Saturday, December 3, 2016

Week 18 - December Break

Since we normally take a break from school for the majority of December, the first part of this week was my last hurrah to squeeze in regular lessons. This doesn't mean we eschew school entirely for December. Instead we allow Amber to rest when needed, enjoy the innumerable holiday events, and fill in the holes with formal and informal lessons.

Of course we have already started out the month with a couple of extra events. Friday was both my mother's birthday that we celebrated with her at lunch, and our church's Advent by Candlelight. This year Amber was hosting a teen / tween table, so we've been working on the details over the past couple of weeks. It culminated this week with final preparations and food acquisition, since there was no way either of us were attempting a homemade dessert with our busy week.

Amber's LEGO Winter Village, with the 2016 Train.
Amber did start the week fairly puny after the excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating. Her physical therapist noticed on Monday how weak she was, just in comparison to 7 days earlier. It's like her entire body stopped working properly. All of her muscles tightened up as a result of her joints going a bit crazy. Her blood pressure was freakishly low, resulting in a crazy high heart rate. She was just a mess overall. This is yet another reason December is light on school - Amber's body usually transforms into its winter state right after Thanksgiving and it takes us a while to adjust to her limitations.

Still, Amber managed to finish her co-op homework on Sunday and Monday which included reading and questions for health class, reading for Bible class, plus outline and write the rough draft of her persuasive speech for speech class. Next week is our last class of the semester, which means presentation of her final speech too.

Amber's table at Advent by Candlelight - before the lights went out :)
We managed to keep going on grammar, history, math, botany, and literature this week too. Instead of a new literature novel, we opted to work on poetry since it can be completed in smaller segments and was less of a commitment for December. This means we've left behind our use of Teaching the Classics for a short while in favor of the Memoria Press American Literature Short Stories and Poetry set we've had since last school year. Amber read and worked half of the lessons on Rip Van Winkle while I was at my pain management appointment this week.

I had intended to maybe go alone for the steroid shot in my back this week and let Fred stay home to watch over Amber, but instead we all went to the appointment. There was some concern I might need a driver, even though I was not technically required to have one because it was done with local anesthesia.  Let's just say we made the correct choice. However, the doctor was running behind, and although my procedure took only 10 minutes, the prep time and wait for the doctor to catch up on his appointments meant we were there quite a while. Thankfully the waiting room was mostly empty except for patients occasionally coming in and going out, so Amber was able to work on her literature while she and Fred waited on me.

And... by candlelight.
This coming week looks fairly promising for us to sneak in a few regular lessons, but that might be the end of it until after the new year. I'll have to see how things go, but our calendar is not looking too restful at the moment. Unfortunately, December also happens to be a rather busy medical month for Amber because of previous years when she was able to get into these doctors. That has left us with regular visits each December, or risking her running out of medications.

Here's to hoping we find a few more days to work on lessons before officially ending the first semester of 9th grade!

Happy December!


Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break

Friday, November 25, 2016

Week 17 - Thanksgiving

Instead of the planned school this week, I decided it was more important for us all to spend time with Fred who was off all week. Amber did complete some lessons on Monday before I decided we would take the time off, a single math lesson Tuesday, and her flute lesson on Wednesday.

Other than those, we went out to lunch with Fred each day, saw Fantastic Beasts in 3D, watched other movies at home, slept late, and generally just relaxed. We also took a short overnight trip to my sister's for Thanksgiving. 

Now we're home and planning for Advent by Candlelight next week, where Amber is hosting a kids' table. I've been shopping online too and I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping... well, I'm 2/3 complete, without stepping foot in a store. Which makes up for going to Target for three days in a row earlier this week for two-to-three things at a time because we just couldn't get ourselves together. It was pathetic.

We're thankful for Biscotti, Rosetta, and Milori
We're decorating for Christmas, as is our tradition, tomorrow and Sunday. Amber will not let me forget this either. The girl is very attached to her traditions and there must be decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving; not before, and definitely not after.

This year we did not hang and add leaves to our traditional Thankfulness Tree; I forgot on November first, and then we decided it was more than we had energy for this year. So instead, here are a few pictures of things we've been thankful for this year (mixed in with fun times from this week, for which we are thankful for too).


Our church, Amber's therapies, and kitty cuddle time.

Friends & our homeschool group, Amber's confirmation, and cousins.

Family & kitties that occasionally get along

Happy Weekend!

Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break

Friday, November 18, 2016

Week 16 - Almost Halfway

Like the title says, we are almost halfway done with Amber's first official year of high school. I suspect we will get 18 official weeks of school the remainder of this semester and maybe a couple of days throughout December.

As a general rule, I do not schedule lessons during December and we work when we have free time on finishing up subjects that might have been left hanging prior to December 1st. I like to let Amber (and me) enjoy all there is of the Christmas season without the worries of missed school days.

Our active school year actually runs 40 weeks (plus the months of June and July as lighter summer school). This means second semester is several weeks longer than first, which is a good thing since we will barely be at the halfway point for hours by week 18, maybe. We might not even be quite there yet.

Annual tradition. I just didn't get Amber's picture with the boxes. We're excited to see where they go this year.
This particular week has been one of minor calamity around the house, which is stressing me and the probable cause of my migraines this week. It's really been a set of relatively small items breaking around the house, but I can't even stand to live in a mildly dusty home without anxiety. And of course the house currently needs a good window washing and dusting, so I started out at a negative. Add in the cluttered basement that I can't find time to declutter. Compounding it all with a toilet that runs too much and needs repair wasn't too bad, but finding out that the water shut-off valves for two sinks and one toilet (including the one to be repaired) have frozen put me over the edge. After a light bulb in the same bathroom broke, on it's own, in the socket I just about lost it. I almost think it's easier to replace the whole light fixture at this point. (update since I wrote this: the toilet is fixed, and the light bulb has been removed from the fixture. All is well on those points.)

Back to the school update; we finished everything I had on the schedule for this week and I'm pleased with Amber's current progress. She still has school several days next week because we are not hosting Thanksgiving, which means it's basically just a normal week for the first few days.

Book character day at co-op; she's Annabeth from the Percy Jackson books.  I almost forgot her picture too, but managed to get one as she entered my speech class.
We are moving along in history again, completing a standard week's worth of TOG rhetoric level work. This makes my scheduling heart happy; I love it when things fall into place like they intended. We also worked on every single subject at least once, plus lots of homework for her co-op classes (she takes five classes). This was all mind-boggling for me since we lost half of Monday to my migraine and Amber's PT. Actually, I had a pretty significant migraine again today, but Amber worked independently so my infirmity didn't slow her down.

That's pretty much the summary of our week. We're hosting the yearbook committee meeting tomorrow, so I won't get any decluttering done in the afternoon, and then Amber has a youth group event that I'm chaperoning on Sunday. Again, no decluttering for me.

I posted my last two reviews of the 2016 year for the Homeschool Review Crew this this week.  One was a game (Commissioned) that we really liked and the other was Amber's upcoming chemistry curriculum (Chemistry 101). We actually found something for chemistry!  We're looking forward to another year on the Review Crew starting back in January!

Happy Weekend!

Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break
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