Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Seven Quick Takes {June 24, 2016}


1) Summer is flying by! It's hard to believe, but our summer break is more than half over. It's been busy, but I've worked hard to stay organized and I think it's been successful . . . . if you don't count keeping up with the blog.

2) There was a request for a family fun trip by a certain boy. We decided to honor that request with a quick overnight trip to our (Scott and I) favorite B&B and free entertainment in the surrounding area. We stayed in Old Bass Lodge at Bass & Baskets and the boys much enjoyed their first stay. It was noted that one night was not enough and someone mentioned a week stay, lol!

Our plan was hiking and touring at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, but the rain that was suppose to be spotty lasted all day. We only got to tour the ruins and then ate lunch in the car waiting for the rain to stop. It never did! We ended up going to Bridal Cave instead and our "free entertainment trip" was no more. If we had a better weather forecast we could have rearranged our plans, so I was a little upset with that.

3) Tyler went to to a day camp at our local nature center. This is the second year he got to attend and it was much enjoyed. If you are local this is something you want to keep your eye out to sign up for in April. They only take 30 kids and they pick through a drawing. I think the ages are 9-12, so most likely Tyler will be too old next year to attend (his birthday is usually around the time of the camp). Highly recommended!

4) Boy Scout camp is coming up soon! This means I have my annual school planning week. I'm working hard to get everything ready. My goal is to be down to the nitty gritty planning by this week and to get it done. A new goal this year is to get the whole year planned. Typically I just get one term done. I have a new plan and I think I will pull it off. Pam @ ed snapshots has been doing a weekly Facebook Live on planning and you can view the past videos on her Facebook page.

5) I have a goal to pre-read 4 of the boys books before the start of school. I'm done with book 1, Kon Tiki: Across the Pacific By Raft and it was an enjoyable read. I've been making notes to help remind me of the story when I hear narrations from Caleb. I will also be reading through a selection of the boys books during the school year. It's impossible for me to read 100% of their books, but I think this plan will work well (and slightly better than last year's plan). I will have to be well organized and keep my notes so I don't have to read Kon-Tiki again when Tyler reads in a couple of years . . . . this is probably going to be a struggle for me!

6) I got to meet Jen @ Wildflowers & Marbles last weekend at the KC Catholic Homeschool Conference. It was wonderful to meet this long time online friend and mentor. I wish we had more time to spend together.

A Boy Scout is always prepared for opening presents.

7)I am putting writing on my calendar so that I have no excuse for not blogging. I think I will do a Daybook, planning updates for the coming school year, and a post on our recent dyslexia discovery. Any other request? It's been very hot here so there won't be any nature hike post because those aren't happening.

Bonus Take!
We celebrated Tyler's 12th birthday a couple week ago. We had dinner, fishing, and camping at the family farm. My brother and his family camped out with us. My parents and aunt did too, but they brought a RV and not a tent. 

Lucy says it's too hot!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

End of Year Review {2015-2016}

The boys finished up their school year in mid-May, but I completely forgot about doing a year-end review. I like doing these when they are fresh in my mind and now that I'm planning for next year the memories are hard to find. Ask questions as I'm sure I will think of more if you ask.  : )

The first year of high school is done. My biggest mistake with high school was thinking that it was different. Once I got that silly idea out of my head life was much better. The biggest success was just treating high school as just another year and continuing with the methods we were already using. 

Another big obstacle for high school is goals. Our world tends to make the fruits the goal of high school (fruits are the good grades, high test scores, scholarships, good college, good job, riches in life). The goals should be wisdom, knowledge, and Truth. It's so hard to keep that focus in a world that thinks the opposite. I've caught my wrong thinking many times this past year and had to realign.


Caleb's favorite subject was history and he much enjoyed The Book of the Ancient World by Dorothy Mills. 

Caleb's least favorite book was Watership Down: A Novel by Richard Adams. This book went unfinished and Caleb's end-of-term examination for this book was a writing on why he didn't like the book. I have this book for sale, really cheap if anyone wants to give it a try.  ; )

My favorites from Caleb's book list this year was Fabre's Book of Insects and History of the American People by Paul Johnson. I loved Fabre's love of discovery (and references to the Creator). Johnson's book taught me more about history and made me mad at timess. Both of these were a tough reads for me, but well worth it. I'm looking forward to continuing in Johnson's book. I love history books that make you realize that the world is not a worse place than it use to be (and getting worse). Early America could be a pretty nasty place too and the bad things that go on today were going on back then too in some form or another. 

Tyler's favorite books came off his literature and free reading list. Old Sam: Dakota Trotter by Don Alonzo Taylor was at the top of his list.

Tyler's least favorite also came off his literature list and was Bulfinch's Age of Fable. Tyler loves mythology books and he was very familiar with most of the stories he read, but the book was too challenging for him. I plan for him to pick this book up in a year or two and continue it. I will probably add it to Caleb's list next year since mythology is a favorite here.

My favorites from Tyler's list were his history books and Rocks, Rivers, and Changing Earth. I was surprised how much geology I didn't know! I read this one out loud to Tyler and many times I would ask Tyler if it was true because I couldn't believe it. Turns out it was all true and I was amazed by God's creation!

I think my biggest disappointment for the year was lack of Morning Basket (a term I use for the work we do together). We struggled getting this done and when we did it was not inspiring. I tinkered with it a lot to try and fix that and didn't come up with any solutions. I plan to make big changes to Morning Basket next year and hope for a better outcome. Morning Basket is truly a very important part of our school time and I need to figure out why we are struggling.

I was most happy with our schedule. It was a little too much at first, but I worked it out and we had a good schedule the rest of the year. I had to say no to many things and keep us at home during school hours to make this work. We ended the year because we were finished and not the usual because it's just time to finish. It was nice not to get "behind" this year!

What were hits and misses in your school this year?

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