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This week, I’ve been quieter.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time seeking after God and trying to eliminate as many distractions as possible in my life. I’ll blog more on that in the coming week.
I also went without coffee for a few days to figure out if that was what was causing my heart to race. As I have ADHD, I was bouncing off the walls without a stimulant in me (coffee eliminates these symptoms and helps me focus). I couldn’t think very clearly at all, though I did have some Green Tea. Sadly, my “heart racing” issue seems to be caused by something else, so, to coffee I say, “Welcome back, dear friend.” It appears this is more of a sugar issue, as I’ve monitored what I’m eating. I’ve avoided sugar as much as possible for the last month (no added sugar), and have used Xylitol or Stevia whenever I’ve needed sugar. Then, last week, someone handed me my coffee, and had “helpfully” added sugar for me. I thought I was having a heart attack, but originally chalked it up to my coffee
addiction passion. I’ve also lost almost 11 pounds since cutting out sugar and HFCS.
I’m also still struggling to restore my website’s content after I accidentally deleted it. That’s a job that I’m taking on “as time allows”.
On the homeschooling Front
In Algebra, one of my kids was struggling with adding positive and negative integers, especially as the equations became more complex. I find the best way to help a child with adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers in any equation is to give them a visual aid. In this case, a number line. The middle number is “0″. It goes up and down from there, in one-digit increments. That way, when we’re adding something like
2 + (-4)
I can go to the number line, point at the 2, then “add” a negative 4.
I had never known this little trick before. Like writing, this sort of algebra is something my brain easily sorts out and just knows. Dear hubby is good at most Algebra, but he found positive and negative very confusing. His high school algebra teacher was very old school, and made them use number lines. It works for us.
We’ve continued to enjoy the One Year Adventure Novel, which I can’t rave about enough. I love it, and so do the kids. We’ve found it applies to so many aspects of life too. We were recently talking about Star Wars, and how the Star Wars movies exemplify the principles taught in the One Year Adventure Novel. One of the children said recently that she feels she understands all books better after the lessons we’ve had so far.
The other day, I found one of them doing some research online for some historical context for their novel. It’s exciting when kids willingly don’t stop “School” after the school day ends.
I can’t wait to read their novels at the end of the course.
Having a hubby on a crazy shift has also been hard for us. He misses the kids, though he’d never see them if we didn’t home school. I was trying to figure out why we were having a hard time getting them up in the morning, only to discover a few of them have developed the habit of waking up when daddy got home in the middle of the night, and hanging out with him for a few hours. He confessed, he wasn’t eager to send them back to bed, as he enjoyed hearing about their day when he got home from work. We’re praying he can go on days soon. This is very hard on all of us.
Teens and Driving
My oldest daughter is also now back in MI. She had a short term job as a nanny in Virginia. Now, she’s looking for work locally, but first she has to get her driver’s license. Michigan has extremely restrictive driver’s license laws. Even though she took driver’s ed, she has to now take a road test. But, before they administer a road test, our vehicle has to pass a safety inspection — which neither of our cars don’t. Because my son is under 18, to get his license, now that he’s finished Level 1 Driver’s Ed, he has to drive 50 hours with a parent. BUT, the kicker is this: no one under 18 can be in the car with us. How convenient is that? LOL
I feel confident in teaching Algebra. Teaching driving, not so much.
We were really stressing out about this situation. We prayed and discussed, and tried to figure out what to do. It seemed like a catch 22. Neither car will pass the inspection, and the one with the cheapest fix is a large van that even I couldn’t parallel park if I tried (I always park as far away from any other cars as possible, even in an angled parking lot), and the other one doesn’t have power steering making parallel parking difficult too. Then, if she were to get a job, all her profits would be eaten up by gas in the van. She couldn’t use daddy’s car as he’s at work. What to do?
Obviously buy a third car seemed the likely solution, but that’s expensive, with expensive insurance, and just seemed “too much”.
Then, going for a walk, I walked passed a very nice vehicle that was a bit crumpled from hitting a deer. It appeared to pass all of the safety issues. It was within our price range, though at the high end of it. I called on it, only to discover it’s someone we’ve helped in the past selling it. So, we got a fantastic deal. Then, I prayed and with fear and trembling called the insurance agency. I was surprised that, because dear daughter is an honors’ student who waited until after she was 18 to try to get her license, her insurance was WAY lower than what they had originally quoted (by over $1000!!!). Thank you Jesus! Plus, I now have a car to go grocery shopping in, so as to not burn through gas quite as fast. All around it seems to be a win-win, as we only need the van when all the kids come with.
Now to figure out how to teach that kid to parallel park….any tips for teaching parallel parking? We live rural so it’s not like that issue comes up often, but she has to do it for the test.
Finally, on Friday, we had a field trip up to Bay City Michigan, where we attended the River of Time Living History Encampment. You can read more about our adventures here.
Oh, one last thing! I just received my shipment of books: Joyful Momma’s Guide to Shopping & Cooking Frugally. They are on sale now for an introductory price of just $15.95. Learn 136 pages of Tasty Tips for saving money from grocery store to dinner table. I wrote this book based on what I’ve learned to survive after 11 years of paycuts and rising expenses and feeding teenagers.