St. Nick's first fencing class was last night, and I would give him an A+ (if I were into grading [as if. My killer instinct came forward. Get 'im! I wanted my boy to WIN!]). Actually, the better assessment, the class and instructors would get an A+.
This is the first activity of the sort St. Nick has done, and I was nervous he'd be nervous. He gets that way - at Sunday School (we still have to hear about the dreaded Angel Costume from the Christmas play. "Mommy, I am NOT wearing an Angel Costume Ever Again!"), at preschool last year when he'd sing all the songs at home, but none of them with the class. But he surprised me. He marched right in and said to the crowd of kids and adults, "I'm ready for fencing because I had a good supper!" And then the kids took to the floor while the moms and dads sat along the walls. (I'm a mom! I love this!)
At first, when he practiced his stance with his left hand forward instead of his right, I thought we were doomed. He doesn't know about dominant hands yet. I haven't taught him left/right yet. They'll find out what an awful homeschooler I am and will ... but then he got the foil in his hand and held it like a natural.
His inborn lack of coordination played in his favor. While the little boy across from him swiped and jabbed, St. Nick hopped forward, his foil straight ahead. Again and again he hopped forward until his opponent was forced over his line. And so St. Nick won his very first fencing non-match!
(Update: St. Nick just got back from lunch at his friend's house, and they asked what sort of equipment he used - if he wore special clothes. His reply, "I wear my swimming pants and a monkey mask!" Oh, the joy of having a smartypants!)
How we made our downloadable timeline figures super cute!
When it comes to homeschool technique I've tried everything. Work boxes? Tried it. Digital planners with printed-out schedules? Been there. Pre-planned curriculum packages that cover all subjects? Done it. Totally online learning like Easy Peasy? Yup. The non-homeschool option: Public/Charter school? Yes, even that.
And no matter what I did, every day was a whirlwind of...
Last summer I went a little nutty. See, I was SO excited that our curriculum recommended a timeline. SO SO excited that timeline figures came with it. Until ... I opened the packaging. The timeline figures were ... ugly. So I made ancient history timeline figures using classic art! And now I'm sharing them with you, free!
I used to hate read-alouds. My neck would get tense, my throat would feel stiff and sore and my voice would hurt. (And if you say a voice cannot hurt, I assure you, it can.) Here's my story of how diagnosing and treating Hashimoto's changed my life in an unexpected way.
In honor of the last week of our homeschool co-op, I'm going to give you an inside peek at what we do all day. Like the reason I don't answer the phone, respond to emails, keep my house clean (enough), and say "No" to (almost) every invitation. Because when I answer the phone, respond to emails, clean the house, or volunteer for whatever-the-h@ll-someone-thinks-I-ought-to-have-time-to-do-since-I'm-just-a-stay-at-home-mom...
At least once in any lifetime we'll meet someone who instantaneously irritates every nerve in our bodies...
For several years we sort-of-happily used Tapestry of Grace as our main humanities curriculum. Until the sort-of became not-very and slid into not-at-all.
So in typical Me fashion, my first order of business after deciding to homeschool was to obsessively organize, plan, and pretty much avoid thinking about what I would actually be doing every day.
I'm going through our curriculum's book lists to see what I can get at the library and what we ought to purchase.
Thanks to Mud Pie's 2nd grade teacher, I discovered Symbaloo. Which is really nothing more than a cross-user, cross-platform version of Safari's "Top Sites" start page.