Monday, September 10, 2012

Falling into Fall

Coastal Highway,  near Monterey, CA
I don't know where my summer went. I know I had 2 great trips this summer and a daughter moved out on her own, but somehow it still doesn't seem fair to say summer is over.  Summer is the usual time I re-organize and declutter my spaces.  I also love to plan.  [Planning is so much more fun than actually doing it all!]  Lucky for me, I've been at this for awhile so a lot of plans are already in my head. Still, it would have been nice to get the out of my head space prepped too.  Since we have our eldest visiting, I wanted to get a little head start on homeschooling, so that when she leaves it won't be the cold turkey back to reality that visitation usually causes.  So, jumping right in, we've gone ahead and started back to homeschooling on a light schedule, concentrating on math and SWR.   We also developed a new chore chart. We've had a lot of changes to the family dynamics recently so this was a big need!

My theme for the year?  The year of independence!  My two main students are 11.5 and 9.5 and have been homeschooled together since forever.  I have been feeling that its way past time they become more independent as well as work at their own pace with mom rather than stick together.  As usual, it depends on the subject. Things like History, Latin, Science, Bible are still done together [or individual assignment] but for Language Arts and Math they definitely need to go at their own pace now. And the High Schooler has started dual enrollment at the Community college. He does some work with Dad, but the only thing he does with me is ICC.

For the main 2 in Math, I have them doing their Saxon assessments first, before the work in front of it. If the assessment was 'easy', I had them skip to the next assessment.  Using that method, they did skip nearly half of the book. [one a little more, one a little less] Which I figured they needed to do. I probably could have skipped the book altogether and just went to the next one, but I was concerned about missing something.  . . and a little review won't hurt.

For SWR, we've started our logs. Did the first few references pages and the first list. [They both tested and started in the same list, but I am dictating separately to allow difference in speed/pacing].  They will have dictation 2 days a week and on the opposite days, while I'm working with their sibling, they'll have independent work to do.  Also, I need to remember to assign them phonogram games with their pre-schooling sister!  

I need to work in other subjects and figure out a schedule or assignment system.  I need to do it soon because I did decide to continue our little Latin co-op [and ADD history to it] with a friend of theirs. A teen teaches them the Latin. I'll do history discussion/crafts with them.  .  That starts at the end of September.  I had considered not doing any co-op and simply focus on our own family, but I know certain things will not get done without it.

I really hope to work with the preschooler too. I want to make sure she isn't left out. I've got to organize my material/plans so it will be easier to implement on a daily basis.  . .

The current high schooler is currently taking a music fundamentals class and a Geography class. [it was on the same day right after, so helped cut down on the driving time!] In October he'll add the Student Success class, also on the same day.    ICC chapter has started as well and he's one of their student leaders. Actually one reason why my personal plans were lacking; I spent a lot of time working on first semester chapter meeting plans instead.

One nice thing, theoretically, is I am no longer part of soccer. Dad takes the kids to the weekly practice and the weekly game. [all kids, same time/same place. love it]  This way, MOM gets to work on her papers, uninterrupted. I hope to be able to have 2x a week 'office hours' where I get all my paperwork done.  So far, I had to take the kids to soccer once and this past week I de-cluttered our mudroom rather than the school supplies! But eventually, I hope this will be the key to staying on top of many many things!!

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