Thursday, April 24, 2008

How many times can a 12 year old girl roll her eyes? Let me count the ways.

If it were up to my dd, she would spend her days reading books in her bedroom only coming out to use the bathroom and to eat.

Unfortunately for her, that isn't going to happen. She lives with me, her teacher/mother. So, I put up with a lot of eye rolling. Honestly, I haven't seen it happen. It's this really tricky thing she does called mental eye rolling. I've gotten good at identifying the facial expressions that accompany mental eye rolling. Yep, it's one of those special Mom Tricks that I have. Kind of like having eyes in the back of my head.

When does she mentally roll her eyes you ask? Well, let's see...hmmm.... When I am standing in her doorway after dinner reminding her that she is to wash the dishes directly after dinner instead of hiding...I mean wandering off into her bedroom. When I inform her that we will study Latin even if she thinks it's "stupid." When I insist that she recite poetry about ooey gooey worms and bald vultures(Okay, so she might have a good reason there). And, the list goes on.

Of course, there's nothing I can do about it, because I can't prove that she's actually rolling her eyes. But, if she ever does roll her eyes at me, I look forward to quoting Bill Cosby's mother, "You roll your eyes at me, and I'll roll your head." She's my kind of mom. :)

I am NOT as smart as an 8th grader!

So, at 11 p.m. tonight I sat down to do my homework. Homework? Yes, you read right...homework. And it's not just any homework mind you, it's eighth grade math. Why am I doing 8th grade math every night before heading off to bed? Because I want to know how many gallons of water per day are needed to supply 40,000 chickens if each chicken drinks an average of 3/4 cup per day. No, really it is because I'm tired of feeling stupid when I go through dd's math lessons with her. It is extremely embarrassing to have my 8th grader have to tell me how to do a math problem. Yes, that has actually happened....numerous times. I tried reviewing the lesson ahead of time, but I still found myself not being able to work some of the problems on the spot. I finally decided that the best way to tackle this problem was to actually work the problems myself.

I have no idea how I made it through College Algebra. (picture me scratching my head)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Welcome Back Odysseus!

As part of homeschool, I read The Iliad to 12 yodd a year-and-a-half-ago. In a way it was like the legally blind leading the blind, since it was also my first reading. Shortly after finishing, we started reading The Odyssey. Life happened and gradually reading The Odyssey fell by the wayside.

Recently, my dear husband spent a couple of weeks at home due to a bout with vertigo. There is nothing like being with the "principal" 24/7 to make one feel guilty over the lack of learning taking place. Hence, the return of Odysseus. We found him where we had left him ... in the hall of the Phaiakians telling them of his adventures.

Having watched the movie , we found following the story and pronouncing the names to be easier. But, I knew we could, and should, be getting more out of The Odyssey. As the teacher I knew it was my job to make this happen. At the same time, I didn't want to spend hours slaving through some dry literary commentary. Thankfully, The Teaching Company had their course "The Odyssey of Homer" on sale. We have spent the past two weeks watching 1/2 hour lectures which have made the story much more meaningful. I was worried that dd would find the lectures "boring" (what happened to my sweet girl? female hormones!), but they have motivated her to read more about Ancient Greece and Greek myths. She already had a good background from reading children's books (D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, Usborne Greek Myths for Young Children, Favorite Greek Myths retold by Mary Pope Osborne, The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus by Aliki, etc.). Now, she has added non-fiction books (juvenile and adult) to her store of resources. Yeah!

For those interested in The Teaching Company course, I personally think CD's would have worked just as well for this particular course.