Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017

Another school year has come and gone....

Having a commitment outside the home every day, early morning seminary, guaranteed the most consistent school year we've probably ever had.   We started strong and we finished strong.  It's a good feeling.  Yes, there are definitely subjects we need to work toward greater consistency with, but overall it was a good year.

Update on my girls:

30yo - Baby #6 arrived recently.  He's a cutie!  Postpartum depression is rearing its ugly head, but mama is fighting hard to find a balance.

21yo - She finished her associates degree in child and family studies and is preparing to serve a mission for the church.

19yo - She's still working weekend nights as a CNA and recently finished her first term as a full time student at the local community college.  Burning the candle at both ends.

15yo - Volleyball is her new passion.  Oh, and she is a great cook  😋 which is greatly appreciated by me.  

Academics:
This was a testing year!  I don't base my curriculum choices off the scores, but the girls have always been interested in whether or not they have improved.  15yo improved by 20+ points in all categories.  A sizable increase in scores between 5th - 8th grade has been the pattern for all my girls.

Let's start with early morning seminary (6:45 - 7:35 a.m.) since it is the way we start every school day.  I am not going to lie.  I am NOT a morning person.   Rolling out no later than 6 a.m. was killing me.  The last two months were particularly hard.  There are students who spend most of their time hiding out in the girls' bathroom to avoid attending class.  15 yo has been warned that she had better not disrespect me in that way.  If she decides she no longer wants to attend seminary then she needs to tell me.  I'm sleep deprived and tired.

So how did seminary go?  She was excited at the beginning, however that did wane once she realized that the other kids didn't appreciate the time and effort the teacher was investing in them.  The novelty wore off.  But, she feels attending seminary is the right thing to do.  Every morning on the drive home I asked her two questions: 1)"What was the drama today?" and 2)"What did you learn?"  Her knowledge of gospel doctrine did increase which ultimately was the goal.    The focus for the year was the New Testament.

Here's the kind of sad part.  At the beginning of the year, because she enjoyed being in a "high school" class with peers, she was considering taking future classes at the high school.  After witnessing the behavior of her seminary classmates, she decided public school is not for her.  She would like to participate in high school sports but currently has no desire to attend academic classes.

Current Events:  Still fans of CNN 10 (previously titled CNN Student News)

Latin:  She finished the first half (lessons 1-8) of Lively Latin's BigBook 2:  direct objects, 2nd conjugation, the genitive of possession, dative of the indirect object, personal pronouns (ouch!), 3rd declension nouns, 3rd declension i-stem nouns, declining proper nouns, the irregular verb "eo," ablative  of place from which, accusative of place to which, plus lots of new vocabulary and history too.   She became more and more independent as the year progressed.  I was just the answer checker at the end.

Greek:  What possessed me, I don't know.   Probably her love of all things Rick Riordan which started out with Percy Jackson.  Since I felt First Form Greek would probably move too quickly for her, she has started with The Greek Alphabet and  Elementary Greek: Year 1 (Koine Greek).  We've referenced pronunciation through The Great Courses' Greek 101: Learning an Ancient Language.  We are continuing Elementary Greek through the summer since we started in February.

Math: Testing year.  She did Math Minutes every morning to help keep basic math fresh in her mind.  We were able to make it through about half of Algebra 1 before I decided to really focus on basic math skills for the standardized test.  Now that the test is over, she is doing a quick Algebra 1 review using the Straight Forward math series at Garlic Press.  Once the review is over, she'll go back to Prentice Hall Classics Algebra 1.

Grammar:  Words cannot express how thankful I was to finish R&S English 7.  We only did the grammar lessons but even then, it was a challenge to get it done before standardized testing.  And, let me tell you that at times I had a particularly hard time wrapping my brain around some of the learning.  Yes, friends, I am not smarter than a 7th grader.  We're going to take a break from R&S next year and save it for the next testing year (2019).

We found an excellent way to practice what we've learned - Daily Grammar Practice.  This past year she finished DGP 6 and 7.  We'll be using DGP 8 and possibly DGP 9 this next year in lieu of R&S Staff English 8.

Spelling:  She finished Phonetic Zoo A and is halfway through B.  She is breezing through the lists.

Composition:  Once again, it was shoved to the back burner.

Literature:  Again, it was dropped.

Geography: We finished Geography III.  She also practiced using Seterra Online quizzes.

World History:  We finished Ancients!  We used all of the lessons in History Detective that fit Ancients and we read through the Romans in K12's The Human Odyssey.

Classical Studies:  We are still covering Roman history in Lively Latin.  We reviewed and then continued all of Famous Men of Greece (MP) and Mills' Book of the Ancient Greeks.

Christian Studies:  We finished MP Christian Studies lV along with What the Bible Is All About for Young Explorers as a resource.  The future plan is to rely on seminary from this point forward.

Science:  There is part of me that feels guilty about this and there is the other part of me that knows we're on the right track.  Hands on has proven to be superior to merely reading a textbook.  So yes, we  have used Dr. Wile's elementary science series as our spine even though my student is older.  We finally finished Science in the Beginning and we are 1/3 of the way through Science in the Ancient World.

This summer the plan is to continue working through Science in the Ancient World.  I had planned for us to start Dr. Wile's high school biology course in the fall but decided to get a slow start this summer.  I looked through some of the experiments and found that the supplies would be easier to locate/find in the summer (ex: pond water, dry grass, sunshine lol!).

Morning Time, Art, and Music:  These all fell by the wayside as test prep became more of the focus.  Yes, she did some art projects and art appreciation, but the others were dropped completely.

In the end I see how much I still need to work towards matching the Vision with  reality and follow through.

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