Monday, April 24, 2017

Taking Stock of the School Year

This is the time of year when Amber usually begins the slow finish of various subjects and we double up on the ones that have lagged behind. I felt this year like she was going to be down to the wire on more subjects, but when we looked at it on paper everything is significantly better than in my mind.




1. Math - we took a break from math this semester since Amber is so far ahead and had already completed algebra 2. It's been so long that I keep forgetting about it. An easy check mark.

2. Writing - Technically, Amber has completed her writing course for the year and there was only minor celebration. However, we immediately started the IEW Essay Intensive, so that did not free up any additional time nor did I mentally store that writing for her English 1 course was complete. The essay intensive is a very short-term course though and should be finished in a week or two.  Amber also has a creative writing course but we are using what is intended as a single year course over two years, so it won't even come close to finishing.  ✔

3. Science - We are not working on science at home this semester, since I am teaching the forensic science class Amber wanted at our co-op. We have one session left of co-op, thus a few days until science is complete for the semester. Check mark (almost)

4. History - It's been a mess this school year. Tapestry of Grace did not work as well for Amber at the rhetoric level, and there really was just too much reading. She still likes the style, but it is ... not the right fit exactly.  We've adjusted TOG and it is working better, however she was VERY far behind in our year plan. Then to add to that she took a Greek mythology class at co-op while also working on an Ancient Greece study for a review product.  These would have been great had that been the time period she was studying in TOG - it was not.  So, I decided to credit her with a portion of her Ancient History course and a portion of her American history course and we'll just pick up American history next school year wherever we leave off at the end of May. Who said we had to do only one topic per school year? (Yet my little box checking self ✔ really struggles with partial credit tracking even though it's easy in Homeschool Tracker).

5. Grammar / Vocabulary - On schedule. Not behind, not ahead. No worries, for once. It will finish at the end of May.

6. Literature - Had a rocky start because we could not pick a program to use and just floundered at the beginning of the year. We are doing much better and she's enjoying what we landed with: our own book list where some are worked in the method of Teaching the Classics and others come from Lightning Literature. I think the Lightning Literature is her favorite. Again, I'm not rushing to finish anything, she's going to be where she's going to be at the end of the year.

7. Foreign Languages - Yes, plural languages. German fizzled for a good deal of the year. We finally have a curriculum we like and it works well. However, Amber really wanted to study Greek and we had the opportunity to use First Form Greek. She adores it. Now, she wants to refresh her Latin and we have First Form Latin for that purpose. Obviously none of those will finish before the end of May since we just started in March with the Greek and today on the Latin. These subjects will probably continue over the summer because I can't imagine she will do well taking a two month break from languages.

8. Electives - With the last co-op session this week, Amber also completes:
  • 1/2 credit in Bible  ✔
  • 1/2 credit in Health ✔
  • Drama class (which goes towards her Fine Arts credit for the year) ✔

When I look at all of those check marks, school feels more productive than it has in a while. Nothing really needs to be given extra time to finish this school year. Starting next week Amber will only need to work on English (writing, literature, grammar), history, and foreign languages. That's not too shabby for the last month of school.


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