Friday, February 23, 2007

An American soldier was sentenced to 100 years for the rape and murder of a 14 year old iraqi girl and her family. He, thankfully, is not eligible for the death sentence. Thank goodness!!! The death sentence is a total cop-out. Surely, with 100 years sentence, this 24 year old man will never be released on parole. So young, such a waste of life. He now has to wake up every single morning for the rest of his life and think about why he is where he is and what he did. A MUCH better punishment than death.

That poor poor family. Their poor relatives. They killed the father, mother and a "younger sister". How old was that younger sister? They must have been terrified. Think about what that 14 year old went through before she died.

The soldiers involved planned it. They sat down, planned it out, and did it. The evil involved in that boggles the mind. HOW does one DO that? I rake myself over the coals when I lose my temper and yell at the kids. How does one degenerate so far as to PLAN such a heinous crime? Appalling.

So what's going on in the Brooks family? We've all been sick with colds. Andrew's heading into his fourth week. I'm on my first and already (I hope!) on the upswing. Emily's on her third day and on the downswing and is feeling awful. Ben had a mild two-day case and is fine now. Bert's avoided the whole thing by being in Japan. =D He comes home tomorrow.

The thoughts uppermost in mind are these:

Sonlight or Well Trained Mind?
Abeka or Teaching Textbooks math?
Pre-Algebra or a review year to cement basic mathematics and learn real-life math?

It's Andrew's birthday next Friday. He'll be two. I still haven't found a good toy storage/book storage/easel yet. I'm running out of time. Whoops!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Usual happenings for the Brooks Family.

Well, things are fairly boring here, thus I haven't written. Life goes on as per. What's to write about?

Bert: Still working crazy hours. Valentine's Day was pretty much non-existent because we were so busy. However, I have to say, I'm not that bothered. We'll go out for a date tomorrow night. It's fine. =)

Me: Still busy homeschooling. I FINALLY managed to get a hold of the Sonlight schedule and make it my own. I really felt strongly that we needed to complete the Core by the end of the school year. Ben, at Christmas, threw on me that he wanted to be done with the school year at the same time as Emily. Wow. So I spent a very full two days reworking the schedule. We are intensively studying History right now, basically covering three Sonlight history days in one of our days. When History is done we'll concentrate on Science doing three Sonlight science days in one of our homeschool days. We read a book a week. This way everything will be completed by the end of May.

I don't think we're doing Sonlight next year. This may be a mistake....I'm not sure. We'll follow more of a Well Trained Mind schedule - but reworked so it is more suitable for us. If I find it's not working for us then no problem, we can buy Sonlight in the middle of the year. =)

I need to make a list of all our curriculum needs so that I'm ready for the SHAPE used curriculum fair in May.

Emily: Swim season is over for Emily now and she's kind of sad. I think she's enjoying the extra time though. Now that she's driving she's very much more adult and independent and I have to go out of my way to talk to her to see what's going on in her life. That's as it should be, as she grows older. She also gets a large monthly allowance that pays for her petrol, babysitting each Friday for us, and all her clothes and stuff that she needs. This teaches her to budget her money which I think will be very helpful when she goes off to college in just two and a half years.

Last week we went out to lunch together. It was really fun. =)

Ben: has really settled into homeschooling. WOW he's SUCH a different person to the child that began homeschooling a few months ago. He is now a young man. He's polite, kind, thoughtful and very funny. =D His natural wacky humour has asserted itself because there's no-one around him telling him he's weird. Also, now that there's no-one insulting his drawing, his cartooning has come on in leaps and bounds. =) He has a much more helpful attitude and does his chores with a minimum of complaining. His relationship with Andrew has just blossomed. He adores his younger brother and Andrew thinks the world of him.

One great thing about homeschooling: if it doesn't work, forget it. Case in point: we have been reading "Black horses for the king" by Anne McCaffrey as a book to accompany a period of English history when the Romans have left, the Saxons have invaded, and the Celts are not pleased about it. I rather liked the book. I found it very easy reading - quite brainless really. For some reason, however, Ben and this book DID NOT hit it off. Right from the beginning he blocked it. He's been fighting it all week. About twenty minutes ago he was on his bed just BAWLING his eyes out.

Instead of getting mad at his "stubbornness", a calm feeling came over me. I felt like the spirit was whispering, "you homeschool! There are so many other books to enjoy - why suffer with this one." So I went upstairs and gently hugged him. Then I said "Ok, we're all done with that." And I put it back on the shelf. Ben looked at me in amazement. It's like he couldn't believe the wonderful thing that just happened to him. I said "Let's go downstairs and see what next week's book is and you can get a head start on it."

So we came downstairs and checked the schedule and "Flame over Tara" by Madeline Polland was the next book. Ben went upstairs to get it. It's a bigger book, the writing's smaller, it's a more difficult book to read, but Ben really took to it. =) He read the first chapter in fifteen minutes and happily narrated to me what it contained. =) Oh, I LOVE homeschooling!

Andrew: Two weeks ago, Andrew got a cold. He's still fighting it. Last week he reached up to the counter and tipped a bowl of hot Miso soup over himself. He let out a blood curdling shriek. I was across the room and had him under the cold water tap almost before he could take another breath. He was very red all down the left side of his body - including his face - for about an hour. That finally subsided. I then noticed the inside of his left elbow had blistered. =( Oh ow. I called the nurse and she told me what I needed to do to help him. Now the blister has burst and it's still kind of raw looking but it doesn't seem to bother him. I ask him "Is it owie or okay?" and he says "Otay" =)

I have discovered something that works brilliantly for Andrew's potty training that didn't work beans for the other two - chocolate. Andrew really responds well to bribes. =) He's only had a couple of accidents since yesterday morning all because of the beauty of chocolate. =)

Maus is still here vomiting practically every day. Bert had a nightmare last night that I made him give Maus away and he was so sad and I was ecstatic. Sounds like a beautiful dream to me - except for the part that Bert was sad, of course.

This week was the homeschool Valentine's bowling party. It was SOOO fun! =) It was so good Laurie Hartfelder was thinking of setting up a bowling day once a month on a Friday. That would mean that we'd have, roller skating on the second Friday, Ice skating on the third Friday, and bowling on the first or fourth Friday. Hooray! Sounds like a great schedule for me. That leaves one Friday a month for field trips. =) Perfect.

Now....I've had that chicken in the slow cooker for eight hours now. How come my home doesn't smell chickeny yet? Is it cooked? I'm really worried about it. Don't want to give the family food poisoning.