Saturday, December 24, 2011

And Then There Were Two....

In May our oldest child graduated from home schooling. Yes, home schooling can be done successfully all the way through high school. She is currently doing quite well in college, majoring in English just as I did. The nine years I had with her at home, teaching her and watching her grow, are so precious to me now! She's off on her own, although still living at home, forging her own way on the collegiate scene. One advantage she has discovered in living at home is that she has a live-in proofreader and discussion partner for her papers. So in a way the home schooling continues.

So I have two children still attending Salt & Light Christian School full-time. It seems odd to only have to keep track of two kids and all their work. As I have done in the past, here is a summary of what we are doing this year for their schooling.

Mary is in 9th grade this year. Through our co-op she's taking Physical Science, Spanish 1, Art-Mixed Media, and Art-Drawing. She currently has an "A" in every class. At home she also studies Geometry, Geography, Health, and Language Arts.  For Language Arts this year she is doing Easy Grammar 9 and four Progeny Press Literature Guides (A Christmas Carol, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Fahrenheit 451.) She has completed the first two so far.  The Progeny Press guides cover reading comprehension, vocabulary, literary terminology, literary interpretation and criticism, and writing everything from short answers to long research papers. In addition to the assigned books, Mary is constantly reading books from the library, and about 90% of her Christmas wish-list consisted of books. Mary is also still working on writing left-handed; she can already print very neatly and is starting to learn cursive. I never knew that someone could decide to be ambidextrous!

Bobby is in 7th grade. At co-op he's taking Art-2-D (taught by a former home schooler who is a junior at SCAD,) Critical Thinking, and a middle-school level Human Anatomy & Physiology. At home he adds to these: Pre-Algebra, Sonlight World History and Literature (what used to be Core 6 and is now Core G,) Jump-In Writing, and Daily Grams 7. The literature in the Sonlight Core G is not really challenging him this year, so we are supplementing with lots of books from the library.

I asked the two of them recently what they would like to be doing more of, or learning, that we are not already doing. Mary said that she would like to be doing more community service (at the Humane Society and America's 2nd Harvest,) and Bobby said he would like to study Middle English. Their personalities, likes, and dislikes are so different! Mary's request is pretty easy; we can just schedule in time to do that.  Bobby's seemed a little daunting until I discovered that you can study Middle English online. He has always loved all things Medieval, and now he can learn to read Chaucer in the original. How about that!

Next post: what I'm reading in all my spare time!

Friday, December 23, 2011

What Have We Been Doing?

I haven't written on my blog since July. I've had several people ask me why. I figure the best way to explain is to write about what we are doing these days in our family, since I actually have a few minutes to sit down and write on here.

Eric is working about 65 hours a week at J.C. Bamford here in Savannah. They make skid steer vehicles, and he inspects them as they come off the line for defects. He's exhausted pretty much all the time. And yet he makes the effort to hang out with the kids and me in the evenings, and is keeping a good sense of humor about life in general. We try to keep our evenings fairly free so we can spend time with him.

Caroline just finished her first semester at Armstrong Atlantic State University. She's living at home while attending college, and working her same job at Chick-fil-A. I'm proud to say that she got a 4.0 GPA her first semester in college while working 15+ hours a week. Good girl!

I'm home schooling Mary (9th grade) and Bobby (7th grade); more about that in a minute. I'm also teaching 15 piano/1 voice students. I'm also teaching three classes of Spanish (2 classes of Spanish 1 and 1 class of Spanish 2--how's that for confusing?) at our home school co-operative every Friday. I'm also one of the leaders of Mary's unit in the local American Heritage Girls Troop 2007, which meets on Tuesday nights. This all adds up to not a whole lot of free time. It's all great stuff, and I'm enjoying it all, but it just means that time to spend online is limited.

About the home schooling:  a lot of people don't seem to realize that home schooling by itself, if being done diligently, is a full-time job. It involves selecting appropriate curriculum for each child, creating yearly goals, writing weekly lesson plans, and THEN spending time each day helping each child learn: math, language arts, history, science, etc. After they are done with each day's work it must be corrected and evaluated. These things don't just magically happen. A home schooling mom has to stay organized and persevere so that she and the kids do not fall behind. In addition, we have to plan extra-curricular activities so that our kids have some fun along with their hard academic work.

So why haven't I been blogging?  Well, I have a full-time job home schooling two of my kids, and a part-time job (8 hours a week)  teaching music, and another part-time job (approximately 5-6 hours a week) teaching at the co-op. With all of that and keeping the house clean, doing the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc....well, blogging has not been a top priority.  And before anybody comments: yes, my children do help with household chores, and yes, I know that they are not toddlers anymore and can do a lot of their school work independently, and yes, I know that many people have extremely busy lives that are much harder than mine.  I'm not complaining about anything here; I really do love my life as it is right now.

And with  that, I'm off to wrap presents!

Next post:  what we are doing for home school this year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Home Educating Family Publishing

Home Educating Family

We learned about Richard Kirkland when we visited Fredericksburg National Battlefield. Apparently a movie has been made about his bravery and compassion. Hope it's good!