an apartment with no heat, no food, and apparently no water as he was disgustingly dirty and smelled!!!! He was not brought up this way by either of us (even though we are divorced!). It also doesn't help that he has congenital myasthenia, a form of muscular dystrophy and he HAS to take medicine 5 times a day and a night time time-release pill. He was NOT taking his medicine!!!

This is frustrating on so many levels as he is a very intelligent boy. I also don't think he has learned ANYTHING from this ordeal at all. He wanted to get out of the hospital and go right back to where he was living! Finally we convinced him to go home with his dad. We have to convince him his lifestyle has to change or he will die! I took a picture of him intubated. When I showed it to him (while he was still intubated) he started crying and saying he was sorry. I know he meant it at the time, but if he would just remember how he felt and how much he hurt. I just don't know how to convince him that these are not the friends for you and that you can do better!

On the note of homeschooling, the poor little guys didn't get much done this week. However, if they were in public or private school I just don't know how we would have made it. There would have been no way to get them to school and get them from school and visit Brian at all. The hospital is an hour from our home. I am so thankful my husband was on his week off work and was able to keep the boys home with him (although I think it wore him out!!!) Nico did go with me to the hospital one day and completed Math, Reading, and Language so it was something. I am totally impressed with myself about not stressing out about missing a week of school. I love the flexibility it offers us when crisis like this happen.

All I can say is I will be so glad to get back to normal next week. Even Luca said he is ready to do lessons! Life is a lesson and I hope more than just book lessons have been learned this week and in the future....especially for my 19 year old.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Modifying the Tree

The last two years we have had real trees for Christmas. This year I went ahead and bought an artificle tree so to avoid all the pine needles in the carpet. I just love our prelight tree. The branches are so perfect on it and all the lights work. I just hate to think about shoving it back in the box (which it never fits back in right). I slyly asked Mike if he cared if I left the tree up and decorated it for Valentine's day, the for St. Patrick's day and so on. I promised I would not buy ornaments but MAKE them. Sooooo...this week is going to bring some fun to our classroom....starting to make wintery items and Valentine decorations for the tree.

We never did get to read all the stories I wanted to read for the holidays so we are going to start reading the wintery ones and doing activities with them. We'll add in the Valentine books and animals that live in the cold. I am looking forward to the fun it will bring and the colors it will bring to the room. I think a new tradition may start with Cupid leaving a little surprise UNDER the tree just like Santa. St. Patrick's Day can bring a note from a leprachaun with directions to find the 'hidden pot of gold'. We can have all kinds of fun with this. I am glad our living room is big enough to keep it up.

I don't have my pictures with me today, but this week in school Nico did a really fun experiment involving chewing up bread and spitting it out. We had recently done an experiment determining which foods had starch in them by using a simple iodine test. This week we studied amlayse and how it affects the starch molecules in our food. Nico chewed bread for 30 seconds, 1 minute, and 3 mintues (quite difficult to do and not swallow!). He spit them out after each time interval (yep, kindof gross..but how else are you going to learn). He then put iodine on each sample to see how much starch was present. It was a little difficult to tell, but there was a difference in them.

Luca started MUS Primer and is loving doing 'big boy' math! He is also starting his own letter book working on a letter a week. He continues to ask to do the Headsprout website working on reading skills.

As for myself, I was playing with my new camera my wonderful husband bought me for Christmas! Again, I am at work so don't have access to the pictures I took, but I got some beautiful shots of our roosters and the boys this week. I am planning a field trip to the butterfly house or bird sanctuary so I can get some good colorful pictures. It is not much fun taking pictures of dead grass and an empty pond.

I also sold my little red Saturn (well my husband secretly posted it on Craig's list and sold my Saturn right out from under my nose!)....but that's okay....we ended up buying a VW Jetta....super great gas mileage for my long hauls to work!!! It is not brand new, it is a 2000, but having a husband that was an airline mechanic has many auto maintenance. Immediately he dug into the engine and is replacing some parts with newer ones before I start to drive the wheels off of it. I forgot to mention that about 5 weeks ago, Mike had bought himself one as well. We are now a VW family. I love my husband for being so thoughtful of our money and caring for our safety while we travel.

I'll get pictures posted this week when I am off's my 48 hour week so not expecting a lot of housework to get completed. :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012


Happy New Year!

We start back to school tomorrow....that was one quick break, but much needed and much loved! We are ready to get back to the books and hit it hard for the next 3 months! I hate the cold and am ready to just snuggle in and get the work done so when the weather warms up we can play!

My plans for December and doing a book a day and making a craft didn't quite pan out. I think we got three books and crafts done. Ah, oh well, that's the joys of homeschooling. I do have several books we were going to read that relate to the winter months and snow so I think we will continue to do those. Homeschool Creations just posted printables for "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats. See here for the link to the homepage with literature based printables. Luca loves the fun things they create. They are quick and easy.

The start of the new year is bringing us to the start of some new topics. I like ending, before our big breaks, by wrapping up some of the subjects and topics. Everything worked out great this year. In health we finished up the organs and will be moving onto the brain and nervous system. In math we finished MathUSee Gamma and are moving onto Delta. We should progress pretty quickly through the beginning of Delta and then start the long division. Luca will be starting MUS Primer. He is pretty good at counting so we will start working more on recognizing numbers and writing them. In science we have one last chapter in Chemistry and we will be moving onto Physics. We finished "Tree in the Trail" for Geography and decided before moving onto the next book we will do a mini unit on Native Americans from the Great Plains area. Reading has us wrapping up the book "Loser" and then we are going to start working on Spectrums workbook for Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary.

This year is also bringing a change in my work schedule which is throwing a crimp in our school schedule...but we will make it work. Every other week I now have to work Tuesday night as well as Sat, Sun, and Mon. We have decided to split up the subjects between Monday and Tuesday and fill Wed, Thurs, and Friday. We may end up with some carryover into Saturday, but we'll play it by ear and tweak it as we need to.

I am not big on making resolutions because I can never stick to them, but Nico made one for me this year. To paint our bathrooms and to redecorate his room. I will start working on that by the middle of January. We have also decided to do some major decluttering and selling of old toys and items that are sitting around and stuffed in closets. I started, well my husband started, by selling my Saturn SC2 today! He practically sold it right out from under me....but that is okay, we had discussed it, but I didn't realize it would happen so quickly. I feel a bit lost because it was the first item I bought after getting divorced in 1994. I traded in my van three days after the divorce for that car. So, next on my list is trying to sell the old Super Nintendo and Playstation and all the games. Really, why am I keeping them and moving them from one place to the other. The boys will be plugging them in and trying out all the games this week to see what works and what doesn't. Also on the list of sales is the Fisher Price items. The boys just don't play with them. I have kept them since Brian was little, but it is time for another little boy or boys to enjoy them rather than collect dust.

I am definitely looking forward to a fun start of the year even though it sounds like work.