08 November 2015

Two Months In

We're about two months into the school year and things are going pretty well. Probably the best thing is the writing class. It's worked out really well, she's learning, and her essay writing is improving which was my goal. Her last assignments for the first quarter are due this week, then her second quarter classes start. She's finishing Writing Mechanics I and Essay I and will be taking the second class for each of those. I'm so glad I stumbled across this class.

The rest of her classes are moving along. She just started chemistry this week and will begin geometry next week. She's enjoying history and literature this year, but the world religions class isn't exactly what she was looking for and she's not really liking it. This is one case where I've said too bad, you need to push through and get it done.

We've continued discussions about college and her future. She's been all over the place in ideas about what she wants to do which has made it hard to help her narrow down school choices. I think she's making progress though. In January she's going to go to San Diego to look at Impact 195 School of Ministry, a discipleship program. She feels passionate about mission work, especially in Guatemala, but I don't really see her going out to California. There's a similar type school in New Jersey that she is going to look into as well. She's also looking at colleges, mostly in Virginia, with an eye to working with special needs people. She hasn't decided if she wants to work with preschool kids, youth, or adults, but she's got a heart for working with this special group and does it well. We'll see where she ends up taking her.

10 September 2015

Almost the First Day

Rosie Jane is still having a great, if cold, time running around Germany with her grandmother. She gets home Saturday night and we'll finally be able to start school on Monday. I feel like on the one hand, we're way behind, but on the other, she's studying 20th century history this year so several stops on their trip will count as a field trip.

I'm working on getting ready for Monday. I ordered some books today and checked into a few others. Since what I ordered today was for a semester long class, it's ok that I'm behind in getting it. One set of books came in the mail the other day. I need to sit down tomorrow and work on writing up her first week's schedule.

I finally made a decision about her writing class and went in a totally different direction than I had thought. I was looking for some in person classes to give her both a teacher that knows how to teach writing as well as classmates but the time/location of one was bad, another was ok, then I found a third that might have worked better until I realized that it was Thursday morning and I have bible study then. I was also looking at an online option. I just couldn't decide and happened to come across a class that is done through email. The company offers lots of options/levels and I could see a path through the courses. I gave Rosie her choice and she chose the email option. She's already gotten her first couple of assignments (she's taking two classes with them) and I can't wait to see how it works out. I'm really hoping it works out well, she really needs to improve her writing and I can't help her. This is one place I really need to farm a class out and have someone else teach her.

The other bits and pieces are falling into place. We may not be ready to go 100% on Monday but I have enough to get her started.

14 August 2015

And We Have A Plan!

My daughter has been so busy this summer, mostly away from home, that I've had a really hard time getting her to sit down with me so we can talk about some school stuff. I've had a general plan for her junior year for quite a while but I needed her input to finalize a few classes. One or two things are still kind of up in the air, but at least for them we have a plan A and a backup. Now that I know the plan I need to start ordering the few things that I need. I do still have time even though it's already getting to be late August; she's going to Germany early next month and won't be starting school until Sept. 14.

On to the plan -
    history - 20th Century history using Sonlight
    English - literature of monsters (Frankenstein, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera, Metamorphosis, plus a few others) plus an outside writing class (one of those tbd classes)
    science - chemistry
    math - geometry
    electives - world religions, personal finance, finishing food science, and possibly art history

In the spring the plan is to sign her up for German at the local community college. I'm hoping that she'll be ready for college classes then but we'll see. There's no way she could do it this fall between taking her sister to college and going to Germany, she'd miss too many classes right at the beginning of the semester.

She's still going to be volunteering at the preschool at our church one afternoon a week and is hoping to get a job, perhaps at the dance studio. She'll be dancing most weeknights (which makes getting another type of job difficult) and we're looking into getting a membership at the county rec center where she'd like to take spin and zumba classes. She also needs to finish up her driver's ed class and get in all her driving hours. It's shaping up to be a busy junior year. Along with all the classes, dance, and other fun stuff, we need to find time to narrow her interests, research colleges, and make a few trips to visit the short list.

01 July 2015

July Already? How'd That Happen?

Wow! Hard to believe that it's July already. It seems like we just finished snowboarding and now we're done with school for the summer, had the graduation party, and we're thick into summer fun. The graduation stuff went mostly well; the party was great with lots of friends and family here to celebrate Whitney's accomplishments. We had a beautiful day to celebrate. On the down side, handing over the diploma and taking pictures didn't go so well. Oh well, she's done, mostly happy about that and right now is having fun being a counselor at camp. She'll spend her summer working with teens and horses so I'm not sure life could get much better for her.

School is also done for Sarah for the year. After vacation (to Maine, Quebec, and Niagara Falls) school kind of fizzled out. Pretty much everything was to a point we could call it done; the only thing that wasn't was math. I think we'll just pick up where we left off when we start again in the fall.

The final transcript has been sent in to UMF, Whitney is anxiously awaiting on her roommate/dorm assignment which should be coming soon, college stuff is starting to appear in stores, so things are on track for her heading off at the end of the summer.

I need to finalize Sarah's grades and really start thinking about next year. I think she'll be taking a couple of classes at a local homeschool program, a writing class and one on study skills. She really needs some outside help with writing, I just am not that great at teaching writing and it's not something she's more naturally good at so an outside class is needed. I have several other ideas for her, an online psych class, hopefully German at the local community college in the spring, and the rest will be at home. I think I've found her a lab partner for chemistry; if it doesn't work out, I'll help her with the labs. I need to finalize some of these plans so I can get her signed up for the outside classes, work on the budget and get things ordered. In the good news/ bad news category she won't be starting school until the middle of September because she's going to Germany with her grandmother. That will give me a bit more time to get organized but will be a really late start. Hopefully it won't impact her outside classes too much, something else I need to look into.

21 May 2015

Around the Corner...Graduation!

Over the last couple of months, after my life slowed down a bit when snowboarding was finished I had several ideas percolating to write about but then life got busy again. We're in the home stretch for Whitney, one day of  "school" left, the we'll hand her diploma over, and have a party on Saturday to celebrate. I had to talk her into having a party but agreed to her desire to just give her her diploma with no "ceremony." I'll probably say a few words, but that will be the extent of it. On the other hand, for a girl who was homeschooled and "has no friends" she sure is having a lot of people at her party. We invited the family, some friends from church, a lot of her friends from a church organization she's involved with, as well as her friends. Of course, these are busy teens and her really good friends are all working Saturday and can't come. I'm thinking of doing a small cookout/going away party for her in August, one last chance for her to get together with her friends.

I'm so proud of the hard work she's put in getting an education. She loves to learn, works hard at school even when it's a subject she doesn't really like. She's inquisitive and seeks out knowledge. I think she'll do really well when she gets to college. She's going to have to work hard but she'll do what she needs to do and not just for the grades but to learn. Hard to believe that we're here already, graduation is tomorrow, then it's a fun summer at camp and August will be here before we know it. She's become a wonderful young lady and I can't wait to see where life takes her!

08 April 2015

Time for a breather, maybe

I'd say it's time for a short breather but I'm not sure. I've been going back and forth for snowboarding, here half the week, at the slopes half the week and I'm ready for things to slow down for a while. I'm not sure I'm going to get that break though. Snowboard season is over, Whitney won in her age group at USASA Nationals, so it's time to pack up the winter gear and look towards spring. Problem is that we're at the point of only having about eight weeks of school left with her until graduation, I have to plan her party, plan vacation, and have a bunch of other stuff on my plate, including homeschooling. I do feel that things are a bit easier now that I'm home all the time but I'm still trying to get my feet under me after being gone for a week for Nationals and figure out what's what. We must press forth and finish strongly!

18 March 2015

The decision is made!

It's been a long road to get here, starting with the first college visit last February, but the college decision has been made. After much thought, prayer, and angst, she's decided to go to the University of Maine at Farmington. The accepted students day went really well, she felt more comfortable there, and there was plenty of snow for her. She had also gotten a letter from Plymouth that outlined the adventure education major and realized that it really wasn't what she wanted. She was very disappointed because she really liked the Plymouth campus and the town but the program was not what she was looking for and even if it was it would preclude her from doing some things she really wanted to continue in college, like working and snowboarding. At Farmington, she'll have the opportunity to do both of those things and more because she'll have the time.

She's already been talking with the ski/snowboard team coach. She didn't meet him when we were up there but did talk to a couple of guys on the ski team, who told her that they'd work on converting her to skis. Not much of a chance of that happening! She's worked really hard to get where she is and she isn't about to give that up. Since we got back, she's gotten a bit more information from the ski team coach and he also put her in contact with another snowboarder who wants to build up the snowboard part of the team. The good news is that she's helped do that before and can do it again. They compete in USASA as well as USCSA (the collegiate ski and snowboard association). She's excited about the prospects there.

She'll be majoring in outdoor recreation business administration, a good fit for an outdoors kid. ORBA majors are required to do an internship so she'll have the opportunity to make some good connections for jobs after graduation. The location of the school is pretty great for doing outdoor stuff, a small ski area is 5 minutes away, Sunday River and Sugarloaf are both about an hour away, there's hiking, lakes and rivers, places to bike, all sorts of outdoor activities around. Plus she'll be in Maine. An exciting new adventure awaits her this fall. Now to get her through the last few months of her senior year.

26 February 2015

Accepted Students Day

So with four acceptances it's time to start narrowing down the field. Green Mountain was the first to go; it was just too granola/crunchy/Vermonty for my girl. Johnson State is also a no. She told me the other day it was too generic. It's a newer school and looks it. The town of Johnson is pretty nice, it's really close to Stowe and other great ski resorts, but the campus is a mile or two out of town on the top of a hill and pretty boring actually. It does have it's own terrain park but that's not Whitney's thing. Still in contention is Plymouth State, which won her heart a long time ago and University of Maine, Farmington, which has the right program.

We had been planning our New Hampshire February vacation for this week for a while. Part of the plan was to head out to Farmington on Friday for another tour of campus, then going to a boarder cross race at Sugarloaf on Saturday. While we were still at home Whitney got information about the accepted students days at UMF. Conveniently, one of the days for her major fell while we were planning to be in NH. So we changed our plans a bit and went to UMF yesterday and scratched the bx race (she's got a sore knee so probably wouldn't have done it anyway).

There was a small group of kids and parents there yesterday. The kids went off for a tour of the school, to sit in on a class related to the major they're interested in, lunch in the cafeteria, meet with a couple of professors in their major, then finish the tour. The parents met with someone from the testing/counseling office and from student life (she talked about the dorms, clubs, and the trips her office plans). We then had a tour and had lunch in the cafeteria. The food is pretty good so that's a plus. There's much to like about the campus, except that it's about 12 hours away from home. On the plus side for Whitney it has the major she's looking for, she'll be able to work and snowboard (at some pretty awesome resorts), she'll have plenty of snow - they've had over 100" so far this winter.  While she didn't have a chance to talk to the ski team coach, she did talk to the captain of the ski team and one of the other members. They really weren't much help, not knowing much about snowboarding, but were friendly and chatted with her about the team. They highly recommended that she contact the ski coach and talk to him. They thought that she would have no problem if she put out the word in getting more kids to snowboard with her.

She left with a better impression than she had last time. We had a bunch of our questions answered, so while she hasn't officially said yes to going there, it looks like she'll be a UMF Beaver in the fall.