Monday, July 14, 2014

2013/14 wrap up and 2014/15 plans

Wrap up for 2013/14 is fairly simple. We are pretty much done with our year. This was a hard one. Not because the school work was difficult but because this was kind of a crazy year with a lot of changes. In September we moved from Elizabeth back to the 'burbs. School got off to a slow start due to moving and settling. Fall was difficult because James encountered some fairly tough work circumstances which culminated with his job being terminated in January. I started babysitting to make a little cash. James was unemployed for only 2 months but given we had just stretched to purchase our house it was enough to really do us a number financially and emotionally. James is back to work and life is normalizing but it's been difficult.

In January, because of the stress of the job loss, we went back to basics. Reading, writing, arithmetic.  We plodded along. 

Ian made huge strides with reading which has been a great accomplishment for him. I'm glad we have crossed that barrier. His perfectionism continues to be a tripping hazard in the learning process so along with his work it's a constant lesson of teaching him perspective. Slowly but surely we make our way.  His writing has improved and he continues to do well in math. I expect his 3rd grade year will be a year of many many leaps of knowledge for him. He is working in his handwriting book through the summer.

Gracie continues to do well in all areas. She fights me on math for reasons I can't understand. She's good at it but she doesn't like the steps it requires. She's attempting to finish Math U See Delta through the summer.  Reading and writing continue to come very easily for her although she balks at proper grammar. 

2014/15 Plans:

This is going to be a year of change for us. Gracie is entering 5th grade and she has big dreams for herself including college and a masters degree. Schooling her has always been a challenge for me personally because she can be argumentative and the stress of that has caused me to give into her at times when I should not. After this last year of outside stress on top of tween hormones I realized that I need help when it comes to her education. I need to remove myself from the process because I am tired of fighting about it. This lead to a lot of research which then lead to enrolling her in Colorado Calvert Academy. It's an online school that I think will fit her well because it has a high emphasis on literature and reading, both things in which she excels.She placed solidly in their 5th grade curriculum except for math. I feel badly about this with math because I know it is not because she is incapable of understanding what she should at her level but it's because she just hates the step by step process of math and she really hates to check her work. The positive of her placement this is that she will start in 4th grade math but will receive tutoring twice a week through the program. She will be able to advance as quickly as she likes and my hope is that she will end this year at least half way through the 5th grade math. They use Singapore which is an advanced curriculum that puts kids generally about a year ahead of traditional math programs. Anyway...... all that to say she will be getting the support she needs and I will be able to help her instead of have to be the hard ass teacher. This will be a year of change for us but I think it will all be for the better. My greatest fear is that someday Gracie tell me that I failed her and she wasn't able to do what she wanted because she was somehow not prepared. I hope this program will give us the best of both worlds, structure she needs from an outside source while still staying home for school. 

I will still be putting Ian's classes together for him. He will be doing:
Math U See Gamma
Spelling You See Level B 
Reading from various resources 
What your 3rd Grader Needs to Know for Science and History
In general school with Ian is pretty simple. His perfectionism can be a challenge but he really wants to please and loves to work with me and I anticipate this year will be much the same.

Both kids will also participate in homeschool PE at the YMCA.

So that's how I hope our year will pan out. If this year taught me anything it was that the flexibility of home schooling is an incredible gift when life gets crazy. Although we may have fallen a bit behind this year due to our circumstances I know we will be able to make that up now that things are more stable again.

So.....until next July (since I never post here even though I fully intend to).