Saturday, June 6, 2015

Homeschool Journal: Filling in the Gaps

You've got to love librarians with a sense of humor... the above is taped to the librarian's counter at the college's library where Ashley will be going in the fall.  If your kids ask why they have to read this summer instead of just play computer games.... give the above answer a try!

Ashley's testing is ALL DONE for college entry.  She did great and we are proud of all her hard work.  However... after observing her through this process we began to pray if FULL TIME dual enrollment was really the right fit for her come fall.  Her still un-identified neurological challenges and potential temporal seizures were of most concern.  We found that she was beyond exhausted after a full afternoon of study following her regular schoolwork in the morning and even complaining of headaches after some particularly rigorous sessions.  She is smart enough and has even found grace in the Lord to overcome some of the most perilous challenges of ADHD... but the headaches and exhaustion....

Through our prayers and discussions with each other we agreed a better route would be to ease in.  Like conditioning for a race: you don't just run a 5k when you have never run more than a block before.  The "stress" of higher education may need to be conditioned into her because of her neurological challenges... maybe.  Or maybe we will find that the full time weight of higher education will always have to be taken in small doses for the comfort of her brain!  We don't know, but such peace came over all of us as we began to embrace and step in this direction. We simply trust God knows what is best.

With that we were able to begin our year-end wrap-up.  Planning for next fall so I know what to be working on this summer in order for her to be prepared.  She is planning to attend a 'basic training' of sorts at the college in August with other new students where she will learn to do research writing.  Then, in September, she will put her feet down on ONE college class: Music Theory (she will be working toward a degree in Christian Leadership with a focus on Music).  As far as this year, she is working to finish her Apologia Biology, which she loves and considers leisure reading!!  I gave up on drilling her with Consumer Math when she recently found out she had actually fulfilled her math requirements for graduation last year. She hates math and nothing seems to incentivize her in it!  She worked hard but after 2 months of sickness this winter putting her 'behind' in all her work, we have resolved to collect biology and call it good!!  Sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to let go!!  She writes and reads daily, it is hardly a class for her anymore...more of a way of life!  I feel good about it all.

Brenden and Brooke technically finished almost 2 weeks ago.  Brenden, with his dyslexia, is just sort of always learning.... some times of the year more vigorously than others! For the first time EVER Brooke completed a math workbook.  We usually finish the school year a few chapters shy.... don't feel bad if you do too, when my kids were in public school they brought home so many unfinished workbooks because they never got to it with the teacher, it was crazy.  So, for the past 2 weeks, they sat through a Bible Overview class I did with Ashley, did math facts (we love and read.  They start Christian Youth in Action training next week and will be gone for 10 days so their summer vacation has sort of begun!  With Ashley not being totally done, it is hard to celebrate and say, officially, "Woohoo, School is out!" because for one 'student' it isn't completely, yet.

I know there has been some bloggy sparseness these past few weeks.  I was finishing filling in the last of the gaps around the house as the kids and I wrapped things up.  The garden has been my biggest draw.  I consider myself an accidental gardener so there is a lot of learning as I go!  I finally got almost everything, seedlings and seeds, completely installed.  Only a few small things left to seed in the back area along our fence and in my corner plot.  It has been ALOT of work this creaky body does not appreciate!  It didn't help that last Saturday was consumed with pest control.  I found I had flea beetles eating my tomato plants.  I spent the night praying and trying not to stress and the good Lord led me to a recipe for a concoction which I mixed and began the tedious process of applying to the leaves of ALLLLL my tomato plants.  This also opened up the necessity of transplanting so all of my remaining seedlings and store-bought plants went in the ground that day as well.  The kids pop in and out to help as I need them.  I feel it is so important, when you can, to have things growing for children (no matter their age) to appreciate, help with and learn from. My haven for summer lazy days is coming together though.  

My other joy these past days has been curriculum.  For those who have followed this blog a while, you know I am a recovering curriculum addict!!  Our local Homeschool Organization had their annual book sale/swap so, instead of just attending, I scoured my goodies and reserved a table to sell!  I told my husband it was so I could support my habit!  ha.  As it was I spent $20, made $17 and wrote a post-dated check for $20 to nab an irresistible writing curriculum which was an absolute God-send and perfect for Brenden.  The best part was the box full of FREE (yes, FREE) PACE science, civics, economics and government curriculum a neighboring seller gave me.  After sorting and searching I found that ALL of the needed material for Ashley's senior year in these subjects was there in full.  I only need two booklets for a total of $6.  I promptly called A-Beka who I had reserved curriculum in these subjects through back in April and cancelled that portion of my order... I saved over $70!!!  After swapping out for some science workbooks for Brooke, they ended up owing me almost $2 and the remaining $48 I owed for my last payment was erased!  Remember that $20 post-dated check for writing curriculum?  More than covered!  I felt so blessed seeing how God was covering it all and providing beyond my expectations.

No gaps to fill this summer, though the 'vacation' will be very different this year.  Ashley is trying to land a job to save for school in the fall and a car later on.  She still doesn't have her permit, needs to study, but retrieved a State I.D. so she can be all officially when an employer is ready to hire.  Brenden and Brooke will be summer missionaries serving around the city in Bible clubs.  Each week will hold something different for them. I will be (hopefully) working on back-log articles for gaps on the blog, like the latest one, and gradually pulling together lesson plans for school to start back up in the fall.... all while (hopefully) enjoying my growing garden, a less stressful pace and hopefully even some good books NOT on the necessary reading list!  Which reminds me, I even did a bucket list for this summer!  I tried to get the kids to join me, Brooke is the only one considering doing one of her own.  Mine hangs on the wall in my bathroom so I don't forget to look at it!!!  .....

I pray all your gaps get filled with blessings and signs of God's work and guidance in YOUR life!


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