Friday, April 15, 2016

Approaching the End, Again

lonely beach
Two weeks ago we took a quick weekend trip to Ocean City New Jersey. Even though the end is in sight for our school year, I needed a quick recharge for the final push. It was a chilly visit - temps were around 60 but the wind speeds were steady around 20mph with gusts of 50mph. At least we had the beach to ourselves to enjoy!

As of Monday, we will be seven days from the end of our 2015-2016 school year. As usual, I am surprised at how quickly the year has passed. EM is completing 7th grade, JT 10th. The last few days will be focused on a final test for JT in health, wrapping up Rosetta Stone's German 2 course, and working on a timeline of American presidents with both boys. We read our final presidential biography for the year last week. With Gerald Ford, we have come to presidents within my own lifetime, so next year we will be reading about history that I remember! I thought it would be a good idea to go back and review those we have covered up until now by making a timeline we can hang in the classroom. In the past, we made timelines for our Story of the World studies, but never for our American history.

 JT took another SAT practice test this week and improved his score in the math portions. He will be reviewing his incorrect answers and having some additional instruction on those problems with his dad. Then we will begin work on how to write a good SAT essay. He will be taking the PSAT in the fall and the SAT in May of 2017. College plans are starting to be formulated. We are not sure if his path will require SATs but we figure it can't hurt to take them just in case. As of right now, his college plans revolve around music and/or sound production. We had a long talk with his music theory instructor yesterday and she advised that he add piano lessons to his drum instruction and music theory studies. We are looking at some options for that, but know that it would be a good idea. JT writes music on the keyboard and finds that he doesn't have the technical skills to play the things he can imagine. Although he can play many things, he still struggles with sight reading and needs to work on his technique.

my feet hurt already
This summer we plan to work on our long term goal of hiking the portion of the Appalachian trail that passes through Shenandoah National Park. Our trail maps arrived this week so I'm starting to sit down with JT and look at the plan. We will be visiting a local state park on Saturday to do some trail hiking. Our goal is to plan our AT hike for the summer following JT's senior year. One thing I know is that I'm going to need to spend those two years getting myself in better shape! I'm happy that JT wants to take on this challenge. It will be a great experience for him to work towards independence. If this trip goes well, I hope he will continue to hike trails on his own and with friends in the future. When I was younger, I thought it would be cool to hike the whole Appalachian Trail. I'm not so sure I could handle that big of a challenge now, but it will be fun to do a portion of it with my son.

Next week I will post a summary of our complete school year. My summer planning will be a bit different this year. With JT planning to take some community college classes next year, I will have very little to do with him at home from now on. EM does a lot of his work independently, so my role will be changing for the 2016-2017 school year. That seems to be the nature of our homeschooling adventure. As soon as I get used to the way it is, it's time to make a change.

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