Monthly Archives: December 2016

Homework Due 1/10 and 1/11

TYPO!  The Math 76 homework was incorrect.  See correction below.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I have no posts planned from 12/16/16 until 1/9/17.

Math for the Middle Grades – Finish as much of lessons 45-47 as parents decide they want students to do.  It’s Christmas break, so take a break!   Complete Homework number 16.  This is a cumulative review, so you might want to complete it closer to our first meeting of next semester to get your math brain back to work.

Math 76 – Lesson 60-64, Test 10.

Algebra 1/2, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 – Lessons 66-70 and test 12. (Algebra 2 students, remember the lesson we decided to do only the practice on?  I think it was L. 68.  I hope you wrote it down!)

Geometry – Finish everything.  Complete tests 9 and 10.  You may take them open book if you like.

Schedule It

I’ve been a goal-setter for as long as I can remember.  Even in high school, I set goals.  My goals in high school included graduating while using as little effort as possible, and registering for the least demanding classes offered.

When I was admitted to college I knew I would need to develop some new skills.  The first class I decided to register for was “How to Study”.  The greatest lesson I learned in this class is that if I don’t schedule my activities they won’t happen.

As finals week approached, in “How to Study” we created a Final Exam Battle Plan (FEBP).  I have used this same concept over and over again since then. When I have a few days or a few weeks in which to accomplish many things, I make a detailed, hour by hour plan.  As soon as I’m done writing this post I’ll be writing my FEBP for Christmas break.  As I wrote in my last post, I have some definite goals for break, and I know the only way I’ll get them done is to schedule them.

I print one copy of this form (FEBP) for each week I’m planning.  First, I fill in sleep, routine activities, and events already scheduled. Second, I estimate how much time I’ll need to accomplish each goal or activity. Finally, after adding some time to each of my estimates, I schedule the time I’ll need to finish each of my goals and breaks between activities. Leaving time between activities and scheduling more time than I think I’ll need are both essential.

There are many advantages to using an FEBP.  I am sure to schedule fun and relaxation which are often over-looked when I’m busy. Another advantage is seeing clearly whether or not I have time to do everything. Sometimes the result of completing an FEBP is modifying or canceling an activity so I have time for something more important.

Once the FEBP is complete, I refer to it often.  Sometimes I modify it as goals are achieved and plans change.  With a detailed plan, even one that includes last minute improvements, I focus more on the important things and get more done.


Homework Due 12/13 and 12/14

Tickets were collected today.  If your name is listed here as a winner, you must email me by
9 p.m. Sunday to claim your prize.

Math for the Middle Grades – winners are Morgan and Catherine.  Finish lessons 42-44.  Pages 183 and 186 are optional, but be sure to read them and give them a try.  Complete Homework number 15.

Math 76 – winners are Connor and Sophie.  Lessons 54-55 practice only.  Lessons 56-59 practice and odds.  Test 9.

Algebra 1/2, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 – Joshua, Samantha, Grace, Sadie, Lilly, Maddy.  Lessons 61-65 and test 12.

Geometry – Finish just about everything.  In unit 7, pick a few problems from the second and third sections of the book.  Finish unit 9.  Next week, if everything else is done, we’ll start unit 10.


Last weekend I quilted and taught quilting at Camp Lebanon.  I quilted, helped others with their projects, slept, talked, listened, and ate.  Joy!  As the weekend was wrapping up I began planning time to quilt at home.  I chose projects to work on and deadlines for finishing a few things.  When I mentioned my plans, another quilter responded wistfully with something like, “I’ll be too busy with Christmas things to do any quilting at home.”  I nodded in understanding.  The activities of the Christmas season can be very time-consuming.

After hearing similar statements from a few people I began to question my initial empathy. What Christmas activities occupy so much of everyone’s time?  And why, when each mentioned being busy with Christmas activities, did each person seem less than joyful about the prospect?

Many people enjoy participating in many activities, keeping busy, and making Christmas fun.  Other don’t take much pleasure in the seasonally packed schedule but feel obligated to carry on holiday traditions.  Either way, the Christmas season can be exhausting, leaving many regretting their choices.  Maybe it’s time to look at things differently.

Many of us say “yes” to every invitation, carry on cooking and gift-giving traditions, and sometimes say “no” to something that seems to be just too much.  Maybe we should reverse that.  Instead of defaulting to “yes”, start with big picture goals.  Then decide on and schedule activities that fulfill the goals.  If an opportunity arises, ask how it will fulfill the goals set for the season.  If it helps fulfill a goal, do a quick pro and con list to be sure it’s worth the effort and cost. Maybe eliminate or change the traditions that aren’t serving the purpose or that are too costly.

Years ago, one of our Christmas traditions was Cookie Day.  My extended family would gather and make cookies and other Christmas treats, eat a delicious home-cooked lunch together, and pack the cookies on plates to give as gifts.  My mom did most of the planning and shopping.  The event was at my house.  By the end of the day, my mom and I were exhausted, and we would spend hours cleaning up afterward.  There were a couple of years that we continued this tradition because we felt obligated.  It was tradition! But it was too costly in effort and energy.  Eventuallly, we decided to fulfill our desire for family time in a way that everyone would find refreshing and fun.  Now we set aside a day for bowling and a meal at a restaurant just before or after Christmas.

This year my goals for Christmas are to focus on Jesus and spend time with family. In addition, I want to land at the end of the season with as little mess as possible in my home and in my relationships. My schedule will include more time for worship, prayer, and the Word, and I will be planning at least two events where my immediate family will gather, eat, and play.  At the same time, I’ll be keeping up routines at home so I can take part in other activities joyfully, without dreading the potentially disastrous shape my relationships and my house might be in if I’m too busy.

I’ve already turned down two Christmas activities.  One event would not have fulfilled any of my goals for Christmas.  A small part of the other event would have helped fulfill my goals, but only in tiny part. Participating in either of these events would have been counter-productive as far as my goal of maintaining my routines is concerned.

I think I’ve over-simplified a bit.  There will likely be more flexibility in what I do this Christmas, but starting with goals and plans will help me reduce regrets and exhaustion.



Homework Due 12/6 and 12/7

I’m sorry this is a day late!  Nothing like a break from routine to break the routine!

Math for the Middle Grades:  lessons 39-41 and homework 14.  We also worked on lesson 22:  Balance Problems and Equations.  Lesson 22 is an introduction to some of the concepts of algebra.  Students are not required to complete the lesson, but you might have fun working together on pages 104-106.

Math 76:  Lesson 49-53 and test 8 (I don’t have my syllabus in front of me.  Please check your syllabus to be sure that’s the right test.)

Algebra 1/2, Algebra 1, Algebra 2:  Lessons 56-60.

Geometry:  Sections 8:3 and 9:1.  Students should try section 9:2, and we’ll go over it next week.