Saturday, June 28, 2008

Homeschool Open House Week in Review: Week 41

Homeschool Open House Week in Review
Week 41: June 15-21, 2008

Older son is aged 10 and in 5th grade.
Younger son is aged 8 and in 2nd grade.

We ended up in quarantine due to chicken pox (full story follows).

Sunday I woke up with a couple of itchy bumps. I didn’t know if they were mosquito bites from being outdoors all day yesterday or at the late afternoon/evening Cub Scout BBQ which did have insects biting us. Younger son was sleeping late so I let him sleep and we didn’t go to church. Older son was up early and wanted to go to Catholic Mass with my husband, so he did.

We stayed at home and unpacked from the aborted camping trip. I did laundry. We did usual stuff that you have to do around the house.

In the afternoon we visited my mother-in-law. I was not sure if we had the chicken pox or not and my husband really wanted us to go, so off we went.

While my husband prepared dinner for all of us I was clearing out the attic. It had been neglected for 2.5 years while my father-in-law was sick with Cancer than remained untouched after he passed away. I threw out junk and reorganized what was there. We selected some things to donate to a charity thrift shop. We were looking for some things in particular which we didn’t find. My mother-in-law can’t do that work as she is disabled and has other health issues.

I also planted some herbs and tomato plants for my mother-in-law. I also took a run to Barnes & Noble and spent a gift card that a Cub Scout gave me for a present to thank me for being his volunteer Den Leader.

After we got home my younger son was getting ready for bed. I found a mass of new red bumps and they were not mosquito bites. He does have chicken pox. I had new itchy things in my scalp which were crusting over. So I guess I had chicken pox too. Oh and I checked his temp and he did have a two degree higher than normal fever. I researched homeopathic remedies for chicken pox and began administering them to my son and myself.

Monday as soon as I woke up I contacted the mother who organized a day camp this week that my kids were supposed to begin the next day. I notified her one son had chicken pox and couldn’t go. I was negotiating to see if I could get my $300 back. Younger son had fever on and off but was feeling pretty good, just itchy. The day was spent doing housework and cleaning.

I caved in on the usual TV watching policy and let them watch a “Young Indiana Jones” movie.

I also renegotiated the car pool for the day camp for my older son. This took emails and phone calls back and forth.

Tuesday Older son woke up with chicken pox. Now all three of us were in quarantine.

When some homeschooling family friends heard we had the chicken pox they asked to come over as they wanted their kids to get infected with chicken pox. Some had been vaccinate and some had not. Some had the original vaccine but not the booster. We had fun talking to each other about many different topics while the kids played.

So in the afternoon three families visited with a total of eight children playing here for about three hours. My kids were happy to have friends over to play. By the time they left my older son was red in the face. I took his temp and it was a full three degrees higher.

The kids took to bed and watched TV in bed, more “Young Indiana Jones” movies. The three of us were breaking out in pocks and itching.

Also my younger son saved up his money and spent it on an Xbox360 video game “LEGO Indiana Jones”. The kids played that for their one hour limit.

Wednesday Still in chicken pox quarantine. I did housework. In the evening another friend came over with her two children because she wants them to get chicken pox. We had a nice visit and discussed right-brained learners.

The kids played their one hour of video games and also watched another of the “Young Indiana Jones” movies. (How many are there anyway??)

Thursday Still in quarantine. I am sick of being in the house. Still doing housework.

Today we had a baking marathon. We baked two batches of homemade bread (four loaves). We made one batch of brownies from scratch. I made a batch of pizza dough. My husband made homemade pizza for dinner. We used oregano and basil from our container garden. That is the first time we used stuff we are growing ourselves, this season. Everything was delicious.

Friday Still in chicken pox quarantine. Today we had a visitor. She was a coordinator for an exchange student program, came to interview us. She didn’t care that we had chicken pox. We discussed us being a host family. I will blog more on that in another post.

The rest of the time was the same old, same old: staying home, making meals, cleaning them up, doing laundry, cleaning the house, reading email and books.

Of note the kids are doing more reading on their own, chapter books and also comics. Out of boredom since I’ve limited TV watching and since video game watching remains very limited, they are turning to reading more.

They also have been back to dueling Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game. They had stopped dueling each other for a while as they got sick of playing each other with their same old decks.

I had to get out of the house. I decided why not go for a ride, even with gas at $4.09 a gallon, I have to get out. We went to a dairy farm in Newtown, Connecticut that makes homemade ice cream that is out of this world. It is called Ferris Acres Farms and it is on Rt. 302. My husband stood in line for the ice cream since the rest of us were contagious. The pox is really winding down though.

Saturday We thought we were done with the pox. We were all crusted over and no new pox on us. We went to the last event for the Great Park Pursuit No Child Left Inside program. I decided we’d do the final competition since we made the semi-finals then we’d leave. Just in case we were still active with pox, we’d stay apart from everyone. We knew too that we’d get a small prize for making the semi-finals and we wanted to pick it up.

We did the competition which was different than in the past and a lot of fun. There originally were 900 families and 170 made it to the semi-finals. My kids ran off to the woods with some other homeschool friends they know to play Yu-Gi-Oh!

A woman approached me and said she recognized my face from my blog. She said I look just like my picture. Well since I took it myself and was not even wearing makeup let alone airbrushing the photo, I am who I am, what can I say? She was a person who I know from a chat list about homeschooling but we had never met face to face. It was cool to meet her. Although it is creepy when people keep saying that to me.

We were very surprised to hear we’d made it to the finals with 32 other families. That was amazing and surprising as I didn’t think we did good enough on the competition’s testing. We had thirty minutes to construct a boat out of a half of a buoy, duct tape, tongue depressors, straws, a piece of cotton sheet and tissue paper, with dull preschoolers scissors and one plastic knife for a tool. We then raced our boats down the river. The last I saw ours, it was in seventh place. It was lost down the river so we couldn’t take it home. I guess it ended up out to sea in Long Island Sound! Oops! As a prize for making it to the finals we received a really nice day backpack and some supplies, worth $140. Wow!

I hadn't blogged much about the 2008 No Child Left Inside competition. It was fun and I'm glad we did it. We plan to participate next year. They also announced a new Connecticut Farm pursuit that I think is rolling out this summer but I may have mis-heard that.

It was humid and over 80 degrees. On the way home we tried a different ice cream shop that some friends were raving about, it is called Rich Farm on Rt. 67 in Oxford. Our family is torn about which farm we like better. We’ll have to do more taste tests to come to a more firm conclusion.

On this day I began reading “Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World” by Jeffrey Freed. I am trying to learn more about right brained learners so I can adjust plans for my older son for the upcoming academic year. I am going to try out some strategies over this summer although we are not doing a lot of homeschooling lessons this summer.

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1 comment:

Liberal Homeschooler said...

“Young Indiana Jones” movies. (How many are there anyway??)"

They're not movies, they are a series. DH thinks there are currently around 10 disks, not including bonus material. He also thinks there are more coming soon.

Getting the chickenpox all at once is the best way. I want my kids to get them, but I'm afraid they'll get them in succession and we'll be in quarantine forever.

Hope you are past the worst of the itchies.