25 May 2012

First summer weekend

It's Memorial Day weekend, a day to remember and the first weekend of summer. It's also a weekend to celebrate for us since Rosie Jane's birthday was yesterday. We've got lots of fun summer stuff planned but first, we've got to finish up school.

We're getting close to wrapping up the "official" part of the school year. Most of their subjects are winding down, if they're not finished already. The have finished their testing and I need to get the rest of  the paperwork ready to send in to the county. I've got plenty of time since it's not due until August.

I've snuck in some extra science for Sweet Pea. Right now she really wants to be a meteorologist so since we finished up her earth science class, she's working on some weather stuff and I have a Great Courses class on meteorology to use as well. I may save that for the really hot days that are coming.

Happy Memorial Day!

15 May 2012

Panic attack today!

Today was one of those days, major attack of self-doubt about homeschooling high school - doubting if we're doing the right thing, am I picking the right classes for Sweet Pea, not just for next year but for the rest of high school?, am I pushing them hard enough, too hard, or not hard enough?, are they going to be able to get into college? The odd thing was that the panic started over history and English, not science which is what I've been worrying over recently.

I feel good about science for the rest of high school. She's going to do physics next year, then chemistry, followed by advanced physics. I know she's not going to get biology in high school, but I think (hope) that will be ok. Right now she wants to study meteorology in college and that's a lot of physics and chemistry (and calculus) so I want to give her a good base in those courses. I think she's had enough basic biology in the past and if it's an issue, she can take a class at the community college her senior year. I think her senior year she will take the AP Physics test. I'll need to look into that when she gets much closer.

The other thing I've been trying to figure out for next year is art history. I've gotten some good suggestions and I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to use. This was a class I suggested by Sweet Pea really wanted to take. I'm looking forward to it and think it will be interesting. I'll have to plan time to take some field trips to the art galleries downtown next year. I've been thinking about having her take the AP Art History test, it's lots of memorizing artists and dates so we'll have to see.

I think I decided after today's panic, I'm going to simplify some things. I had been doing a combined world/American history with Sweet Pea and due to several issues, it's taking longer to get through than I had originally planned. I really want to finish by next spring so that the fall of her junior year she can start 20th century history then government in her senior year. BUT, I also think she needs a really good background in American history. What I've decided to do is to finish the book we're using as our spine for world history, hopefully this summer then in the fall pick up with American history. That will give her a world history credit (creation to 1800-ish) and a solid American history credit. I think if I continue to combine, she won't get in enough American history.

Still worried about the English credits and I've hardly started thinking about Rosie Jane's classes for next year. It will come together and we'll be fine.

03 May 2012

Moving along...

We're moving along here with school. Even the nice spring weather isn't holding us up, mainly because the last couple of weeks have been chilly for this time of year. It's kept us in the house and on track (mostly) with school. Sweet Pea has wrapped up one subject for the year, Earth Science, and is working on a short study of weather (maybe 1/4 credit, maybe part of her earth science credit, we'll see). French and German will be done next week. Both girls are taking a summer course in their respective languages. It's once a week and will keep things a bit fresher in their minds so they'll be ready to go when class starts again in September. Most of their other work will be "done" by the end of the month or early next month.

We usually do some school all summer. We don't really homeschool year round, but just do some subjects to keep them fresh or because they enjoy them. We do them when we can, when we're home in the summer. Sweet Pea will keep going with math, probably history, and French while Rosie Jane is going to do math, maybe science, and German. Sweet Pea is also going to be doing an introductory Russian class. She's SO excited about that! She's really hoping that the teacher will continue with a regular Russian I class in the fall.

The other big thing coming up is our yearly testing. I find it rather easy to live in Virginia and homeschool. Send in our paperwork in August, use any national standardized test at the end of the school year and send in the results by August. The goofy thing is that the state law has two different dates. Sure would make things easier (I'd think) if they used the same one. As it is, I just send everything in together, the results from the current year along with the paperwork for next year. I ordered the girls tests last night so they should be here probably on Saturday. We'll do them maybe next week or the week after (I need to get them done this month before Sweet Pea goes on her week long bike trip) and get them sent back for scoring.