Saturday, October 31, 2009

Word Count Goals - 2009

Last year, it was hard for the kids to estimate their word count goals, as they had never taken on a task like this one before! It was interesting to see them figure out their goals this time, and I think it's great that they wanted to push themselves just a little bit further than they did last year. Well, except for Reece... she picked a number that she heard in an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place! LOL

So here are our word count goals as a family for NaNoWriMo 2009:

Mom – 50,000 words
Austin – 2500 words
Riley – 4750 words
Reece – 528 words

The writing will officially begin in less than an hour, at least for mom! I'm not sure if the kids plan to begin tomorrow or if they will wait for Monday! :) I'll try to keep our updates going here regularly!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My first 10K

This morning I completed my first 10K race, one year and 3 days after I first began running! Here are a few pics from the event!

This race was timed using a "chip" that was looped through the shoelaces... very cool! Never had that before! Now I'll know exactly how long it took me, not including the time it took me to cross the finish line in the crowd!
My friend Sherry raced in the 5K, and she was waiting at the finish line of the 10K to take pictures!! Here I am in the green and black!
And here I am crossing the finish line... this isn't the chip time, just the gun time! But regardless, it's a great time! Even better than in my training runs!
Here am I post-race, and totally excited! I was so nervous, and I sort of still can't believe I did it!
The t-shirt they gave away is a "tech shirt" which means it's made out of wicking materials! It will be great for my upcoming training runs!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekly Review: 10/12-16

This week was a productive one, despite many struggles inherent to home educating 2 children on the autism spectrum. The struggles might be inherent to home educating 3 children 3 years apart in age in general, but since I only know how it works with autism, I'll have to leave it at that.

Austin's coming to the end of the first chapter of his math book and it's time for review before the test. He learned a few new concepts in this chapter including square roots and the order of operations. He did fairly well on the review, but I decided to add another day of review before the test.

He also had two other tests this week: General Science, Module 2 and Analytical Grammar, Pronouns. He did MUCH better on this science test than he did on the last one. He said the study techniques and note taking I taught him really helped. Most importantly, he recognized that those techniques helped him, and that's probably the greater lesson. The grammar test didn't go as well, so I think we'll review pronouns for the rest of this month's grammar sessions.

Riley thinks that decimals are fun, but not as fun as graphs. She had to take 2 spelling tests this week because she got behind last week, but she did fine on both of them. She got 100% on her second Latin quiz though I'm not sure how since she spends most of our Latin time rolling her eyes at me and asking why she has to study Latin (the answer, for the record, is "because I think it's important and I'm the mom").

She had her first composition exercise in English and it was like pulling teeth (as was her written narration this week). It's mind-boggling because she's a very natural writer. But she makes it so much harder because she wants it to "sound right". She is reading Island of the Blue Dolphins, which I know she comprehends. Not sure why she made it so hard to narrate. She thinks written narration is a tool for torturing her. ;)

Reece finished reading Hill of Fire and began reading Frog and Toad All Year. She is getting ready to start subtraction in math, but this week while they were "playing school", Riley taught her multiple digit addition with regrouping. I'm not exactly sure how well she understood it, but Ri was explaining it quite well.

The next two weeks we will be working on getting ready to write our novels for NaNoWriMo. The girls are quite excited and have been for awhile! I am absolutely amazed at how much Reece remembers from last year's pre-writing lessons! She was talking to me this week about main characters and supporting characters, using those terms and everything! I hope Austin will get into it a story this year... being a teenager apparently makes everything dull and completely boring. ;)

I'm excited to get started on my novel this year as well, though I'm a bit more nervous. I feel so much busier than I was last year. I will have to figure out how to block out some time for writing. Last year I wrote in the wee hours of the night, but this year I get up early to run, so I'm asleep much earlier! LOL I guess I'll have to figure it out... maybe I will run after lunch again since it's getting chillier in the morning! ;)

Hope your lessons are going well! I'd love to check in with other NaNoWriMo folks, so leave me a comment if you're participating this year!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I WON!!! I WON!!!

Ok, so it's just my age division... but that's still pretty cool, don't you think??

I was very surprised! I've never won anything remotely athletic in nature! :)
I even got a trophy!!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Weekly Review: 9/28-10/2

I came into this week extremely discouraged and full to the brim of fear. It had been building for a couple of weeks, and it completely took me over. As a result, we didn't accomplish much this week but the basics.

Riley finished reading Tales of Beetle the Bard. We are taking turns picking literature selections for her to read, and this was her turn. She originally chose the 7th Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallows, but I told her she couldn't pick something for lessons that she's already read several times! She chose the Harry Potter-inspired Beetle the Bard, and finished it this week. Her written narration on one of the short stories in the book was absolutely fantastic, with the glaring exception of the complete lack of capitalization. I think next week we're going to need to implement some copywork for a refresher course on the concept that "Every sentence begins with a capital letter." Austin is nearly done with Treasure Island. Reece finished Greg's Microscope, and began Hill of Fire, both of which are I Can Read! books.

Riley worked on review lessons in her math book. Austin continued in his new math book, and is doing quite well. Reece continued to enjoy her new math book, and played "Make 10s" with me a few too many times.

Austin continued in his Spelling book, but the girls had the week off from spelling. Everyone had the week off from Grammar and Science. Austin and Riley read the next sections in their history books.

The most important part of my week was not academic. It was when I heard about a new audio workshop available from Simply Charlotte Mason entitled, Looking Past the Fear. There was an introductory price for the download and I immediately purchased it. I am so glad I did! It was encouraging and changed my entire week! I highly recommend it for any homeschool mom who is struggling with fear in homeschooling!

Looking ahead in the month of October, we'll be working hard to balance our academics and the end of Austin's travel baseball season (and my running... I have 3 races in 4 Saturdays this month!). During the last half of the month, we'll be doing the prep work for the kids' novels. NaNoWriMo begins November 1st!!