Weekly Wrap Up

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!

 

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Weekly Wrap Up

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.

So Many Thoughts

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. img_2410
  3. 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.
  4. Parks is finally open to school-not thrilled about it, but very willing to work through it.
  5. 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.
  6. All extracurricular activities are in full swing-climbing competitions, sailing, parquor, band, art and hanging out.
  7. 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…)

2019/2020 Let Us Begin

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,

MGVJ8a%eRjW98e9L68RvyASims 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.

8tq5riLkTkKNiZuSwoFBtgSawyer 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!

DSC_0042Parks 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!

June in Review

As with every year, June flew by and a lot happened in it!  The month started on a Friday which was the perfect way to start June.  I met with the lady who worked with Sims and Sawyer on writing this year to plan for next year.  Then like many of the days in June, we went to the lake to play in the water.  Sims got his driver’s permit.  Everyone went to camp-Sawyer to Rockbrook Camp for Girls, Sims to scuba camp to get scuba certified, and Parks to BMX camp.  Sims competed in the USA climbing divisional competition.  We ended the month kayaking with friends down the Green River in NC.  I do enjoy June!

2017/2018 Year End Wrap Up

I always love looking back on the year.  I always end the year thinking that we really should have gotten through more information.  Then I reflect back and realize that we did get through a lot of information.  It happens every year.  And just like every year in the past, my beginning of year plans/curriculum changes throughout the year.

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Parks completed fifth grade this year.  He wanted to work on spelling and writing (did he really?).  Those were his personal goals.  I simply wanted him to do his school work daily without arguing about it.  I am not sure where we ended on his goals or mine, but he did work on spelling and writing and he did do school everyday including working with a tutor two days a week (a local homeschooling grad who is going to the local college).  Parks worked through Ancient History including Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China and Greece.  He read lots of myths from those time periods and areas.  He also did blocks on geometry and astronomy.  He read several books including a children’s version of The Epic of Gilgamesh, Starry River of the Sky, The Odyssey (a Children’s version), Blood and Guts, A Rise in the Sun and Secret of the Andes.  For math, Parks did a variety of things, but he mainly focused on Life of Fred books Apples to Jelly Beans.  I found that he is having a tough time with multiple step math problems such as division, so we will be working on that through the summer.  He also worked through Growing with Grammar, Soaring with Spelling and Apples and Pear Spelling.  He invented more contraptions than I can think of-rubber band guns, lego cars, tech deck skateparks, rales for his scooter, and so much more.  He found out that he loves snowboarding, and he recently has refound his love for wake boarding.  He lives to ride his bike and to play with friends.  I feel like he really grew up a lot this year.  He still doesn’t like school, but he is wiling to do it.  He has very high expectations for himself and works hard at the things he loves.  I hope next year, we can find something in school that he loves too so he sees the benefit of working hard in that area as well.

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Sawyer’s happy place

Sawyer finished up seventh grade-although I feel that she completed middle school!  She worked hard this year and has found a love for learning that amazes me.  She loved pretty much every subject that I threw at her (don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t jumping at the bit for more school work.  She simply enjoyed learning).  Sawyer worked through blocks on Ancient Rome (just a review), Islam, Alchemy and Chemistry, Wish/Wonder/Surprise, Astronomy, China in the Middle Ages, Europe in the Middle Age, Geometry, and Photosynthesis.  She read more books than I can fit on this page.  She reads–alot.  :). She also worked through Growing with Grammar and Soaring with Spelling.  She did the Life of Fred math books for fractions, decimals and percents.  Sawyer also worked with a tutor on creative writing.  She wrote some awesome stories that I hope she continues to work with.  She brought the characters to life through her stories. She also continued to work on her sewing.  She made several new things this year including a dress, water bottle holders, her Halloween costume and many more smaller items.  Her artistic side really popped this year too.  If she isn’t reading or outside, she is drawing.  She also found that she truly enjoys rock climbing indoors (Sims, as you will see later, loves climbing outdoors).  She enjoys the challenge of completing the routes.

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Mulberry eating

Sims made it through his first year of high school.  He made some big gains in school this year.  We had a lot of growing pains in the beginning of the year trying to find the right fit of curriculum for him,  By the end of the year, I think he had a good rhythm with his work.  Almost everything changed from the beginning of the year!  LOL.  He completed Life of Fred Algebra.  This shocked me because he does work with a dyslexic brain so I never would have picked a math program that required reading.  However after trying Thinkwell Algebra and seeing that a traditional approach was not working, he asked if he could try Life of Fred.  He loved it.  The mastery approach worked well too.  He had to master the chapter prior to moving on.   For Language Arts, Sims worked through the Life of Fred Grammar series as well, and he worked with a tutor on academic writing (expository, compare/contrast, descriptive, research, and personal essays).  This also required him to learn how to get his thoughts down on paper independently.  He learned how to type and how to use speech to text software.  For Biology, we mixed it up using several different curriculums and making our own course and doing labs along the way.  For World History, he used the Simply Charlotte Mason’s Stories of the Nations along with working with the younger two on their blocks.  World Geography turned out to be one of his favorite subjects.  He used the Oak Meadow World Geography course and supplemented with several books from the Simply Charlotte Mason series.  Sims also worked with the natural resources department for our county in the beginning of the year to work on a forestry elective.  He learned about local trees and ground cover.  He  also worked with the Project Learning tree where they taught about forestry to local sixth graders.  He also did research on his own about the trees that are native to NC.  Together, Sims and I went through a Health book.  We found that most of it, we do daily and speak about in our day to day lives.  He took the “tests” at the end of each chapter and found the whole thing silly, but he completed it.  I did not give him any grades this year.  I am not sure how that will effect him in his journey to get into college.  I felt that this year was about learning how to be independent in his studies.  I think that he did great with it.  He also continued rock climbing, both indoors and outdoors.  He also took safety classes for climbing to continue learning.  He also sailed on a local sailing team and competed several times.  Sims is a very active teen.  He rarely has a down moment which is his own choice.

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My three!

As a group, the kids took an anatomy and physiology class.  They loved it.  They also cooked a lot more this year and began experimenting more with cooking.  We had more sweets than we have ever had this year!  We didn’t hike as much as I would have liked, but we did get some hiking in and a few trips.  My three kiddos are really growing up.  They are each finding themselves and they are each so very unique in their interests and personalities.

Weekly Wrap Up-Last Week of School!

Testing is completed!  All papers are complete! Summer is officially here!

Monday, everyone finished up their testing and started on the summer play list.

Tuesday, I enjoyed my garden.  My hydrangeas are two different colors this year which I find interesting because they are right next to each other.

Wednesday turned out to be a really fun day.  Sawyer had climbing club and Sims joined her.  It was member night at the climbing gym so Sims stayed at the gym.  Nick needed to pick up the boat which meant that he needed a driver and Sims was at the gym so…..Sawyer go to drive the boat by herself!  She did a great job (she did have a friend in the boat with her who has her boaters license).

Thursday was a pretty typical day.  We worked on portfolios for the year.  I decided to have the kids write up their own portfolios this year.  It was fun.  I always feel like we haven’t accomplished enough for the year until I stop and look at what we did accomplish.  We got through a lot of information and had a lot of fun along the way.  I should be able to write my year end wrap up next week.  🙂

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Parks working on his portfolio.

Friday, we had some fun at the lake to wrap up the school year.  We got some ice cream.  We tubed.  We stayed up way too late.  It was a fun night.

Saturday, we headed over to the new barn that we will start riding at in the fall.  It has a lot of work to be done.  Bella and Cinnamon worked hard too…playing all day with the other dogs.  Bella was wiped out.  While Sims and I were at the barn, Sawyer went to a class on safely using the water craft on the lake and Parks went sailing.  Then we all headed to the lake for some more tubing.  Parks and his buddy don’t get to see each other over the summer so it was a fun way to wrap up their school year together.

Sunday, we headed out for some more fun and got Parks up on the wakeboard and the surfboard!