Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last night

Our anniversary gift to ourselves. It was great! He looked better after he took that jacket off which he did pretty quickly. It was hot, even back the in 12thousandth row.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Transitions, Pt 2

Last year was a transitional year for our homeschool. Each year has been a bit different, of course, but last year, one student was out of the country and the next was at community college classes or working much of the time. The transition was mostly an emotional one, however.

Now I am transitioning the school, the space, or spaces, where we work. My last student has been the least academically interested kid I have educated. He is not a reader, so where I focused on living books for history and science with his sibs, I have to look to other ways to educate him.

I have sold some of our books, given many away to the library, and stored a few others. There is still too much around, but I am working on it. Constantly. PRM

Friday, July 23, 2010

Substance, the challenge

Thanks to Suji who has awarded me a Blog with Substance award. I feel I had substance in the past but lately, I've been pretty lame. There is some substantive material in my archives. But I am feeling the challenge and I am going to meet it. Soon, I promise.

Now, to fulfill the award requirements
1. Thank the one who honored me. Thank you, Suji. It has been a great pleasure to know you and work with you on the Living Science group.

2. Sum up my blogging philosophy, motivation and experience in 10 words. Humm, thinking. Okay- I love doing science with kids. You can too. Watch!

3. Award 10 blogs with the award. I read a number of blogs but many have already received the award. So, I'm going to do something a little different. I'm going to link my favorite 10 science resource websites.

a. Learn. Genetics. from the Univ of Utah. There are online activities, lesson plans, you name it.

b. Hands-on Activities for Teaching Biology to Middle and High School Students. I have used many of these.

c. Off the Shelf Chemistry. More from the Bryn Mawr site.

d. My Science Box. I have mined this site every year for something.

e. The Science House - Countertop Chemistry. From our own NC State University. Since we will soon be a Tarheel family, this may be the last time I can mention NC State. And if you are wondering why that is, well, you don't live in NC.

f. HHMI BioInteractive. This site has more than just interactive material. You can order DVDs about evolution among other topics. Shoshie did a lot from here in high school.

g. NASA. Rocketry, living on other planets. There are interactive materials here and you can order free teaching modules as well.

h. Science NetLinks. Many lesson plans, experiments.

i. The Science Spot. Another collection of many lab ideas.

j. and finally, where to buy lab materials, Wards, Home Science Tools and Carolina Biological.

I have really missed doing science with kids other than my own son this last year. I am motivated to try and organize a class or two for the fall. When I look ahead to my post-homeschooling life, I sometimes imagine having a once a week science school for homeschoolers. PRM

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Follow up on that bake sale

This morning on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR I heard Bill Shore, Founder and Executive Director Of Share Our Strength, the nonprofit organization whose goal is to end childhood hunger in the United States. The Great American Bake Sale in which we participated last month was one of their programs.

Noach and I baked brownies, more brownies, Snickerdoodles and more Snickerdoodles, peanut butter cookies, Whoopie Pies and lots of other things. Our friends baked also. We sold our wares in front of a Harris Teeter grocery store on a long hot Saturday. But the total sale and donations generated over $2000 dollars. What a success! Worth every drop of sweat, burned fingers, and crumbled cookies that needed to be eaten rather than sold. Wait until next year. PRM

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Not exactly the summer we planned

but it is turning out to be a good one nevertheless.

Yakov came home from Israel for a restless week then headed to CJ for another summer of camp counseling. He enjoyed last year and signed up for the entire summer this year. It has been a good way for him to adjust after the intense year away. He came home for one day last week, Noach's birthday, and was glad to be with us for the almost 24 hours. JP and I go to Chapel Hill with him for orientation next Thursday and Friday and we will stay an extra night to catch a minor league baseball game in Durham.

Noach was away at Boy Scout camp last week but Thursday was both family night at camp and his birthday so we were able to spend the evening with him. He was surprised to find Yakov with us. We brought lots of cupcakes to share with his buddies and their families, too. He came home yesterday but leaves again tomorrow morning for the 2nd session at CJ. He will be gone for another 3 1/2 weeks.

JP and I were expecting to have most of 4 weeks without kids here, a rare treat indeed. And don't think I don't love and enjoy my kids but I was planning on accomplishing some tasks that are most easily done when no one is here during the day. Alas, it did not work out for us. But our disappointment in that pales in comparison to Shoshie's who was not planning to be at home much this summer.

Shoshie had big plans, working kitchen staff at Camp Tel Yehudah for 4 weeks with her VERY BEST friends and then spending another week with them in New York, going to concerts and museums. She drove my car to NY in mid June, visiting friends along the way. She was sick the week before she left but was feeling well enough to drive, or at least was unwilling to admit to herself that she was unwell. She arrived at camp with fever of 102 and a raging sore throat. She felt better, then she spiked again, finally after the strep test was negative, they did a mono test and it was positive. She had to leave camp. I flew up and drove her home. She was so sad.

Within a few days of getting home, she felt much better except for some late afternoon fatigue. A friend of ours, an infectious disease specialist, told us there was really no rational need for her to leave camp but, as a society, so many of our reactions to infectious diseases are not rational.

Now she is home with me. All of her local friends are working every day so she has been bored. And she's worried about not making the salary she was planning to make at camp. So I am finding jobs for her to do here. She painted a small bathroom last week. Next week she will help me do some work on the trailer.

I have enjoyed having her around, some real mother-daughter bonding time. We've gone out to lunch at little places she and her friends like. Last week I dyed the streaks in her hair purple for her since her friends were not available to help. I told her the last time I did anyone else's hair, we were probably listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young on the radio while we did it. Yes, I'm that old. But we had hairdryers with hoods, not bowls on our heads. Just sayin'.

So, it's not the summer we planned. For me, it's better. For Shoshie, it's probably tolerable. Some of the time. PRM

Friday, July 2, 2010

The youngest and the oldest

with an 89 1/2 year spread. PRM