What a beautiful night for the spiral! I didn’t realize that the date I chose happened to fall on a full moon. For 2019, we decided to make blessing bags for the local soup kitchen. One of my friends sewed fleece scarves with pockets that the bags slipped into. They turned out beautiful. The kids made cards to go along with the bags. I didn’t get any photos of the cards. They brought out the watercolors this year and made some beautiful note cards. Overall, the night was magical.
I know that it is a little early for a monthly review. Next week is Sawyer’s birthday and Thanksgiving, so I do not foresee much happening school-wise!
November began fairly uneventful. Classes continued. Co-op continued. Sawyer and Parks had a watercolor intensive class this month.
Since the first week of nonevents, the month has been crazy! Sims fell while climbing and messed up his shoulder which has resulted in many, many appointments. He dislocated his shoulder resulting in an impaction fracture to his humeral head and a torn lat muscle. We had cars in and out of the shop. Mobile phones died (this actually was not too bad until it was. It did make it tough for the kids to communicate with me while they were out and about, but that was about it.). Sawyer had to go in for an infusion. All kids had eye doctor appointments. At one point, I thought for sure were being videoed. If it could go awry, it had. We sat at our table laughing about all of the crazy when the dog and the cat came running through the kitty door chasing a squirrel!
Then the viruses starting hitting the house! First Sawyer went down. Then Parks and I were hit right after. Thus, we spent two weeks with high stress from illness. We have watched movies, read, and just chilled out because that is all we could do.
We did have a few fun times. We celebrated Parks’s 13th birthday! Sims hurt his arm but missed getting sick. He went on an adventure to move a 40-foot sailboat from Annapolis, MD to Charleston, SC. He is still gone today. They aren’t going to make it to Charleston due to the weather, so he will be out on the boat again at a later time.
So November was not our most productive month school-wise. Lots of life-learning happened!
What a full month! You know those times that fly by and at the same time seem to never end? Well, that was October. There were so many sides to October. One part of October included the moving of our close friend. We spent many days cherishing our time together and packing up their house.
Another part of October we spent working through the kinks of our new co-op. The group is amazing and includes many new-to-homeschooling families. We have spent a lot of time working with families to learn the ins and outs of homeschooling. We have spent a lot of time working with the children on communication, working as a team, and deschooling. In addition to this, I taught the high schoolers a Medical Investigations class. The class turned out to be awesome. It utilized the information that the kids learned in past anatomy and physiology classes and added new information. The kids really enjoyed the class and surpassed my expectations.
Sims spent most of October working on a project about Elon Musk for his literature class, Algebra II and physics. He also began ACT prep. He has impressed me with his study skills and initiation this year. He also applied to take an online dual enrollment class through Landmark College in the spring.
Sawyer finished up her book, The House of the Scorpion, and began a class on the Hero’s Journey. She is also still working through biology and Algebra 1. She quickly finished up her Halloween outfit right before the big day!
Parks finished up Medieval China and Africa. He read Along the River and a book about Mansa Musa. He also worked hard on a fractions unit.
For fun, Sims and Sawyer have been climbing both indoors and out. Parks has learned some awesome new skills at the skatepark. Parks, Sims and I have gotten out sailing a little bit. We went apple picking in the mountains, climbing in the piedmont (climbing competition), and dreamt of the warm waves at the beach, 🙂
Overall, it was an emotional month. I dealt with quite a bit of anxiety this month. The kids worked with me and my moments of high stress. The month was busy and full. Thankfully, we have one amazing village to help during these months!
We are still trying hard to get into a rhythm, and we are not quite there yet. This week Sawyer finished up her first book, The House of Scorpion for English and began taking an online literature class for the next 10 weeks. Sims’s literature class is on a break for the next few weeks due to the Jewish holidays; however, he still has a big project to do during the break. Thus, he has been busy researching. Parks is wrapping up Medieval China this week and next, including the book Along the River-A Chinese Cinderella Story. Sawyer continued her Biology labs in co-op, and Parks worked on a lot of painting. Saturday, we headed into the mountains for some apple picking and some cool air!
Just a quick wrap up from the past two weeks. At co-op, we did more biology and botany labs. Art is a big hit at co-op as well. We visited the barn that we used to ride at. We all miss the barn. Unfortunately, our instructor is no longer doing lessons. (Our puppy, Bella, also go to visit her mom.). Parks started a history class on Outschool. Sawyer and Sims are still working on their classes. The kids and I also got a quick hike in at Latta Plantation.
I have sat down to begin this post many times. I am overwhelmed with thoughts and I do not know where to begin. I think I may list things and the post may be slightly fragmented.
- Homeschooling is different this year. Having co-op two days a week is a new dynamic. Sawyer and Parks attend both days. Sims pops in and out. Co-op is very different this year. We have a lot of new people. It is going very well. The other main co-ordinator for our co-op is moving-requiring me to step up ALOT. It is overwhelming. Managing is not one of my strengths. Luckily, I have an amazing village of ladies who help me.
- Sims and I are finding junior year to be tough-and he is only taking three classes right now. He did a staggered start for each of his classes. Now that he is in the midst of all three, he is finding it to be a lot of work.
- Sawyer is finding a slew of people who love art as much as she does. Her art club has grown from 2-3 people each week last year to 5-8 people each week this year.
- Parks is finally open to school-not thrilled about it, but very willing to work through it.
- We have hiked twice so far. I posted on the first hike last time. Last week, we hiked in a park outside of Hickory, NC. We found some amazing treasures there including some beautiful and large quartz builders, salamanders, and lots of neat geology.
- All extracurricular activities are in full swing-climbing competitions, sailing, parquor, band, art and hanging out.
- Our house is a hot mess. We have gotten out of the groove of doing a 15 minute clean up. I am trying to figure out the rhythm for the year since we leave two days a week by 9. (I am not going to post a picture of this. You can imagine-laundry not completed, dishes in the sink, books EVERYWHERE, puppy toys taking over the house…)
As all things go around here, the first week of school did not go as planned. My plan included beginning school for everyone together this week. Well, on Saturday I received a call that Sawyer could do her driving portion of driver’s education beginning on Monday-uhm, yes!
Soooo….the first week was off. I had to driver her back and forth to driver’s education. We weren’t all together. Some classes haven’t started yet. I ended up with a couple of appointments, and that is how school started this week. Luckily, we are flexible. So here we are,
Sims is working on eleventh grade this year (OMG! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?). He is taking most of his classes online. He is taking Algebra II, Physics and two semester long English courses (one in the fall and one in the spring). He also plans to take the Wilderness First Responder course in May. Sims is also planning to look into the local community college to take a class in the spring-maybe. He is still debating it. In addition to school work, Sims plans to continue rock climbing on the team. He began sailing bigger sailboats this summer. He would like to continue doing that and maybe even rehab a race boat to race in the spring (this is his goal for the year). He took the Red Cross life guarding class this summer so he may work as a life guard too-just a possibility that he posed this week.
Sawyer is working on ninth grade this year. She is taking Algebra I, Biology, English I, World History, and Marine Biology. She will also participate in the co-op two days a week which is where she will do her biology labs and I am sure many other fun activities. Sawyer plans to continue rock climbing on the team and to begin climbing outdoors (this is her goal for the year). Her band dissolved at the end of the school year, so Sawyer is also working on finding a new band to sing with. On her own, Sawyer will also keep working on her arial silk work. I guess she will also start driving soon!
Parks is working on seventh grade this year. He still does not love school or even like the idea of school, so we have to be creative. He is working on fractions, decimals and percents in math in preparation for pre-algebra. I think he could do pre-algebra now, but I want it to be very easy when he does it so that he is successful. He is also going to take a couple of classes on Outschool to learn history of the Middle Ages around the world and possibly some conservation science. He is very excited about co-op this year because it is student led. He has some classes that he wants to teach such as soldering. His goal for this year is to snowboard in Colorado.
As a group this year, we are going to really focus on executive functioning skills! Yep, we are forgoing our Waldorf traditions to work on planning, goal setting, timing and follow through. We are going to work on self-reflection and working on how to work and to just get through life (like why are the breakfast dishes still on the counter-it’s mid-afternoon? Smile).
Even though the first week of school didn’t quite go as planned, it went well. We had fun and ended with a trip to the mountains. Happy New School Year!