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?
conuly: (Default)
I keep telling myself that it's okay if we take a lighter week, at least we are moving forward. I mean, I took an average of one day off a week in middle school (no, seriously, I remember being surprised at the number on my report card, which is how I remember it), and I still got 100s on all my tests, so how demanding am I really supposed to be with 4th and 6th grade work?

This slower week coincides with the milestone of hitting every major topic every day, which is a bit strange, but there you go. It also coincides with the middle of the start my Sooper Sekrit plan to sneak writing into my day without making us "do writing", because, seriously, I think Ana needed some serious recovery period about writing. She's taking it in stride, which is all I asked for.
conuly: (Default)
Up to Union Square, to the bookstore. That's bus, boat, train, and then back again.

I know that technically I was doing the same thing at her age, but I was a lot taller then! And, and, and older! When I was eleven, I was already twelve! SHUT UP!

So, yeah. It went well, except for how she forgot to bring a book with her and was stuck on the boat with nothing to do, but that's her own fault.
conuly: (Default)
Because caffeine, right?

Now, we're lucky, the corner store - not our usual one, the other one - has a thriving stock of Mexican coke. So I went down there and bought some, and when I got back the girls asked why I got the coke in the fancy bottles. So I explained about sugar and corn syrup, and said the only other way to get coke with sugar is to stock up around Passover, which led into a long discussion of Passover, detailing as many of the plagues I could remember, matzoh, the fact that God is kinda a jerkass for "hardening Pharoah's heart" (and the related fact that many people, having never actually read Exodus, don't believe you if you say that happened, but I swear, it's totally in there), the whole shebang.

So, yeah. That was the day's educational moment. We also did other things.
conuly: (Default)
I hate you, and I hate your breakfast.

She didn't even know what I'd made for breakfast yet! It was all downhill from there.

Casualties: 1 glass skillet lid, shattered on the floor
1 benadryl for me (hives)
1 aspirin for Ana (headache)

She eventually calmed down enough to get through two pages of math. Then we took a reading break, and I decided, as it was mostly calm, to struggle on through history. We were actually doing this set of lessons, Lesson 2. (PDF)

So we read the handouts together. So far, so good. We look at the pictures. No problem! We identify Ukraine on the map, and connect the location to current events, because why the heck not. (I get a little jolt, incidentally, every time I read a news article that mentions the Tigris. It's like it's in this little compartment in my mind labelled "Fertile Crescent" and it ceased to exist in real time about 6,000 years ago!)

Then I look at the discussion questions, and we've basically already discussed this during our examination of the various handouts, so I ask the kids to just write down two paragraphs, one on what conclusions they can draw from this evidence and the other on things they don't know about these people (because of lack of evidence).

OMG! It's so unfair! It's mean! It's too hard! She ALWAYS has to do MORE work than EVA! AND her work is HARDER. At this point I try some logic - they're doing the exact same assignments! If anything, it's too hard for her sister! Oh, she says, but she had more math! First of all, that's not even true today, Eva did three pages to Ana's two, and she had word problems instead of straightforward exponents like Ana, but secondly - math's over, kiddo!

So she stormed off. Now Eva comes in, crying, she can't do it. I say "You can't think of anything that you know about these people?"

Ana: Wait, what? Is THAT what you're asking us to do?
Me: Uh... yeah? What did you think?
Ana: Something else! Something HARDER!

Casualty: $4 on ice cream. Because boy, did I ever need it.

Somehow it turned into 6 pm when I wasn't looking. The day dragged on forever, but I still don't know how it became 6:00. Dinner's not even started. Geez.

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