Friday, May 18, 2018

Weeks 34 & 35 of 10th Grade

This post is combining two weeks, because life got busy and I decided to enjoy our activities instead of worrying about when I was going to get a post put together. I almost didn't do one this week either. As a warning, there aren't many photos either since the majority of the photos I took are of groups of teens and I don't put others on the blog as a general rule.

In the past two weeks we have not done as many lessons at home as I expected. However, we have had a wonderful couple of weeks. I think this is basically how our summer is going to go too. We will work on school when there is time, but not worry or push ourselves when we have other activities.


Last week Amber had drama play rehearsal and the play itself. Everything went well. She actually did quite a bit of school work considering everything going on. I made a list of the subjects yet to be completed, and she has been diligently working on those when we have time. Mostly she needs to complete government and marine biology before we move on to the summer subjects. Everything else is basically complete.

Amber also finished the remainder of her required hours for school last week, so the rest is a bonus in that respect. Of course, I have requirements for the subjects she needs to finish. Still, I am promoting her to 11th grade next Friday. It's going to take a while to get used to seeing 11th grade.

This week Amber did some school on Tuesday and Thursday, but hung out with her friends on Monday and Wednesday. It was a productive week, and she has been happy spending time with friends. Of course, she's also been playing FortNite with these same friends in their free time.

Today was Amber's last hospital day for a while. We are switching to quarterly check-ins with both physical therapy and occupational therapy. It has been a monumental day, to say the least. Amber has been able to maintain her strength and energy. She hasn't had any major dislocations in a while either. Although it is sad that we will not see her lovely therapists for a while, we are proud of the work Amber has done to get herself this far. She is more functional than we ever imagined she could be when she started treatment for her EDS and dyautonomia. She's even met all of her OT goals, and has been able to demonstrate knowledge of how to apply what she learned. We truly are impressed with all the therapists have been able to do to assist Amber in getting to this stage in her life.

Death Aboard the Duchess - Amber was the ship's captain. 
Next week is another busy one, and hopefully Amber will find time to see her friends again too. We still have a couple of appointments for random things, but after those I hope we can avoid medical appointments for a short while. It's mind boggling considering where we came from to have all of this time free suddenly. Or maybe not so suddenly, since we've had to cancel and reschedule some of Amber's appointments the last few months and she did spectacular.

At any rate, that's our two week update. Tons of flute playing still, lots of drama (as in theater), government lessons, marine biology, hanging out with friends like a normal teen, and the end of regularly scheduled PT and OT.  It's been a great couple of weeks!

Linking With:

  Homeschool Coffee Break homeschool

Friday, May 4, 2018

I'm Still Counting It as Week 33 (Week 33 - 10th)

Guess what we did this week? Nothing. At least as far as school lessons at home go.

It was a crazy, hectic, long week.
  • Prom was last Saturday evening.



  • Fred left Sunday morning for The Netherlands on a work trip. Amber and I did not make church Sunday morning or the high school youth service day at church. Refer back to the first point. 
  • Amber had a much needed appointment with her GI doctor on Tuesday that basically took up half of the afternoon. 
  • Tuesday I also had to grade four final essays for my Elegant Essay co-op class. Of course I really didn't feel like I had the brain power for it, but I was out of time. 
  • Tuesday was my last day of prednisone and I was thankful. Except, it did not have the desired end results. My finger joints hurt and are swelling again. (and toes... and wrists)
  • Amber had two evening rehearsals with a musical ensemble that is playing all the music live for a 90-minute musical this weekend. At the first rehearsal none of the ensemble showed except Amber and the pianist. So it became a two-person ensemble, which was a bit stressful. There was also issues with the musical score.
  • Amber has a performance of the musical tonight (right now actually) and tomorrow morning. 
  • Amber had flute lesson too, where they went over changes to the musical score to correct the issues. 
  • We had our last day of co-op classes for the school year. Lots of wrapping up to do and things to remember to take. Why do I always teach three classes?
  • Tomorrow is my debate class' culminating debate. About an hour after Amber finishes with her musical. No, I'm not at all stressed by the schedule. (can you hear the sarcasim?) Amber is my timer. Fred is my judge - he arrived home from Europe this evening and is sleeping. Amber may or may not get lunch. I may or may not have a panic attack.
  • We had errands to run over the week too. Important things that couldn't wait. And things like the grocery store so that we did not starve while Fred was gone. Because nobody wants to return home to a starved family that was simply too lazy to go to the store. -- We actually ate out for every single lunch. The groceries were for dinner when we were too tired to do anything else.

Two of our lunches out this week.
Sunday afternoon I realized that our week actually looked like the above and not how I had imagined it in my head. I decided to forego lessons at home this week. Amber was going to need to rest whenever there was time. I was going to need to rest whenever I could. I was right.  Amber did read a great deal. At first it was from her literature book, but then Amazon delivered her books that released on May first. That was the end of literature reading. 

Amber is limping through the music for the musicals at this point. She's had a migraine going on the third day now - and she takes a preventative migraine medication. 

Amber was actually amazed when I told her there would be no school this week. It's rather unlike me, honestly. However, I was and still am totally fine with the progress of the week. Amber had completed the last of her co-op homework on Saturday before prom. She was prepared for her classes, so we aren't hurting anyone by skipping school this week. She's a few hours away from fulfilling her state required hours, which means that won't be a problem. We are schooling over the summer this year, therefore anything that isn't finished by May 31st will be continued into the summer.

More prom pictures. I have quite a few more too, but they include her friends.
And guess what? We may not have school next week either. Amber's co-op drama class is not quite finished yet. They have rehearsals and performance next week. We have appointments again too. Amber needs to complete her assigned pages for the yearbook, and that will probably be the majority of her school work next week. Oh, and flute lesson. And practice for a smaller performance at the end of the May.

We're so busy and it's a hard, long type of busy. Yet we are enjoying our days since we need not worry about lessons at the same time. And I'm still counting this as week 33 of 10th grade!

Linking With:

  Homeschool Coffee Break homeschool

Friday, April 27, 2018

Closing in on the End (Week 32 - 10th)

We might finally have spring here! I don't want to jinx it, and as much as winter is my favorite season, I honestly am happy to live in a place with four distinct seasons. I need the season changes. We are finally wearing capris again, and I have put away the bulky sweaters. Earlier this week, though, it wasn't quite so clearly spring. Although we were having spring rains, it was more autumn like in the temperatures. Poor Amber even commented when we finally got home Monday from appointments and errands, "I'm so tired of wet. Everything feels damp all the time." Pretty much, kiddo.

Monday, I had a followup ultrasound and annual checkup where the results were thankfully good and I'm set for another year, hopefully. Amber went with me and took some school work since the waiting room for this particular doctor is large and mostly quiet. We had lunch on the way home, and then ran some errands. By the time we were finished, both of us were overly exhausted. I haven't felt quite that overwhelmingly depleted in a few months. And it didn't happen in the evening, which was a little unsettling. Still, after an hour of just sitting and resting, I was able to practice Amber's hair for prom tomorrow.


The rest of the week was fairly easy, and we stuck to our normal school schedule as much as possible. We did go to a Thursday evening 3D showing of Avengers: Infinity War, and then we all slept late this morning. Fred took off work today, which made it possible for us to go to that late of a movie on a Thursday. No spoilers for the movie here. You'll have to just see it for yourselves, because I cannot think of anything to say that will not spoil at least part of the movie.

One funny from the week: Amber had her annual checkup with the pediatrician, which is humorous of itself considering how many doctors follow her conditions. Still, he is a great pediatrician who is good at handling standard illnesses and he checks in that all the specialists are doing what we need, and gives Amber her vaccinations. Anyway, he often forgets that Amber is homeschooled and asks questions about school. This time he he asked, "So, when are you finished with school for the year?"  Amber, not realizing that he had forgotten about homeschooling again, answers, "I don't know. Whenever Mom says." The total look of bafflement on both of their faces was almost enough to make me burst out laughing. In the end, he figured out the homeschooling. Amber though, the stinker, knows when she is finished with school officially for the school year. However, she's schooling over the summer too this year, so she was being smart-mouthed about it.

Because of my hyperactivity from the prednisone, I've been working on tons of school documentation. I've written course descriptions for completed courses, and almost all of Amber's planned courses too. I've even finished her transcript document except adding grades for courses yet to come. Even though we use Homeschool Tracker Online which has several transcript formats, I created my own document that is cleaner looking and allows me to group courses as I desire. I've never been fond of their transcript formats, but at least it has a way to get the information easily.

Government and more government. She has to finish it this semester.
During all of this document writing, I decided to change the name of Amber's English courses. English 1 through 4 sounded dull and, honestly without reading the course descriptions, do not convey the amount of work she puts into her English courses. To more succinctly explain her work, I chose to break apart each year into the writing / grammar and literature with each worth half a credit. Her transcript now lists: Composition and Grammar 1, Composition and Grammar 2, Advanced Research Writing (11th grade), Advanced Communications (12th grade), American Literature, British Literature, Early English Literature & Shakespeare, World Literature.

Although we have not been completing literature strictly by the courses named, I decided to divide up her literature assignments by those genres. This meant I needed to update the course names in Homeschool Tracker and re-sort her assignments into their appropriate courses. Everything was going swimmingly, until I ran an hours report on all of the new courses. As a result, I've now added "honors" to all of her English course names.

Apparently, I've been rather rigorous in Amber's language arts lessons. Amber already has 3/4 credit in each of the Composition and Grammar courses, when it really only needed to be 1/2 credit each. Because of the piecemeal way we've been working on literature, she should have partial credit in all four literature courses without having finished any. In reality, she has the hours for a full credit of British Literature, half a credit of American literature, half a credit of Shakespeare, and a drop of World History. Oops. Somehow I failed to notice this when running reports every semester??

So, now it looks like Amber will have four complete credits of literature when she graduates, plus 2 credits (or more?) of composition / grammar. That explains why she seems to do so much more language arts than her homeschooled friends. Seriously though, I just have never felt the writing portion of the literature programs were quite enough and Amber obviously has grown as a writer using IEW. I clearly remember my honors English courses in high school, and Amber is not doing more than I did. I think. Or I'm old and my memory is fading.

Creative writing. She's farther along than this looks, apparently I snapped the picture when she was looking back at some information.
At any rate, we both feel better knowing she definitely isn't behind on her English courses. Fred's comment after looking at her transcript was, "All of those extra credits and she's barely going to get the minimum for math." Yep, pretty much. That's how things roll with her.

We are getting close to the end of the school year for Amber though. She officially goes until the end of May every year. The last day of May - not the last full week. After that we start our summer schedule.

Next week Amber has multiple ensemble rehearsals and a couple of performances, along with the last week of co-op for the school year, a couple of medical appointments, and her flute lesson. We end the week with my debate class holding their final debate directly after one of flute performances. This weekend is no less busy with prom and possibly attending the high school youth service day at church Sunday afternoon. It really depends on Amber's exhaustion level if she can make the service day.

Linking With:

  Homeschool Coffee Break homeschool
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