Friday, March 7, 2014


tomorrow's project
We have lived in the same home for nearly eleven years. In that time, I have painted JT's room once... eleven years ago. Many times in the last few years we have talked about painting it, but other projects took priority, or the idea of trying to shuffle everything around in order to paint felt overwhelming, or I'd convince myself we should wait a little longer so we'd only have to do it once before he grew up and moved out.

We finally reached a point where there was just no more waiting. JT is now 13 and really needs to leave the cars, trucks, and airplanes on his walls behind him. I bought the paint supplies about six weeks ago. I told myself we'd get to it on the next free weekend. So far, a free weekend hasn't appeared, so we'll just squeeze it into a normal weekend.

Cars and trucks and planes, oh my!
I don't really expect JT to help with the actual painting of the room. I want it to be a quick project so teaching a new painter would not help with that goal. But I did expect him to help me clear everything from the room to prepare for painting. Earlier today I had him start going through his room and moving things to the living room for temporary storage. We learned a few things. He has too much stuff. He has TONS of LEGOs. He can't part with things if they have even a slight chance of being useful to him in some way.

mostly LEGOs
This picture is a pile of the stuff we pulled from his room. The LEGOs really are a bit out of control. I'm still hoping that as we move things back in, he'll be able to part with a little more than he did when we moved it out. I may be overly optimistic on this point.

Tomorrow, while I paint, the boys will still be doing school work. I made sure I assigned things that they could, for the most part, do independently. EM will need me to do his spelling test and some help on corrections to work he did earlier in the week. But everything else should be accomplished without mom's input. We'll see how that plays out. I'm picturing myself, covered in paint, chasing kids away from computers and back to work. Or maybe I'm being a little pessimistic about the situation.

JT and EM are both currently working to wrap up our geography unit for the year. We have continued using a book I bought several years ago that teaches world geography, one continent at a time. This year we are studying Africa. We quickly learned that when you use an older text for geography, it is important to check if things are still accurate. Quite a few things changed in Africa since 1998. Even though this can be irritating to deal with, it also provides some great learning opportunities. When I had the boys research the official language of each African nation, they found that the list in the workbook did not match what they found online. When we found a discrepancy, they had to do further research. The final project I assigned is a report on an African country of their choice. EM chose Nigeria, JT is working on The Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire. I'm hoping that tomorrow they will wrap up their research and begin putting their reports together. I've really been trying to work more writing projects into the schedule this year. Sometimes that makes more work for me, but I know time is getting short to help them perfect their communication skills.

Tomorrow could turn out to be pretty messy, but thanks to our flexible homeschooling schedule, that's just fine.

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