Saturday, March 17, 2012

All We Need are Latch Hook and Liberty's Kids

I was excited last week to find what this week might bring and to see how we might progress further with the homeschooling.   Overall, this was a good week and we have truly found a good rhythm.  We even figured out how to keep from sitting in one spot all day.

Monday we spent the whole morning at St. Louis Bread Company (Panera Bread for those of you not in St.L). My car was being outfitted with new tires and Bread Co. is next door to the tire shop.  We had the perfect location for a morning of school while waiting on my car.  It was quiet enough for school work to be completed, but exciting enough that Amber didn't realize notice how long we were stuck there.  I'm sure the chocolate chip muffie didn't hurt her attitude either.
Bread Co school
The weather here has been so unseasonably warm and nice that I have been trying to ensure Amber gets some time outside before it is so hot and humid that you can't walk outside without growing gills.  Tuesday I had a morning appointment and her grandparents came over for a little while, but they never go outside.  After spending the late morning and early afternoon completing school, we still had time to play outside in the backyard.

While playing with Amber on her swingset Tuesday, the thought came to me that I really do have a great life.  How many people get to spend the afternoon swinging and doing flips on the hoops with their child? If she wasn't an only child, I'm sure I would have been tempted to stay inside or do some outside chores and let the kids play.  Instead, I played with her so that she wasn't alone.  I think I'm the one that came out ahead that day though.

Amber didn't believe me that I could do flips on the hoops anymore.  I proved her wrong by going backwards and then forward again.  She even documented them with photos - but most of the pics are not positions I'm willing to show others, so this is the best we've got.  Just imagine I had done the back and forward flip and finally landed.

Wednesday, we decided to go to the local gym where we are members so Amber could start practicing for her mile run portion of the Presidential Fitness Challenge.  She had never run a mile before since her age group always did the half-mile.  I planned to have her complete a whole mile, but not at her best speed. Just start on her endurance for a mile run and then work on speed.  Instead the child managed her very first mile in 8:06, which is very well into the presidential range.   We are keeping that time, but still going to continue running the mile regularly to keep up her endurance.

Wednesday afternoon we finally managed to get in an art class, but we are doing so poorly with art.  I talked about that earlier this week.  This art class was actually just a latch hook craft that she had been dying to work on.  Still, she's being creative and enjoying it.  She also watched several episodes of Liberty's Kids while being crafty.

Thursday we spent the morning and early afternoon at my parents' house to "grandpa sit".  My mom had appointments and dad is unable to be left alone.  Amber was very dedicated to her school work and got everything done while we were there. I just love this aspect of homeschooling. She was able to take a Latin test (and get 100%) on her grandparents' porch.  She is so relaxed and happy, but still learning more than she ever did in the parochial school.

Thursday was also the beginning of the storms, again.  We didn't quite make it home before they arrived. Thankfully, it only stormed and rained heavily during our drive home. There had been golf ball size hail at our house and baseball size hail 2 miles away about 10 minutes before we arrived home.  I'm still in awe how we made it through all of that with no visible damage to anything.  With all the storms around in the early evening we decide to not again chance hail damage to the car and skipped her dance class.  Instead, it was another evening of latch hook and Liberty's Kids (are you seeing a pattern yet?).
I also went to bed Thursday night with a massive migraine, the kind that makes me sick.  I have chronic daily migraines that are handled through preventative meds.  This was one of the classic migraines with the aura, light sensitivity and the screaming pain.  I'll just say that Thursday night was unpleasant and I was pretty useless most of Friday morning.

Amber was great on Friday morning. She got herself up, fixed her own breakfast, reviewed her daily schedule and started on the school work that didn't need interaction with me.  All this while occasionally checking on her mother who was closeted in a very dark bedroom.  Eventually, I could move my head without waves of nausea and knew that it was almost over.

I managed to administer a history test to Amber and go over the new portion of her math and that's about all I did with her for school on Friday.  She did more latch hook and watched Liberty's Kids, again, in the mid-afternoon. 
Liberty's Kids, again. (Taken with the iPad3) :)
Later in the afternoon we met up with a friend of Amber's at the gym complex so the girls could swim at the indoor pool.  It was a fun afternoon for Amber and I just sat around hoping my migraine didn't return. It was fairly relaxing.

The biggest excitement for me on Friday was the arrival of my iPad 3!!!!  I've already got so many new apps on it and had a lot of fun playing with it on Friday evening.  Amber isn't terribly impressed with it yet.  She says it looks like a big iPhone.  Until she understands how it differs from my iphone and her ipod touch, I doubt I'll have to share it much.

I still didn't manage this week to make any time for read aloud books (see my post about the forgotten read aloud time).  I really tried, but it just never worked out.  Amber did a lot of reading to herself, she always does.  I even have a book picked out to read, but we simply don't have time for it or the child isn't interested in listening to me read.  I did have time for it blocked off one day, but she asked, "couldn't I just latch hook and watch Liberty's Kids some more?"  When she is in a crafty mood, I don't want to discourage her. So, I gave in and we skipped the read aloud that day.  To be honest, that was Thursday and my migraine had already started. I wasn't too keen on reading anyway.

The funniest part of this week wasn't a single moment but has to be Amber singing, off key, to the Aaron Carter & Kayla theme song to Liberty's Kids.  She sings it constantly. If the child isn't sleeping or eating, she is singing that song. She even hums it while doing her school work. It's a nice little theme and very patriotic, but hours of the song each day is beginning to wear me down.  Amber's dad even found a Youtube video of a live performance from a 4th of July celebration several years ago. Why he did this, I'll never know.  Now, we get to hear "Through My Own Eyes" through her iPod speaker system too.  I tried to get a picture of her singing and dancing to the song in her room, but she just shut the door on me while singing off key.  It's funny, strangely reminiscent of my own childhood, and I can't help smiling all the while my ears are begging for soundproof walls.

This past week was another good one.  I really feel that we have managed to remain well rounded (except art) and still allow Amber to pursue the topics that are interesting to her.  We both still love her new Social Studies curriculum, but I don't know what I'm going to do when we run out of Liberty's Kids episodes - only 1 1/3 disks (out of 6) left before the end of the series!


  1. Oh, gosh, I never knew that AARON CARTER sang that song! We're working our way through Liberty's Kids too. My daughter sings this, but not as much as yours...yet. LOL

  2. LOL. Have fun with Liberty's Kids and don't show her the YouTube video ;)

  3. I used to LOVE latchhooking as a kid. Kudos to you to be able to flip on those rings! I tried that last year and my arms were sore for a week!!

  4. LOL! I was only sore for about a day, mostly in the shoulders. It was a strange feeling. I do workout though and weights are part of my rotation.

  5. We just finished Libertys Kids the whole series is available on Netflix! It fit in with our history time period and we LOVED it;) Kind of sad it's over, we all enjoyed watching an episode or two each night! And we all can definitely sing the theme song, too!

    What do you use for Latin? And what did you start with?

  6. Liberty's Kids fits in with our time period in history too. Do you rent it from Netflix or stream it? I'm glad I found it on Amazon because it really has helped interest my daughter again. Social Studies was a mess because she hated what her parochial school had been doing. It took us a while to find something that she liked again.

    For Latin we use Latin for Children - Primer A. We just started this in February. We had planned to start Latin in 5th grade, but we also didn't plan to start homeschooling until 5th grade. I have to say that the Latin curriculum is just wonderful and she is learning a lot fairly quickly. She still looks forward to her Latin class. I have more detailed thoughts about it under our Current Curriculum section, if you are interested.