End of year review-2020/2021

I felt last school felt off. This year felt like a whirlwind that I can barely remember. The 2020/2021 school year flew by and at the same time I have a difficult time remembering the beginning of the year! We started the school year off staying in my parent’s lake house due to construction going on at our own home. I didn’t quite understand how large of an undertaking it was going to be. Moving out of the house (literally packing up every item in the house and moving out), getting the lake house ready for 5 people to live in, moving back into the house and getting the lake house back to vacation house mode took a lot out of me (and the rest of the family too). I am still trying to find homes for everything and finish up the renovation-finishing the small stuff seems to be the toughest part!

So where did we end up? Sims graduated from our homeschool-Lake Norman Preparatory! It is almost surreal. We celebrated twice-once with family and once with friends. School-wise, Sims took Intro to Psychology through Landmark College, writing through OpenTent Academy, pre-calculus and sign language through Mr.D math, and environmental science with me using Oak Meadow. Overall, everything went pretty well. He juggled a lot throughout the year among his classes, working, and sailing at various high school and keel boat regattas throughout the southeastern US. He achieved his goal of competing in a regatta off of the lake-actually, he made it to a few. He also made it to the national competition in rock climbing for both bouldering and sport/ropes. He and Nick will head to Reno for the competition. Like most seniors, we didn’t see much of Sims this year. He kept very busy throughout the year!

Sawyer completed the tenth grade this year! School-wise, Sawyer completed a writing class, a literature study class, and a US History class through OpenTent Academy. She LOVED the history class. It was a class that prompted lots of discussions and rabbit holes throughout the year. As homeschooling mom who has trouble giving up control of teaching, I LOVED this. Rabbit holes are one of my favorite parts of getting to homeschool, so I was glad that even though I wasn’t the person teaching the class to her I still was a part of her learning. Sawyer completed geometry through Mr.D math. She loved Mr.Henderson and requested to have him again next year for Algebra II. This is another shocker because she has always told me how much she does not like math. Sawyer also completed Environmental Science with Sims and I. We all loved this class and highly recommend Oak Meadow’s curriculum for this. On her own, Sawyer worked on her art and worked on using new mediums. Her halloween costume this year was completely self-designed and completed. She has worked on several patterns this year for clothing and learned some pretty neat new skills-such as making bubble sleeves (these were quite an undertaking). Sawyer also continued rock climbing this year on the team and doing her arial silks. Her two goals were to get her driver’s license and to travel on her own. She did get her license, but the traveling didn’t happen due to cover. Maybe next year? She also took the Red Cross Lifeguarding class and received her certification. She is now officially a life guard at a pool down the street!

Parks graduated from middle school this year and is ready to move on to high school. Parks did a lot of work this year on writing. He struggles quite a bit with dysgraphia and writing seems to be his nemesis. He did a terrific job working through the writing class. He also did the self-paced pre-algebra class with MR.D math. Parks made it about half-way through the oceanography class and then stopped. Parks requested to try online school this year-meaning taking classes online versus me teaching him. We quickly learned that he does not learn well this way. He really needs the hands on component to learning still. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that we can change the plan when the original plan isn’t working. Thus, Parks jumped into our environmental classes and self-exploring topics. In addition to traditional schooling, Parks’s woodworking skills took off this year. My favorite project he made was a ring. It is amazing. He pressed wood together and then carved out a ring. He also learned how to add graphics to his fingerboards that he makes and to change up the curvature of the boards. Parks’s dedication to skateboarding definitely showed this year. It is tough since there isn’t really a group or “team” to work with as a skateboarder. He has made some great friends at the skatepark and in the neighborhood who work together on tricks and new skills. He has been documenting his progress which is pretty neat to watch. Parks’s goal for the year was to build a computer. He got about 75% of the way there and then stopped. The parts got expensive and it was a bit tougher than he expected to make the type of computer that he wanted. Oh! I almost forgot! Parks also completed the boater’s course and got his boaters license! He is now off jet skiing every chance he gets! He also completed his driver’s education class getting ready to get his permit in November!

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