Friday, August 28, 2015

Gearing Up for the School Year

As much as I hate to admit it, this has been a summer of waiting for the school year to begin. While we have definitely had a good summer and tried to enjoy it as much as possible, the stress of this looming year has been hanging over all of us, because this is the year that everything seems to be changing. The boys' homeschooling friends are all heading off to different high schools, which is great for them, but leaves us plotting our own path.

I wrote at the beginning of the summer that I was stressed out about planning for my 9th graders high school. I did manage to take several deep breaths, read High School of Your Dreams from Catholic Heritage Curricula, did loads of on-line research (some of it while working on my Today's Catholic Homeschooling site), talked to him about what he wanted to study and came up with a plan. His year is going to involve: English, Math, Botany, Religion, World History, Computers, and Spanish. He will also be taking three acting classes, providing him with much-needed time with other teenagers. Acting is is his passion and at least for the moment, what he wants to do with his life. He knows he'll probably need another job to pay the bills and he doesn't mind working behind the scenes at a theater, but he is good at acting and his various skills seem to shine in that realm, so we will encourage this venture as much as we are able.

My 8th grader is going to a new alternative school for teens three days a week. He has wanted to go to school, but was not interested in a five-day-a-week traditional school experience, so this new school really seems like an answer to my prayers. The students there are self-directed learners. There are set classes they can choose to take or they can arrange for independent study. There are also community service opportunities. The classes run for eight week blocks. For the first session, he is taking Finance and Shakespeare and hopefully there will an independent study for him for geometry. If not, we'll work on that at home. He's also going to be doing Botany, History, and Religion on the two days he is at home, and will be taking one acting class as well. It's not his passion, but he does enjoy it, and it is an excellent creative outlet.

My goal for the older boys is to work on organization and time management. To that end, I plan to give them their assignments on a weekly basis and have them figure out when they want to get them done. I have the first week all typed up and ready to go.

My daughter is taking part in a homeschool co-op for pre-school one morning a week. She's going to have religion, science, music, and gym. She also goes to gymnastics class once a week. At home, we're still working on the basics - numbers, letters, writing her full name - that sort of thing. She is definitely a kinesthetic learner with an abundance of energy. There's nothing she can't climb and swing on. I'm thinking a indoor mini-trampoline will be a must for this winter.

So, that's the plan. School starts Monday. We shall see how it all plays out.

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