Friday, July 18, 2014

Dragging My Feet

time to sell
I've been working on my annual cleaning of the classroom. The last two days were spent tackling the disaster that is the storage room off of the classroom. As the year progresses, it slowly fills up with all those things that need a home and I close the door so I don't have to think about how to deal with it. Then the school year ends and I need to fight my way through the mess to get to my stash of curriculum for the next year. It's a vicious cycle.

In the process, I made quite a nice stack of materials that I can sell. I have a few things I'd still like to pick up for next year, as well. Hopefully I can find what I need second-hand to avoid spending too much this year. I'm getting much better at not going overboard with my school purchasing. I risked falling back into my book hoarding ways by going to the annual giant library book sale yesterday. Perhaps it was a good thing that they didn't have ANY textbooks available. We only found enough books to fill one bag. 

JT has been working his way through the first unit of his German course. So far, we are enjoying Rosetta Stone. I do a lesson most days too. I'm planning to get him started on his Thinkwell Algebra 1 course next week. We're slowly adding things to the schedule until we get up to full speed schooling around the middle of August.

With high school starting for JT, this summer feels like the last stop before serious schooling.  I'm hoping to keep things simple by not overbooking, but instead choosing depth of study over volume. I think that will be the best way to allow him to get the most out of his preparation for higher education and the road ahead. It's scary to think that I'll have only two more summer breaks before we will be preparing him to leave for college. It makes me think of Joni Mitchell's "Circle Game"

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him take your time it won't be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

I'm going to drag my feet a little this summer. Maybe it will help.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Decision Made

change of plans
We now interrupt this summer break to make an important announcement. A decision has been made concerning language learning for JT. Things rarely go the way we think they will in our homeschooling life. A few months ago, the idea of JT taking a Spanish class from one of the Christian schools in our area seemed like an excellent opportunity that we would be crazy to pass up. I guess we might be a little crazy...

I just couldn't get myself on board with the idea of a daily trek to the school for a short class, a class that he really wasn't all that interested in taking. In fact, foreign language study in general isn't really something he wants to do. Yes, we convinced him that it's a really good idea, as far as potential college admission goes, to study a foreign language. But the more we talked about the Spanish class, the more it became obvious it wasn't something he was excited to do. I turned to the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum email list for input. Many parents suggested Rosetta Stone as an acceptable alternative plan. And wouldn't you know? That very day I found an email in my inbox from the Homeschool Buyer's Co-Op advertising a sale on Rosetta Stone. Half price!

Now that he had more choice in which language he wanted to learn, he decided to go with German. The package we purchased is the homeschool version, levels 1-3. It can be used by up to five students on two computers. I'm thinking that I will also use the program, and my husband will refresh his knowledge of the language, so that we can allow JT to practice his conversation skills as part of his study.

We will be starting to log a day or so of schooling each week towards the middle of July. Next week, JT and I will be attending the annual PHAA conference in Carlisle.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled summer vacation.