Friday, November 21, 2014

Resource Review: Homeschool Planet

I've had a number of years in teaching - both in classroom, and at home. Granted, not a lot of years, but still.  I'm used to having a planner.  A simple two-page spread showing each subject across all five days, so I know what I'm covering in each subject for the week. Unfortunately, that doesn't translate as well to our homeschool, where only four of our twelve subjects occur on all four of our school days. As a minor note, holy COW, we do twelve subjects in a week?!?  But, I digress.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

We have ALL THE TOYS!!

Heading into the holiday season, just coming out of Mad Natter's birthday, it has rapidly become apparent that we have entirely too many toys, not enough space for them, and far too much parental nostalgia for our house.

Mad Natter is six. As a result, he gets a large number of toys for any and all gift-giving occasions. The problem inherent here is that very few people actually listen to suggestions on what to get for him, and so we have piles of games like "Connect 4" and "Star Wars Angry Birds Jenga" and "Crazy Forts" that he doesn't play with, are too big for our house, or have entirely too many pieces.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Finding Community

Sitting on the verge of pneumonia, it's pretty easy to see where community would be really handy. Someone to keep an eye on Mad Natter for a couple hours so I could sleep would have been a dream come true, but it shook out that Skeeve had to work, and our physical community... Well, either they were working too, or they were five hundred miles away wishing they could help, even though we all knew it just wasn't possible. It's one of those rare times that online community just doesn't help - about six hours before I finally fell incredibly ill, my brains started dribbling out my ears and I couldn't understand what my usually wonderfully adroit friends and comrades were saying, and worse, they couldn't understand me anymore either.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Harry Potter as a Read Aloud

We've long had a tradition of bedtime stories around here. Board books, picture books, then we moved on to Ralph S. Mouse and Mr Popper, and I'd hoped at that point to try Harry Potter.  We made it through about a page and a half before Mad Natter went all squirrelly, and he wound right up like a clockspring.  It was bad.  Very, very bad. He was capable of understanding the story, but listening to tales of people and not mice, penguins, dragons or otherwise, was just beyond him at the time.  So we set it aside. Not long ago, Mad Natter got the first three How To Train Your Dragon books, and we started reading those. But, eventually, we ran out, and we tried Harry Potter once again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Homeschooling and Timing

You know, one of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to make your own schedule, but honestly, there are a couple aspects of that idea that seem to get left behind when we talk about it.

We've had a really rough month for school. For health, really, but for school as well. I had originally planned to have school through October and the bulk of November, with a break for the week around Halloween - after all, who needs to try to have school while your first grader is hopped up on enough candy to give him diabetes within a week, right?

Monday, November 10, 2014

We Really Are All Mad Here.

The blog has been on hiatus this past week, unexpectedly, and that is part of what makes us Mad Here. The "unexpectedly" part, not the "hiatus" part.  You see, shortly after the Hoagie's hop went 'round, I learned that Mama is not invincible.

Mad Natter spent two weeks knocked on his keyster with the flu... and then a wicked cough. He's still coughing, actually, but it's not as big a thing as it was.  Anyhow, I somehow managed to navigate that minefield and came out expecting that I wasn't going to get sick.  I was so very mistaken. It took two weeks for him to get over it, then another week for my body to get the idea that my baby wasn't dying, so I didn't need to be in survival mode, and then... BOOM. I've been flat on my back for the better part of the last week, my brains attempting to leak out my ears, and any hope of blogging coherently completely gone.  However, I'm happy to say I'm back!  I might be a little touch and go as I recover a little more (and try to kick this headache out!), but I'm here! I haven't gone, I've just been epically sick.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Gifted Self-Care

This is another blog topic that's kind of laughable from me. In general, I'm just spectacularly bad at self-care. I have a million things to do, and they're going to get done if it kills me.  And sometimes I wonder if maybe that's not really the best attitude to have. Determination is all well and good, but sometimes maybe it's worth it to take some time off of tasks to just relax.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gifted versus Pushy.

In the last few days, a news article has come out of Cambridge University. Now, in having done some poking around of my own since reading it, I've learned a thing or two, namely that not even
Cambridge is capable of writing an article about gifted children without slanting it into some fashion of attack on those children who are genuinely different from the norm.

Monday, October 27, 2014

On GamerGate.

I am a gamer. Like most people I know, I enjoy the occasional tabletop RPG, I enjoy my fair share of board games, and of course computer games. Minecraft, League Of Legends, Terraria, Kingdom of Loathing, and MUCK-ing are my preferences.  But, you see, there's a dirty little secret in gaming, one that's neither little nor secret anymore.  Gaming space is inherently dangerous for women. Saying so out loud, in public, however you quantify what saying this to my limited audience as? That's even more dangerous. Happily, I'm not famous enough to actually see a lot of pushback from speaking my mind. But Felicia Day did.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Resource Review! VTech Innotab 3S

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Okay, so this seems a little weird for a resource review, but hey. It's getting to be giftsy-buying season, and top of the list seems to be things like handheld quasi-educational games for kids.  VTech, and their major competitor LeapFrog, are generally top-of-the-line when it comes to these types of kiddie entertainment, so it seems a fitting subject for review, especially when thinking of younger gifted children and the durability versus usability of tablets and handhelds.