The Classical Cat Corner

Wear the old coat and buy the new book. --Austin Phelps

Friday, July 29, 2005


I decided to do some informal poetry reading with the boys this year. We will start this in a week. Mungo found this book at the library. I was able to get it through our ILL. It is such a pretty book. It has a CD of 2 people reading the poems. You play this at certain times after you've read about the type of poetry that you are studying at that time.

I think this will be a nice, gentle introduction to poetry. I'm also using the poetry schedule from Poppins' site. I can't wait to get started! Sweet Pea 1 today said, "I hate poetry." Just the reaction I thought I'd get to just showing him the book from the library. BUT, when I started reading some of the limericks and nursery rhymes, he was HOOKED!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I didn't mention that in my last post, did I? :)

Well, we did work on a chapter or two of Real Science 4 Kids this summer. We did another chapter last week complete with experiments each time. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I'm not very science-y. My boys ARE so I try to make an effort. I had the idea of doing science during the summer time when we aren't officially doing school, but that didn't seem to fly so well for me. When we were off, I wanted to be OFF!

Maybe next week we'll do the next chapter. It is so hot here, all I want to do is SIT. I really don't want to do experiments, but I guess someone has to! :)

Monday, July 25, 2005

What's going on so far in our school year....

This is week 3 in our 3 on, 1 off schedule. The boys tried to talk me into taking THIS week as our week off, but I vetoed that pretty quickly! LOL I think we are making nice progress so far. I think I'm really going to like the schedule we're doing this year.

I decided to use Homeschool Tracker to record our lesson plans, help me keep track of attendance (which I have to report each month), and make assignments. Sweet Pea 1 thrives on "what time are we doing....". He likes checking off his lists too. I really like this program. The update coming out in late August is going to just be the icing on the cake.

Latin is going GREAT! Only about 5 more weeks and we will be finished with Prima Latina (for Sweet Pea 1) and we'll be on to Latina Christiana I. I'm excited about it! Today we started working on our first conjugation! I LOVED grammar when I was in school (yes, I'm strange!) so this is just FUN for me! SP1 is taking to it well too! I don't require SP2 to learn it right now because even though he probably could, he isn't reading yet nor has any English grammar under his belt (except this year he HAS already learned what a noun is!!). He does pick up words here and there, and he is usually within ear shot, so hopefully something is going to stick until we get going with him in Latin.

Math is rolling along. We are all having fun with math! RightStart Math is just the greatest thing for my boys! I never hear groans from them when it comes to math. Occasionally, SP1 will get frustrated, but I'm working on keeping him calm. On Friday, he couldn't get a list of numbers into the calculator without messing up. It was a lesson on using the Memory Key. He thought it was cool. SP2 is working on partitioning, which different combinations of numbers make up certain numbers.

Spelling/Phonics is coming along well. My friend Wanda and I developed a better way to work a schedule for spelling. We are dictating 5 words each day with a quiz each day on the previous words. Each word will be quizzed 5 times and by then they REALLY should know how to spell the word. We are also doing enrichment activities using the words. SP2 is working on his handwriting before we get too far into the spelling aspect, so that he can write these for himself. He knows all the letter sounds and has even read a word or two, so I'm hoping to have him reading in the next few months. SP2 is really racing along in First Language Lessons. I think he likes this book just because it is he and I cuddled up on the couch. He has even learned almost perfectly one poem "The Caterpillar" and he has "Work" half learned. And as I mentioned above, he can tell you what a noun is and what some common nouns are.

Sweet Pea 1 is learning to type too. He is doing pretty good!

We start the rest of our subjects in 2 weeks when we come back from our break. Sweet Pea 1 will be starting Classical Writing-Aesop. I'm excited yet nervous about this.

Both boys will be reading and studying about Greek Mythology, American History and we will be reading some other stories written by Hawthorne and some other authors for our English studies.

All in all, not a bad start, if I DO say so myself!

Revisiting T-tapp

Someone wanted me to blog about T-tapp when I first started my blog and I haven't said much about it in quite awhile.

I joined a group on T-tapp called Habit Formers. I did this back in January. I thought it would give me good accountability. It did for awhile, but for my personality, it caused me to get VERY burned out on T-tapp. I am proud of the fact that I have not STOPPED exercising at ALL since I started using T-tapp last October, but I have not been the most diligent user either. I have gone to only two workouts some weeks. As a part of Habit Formers, you must do 3 full body workouts per week AND 3 shorter workouts per week. That meant 6 days of exercise per week. I got serious burnout. I think I probably would have been fine if not for the contests I kept entering and extras I would add on. I got to a point where I was dreading my workouts and that isn't a good thing.

Then one person on the website posted about how just a four day bootcamp (a full body workout done four consecutive days) can shake up your body and then you can get started with Every Other Day workouts from there. So that is what I did. I did the four day bootcamp with a group of ladies online and we each posted if we completed our workout each day. I'm pretty inspired now. I lost 5 inches over those four days. And quite a few of those where I REALLY needed it. Now I'm going for Every Other Day for a few weeks and see what happens. Today was day one of my EOD schedule. Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be work workout days for now with Long workouts. Then in another 5-6 weeks, we'll do another bootcamp.

This is the only exercise I've ever done where I can tell a difference so quickly. I haven't lost any more weight but my clothes are fitting looser.....THAT means I'm gaining muscle! YEA!!! Definitely a good thing. One day this fat will day.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Classical Writing

I received my Classical Writing-Aesop books yesterday. They look VERY nice. I think it will really help me quite a bit to actually get this done. I am nervous about it though because I think Sweet Pea 1 will give me a little flack about doing it. It wouldn't be so bad if I could work it in in the mornings, but our morning is already full.

The Classical Writing authors, with the help of a homeschool mom, have broken CW-Aesop down into a two year program. Book A the first year and book B the 2nd year. I think this will be good because having seen Classical Writing-Homer, there is quite a big jump between the two. I'm also considering doing the Classical Writing-Poetry book. The authors suggest 9 weeks of CW-A, 12 weeks of CW-Poetry, then 9 more weeks of CW-A.

We'll see. I need to see how ds takes to this first. I'm excited about it though.

Sorry, I've been quite....again, not feeling inspired.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

How early is too early to send your children away?

I have a bee in my bonnet....I guess you could say I've been inspired again. And I'm sure to step on some toes with this topic, but here goes. I was once the mom of YOUNG children. My children are still young, but what I'm referring to is ages 2, 3 and 4.

Once upon a time I sent Sweet Pea 1 to a Mother's Day Out program. Some places call it Mother's Morning Out. Popeye and I knew by the time Sweet Pea 1 was 6 months old that we were going to homeschool him. We had prayed about it and were shown what we were to do. And, yet, I put him in this program. He was 2.75. He cried and cried for first few weeks each day when I would leave him. He attended from January of that year until May. Then I found ANOTHER one for him to go to during the summer. The Lord sent someone into my life who called me on it. "If you are going to homeschool, why are you putting him in MDO? Why not have him home with you?" OUCH!!! And I still love this friend of mine. But she had a really good point. So, after leaving Sweet Pea 1 crying at this new place where he knew NO ONE, I kept him home....he is now 8 and has been home every since.

My point to all this? WHY did I even want to put him in MDO to start with? Because everyone else was doing it? Because I needed some time to run errands without him? I think I did it because it was what all the moms I knew were doing. And since when did *I* do what everyone else does????? I'm usually the "rebel". Is there this pressure from society to "conform"? I think so.

I think all this was brought to my attention today because I have a friend who has asked me about homeschooling and yet she is sending her daughters to a Christian private school. Her daughters are 3 and 4. She feels the need to "prepare" her 4 yr old to go back to K4 in a few weeks. She feels the need to work with the 3 yr old. The 3 yr old does not WANT to write her name. The 4 yr old knew how to write her name when she was in K3. Who invented K3 anyway????? A government trying to brainwash our children earlier and earlier??? This REALLY gets my goat! I love my friend, and tried to tell her to just chill out....when R. wants to write, she will. Yes, she is different than her older sister. Sweet Pea 2 is VERY different than Sweet Pea 1; it just comes with the territory I believe.

So just be aware of what you're doing and why and if you don't want to hear what I have to say, don't ask, ok?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Here are the guys enjoying the pool!

And another!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The pool is up, the pool is up, the pool is up!!!!

Can you see me jumping up and down?????

The "box" is finally LEVEL, the pool is up and it DIDN'T collapse!!!!!!

The boys had a few hours to play in it before it started to RAIN! :( Hopefully, tomorrow afternoon they can get in for awhile. Now how do all these chemicals work???:)

How could I forget???

I should have posted earlier that we started back out new year on Monday!!! And I am SO pleased with how things are going this year so far! Of course we are only doing half days for the next 3 weeks, then we'll have a week off and then start everything the next week (meaning adding in writing and history).

The boys have not forgotten hardly anything!!! I'm SO thankful for that. We had about 6 weeks off, so I thought a gradual progression would be best. I also really like the new schedule that I created where I'm rotating children with Sweet Pea 2 going first and I'm having Sweet Pea 1 do some independent things on the side. YEA!!!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

So far so good...more pool saga

We have the "box" for the pool level. We found the place where I had patched the hole and it seems to be fine....AND I found the hole in the ring...or one of them. There was a BIG cut in the ring and it is to find the PINHOLE. We are about ready to fill it....just in time for Dennis to come! MAYBE sometime this week we'll be able to get in it.

We are planning on starting back to our lessons on Monday...I'm nervous! LOL Half days only for 3 weeks working on the basics of Math, phonics/spelling, and Latin. In August, we'll add the other goodies.

Friday, July 08, 2005

World's Shortest Personality Test

You are pure, moral, and adaptable.
You tend to blend into your surroundings.
Shy on the outside, you're outspoken to your friends.

You believe that you live a virtuous life...
And you tend to judge others with a harsh eye.
As a result, people tend to crave your approval.

OUCH!!! How did they know that is me????

(Thanks to Sheila for the link from her site.)

The pool.....maybe

Tomorrow MAY be the day that we actually get the pool up! Our "box" is built, a copious amount of dirt is there and it is pretty close to being level. We need to add a few more wheelbarrow-loads of dirt in the uneven spots....then wrestle that pool into place!

I know we'll hit two more snags along the way. When we first got the pool, Sweet Pea 2 was dragging it around the yard, which is NOT an easy task....and he punctured the bottom. I patched it up but I need to check that out before we start putting water in. AND the ring around the top needs to be blown up...but there is a TEENY, TINY pinhole there. Patchkit is ready, but where is that HOLE??? sigh....maybe we'll get it done before it is time to take it down again!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

HSLDA.....a no-go for now....

HSLDA called me back regarding the paperwork from my county Board of Education. The representative said that because the county did not say that they "require" me to fill the paperwork out, HSLDA can't do anything yet; it would be pre-mature. BUT if the county contacts me about why I didn't send the extra paperwork in or that I must, at that time they can contact them. Until then all those that are going to fill it out anyway, will, and the county wins anyway except with a few that are willing to stand against them.

Monday, July 04, 2005


I'm SO glad to see this . Sweet Pea 1 wants to start his "secret spy language" and we can't wait to get started with this. I may wait until January to start this, not sure yet. My heart wants to start it when it is released in August, but my head says to wait a little longer and get more Latin down before we attempt this. We'll see. I do know I'm excited about it.

Happy Birthday, America (and to me!)

Today is America's birthday. And it is my birthday. Yep, I was born on July 4th. I never liked having the same birthday as America, but as I get older, I find that my patriotism gets bigger and I find that I don't mind it as much. I used to hate birthdays because it meant I was getting older, but someone said to me "it is just another reason to thank the Lord-- for giving you another year." Now I like birthdays.

We had our bi-annual Patriotic Celebration at church last night; Lots of flag waving, lots of remembering what our soldiers past and present did/do for us, lots of fun. It always brings back to the forefront of my mind what others have done for our country over the years and how thankful I am. My father-in-law went to Normandy on D-day. He has gone on to be wtih the Lord now, but I always like hearing his stories.

If you see someone in the military today, tell them "Thank you" for how they are protecting us.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Standing up for what is right......

I received the homeschooling packet from our county Board of Education. Our county has their act together enough where once you call them and say that you are wanting to receive the information about homeschooling, you will always receive a packet until you notify then you are not homeschooling anymore. In the packet is a copy of the law for the state of GA, a copy of the board's policies, a Declaration of Intent to have a Home Study Program and copies of the attendance report we are to turn in once a month. The law in GA states that we are to provide the student's name and age to the school board. ....and that's IT. Well, when I received the packet, I noticed there was an extra form which said "This will help us keep our records. Please fill this out and return it with your Declaration of Intent." This form wanted the child's name, age and birthday. There was also a line on the Declaration of Intent itself for our phone number. Now, I do not believe there is anything malicious behind this. I have spoken to the lady in charge of all the paperwork for the homeschoolers. She is a VERY nice lady.....BUT she is still the government.

I decided immediately that I would not fill in my phone number nor return the form. There are several families in my area who are doing the same. Then I decided that I had to get the word out to those that may not know the law and think it is ok to give the added inforation. I called the leader of a group in my area and she thinks there is nothing wrong with it; they are just doing their job. I spoke with several ladies in my area on a yahoo group and several said it was the "Christian" thing to do. I feel that it is the proverbial frog in the kettle who cooks little by little without even realizing it.

So, I stood up and decided to do something about it. I called the Home School Legal Defense Association. I will be faxing the packet which I received to them so that the lawyer who handles the business in GA can take a look at it. I really don't want to "rock the boat" with the BOE here because there does seem to be good feelings between us as homeschoolers and the person working for the county. I just can't feel good though about those "giving in" when it is a clear violation of our privacy.

Granted, these two little items (birthday and phone number) aren't big things to get upset over. I just feel there is a principle at stake here.

I'll keep you posted on what happens next.