Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Housekeeping

This week brings the birthday of my oldest son.  He is 25 years old!  Wow, to have a son who is a quarter century old.   This is actually his first birthday away from the family, since during his college years he was home on summer break by this time of year.   

The Homeschool

  • This week I want to plan.   I got out a spiral notebook and will write down lists of things I want to get to.   I think I'll try some of the methods I used to use as a high-schooler when I wrote stories.  I would keep a writer's notebook to jot down ideas, scenes and titles.   Then I would develop some of them so I usually had a few folders with outlines, character lists, some written parts, etc.    Maybe that will work more poetically than lesson plans.   Maybe. 
  • This is the last week of K12!    Thinking over the last couple of years we've spent enrolled in the California virtual charter, I think what I liked most was having an incoming, systematic stream of interesting ideas and stories.  I do go along with ED Hirsch's idea that part of comprehension is having informational "hooks" to hang new information on.   However, I felt that the pace of the K12 information stream was a little more rapid than our family's best pace.    Too often, we hurried through lessons and didn't really have time to immerse ourselves because we had to check off the next lesson.   So I do like having a course of study, I just don't like feeling like we have to get through it at a certain pace.
  •  I just realized that my 9th grader is basically ready to graduate.   Not that I am planning to send him off to college just yet.  There are still lots of things I went to get to.  But he's at the stage where he is as academically competent as at least half the adult population.  It is nice because it gives me a more spacious feeling about the next 3 years.   We can focus on learning to think and act like an adult.  

The House

  • It is finally warming up outside, so I want to work on the yard and start my micro-garden!  I am planning to go to the mountain plant nursery this week and browse around. 
  • I also want to get a clothesline so I can return to hanging up clothes xtroutside to dry.
  • My other project is digging out my curriculum closet.   It's in horrible shape right now.  I can hardly get into it.   Now that school is over for the year I can replace and discard.
  • Last of all, I want to move forward on my project of painting the entry room.   I don't think I'll actually start doing it this week but I want to buy the supplies and get things set up.    It's flat white now -- trying to decide whether to be risky and go for a color? 


  • I want to barbecue a lot this week.  Hoping it stays warm and nice out there. 
  • I'd like to start eating lunch together out on the deck.
  • Also I think I will try to make breakfast in the evening so it is ready the next day.   Except on days where we have something like scrambled eggs.   That way I can write and plan in the morning, which is my best planning time, and not feel guilty because they are scrounging for their own breakfast.   
  • Putting my prepared-breakfast intentions into practice ahead of time, on Saturday night I made Chocolate Zucchini Bread.   I don't put quite that much sugar in though. 
  • I want to make some kimchi this week.   I love the stuff.

Health and Fitness
  • I only lost about half a pound this week.   Oh well, at least it's moving the right way!  And perhaps I've replaced some fat with muscle.    Exercise really helps with appetite control. 
  • I would like to start running.   I haven't really run since my college days, and a year ago my knees were too weak to take the strain, but after all this bicycling, walking and weight lifting I really am stronger in joints and muscles than I was back then.   I found a pair of running shoes at the thrift store.  So some time this week I want to take to the trail now that there is no more snow.  
Other Plans

  • If time permits, clear the part of the community trail that is below our house.
  • Go to the beach?
  • Sign Paddy up for swimming lessons.
  • Do some cooking with my daughter.
  • Make a habit of going outside with the kids now that it has warmed up.  
  • Start Morning Time again.


  1. I just realized that my 9th grader is basically ready to graduate. ...But he's at the stage where he is as academically competent as at least half the adult population.

    Willa, I'd love to hear your 'list' of what you feel is needed to get to this stage. Doubting myself here as we draw to a close with our oldest' formal education.

  2. Oh, good question, Erin. It is something I have been thinking about a lot. The way I was thinking about it recently was that so many unschooled children can go to university and do well... though they may have "gaps" they are engaged and enthusiastic and feel responsible for their own learning. That is what made the difference for my older kids' academic success beyond the homeschool.

    Other than that there is a sort of minimum of being able to read intelligently and understand the basic math concepts up through algebra and geometry. Plus an ability to pursue knowledge and skill in at least a couple of areas of personal interest or motivation. Those were the things that seemed to be key, and the rest that we did was just, you know, either helpful or not very helpful.

    That's a quick answer but there's probably more to be said, so I'm thinking about it. If anyone else reads this and wants to give their opinion please do! Again, it's something I have been pondering a lot recently.


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!