July 2008 Homeschool Adventures

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July began with my mom’s (Grandma) birthday on the 2nd. The American Girl movie came out that day, and Flo really wanted my mom to come. So, we went to see that, then to a local Japanese hibachi restaurant for dinner. It was a nice day.

Then on the 4th of July, our community had its annual “Mile Long Yard Sale.” We dragged out some clutter from our basement closet and put it out. Everything went, aside from one little box that we took to Good Will. Flo and Joe had a small lemonade stand, which of course, hardly turned a profit, considering we used organic lemonade and charged $50 per cup. Nonetheless, the kids made a few bucks to split and had a good time.

The next day, my mom took Flo to the annual fireworks and symphony at Antietam battlefield. Flo accompanied my mom, Tom and a couple friends for an afternoon picnic and evening of fireworks. I think she enjoyed herself, but was quite tired at the end of the day.

A few days later, our friend Jen, came down from New Jersey with her son, Conner. They used to live here, but moved away awhile back for a new job. They visit every now and then, and participate in an occasional activity with our homeschooling group. Flo always enjoys seeing her buddy Conner. Conner was diagnosed with type one diabetes shortly before they moved away, and Flo always seems intrigued to learn more about the workings of Conner’s insulin pump and his daily routine.

We had a week or two lull in July, with a little more relaxed schedule. Flo continued with her guitar and piano lessons, and with yoga on Tuesday afternoons, but otherwise, we had a little more time to do some organizing around the house, and work on some basic school stuff, like handwriting, math on ALEKS.com and just lots of reading for the summer reading program. Joe finished up his reading chart for the library program, and got free tickets to the Oriels vs. the Red Sox game in August. Flo’s lagging behind him a bit, because she’s now reading longer chapter books, whereas Joe had us read him lots of longer picture books. Maybe it’s not set up so fairly, but nonetheless, Flo is almost done, too.

Then, on the 20th, Darren’s sister and her family came down from Kingston, Ontario for a few day visit. They had a baby two months after Zofia was born, so it was the first time the kids met their new cousin. It was cute to see the two babies together, too. The LeBlanc’s enjoyed their brief visit, squeezing in a trip to Westminster to see the Baltimore Ravens training camp, and to the local outlets for a quick shopping trip. Otherwise, we just hung out and visited.

The following weekend, we hosted another vegetarian potluck at our church. We had about six people show up, but it was a nice time. Flo and Joe both came along and behaved themselves playing around outside and watching some movies in the church classroom.

The next day, Flo had a playdate with her friend, Callie. I think she was happy to get out and socialize on her own for the day. She always has Joe tagging along, and he can be a pest sometimes. Not to mention, sibling rivalry is at its peak these days. They can really get into it. Our attempts at mediation are usually futile, so we generally let them work things out on their own; which they do. Nonetheless, it’s good for them to have individual activities now and then.

As for other activities, Flo continued guitar, piano & yoga this month, and she and I also tried out one yoga class at YMCA. It was quite relaxing, and I think we’ll probably start taking advantage of the multiple weekly classes there, as it’s much more cost effective. Flo and I have also been taking lots of walks together. A lot of evenings after 7pm, when the sun is not so hot, we’ve been talking some long walks to local places, and having Darren pick us up. It’s kind of an adventure, and it gives us time to spend alone and talk.

Summer is well underway, and we’re keeping quite busy. I’m already looking ahead to the new “school year,” trying to think of some interesting and fun things to do with the kids. They are definitely keeping me busy, but it’s a learning journey for us all!

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