Sunday, November 4, 2012

Literacy in America

An estimated 771 million adults, one-fifth of the world’s population, do not have the ability to read and write, with understanding, a short, simple sentence about one’s own life. (UNESCO, 2006) but

what are we hearing from the presidential candidates?
unemployed persons (12.3 million)

seriously? 771 MILLION can't read but 12.3 Million out of work is a more pressing ISSUE? rather than EDUCATION? and 771 MILLION can't read and they think that Homeschooling is the wrong way to go?

homeschooled students averaged 37 percentile points higher on standardized tests than their public school counterparts.  students in traditional schools mark the 50th percentile on standardized tests, students who are “independently educated” score between the 65th and 89th percentile.

Furthermore, the achievement gaps, long plaguing school systems around the country, aren’t present in homeschooling environment. There’s no difference in achievement between sexes, income levels or race/ethnicity.

why can't some people just accept that each child is differently abled, and not everyone has to go to a brick and mortar school to get an education. if 60% of our country has less than a 7th grade education, what did everyone do in 8-12th grade? seriously? what worked 50 years ago, does not work today.

One in three adults cannot read this sentence.(National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003)

85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003)

 50% of the chronically unemployed are not functionally literate. (U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Presentation: Dr. Susan Sclafani, April 2005)

 93 million American adults, or 45% of the adult population, have limited reading, writing, and math skills. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003)

An estimated 11 million adults in the U.S. are nonliterate in English. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003)

Texas ranks 47 out 50 states, in terms of English literacy levels. (U.S. Department of Education)

AS LONG AS I AM focused on one child and do not let him fall through the cracks, I am doing my job. I do not care what everyone else thinks I am doing wrong, the facts are that the 93 MILLION AMERICANS (45%) is a HUGE NUMBER.

That is not due to homeschooling, homeschooling is due to people deciding that SCHOOL is not EDUCATING.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Big Sky's Health Science Academy uses hands-on approach to teaching

Big Sky's Health Science Academy uses hands-on approach to teaching
giant obstacle course that is a map of the human heart.
Jumping, running and sometimes chugging slowly, the entire freshman class of Montana’s Health Science Academy flows through the maze of veins, the anterior vena cava, aorta and other cardiac plumbing, pulsating with life and giving animation to this unusual exercise, just as real blood flows through an actual heart.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Weighted values for each lesson / work sample

weeks lessons % value/week/lesson
math 9 5 9% 1.26
language 9 10 9% 1.71
literature 9 5 9% 1.26
science 9 3 9% 1.08
social studies 9 3 9% 1.08
art 9 1 5% 0.5
health 9 2 5% 0.55
pe 9 1 5% 0.5
class connects 6 1 10% 0.7
work samples 7 6 10% 1.3
bench marks 1 1 20% 0.4


Monday, October 8, 2012

Block Scheduling

Monday: Work Samples, Writing CC Live, [Math & Health] 

Tuesday: Blog Samples, Study Island & P.E. [Science & Art] 

Wednesday: Scouts & Literature [Social Studies & Grammar] 

Thursday: P.E. & Norwegian [Vocabulary & Composition] 

Friday: Watch CC recordings, P.E., Finish loose ends, (Lit at bedtime)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Failure is Just not an Option

a child, was put on academic watch and was frustrated. I told her that I opted to leave the OLS behind and just go for hands on education with the rest of the TXVA students. are you suggesting that was cold hearted or mean spirited because if she were to take the day off from working 18 hours a day, I was saying nanananana I get to go play, and you have to work, work, work? because let me clarify.  SOMETIMES you have to step away and actually embrace immersion education, maybe at the sacrifice of a letter grade.
maybe you are suggesting that by ASKING WHY she is frustrated would be intrusive, but that is HOW you clarify what the issue is.  IS the work too hard, it could be, and if it is, you ask the professor for modification. and yes, you can do this. is this a situation where the parent is agonizing that the child is struggling and the parents wants to make it better. which can happen, but to separate the parents struggles from the child's struggles is not an unreasonable query. many many parents, myself included do baby our special needs child.  I get physically ill to force my child to do his work, he cries, maybe even honest anguish tears, maybe to manipulate me, but it is hard as a parent to cope. but cope we must. the challenge is to honestly determine of the work is age appropriate or not. which is a reasonable assessment. if the child is in 9th grade but on a 6th grade level, modifications must be made, if the work is 9th grade and the child is 9th grade, MAYBE the child is not getting the delivery in an optimal way, and so to take the spirit of the objective, and find a new delivery method will meet the objective. THEN when the LC /Parent can actually sit down and help the child work through the submission in a collaborative effort. something that I do find myself doing weekly with the moodle/blackboard/angel format. The student writes the paper, I edit it as a publication editor, they revise it, I edit it again, they revise it again. Once it is approved by myself, they can submit it. so while the child is doing the work, the parent is much more hands on in guiding the learning process, it is not just a free spirited relationship between the student and the teacher, but between the parent and the student, and eventually the teacher receives the submission for final evaluation.

The next post suggests that instead of leaving the child to flounder and guess, but for the parent to get off the chair and actually map out a procedures for success.  DD#1 has four courses. each one has some assignments in this folder, some submissions in that folder, some online blogging to respond to other classmates, some printed submissions, some electronic submissions, some online exams, some using myitlab, as well as some where they go to the school, check in with ID, and take a phyiscal exam. Parents can help set up a spreadsheet as a road map to help them check each area every day or other day. Since it is easy to miss assignments, helping to set up a schedule of where to go and what to do electronically is just as important now days in a digital campus as much as it was 20 years ago when it was all physical syllabus and campuses. so tell in the child to work harder is not the point, what is the point is that the parent help train the child how to set up the procedures so that eventually they understand how to build their own procedure document.

In our own home we have a Friday academic well child visit, if they are on target, they are able to take personal time on the weekend, if they are not, they have until Sunday to rectify that situation. it may seem to be harsh, but there is no free times until all work is completed. we may work 9 am to 9 pm M-F, but if we are not on target then we keep working. I would not suggest that anyone do more than their best, but for us, the method that we take is this. each child will have to dig a trench, 1 ft wide, 1 ft deep, and 10 ft long. each child has their own tool. one may have a shovel, one may have a back hoe, and one may have a spoon, but all will complete the trench in the end.
failure (here at least) is not an option.  that will be the case in 3-8, 9-12, and 13-18. if the child does not know HOW to study, and mine that went through pubic school did not, I enrolled them in how to study in school the first semester. it was the only civilized thing to do. do not set them to a task if you are not going to equip them with tools.

I really can not speak for any other households, but here we are used to working 18 hours a day. when we drive cross country, it is an 18 hour day, when we work at home, it is an 18 hour day. we do not watch the clock and go, oh, darn, the kids have been learning for X number of hours. My philosophy is work until you are done, or until you can not stay awake anymore. we do balance our days with family, volunteering, and physical activities. the academic push though, is primary. since we are all involved in school, it is our social activity. the olders are at work or studying, the middle schoolers run two computers at the same time, one for skype with friends or Class Connects, and one for k12 and working simultaneous.

I do not know how other people got through school, my dad laughed that he didn't crack a book, he was gifted. my mom, was educated beyond her intelligence, she had to read a text book 3 times to get a "C", I tend to follow her example.  if it takes 12-18 hours a day to get an education, then it is worth it.  while some parents may not want to push their kids that hard, they may think that is cruel, and they can do that.  It should be noted that there is one family that is willing to work beyond expectations to get an education.  so I would say that while we may have lower intelligence, we compensate with strong work ethic.

the qualities that we are working towards are not influenced by what other people think, but what we believe is necessary to succeed. it is not a slap in the face to others that feel that a 10 hour day is enough.
we just hope that others do not think that the minimum is the only solution.  I totally agree, that not every parent should insist on 'A', and let the student accept a "C" even, what works for each family will be as different as discipline or religion, or any other freedom of choice.

to compare what one family with spec needs does vs what another family with G&T child is really not fair.  each child is unique and each child has their own threshold of tolerance. I can not imagine asking anyone else to have to schedule physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, aquatic therapy on top of the tutoring, the work samples, the class connects, course adjustments, 504 meetings, individualized education planning meetings, sensory diet accommodations, psychological meetings, the study island blue ribbons, and everything else that goes with TXVA, so I do it myself. My husband tried to once, but he was challenged to even get a benchmark done on his own. so ultimately, it is easier to do it myself than to assign it to anyone else.

when I say 'we' I mean this country as a whole. our country is beyond blessed. not every country has free education. not every country has paper and pencils.  we studied Egypt last year, 50% literacy rate, and for women even less. 50% to me is just criminal. but even more so is that we have a drop out rate here of 75% in some areas. how can kids that do not have a choice but have to drop out and go to work in one country, still have the fortitude to get an education after working a 12 hour day, study through the night and yet in this country, kids are allowed to give up and walk away because it is too hard.

I tell my own kids, it is not too hard, it is a matter of desire. if you do not know how, we will find out how, if you do not know where, we will find out where. We are not going to quit because they change the rules, because the raise the bar, because you do not feel like it.  I do not care if my kid's feelings get hurt, or their self esteem is bruised.  After watching the Ultimate Gift, I can see how tough love creates the best results. I am probably guilty of the old school guilty that if you get an education, work hard, you will be successful. I can not shake the believe after seeing how my parents and my husband have done just that. I have an unshakable belief in that process. It was drove me through high school and college.  To be ferociously determined is the only way I know and the only method that I accept from my own children.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Picking up Tidbits

Biology help

simple math poem

More on top? no need to stop

More on the floor? go next door and get 10 more!
numbers the same? Zero's the game!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Different Resources Today

Atretochoana eiselti,
 The Moore Formula is based on Moore's world class research that gave birth to the homeschool movement. It is customized to each child's interests, aptitudes and abilities and based on unit or project work. The Moore formula is divided into three parts:

1) STUDY — from a few minutes to several hours a day, depending on the child's maturity. Readiness is vital!

2) MANUAL WORK and ENTREPRENEURSHIP — at least as much work in family or other business as study.

3) HOME and/or COMMUNITY SERVICE — an hour or so a day. Focus on kids' interests and needs. Be an example in consistency, curiosity, and patience.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Things to do this FALL

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 -  Hansel and Gretel
TIMES: 10:30am

Come join us for a casual event at the Miller Outdoor Theater. Meet our TXVA staff member at the back of the covered seating area then stick around for the performance of "Hansel and Gretel" at 11:00 AM.
This is a free event open to all families of TXVA and interested families.

Miller Outdoor Theatre
6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030 



TIMES: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
For one day only we offer Home School students unlimited access to our fourteen galleries of non-stop, action-packed fun. Home School students will explore science, technology, history, culture, health, environment and engineering hands-on at the ultimate Playground for your Mind™! Pre-registration is required.


1500 Binz Street Houston, TX 77004


TIMES: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Come enjoy hours of intense fun, recreation and competitive activities while learning the science behind your favorite sports.


2101 Nasa Pkwy #1 Houston, Texas 77058 

THURSDAY OCTOBER 4, 11, 18 OR 25, 2012
TIMES: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Every Thursday in OCT the staff at the museum and the farm will present Childhood in Early Texas, an interactive, hands-on program for the entire family, targeting students ages 5-12. Discover what life was like for a child in the mid-19th century during a visit to this historic site. In the museum, learn about childhood chores, clothes, and schools, and then make some old-fashioned toys to take home. Enjoy your picnic lunch in the pecan grove along the Brazos River. At Barrington Farm, experience life on an 1850s era farm to learn more about the crops, livestock, and daily life of early Texans.
 Cost: $8/child, $6/adult
Lunch not provided, picnics welcome!
Reservations and pay in advance required: Call 936-878-2461, ext. 236 for reservations, after August 1.

Texas 23254 FM 1155 E. - Washington, Texas


TIMES: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Texas Renaissance Festival invites all public, private and home school educators and students to join us for the 8th Annual School Days. School Days is offered exclusively as an educational opportunity. The Texas Renaissance Festival is located at 21778 FM 1774, between the towns of Magnolia and Plantersville, Texas, 45 miles northwest of downtown Houston.


TIMES: 10 a.m. TO 4 p.m.
Pioneer Day, second Saturday in November
Volunteers and re-enactors demonstrate settler life in Stephen F. Austin’s colony during the 1820s and early 1830s. Old-fashioned crafts, demonstrations, and period re-enactments bring the homestead to life. This event  highlights the Anglo colonization era and Texas Revolution. Volunteers and historians portraying American Indian, Anglo, Texian, and Mexican lifestyles bring the pre-1840 Texas to life with a civil war reinactment.

20634 Kenswick Drive - Humble, Texas 77338

Monday, September 17, 2012

6th grade Picture

Handsome young man

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


TXVA Family Activities for Conroe and North Houston

TXVA Verve: South Houston/Galveston Area

Homeschool Moms/K12 Learning Coaches

LC Academy

Learning Coaches 4 Middle Schoolers

K12 Learning Coaches for 7th graders

Homeschooling Moms/LC's Teaching Kids with Disabilities

Texas Virtual Academy

TXVA Booster Club


K12 Learning Coaches


Texas Virtual Academy at K12

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What to do with Seven Kids

The Kindergartner and two younger three are watching
The Middle schooled are taking benchmark exams today in algebra and reading
one student is at work the other has Education and algebra today.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Age Appropriate BMI

BMI Calculator for Child and Teen
Information Entered Age: 11 years 2 months
 Sex: Boy
 Birth Date: June 27, 2001
 Height: 5 feet 1 inch(es)
 Date of Measurement: September 02, 2012
 Weight: 82 pounds

 Results Based on the height and weight entered, the BMI is 15.5 , placing the BMI-for-age at the 15th percentile for boys aged 11 years 2 months.

This child has a healthy weight.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Second Cup of Coffee Today

my first method is to assign the subject, and the reading and let them try on their own. I have assigned reading, and book work with vocabulary and grammar that they can read and do on their own. I do a lot of oral discussion with my "unique" 6th grader. it goes much faster to put him on my lap, and cruise through some assessments to knock out lessons that he knows just does not seem to be able to focus on. he takes his text book and reads a chapter here or there. I put in post its of where to start and stop for him. if it appears that they have not picked up the low hanging fruit, I work with them to get them. each day we sit side by side and see what we need to pick up. what I do is block out one on one with each one on something that needs to be addressed, it could be working through a history or science assessment. there are 6 ways to skin a cat, I start by having them try to do it on their own without me 'teaching', then if that is not successful, I parallel play and find the answer myself as if it were my homework and show them the process. we will google it, we will check out the youtubes about it. I do not pretend that I know the answers, I 'act' like I am as dumbfounded as them, and we discover it together. it could be as easy as just orally getting the answers to the assessment, because they are not focusing on the question or it could be that we just need to pick up a video to get the point across. when it comes to having 5 under 12 in the house: I take turns, and sometimes divide an conquer. if I am working with one, I assign chores for others, or some PBS, or some art projects will buy me a 1/2 hour. but I do take up the whole day with schooling / housework / activities so it all blends together. I was a homeschool high school graduation and one mom said this and I have held on to it for years now. "Every Night I quit, I promised never to go back. The next morning, I would get up and try again." She homeschooled 8 children and this was her last child to graduate. I remember that when I am going to quit and put them back out on the curb for the yellow monster to eat them. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION My kids know that means that we will find a way, and it may not be the first or the 1001st way, but we will find a way. I HAVE NOT FAILED. I'VE JUST FOUND 10,000 WAYS THAT WON'T WORK. I only have to find ONE that will. I HAVE NEVER LET MY SCHOOLING INTERFERE WITH MY EDUCATION. The books and the system are just TOOLS, do not let them set your course. YOU set the course, you choose from the BUFFET. always take a clean plate each day. Do not let what went wrong yesterday cloud what could be right today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012



Paint: I get tempura paint every year: 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade so what to do with it all? first I make sure the cap is on secure, and I turn them upside down and with a sharpie put the year we got each bottle. be sure to use the oldest up first. then I combined any partials of the EXACT same color. VIOLA, perfect.

Brushes, I saved an old Jelly Jar, after I wash them good, I store them brush end up to dry I have 3" binders for loose leaf paper. at one point I had 5 partial packs. I have 3" binder with sheet protectors for storing a year's worth of tests reports, report cards, and important legal docs from school in my own permanent file including attendance print out

Thursday, August 16, 2012

new online school year

WARNING: the OLS / LMS will most likely go down with an extraordinary amount of traffic on Monday and Tuesday morning (27 Aug and 28 Aug). Please feel free to chill out, grab a latte and relax. No this school does not suck. No this is not the most frustrating thing to happen to your child. The worst thing to ever is when your child was intimidated and held prisoner in a toilet stall for 45 minutes in B&M, this is NOTHING.

EVERYTHING that you will need to teach your child was delivered in a box. Student Study guides are just that. They are a road map, a turn by turn directions like Google Maps. If you get to a point that it says go on line and you can not do that. PASS OVER and go to the next step. really. seriously. do it. you do not have to do every single part of every single lesson for your child to get an excellent quality education, each part, the books, the study guides, the OLS / LMS are all just pieces of the puzzle. You will find through out the year that there are going to be times that you do not EVER use a component, it does not make a good fit for your student. RELAX. move on. do not start chanting about how awful k12 is because they did not do this or that for you and yours. k12 is a VENDOR. they just sell a product like Amazon. Your school is just a supervisor, they make sure that the Texas Education Agency mandates are met, ULTIMATELY, you are going to have to crack the books, and teach the kids. It is okay, this is what you signed up for.

The first two weeks are for learning the ropes, you will not be penalized and you will not have to make 3% progress each week, learning curve is factored in. Relax. Chill. do not post how you are going to quit, this is a deal breaker, and 100 assorted other nasty-grams. MANY new students will require what is commonly referred to UNSCHOOLING. that is the period of time when they go from birds sitting in the nest with the mouth open ready for you to regurgitate knowledge from your mouth to them. that is all they have known for years. Resist the urge to get irritated. It will take awhile for them to go from passive receptors to active engaged learners, but it does happen. some take longer than others. but eventually they will come to you with solutions to OLS objectives, it is a beautiful day.

 INSTEAD: make a list of WHY you want to school at home. WHAT is your objective because ultimately that is what will be driving your direction, and that you will be measuring your success by, not if you had access to this online tool or that one. This is a whole lifestyle thing, it is not a program designed to cater to this special needs child, or that gifted child. it is designed for you to get from point A to point B. YES, some classes, the books are online only. I know. shhh. I know. but you have 10 other options to choose from during that two hour window. Learn now to adapt and overcome, you will thank me later.

When in doubt of what you should do, grab your novel, and read for lit. that is always going to be a default. *sigh* now as things settle down and we get all 4500 students situated, you must remember that you are not the only one. Do not be that person standing in line at the bank, the grocery store, or the red light totally self absorbed thinking that this is all about you. It is not all about you. It is all about your student. However, you will not help your student if you get all up in arms, flailing around like you do not know what you are doing. ALWAYS maintain your calm. You are the example now. you must be like the duck, calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath. Knowing in advance that this is to be expected each time there is a huge run on the servers should serve to warn you that it is a known issue. It is a fact of life, we do not keep a 747 on stand by for every day use, we take turns with a nice DC10 and during holiday rushes, we chill the heck out.

To start preparing each week so that if this does occur during end of quarter, server maintenance, you will be better served if you log in after midnight on Sunday (big deadline for high school - LMS) and print out the WEEKLY VIEW of lessons for the week. I utilize post its in the books, Start Here and Stop Here helps my children know what to do for the week. Then if OLS / LMS is down we just keep working and even if it is up, we can block out groups of lessons without loosing our rhythm.

Now I know that you are going to say BUT MY SITUATION DIFFERENT. No it is not. BUT MY CHILD IS SPECIAL. No, not really, no more so than any one else's child. MY CHILD CAN NOT HANDLE < CHANGE>< DISAPPOINTMENT> Yes, they can. They get out of bed every single day, that is a change and a transition. They eat something different every day, that is change and they are just fine. YOU must be the household manager, you must teach your child that failure is not an option. They will succeed in school this year, you are there to support not enable them. You are there to model the behavior that is desired from them. Start by how you handle the upcoming challenges as you embark on something new.

 Veteran Parents. Regardless if it is your second or 12th year, it is going to be different. Accept it now. Learn to roll with it now. do not FREAK OUT HERE. You know better. I know you know better.

EVERYONE watch or rewatch every one of these videos. I am not going to hold your hand and spoon feed your this when it is already done for you.

 Invest in Netflix, we all find that some times book learning is BORING, a video that covers the objects is most likely out there, I have found National Geographic to be an excellent resource when we are just burned out on books and OLS.

Finally, if you do not have a sense of humor, order one now from Amazon because this is going to be a long arduous year and I really do not want any sniveling and whining. You have to look for the good or your going to be eaten up and spite out like last weeks crepes if you do not know that. This too shall pass.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Days like These

08:00 AM open blinds no reaction
08:30 AM wake up call no reaction
09:00 AM
made it to the kitchen disassociation
09:15 AM cook requested breakfast breakfast: flour tortilla/ bacon / cheese mildly upset not getting all of bacon cooked
09:30 AM Place school books on table, announce school work
disagreeable facial expression
09:30 AM
eat banana avoid studying
10:00 AM
eat apple avoid studying
10:15 AM open books, place paper / pencil, locate assignment indifference I do not want to
10:30 AM model answering problems 1 & 2 tears masking I do not know how to
10:45 AM model answering problems 3 & 4 anger Mildly verbally abusive, I do not want to
10:50 AM model answering problems 5 resignation I have to, mildly verbally abusive
11:00 AM study buddy stance compliance engaged learning
11:05 AM study buddy stance anger Mildly verbally abusive, I do not want to
11:06 AM study buddy stance engaged learning
11:07 AM alleviate distraction, modify environment interruption Frustration & irritation
11:10 AM study buddy stance Superiority & confrontational Independence: I do not need help
11:11 AM study buddy stance compliance unwilling but working through it
11:12 AM study buddy stance engaged learning
11:15 AM Redirection: “Focus” distraction fiddling
11:18 AM study buddy stance engaged learning
11:20 AM Evaluation: “Bored” Concept Mastered: Skip to next concept distraction fiddling
11:25 AM study buddy stance engaged learning
11:29 AM
verbal violence including maiming of mom start a fight, end the studying, goal achievement
11:30 AM Harsh Chastisement: “Fear” established sincere tears, compliance contrite spirit & fear
11:36 AM study buddy stance diligent learning tears, sniffling, emotionally broken
11:37 AM lecture on choices of defiance bathroom to be sick sadness
11:40 AM regroup, review this list, look for better solution map out daily schedule sad but engaged discussion

6 hours not negotiable, when is negotiable. 8:00 wake realizing that if you want a late morning, you get a late day

8:30 breakfast – specific menu he designed unresolved on that, prefer this for now, re-evaluate later

9:00 Eat, Brush, Bed, Tidy Room

10:00 First Class – 2 hours

12:00 Lunch

12:45 Second Class – 2 hours

2:45 Scooter break

3:30 Third Class – 2 hours
12:00 AM consternation 6:00 Done for day resignation

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fair Warning

I will post this warning now, any issues that you thought you had with the school, that was Kindergarten compared to Virtual School.

You wanted to do this program because it was easier? FORGET ABOUT IT - it is not.

You wanted to do this program because you could do a better job. TRUST ME. you will, but it will be the toughest job you ever took on. you know why? not because you are more qualified. because you are more vested in the outcome.

You will have to honestly PARENT your children. You will SINCERELY have to DISCIPLINE your children in a way that you only read about in a novel. MANY parents have relied on the schools rules and structure to teach discipline.

Well I am here to tell you now that most of the time the parents have ham-stringed the school about that.  They fail to see that STRICT structure and routine and consequences and RULES are vital to a well run company, a well run house, and a well run school.

YOU as a parent have chosen this course.  YOU as a parent will take all the glory and all the blame when the day is finished.  I am not sure what happened to all the parents that read what to expect when you are expecting but apparently they did not read what to expect when you ask the day care to raise your child and the school to parent your kid. 

I have had to learn how to do this along the way, and so will you. You will have to learn about NATURAL CONSEQUENCES of not getting your work done, of STANDING UP TO YOUR TYRANT of a 3rd grader when they intimidate you that if you make them do one more thing that they do not want to do, they will have a thermal nuclear melt down and it will be ALL YOU FAULT.

There will be battles that are not worth fighting, but there will be battles that you better figure out now what you will not yield on KNOW what is NOT NEGOTIABLE and print it out and post it on the wall NOW. Once you have taken that stand, it is much easier to defend it with the kids that will test, push, and pull every button over the next few years.

-Failure is NOT an option
-This is NOT negotiable
-I do not negotiate with TERRORISTS
-I did not leave my career so that you can play
-You will have civilized behavior

When I am done with you, you will be so smart MIT or CALPOLYTECH will be begging me to give a seminar, and when you are working you will pay me back THEN for all the sacrifices that I have made to civilize you.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Critters in the house

Lily and Rose are enjoying their own schooling time:
Signing Time

Coloring pages

now time for some Algebra

Monday, August 6, 2012

A place for Everything

And Everything in its place
 Current desk ... for now..NEW COMFY CHAIR
or mom's desk, REALLY COMFY CHAIR
or the Island at G'ma's, MEH chair
5th grade, good chair

or the coffee table at Bestamor's
4th grade, meh chair

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tom Sawyer Novel Study

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Just Kill Me NOW!

 I thought we were done for the summer.
 oy! sad day. so many boxes.
 fastest stinking summer break on record.
 the Amazon Frustration Free Packing.. favorite item in the box?
 what do you mean, this IS my HAPPY face.
significant work reduction from that pile that showed up.
okay, so Magnus is not a cheerful person by nature. it takes a lot to make him smile. He would rather go to TXVA than public school any day of the week and twice on Monday.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

6th Grade Reading List

  • The Secret Garden
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Shakespeare: The Twelfth Night
Free Choice (pick 4):
 Title and Author
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,
by E.L. Konigsburg
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare
Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech
War Comes to Willie Freeman,
by Christopher and Lincoln Collier
The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare
The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander
Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt
My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George
Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes
The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkein
The Cay, by Theodore Taylor
Dragonwings, by Laurence Yep
Jacob Have I Loved, by Katherine Paterson
Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor
The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis
White Fang, by Jack London
Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite de Angeli
Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell
Ben and Me, by Robert Lawson
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne
Hound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle
Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt
Catherine, Called Birdy, by Karen Cushman
War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells
Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss
The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Three years down, we ebb and we flow, just like the Colorado River along the Grand Canyon.
What I have learned: the first year is just de-schooling and undoing all the programming that goes into classroom training the child to be patiently spoon fed the answers. The second year is a compliant year or honeymoon, that went well enough. The third year is testing the boundaries. Was I serious? Would I fallow through. What if FAILURE was an OPTION?  Some of the questions that come to mind would be how much structure is enough? How many hours does it really take each day?

We spent way more time on STAAR prep this year than any year prior. We spent way less time on location for enrichment activities and that demoralized the troops and took away from our overall learning process. We did not travel as much this year and missed out on some real opportunities. We cut our budget drastically and so only took in 4 field trips.

Locally Washington on the Brazos was by far the best followed by the Renn Fest. One trip to Montana and Washington was a great family experience but not much educationally. That must be rectified.  I am competing for more time over Minecraft, it has taken over the little craniums. However, if you can not add more socialization from the neighborhood, well add more family will solve that problem. Magnus has imprinted on both Rose and Lily and that is a good thing.

We read this year, but not as much as last, so that has dwindled down since some authors are so slow at writing. Magnus can devour a Rick Riordan book in 48 hours.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Minecraft Ending (

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Monday, April 23, 2012

11 year old well visit

or late 10 year according the pediatrician. A 10 year and 10 months old (male) child who is 78 pounds and is 5 feet tall has a body mass index of 15.3, which is at the 14th percentile, and would indicate that your child is at a healthy weight. Keep in mind that it is still possible for a child to have an eating disorder even if they are at a healthy weight though. Hearing check is perfect Vision check: 20/40 vision. not too bad.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Geodes in a Shell

YOU WILL NEED: clean eggshells water a variety of soluble solids: table salt, rock salt, sugar, baking soda, Epsom salts, sea salt, borax, or cream of tartar small heat proof containers (coffee cups work well) spoons food coloring egg cartons and wax paper or mini-muffin tins WHAT TO DO: Crack the eggs for this project as close to the narrow end as possible. This preserves more egg to use as a container for the solution. Clean the eggshells using hot water. The hot water cooks the lining and allows you to pull the skin (egg membrane) out of the inside of the egg using your fingers. Make sure to remove all the egg membrane, if any membrane stays inside the shell it is possible that your eggshell will grow mold and your crystals will turn black. Use an egg carton lined with waxed paper or mini-muffin tins to hold the eggs upright. Use a saucepan to heat the water to boiling. . Pour half a cup to a cup of water into your heatproof container. If you poured half a cup of water into the container, add about a ¼ cup of solid to the water. Stir it until it dissolves. Likewise if you used a cup of water, add about ½ a cup of solid to the water. You wanted to add about half again the volume of the water as a solid to the mixture. When the initial amount of solid is dissolved continue adding small amounts of the solid until the water is super-saturated. Super-saturated simply means the water has absorbed all it is able to absorb and any solid you add will not dissolve. Add food coloring. Carefully pour your solution into the eggshell, filling it as full as possible without over-flowing it or causing it to tip. Find a safe place to put your shells while the water evaporates. Crystals will form inside the eggshells as the water evaporates. HOW DOES IT WORK? Dissolving the crystals in hot water created what is called a “super-saturated solution.” This basically means that the salts took advantage of the energy of the hot water to help them dissolve until there was no more space between molecules in the solution. As the solution cooled, the water lost its energy and the crystals are forced from the solution to become a solid again. Since this happens slowly along with the evaporation, the crystals have time to grow larger than they were when the experiment started. Natural geodes in rock are form in much the same way as mineralized water seeps into air pockets in rock. This is also how rock candy crystals are formed

Monday, April 16, 2012

5th grade Science Benchmark April
# Correct # Incorrect # Tested Score
Scientific Investigations 1 1 2 50%
Laboratory Procedures 2 0 2 100%
Collect & Interpret Data 2 0 2 100%
Scientific Evidence 0 2 2 0%
History & Nature of Science 2 0 2 100%
Properties of Matter 1 1 2 50%
Physical Changes 2 0 2 100%
Energy 1 1 2 50%
Light 2 0 2 100%
Force & Motion 1 1 2 50%
Earth Materials & Features 1 1 2 50%
Weather, Climate & the Water Cycle 1 1 2 50%
Earth, Sun & Moon 1 1 2 50%
Ecosystems 2 0 2 100%
Environmental Impact 1 1 2 50%
Structure, Function & Life Cycles 1 1 2 50%
Heredity & Behavior 2 0 2 100%
TOTAL 23 11 34 67.6%

Monday, April 2, 2012

5th grade Science Benchmark April


# Correct# Incorrect# TestedScore


Scientific Investigations11250%


Laboratory Procedures202100%


Collect & Interpret Data202100%


Scientific Evidence0220%


History & Nature of Science202100%


Properties of Matter11250%


Physical Changes202100%






Force & Motion11250%


Earth Materials & Features11250%


Weather, Climate & the Water Cycle11250%


Earth, Sun & Moon11250%




Environmental Impact11250%


Structure, Function & Life Cycles11250%


Heredity & Behavior202100%



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Process of Schooling at Home

THE MOMENT you realize that Brick and Mortar are not working.

The moment AFTER you decide to withdrawl your student from Brick and Mortar

After a very very long school year at home.

The point taht you start to waver and want to send them back to Brick and Mortar

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012