conuly: (Default)
Graded tests.

I have no problem with that. Their math program actually comes with tests I can give them if they/I want. Easy peasy.

But what about everything else? Anybody have any information on how to write a test to give them in any subject? My normal idea would be to just make them write an essay, but I'm trying to limit that because Ana has started writing a lot more and I don't want to make it a chore again. How do you know if you've picked sensible questions?
conuly: (Default)
They slept super late Saturday, and today they're... still asleep. They got to bed a little late, but not THAT late. So I'm letting them sleep. We can do what we need to do after lunch.
conuly: (Default)
Eva: But *why* do we have to get our flu shots?
Me: The flu can be very dangerous for asthmatics and older people, so they need to get flu shots. People close to them should get the flu shot too, just in case it doesn't work on the asthmatic or older person.
Eva: How can the flu be dangerous???
Me: Well, people die every year from the flu, or, more often, from pneumonia.
Eva: But you don't get pee-nomia from the flu!
Me: Well, yes, you *do* get pneumonia from it. Pneumonia affects your breathing -
Eva: And because people with asthma have trouble breathing, pee-nomia is really hard for them!
Me: Right. Eva, you clearly know what word I mean, so let's say it correctly. New. Moan. Ya.
Eva: I know, I know, pneumonia.
Me: Right. With pn, the p is silent.

How does she do it? She really does have trouble spelling, so how does she correctly identify the spelling of an unintuitive word like pneumonia and then use a spelling pronunciation after hearing the correct one? (Does that sentence make sense?) I mean to say, she has trouble going from speech to spelling, so how does she so easily go from spelling to speech? And then why didn't she say the word correctly?
conuly: (Default)
Took me forever to fall back asleep.

The end result is that I'm trying to cram our schoolday into the afternoon. Well, we have all weekend as well.

Yesterday, I was working on math with Ana as Eva was doing multiplication alone. And all of a sudden Eva quietly tears a page out of their scrap paper, folds it, and puts it on Ana's erstwhile seat.

Me: What? Eva. Did you just pass a note to your sister?
Eva: *wild giggles* Oh no!
Me: You're in homeschool! You can't pass notes!
Ana: She didn't! It's just... scrap paper! *picking note up*
Me: Well, in my role as mean teacher, I think I'll read that aloud to the entire class!
Eva and Ana: *more giggling*

THE NOTE: I am a horrible drawer. Sorry, I cannot tell Connie.

There was a drawing attached. Indeed, it was horrible.
conuly: (Default)
Doctors Without Borders physician in NYC tests positive for Ebola

I saw that on the news while waiting for the boat. I was so happy the girls weren't paying any attention. They already panicked when that poor man in Dallas died. I had to show them the map to emphasize how very far away from NYC Texas is just to calm them down. (Homeschool geography, check!)

We usually watch CNN Student News every day, but we just might skip a day tomorrow.

Urgh.

Oct. 21st, 2014 01:58 pm
conuly: (Default)
Eva's in this hypersensitive stage.

She and Ana are playing a game where Ana is chasing her, Eva decides she's had enough, rather than tell Ana she barricades herself in my room.

She wakes up this morning, her hair is tangled, when I point this out she screams at me to GET OUT, tells me her hair was COMBED and BRAIDED and somebody must have snuck in and UNBRAIDED IT, and storms off into the basement.

Ana comes back from the doctor (early appointment) and wants to take a nap, Eva demands to know why SHE has to do work while ANA sleeps, I suggest she can work on her new puzzle or read a book, she bursts into tears and slams her door.

I offer them each a lollipop after lunch, I cannot find the lollipops (in no small part because people have been stealing them from my room for the past week and a half), I suggest I pick up some other candy for them later, Eva collapses on the floor, sobbing.

If Ana is humming while Eva is reading it is TOO LOUD AND SHE IS THE WORST SISTER EVER. If Ana is doing math and Eva is kicking her feet and singing loudly and Ana asks her to close the door Ana is MEAN AND THE WORST SISTER EVER. (Cue the tears.)

This is all within the past week, so I'm hoping hard that it passes and fast. I'm tempted to blame homeschooling, but the sane part of me knows that's ridiculous. We had periods with just as much drama when they were in school, except it was all compressed into the afternoons instead of spread out through the day. Not actually an improvement.
conuly: (Default)
We are doing less science than I thought... and waaaaay more history. Turns out I think history is the most important subject ever. I don't think I knew that about myself before starting out on homeschooling.

The girls are somewhat less enthused than I am, though they are certainly learning a lot about prehistory. We're actually just emerging this week from the pre- part of history into the more established ground. I haven't told them yet, but this probably signifies that we're going to be spending even more time on history.

Now, if I could only combine science and history in an effective manner, I would be a very happy Connie.

Holy shit.

Oct. 18th, 2014 12:35 pm
conuly: (Default)
So, Ana was having some tightness of breath. Now, she really, really hates going to the doctor and getting a nebulizer treatment and having that awful steroid medicine afterwards, so when this happens she copes as best she can by simply breathing a little shallowly until one of us gets suspicious and corners her and demands she prove she CAN take a deep breath without wheezing.

She's a trooper, really. Kinda wish she'd be a little more honest about things.

So today she couldn't hide it any longer, but she wanted to go with my mom to the doctor instead of me. As it happens, Mommy is home today, she had her own doctor's appointment this morning. So I say, fine, when she gets home I'll call the HIP center* and make an appointment, but in the meantime let's at least get math out of the way. I'm very proud of the consistent progress we're making in math.

So she sits on the radiator to do her math, and as it's a little chilly out the heat is on and she gets nice and toasty and by the time she's done, 45 minutes later, her breathing is perfect. Like, really perfect. Like, it makes logical sense that warmth and dry air would help her, but still, I never would have dreamed of these results. Like, I can't even see the point in taking her to the doctor now because she's fine.

Holy shit.

We have to see if these results hold up, but if they do we just won't go to the doctor today. Which will make her happy.

* They haven't been the HIP center in over a decade. They were Staten Island Physician Practice for a while, and now they're some other name, but regardless, if you call them anything other than "the HIP center" people won't know what you mean.
conuly: (Default)
People often explain why it's necessary by talking about a party which includes "two strippers, Hitler, and Stalin" (as compared to "two strippers, Hitler and Stalin").

The trouble is that no matter how I work at it, I can't really picture what kind of party is going to invite two of recent history's most notorious dictators, especially when they weren't buddies. It's just not a realistic example.

Of course, whatever party they're both invited to probably involves copious liquor and, yes, strippers, so that's all right, but nevertheless it is hard for me to get behind that example. Best to just stick with thanking "my parents, God and Ayn Rand".

Sure, that dedication to an apocryphal book is a little silly and bland, but anybody who is likely to think both God and Ayn Rand is exactly the sort of person to make a bland dedication and flub the commas anyway, so no harm, no foul.
conuly: (Default)
And tomorrow or the day after I can sign them up for new classes. Ana has moved up, she is now a fish, which is the first intermediate level, so go Ana!

Eva's report card... was completely not filled in. So I sent Eva to ask her teacher what she still needed to work on, and her teacher came into the locker room clearly prepared to be patient, only to burst out laughing when she saw that nobody had filled in the inside of the report card! Apparently, Eva is doing great, she just needs to work on her breaststroke and rotary breathing.

Now that Ana's a fish it is time to do what I have said I'd do from nearly the beginning and find her a swim team to join. She'd've had to do it anyway, she ages out of the Y program this year, and for whatever reason their teen program only offers beginner and intermediate lessons, no advanced lessons, so she could only go so far in there. (I find this to be a real problem in all sorts of classes. Lots of stuff for kids, lots of stuff for adults, nothing for teens. Ugh. Chelsea Piers is the exception, but they're pricy and also have no pool.)

They were sick the last two days, so we didn't do much school today, we'll have to make it up over the weekend. However, today we *did* manage to finally talk about why the skillet lid kept on breaking! And watch the video. By an amazing bit of serendipity, the science we're doing had us talking about energy and the creation/destruction thereof today anyway (and if you're about to say you can't create or destroy energy, don't bother, that's what we discussed), so I managed to tie in the stored energy in the glass with what was on our schedule. I do not have any gold stars to give myself :( but that's okay, I don't need them to know I am awesome.

Oh, no!

Oct. 14th, 2014 04:02 pm
conuly: (Default)
Apparently, Zilpha Keatley Snyder died last week.

Being an adult is like a long marathon of watching your favorite authors die. It's not as much fun as you were led to believe it would be when you were a child.
conuly: (Default)
In answer to the skillet question, I went to look on wikipedia. And that's how I found out about Prince Rupert's Drops.



Isn't that just the coolest thing you've watched today?
conuly: (Default)
I need to buy new lids now. Siiiiigh.

Interesting thing. After it shattered on the floor, she observed that the individual shards kept on shattering, popping just like, well, popcorn. This kept up for over a minute. Why is that?

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