Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Adventure Begins

Well, we are now in our third week of the home school year.  One of my five students is up where he should be.  I can't keep my Freshman busy.  My Junior is about 3 days behind schedule already.  I'm pushing him to catch up because once you get behind on High School work it is impossible to make any semblance of a schedule work.  I have high hopes that my fifth grader will be 90% caught up by tomorrow.  My sixth grader is going down in flames.  He pays too much attention to his kindergarten brother's work and not his own.  I got fooled last week into thinking he was doing work.  He pulls out a book, shuffles pages, waves his pencil around, and makes me think he is doing his work.  Well, mom is on to him now.  He is more than a week behind in two of his subjects, and a couple of days behind in most of his others.  I have hope that he will be about 75% there by tomorrow.  My goal is to have him back on track by next Friday.  Now, my kindergartner is not as big a deal, except that I can already see that he is bored.  I can't keep him busy and I can't keep up with the other kids' questions and help requirements while I spend more time with the Kindergartner.  How did those in the one-room school house do it?  I really admire them greatly, now.

In the meantime, I have started my new odyssey in degree completion.  I have an Associates that I earned over 15 years ago.  I started my skills course and my Latin course this week.  My first written assignment for Latin is due Tuesday.  I almost turned in a written assignment for my skills class last night, but didn't trust my bleary brain to make my 2-4 paragraph assignment make sense.  The teacher was really grilling the students' work and I got a little intimidated.  As a Latin course, I'm having my Freshman "shadow" my college course.  He will be reading the same text and doing the same exercises along with me, but I will give him the "school" tests for his High School course.  I hope in that way to fulfill both our requirements.  My older son missed out.  He only completed one semester of Latin.  I have no knowledge of Latin and couldn't help him.  No one I knew could help.  Hopefully, my learning Latin, will help me, help my kids.  Yes, it is a requirement for my degree completion--I have to have a year of foreign language and the school just happens to offer Latin.  However, my main goal for taking the class is to be able to teach my kids.

Math is not a problem for anyone this year.  Praise God for Life of Fred!  I love Stan Schmidt's books.  I can't praise his High School Math series enough.  My son has learned Algebra I, II, Geometry, and is now on to Trig--in 11th grade.  They are wonderful, almost self-taught books.  I've had to help him with a few hurdles along the way, but very few.  My Junior, as I said, is learning Trigonometry this year.  My Freshman is in Algebra I.  My other three are too young but I plan on using Life of Fred Fractions and Life of Fred Decimals and Percents for 7th grade next year, and Pre Algebra for 8th grade.  Looking for a good upper-middle school to High School mathematics program?  Look into Life of Fred.  You won't regret it.

Keeping up with the chores and outside activities becomes the hard part.  I have gotten my lesson plans in for my R.E. year already.  Yay!  All the credit cannot be mine though, as I relied heavily on the Faith and Life Parish guided lesson plans on their website.  It helped me tremendously and got the job done in time and off my shoulders.  I can't wait to get started with class.  I have to contact my assistant teachers and go over all the material with them so they know what is going on and will be able to help me teach.  I also like to consider their ideas.  Fresh perspectives always bring new ideas.

Anyway, that is just the beginning of this year's adventure.  I hope and pray that anyone who home schools and reads this humble blog is also having a great beginning to their school year. 


kkollwitz said...

"my learning Latin, will help me, help my kids"

It should pretty much help with everything. It was the most important thing I learned K-12.

As I wrote last year:

"It'd be hard to overestimate the influence Latin has had on me. This post isn't about Latin, though, except indirectly. But if my mind hadn't been trained by Latin, this post wouldn't exist. Specifically because Latin was my entree to French; but generally because Latin gave me an intellectual framework, a cadre, on which to hang practically everything I've learned. Latin provided a Grand Unified Theory of Everything such that no information is of value only in its own category, but incrementally adds to a coherent whole, the Biggest Possible Picture. And in the past 15 years or so, I've come around to the idea that all knowledge points to God...because it seems like more and more that's what my life points to, and everything I know reinforces if by accident."

Welcome to Latin.

cathmom5 said...

Thanks kkollwitz for sharing that. I appreciate it. It is encouraging to me. I will study even more diligently with encouragement like that. God Bless you.