Saturday, August 23, 2014

And away we go...

We are 2 full weeks into the school year and have added Riley's new dance studio and Reece's dance/drama. This coming week, Riley will add her outside classes and then we'll be at our full workload and schedule. Of course, I still have 5 weeks of training left for my Half Ironman - these next 2 weeks being the most intense and high mileage.

But we're making it through! The kids are being GREAT about getting up on time, and even early. Except Reece. She's at the age where she just wants to sleep and eat and that's it. Unfortunately, I need her up early to do lessons because our afternoons/evenings are simply too busy to allow for much work, especially anything that requires me.

There is only one of me. That is the biggest problem!

But the kids are really stepping up and doing their part and working hard! Austin has been managing his lessons around his work schedule. He gets in from work in the early morning, works for a few hours, and then sleeps. On the nights that he doesn't work but he's still awake at night because of his body clock, he does some of the independent work that he doesn't need me for!

Riley isn't available to work very much, but they seem to really like her at work and are working around her schedule, which is nice! Math U See Geometry is, so far, working quite well for her. Not sure if it's the curriculum, the subject, or maturity. Maybe a little of all of it?

Reece is just crushing her academics this year - she is so good that if I hadn't seen her do the work, I'd wonder if she was cheating. She is diagramming some incredibly complex sentences with gerund phrases, etc. And she can figure out the job of a word in a sentence without parsing and diagramming - just doing it in her head. Amazing!

I couldn't be prouder of how hard everyone is working! But boy, am I tired! I know it will get better after my big race is over. And then we'll also get used to getting everywhere we have to go. So we just have to make it through that part.

In the meantime, I'm so proud of my children for being very cooperative and flexible for me! :)

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The First Day of School 2014-2015

Seventh Grade
The Student Body of the Black Pearl Academy!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

All of the variables!

Nope, this is not a math post! Sorry to all of my math-loving readers! ;)

I've been trying to do some lesson planning since we start back to school on Wednesday and I'm running into one major problem - too many variables!

Here they are, in no certain order:

A= Austin working third shift
D= Riley's new dance company/studio - 5 days per week plus show rehearsals,  and 30/40 minutes away from home
R= Reece has 3 days of dance this year, at a different studio
N= Peak Half Ironman training for me (this variable goes away in October)
S= Riley's outside classes will be a little more challenging this year (especially science)
M= Riley's job, 20 minutes away from home
T= Austin and Riley both need to do preparations for big standardized tests this year

Each week in August, more variables get added to our schooling equation. And I have no idea how each variable will affect the others. And especially for Riley, there is really nothing to cut from the schedule (except for her job, which would crush her because she loves it).

I can tell you that the schedule we have held to for most of the last 12 years of homeschooling - lessons from morning until lunch time, then a 90-120 minute rest time, then wrapping up lessons, then free time/activities, then dinner, then bed is going to be completely gone.

Since Austin will have to sleep during the day, I will devote most of the morning to his lessons that he needs to do with me. And since Riley will have dance or work most afternoons/evenings, that means I will need to work with her when I'm not working with Austin. So that means that Reece's work with me might have to get bumped to the evenings - but only when she's not also dancing. And since there aren't many of those, this could very well mean lessons on Friday nights and weekends. But since I'm in peak training until the end of September, that means that any work will have to be done in the evenings on the weekends.

The best way I can describe it is that it will be like when Reece was a baby/toddler and we did our school work whenever she slept - be it for 15 minutes or 2 hours! Except back then, I only had one child I was homeschooling and he was doing 1st or 2nd grade work.

Perhaps this wouldn't be a huge problem for many folks with older homeschool students. But Austin is not able to work very independently, especially in math and language arts. And this summer, Riley told me that she does not enjoy independent learning and prefers to have lots of discussion and interaction. She even - GASP - prefers to have lectures to reading material on her own!! So I promised her that we will discuss all of her work, though it may have to be just a couple of times a week like a college class! And I may have to go so far as to schedule it out into a specific block of time.

Right now, Reece is my most independent learner - and she will have to remain so for this school year. Next year when Austin has graduated and Riley might possibly be in Dual Enrollment for all but math, I will have more time for some really awesome one-on-one with my Reece! :)

It appears that Austin's Senior Year may end up being the most difficult one I've ever had. Your prayers are appreciated!