Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week 2 is Through!

The word of the week is Algebra.  This and soccer practice dominate J's life at the moment, and therefore, the life of our family.  A letter came home from the Principal on Friday that begins, "We have been made aware of concerns about our...Algebra program this year, including the level of difficulty and the amount of time spent completing homework."

The Middle School has moved to a new book this year, which supposedly incorporates the Common Core Standards (dirty words, GRRR!), and is supposed to encourage students to be "self taught learners."  It also requires the students to purchase a graphing calculator (which cost $88 at our local Wal-Mart.)

J's homework this weekend was 30 exercises involving various functions of the calculator.  Let me tell you something...even if your child did not throw away the instruction book on the first day of school, this thing is tremendously difficult to figure out!  The Principal's letter states that "...the teachers are using every minute of class time to provide the students with instruction on each lesson."  The truth according to J seems to be somewhat different - she says that the teacher went over 2 examples in class on Friday.

In any case, all told, J spent about 4 1/2-5 hours on Algebra homework this weekend, which includes watching several YouTube videos about the calculator functions (very helpful!)  So.  Glad.  That's.  Done.

L's soccer coach finally had all of his clearances come through, and was ready to have practice on Thursday.  We were all suited up and getting L's soccer ball in the car to head to the field, when she ran around the side of the car, and straight into the opening back hatch with her face.  She reacted so strongly that I was concerned that she might have done more than just get a giant goose egg on her forehead, but JP checked her out and thought she was ok.  So...she missed her first practice, poor thing.  The school nurse called me around noon yesterday to report that L had been in to see her, and requested an ice pack for her head.  I've heard nothing more about it today.

It is Labor Day weekend, which usually means that we work more than normal.  JP & Dad put the Brush Hog on the tractor and then JP mowed the fields.  I mowed down the weeds in the orchard, and removed the straw bale Kitty Kastle from the veranda.  (It was meant to be a temporary thing, but stayed out there for more than 3 years!)  I also broke down and watered the trees in the orchard, as it has been about 3 weeks since they've had any water.

Speaking of dryness, all of the forecasted thunderstorms have dispersed before hitting our corner of the world, so it is super dry.  I used all of the water from the 1000 gallon rain water cistern on the garden, trying to keep the Fall peas, the tomatoes, and the eggplants from dying.  I spent a couple of hours hauling 3 loads of water yesterday to fill that cistern as well...never did that before.  So far (*knock on wood*) our well has been hanging in there.

We are planning to take it easy tomorrow, hopefully with friends.  Possibly on Labor Day, we will also chill.  It would be nice.

Enjoy your long weekend everyone, and if you want to cook out and play in the pool with someone, come our way tomorrow afternoon.  It'll be fun!

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