Friday, February 11, 2011

Seven Quick Takes

Since I wanted to blog but am too tired out to focus I will do the Seven Quick Takes hosted by Conversion Diary.   Here are questions I have been asking myself, with the answers provided if known:


What possible reason is there for Algebra II?  especially logarithms?

Actually this is my high schooler's question.  Sean is charter-schooling at home now which gives me four homeschoolers.   For some reason three was fairly easy but four is knocking me off balance.  I am sure Algebra II and Chemistry have something to do with it, and the fact that he had to pick up in mid-year with different books, so he needs my help.  My brain seems to lock up.  So when he asks, "What use is this?"  I can only say, "So you pass your class and have a chance to go to college" and I KNOW that is not a real homeschooler answer, but I can't think of a better one.


What do a Harry Potter book, a pile of Catholic Treasure Box books, two orange cuisenaire rods and four beanie babies have in common?

They sojourned together with Paddy while his mom was away for most of the day yesterday, having left him in the care of his older brothers.  I came home and found them all piled on the bed in a sort of little blanket nest.  I usually have an unwritten record of what Paddy has read, thought and done while I was gone, but I thought this one was particularly interesting. 


What do you do when your delayed 11 year old bakes Valentine sugar cookies and you set the oven timer but then start running yourself a bath and so by the time he tells you "I think the cookies are ready" they are a little too brown?

And then your 11 year old says mournfully, "I don't like those cookies" and you say, "You should have let me know the timer was beeping," and he says darkly,  It's TOO LATE FOR THAT." ?

Well, you melt some dark chocolate and let the 11 year old dip the cookies in the chocolate and then in some candy sprinkles left over from his older brother's birthday cake, and then everyone eats up the cookies and compliments the 11 year on his baking skills, and his confidence in himself as a cook is restored.  Whew.


What do you do when you come home late in the afternoon after a day in town and your 2nd grader hasn't done any of his virtual school (because you weren't there to help him) but your highschoolers both need help with math?

You help with math and put off the 2nd grader, since after all, none of your other 2nd graders ever knew that Rome was a republic or that Mohammed was born in Mecca or that the Alhambra is in Spain.   Most of your other 2nd graders were lucky if you got to the basic 3Rs with them  Then you do some catch-up during the weekend, or at least promise yourself you will. 


What do you do about evil bacteria who seem to think their new permanent home is in your sinuses?

I don't know the answer to that, but I wish they would go away.


What is X + X = 20?

Paddy got inspired by all the math talk around here and wrote out this algebra problem for me to solve.  Later on I found myself using algebra with him to help him understand 3rd grade model division.  "Let's say these were X's instead of groups of marbles.... oh wait, it's supposed to work from concrete to abstract, isn't it?"

Paddy also asked, "If X + X = 20 and 1 + 1 = 2, then what is Y?"   When we got wrong answers he explained impatiently that Y was the total of both sums so OF COURSE, Y = 22.    Which seems to Sean and me to be very similar to his Algebra II textbook's approach.


What does Dum Spiro, Spero mean?

It means While I breathe, I hope.   I found it in a Charlotte Yonge book about Mary Queen of Scots.   Seems like as good a motto as any I have seen for a tired homeschooling mom!  .


  1. Oooh! Oooh! I might have something for you for number 5: the NeilMed NasaFlo Neti Pot. This has now helped me avoid THREE would-have-been (at least, I think they would have been) trips to the Dr. for treatment for sinus infections! I know you live sort of out-of-the-way, but they sell them at major drugstores, if you have access to one.

  2. Well, goodness, that is a good motto.

  3. I think you can also substitute a sinkful of isotonic solution (half teaspoon salt, cup of warm water). The brave just snort it, I used a big syringe-type thing. It really helps.

    My security word is 'kedgemog', which is, I think related to hedgehog, but has more ears and is pink and green.

  4. Thank you for the sinus tips Brandy, and Geoff! who sounds very much like Kyra ;-). Totally agree about the kedgemog. And about not being brave about things like that.

  5. That quote is the one my Sean memorized last week in his Latin for Children book. I agree, it's a great quote.

    I'm very impressed at the way you gracefully recovered from the burned cookies disaster. I would not have been so resourceful.

    Sorry about your sinuses. Mine are always troubling me too. Every single darn morning. I'm sure I'm allergic to dust or something.

  6. Augh. Yes, it was Kyra. Silly husband, leaving himself logged in on his computer!

  7. #1 Maddelyn has a similar question this week....esp about calculus since she seems to be zipping through geometry

    #2 That IS adorable! I love that...and would love to learn more about his future piles :)

    3# When you write "delayed 11 year old"....I thought at first you meant he was late in making the cookies. perhaps a hyphen would have helped me ;)

    #4 Good answer! :)

    #5 Louise used the neti pot last week and ate losts of garlic and got better faster.

    #6 So cute...and so Malachy!

    #7 I LOOVE that motto! I hope I can memeorize it!

    I LOVE these seven them more often! I like the view into your home....the one into your mind is sometimes over my head ;)

    PS PLEASE pray for me for Thurs and Fri...I have to work...and as is all high risk....why IS that???!!!


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!