Friday, March 20, 2015

Thinking About Eighth Grade

We had a full week of school lesson plans all lined up this week in preparation for next week when we have my nephew for a couple of days and will take some time off. This past weekend felt short and we were still exhausted Sunday afternoon with little accomplished. Amber and I both noticed the niggling of school burnout too. We did not have a Spring Break or even a full break week scheduled until the end of school because we thought it unnecessary with all the individual days off planned. Heeding the advice we have given ourselves after previous burnout times, we evaluated Amber's current progress and decided there was plenty of wiggle room.

Therefore this week has been projects, resting, shopping, resting, LEGOs, resting, Spring housework, resting, exercising, and more resting. Most of the resting was Amber.  Most of the housework was me. It wasn't an entirely school free week as Amber continued her Greek vocabulary (I can't wait for that review to go live) and did quite a bit of creative writing too.

Pi day pizza - Imo's has a gluten free that, if asked for with light sauce, Amber tolerates.  Amber's St. Patrick's Day shopping haul (bought with her own money) and looking Springy.
Emotionally it's been an up and down crazy week with the weather up and down too.  We received the call-back from the Mayo Clinic and Amber has been approved for an appointment.  Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the appointment dates because the date block she should be scheduled into was not open for scheduling on time.  Wait, wait and more wait.  At least I was told they have all the information required and should not need anything additional from us ahead of travel or at arrival.

I think we also have decided to just book a hotel and not try for the Ronald McDonald House.  I'm not up for the anxiety of rushing about on a weekend as soon as we arrive to get the referral from the Mayo Clinic Social Work office, waiting for the referral to be transferred to the Ronald McDonald House, and then hoping there is a room open during the busy summer months.  It's too much.  I know they provide reduced rates at hotels if they don't have a room open, but honestly I need to know which hotels because we will be there a while and we are a bit of hotel snobs.  Seriously.  The RMH is also over double the distance from the main building which houses pediatrics than our preferred hotels.

Shopping and lunch out on a warm day.  Then we were off to Cinderella that evening.

With our local homeschool expo being this week I've been slowly trying to plan for next school year, just to see how much I'll need to purchase and what subjects we might want to make part of our summer school.  I really like the setup that we have right now because a large majority of the curriculum is multi-year.  We split Year 2 of Tapestry of Grace into two school years to allow time for projects, which means we still have a year to go before we need another year plan of TOG. I have the three year library pass to Heritage History and hope to find most of Amber's history reading through that resource or the local library.

I do need to purchase (still) the Homeschool in the Woods American History set for use as a supplement with TOG. When asked what her favorite part of history class was this year, Amber replied "I liked all of it. Don't change a thing."  Well, I guess that made my life easier.  Analytical Grammar, Cover Story, and The Art of Poetry will all continue through at least 8th grade.  I am kinda looking for a different writing option than TOG Writing Aids.  They will probably be just fine, but I'm floundering a little on my end with it. 

St. Patrick's Day, Amber style.  I'm not sure she qualifies as Irish. My mother's heritage includes Irish, but by Amber's generation I think it's pretty much too tiny to count.

Last Spring I purchased the remainder of the Saxon Math curriculum, Algebra 1 through Calculus, so we would have the same edition for all levels and not need to deal with issues that might arise from the included or not include geometry.  This isn't exactly multiple year curriculum, but I've already invested in the books so it's not an expenditure for 8th grade.  Science is also not be a continuation from 7th grade, but I already purchased the Apologia Physical Science when we did our weather unit in the Fall.  Another curriculum ready to go.

It looks like German might be the only complete subject that I definitely need to purchase for 8th grade.  Amber is close to finishing German 1a and that means I'll need student and teacher books for the next level.  Thankfully, the first and second level have a combined test booklet and cultural DVD. I also use this curriculum for my German class at the homeschool co-op, which means I generally need all the pieces and not just what I think we might use with Amber.  I do try to start Amber on the next level about a month before the co-op classes begin for the year so that I have a head start in planning the lessons,  which makes German either a summer school topic or a very early 8th grade start.

LEGO!  Cinderella and several of the new Elves sets too.  Of course, she also had to play Infinity 2.0  She loves being Maleficent (right side of screen).  I usually play Tinkerbell (can you barely see her in the foreground of the left side).  Would you believe Amber has the majority of the Infinity 2.0 characters, yet we pretty much play these two in the toybox?

There are a few other odds and ins that might fill out our lessons, but being on the Review Crew I've decided to wait and see what comes up for review.  It's never good with Amber to have a packed schedule and we do need to have time for reviews.  I must say being on the Review Crew this year has already been such a blessing.  Amber has found several items she loved that we would have never considered or even thought to be a good match for her.

That's pretty much been our week.  Having fun on projects together, relaxing, planning for next year and a not-quite-vacation-trip to Minnesota.  This weekend we are cleaning like crazy people to de-cat our house for my nephew who is highly allergic to cats.  I know, it's an exercise in futility as the cats aren't leaving.

Happy Weekend!

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  1. Lots of fun and learning! I am thinking a lot about next year too. I can't wait to start planning it in earnest.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Amber looks so happy, healthy and beautiful! It makes my heart happy! I'll have to check out your reviews. I'm always looking for something new to catch and keep Jerry's attention!

  3. Sounds like a busy week for you ahead! Good luck on all the cleaning and de-cat'ing lol .... Amber looked so beautiful in her springy outfit... she's glowing and beaming with that gorgeous smile. I am so happy you got an appointment approval... let's hope the date is not too far out. I have a few more questions for you Christy....=) I know you hate my questions lol . j/k ... can you tell me on average about how much you think you spend or someone should spend on a homeschool curriculum per year? And I see you talk about TOG... is this expensive? Is there a website I can check it out? And are there any free resources of online education videos for kids to watch and learn? If you remember, I am on a very fixed budget as I'm disabled and don't work so I cannot afford much at all. I always feel like we are behind everyone else because of this. Any advice?

  4. I am glad that you have an appointment for the Mayo Clinic. Our RMH is on the hospital grounds. Where we stay is about a block away. The nearest hotels are about 20 blocks away.

    Amber does look healthier and happier this week. Love the Lego haul.