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!