7 Quick Takes v. 4

7_quick_takes1. Last Saturday I went to the library to pick up our history books for the next few weeks.  As I was looking through the DK Visual Dictionary of Ancient Civilizations, I became less and less content with the  history sequence I had copied out of  The Well-Trained Mind.  I felt like there were some gaps, and it felt a little disjointed like many school textbooks.  So, I decided to revamp my entire history sequence.  I added certain civilizations that were overlooked originally, and I made a note of key terms or concepts that I wanted to get across about each one.

I decided that I wanted to start our Ancient History year by talking about Creation:  Genesis 1, creation myths from other cultures, the geological history of the earth, and Big Bang theory.  I also wanted to include more correspondence with Old Testament history to show how the Bible reflects the history of Mesopotamian culture.  In First Grade, I don’t really expect Bailey to understand Big Bang Theory (who really does anyway) or who the Akkadians were.  I just want to make her aware of certain terms and underlying ideas.  I want to plant seeds that might  grow over the course of the next few years.  However, once I completely revamp my Ancient History Outline I can reuse it in later years for more in-depth study.

2.  So all of these last-minute history changes occurred two days before the start of our homeschooling semester.  Our first day went great.  We easily got through all of our planned lessons (plus a little extra math), and I got all of my scheduled chores done as well as sorted and boxed outgrown clothing.  Bailey wasn’t keen on Tuesday’s catechism lesson, and the All Things Catholic Cards took quite a bit of time on Thursday.  I may have to tweak our religious education work.  Otherwise we got everything done.  Well, we still have today’s math lesson but that will probably wait until after dinner since we have to head for the dentist’s office in a little bit.  And I confirmed my suspicion that things run more smoothly if I avoid the internet until after all of our work is done (unless it’s part of our work, of course.)

3.  I believe it is really important to leave plenty of time for play and self-discovery as part of the homeschooling life-style.  And when those two things naturally converge into something educational, it is always so cool.  Tuesday Piper (almost 4) asked to do one of our floor puzzles about space.  Once we finished putting it together, I offered to tell her a little bit about each planet.  “Hold on, ” she said.  “Let me get a piece of paper so I can take notes.”  Well, she came back with paper and a crayon.  As I pointed out each planet, she copied down each name from the puzzle.  She started to peter out around Uranus and wrote the last few backwards (she was looking at the puzzle upside down at the time), but it was a blessing to be able to engage her natural curiosity and desire to learn.  That’s homeschooling at its best.

4.  Of course, I need to try to remember this when one of the kids wants to take their curiosity and desire to learn in directions that I do not want to go.  What started out as a vocabulary lesson about how the Greek word photos means light and is incorporated in English words that refer to light, Bailey decided to turn it into a full-scale study of light.  She started becoming obsessed with the idea, deciding that she had to write some sort of a report about it.  I think she was really less interested in learning about light and more interested in having something to make a production of learning about.  At least that’s how I justified putting her off.  I think this confirms that I do not have the temperament to be a full-blown unschooler.

5.  I have several posts in my archives about trying out cloth diapering.  I realized that I hadn’t written anything in awhile, so I felt that a small update was in order.  I stopped using them about six months ago.  Around mid-March our lives became very hectic.  The cloth diapers started getting used less and less as we were home less and less.  Then as Katie turned one she needed fewer diaper changes, especially if she was wearing disposables.  After about four-months of non-use I decided I was tired of them taking up space in the kitchen, so I boxed all my cloth diapering supplies up and put them away.

Were they worth what I payed?  Yes and no.  They certainly got us through some very tight financial spots over the winter.  It was nice not to have to shell out big bucks for disposables every week when Katie was going through a lot of them.  Now, though, we can get by with one $6 pack from Aldi a week.  I probably did not get back the money I invested, but they will probably earn their money back if we have a fourth child.  Cloth diapering is one of those things that really saves the most money if you use them with successive children.

6  Recently my husband and I discovered the yummy goodness that is Nancy’s Italian sausage pizza.  I’m not usually a huge fan of sausage pizza, but their Italian sausage is just delicious.  We received a mini-menu attached to our pizza box, and I found so many things there I would love to try from their Italian Sausage Sandwich to their Spinach Salad.  Mmmm.  So many delicious options, only so much money.

7.  There’s a beat up index card pinned to my bulletin board that includes two phone numbers and strange names, and last night my husband asked if it could be thrown away.  Then I explained what it was.  See, we have had multiple issues over the past few years with Comcast repair people showing up hours late for a repair appointment or not showing up at all without so much as a message.  After about the fiftieth time in a three day period of calling the main Comcast number and getting through to a service center in another state and having to repeat our entire story to the fiftieth representative, I somehow managed to score the direct phone for the Comcast dispatcher in our area.  This index card holds the names and phone numbers for the local dispatcher and a senior technician.  As long as we have Comcast cable it will never be thrown away.  It is more valuable than gold.

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2 Comments on “7 Quick Takes v. 4”

  1. Melissa Mendoza Says:


    I just wanted to leave our contact information as well, in case you ever need assistance escalating a Comcast problem. You can reach our corporate team at the email address below or tweet us – @ComcastMelissa, @ComcastBill, @ComcastBonnie, @ComcastSteve, @ComcastGeorge, @ComcastDoug, @ComcastKim, @ComcastMark, or @ComcastDete.

    We’re here if you need us.

    Kind Regards,
    Melissa Mendoza
    Comcast Customer Connect
    National Customer Operations

    • barboo77 Says:

      Thanks for the information. I try to patiently go through the system because I know people are trying to do their jobs. I keep those numbers around for when those crazy mishaps occur. Of course, e-mail addresses won’t really help me when the problem is with my internet connection. Thanks just the same, though.

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