Once more into the breach, another Friday is here! Given that the 3rd is a Sunday, FlSNDad should be getting his SSI today instead. So I may not be here until later to moderate this diary because we'll have errands to run, and we want to run them BEFORE it gets too hot outside. Errands today include: pulling part of the rent money out of the ATM and doing some back to school shopping.

Itzl Alerting

As you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here.  We care!
IAN is a great group to join, and a good place to learn to write diaries.  Drop one of us a PM to be added to the Itzl Alert Network anytime! We all share the publishing duties, and we welcome everyone who reads IAN to write diaries for the group!  Every member is an editor, so anyone can take a turn when they have something to say, photos and music to share, a cause to promote or news!  
Ok, we do have a diary schedule. But, when you are ready to write that diary, either post in thread or send FloridaSNMOM a Kosmail with the date. If you need someone to fill in, ditto. FloridaSNMOM is here on and off through the day usually from around 9:30 or 10 am eastern to around 11 pm eastern.
Monday: BadKitties
Tuesday: ejoanna
Wednesday: Caedy
Thursday: art ah zen
Friday: FloridaSNMOM
Saturday:Dave in Northridge
Sunday: loggersbrat

Now public school goes back August 18th in this county this year. We don't start ours until after Labor Day. But August is when I start doing school prep. This year the 'tax free days' are August 1-3, so today's shopping is really the beginning of our home school journey for 2014-2015 (well kind of I've done some early curriculum decisions already). We don't need as much as many parents do. There will be no new wardrobe, or backpack, or lunch box. I don't have to worry about the latest shoes, or school uniforms. I do have to get note book paper, pencils, pens (for me), some new colored pencils because we used those a lot last year, maybe a new box of crayons, though I have to check, the one from last year may be sufficient. I need a couple of three ring binders to put completed work in when it gets to be too much for the plastic pocket/three tab folders we use for subjects. Luckily the folders are still in good shape from last year, so I won't need to buy all new folders as well.

Some things we're looking into will be bought later in the year, for example, she wants to do some 'life cycle' experiments later and maybe get a tadpole or ladybugs to study. But we won't do those until spring because the weather is too hot for anyone to ship us any live critters right now (can't go over 85 degrees out).

This year I have only one kid to shop for. Draco graduated last year, so it's just Bit. However, this is 6th grade for Bit, so we are expanding beyond the subjects we've done previously, and going more in depth with some others. She was already doing a high school/college level anatomy course last year, we're going to continue with that this year and finish it out. She's in 7th grade math, and depending how that goes we'll start pre-algebra later this school year. We're also going to go into a vocabulary course based on roots, prefixes and suffixes this year instead of her customary spelling.  

And she wants to do NaNoWriMo in November. There's a 'youth version' specifically designed for middle schoolers, and they have a curriculum available for the month before, so we're doing both of those. In September we're working on writing short essays, then getting into the Novel curriculum supplied by Nano, then doing Nano in November. Then we'll probably work on editing in December until winter break.

History we're starting with Ancient India, then moving into the middle ages and on through the Renaissance. We'll probably follow that time line with some literature and reading as well. I found a teacher's guide for the Hobbit and we'll likely put that in there, she's seen the cartoon version and listened to the audio book when she was really little (like 4 years old) but it's been long enough to give her a fresh perspective. Most of her reading is on audio because of her vision issues, so really I screen mostly for age appropriate content rather than regular 'reading level'. She does a lot of recreational reading as well.

So while I have a few things to buy to get ready for the new school year, most of my preparation will be preparing lesson plans and curriculum, reviewing curriculum and web sites I intend to use, and altering what doesn't. I have to write up a lot of things for her because she can't see typical book type, or printed sheets.

She also wants to learn to sew on the sewing machine, to expand her crotchet stitches, and her cooking skills. So we'll work on those as well. Lots of things to do and explore this year!

So what are your plans for the last month of summer? Will go sneak in an extra vacation? Will you go explore museums and new places locally? Are you just going to stay home and relax when you aren't working? What plans and preparations do you remember making when you were a kid? How are they different from what kids today need? Have you looked at those long printed sheets at the store telling parents what to buy for their kids recently? What do they do with 4 boxes of tissues anyway???

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