Friday, April 01, 2011

Overwhelmed and freaked out.

(For anyone wanting fiber blogging, scroll down. There's a bit at the bottom.)

This week we got the first quarter of the Goober's new home-schooling curricula from PA Cyber. We'd decided to continue home-schooling next year for a long list of reasons (one of those deals where no one reason was a deciding factor, but when you made a list, it was easy to see). Due to that, facing the fact that this might not be stop-gap due to local school district pigheadedness but an actual PLAN, I shifted the plan. I went from a more traditional, on-paper system to one that's more computer-based. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, and in moments of clarity when I'm not freaking out, it STILL seems like a good idea.

Then the boxes came in the mail. We got ONE QUARTER of supplies. Not the full year, a single nine-week quarter's worth. Remember that when looking at the following photos. ONE. QUARTER. We got three freaking boxes for ONE. QUARTER.

Parent's manual, check.
Just looking at it makes me crave tranquilizers. The accompanying work books make a stack equally high, but that's okay 'cause kid's worksheets are heavy on pictures and take up space. MINE IS ALL TEXT. Give me a minute for a good old Victorian swoon.

Books? Yeah. This part BLOWS ME AWAY, in the best way possible. Let's encourage kids to read. Let's give them good books. Check.
One box was entirely full of children's books. Some are used for lessons, but many are just in there to give the kids reading material. These aren't crap books, either!
Many are Caldecott and/or Newberry Award winners or honorees, and the rest are very obviously relevant and apply. (One fave is a children's biography of Thomas Edison.) The Goober has been poring over them for three days and is totally psyched.

Another box held science lesson and other school supplies. Someone thoughtfully put it all in one of those giant fifty quart plastic bins we all use to store yarn in. There's a tool box. There's a bag of dirt and seeds and even peat pots. Two magnet boards, a two-inch-thick pile of tri-ruled kid's writing paper. The zinger?
Kid's got her own freakin' balance scale.

Mind you, this is on top of the box of supplies we got last October that contained a foot-high pile of writing and construction paper. I could open my own office supply store at the moment.

Really, the curricula is great. It's a simple, step-by-step operation that is really well done, if I'd just chill the hell out. Each day has its own little check list of computer, on-paper, and other activities. All I have to do is work through it step by step, like a really giant algebra problem.

Algebra made me freak out, too.


Otherwise. Spinning. Spinning chills me out, so I've been doing that.
I am finally plying the Steampunk yarn. This is the unadorned skein (I'm doing three, total). No beads or prickly gears in this one, so that my friend can knit collars and cuffs and other close-to-the-skin bits with it and not mangle her skin. I can't see it too well in the photo but there's a 'ply' of copper metallic thread in there with the black and colored plies.


Sekhmet has been helping me do PT.

Oh, geez. Me in my pajamas on the floor. MOST FLATTERING PHOTO EVER. 


And, um, that's about it. I'm almost done with the Goob Sweater. I'm on the neck ribbing. Once that's half-grated down, I'll graft the arm pits, darn in the ends, and it's done.I could do it in a day if I'd quit freaking the hell out.

Pictures soon.


Mandy said...

That's a pretty impressive set of materials! The Goob is a lucky little girl!

NeedleTart said...

Just curious, are the supplies provided by the school district? Sounds like a lot of fun.
When the boys were small, I told them to do well in school or I would home school them (we had Mommy Summer School anyway). Years late Elder Son found out he would only have had to have 3 hours of school time if we home schooled. Boy was he bummed.

bobbins said...

I agree with Mandy - Very impressive materials. I'm looking forward to hearing more of how Goober is blooming and marching forward with her schoolwork.

Fantastic that both of you like the books sent with the curriculum. The science kit sounds FUN. Definitely want to hear more about that!

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=Tamar said...

Instead of algebra, think of it as a complex knitting pattern that you work through line by line.

Remember, learning to reading aloud with expression is a useful talent, and one that is not as common as it used to be. If she reads her work to you, you can still be knitting...

Anonymous said...

yeah!! My sister and I went to a montessori school when we were kids and my teacher made us read every Newberry and Caldecott book up until the current year. Black & White is especially good. It's got a lot going on and a lot of absurd visual humor.

Galad said...

Yours does look less fun and more work but the materials for the Goob look great! I always got my kids the Newberry and Caldecott winners.

Roxie said...

Hmm - looks like Sekhmet could stand to do a few crunches. She's adorable, helping you with the PT lik that!

Heck, I want the science box, too.!

Corlis said...

She will be a fine student, and you an excellent teacher. Sekhmet looks like he needs a tummy rub.

Emily said...

The home-schooling stuff looks expensive: wow.
Your home-schooling will obviously be terrific, given the people involved. My son teaches in a very stressed district...poverty, drugs, etc...and he's opposed to home-schooling. Apparently there are people out there who "home-school" for strange reasons, and who don't actually home-school. The terrible test scores of those kids bring down the whole district's scores, which impacts the district's funding.

I was very surprised to learn this. I had always assumed that people who took on that job did their best at it.

I think my kids would have had a better time if I had been able to do that. The bullying issue alone is enough to justify it.

Roz said...

Sekhmet cracks me up! I love it when the animals decide to show us how to really exercise.

Louiz said...

Wow, that's an amazing box of books. Did they come from the local education department?

Plus algebra is easy. Ask me how! (this from someone who can't add numbers together if they don't end in 0 or 5).

Amy Lane said...

Wow-- that looks like so much fun with her! And the steampunk yarn is AWESOME!

Mindy said...

Everytime I get on the floor to do PT for my back my cat LULU suddenly appears out of nowhere and rolls around on the floor with me and then starts doing the head butt thing. I am glad to see she's not the only one.

Anonymous said...

The balance is a perfect way to explain algebra.

left pan = right pan

Every algebra rule or operation leaves a balanced balance scale still balanced. Thus the left side pan contents equals the right side pan contents weight.

Simple. Easy. Don't know why it is not explained that way.

Try it by experiment. Then demonstrate. Or instead don't demonstrate let the discovery happen.