Friday, August 15, 2014

Here We Go Again

JT's future
Even though I was in no way ready, we started our 2014-2015 school year on Monday. When I picked that day a few weeks back, my optimism got the better of me. I knew I still had far too many loose ends, but the desire to get our 180 days logged by the beginning of May pushed me to endure what turned into a frantic scramble of planning over the weekend. We certainly didn't start off with a bang, but 'slow and steady wins the race', right?

Part of the problem with my planning this year was  a few of the decisions were especially difficult. First there was the issue with JT's social studies requirement. I had an old copy of an American government textbook that I had wanted to use but I wasn't 100% happy with how old it was. I kept putting off finding an updated edition. I didn't want to pay for the most current one, but wanted something a little more recent than the one I had. I finally made that decision early last week and found a slightly newer edition that seems to be a good fit. Then there was biology. Again, I have an older textbook. However, I had found an instructor's guide to go with it and an outline that someone put together for a full biology course using that edition and the book The Way Life Works. Because I have a framework to use with that edition, I think I'm going to stick with it, even though it's a bit older. We also found this biology class on Coursera that starts soon. I think it will be a great introduction to biology. I don't know if JT will go for the distinction certificate that requires the peer assessments. That might be more work than he can handle as a 13 year old. We'll see how it goes during the first week of class. The biggest upset of all in my planning was that our literature and writing class that we had hoped JT could do fell through. I didn't find this out until just this week, so I'm scrambling to assemble something on my own. But as a homeschooling mom I've learned to be flexible. I'm guessing it will all work itself out. I just might not sleep a lot until it does.

The good news is that math is covered with Thinkwell Algebra 1 and German 1 requires no work from me since he's using Rosetta Stone. I'm still finalizing the syllabus for his game design project based class that we are creating. Part of it will include another Coursera class, Understanding Video Games, offered by The University of Alberta.  We will also include his drum lessons and composing for an arts and humanities credit this year. I talked with his instructor and he has agreed to work with me to give a letter grade for JT's work. So not everything is a mess.

Next week I'll share my plans for EM this year. I think what's making things so complicated for me this year is that for the first time the boys are on totally different paths for their learning. The only crossover we have will be reading Story of the World aloud and our time line of American history study that we've been doing for the last five years. All other subjects are completely separate. I guess I never thought about how my volume of work would increase when this happened.

The good news is that I'll only have to worry about it for the next four years until JT graduates. Then I can focus my energy on just EM. Until then, I'll be hopping!

1 comment:

Annie said...

We don't start for another month, thank God. I do not envy you those last minute changes. I hope something comes through on literature and writing quickly. I would hate that unsettled feeling.
I have been teaching separate courses to all three boys for a couple of years. It's tricky and I've not perfected it. I compare it to trying to keep three plates spinning all day. Be sure and cut yourself a bit of slack as you adjust.