23 September 2011

Another week done and in the books.  Nothing too exciting happened this week except I am loving the foreign language classes the girls are taking.  They both enjoy them and seem to have made some online friends, they are motivated to do their homework and get it done usually the day of their class so it's ready way ahead of time.  It really seems to be going well for them.

Rosie Jane finished the last few lessons of last year's language arts and has started the 7th grade book.  So far it's good, a review of what she just did which is something she really needs.  For some reason, grammar stuff just.is.not.sticking with her.  We go over it and over it, she seems to be getting it, but when it comes to doing the tests or even the daily worksheets, it's all gone.  Guess we'll be spending more time on grammar this year to make sure she gets it.  And I'm getting just a little tired of telling her to start her sentences with a capital letter and only use them at the beginning of sentences and for proper names and to end her sentences with some sort of punctuation.  I guess we'll get there some day.

Sweet Pea is really enjoying history.  Still moving along in the Middle Ages, getting to the black death.  She's also learning about the Aztecs and other South American civilizations.  Her big struggle is math right now.  Hopefully it'll make sense to her soon.  She's just about done with her science leftover from last year.  It all ties into this year's Earth Science so the work she's done since August will count in her Earth Science grade.  Finally she's really enjoying science.  Hopefully that enjoyment will continue as we move into the new books.

This weekend they're off to the Awakening Festival, a huge Christian concert/festival.  The nice thing is that it's being held this year at Camp Highroad which is where they go for summer camp.  They are going with a couple of youth from our church, and several kids from another local church.  Good news is that they are staying in one of the lodges since it's been raining since early this morning.  Hopefully they'll stay dry and have a ton of fun!

17 September 2011

Organized? I'm not quite there yet.

So we're a couple of weeks into school and I'm starting to realize that I'm not feeling terribly organized.  I've got all these books and a schedule to go with them but since I'm not using them as scheduled I need to come up with my own.  Actually I've got three schedules, none of which I'm using as written.  Bummer. 

Sweet Pea loves history and for her I'm combing world history (Sonlight cores G and H) and American history (Sonlight core 100).  Actually it's only the end of core G where I've started combining.  But the point is, I'm using 2.5 Sonlight cores, none really as written.  I'm using all their books, plus Mystery of History, and mushing them all together.  I'm using their questions but putting all these books into time order kind of going back and forth between world and American history.  It will be an interesting couple of years as I expect that we'll be working on this until the end of next year.  I do have the next several books scheduled and will pull out the information from the Sonlight schedules that we need.  This combining is actually more work than I realized but it will be so worth it in the end.

In most other areas I'm feeling good.  The language stuff is going well (Sweet Pea even said it wasn't as bad as she thought it was going to be), Rosie Jane is going to start science this week with her BFF now that their lab stuff has come in.  Rosie Jane is excited to start her new English grammar book, hopefully some of this stuff that we've been going over for years is going to finally start to stick.  Rosie Jane is almost done with her math book and will be moving on to the next one.  Then I have to figure out about pre-Algebra, does she do both the books or just one?  I'll probably have her do both since she'll need the practice, then she can move on to Algebra.

I'll be spending time tomorrow working on schedules for the week.  That's my Sunday afternoon gig - while they're all at youth group I do school stuff.  I may have to change that as I may join a Bible study that meets at the same time, I'll have to see.  If that happens I'll have to carve out my school planning time somewhere else in the weekend.  The week goes so much better if I'm organized on Sunday night.

It's going to be another crazy week this week.

16 September 2011

It's been a long week!

Wow!  I'm tired.  It's Friday afternoon and it's been a crazy week!  We had a ton of rain last week, which cancelled Rosie Jane's golf classes.  Good news was that they could reschedule them, bad news is that it was moved to this past Wednesday and next Wednesday.  It was crazy getting Rosie Jane to golf and dance and  Sweet Pea to work on Tuesday!  Both Wednesday and Thursday were just about as bad since I had meetings both nights.  Glad this week is over and we can enjoy the weekend since I'll have to do it all over again next week, except I only have a meeting on Tuesday.  Not sure that will be any better!

Well, we're now done two full weeks of school.  I'm pretty sure that we've got all the stuff we need to keep us going for quite a while.  One week of French and German classes are complete.  It's not nearly as bad as Sweet Pea thought it was going to be.  Both girls have had homework from their classes that they've needed to get done and both had pop quizzes today.  This could be interesting.  They have the same teacher so if Rosie Jane has a pop quiz in her class at 10, it's pretty sure that Sweet Pea will in her class as 12.  Guess it won't be a surprise to her!  I also think it's probably good that I remember bits and pieces of both languages so I can help them out (I took 3 years of French in high school and remember more of that than from the 2 semesters of German that I took in college).

Pretty much everything else is moving along well.  Sweet Pea is almost finished her leftover science and moving on to the new.  It'll all count in her earth science credit since that's pretty much what she's been working on.  Rosie Jane is having a love/hate relationship with her Narnia study.  Not really what she thought it was going to be (my guess is it's more work than she really wanted to do).

Glad the week is over, a great weekend is coming up.  Enjoy it!!

12 September 2011

That pesky foreign language credit

One of the more difficult parts of homeschooling, if you ask me, is the foreign language credit.  For any kid that wants to go to college you have to learn to parle francais or sprechen deutsch or some other language.  Science is hard to do at home, but a foreign language, unless it's your first or second language, is really hard.  There are options and I think I've finally found some good ones for us.  This year both girls are taking classes through CurrClick.  They offer a wide variety of ebooks, e-courses, and online classes.  Sweet Pea is taking French and Rosie Jane is taking German.  They're both taking classes with Mr. G.  Rosie Jane took some intro German classes with him last summer and enjoyed them and now it's time for the real deal.  Sweet Pea would much rather work on her own, but that doesn't really work for learning a new language.  Right now they're in the level 1 class; they'll take level 2 in the spring and it will be 1 credit of foreign language.  Most colleges are looking for a minimum of 2 credits, many want 3 (or maybe 2 of one language and 2 of a different one) or even 4.  I'll have to find out if Mr. G offers anything beyond the first year of a language.  If not, I'll have to look around for Sweet Pea for a couple more years of French.  I think I'm set for Rosie Jane.

Their first classes were today.  Rosie Jane didn't actually have her's.  Mr. G was having computer issues with the online classroom so her's is rescheduled for tomorrow.  He apparently figured them out or borrowed someone else's computer because Sweet Pea did have her French class today.  So far, so good, although today was mostly an introduction to Mr. G, how the class is going to work, a bit of geography (where French is spoken), and their first few words. Talk to me in a month to see how my reluctant French speaker is doing.

So some foreign language options:

take a class at the high school
use a textbook curriculum  downside being no one to talk to and practice with
find a local homeschool class  I'll be looking into CHESS for Sweet Pea  for next year if needed
take a distance learning class from a college  this is what Rosie Jane will be doing
take a class at a community college  if you're old enough, 16 here in VA
a computer learning course

05 September 2011

Back to school

So today is Labor Day, which around here means that summer is over and tomorrow is the first day of school.  In our house, technically we started school August 1 but the last couple of weeks have been rather hit or miss as we've finished up our summer fun.  This week we'll be getting into our regular routine for school work, then next week most of the outside activities start up again.  I still don't have all the school books we need, but I do have most everything we need right now.  I just ordered the German book Rosie Jane needs for her class which starts next week.  I made a big order with Sonlight for history books for Sweet Pea, her college and career planning course, and a few other things.  Hopefully it'll ship and get here this week. 

Although we're back to our regular schedule, it's still going to be a short school week for the girls.  They had today off and they'll be doing some light school on Friday.  Bob and I are headed out of town somewhere for our anniversary.  I guess we should have thought ahead when we got married and chosen a different date so we wouldn't be ditching the girls after their first week of school.  They're going to Grandma's for the weekend while we camp (hopefully) somewhere.  Don't know where we're going yet since the weather is being really fickle.  Lots of rain this week and maybe a hurricane this weekend, which of course would be just like any vacation we take. At least the girls will get in three good days.  I'll take some first day of school pictures tomorrow and post them.