Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A cause for celebration!

Austin scored a 100% on his Algebra 1 test yesterday!! I can't begin to describe how proud he was of himself. He even joked that he might want to frame it!

He has worked really hard and the study techniques we learned from his testing are helping quite a bit! YAY

I am so proud of him. And he is proud of himself and has a little more confidence in his ability to learn Algebra! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

School Year 2012-2013: Term 1 Update

Well, hello there! I'm still in the land of the living, though some days you may not be able to tell! LOL We are about 2/3 of the way through Term 1, so here is a little update for you!

This year of homeschooling has been really hard! The kids' behavior and attitudes have actually been phenomenal, it's just the amount of work we are trying to accomplish. It takes absolutely forever! And by the time I get everything graded and discussed (and narrations are falling by the wayside which bugs the heck out of me - they are the foundation and I slack off on them! @@) it's time to read the stuff for the next day's work. I am wiped out!!

I've switched back to MUS Algebra 1 for Austin. Jacob's Algebra didn't work for him for a number of reasons, which I recognized fairly quickly. Surprisingly enough, he seems to be doing a little bit better than he was with MUS before. One thing I am doing is making him write out everything, instead of being his scribe. I think, in this case, he needs the experience of writing it down. Also, I am helping him to create a set of "notes" for Algebra that includes definitions and formulas. He keeps these out during his work and can refer back to them for assistance. It seems to be helping, and he is gaining confidence which is awesome!

I taught the big kids an essay unit using "Teaching the Essay" by Robin Finley of Analytical Grammar. It was quite an experience! You can tell my kids aren't used to doing 'group' activities. They bickered with each other nearly the entire time! LOL But in the end, they learned how to write a 5 paragraph literary essay. It was a piece of cake for Riley, who is a natural writer. Austin struggled more, naturally. He needs more of the step-by-step process from Writing With Skill and he will continue that book. But at least he is familiar with the concept of the 5 paragraph essay and we can build on that if we decide to have him take the SAT.

Reece is a homeschool mama's dream come true. She LOVES her school work - though she does not love to DO it. But she is really doing well, and she takes joy in doing well. The only area where she is struggling is in Writing. This level of Writing With Ease requires her to read the selection herself instead of having it read to her. She is struggling with comprehension when she has to read to herself. It was extremely frustrating to her at first, but now that we're a few weeks in, she is getting better and not getting quite so frustrated. She really does not like to read to herself, and I assume that the reason why is that she comprehends better when she is read to. So we keep working on it!

I have to admit that I've been wondering if a switch to textbooks - and teacher's guides - would be better for me. If I could have something that would help me not have to read each and every thing my kids are reading, that would be so helpful. I just run out of time trying to get everything done and it's so darn frustrating! I feel like I'm letting my kids down and giving them a sub-par education because I cannot keep up with everything - and I've already combined Riley and Austin and switched to the 'Lite' version of Ambleside Year 9. I'm not sure what else there is to let go of and still maintain a "high school level" of work. So then I think that textbooks would be easier on me. But that feels like an even worse failure! LOL What I need are a few extra hours in the day! I wonder where I can order those from?! ;)

That's about it for today. I am going to try to get better about posting regularly again. I hesitate so much lately because I don't want to be a downer. With Austin fast-approaching 16 and a half, I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I find myself wishing we had never homeschooled in the first place. When I mentioned that to my husband, though, he told me that of all the decisions we've made in our married lives, he believes that homeschooling has been the one that he never questions. That is encouraging to me for sure. But right now, my perspective is a little off. I've been praying about it, though. It just seems like it would be so much easier if we would have had my income all this time, and have had some more help navigating the world of special needs and transition to adulthood. But God loves my kids more than I do, so I am trying to trust in His plans... which seems to have included homeschooling in them. ;)

I appreciate any of you who have been sticking with me - and any of you who are jumping in for the first time!

Monday, October 01, 2012

7 Years Ago...

7 years ago yesterday (September 30, 2005), the word autism joined our family's vocabulary. In honor of this milestone, I'd like to announce that I will be running the Princess Half Marathon in 2013 with Train 4 Autism. This organization will help me raise money for Spectrum, our local autism support group that helped me so much when our kids were first diagnosed. I am hoping to raise $500 to help two children with autism attend a week of summer camp next year!
 Here is the link to my fundraising page:  Jennifer's Train for Autism page 
I thank you in advance for any donations! No amount is too small! :)