Swirling randomness

This morning school seemed to take forever and a day. I am SOOOO looking forward to trying out a new math program with four of my kids. I have been a die-hard Saxon mom for years, but when a fellow mom-o-many told me how much she’s been loving Teaching Textbooks, I had my credit card whipped out before I’d even read any other reviews on the program. I’m excited because it is computer-graded.  Grading 4 lessons of fractions and decimals every day (for my four 6th/7th graders) has been nearly sending me over the brink lately.   The program also explains concepts to kids, and gives additional practice for wrong answers.  I am hoping it will work as well for us as it does for Molly’s family.


Last night John and I spent an hour in the E.R with our very unhappy youngest.   She ended up being diagnosed with a raging bladder infection, poor girl.  Twenty-two years of parenting, and this is our first. Thank heavens that Walgreens and Jack in the Box are both open 24 hours a day.   Because buying Bactrim at 1 AM also entitles people to chocolate milk shakes at 1 AM.  According to my twisted logic, anyhow.


I’m leaving in 15 minutes to take 7 kids to Missoula Children’s Theater tryouts.  It is The Pied Piper this time around.   It will be fun to see how many kids get parts.  Am bringing bread and peanut butter for any kids who get parts and have to stay late this evening to practice.  I was thankful for the lasagna that I pulled out of the freezer for everyone else.  Since cooking is certainly not on my agenda this evening.


John is staying home from Missoula tryouts with the 5 year old.   The plan is to play Legos.   She tried to talk him into playing Barbies:  “You can be all the boys and I will be all the girls.”  But even that attractive offer did not provide enough inducement, and Legos is the game on the agenda– and the floor– this afternoon.

What’s going on in your world today?


PS–I just realized that my latest blog tweak left me without a ‘comment’ button in the top post.   To see comments, just click on the post title, above.

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  1. My family has LOVED Missoula Children’s Theater – the traveling shows and the summer camps. Best of luck to your kiddos!

    I made the six-week bran muffins today. OH MY GOODNESS. Yum. The batter is definitely not staying in the fridge that long, and baking 12 this afternoon was not nearly enough!

  2. Poor little thing! I hope she gets better soon!

  3. The Teaching Textbooks program sounds great. I remember always being more motivated to do work if I got immediate feedback on the computer. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it!

    Is the Pied Piper a musical? I’ve never heard of it being done by a kids’ troupe, but I’ve heard great things about Missoula!

  4. Stephanie Blanchard says:

    Teaching Textbooks has been on my radar as well. We plan to have a mini computer lab… One day!

  5. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one fed up with Saxon Math. I have one in 7/6 and one in 5/4 and one in 1. I loved Saxon in the early years, but now I’m finding it takes my kids an hour and a half to do their math unless I cut down on some of the problems for them. It seems to me an hour and a half is a little bit overboard. I do have my kids check their own math and correct the problems they missed. The one in 7/6 does this well and I have to help the one in 5/4. I figure this way they see what they missed. I think it’s helpful, but it still takes them too long.

  6. I LOVED Teaching Textbooks, I used it for Algebra and Geometry, and it made it so easy to teach. I now have a 9th grader in public school taking Algebra, and I have pulled that book and the CD out several times to help her with homework. Hope it works for you.

  7. We have been using TT for two years now and mostly really like it. The algebra is NOT computer based, and that isn’t so great, and my weaker student seems to be able to move on without completely mastering concepts (and that was an issue with Saxon as well), but beyond that we really like it.

    I’m curious how much Missoula Theater costs out your way, because it was several hundred per child here.

  8. Kerry, It is $5 per kid to try out for Missoula, and nothing beyond that. We love it!

    Becca, So glad you like the bran muffins. I really ought to make those soon myself!


  9. So sorry for little one! Hope she’s feeling better soon!

  10. We’re not nearly that far along in our math, but I’ve heard other moms who love the Teaching Textbooks programs. The computer grading definitely sounds like a great perk to me. I’m hoping that Saxon will work out for us, but who knows.

  11. We are just starting to Homeschool our 5YO. He’s been in Kindergarten at public school, and was doing well, but needs more quantity time with mom and dad when the foster kids arent’ around. I went with K12 for this year as I was simply overwhelmed with curriculum choices, but am already thinking about traditional HS for next year. Teaching Textbooks definitely sounds interesting for later!

  12. Crystal, Saxon worked fine for years for us, but having 4 kids all in the same grade was really bogging me down mentally. Explaining concepts to one kid is one thing. But having 3 or 4 getting stuck on the same things day after day was just finishing me off, patience-wise. I’ll still need to be there helping when kids get stuck. But having the computer doing the grading will be a huge load off, I think.

  13. Are you guys in Missoula, or is this the travelling program? My husband grew up in Missoula and we still have family friends there. He was a Lost Boy in their production of Peter Pan back in the 80s. (He just missed out on playing Michael because he was too short for the flying equipment)

  14. Being plagued with a lifetime full of bladder infections, I feel for your daughter. I HATE them and remember feeling so miserable and helpless to make it feel better when I was little (oh, and two months ago!).

    HUGE snowstorm today, but with home schooling, there is no snow day. We will press on and have a long recess!

    Enjoy your time with your little thespians.

  15. For what it is worth……..I love Teaching Textbook. My three oldest kiddos use it and in all honesty, they love it. This is Gabe’s fourth year with it and never ever has he wanted to change programs. Sorry to hear your baby has a bladder infection. Praying for her. Take care

  16. OH, we took the day off yesterday – to celebrate MLK and because my husband was off! Today we are trying to get back in the swing of school, but one child has a fever so great was his protest! Other than that, we are reading about China, going to gymnastics (the sick one will have to sit in the car with me – ug!), fitting in school subjects at every turn.

  17. Mary,
    Just wanted to say thanks for making the most current blog post complete on the home page. I like not having to click through for the current one! Dawn

  18. I hope your little girl gets better soon. My daughter’s school (she is in the 3rd grade)just started the envision math program. If I could hate something I would hate this math program. She has never struggled with math until this new program. I am not the only parent that dislikes it greatly. I hope your new math program works out well for you.

  19. Our family loves Teaching Textbooks! They also provide a lot of practice with past lessons…just to keep it in their minds!

  20. TT is awesome! My two boys tired of always being on the computer for math, however. BUT it is worth every penny…even I –little math challenged ME– understood math when I listened to the lecture, watched the examples worked out, and solutions worked out when necessary… hey, maybe I should get it for me! I highly recommend it, especially if your children enjoy doing their work on the computer.

  21. We are on our 2nd year with TT and are much, much happier! I love that I can still check their work (though this is not available in the later years and I didn’t realize the difference). The kids like it MUCH better. Hope it goes well for you too.

  22. Math is not my forte, so when we hit Algegra, I began to bog down in Saxon. It was taking so long because I had to teach myself concepts before I could teach them to my students. My two high schoolers both use TT now, and I provide nothing but accountability. That represents a huge amount of work lifted from my shoulders…worth every penny. Lets see, $185 for one year’s program, divided by 7 children = $27/year. Divide that 27 dollars by 180 instructional days, and you get 15 cents, and free up about an hour of my time daily. What a deal!