Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Launching 2016-2017

We have never had summer homework.  I have never assigned it and they certainly have never requested it.  We never had a need for it before.  Most of our nature studies occur in the summer and this year was no exception with our super fantastic whale watch, seal viewing, shark tracking, insect photographing, drought calculating, aquarium visiting, weather watching, etc.  Lilah took a writing class and Grace went away on a student leadership retreat.  Lilah read all the Harry Potters and the entire Selection series and Grace decided officially she wants to be a photographer and took a class and had her work hung in a local exhibition.  They babysat, dog sat, and bird sat.  They earned a lot of money.   Grace began teaching piano lessons and Lilah continued her cello lessons.  They took two art appreciation classes at Yale.  They volunteered for a week at Vacation Bible School and Lilah was a teacher's assistant in Student Ministry.  She acted for the first time and loved it.  

Their summer was very full.  

But their "official" summer homework was pushed to the side, overlooked and out of mind.  Their coop teachers have assigned homework due on the first day of class (September 12).  Lilah has French to memorize.  They both have a unit to read in history and questions to answer.  There was an essay to submit.  Tale of Despereaux needs to be read and a chart needs to be completed.  Two movies need to be watched and charts completed for both.  Grace also has her driver's permit exam after her birthday so the manual needs to be studied and practice tests taken.  It is not a tremendous amount of work, but enough to that it cannot be left until the last few days before class begins.  

So we began.  This year I have made a big change.  We are no longer homeschooling at home.  Every free day we have we are packing up and heading to the library.  This gives them until ten o'clock to sleep in late, eat breakfast, dress, read, watch The Weather Channel, edit photos, etc.  It gives me permission to let them have this time knowing that at 9:55 I am leaving and the next few hours will be dedicated to school work.  It is week one of this new routine but it is working.  Daphne's incessant barking does not bother us.  Crosby's demands to be taken to the park do not interrupt us.  There is no phone ringing, no computer luring us away.  There are no neighborhood sounds to irritate us.  I love it.  Love it.  I know they would prefer to be at the table in their pajamas but I really think at this stage of our homeschooling we need to be up and dressed, fully caffeinated and ready to tackle the day before we dig into our studies.  So bring it on.  I'm bringing my A Game to this year and I refuse to dwell any longer in the quagmire that was our 2015-2016 year.  We are giving all glory to God and with the strength he gives to us, we will do great things!


Theresa B said...

I jumped on here while I was waiting for Piper to get ready to go for a run. We have been keeping each other motivated and running 3-4 mornings a week this summer. Just before I came into the living room, I was in my bedroom looking at my unmade bed and wondering how many times I had actually made my bed this summer - which is totally UNLIKE me--I ALWAYS make my bed! But we have been so busy! Between my work (which will calm down after next week) and their work babysitting, walking dogs, working at the library (Allie) and volunteering at the library (Piper). Our kitchen renovation - which feels like it will never be done. Allie starts a theater/play analysis class tonight which she has to read the play for and has been working on the last two days. I was literally JUST thinking as I looked at my bed: I can't wait for life to calm down again and get back to a schedule!

Your mornings out are ingenious! Perfect for accountability! Are you guys watching CNN Student News this year?

Good for Grace making a decision to be a photographer. That is exciting! Allie is feeling very frustrated because she is not sure what she wants to be. She was thinking special education, but she has heard from a few former teachers turned homeschool moms how political education can be and she is not sure about it. I have mixed feelings about her hearing that but I would rather not see her get into a career she didn't like.

I'm sorry if it seems like I hijacked your post. There was just so much that rang true for me here. I miss the days when the girls were little and we filled our days with them playing and creating American Girl furniture and stop motion videos. But I do love the young ladies they are becoming and the relationship I have with them.

LJS said...

Don't apologize! We have not been watching CNN but I plan to get back to it. Education is very political and special Ed is even more so because of the money aspect. Parents want/need services, children need services, schools only have so many resources and the needs can be so great. As a classroom teacher I saw many children not getting what they needed because of inclusion, lack of time, lack of interest on both the student and the teacher's parts. I always thought that a great job would be to be a child advocate, hired by the parents to attend the IEP's and push for the needs of the children. This is not to discourage her, because we know how desperately we need good teachers. Grace also thought about teaching music to special needs children, which is why she is keeping up with ASL and will continue music no matter what she decides with photography. We have a few schools to look at and we are not ruling out community college for an associates in music. This is a hard time, 11th grade, the pressure for ACT/SAT, the pressure to keep up with friends and their college selections, and we are trying our best to circumvent it, avoid standardized testing if at all possible, and not get sucked into the parental competitiveness that comes with having juniors and seniors.

Mother of 3 said...

Wow! It sounds like your daughters had a wonderful summer filled with all sots of hands on learning. I like the idea of leaving the house and all it's distractions for schooling. We had a few days this spring where we had to do school at the library (when we lost power or internet) and I agree that it worked really well without all those distractions. Even for me to not have to see the dishes, laundry, etc. I was able to focus and help them get tasks completed.

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