Friday, February 1, 2013

A Crazy, Jane Austen Week.

This was a crazy week for us.  I planned for a full schedule and normal week.  School was normal on Monday, and that's about it. We still saw no improvement in Amber's attitude and I hit my wits end with the child.

One of Amber's assignments on Tuesday was to write out what she believes to be my expectations for her behavior.  Apparently, she knows the expectations, she simply doesn't care to comply.  That didn't go over particularly well. Lately, Amber and I have spent the large part of our days at odds, so Fred SPOKE with Amber this week.  Let's just say she came out of that conversation professing to be a changed person.

Tuesday, actually, wasn't all bad and was going fairly well in the afternoon until our freakish Missouri weather threw us for a loop. On Monday we had one of those extremely warm winter days that you know comes with a price. Tuesday the price was storms, complete with tornadoes.  Midway through Amber's history test the weather radio went off for a tornado warning, we were listed in the path. Before I could finish telling Amber to head down to the basement, our sirens had started blaring.  Eventually, the history test was finished but with no time to spare before Amber's dance classes.  Thankfully, the severe portion passed before dance.

A really wide rainbow, before the storms.
Wednesday, January 30th, was our official one year anniversary of homeschoolingUnintentionally, we also scheduled a friend to go bowling with Amber that afternoon.  I guess it was a little like our homeschool anniversary celebration, without realizing we were celebrating.  Amber dutifully, if not hurriedly, completed her morning lessons on Wednesday to be ready for her friend.  The remaining lessons I decided could be made up during her normal free time on Friday.

Last semester we decided to move to a 4 day school week, with Friday being our catchup and special subjects day.  Very little "special subjects" have actually happened on Fridays. They usually became fun events with friends and family days, after sensory therapy in the morning.  This semester Amber's dance schedule makes a few of the other days a bit rushed and thus some regular school subjects have been added to Friday, with the majority of the afternoon still being free for fun events or make-up lessons.

Thursday came and I had grand plans for a full day of school, with no interruptions or activities. Amber was ready with her new attitude, or so she said, and it was going to be a great day.  One problem though, I woke up feeling like someone had beat on my entire body.  There wasn't a single part of me that did not ache.  My head was pounding, but not with my usual migraine.  I felt generally blah and was having trouble keeping my thoughts straight.

Cuddly morning with sick Mom
After many urgings from Fred and my Mom, I made a trip to the urgent care since my regular doctor is not in the office on Thursdays (of course). Flu test was a negative, and I really didn't have enough symptoms for the flu.  Still not sure what happened, it could be a virus or could be my meds that have been happily working together for years have decided they don't play well with others now.

At any rate, Thursday was declared a teacher sick day for the obviously reason of teacher was incapable of any instruction whatsoever.  Instead, I declared it knitting / crocheting day. We sat on the couch all afternoon first watching the BBC miniseries version of Jane Austen's Emma, and then my DVD version of Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow. 

Amber's new knitting bag from her aunt.
Amber is now hooked on Jane Austen!  However, having not read the books or being terribly familiar with the social workings of the time period, the Hollywood movies are a bit too brief for her. She much preferred the BBC version of Emma, and I must say it did make more sense and portrayed the characters better.

Amber wants us to watch my other Jane Austen movies, but alas we will probably need the BBC versions first.   While I love the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice (the book turns 200 yrs old this week), it is somewhat abrupt and abbreviated.  I suppose I will NEED to acquire the BBC version with Colin Firth. Just for Amber, I'll do it. :-)

As a side resource for the adults, if you like Pride and Prejudice, there is a hilarious and well done online modernized adaptation of Pride and Prejudice called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. This is a series of 3-5 minute videos, supposedly vlogs, created by Lizzie Bennet.   It is not terribly kid friendly, so preview carefully if you are considering letting your child watch.  Amber is not watching it, but I am at my every free moment.  They are currently on vlog #84 and posting regularly.

Today, Friday, I'm feeling a little better so we went ahead with our planned trip to one of the newly renovated libraries in our county.  It is on the way home from sensory therapy, and as we've been studying reference materials and how to find information in a library, I thought it would be good to visit one of the "big" libraries.  The library we normally visit is actually an "Express".  It has a small, cafe-like atmosphere with limited selection and services, however it is less than 2 miles from our house.  The Express libraries are still part of the county-wide system, so I normally utilize the online request feature to have our desired books transferred and delivered on the next day to the local Express.  Amber has been to the bigger libraries, both with me and with her various schools.  Yet, the one we visited today was just about the coolest library we've seen.  Instead of having to order the books she wanted, they were right there with no wait.  Amber came home with no less than 9 fiction books for free reading.  I do believe this just became a regular Friday stop after sensory therapy.

1. Browsing the books.
2. HALF of the young adult section in the library.
3. Approach to the children's section.  YA is on the right.
4. Amber and her book haul at the entrance to the library with a cool fountain.
We only took pictures of the children's area, sorta.  That wasn't quite half the first level. It is a multi-story building.
Now we are trying to complete whatever subjects will easily fit in the remainder of our afternoon before I get too tired.  It's a sad thing when the student is willing, finally, but the teacher is pathetic.

That's been our week.  I'm hoping for an ultra, super, wonderful, productive week coming up!

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  1. Some weeks are like that...super productive, energetic and creative and other weeks...well, not so much!
    Do you school year-round? We take off August and December but I count all the other things we do during these two months as lessons as well, like home economics, geography and social studies. It takes some of the pressure off during those not-so-great weeks!

    1. Sounds like a good plan. We don't school year round, but we don't take a terribly long summer break either. We've just had trouble since Christmas break to get things going correctly. Partly because her birthday is in early January. Still, UGHHH :) We are actually still on track though, and not behind. I do account for time off for fun days, sick days, etc.

  2. Sorry you aren't feeling well. It looks like your week was pretty productive anyway. Get better!

  3. Hope you are feeling better. The "big" library looks wonderful. The public library in the town I grew up in had a huge globe like the one in your photo. I always loved seeing it so your photo made me smile.