Tuesday, September 1, 2009

About nothing in particular

It's 1:33am and I am tired.

Even though I added caffeine back to my diet. (I ran out of decaff and the idea of going coffee free is quite distasteful and completely ludicrous to me.)

Wanna hear about my day? Wanna pretend that you want to hear about my day?

You are such a good friend. Thanks!

- I went to the oral surgeon today for a consultation about my wisdom teeth. They need to be removed because I am too smart and it intimidates people.

- At said oral surgeon's office, I was tortured by having to wait (and wait and wait) with the waiting room TV being set to some sappy, stupid soap opera. I despise soap operas. But it was kinda like an old family reunion to see some of the same characters from my childhood.

My G-ma's favorite show was Days of Our Lives. When we stayed at her house, we knew that after lunch we had to be quiet so she could watch "her story". Then she would take a nap. If we were good (and quiet), we would often be rewarded with ice cream sundaes when she woke up.

- Hi G-ma! I know she's reading this because she has a computer and webcam. Pretty high tech, huh? She's come a long way since I first showed her how to use a mouse and play solitaire 13 years ago. :)

- I am despondent about language arts. Although I have always told myself that grammar is not that important until at least 4th grade, it really bothers me that proper nouns, adjectives and adverbs are relegated to short term memory. My boys remember it really well one day and then are completely clueless the next.

It makes me feel like a failure.

LA has always come naturally to me, but my boys really don't like it-- no matter how Charlotte Mason-y I make it. I'm considering doing Switched-On Schoolhouse just for language arts. I had been hesitant to use it before because I thought it would end up being... well, relegated to short term memory! But if it's going into that category anyway, it might as well be easiest for me in the process (and fun for my computer loving boys). I will still continue to use Sequential Spelling and IEW and a selection of historical readers.

Any suggestions? Thoughts? Chocolate to share?

- My friend Ali is raising money for her family's adoption. Wait, that sounded weird. She is raising money so her family can adopt! You can bless and be blessed by sponsoring a puzzle piece for only $5. She will write your name on the back of each puzzle piece and the completed puzzle picture will hang on the baby's wall. It's not often that you can have a direct hand in bringing a child into a loving home. Would you mind hopping over there and spreading the word on your blog, Twitter and FB? And if you can't help financially, you can still leave a comment and pray for her family. Because prayers are priceless. Trust me, I know.

- And lastly but not leastly, is this not a smug expression or what?!

Too bad I don't have an after pic. Poor kid has been on a losing streak of late.

And it's not me that's beating him either.

It's his little brother.

(Oh the horror of it all!)


Annemarie said...

Hey Marsha,
We use Learning Language Arts Through Literature. It is very cyclical, repeating stuff all the time. The kids love it and I have a friend that graduated her daughters using it and they have gone on to college and done fine. I do want to add the Sequential Spelling though.


Anonymous said...

Oh, losing to your little brother must be horrible. He should play me, I know he would win. I am awful at chess.

I really need some wisdom teeth pulled. My excuse- I might need those extra smarts sometime ;)

What is it about Grandma's and soap operas? My Grandma loves them too.

LA- ummm, me be clueless. I ain't got none ideas. :)

I will go check out Ali's adoption page and will definitely keep them in prayer.

I hope you got some sleep. Have a great day!

40winkzzz said...

when i read the part about getting your wisdom teeth pulled bc you were too smart and it intimidates people, i just about spewed my (very caffeinated) coffee all over the keyboard.

as for grammar, i have always been pretty informal with that til about 7th grade. when i have done anything "formal" before that point, it's been daily grams. very repetitive and can be done in less than 10 min/day. sometimes i hav even done them orally w/the kids rather than have them write them out. i highly recommend you try it. (daily grams is actually supposed to be a supplement to easy grammar, but if you --the teacher-- are strong in lang arts you can easily use it alone.)

also have you tried madlibs? :-) no, really. or make your own-- my kids love this. first, have the boys help you make little cards containing all the --let's say ADJECTIVES-- they can think of. (ok, maybe not *all*...) then find an interesting event you recently read abt in one of your history books and have your boys go thru and help you underline all the adjectives. (make copies of the pages or make your lines very light!) so you have now had two activities reinforcing the concept of adjectives. now comes the fun part. put your word cards face down and read thru the story aloud, but every time you get to an underlined word, turn up a card and use that word instead. hopefully it will turn out to be at least mildly amusing if not downright funny. if so, the kids will want to do it again the next day and will not mind going thru books underlining adjectives! of course, this is fun with all sorts of parts of speech. personally, i think prepositions are the most fun.

huh. now that i wrote all this, i realize i could have just linked you to an old blog post...

anyway, i have to go help fuzz with wordly wise. even though it is not a school day she wanted to do it. she told me yesterday that she wanted to sneak it out of the bookshelf all summer and do it (we didn't include ww in our summer school), but she couldn't find it. :-) (trust me, my boys would never say such a thing.)

Dell said...

We too use Sequential Spelling. I wouldn't be despondent about Language arts for long. Different things work for different families, and why not do what works? I love the logic that if it goes into short term memory anyway, might as well go with the SOS version! I've looked at SOS. Haven't done it yet, don't know if we will, but there's no shame in it. :)

Love the wisdom teeth comments, too funny. (Although ouch for having them removed. I had mine out when I was a teen, and it was easy, but now I'm older and wimpier and it sounds terrible. Of course, your strong and wise, so it should be a breeze. ;)

Love the chess picture. Ah, the agony of losing to a little brother. ;)

Ali said...

Thank you for helping me spread the word Marsha! We are getting more sponsors little by little.



Lainie said...

I have been wanting to get back here all day so I could comment. Yikes! Where does the day go?!

Anywhooville, I'm with 40winkzzz, totally unexpected comment about the wisdom teeth and it MADE my day! :D

We use My Father's World for curriculum and they don't recommend formal grammar until 6 or 7th grade because of retention issues with most kids. So I only do it with our oldest (7th grade). This year she is doing Applications of Grammar and last year it was All in One English.

They (My Father's World) hasn't steered me wrong so far so we're going with that.

I love the Mad Libs idea. My kids love 'em :)

I'll go check out Ali and yes I know the angst of losing to a younger sibling.

Unfortunately my daughter cannot "win" against younger sister in the "height" department. Baby sis passed her up long ago. It still drives her crazy :)

Don't know if you saw my comment back to you on Mishmash but thank you for being such an encouragement to me *sniff* :)

Melissa Stover said...

get rid of those wisdom teeth before i meet you. i don't want to be even more intimidated.

we use shurley english. it's very thorough. your kids will know parts of speech after they have been through it.

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

For the record, we are doing Daily Grams. The children here do know their parts of speech much of the time, but yesterday was a really bad day in the memory department. They had full on brain-fart-meltdowns!

And I have PMS.

We are all doing much better today, thanks.

I will check out Shurley English. The boys have already dissed the Madlibs that I bought at the convention in Cincinnati. I will relax and be back to, ahem, "normal" tomorrow. Or next week.

I'll keep you posted!

Heidi said...

Hello! :)

My youngest (7 1/2) has had only BJU Press and has picked it up SO quickly, at times even surpassing his middlest sister (14 1/2...was in private school during the formative Pre-k through 2nd...ugh.) We LOVE how they teach his age, but switch to SOS in middle school.

Best of luck!!!

Anonymous said...

I had the same type of PMS day this past Tuesday...boy did I set a horrible tone for our school day. I'm happy to say that Wednesday was a much better day :) We use Daily Grams and Easy grammar in our home along with IEW.
Stephanie Freeman

Dawn Camp said...

My great aunt loved soap operas. Her mother, who lived to be over 100, believed that they were real. She got all upset once when someone fell down the stairs and they were left there all weekend. ;-)

We're about to start using IEW with Classical Conversations (which we're also just starting). I loved Andrew Pudewa at the HOTM conference.

Alison said...

Shurley English is kind of labor intensive, but even using it for a while (we've never finished a book, and no, I'm not worried about it) was enough to learn the 'jingles' that really do a lot of the teaching and get things cemented in little brains- I loved that aspect of the program and will be using it some more, just not all the way, too much work for me, lol!
Enjoy them-

julie said...

Just stopping in to say hello and see how you are doing. We've been through so much dental and medical stuff this year I could be quite okay not seeing another dr FOREVER. But alas, I had a CA125 test done at the OB and my results were high. There is a history of cancer in my family so the cyst on my left ovary is concerning my dr. I'm praying for a healing miracle that it be gone by the next round of testing but trusting God for whatever He has for me on this journey.
Oral Surgeons? Bleck!