Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's Time for Some Changes

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This post is a bit overdue. In fact, if you've visited my Homeschooling page, you probably already know part of what this post is about. And those who know me in real life or at least {almost} real life have known for months that things are changing around here. So let me make it official.

It's Time to Send Her Away

Anna started attending a classical Christian school 4 years ago and it has turned out to be a marvelous place for her. She has developed some wonderful friendships and has been challenged and sharpened as a student. No school is perfect (including homeschooling), but this school has been a good fit for all of us. Since she is home on Tuesdays and Thursdays it feels like the best of both worlds.

Grace too has noticed all of this. Plus, she's the only kid in the family who has never attended away-school, so naturally she feels like she's missing out on something. Plus, she's a very social girl who needs more interaction, but we have not been able to find a homeschool outlet for that need that will also be a good fit for Ryne. Plus, my dad continues to struggle with the effects of Alzheimer's and I need to be prepared to make more trips to Denver to help him and my sister who is his primary caregiver. We managed to keep up with schooling despite three trips out there last year, but it was difficult. All these pluses add up to us deciding it was time for Grace to attend school with her sister. We had planned for this to happen eventually, even going so far as to make sure we were on the same history cycle as her peers at school and coordinating other subjects too. I just didn't think it would be this year; my goal was to wait another year or two. But I also know from experience that I can plan all I want and things rarely turn out the way I expect, and I thank God for that! His path is always better than I could have imagined.

It's Time to Start Thinking About High School

Is the screen shaking? Well, that would be me, wondering how on earth I'm going to survive homeschooling a high schooler. Technically, Ryne will be in 8th grade this year, although his skills vary. I'm still trying to figure out what homeschooling a special needs high schooler entails. I'm pretty sure we'll be homeschooling longer than five more years.

Part of me wants to make 8th grade a two year deal since we'd be finishing up with our history cycle and some other subjects that are more elementary in nature (spelling, for one). But then I wonder does it really matter? If he's still finishing up spelling as a 9th grader, does it hurt to put it on his high school transcript? I have NO idea what God has planned for Ryne and it makes it a little hard to plan.

I do know that one of our overall goals for homeschooling Ryne is for him to continually grow in knowledge and to love learning, and we are already seeing that, so in that respect we will stay the course. We'll just keep plugging along.

It's Time to Start Thinking About Grades

If I do have to start working on a transcript next year, I'm going to need some practice grading first. So far I've done very little grading as in assigning a letter or number grade for an assignment. In most subjects we just follow a mastery approach, so we stick with something until they get it, then move on. We did get a little taste of grading with Analytical Grammar last year, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well that worked. He started out in the low C range and gradually worked his way up to A+'s on his tests. He was actually pretty motivated by that grade, and it's often hard to find ways to motivate him.

My plan is to start using Scholaric, an online homeschool planning program. I had planned to spend the summer getting used to it, but of course I haven't even started and we're just a few weeks away from the start of school. {Help me!} For a girl who adores her written planner, this just might be one of the most difficult things I face this homeschool year! {kidding!}

It's Time to Start Taking Better Care of Me

I'll be honest... I'm pretty much a mess these days. ; ) I'm a work in progress. So the first thing on the agenda is to start attending Bible Study Fellowship again. Marc and I had been part of BSF for more than a decade and it's one of the best things that's ever happened to us individually, as a couple, and as a family. It's been seven years since I moved on to other things (I didn't know at the time that it was homeschooling God was leading me toward) and now it's time for me to return. I attended an intro day in May and I was practically in tears the whole time because it just felt so right to be there. I'm even tearing up just typing this.

The kids are getting older and more self-sufficient, so Marc and I are pretty confident I can take a morning off each week to attend BSF. Ryne does great if he has a list of items to accomplish, so this will give him an opportunity to grow in his independence. We are not at the point where he pretty much does his work on his own like many high schoolers do, but I think he's more than capable of working on his own one morning a week.

So it is my prayerful hope that this major step to taking better care of me, will be a good thing for all of us.

Your turn! Any changes happening for you this school year? Does it make you shake too or are you excited?


  1. It would be fun if Ryne could come over 1 or 2 times a month while you're at BSF!

    1. Thanks, Casey! That sounds wonderful! I'll chat with you soon.

  2. I've said this before, but I'll say it again... you are so blessed to have a classical Christian, 3-day-per week school in your area. I would love to have that option for my boys now that they are older and I think the Lord is calling Michael and me to start a school similar to yours. That's our big change, although not for this year, but we're moving in that direction. It may take us 5 or more years actually to start an official school but it seems that our co-op is growing and morphing.

    My biggest homeschool curriculum decision this year is King's Meadow Study Center's Humanities Curriculum (Dr. George Grant). Ben will complete the Antiquity study, and it looks fabulous. I will blog about it soon, Lord willing. I have not had much computer time lately and have not revealed my plan for next year... something I have usually done by now.

    I love your homeschooling page. I usually read from my email and hadn't noticed that. Glad you put in that link. Thanks for including me on your list of faves!!! :)

    May God bless you with a fabulous school year and make your Bible study profitable. Taking care of mom is very important. Hugs from Georgia!

    1. I am so thrilled that your co-op is going so well and that God is leading you toward a new adventure! I think I'd be hyperventilating if God wanted me to start a Christian school, but I have a feeling you and Michael would be perfect for the job.

      Can't wait to hear more about King's Meadow -- that's one I'm not familiar with other than having heard of it.

  3. Oh Kellie, I will be praying for you as these changes take place, but I have to say, I'm a bit envious. Home schooling one child was something I fantasized about when teaching my four kids. I still like to dream that once the older three are all in college, Luke will want to finish his last two years of high school at home. : ) Yes, just a dream.

    1. Thank you for your prayers! I have to admit, I am looking forward to homeschooling Ryne on his own, although I'd be just as excited to homeschool either of the girls on their own too. Something about being focused on one child and one set of lessons sounds so wonderful. I'm sure there will be new challenges, but at least they will be new. : )

      And remember, anytime you need your homeschooling fix, you are welcome to come take my place for a day! ; )