Saturday, August 29, 2009

First soccer tournament of the season

Today was the first day of the first soccer tournament of the year. It was sooo hot and of course our age group was lucky enough to play the fields that were a hike from the parking lot and port-a-potties. But, the grass was really nice!!!

The girls played well. They tied the first game against a team that really punished them last year...which was nice. The second game was a 6-4 loss against against a really tough team we had never played before. Mary scored twice in the second game, came close a couple of other times and had numerous assists.

The team is half made up with the girls from last year and half new recruits. I'm hoping that the new coach is just seeing how the girls really play and best positions going forward for the season. Because I don't know how many games I am going to be able to stand if he keeps playing so many girls out of position. And, as un-PC as it this level of play every girl does not need or deserve the same amount of playing time. I really like the coach, and I am just hoping that he is just seeing how the girls mesh for later on down the road and will play the girls to the best advantage during the season.

We'll back back out there tomorrow morning for the last game...although there is an outside chance the girls could make it into the finals Sunday afternoon.



Friday, August 28, 2009

End of week round-up

On a scale of 1-to-10 this week falls at about a 7.5. The week went really well for a first full-load week. Everyone seems to be settling in well, especially after I made the change to Katie's math. Thursday was the first balky day we had from Mary, in that she really fell apart over the writing. But, we worked it out (after much gnashing of teeth) and came back in much better moods this morning.

Some areas that need to be improved on are:
1. Being able to get each one the hands-on, mommy-time they all want without all the interruptions. I'm having to constantly remind each one to not interrupt when I am in the middle of a lesson with one of her sisters. Some more quickie activities in their boxes for the wait time would be helpful. It is just going to take time to get them used to not interrupting as I have been way to lax in this area.
2. Emily needs more in her box. I'm not going to add to her curriculum, because I like it and feel like it is just right for us this year. But, she wants more to do...alone. She wants more workbooks like Mary & Katie that she can just pull out and go to town on. I've added a couple cheapie maze workbooks, but need to print off a few more things from Enchanted Learning for her folders. She loves to go to her box and just pull out something to work on.
3. Work with Robbie more to do his things on the floor of the family room while we are at the table. He has his box, but wants to do it at the table with us which is a huge distraction. Of course the older ones want to build with the blocks or play with playdoh.

All-in-all the week went really well. Mary and Katie finished off the week with A's on their spelling tests. Really proud of Mary's hard work and surprised by Katie's natural spelling ability (did not inherit that from DH and I). We tried something new for Mary; having her listen to her spelling words on her mp3 player. It seemed to work for her to listen to it every evening before bedtime. I have already loaded next week's words for her to listen to over the weekend.

Mary is having a good time with her math so far. She has learned several new mental math techniques that really make sense to her. And, today's activities with Pascal Triangles were fun for her!

I did sign both Mary and Katie up for a Wilderness Survival course through the NC Wildlife group. It is a free class and will be held in November. They were both excited to find out that the class was being offered this semester.

Besides school Mary has spent the week getting ready for her first soccer tournament of the year this weekend. When she has had the time she has been outside working on ball control. She is very excited about this soccer season and loves her new coach. Of course DH and I are less than excited about having to have her out of town at the fields by 8am and be there all day long. Sunday, at least we don't have to play until noon. Though, we are ready to see how this team does. About half the girls on the team are from last year's team and half are new girls to this level of play.

I went to the first leadership meeting for Girl Scouts this year. What in the world have I gotten myself into? I came away from the meeting more loaded down with books than I was in college. Wow, a lot of stuff to work through. Not to mention we are still on a hunt for a new troop co-leader. I did find out that one of the leaders for another troop is the mother of Mary's new friend she met at Girl Scout camp this year. She has been a leader for 5 years. Can anyone say "new bestfriend"?

Time to get busy for next week. Sometime this weekend I need to go to the library, but first I need to figure out what I need.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

School is in session

We've been cruising along for a few weeks, but this week have brought our lessons up to full-tilt. Things seem to be going really well so far, even as concerned and anxious I was about it. I have to admit I was really kind of dreading homeschooling this year. I wanted to, but at the same time I was feeling so burnt out.

I cannot praise the new addition I made to our organization process this year...hanging file boxes. $3.50 each at Walmart, and well worth it. The three girls each have their own boxes which holds their books, folders, worksheets, flashcards, games...whatever for the subjects they are studying. They keep their weekly "to do" lists and have a folder for completed work for me to grade or file. I let them decorate their box and they are responsible for it. I've never seen them take such ownership of their school work before. Plus, planning and organizing each week is a snap.

I'm still trying to get a handle on having preschool and elementary ages going at the same time. I didn't really do preschool for Katie since she had no interest and was much more content to develop her skills through independent play and her creative outlets. Emily, on the other hand, is so excited each day for whatever her new lessons are going to be. Everyday when she finishes she is disappointed she doesn't have more. Robbie, being Emily's shadow, of course cannot be left out and has to have something to do least when he isn't hanging from my leg saying "read book Mommy."

I've had to adjust Katie's math program and step back a level. Grade 2 Math Mammoth moved way too fast for her. We are going back to Grade 1 and am going to work to really cement her facts and build up confidence. The math is in her head. I've seen her use it, but she lacks faith in herself. If nothing else, I have learned that it is more important to build a strong confidence base rather than trying to keep up with the "Jones". Otherwise, for being the first year that I am asking Katie to do a full load each day, she is doing really well.

Mary is great. She is adjusting to the larger amount of writing and independent work I am expecting for her 4th grade year. She doesn't like it, but she is doing it. We still are running into her perfectionist issues which are really at odds with her impulsive, gotta get this done as fast as possible attitude. But, I guess she will soon learn that you can't have it both ways.

DH has been a life saver and very involved when he comes home. Working with each of the two older ones at night on at least one subject. Whichever one seemed to be the most difficult that day. It is really good for the kids to get a different perspective on their lessons. And, a break for me.

Today was the first day for public schools in the area, so we packed up and went on a field trip. This summer a dinosaur exhibit opened at the Museum of Life and Sciences, but we had not made it out there yet. The exhibit was really nice and ended with a a fossil dig. Except for the fact that I think every toddler and preschooler in a 50 mile radius was there, we had a lot of fun.

Since there were so many other "little" ones around we left the museum after a quick spin over to the sailboats and a stop by the Kapla blocks for Mary. The kids were really excited for our next stop...a picnic at the river and a chance to go swimming.

I think the kids enjoyed the first "official" day of school.


A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.