Monday, August 23, 2010

Changes Come Way Too Fast Sometimes

Our Version of the "School" Bus

I put up a post a few weeks ago describing our 2010-2011 curriculum.  Well, scratch that.  LOL!!!  After about 2 weeks I had a mutiny on my hands.  Ok, so it wasn't that bad, but after the upheaval that has taken place in the past 3 weeks, it feels a bit like mutiny.

My sweet little JB really struggles with concentrating with everyone around her making noise.  That is a problem considering we are a large family with littles one running around.  So I was growing a bit frustrated with her lack of concentration after only a week of school.  It was taking her forever to get school done.

In the meantime, I had received an email from a friend who started a university school with her husband.  The email was regarding some of the different elective they offer on Mondays.  I noticed that they had a Spanish class taught by another great friend of mine.  We decided that might be kind of fun for the kids.

The further I got into the website of this university school, the more intrigued I became.  I noticed the price was totally doable for one child.  I began to wonder if perhaps we could enroll JB in just the Language Arts class since that is the one area that I struggle most to teach and teach effectively.  So I approached Underdog about the idea and he liked it.

To make a long story a bit shorter, JB started "school" last Tuesday for the first time.  She's only taking their Language Arts and History class because they are somewhat connected.  This school follows Tapestry of grace (I fave!!!) so I knew that parts of the Language Arts would be centered around some of their work in TOG.  Besides, I am also knew both the Language Arts and history teachers fairly well.  These are two great ladies that I totally trust with my girl.  So, she's going to school.

What I love about our school is that the headmaster considers this a partnership with parents.  They aren't out to take the kids.  They want to work with parents to help them on this journey.  He and his wife (my friend who sent me the original email) also homeschool their children (or they did, HA!!)  They understand the in's and out's of homeschooling AND adjusting to a school setting.  And they been so helpful in making this transition work for us.

So we got JB set and realized that BroncoFan was also missing a few things.  He didn't like his history AT ALL.  He's my history buff.  I thought for sure he could take the textbook and just build on what he was reading.  I suppose it was just simply too dry and stifling to him.  He finally begged me to pull TOG back out and offered to plan it for me so I didn't have to do the work.  I knew then that we had a problem.

Fortunately, we had a homeschool book fair taking place the weekend following all this.  I knew that Language Arts was an area he was going to be seriously missing.  He wasn't old enough to attend with JB without making life very complicated so we decided to keep him home.  We both agreed that it was probably best to get some help for me in the area of Language Arts so we went to the fair to look.  We settled on BJU Press English 5 through video streaming.  We got all the information we needed to get our personal site set up.  It looks like lots of fun.  He's very excited.  I am a bit nervous as it requires a bit more time of me than I thought.  But I think we can make it work.

BroncosFan did get his TOG pulled off the shelf.  We're doing the same year that JB is working on at school - year 1.  They can stay together on alot of things and share the books.  JB is doing dialectic and BroncoFan is doing mostly Upper Grammar.  Those were the books I had at home so I decided that is what we're going to do!  He is using some of JB books but only when she's home.

I spent my day yesterday getting an assignment notebook put together for BroncoFan so that his school runs fairly smoothly without much daily direction from mom.  We still have meetings to go over his work for the day and make sure he didn't have questions.  He pretty autonomous and likes it that way.

This week I am finishing up getting JB adjusted to her work and setting up her assignment notebooks so she can keep track of my assignments at home and her assignments at school.  The work has been lighter at the beginning but I expect things to pick up in the next few weeks.  In fact, I am gearing up for her to hit a wall pretty soon. Tapestry calls it the "4 Week Fog" for teachers.  I expect her to do the same thing with her new situation.  But we'll help her move through it and then I expect it will be smooth sailing from there.

My next task is get my middles set up with assignment notebooks as well as get us all on a good daily/weekly schedule with chore cards.  We're having some issues with getting our chores done all the way, right away, and with happy hearts.  I am going after that very soon though. We're of at the end of that initial adjustment period after a new baby.  It's time to get our new normal set in place and begin living in peace again.  I am praying alot these days for wisdom.

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