Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An Update and a Some Freebies

The Historian took our tax stuff to the accountant today.  She called the Department of Revenue and explained the obvious error.  They thought it was funny.  I guess one could find adding a one to turn $17,800 into $178,100 and a $250 refund into a $12,000 liability funny if they were not the victim.  According to the phone call, we are in the clear, and they shall send our refund.  The accountant says that what's said on the phone doesn't really matter, but since the error was so obvious, that should be enough.  She also sent a letter with the details of the conversation and copies of our state tax return via certified mail.  She advised us to take some money out of the bank  for living expenses just in case they don't clear our case before the $12,000 is due.  They have been know to seize bank accounts on closed cases before.  I'm ready for this to be over.

On the bright side, the accountant found a couple of deductions that we missed.  She said that those deductions might just take care of her fee.  At least we could break even.  We really don't have cash to spare for accountant's fees.

Now for some freebies...

Journey to the Stars DVD Are you ready to take your students a Journey to the Stars? The American Museum of Natural History and NASA have joined forces to produce a planetarium show about the amazing variety of stars that dot our cosmos--exploding stars, giant stars, dwarf stars, neutron stars, even our own star! But you don't have to go to a planetarium to experience this mind-blowing journey. NASA will send you a DVD and Educator's Guide, for free!

Free Family Film Festival Selected G or PG movies start at 10:00am every Tuesday and Wednesday during the festival. Tickets and seating are first-come, first-served and are limited to theatre capacity. The Free Family Film Festival is safe, lots of fun and a great way for kids to spend a weekday morning in the summer. Tickets for our 2010 Free Family Film Festival are exclusively available at select theatres’ box office on the day of the show.

Kids Bowl Free Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever “Kids Bowl Free” program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.  Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the particpating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What a Monday!

I'm scared because it's not over yet.  The children woke up grumpy.  The phone is out.  After 20 minutes on hold, they said they should have it fixed by noon tomorrow.

Then I got the mail.  We had a bill from our state's department of revenue saying that we owe over $12,ooo.  When I came to, I looked more carefully at the letter.  They had our income listed as almost ten times what is really is.  It appears that someone inserted an extra one into the correct figure.  I have my copies of the state return, but there is no information on how to appeal this.  The letter just stated that we need to send in the full amount plus interest and penalties in 45 days or face bank account seizure and wage garnishment.  AAARRRRGGGHHH!

I'm waiting on a call back from the Crafter's AWANA teacher who is also an accountant.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Taking the TOG Plunge

When we first started homeschooling, I did what my neighbor did.  She followed The Well Trained Mind with her only daughter.  I was able to buy her old curriculum and get started with the Crafter.

As the years went by, things changed.  The first to go was Saxon Math.  We replaced it with Singapore.  Then we used Rod and Staff Grammar instead of ABeka.  Spelling Power replaced Spelling Workout, and then Spelling Workout returned as a supplement.   Science was a hodge podge of this and that with some Apologia here, some God's Design there, and a host of smaller topic studies.

The only curriculum in the original line-up that we still use is  The Story of the World.  That too is changing this year.  We are taking the Tapestry of Grace (TOG) plunge.  I came to the conclusion that I need more planning to be done for me.   I need the multiple levels and the multiple subjects coordinated for me.

I fought TOG for a long time.  I thought that I could do it myself by following The Well Trained Mind.   I balked at the cost of $400+ each year.  The Historian balked even louder at the cost of $400+ each year.  And the size and scope of it scared me.

I did my best, but  subjects kept slipping through the cracks.   Wild Thing started school, and more started slipping.  I no longer had the time to seek out projects and literature to go with history.  Art and music never happened.  Finally, I caved and ordered year 3.  The Crafter will ride the line between upper grammar and dialectic and Wild Thing will be in lower grammar.  Princess Pink will tag along.  Wish us luck.