Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Homeschool Path {Planning Eighth Grade and preparing for high school}

Come August my oldest will be an eighth grader. I find this daunting! Our last year before high school! This makes school planning difficult unless you look ahead to the high school years at the same time. 

I'm struggling with looking ahead to high school! I prefer just to bury my head in the snow sand. It came as a surprise that I would have to do some high school planning while planning eighth grade. I'm sure everyone already knew this and perhaps I did too . . . . . remember that head buried part!

I've been reading blogs and online forums for advice. This is extremely helpful! I also like to go back on old threads and ask "How did this workout for you and what changes would you make?" These discussions are priceless! I've been having these discussion in real life too. I'm also asking those fellow IRL homeschoolers that are in the same spot about their plans for the upcoming year and high school.

I found our state graduation requirements and printed those off. I didn't really look at it, but I gave it a glance. I asked those who have gone before me if a child can get into college by following those graduation requirements. I was told I would want to do more if we are planning on a private college, but the requirements were good enough for a state college. This was filed away mentally. Looking at those graduation requirements gave me a small glance at possible high school classes which was helpful in planning for eighth grade especially history and science.

I decided on our history time period and subjects for science for eighth grade (and a pre-game plan for high school)and everything else will just be a continuation of what we are currently doing. Really, history is too, but it needed a little more figuring out. I also took a look at areas that needed more focus and/or needed to be "caught up" on before high school. Math and writing will be a big consumer of our time for eighth grade.

There is also a book list to read through in the next year. Items I have on hand include, Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum: A Guide to Catholic Home Education by Laura Berquist (which I started a while back but never read the high school part-refer back to the head buried part), and The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens by Debra Bell that I got for Christmas, read a little, and please refer back to the head buried part.

So, here it is, a game plan for eighth grade that made me take my head out of the sand for a quick look and see. High school still scares me and I'm sure it will until both boys are through it. I've accepted it and may or may not move one.  ; ) 

What's next? I would love to hear more advice for planning eighth grade and starting the high school planning! Please share!

The current 7th grader and cause of post inspiration.


Friday, February 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes~February 14, 2014

1) Happy Valentine's Day! We celebrated with a party with our local Catholic homeschool group. Caleb thinks he's too old for that and spent the afternoon with Grandma instead. She took him errand running. ; )

2) We enjoyed reading Cranberry Valentine. I thought it was humorous! Caleb again said he was too old for those kinds of books. I told him you could never be too old for a wonderful picture books! He will be surprised next week when dialog from the book shows up in his copywork. ;)

3)I've been tired this week. I'm not sure if I'm fighting sickness or whatever else. The good news is I've been falling asleep very easily! We have been so blessed this winter and have stayed well so far. I've noticed allergies flaring up just slightly though lately. I'm not looking forward to spring because of allergies. I'm praying for a much better spring allergy season after being on allergy drops for over a year now. Last year was the worse spring allergy season ever for me.

4) I hate to admit that Tyler was totally spoiled today! It was just the two of us for most of the day and he talked me into too much. It started at McDonald's to try the new Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frappa and I said to pick something cheap to go with it and that turned out to be Chicken McNuggets. After dinner, he unfortunately had to accompany me to the mall as I was desperate for new jeans. Feeling guilty, I got him a pretzel and soda. He then requested to "look" at the Candy Shop . . . . well you know how that went. He's had way too much junk food today . . . . he did have a salad for dinner so maybe it all evens out in the end.

5) Surprisingly, the jean shopping went just fine. My jeans are old and falling apart.I've been putting this off for a long time because over two year ago (the last time I went shopping for jeans) the experience was horrifying. I couldn't find a style or size to fit me! This time I had no problems. I came home with two and my only problem was wondering if I should get the smaller size thinking they will stretch out and get too big. I will wear them around the house tomorrow to make sure the size is correct. Ok, I'm getting a little nervous now. Surely it's not that easy! (Now if I could just find some skirts that I like!)

6)I'm working on another post in what I guess will be my first series. The Homeschooling Path is currently the most read post. I really wrote it to start discussion, but that didn't really happen. I'm working on "planning eighth grade" for my next post in that series. I would love for those who have been there to share and those of us just getting started to discuss challenges and ideas. I will have it done as early as tomorrow or as late as next week. ; )

7) Plans for the weekend include getting programs done for our scout blue and gold banquet that is next week. I also have a stack of papers and projects sitting here that need to be completed. It's a wonderful weekend to get it done! A shopping list needs to be made to get supplies for that banquet. Pulling out all our "snow" books for some winter reading. The snow will be all gone by the time I get those books out though. What are your plans for the weekend?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, February 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes ~ February 7, 2014

1) It's been a restful week here. We ran errands like crazy on Monday to prepared to be "snowed in" the rest of the week. We could have easily gotten out by Wednesday afternoon, but we stayed home until today. I also decided to go ahead and take our winter break. With snow on the ground it seemed like the perfect time. I also have never taken a school break BEFORE the point that a break must be taken to stay sane. This is a different experience and I like it!

2) Today was a Valentine Party with a local homeschool group and ice skating afterwards.

3) The boys have been enjoying learning coding through coding.org. They have been self motivated and I'm enjoying that! 

4)My first day of winter break was spent planning out the remaining school year. Just 12 more weeks!

5)I've been doing a lot of research for the next school year and I'm happy with my progress. I have the majority of our book list made out. Since I'm on a roll and plan to have first draft done over the weekend! I'll let that settle a while and revisit it in spring before buying. I did make one purchase already to help me with planning. Brief preview of planned topics and a new program: history from around 1850-current; physical science for Caleb, introduction to physics and chemistry for Tyler, Fix-it for grammar. 

6)I got a new book this week! The Living Page: Keeping Notebooks with Charlotte Mason arrived a today and I will be following along with the discussion going on over at Wildflowers and Marbles.

7) We will be adding in some books on the Pope for our religion study. I ordered Be Saints! and Our Father, the Pope: The Papacy from Saint Peter to Present. I've been waiting to do a pope study since last Easter and we are finally getting around to it. Jessica @ Shower of Roses has lots of resources to make a lapbook. I don't think we will do a lapbook but I find her post very resourceful. The boys will be reading about (soon to be Saint) Blessed John Paul II in the fall. Caleb read Habemus Papam! last Lent and Tyler will read it during our pope study, if he can. It is written as a graphic novel in manga style . . . . which means it reads right to left and from the back to the front. This was a funny challenge when Caleb read it!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snowed in!

We are enjoying being snowed in since Tuesday. It looks like we could get out now if we wanted. Scott got out this morning, but the roads were rough. It is the last day of school for the week and we will take off the rest of the week and a couple days next week for a winter break. I had planned taking off at the end of the month, but I thought it would be nice to take a break BEFORE we get burned out and need a break to survive. It feels nice to take a break while still in a good mood!  ; )

Here are some pictures of our week so far!

One of Caleb's birthday gifts. He got all money this year since he is saving up for a bow. He is just $40 away. He got some Target gift cards too.

 Hammy joined us during Morning Basket. She likes the Mitchell family too!

Scott worked on the boys coon skin hats while snowed in.

 My handsome boys out enjoying the snow. Scott didn't have Caleb's hat done yet.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

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