Friday, April 24, 2015

Visiting Narnia

This has been an amazing week for Amber especially considering the week prior.  Our weather stabilized and her body is recovering.  She is still having some trouble and more exhaustion than normal.  Her brain isn't functioning well in the evenings either, but we had a fantastically productive school week with a great attitude toward school.

After such a rough few weeks it would have been normal for Amber to fear activity since it could trigger another difficult time.  Thankfully, she understands the need to be active and keep her body going.  Some days it meant pushing much farther past where she was comfortable, but it also is contributing to her increased stamina.  We walk such a fine line here; what will increase her stamina and what will cause a flare of symptoms?

(top) An extremely tired girl, but she accomplished a lot that day.  Alpha kitty, Biscotti, doing the unheard of: asking for belly rubs!
(bottom) What's that I see under Amber's bed?  Oh... it's just Milori and Rosetta.
The majority of our lessons this week revolved around language in some format. Amber worked quite a bit with her Greek Morphemes and Cover Story writing.  She spent a lot of her free time in a creative writing project of her own.  We've finally been able to make some decent progress in German this week and we added weekly writing assignments to German along with the curriculum workbook.  Even history included quite a bit of writing; it's just the way the assignments fell for the week. 

Despite the heavy emphasis on language, Amber did get through a couple of lessons in Geology without doing the experiments.  She's not all that interested in the experiments this time around and honestly, I'm finding them a bit forced.  We'll complete some of the more interesting experiments when the weather is conductive for it, but otherwise I'm just going to let her do the book work for science at this point.

(top-left) Timeline work. (bottom-left) Engrossed in writing. (Right) New math book and beginning her first lesson.
Tuesday was an exciting day when Amber's new math book arrived.  We are giving Life of Fred - Algebra 1 a try.  I have some concerns about the completeness of this book, but Saxon is causing Amber so much anxiety that her body can't tolerate.  I really didn't realize how much stress Saxon was causing until we completely gave up on it for a couple of weeks. The change in Amber's attitude and endurance once math was taken out of her school day was unbelievable.  I so much dislike admitting it, but Saxon is not working for Amber at this point.

I'm not sure we will stick with Life of Fred and are investigating our options.  However, the first few LOF lessons went well and Amber didn't report any stress over the topic.  I guess our real test will be when she catches up to new content in Life of Fred and it's not all a review of what she already learned in Saxon.  If you have any suggestions for math programs that are not on the computer (Algebra 1 and up), then I'd love to hear about them and your experience. Amber is still not enthusiastic about computer / online math programs, but is willing to consider them on a case by case basis.

Narnia capes.  Amber's is the silver one.
Today is Amber's dress rehearsal for the co-op drama class' performance of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Please pray that Amber has the energy and strength to make it through both dress rehearsal and the play tomorrow evening.  She's playing Susan, one of the four children who visit Narnia from our world.  I spent last weekend and some evenings this week finishing Amber's costumes and the royal capes for the other characters.   I finished everything with more than an entire day to spare before the final drama class and with several days to spare before dress rehearsal.      

Yesterday was that final drama class and the last of all the co-op classes for this school year.  Amber was excited because the last class meant it was almost time for the play, yet she was also sad as it meant the end of all her classes until August.  She will have to make an effort to organize events to see her friends now and no more fun class times.  I was entirely relieved to be finished with class preparations, while sad too since many of the kids I won't have in class again next year.  I'm only teaching middle school / high school German next year so I'll miss out on the fun times with the younger group.

(left) Last day of 7th grade co-op classes.  (right) First day of 7th grade co-op classes!
This weekend is going to be entirely crazy, but thankfully its the last such one for a while. As much as I'd like to pretend we will start back strong with lessons on Monday, I know it will be a bit of a lazy, recovery day.  I'm definitely going to take advantage of having our co-op day free again for lessons at home.

Happy Weekend!

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  1. What a fantastic week. I hope the performance goes wonderfully.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. I'm so glad you guys had a better week. I have been thinking of giving LOF a try for next year as well. The capes are beautiful! Tell Amber I said, "Break a Leg!" Are you going to video any of the play? I'd love to see a clip or two of Amber in action!

  3. I love the capes - very cool!
    We use life of Fred but as a supplement. Heather at Blog She Wrote uses solely LOF and her children seem to be doing really well on them. I think they really are a low stress option which sounds perfect for Amber right now.
    Hope you had a lovely weekend