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I am a very lucky woman with a husband and son who are smart, witty and entertaining. Our son, B, attended public school for two years, and then we embarked on a new adventure in the Fall of 2010 - homeschooling. We don't have all the answers, but we know B and this has been the best thing for him. I blog to preserve our stories and our memories, share recipes, vent and ramble on about our crazy, yet blessed, life. Would you care to follow along?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How's the homeschooling going?

It's nice to have friends who are curious about and interested in how things are going at home. We get asked this question regularly. And although B and I can answer them, the hubs cannot. He asks B what he learned/did that day and B is NOT forthcoming with any information. He says "nothing" or "I don't know". That is frustrating the hubs. He not only feels on the outside but he, understandably, worries that B is either not retaining anything and can't share with him or is choosing to withhold info from him. Neither one is good, so we have been working on our communication skills.

In January, I blogged that B would not take the time to sound out new words and would only read a book on his own after it had been read to him. That way, he already knows all the words. The 1st issue is laziness. The 2nd one, though, had to do with not being about to pay attention to the plot while he was concentrating on pronouncing the words. But that has changed! He can now pick up a new book or magazine and read it himself while understanding and enjoying the plot. Yeah!

There is a series of biographies called Childhood of Famous Americans and we are currently reading about Harry Houdini. So now I am the mother of The Great B-dini. hehe He levitated a small piece of metal yesterday and I searched him to make sure he was not holding a magnet anywhere. I love his creativity. This is funny - B freaked out when he found out that Harry's (real name Ehrich Weiss) father was 25 years older than his mother. B - "WHAT?! I never HEARD of anyone being THAT much older than their spouse before!" Me - What about Jay and Gloria on Modern Family? Gloria is probably the same age as Jay's daughter, Claire, so that means Jay is probably 25 or more years older than Gloria." B - "It does NOT." Me - "Whatever." I won't harp on that life lesson right now.

We are at a slow point with our Math-U-See program. B is learning his math facts and we won't move on until he does. As adults, most of us know our math facts so if you have to add 4+5 or 9+7, you know the answer immediately; you don't have to count it out in your head or on your fingers. And that is where B will be after learning his math facts. We are doing addition facts right now. B doesn't mind b/c he can play with the MUS blocks (like LEGOS) and he's learning.

We're going over sentence structure and he is picking that up fast, as well. He retains the names and definitions of things. The only problem is, he doesn't like to work alone and takes forever when he does. We can do 1 page in 5 minutes together but if he does it on his own, he can take up to 90 minutes! And not just on new material; he'll take that long on review, too. He sings, he doodles, he taps his forehead with his pencil, he sucks on his pencil (even the lead end, ew!). *sigh* But we'll get there.

I am going to order the 2nd grade test for B this week. The results do not have to be turned into the county until August 1st. But I thought I'd look over it and see if there are things he needs to know that we have not covered yet. That will give me some time to go over them.

Day Six at Disney – Leaving :o(

I forgot to tell you another thing we did at Epcot in my last post - Turtle Talk with Crush! We went into a small auditorium with the adults sitting on benches and the kids on the floor up front. The screen in the front of the room is supposed to be like the side of an aquarium and you can see the ocean. Then Crush from Finding Nemo swam up to the “glass” and had an interactive conversation with the kids! B was the 1st kid he talked to and he was so excited. It made up for Mike Wazowski not using B’s joke on the Laugh Floor in The Magic Kingdom. Back to day 6...

Our original return flight left Orlando at 8:40pm to allow us at least another half day in a park before leaving. The airline cancelled our flight and put us on one 3 hours earlier. Since we were taking the Disney Magical Express back to the airport, they told us we had to get on the 2:30pm bus. I guess we could have arisen at o-dark-thirty, packed and hightailed it out of there to a park, but we didn’t want to rush and be stressed. Flying out of a busy airport is stressful enough.

So we had breakfast, packed up everything, stored our bags in my parents’ van and checked out. I was worried about the amount we would owe at check-out. Although we had the meal plan, that does not include tip at your sit-down restaurants. Plus, we had charged our souvenirs to the room. We got 2 surprises at check-out. 1) We only had $86 and some change on the room and, 2) my dad had paid that amount for us. He also did the same for my brother. :o)

During the week we had been on all of WDW’s modes of transportation but one – boat. So we went down to the dock behind the resort and got on a boat. We rode to Magic Kingdom and then to The Floridian Resort. We got off there to explore and had lunch. It’s a very nice, resort, but not for me. I think it would be the perfect resort for my ILs to stay at – quiet, elegant. I encountered my one and only rude cast member at The Floridian – a senior citizen working in the gift shop. B was in the restroom with the hubs and I was browsing. I noticed she had a pin lanyard, but it was turned around so that I could not see her pins. B was looking to collect a specific series of pins and I wanted to see if she had any. If so, I would have brought B in there to trade with her. When I asked if I could please see her pins, she responded rudely, “No! Trading is only for CHILDREN!” OK, I did not have a child with me and some of these pins are collectible items and could be worth money, I guess. So, there are probably some adults out there who try to trade to get good ones for themselves or to sell on eBay. But that does not mean I deserved to have her opinion of such people unleashed on me. I told her that I was aware of that, but that my son, who was in another part of the resort, was looking for something specific so I wanted to just SEE what she had. “Oh,” she huffed. “Fine,” and she flipped her lanyard around. Walt would not be happy with her and I wish I had said that to her. I told the hubs about my encounter and he wanted to go in there and give HER a piece of HIS mind. I stopped him. I did not want our vaca to end like that.

We got back on the boat and headed to the Polynesian. Although there was no one on The Floridian’s beach, the Polynesian’s beach and pool area was full of people. We did not get off and explore. We had to get back for our bus. We said goodbye to my family and boarded the bus. The driver was even able to tell us which terminal our return flight would be located. Riding back to the airport was like walking the plank. All of our hearts were heavy b/c we did not want to go.

We got into the long line for Security and slowly shuffled forward with the masses. Than it REALLY hit B that we were going home and he broke down! He started ugly crying and telling us, loudly, he didn’t want to go home and wanted to go back to the hotel. People were staring, but we didn’t care about that; people ALWAYS stare at my little performer. What we were worried about was him drawing Security’s attention and them not letting us through until they were certain we were not kidnapping him. But this was not one of his typical Drama King moments; his heart was genuinely breaking, the adrenaline was finally wearing off and the late nights and exercise was catching up with him. The hubs picked him up and held him while he cried. B just laid his head down on the hubs’ shoulder; my heart melts when any child does that and my boy looked so young and vulnerable just then. *sniff, sniff*

A snowstorm had hit home while we were gone but our friends had taken care of us. We got picked up at the airport and came home to a shoveled out house and the heat turned up!

As a Valentine’s Day surprise, the hubs created photo albums online and had them shipped to us, my parents and my brother. It is our 1st official coffee table book and that is where it will stay! When we get caught up in the hustle and bustle or are having a blah day, we stop, snuggle up on the couch and go through our book to relive the magical memories. And it WAS a magical trip. I will always be thankful for and grateful to the hubs for whatever sacrifices he made to take us to WDW. After B and himself, it was the best present I’ve ever received.