In which the reader is regaled with tales of the fantastic, the amusing, the disastrous, the educational.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Where did the year go?

Whoosh! How did that happen? It's been a rough year, full of ups and downs.

The whole schedule thing...didn't happen. In fact, we're pretty behind in everything except Chemistry. We're only a little behind in Chemistry.

BC and I were discussing whether or not she should go back to school next fall. My vote is no because whenever she has a down period, everything goes out the window except survival. We make it from one day to the next and call it a success. If she's in school, that's a period of failure and it usually lasts long enough that it takes the whole quarter's grade down with it. I know she's not ready to tackle a full schedule yet.

But he's concerned that she so lacks the ability to manage herself, her depression and her time that she will never learn how to handle the realities and the deadlines of real life.

He has a point. She really isn't prepared to deal with how life works. On the other hand, we still have a couple of years before she launches. This is the time to prepare her.

The depression is getting better. It's not a daily thing anymore, so much as watching for the next cycle.

So I want her for one more year.

We'll spend the summer winding up this year - mostly elective stuff. We might try an online college class in Mythology.

Then next year, Trig/Pre-Calc, Astronomy and maybe an Intro to Physics type class at the local college, World History, Lit/Composition.

I get the feeling this summer will fly by, too!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

What we're doing this year

This is the post where I set out all my big plans. I wonder how long it'll take before things start to crumble!

US History: A Patriot's History of the United States by Larry Schweikert and Michael Allen. It's about 20-25 pages of reading per week and discussions. Not a lot on the big scale of things.

We'll also be checking in with source documents, watching movies and documentaries, and hitting the History Museum for a couple of their displays.

And we're reading Cokie Roberts' Founding Mothers for fun. :)

American Lit: It occurred to me that this was the perfect opportunity to do an almost-unit-study by studying some great literature in concordance with our History lessons. Hence, we'll be working our way though Total Language Plus' American Literature: Short Stories study, and reading The Scarlet Letter, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and To Kill a Mockingbird. I haven't nailed down our fourth quarter novel or play study on modern/post-modern lit, but it's a ways off yet.

We'll also continue with Daily Grammar, work on Greek and Latin roots, and write a research paper.

Algebra II: We're using Teaching Textbooks. And I'm crossing my fingers because I royally stink at math. If she has any questions, at least she can ask DH the engineer.

Chemistry: I'm still stuck on this one! My homeschool co-op may or may not be teaching Chemistry this year, but I can't get anyone to answer my questions via e-mail. I may have to actually pick up a phone and talk to someone (horror!) If they're not doing it, then I need to get DD signed up for a local Christian school that will do part-time homeschooler enrollments per class. But they start in just a couple of weeks and I've got to know ASAP!

Spanish III: My mother lives with us and she's a native Spanish speaker who is also a former Spanish teacher. We totally have this covered.

Art, Music, Gym: Still working on these.
Need to find a piano teacher who doesn't cost a fortune.
Need to figure out what the local arts center is doing for classes this fall, but those won't start until after Labor Day.
And the YMCA doesn't start their next set of actual classes until Labor Day, as well.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July update

It's been over two months since I've updated this blog. I apologize for the infrequency of my entries, but life has this nasty habit of happening while I'm planning for other things!
It's been a terrifically busy summer. We went on a family trip to Cedar Point in Ohio and she went back to Chicago with her cousin for a couple of weeks after that. What with trips here and there, still fixing up the other house for sale, and just general busyness, we're only just now finishing up the Poetry class.
Every time I start to freak out about it, I take a deep breath and say, "We're homeschooling. Not doing school at home." She's learned a fair bit about American poets and exceeded expectations on the essay she wrote about "The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe. At least, I hope she did. It's due tomorrow, but it was only supposed to be three pages. I think she ended up with more than that, and volunteered to do two drawings to illustrate the poem. That's the stuff I'm looking for with homeschooling! Now all I have to do is see how well she did on the analysis. Her previous efforts have been seriously lackluster, but when she finally dug in and started writing this, she seemed pretty enthusiastic.
This week is Art Camp at the local college and I know she's excited about that. I am, too. Aside from her trip to Chicago, she's been pretty isolated here.
We did go to a Park Day with a local secular hs group and she talked to one or two kids, but was otherwise shy. This is normal. I'm hoping that as these kids become familiar, she is drawn to interact more.
Geometry was...ok. She did really well on the final except for the Trig segment. It was totally over her head, even though she insists she understood the work while she was doing it. Eh. Next year is Algebra 2, so we have time to work up to Trigonometry.
We still need to finish up the Biology labs. I've been a little lax about getting her working through the notes. No worries. It'll get done. If the homeschool co-op does Chem this year, it won't start until after Labor Day anyway, so we've got time.
I'll make sure she has Gov't down during US History and the elections this year. Nothing like keeping current to hammer home those lessons.
I'll do a separate post for our curricula for the fall, even though there are still a couple of question marks. But it's only July and some things don't start until Sept, so there's no rush.
Her depression has been...okay. She's not sparkly outgoing, but she never will be. It's just not how she's built. On the other hand, she hasn't cried in months and she seems generally even-keeled. We do have the occasional bad day, but as long as it's acknowledged as just a bad day, it's easier to move past it. She's not taking her depression medication with the approval of her therapist, but she's still taking Concerta. Overall, not bad.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Minor obstacles

I'm getting mixed signals from Claire. She sounded so much like she was utterly miserable at school, had given up, didn't bother trying, that homeschooling would be the best option for her. But at her dr's appt yesterday, she said she wanted to go back in the fall. She won't be ready! Either academically or socially. I know that in my heart...or do I?

I know she won't be ready academically because we have a lot of work to make up from this semester. But I'm not sure how she thinks that she's going to make it without friends, or the knowledge of how to make friends. She's only just started opening up to the girls in Sunday School and we've been there for 3 or 4 months.

I'm just going to keep going as planned. She may change her mind from day to day, but I see the destination.

She was on one type of medication for her depression, but it made her twitchy and fidgety and really interfered with her concentration. Thankfully, the dr changed her prescription, so we'll see how she does on this new medication.

I had hoped that we'd be able to come off the Concerta for her ADD, but I'm not so sure about that yet. She was having such a rough time yesterday just sitting down for more than a few minutes that I had to change the due date on her essay to tomorrow instead of today. The nice thing about homeschooling is that I can do that.

I'd actually been stressing about how we "shouldn't get behind!" But then I realized that if it took us 9 weeks to do an 8-week course, the Mayan apocalypse was not going to come early.

Yeah, still getting the hang of this.

DS (Aaron) is just finishing up 5th grade and I think he's exhausted. He told me the other day that he wants to be homeschooled. I know some people who think it's weird to have one in school and one at home, but this is the kid who actually succeeds at school. Plus, DH is still iffy about the whole homeschooling thing and I hesitate to change a system that seems to be working for him.

I haven't done any writing, but I'm almost done with the batch of ms's that were sent to me. I have some financial paperwork to finish up and the basement's still a wreck.

A bunch of small things are adding up and I'm feeling a little ... squashed.

Friday, May 4, 2012

First test!

She's taking her first test right this minute. It's over literary and poetic terms and vocabulary...and it's almost all long answer. Long answer questions have always been her downfall because she either didn't know the material deeply enough to do the analysis or she couldn't organize her thoughts well enough to answer completely.

But you know what? Life isn't all multiple choice.

She made an 89%!! Pretty good for less than a week of study. The one question that she totally screwed up will show up again as extra credit on her next test. It was about the difference between analogy and allegory, which, believe it or not, are concepts I come across regularly in my work. Knowledge doesn't occur in a vacuum, even the stuff we assume is uselessly esoteric.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First day review

Whew. That was easy! (Someday, I'm going to come back and look at those words and laugh until I cry.)

But yesterday really was easy! She did 10 lessons in her Daily Grammar book - and did NOT do them all perfectly, so she has to re-do the ones she missed.

Then she read the intro to the Poetry class and started writing definitions. She got halfway done, and she'll finish them today, plus start the next lessons.

In writing news, I need to get back to my stories. I'm working on a novella right now and would love for it just to be done. Unfortunately, I'm barely 3K into it, so there's a way to go yet. That damn novel is ... not stuck, I just keep waiting for the characters to say, "Yes, go this way!" and they've gone mute.

Starting a new job today doing some reading for a small pub. Here's hoping that nobody makes my eyes bleed!

And laundry. Today is Big Laundry Day since I didn't really get it done last week and we're down to the dregs. Yikes. But at least I don't have to leave the house today and that's awesome. I'm tired of constantly running around. I like my house and I'd like to spend some time in it. Plus, it's going to rain all day. Home is better than rain.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Trying to learn how to pull lback

I've been saying all along that except for English, we really only need to finish up 9th grade. Not much work, just finishing things.
Then I freaked out and started writing lesson plans for Geometry and Biology that were going to take all summer.
Breathe, Susan. Breathe.
This morning, though, I woke up with my head on straight and realized that I was pushing too hard, too fast and that 90% of it was totally unnecessary.
She was so close to finishing Geometry that I can probably just have her study up a little bit, give her the CA Standards test - basically, a final exam - and call it good.
Government is the same way. The major part of the class was aimed at having them pass a US Constitution test. Pass the test, pass the class. I have access to the study guide, so I can create the test in just a couple of hours.
Biology did still have some work to do, but not as much as I was freaking out about. She needs to cover Taxonomy and the Animal Kingdoms, do two dissection labs (frog and fish), and that's pretty much it.
Whew. Our summer just opened right up.