Monday, November 25, 2013

You only have 4 years to get it done!

It's always nice to have the insight of another homeschooling mom who looks back and expresses what she would have done differently when she homeschooled a high school student.
It is impossible to dot every "i" and cross every "t" but I am realizing so much as I go along.

High school students have no time to waste. There is a lot to get done in little time - you only have 4 years to prepare for your future right? Well..sort of.

Here's how the conversation went with my high schooler:

"mom there really isn't a do-over for high school is there?"

"It depends."

I remember my college had a policy of repeat, forgive. You had 2 chances in your 4 year tenure to repeat a class you were failing, take it again and have the failing grade forgiven. It never even showed up on the transcript. Similarly, community college will allow you to withdraw from a class to avoid receiving an "F" if you withdraw by a certain date. What about high school? Are there any do-overs? If a graduating senior doesn't have the G.P.A that allows him entrance into college straight out of high school (assumming these are his goals), I suppose his do-over is to take remedial courses in community college then transfer to the 4 year school of his choice later.

What about a homeschooled high schooler? My solution would be to take longer to complete a course or take it again. Yes, there is time lost; but isn't the point of schooling, learning and mastery? Why do we have to get it all done in 4 years? There is always more than one way to skin a cat.

This discussion comes out of my daughter's frustration with the speed at which Algebra II is taught in the public school. I had to remind her we are not on their schedule. You will get it done even if that means taking a second Algebra II course to solidify concepts so that you are prepared. This course meets every day for 1.5 hours for one semester only. Surely there is time to take a second Algebra II course second semester. This way the material won't be new to her.

This brings me back to my original point. Belinda over at Live Life with Your Kids, blogged about time management. This is what we talk about with our high schoolers all the time. In one sense you have 4 years to get these subjects done so my student has to be very intentional on how she spends her time. Having the two public school courses and adding a community college class in January, has taught her this all important lesson. It doesn't get any easier after high school. These lessons have to be learned now. Slowly, I see how I might avoid some of these time management pitfalls with the younger two coming up on their older sister's shoes.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The stress of the season

The stress that I feel isn't because of the holidays which are literally around the corner. It is my new routine that has me feeling angst. The littles school day starts almost 45 minutes earlier than their old school. That means my day starts 45 minutes earlier. I used to have 8 full hours to devote to homeschooling, dinner preparation, errands and whatever else crept into my day. Now I have about 2 hours! This is mainly due to the fact that I must still run my oldest daughter to our old neighborhood to finish out two courses. Two hours drive round trip! It is temporary so perhaps my stress will be temporary as well. I decided to outsource high school Chemistry and high school Algebra II this year so save me the headache. I already know I can not teach math to Princess. Apparently, neither can her high school teacher. The kicker is Princess has one of the highest averages in her math class because everyone is having a tough time. Now I remember why it is a gamble not knowing from year to year if your kid will get a good teacher or a horrible teacher in public school - I guess any school for that matter. One thing I can say about this kid is she did go to office hours to get one on one tutoring which she said was helpful. Now that we are so far away it is a little difficult to go to office hours often. Did I mention that I was stressed? So once again this mom has to search for resources to help this kid master this math. So much for saving me a headache. We will get through Math! On another note, Princess applied to community college just yesterday. This will be yet another new experience for this high school junior. One more step to the academic independence that is right around the corner. It won't be an academic class to start out. She will tackle an Art Foundation course which has been a missing piece in her year. I know she misses her Art outlet. We just had no room in the schedule for it this semester. We will attend a homeschool open house at the college on next week so that is really exciting. I look forward to seeing what this new experience will bring.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's all done!

So as of 12 noon November 1st we are all moved out of our house ready to move on to the next chapter in our lives. This is the same week I lost my grandma who was 96 years old. To say it's been a busy week is an understatement. A neighbor asked how I was doing and I paused. She replied in robot mode, huh? Yea..that's where I am. Robot mode. But one task is done, now moving on to the others - getting the new place set up so we can have some sense of organization, getting new library cards, finding a new piano teacher, finding the youngest kid a new preschool and registering his siblings for school. All in a day's work for this busy mom.

In all the rush of the week, up and down the road and packing the car 4 times here is what the best neighbor ever did. She brought us dinner - soup, pigs in a blanket, cupcakes, pumpkin roll and drinks.  It's the thoughtful things in life that can really make your day.

Before we moved to this neighborhood, I prayed for really great neighbors. I got just what I prayed for now we have to leave it all behind. I'm sure God has a fresh supply of good neighbors waiting for us wherever he shall lead us.


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