Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winter Insanity

Well, I'm going to sneak in here at the last minute and get in a blog post, just so I can say that it has not been an entire calendar month without a blog post. We haven't quit homeschooling if that's what you're wondering! Or even quit our curriculum, which I guess would be the most likely scenario. It's just been come and go with the holidays and work and such. DH and I have been e-baying a collection of coins and related memorabilia for a friend. Also, I started freelancing for a new company and just barely didn't get another regular freelance gig, so all that applying and copyediting tests, etc., took up a lot of my time and energy.

So this has been a month of doing what we could when we could. We did crafts on occasion. We had a completely awesome Thanksgiving table decorated with our own crafts:

DS did some history with his Dad and some of his math work, the one thing he never complains about. I'm also looking forward to introducing some real-world-in-a-book math to him in a couple of weeks with a Finite Mathematics book. I'm interested to see whether figuring out other people's lists of numbers and calculations for real-world scenarios piques DS's interest as much as planning his own (often unfinished) events does. I often thing his Aspergian obsession with numbers leads him to planning things just so he can crunch all those numbers in his head. This is the book we're trying out (I managed to get it on PaperbackSwap):

We've done a lot of holiday-related things, including making Christmas lanterns and holiday hand-print wreaths for Daddy, making holiday treats, and attending our town's Christmas parade. We even attended two youth holdiay plays and watched some of our friends perform:

DS and Dd1 waiting for the plays to begin.

A homeschool friend playing Cheesehead in A Christmas Cinderella

 We're not going to really be getting back into the thick of things schoolwise until after the New Year. This week will be hanging out, catching up, and traveling. I am really hoping to do 3 weeks worth of school planning in the next couple of days, but we'll see how that actually comes out. I may take the books, etc., with me on our trip to finish up. Again, we'll see.

At least, after months of trying, tweaking, and trying something else, I found something good to organize my curriculum, which also works well for many other organizational task: the online Cozi calendar, created by the same geniuses that handle the Flylady website. I basically make up a To Do list for each of my kids for the week, organized by day and/or subject and print it out for my binder at the end of the week, after I've modified it for what we actually did. I am thinking about getting an evaluation for proof of progress this year, so having this stuff written down should be helpful. This blog doesn't hurt either. Here's what a plan might look like:

It's easy and convenient. And the handiest thing is that when I type those dates in like "12/8," Cozi automatically adds the item to my calendar that day. I can also check Cozi on my Kindle, which is great for keeping track of appointments, etc., when I'm not at the house.

Another tool: an upgrade to The Journal 5, which I'm using to type this blog post right now. It's personal journaling software, but I've created a separate account in it just for the blog. Once I've finished a post, I can upload it directly to Blogger. Pretty handy. It might be handy for lesson planning, too. I have to explore that aspect a little more. The one thing about Cozi is that it won't keep the lessons week to week unless I want to create a gazillion of those To Do lists. J

So, basically, if I can't get organized, it's totally my own fault and I'm hopeless, which might be true, but I refuse to admit it. Hope everyone is having a terrific holiday season. Wish me luck in getting into a nice groove in the coming weeks. I'm gonna need it!!