Friday, June 29, 2007

On the road again!

Headed out this evening for vacation! My internet access will be sporadic and probably partially dial-up but I want to journal about our trip as we go along, so for convenience I plan to post on my old Xanga site at www.xanga.com/karlyle while we're gone. Pop over there to follow our adventures!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Vacation Plans

So... if you work twice as hard before you go, and twice as hard when you get back... does it really count as a vacation??

We will be leaving this coming Saturday for our trip to my family reunion in Missouri. I'm on the reunion planning committee so in addition to getting my family ready to go, I've been busy getting things organized and gathered up for the reunion. This is my mother's family. We have reunions every other year for 3 days, and always have a good time.

We plan to take a slight detour through North Dakota and Minnesota, as those are the only "western" states we haven't been in. We have one of those fill-in-the-blank maps on the side of our travel-trailer and there are big white blanks in the north central! Lotsa blanks in the eastern half the US, but we're not gonna worry about those states this trip.

Planned sight-seeing includes the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites at De Smet, South Dakota and Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Other than that, we will just watch for places of interest to stop. My husband got a neat book called Watch It Made in the USA which lists factories that offer public tours, but I'm not sure if any of those are on our route or not. I'll try to post blog updates along the way if I can manage it. Otherwise, I'll update when I get back.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Trip to Boise

We had a good time on our trip to Boise this past weekend. We headed down on Thursday as it is an 8-hour trip and the convention started on Friday morning. Strangely enough, the easiest way to get from northern Idaho to southern Idaho is to head west and then south through Washington and Oregon. There is no north-south interstate in Idaho. Thursday at lunch-time my husband had the idea we could stop at McNary Dam on the Columbia River along the Washington/Oregon state line. It was a beautiful day for a picnic, but first I insisted we visit the Pacific Salmon Visitor's Center that is at the dam. We learned how they load salmon on barges to transport them past 8 dams on their way out to the Pacific Ocean! Who knew? There is also a fish ladder there where the ones who miss the boat can swim over the dam. That was a fun stop!

We stayed at a nice RV park in Boise. It was typical of most RV parks, pretty much a parking lot with miniscule strips of grass between each one. We prefer real campgrounds for relaxing getaways, but just for a place to stay, this is fine. It had a really nice club house with an indoor pool and spa, an exercise room, and a "family room" with a fireplace, big screen TV, jigsaw puzzle going on the table, that kind of thing. The kids and the dog enjoyed the playground. It tickled the girls that the dog would actually play on the slide, so they had to take the camera down and get some shots of that!

On Saturday evening my brothers and their families joined us for a cookout. It was great to get to see them and have a chance to visit. We were happy that it worked out for them to come over.

And, oh, yeah... there was also the homeschool convention. I stayed pretty busy talking to people about Sonlight. My booth was across the aisle from Apologia's. Dr. Jay Wile was one of the keynote speakers. I had a chance to talk with him about plans for high school science since my daughter is not real strong in math. That was cool! My husband and I also got to sit in on the keynote session on Saturday morning presented by Steve and Teri Maxwell on Keeping Our Children's Hearts. The vendor hall did not open till after that. Lots of good food for thought and discussion.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Homeschooling for High School

We are officially entering the high school years! I have looked forward to parenting teens ever since my kids were little tots. No, I'm not crazy. I just thought it sounded fun. I enjoyed my teen years, so I just figured I would enjoy my children's teen years, too. My mother says she did! She acted like she did at the time. (I'm beginning to notice I pattern a lot of my parenting choices after my own parents. I hope that's a compliment to them!) Other people have told me, "Oh! Just wait!" like it was some horrible nightmare to have to go through. I refused to believe them. And I still do. I am really looking forward to the next few years.

I've been poring over curriculum choices mapping out a tentative transcript for high school, and have a rough idea of the direction we'll head. I have most of our curriculum picked out for next year, anyway. Here's what I have in mind (with clickable links if you'd like more info):
  • History and Literature: Sonlight Core 100, "American History In-Depth"
  • History Supplement: Drive Thru History America
  • Language Arts Supplements: Grammar Ace, Winston Grammar Advanced, Sequential Spelling
  • Science: Apologia Biology
  • Math: Teaching Textbooks
  • Home Ec: Christian Light
  • Typing: Typing Instructor Deluxe
  • Spanish: Rosetta Stone

    Now... if just deciding on extra-curricular activities were that easy! There are so many worthwhile activities to choose from, and there is just no way we have time to do everything that looks interesting. Besides, I'm just not convinced it is a good thing for teens to be constantly running around from one thing to the next... I dunno... maybe that's just my personality coming through. I love to travel... but as far as being involved in a lot of outside-the-home activities on a day-to-day basis, I find I'm more of a home-body. Just praying for wisdom to find a balance... and hanging on for the ride!