Friday, August 17, 2018

Weekly Wrap Up- Last Week of Summer

This is officially our last week of "summer vacation".  We'll resume our academic pursuits on Monday.    That was a fast couple of months!   

Monday was a relatively low key day.   Olivia had her first volleyball practice with her new team and is LOVING it.   They have 2 hour practices, 5 days a week for the next two weeks with a scrimmage on August 24.   Even when regular season starts they'll be having games or practices every day during the week.  She's in volleyball heaven right now.   It was Lindsey's day to cook dinner, so she made baked macaroni & cheese, sweet sausages and lima beans.   It turned our very good!

Tuesday Lindsey was back to work babysitting during the day.   Olivia of course had volleyball in the evening.   Lindsey had volleyball evaluations for the recreation league as well.   We should know by Sunday what her schedule will look like.

Wednesday Lindsey worked at the museum all day.   I took Olivia to the health department to get her last travel vaccination.   When we got there they tried to tell me she needed 3 other shots (MMR, varicella, HepB).   I explained that no, she's up to date on all her shots, and that since she's been coming there since FEBRUARY to get shots, this should have showed up earlier if it were true.  They insisted that State Health Department database shows she needed these shots blah blah blah.  I flat refused, went home and called the pediatrician who confirmed that I was right.   They in turn had  to fax her records back to the health department so they could fix her records with the state.  CRAZY.    Olivia then had volleyball in the evening.

Thursday Lindsey was back babysitting, she's really enjoying this job.   Olivia and I went to the chiropractor and I was so happy to get my knee and ankle realigned.   It's Olivia's day to fix dinner, so she made barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes and corn.   She put the chicken in the crockpot early in the day and then finished fixing everything when she got home from volleyball.

Friday (today) I'll be away most of the day.   The husband has a vacation day and he'll be running Lindsey to her last day of babysitting and Olivia to volleyball if I'm not home in time.  Hopefully he'll think of something for dinner, grins.

This week on the blog, I shared my review of the book God Schooling:  How God Intended Children to Learn. It wasn't one of my favorite books (as shown in my review) and apparently ruffled a few feathers with the folks I review for, it got pulled.   Sorry ya'll, but I don't lie in my reviews, period.

Here's to a great weekend!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn (Book Review)

Today, I'm sharing my review of the book God Schooling:  How God Intended Children to Learn by author Julie Polanco.  The book consists of 9 chapters, followed by study questions that you can use either as an independent study, or with a group.

Chapter titles include:
Biblical Support of Natural Learning
Motivation & Excellence
Thoughts on Teaching Children Under Age Eight
Thoughts on Teaching Children Aged Eight to Twelve
Giving Teens the Wings to Fly
Spreading the Banquet
Getting Started
Some Q&A
Record Keeping and Structure

The book, in short, expounds on the world of unschooling in all it's glory, while slapping God's name on it for a self imposed seal of approval.   I have nothing against unschooling, and see where it has it's own merits.  I love to see kids follow their interests and find their passion.  However, in my personal opinion, the author comes across as saying this is the only God approved way of homeschooling, and I can't agree with that.   It may very well be how He led her to teach (or not teach) her children, but that doesn't mean it's THE WAY for everyone.

Likewise, some of the opinions that the author shares in this  book really just rub me the wrong way.   Here are a few direct quotes that particularly annoy me, both of these are from the section on teaching small children (under age 8).

"I have learned while teaching at co-op that children under eight years really are not capable of much formal learning."  (page 63)

"Trying to teach anything to children this age and expecting them to retain it is a waste of time." (page 64).  

Throughout the book, the author uses scripture to try and back up her point of view.   Ironically, in support of the above referenced chapter/quotes she uses I Corinthians 3:18-19 "If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a fool so that he may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight."  (page 68)  Yet the back of the book brags of quotes from 25 experts in child development, psychology, neuroscience, and education.   That's a pretty big contradiction no matter how you look at it.

Moving on to children ages 8-12 the author goes on to say "Just as walking and talking are skills that we did not teach, reading, writing, and calculating are skills that we would do well not to teach, at least not until the child shows readiness by asking for it, vehemently."(page 78)  I don't even have words for how out of touch this sentence is to me.

As you can see, I'm not a fan of this book.   I wish I could give a more positive review, but that's just not going to happen here.  I will say, the author has a good, easy to read writing style and is passionate about her topic.    If you'd like a copy, the author is having an e-book half price sale going on until August 22.

To read other reviews of this book, click here.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Weekly Wrap Up - On the Go

Our local school systems started back to school this week.  I feel sorry for all those kids, teachers and support staff who have to go back during the hottest part of summer when you should still be vacationing.   

I realized I haven't taken any photos this week.   Here's one I just found from a cooking workshop at the museum, so I'll share it even though it's a few weeks old.
Monday was our only day at home.  I spent the better part of the day looking through all of our new curriculum and figuring out how to best use each one within our homeschool.   I completed lesson plans for the first two weeks of our school year.  We'll start back August 20, have two full weeks, then a 4 day holiday weekend/birthday break.   During that time I'll reevaluate and see what needs to be tweaked for the next few weeks.

Tuesday Lindsey was babysitting.  Olivia and I worked on yard word, gave the dog another bath (he's finally getting rid of his yeast infection) and cleaned house.    We also worked on an online product review that has about plucked our nerves.

Wednesday Lindsey worked at the museum all day.  Olivia and I dropped her off before 9am, then went grocery shopping and ran a few other errands.   We ran by Michael's and found a new scrapbook for all of Olivia's Haiti photos, and it was on sale for $5.99!!  We spent the afternoon watching old movies together.

Thursday morning I had to drive Tom to work at 4:30am (his car was in the shop).  At 8:45 I had to drop Lindsey off at her babysitting job.  While she was gone, Olivia and I started working on her new scrapbook.  It's funny how someone as artistic as she is kind of locks up on "crafty" things.   We worked for several hours and then she was on craft overload.    I went to pick up Lindsey on one side of town, dropped her off then went to pick up Tom.

Friday (today) Lindsey is working at the museum.   We have to give the dog another bath in his medicated shampoo (if the rain holds off), then it's back to the vet at 2pm for a follow up visit.  At some point during the day I need to finish cleaning the house and make cookies for a meeting I'm hosting here at 7pm...and now the in-laws are dropping by at some point.  Just thinking about all of that makes me just a bit stressed, honestly.

I hope you've had a good week.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up.

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Weekly Wrap Up - Hello August

Monday morning the plumber arrived with our new water heater.  He was super nice and had the whole thing done in about 90 minutes.   Apparently, in addition to leaking, the old heater hadn't been heating much either.  We now have HOT water even on a lower setting, I'd forgotten what that was like.    Lindsey had her last sewing class of the season.   She make a lovely tote bag, but ran out of time to put the straps on it, so that's on her agenda for later in the week.   It's really cute though, right?

Tuesday Lindsey worked at the museum all day.  Olivia and I ran a family member to a doctor appointment and then home to work on projects around the house.    Lindsey's first sewing customer came by in the evening to pick up her finished project and Lindsey was thrilled to get paid $60 for all her work.
Wednesday, I dropped Lindsey off at the museum at noon.   The JLS kids worked on their farms all afternoon, cooking foods for their big feast.   In the evening, after the museum closed, they all gathered to eat their homemade meal.  After cleanup they played period games, had a barn dance and then everyone spent the night on site.   Way too much fun!      Olivia and I went by the local high school to sign her up for the PSAT's.    In the evening we went to the county fair.   It was odd being there without Lindsey, but we're at that point in life where it's not always the four of us doing things together.  

Thursday morning I picked Lindsey up at 9am from her overnight at the museum. Apparently there wasn't a great deal of sleeping involved, but she had a great time and won playing capture the flag!  She snoozed on the sofa most of the day while Olivia worked on a scarf she's knitting for a Christmas gift.  I went grocery shopping in the latest round of monsoon rains.

Friday (today) is Lindsey's first day of babysitting away from home.   While she's gone Olivia and I are going to work on getting the finished side of the basement deep cleaned and organized.  I think Tom and Olivia are going to go see Jurassic World in the evening.

On the blog this week, I've shared about Haiti Day 6Haiti Day 7 and Haiti Day 8

Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Haiti - Day 8

July 11 was our departure date from Haiti.  Our flight was scheduled to leave at 11:59am, and our extraction team was scheduled to arrive at 8:39am to take us safely to the airport.   Yes, they told us "8:39" was more like 8:45 when they arrived but still they were well armed and there in plenty of time.
The goodbye's were hard.   There were many tears, as this group of amazing people prepared to move on to their next adventure.  We added Lindsay (second from left on the second row) to our group traveling back to the states.  She was scheduled to be in Haiti several more months but her church called her home when the violence started.  She was able to get a seat on our plane, so we got to hang with her a while longer.   Kaitlyn (in orange) had one more week in Haiti, she'd been there since May 31 and decided to stick with her original date of July 17 to head home.  Melania, in the gray tanktop on the left, went back to preparing Lakay Poze for it's next team of visitors.   We headed home to our families, leaving new family behind.

The trip to the airport was a quiet one, other than the sniffling of those who were crying quietly. Olivia had a really hard time with leaving.  The roads were in very good shape and getting to the airport only took us a couple of minutes.  We made better time than usual.   Our extraction team stayed on-site until we got checked in, made it through customs and security and were actually boarding our flight.   The airport was very crowded and very hot.

Once we got on our flight we all breathed a little sigh of relief.   Have you ever watched the movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray?   Well, once we were on the plane we stepped into that repetitive pattern of one thing after the other.   Our plane backed out of the gate and  was preparing for takeoff, when they announced we had to return to the gate, someone had vomited all over the bathroom and the back galley.  It was over an hour before they were finished with cleanup and once again ready to take off.

We flew into Ft. Lauderdale over an hour late, leaving us with just a little over an hour to get through customs, pick up our checked baggage, move to another terminal, recheck our bags and get to the plane.   The line at customs was unbelievably long.   With 15 of us scattered throughout the customs area, there was no way we were going to get through in time.   Thankfully we got an update that our flight had been delayed by several hours.

We finally all got through customs, picked up our checked bags, moved to the new terminal, rechecked the bags, got our boarding passes and made it through security.   The two gals heading to California branched off to go catch their flight, Lindsay went to catch her flight to Jacksonville, and the rest of us went to Chilli's to have our first taste of American food, it was heavenly!

While we were eating, we got notification (smart phones are great) that our flight had been delayed again....and again...and again.  Every little while there was a new delay.  Our original take off time was 10:30pm we were still waiting.   We'd changed gates 3 times and we were beginning to wonder if we were going to get home or not.  A little after 11pm we were called to start boarding our flight.   We got on, backed out of the gate and sat...for a LONG time.   Then the pilot came on and said "Folks, I know you've been sitting here all day waiting to go home...but we have to return to the gate, the plane is having some technical problems with the brakes."   Several of us burst out laughing at the sheer absurdity of it.

Once we were back inside, we sat and waited...then we saw our flight crew leaving.  All the places to buy snacks and drinks closed and there we sat.   They finally announced that they had another plane, but that they now were looking for a new flight crew.   The airline personnel brought out warm sodas and bags of snacks.   Warm soda isn't so bad when you're tired.  A few passengers started getting really rowdy with the poor airline personnel, and I sat back and watched, thinking "ooh, dinner and a show".    Tired and punchy are a bad combination, grins.

A little after 1am, we finally loaded our new plane.  It wasn't nearly as crowded at the first time.  Lots of people had already left the airport or got flights with other airlines earlier in the evening.  We backed out of the gate...and sat...for a long time.   The pilot finally announced "We've got some strong winds above us, we're just waiting for those to die down and we'll be on our way."   We all breathed a collective sigh of relief when we were finally in the air.

A little after 4am on July 12, (22 hours after we got up in Haiti), we arrived at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC.   We were the first flight in for the morning so getting luggage was a snap.   Then we had to wait for a shuttle back to the hotel where we'd left the cars.   At 5:15am our tired troupe marched back into the hotel and paid an astronomical amount for 3 rooms so we could all get 5 hours of sleep before making the 2.5 hour drive for home.

Shortly before 3pm we arrived at our church.   We met with the Pastor briefly, then headed to our respective home.   Olivia and I were greeted with this upon arrival.

I'd never been so glad to hear the dog barking in the back yard and to see my wilted flowers in their pots.    Lindsey was at the neighbors house since Tom had picked her up the evening before from his parents, and she didn't want to be home by herself all day wondering and waiting for us to arrive.   Our 84 year old neighbor and Lindsey both rushed out to greet us with hugs and tears.   Tom came home from work while we were still standing on the neighbors porch, and all was right again in my world. wasn't the same.  Haiti, and it's people continue to call us back...
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