Monday, September 8, 2008

Joy of Reading

What we are reading these days:

Nevan just finished the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series...books 1 and 2. And he is about to start Twilight. I asked him if he would rather read something like Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing or Superfudge...something along the lines of elementary school speed. He says he wants to dig into Twilight because it's *this* thick....indicating the thickness with his hands. He wants to read the whole series. OK. I looked up the reading level for those Stephanie books and they are listed as 4.9 (4th grade). The Diary books he just finished were 5th grade level. So, heck, dig in! We might as well read it together because Twilight was on my list of books to read too. I think Whitney has already finished this entire series. She gobbles books about as fast I used to. : )

We are reading the Sandy Lane Stables series with Silvio at bedtime. He is into the horse themed series right now. A Horse for Summer is the current title.

I just finished My Sister's Keeper, fictional commentary on stem cell research. Fascinating modern day dilemma. I am juggling a few books at a time, as also reading A Fortune Teller Told Me by Tiziano Terzani, an Italian international journalist living in Asia. True story of his escapades and adventures. Very interesting.
Also reading Sofie's World, a novel about the history of philosophy;
Essential Reiki by Diane Stein;
Llewellyn's Herbal Almanac;
Self Design by Brent Cameron;
Creating a Cooperative Learning Center;
and A New Earth by Tolle.

One of these days I'll actually finish these and move on to the other 10 books I have sitting on my nightstand. We have just started a Book Club with our home schooling group...this will be an opportunity to finish some of the titles I have been wanting to read, but life kept getting in the way. You know those books that sit on the shelf and stare at you, wondering why you bought them if you weren't going to read them? those. They are great books...just waiting for the right time. I often think that the reason why we don't read books right away after getting excited about buying them is that we were probably not ready to receive the info right then. We wait for a better time...a time when the content is more pertinent to our immediate lives...a time when we will actually *do* something with the information within. Did you ever pick up a book that you haven't read in years and open it up, read a paragraph, and think...damn! that's exactly what I needed to know right now. Divine timing.

Maybe Justin can post what he's into reading these days....

Friday, September 5, 2008


The boys are both enrolled in classes at Eagleridge this year. This is a homeschool enrichment program hosted by the Mesa Public Schools. It has been a wonderful resource for us during my recovery. I was very relieved, actually, when both boys said they wanted to take classes there. I was feeling a little guilty for not being able to do as much with them as I have done in the past. This broken leg really did put a cramp in my home schooling style. ; ) Nevan attends 3 days a week. Silvio attends 2 days a week. And I have been able to squeeze in all my PT appts. on the days they have classes. It works out nicely. I wish Gilbert district also offered a similar program. So, this semester, Nevan is in 4th grade and taking Election 2008, Logical Problem Solving, Spanish, Chess, PE, Virtual Field Trip (geology), The Election of Thomas Jefferson vs. John Adams, Scrapbook Journaling, Accelerated Reading, Kids Take the Stage, Sail America (colonial history), LEGO Building Machines and Aerobics. He has a pretty full schedule, bless his heart. And he will start his next baseball season soon. Which means, 3 practices a week, plus games on Saturday. Silvio is in 2nd grade and doesn't get to pick his classes like Nevan does. 3rd grade is the milestone year that students can choose their own schedule, so Silvi is excited for next year. They both chose to do a 3rd session of the Historical Drama class offered by ASU Herberger College for Kids. They love it! I, for one, am grateful that they have these opportunities while I recover. Much more fun for them to be hanging with friends, than home with me schlepping to physical therapy, orthopedics, and whatnot. The nice thing about Eagleridge is that it has a flex schedule. It is just 2-3 days a week. And the classes are multiage and geared towards grouping kids by interest, instead of by physical age. Nevan has been getting more out of the classes because of this. Most of the students in his classes WANT to be there and enjoy the subjects. Big plus. : )

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Baseball fever

Justin is playing on a Men's Baseball League this season...his new favorite pasttime. We caught one of his games the other night, finally. This was the first game I'd been able to see all summer, what with my broken leg and all...I was able to get a few photos before the storm blew over the Tempe Diablo Stadium and ended the game early. It was a great storm, awesome lightning, gusts of breezy winds...refreshing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

To be or not to be.....

an Earth Scout. That is the question. After 2 years of organizing the 1st and only chapter of the newly formed Earth Scouts organization in AZ, and enjoying the wonders of environmental education, my kids spilled their beans last night that they don't want to be Earth Scouts anymore. The night before our Fall planning meeting. : )

Well, Nevan doesn't. Silvio is still sitting on the proverbial fence. Ahhh.....well, considering I am the owner of the group and ES parent facilitator, I feel responsible for at least helping the group get organized enough for this fall that it won't matter if we don't participate this year. Part of me is feeling bummed that they don't want to participate. Another part of me is wondering why I have not been able to spark their passion for earth stewardship. The other part of me is feeling relieved...we'll have one less thing to do. Another part of me is saying, hey wait a minute, env. ed. is so important, we need to keep at it. Then another part reminds me that it is equally important that we spend our family time on things that float their boat right now. So, if they don't want to be an earth scout, they don't want to be an earth scout. We offered them Boy Scouts too, but that was turned down. Uniforms, you know.
Not participating in ES doesn't mean that we won't be learning about the environment and learning about the world around us and taking care of the earth. It just means they don't want to do that WITHIN the realm of scouting. It's all good. Small steps. Can I hope and dream that my kids will turn out to be tree hugging, animal loving, earth centered sprites.....who love baseball?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Living and Learning at it's finest...Poker Night Jr.

Socialization, counting, organizing, critical thinking, communication, sportsmanship, and then there's always learning how to clean up afterwards, and the all famous 'learning how to delegate skill' that my kids seem to have down pat. You do it. No, you do it. But mom asked you to do it. Well I took them out, so you put them away. Would that fall under logical problem solving? The important thing is the kids had some family fun time with cousins...and poker chips are way less messier to count than oreos. : )

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I've been meaning to journal our home education adventure for a couple of years now. There always seems to be something more pressing, more important, than sitting down and jotting down our thoughts and experiences. Nevan is taking a journaling class this seems that having a 9 year old who is going to take the time to journal on a regular basis has put a small flame under my *&^%. ; )

Setting up the blog page itself was a learning experience for this techno challenged bookworm. I chuckle to myself when I think about how quickly the kids could have probably done it. It can sometimes be quite comically daunting to have children that know more about computers than I do. And at the same time, it brings a huge smile to know that they are adapting to the world around them in amazing ways. I can only hope we all have a fabulous adventure together....and we get a few photos along the way. : )