Friday, April 24, 2015

The End is Nigh

Schooling this year seemed to fly by...
analog keyboard

until this last month arrived.

I am so glad that we are nearly finished. My planning for each week has been handled in a very haphazard way for most of March and April. Fortunately both boys have been working on things that have a schedule already established so I really only need to say, "Just do the next lesson." I know when the new year starts, my energy level will be back where it needs to be. For now, I'm just ready to call it quits and do some gardening.

Last Thursday we broke up the routine a little and went on a road trip to Williamsport to visit the Thomas Taber Museum. Out of all the exhibits there, the thing that held their interest the most, was a manual typewriter. Both of the boys had to test their skills. EM spent more than 15 minutes typing a message. There was a handwritten letter there that was to be transcribed by anyone who wanted to try it out. JT made an attempt but had difficulty reading the old-fashioned script in the letter. Other exhibits at the museum included a history of the logging industry in Pennsylvania and an extensive model train collection.

There was one little project we did this week that turned out to be more interesting than I expected. EM loves to take pictures. Last year he got a nice digital camera for his birthday and he seems to have a good eye for photography. Last week I told him he needed to do one more art project for the year. I asked him to go outside and take pictures that he felt represented spring. Then we would have them printed and make a collage poster. When we went to the Wal-mart photo center website, we learned that he could make a collage poster online. I decided that was a great option that would require less work and absolutely no glue!  I showed him how to upload the pictures and we put together a poster that will arrive at our doorstep next week. As a follow-up to this project, he also wrote a haiku about spring that he will use as part of his final presentation.

Our official last day of the 180 day requirement will be Monday. EM will be finished with all of his work, but JT will need to continue a few subjects for about 10 more days. He is nearly finished with Rosetta Stone's German 1 course. He also needs to do his last chapter test for Thinkwell Algebra. And depending on the weather, he might need a few more days to wrap up his biology unit due to some outside experiment requirements. Overall, I think we have had a good year. Next week I'll put together a more extensive summary of what we did this year. I will also be starting to put our portfolios together so I will able to share that process, as well.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Slacking Off

When I first started blogging about homeschooling, I made a commitment to myself to write a post every Friday. For the most part, I have kept to that goal, until this year. I'm not sure if it's because I have gotten lazy, have gotten busier, or if I just have less to say.

It has been busy around here lately, so that has contributed to my slacking off on the blog. I am starting to put our end of year portfolios together. This year I have the added task of compiling JT's grades for the evaluator so she can begin creating his high school transcript. I have a lot of questions about JT's future and how best to help him find his path. That has also contributed to my lack of posts. Many of my recent entries have focused on the fact that I have no idea what I am doing anymore. When he was looking at studying biology in college, the path seemed well-defined. Now that he wants to design board games or write music for video games or just about any other creative job that doesn't have an obvious step-by-step path that leads from high school graduation to career... I'm spending hours looking at college programs and art schools and biographies of people who didn't follow the beaten path and still managed to feed themselves.

Something else I have been doing is reading for pleasure more than I have in the last few years. I joined a Facebook group doing this 2015 Reading Challenge. Because of it, I've been picking up books I probably never would have read before. And since the list has 52 entries, I'm reading at least one book per week to try and finish by the end of the year. This has been taking up a lot of my free time. It's a good thing, and I'm enjoying it immensely, but I don't get much done outside of absolute necessities of life. JT is also doing the challenge, so I can count it as school related, right?

So these are my excuses. I tell myself I will do better from now on. We shall see...