So I've been rather MIA lately - it isn't called being on vacation for no reason, right?
Two - no make that THREE - Monday's missed, ack! And I have so much reading to share. But there are plenty more Mondays, and I may just share some links for fun later this week. I haven't done as much reading as I would have liked, but then again, we've been ultra busy.
The last two weeks have felt kind of like boot camp - everyone screaming "GO, GO, GO!!" We've done so much, I can hardly believe it! :O)
We're back from Florida and had a fantastic time. Truly one of the best trips I've enjoyed in a long time. But once we returned, it was necessary to take two full days to recover. Yikes.
We airboating on the Everglades, went to the AMAZING circus, we went geocaching for the very first time (WOW, was THAT ever fun, too!), we played with baby farm animals, saw (almost) all the family, visited with good friends, had two cookouts, we ate so much stone crab that I and everyone else nearly made myself ill (Although the Ladybug, who was all over eating crab until it was *actually* time to do it said she didn't like the "funky red stuff" on the crab meat. Ha! Crazy kid.), we celebrated a birthday or two, went shopping, and I even got in a trip to my favorite thrift store.
Whew. I'm exhausted just reading all that. And that doesn't even include all the movie-watching and game-playing there was. No wonder we needed two days of sleep.
Anyway, we've been home for a few days now and are finally starting to settle back into the "at home" routine.
As an aside, traveling while homeschooling is awesome. NO, we DID NOT do school every day, however, we did do QUITE a bit. We took several books with us, and KayKay finished one, got most of the way through another, and in general did very well. It was great, too, because my Dad got to help her with some of her math work.
That was a BIG DEAL because, A) My Dad is a *great* teacher/explainer. He is very patient and takes all the time necessary to make sure that everything is understood, and B) For certain things, KayKay simply learns better from others. Fractions is one of those things. We went to Florida with KayKay having meltdowns over fractions and left with her having a pretty darn good understanding of what fractions are, and how they behave (except in mixed numbers and some division stuff). I'd say that's success!
So on to reading - this post has taken FAR TOO LONG already for me to throw together, so you're just going to have to wait on the fun "look what we did" posts. Photos will be forthcoming, though!
So I still haven't finished Rooms - it's not that I don't like it, it's just that it was the wrong reading material for me to have on our trip. So I've shelved it for a bit, although I'll probably finish it in the next week or so. On that front, then, there's not much to update.
But because the library is threatening to rescind my card if I don't return Scarlet (the second bookof the Stephen Lawhead King Raven trilogy) soon, I'm blazing through that one. And by blazing, I mean, like 200 pages in three days. I need to finish or else they'll come repossess it AND my firstborn. Ack!
I really like Scarlet. It's written in a completely different manner than Hood was, and at first, I wasn't too thrilled with the change. In this book, it's written mostly in Will Scarlet's voice, continuing the story of Rhi Bran y Hud (King Raven) in a much more earthy, first-person telling. I'm officially liking Will Scarlet a whole lot. He's interesting and has a great sense of right-and-wrong, and an oddly similar sense of humor (although there's not much of that in the book) to mine.
I'm nearly half done with it, and hope to have it back to the library by the end of the week so that there's no shedding of blood, which is generally a good thing. I'll give a further review of it when I finish, but so far so good. I'll definitely be picking up the third book, Tuck, in the very near future. Just as soon as I can convince the librarians that I PROMISE TO NEVER, EVER HOLD ONE OF THEIR BOOKS HOSTAGE AGAIN.
As for children's reading, KayKay just wrapped up Mistress Masham's Repose, by T. H. White. She loved it, and I'm inclined to agree with her. And absolutely worthy and just plain GOOD read. I was not familiar with the story until a friend of mine, who has a similar affinity for delightful children's stories, insisted that I bring it home with me and read it immediately.
I did, and I loved it. So much so, that as soon as I gave it back, I immediately ordered a copy from Amazon (the selfsame copy that I have linked to, actually).
The story is about a "poor little rich girl" in essence, who lives in a dilapidated old mansion whilst being cared for (if you can call it that) by the WORST possible caregivers. She has no friends but a rather doddering old professor who advises her. And then, one day, magic happens. She discovers Lilliputians. A whole city of them. Right on the grounds of her estate! The rest you can discover if you read it.
The story is lovely - just enough humor, seriousness and peril to keep it interesting, and wrapped up in it all, there is a great moral. Perfect for a young reader like KayKay, but certainly enough to keep me interested, so it would likely be a fun read-aloud, too.
So now on to the other reading...
Theory of Loose Parts: Let the Children Play. This is an interesting idea - it's more than an idea to me, actually - that's practically how I ALWAYS played as a child. But for a mom like me, who - at least in the arena of her children's cleanliness and what I consider "junk" - is rather Type A (I can't claim such in really ANY other area of my life, though!), this can be hard for me at times. But reading this post did help!
20 Indoor Activities for Kids Besides TV: Simple Mom. We don't watch a whole lot of TV in our house. We don't even have cable. But we do have Netflix streaming. So I'm always looking for ideas to move away from the television. Although most of these are common sense, and I've done at least half of them, sometimes, it's just good to read (and be affirmed in) them.
What's Healthy for Kids is Healthy for Adults: Simple Mom. Love SimpleMom, what can I say? And this is a GREAT article. And, as the old saying goes, "What's good for the gander is good for the goose." Right?
Marriage Advice from the Big Horn Sheep: Well-Grounded Life. Wow. This is a good one. Just what I needed to read.
Bugs, Birds & Beasts: Se7en. This post is a great chronicle of outdoor science experiments for homeschooled (or not!) kids. Most of them are super-easy, and if you're like me, EASY IS GOOD. I definitely think we'll be trying some of them in the spring, maybe even sooner!
You Know You're A Homeschooler When: Art's Chili Pepper. Although I'm not long in the homeschooling world, I still found this a fun and light-hearted read.
Collecting Thoughts, Holding on to Dreams: Gathering Spriggs. Love, love, LOVE this post by my friend, Heather. Such good food for thought - us creative types need to be challenged in such ways!
Hidden and Quiet: Evlogia. Oh, wow. Just... Wow. In the frequent chaos of my life, this was so convicting... And so right to read.
Okay. It's now totally past my bedtime and I've absconded with the Daddy's laptop. I'd better stop and just post the darn thing, or else it'll be another week, and the reading list will have tripled at least. (I KNOW I'm leaving out at least THREE GOOD LINKS, but I can't remember them right now. Maybe later in the week?!?!)