Friday, May 18, 2012

End of School Quick Takes

After reading Jen's Quick Takes, I got sucked into taking a sample Spanish lesson from Pimsleur.  You can take the first 30 minute lesson of any of their languages for free.  I really liked it.  I've tried several language programs over the years (though we've never done Rosetta Stone), and I thought this had a couple of things going for it:  it immerses you in a conversation and then breaks it down word by word.  It also breaks down the words by syllables which I've never encountered before.  I usually need to see a word to understand how they're pronouncing it (though that wouldn't work for Chinese!), and this really helped me get the pronunciation right.  I am also lured in by the fact that you can buy a few lessons at a time in MP3 format instead of investing over $200 in DVD's that you might not use.  You can find out if your kids hate it in fewer than 5 lessons and for only $21.95!

Today is the last day of school for the neighbors, so there's probably a big pool party this afternoon.  But if there is, I didn't get the memo.  Do you think they started inviting just the kids who actually go to school?

One of the neighbors was here playing during school hours yesterday.  They've figured out the system:  since they practically never miss school during the year, they just skip the last couple of days where valuable hours that could be spent cramming a little more knowledge into their heads are just wasted by cleaning out desks and watching stupid movies in every class.  I love that.

We, OTOH, simply give up.  Technically, we know there are a couple more days of the school year, and we're no where near finishing certain textbooks, so we just quit.  But since I plan to make them do math and read every day, I think it will more than add up to the number of hours we would have spent in the last 2 days of school.

I bought myself a new book for Mother's Day---because, dontcha know, every day is Mother's Day!  I bought Alabama Studio Style.  I'm so excited to start stitching, I can hardly stand it, but I'm forcing myself to wait until I finish my current knitting project which has an absolute, final deadline of next Saturday.  I think the sewing will be faster, but I keep trying to remind myself that since a lot of it is done by hand, it might be just as slow as knitting.

I finally got a Kindle Touch for Mother's Day, too.  I have the Kindle App on my phone, which I love, but I do get a bit tired of the tiny print and the brightness.  It's great for reading in bed, if I have to, but I wanted the Kindle so I could have a whole, portable library in one small package!

My sweet son got me a Kindle book for my big day, too.  He picked one off my wish list, and it was The Catholics Next Door:  Adventures in Imperfect Living.  I'm 29% of the way through it, and really enjoying it while I knit----because I can do that with a Kindle.  I don't need a third hand to hold the book!  Saints are great reading, but it's also nice to read about the real struggles of people who live in my world, and Greg and Jennifer Willits have a very engaging style.  I can hear their voices in my head (from listening to their podcasts, rosaries, etc.).  And then there was the time I accosted (like a total fangirl) met Jennifer at the Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress a few years ago.  That was back when they were making their video series, "That Catholic Show".  You really ought to click over and watch those if you haven't seen them.  They'd be good for Religion Summer School!

So, on that note, I should go pretend to teach school for a little while.  Nag the kids.  Get out the books and spread them around the table.  Nag the kids.  Repeat Ad nauseum.

Join the fun at Jen's for more 7 Quick Takes!


  1. I'm enjoying their book too! And I'm SO with you on end-of-school. It doesn't happen in the high school, but already in my son's grade school, teachers are dismantling classrooms with 4 WEEKS still to go! Once Memorial Day is over, practically no learning happens. Teachers blame this on kids--but I blame it on them for creating this environment. Figure I have that right, as a former teacher; it's not something I buy into.

  2. I feel like Greg and Jennifer are my best friends! I pray the Rosary every night going to bed, using their podcast, so their voices are always in my head as well. Glad to know that I am not the only one!

  3. I love Pimsleur; it has resurrected my high school French! In the car, where I spend most of my day, every day, anyway. But you're right; I do have trouble distinguishing words if I can't see them...and when I do see them, it takes me quite a while to connect them with what I'm hearing.

    I'm going to have to check out your friends Greg and Jennifer. Happy Fizzle-Out End of the School Year!

  4. Barb---Usually public schools here end the Friday before Memorial Day. Now that they have only 170 day school years, they got out a week earlier!

    Ann-Marie---I love their rosary, too, and their voices.

    Kalynne---have the kids learned French, too? How far did you get in the series?


Thanks for dropping by! I would love to hear from you. Have a beautiful day! :-)


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