Friday, April 8, 2016

The Last Standardized Testing Week

It's been a slower week for us and we have reveled in the unscheduled days. Okay there were two days, yesterday and today, but that's a huge improvement from five scheduled days. Part of the ease in our schedule was the homeschool co-op break this week in order for a large portion of the families to attend the local homeschool convention. I've never gone, but always mean to go. This year, I didn't even pretend I was going, and instead coveted the day off.

We only have two more weeks of co-op for the school year. Amber is devastated; I'm ecstatic. Honestly though, co-op days are hard on her because of sensory triggers, endurance needed, mental focus through chaos, and physical limitations that always remind her she is different. Her peeps (medical professionals) all agree she NEEDS co-op, just as they all agree it is not an ideal situation for her. Many of her therapies revolve around solutions for that single day per week. 

Biscotti has been overly playful this week, but what a difference the camera angle makes. He looks sweet and ready to play in one, and angry in another. Plus Milori, he likes to lay his head on pillows. He sleeps like this on any pillow he finds.
But it's not really just co-op days that the therapies are teaching Amber to handle, but various less than optimal or even difficult life situations. These classes simply present a regular and consistent environment to practice her techniques. 

We've done some of our regular school subjects this week, but spent the majority of the school hours focused on her final year of standardized testing. We are not required to test in Missouri, nor is there even any place for us to report scores. It is all for our benefit. I've talked about it before and our reasons haven't changed, although we did wonder if this final year was necessary. In the end we wanted to see how Amber's cognitive function is compared to previous years, if these tests will even show that. What cinched it for me was the notification that the Stanford 10 is being discontinued after next month. This is our last opportunity to use the same test she has used since starting school. 

Testing is complete and ready to be mailed off. The results will return in a few weeks and we won't be disappointed or concerned. They will be what they are: documentation that makes me feel safer in a state with such lax homeschooling laws. 

Three days of standardized testing. And a break to pet a needy kitty.
Otherwise Amber has upped her cardio workouts just a small amount, been faithful to her PT and OT home programs, started the next module of confirmation classes on the Lord's Prayer, continued regular flute practices and lesson, watched Great Courses videos in the car and Crash Course videos on the exercise bike, plus a few random assignments in addition to the standardized testing. 

We are reviewing Poetry Memorization from IEW, which I thought to start next week. In the process of reading the teacher's instructions and preparatory information, I intrigued Amber. She too read all of the teacher background information and watched the video Nurturing Competent Communicators. She's already through the first five poems of level one and going strong. There's something to say for understanding the why of learning methods. 

We did visit Amber's GI doctor this week, who started Amber on Reglan for the gastroparesis. She's only on a 6 week course, although it can be taken up to 12 weeks. We'd like to just get her eating properly again and then see how she does. She has quite a bit of food fear at this point and makes poor choices when she thinks she can eat, simply because she misses those foods. I'm hoping she doesn't have any adverse reactions to the Reglan and it helps her stomach contract. 

Exhausted and waiting for dinner at McAlister's before confirmation class. Waiting for the GI doctor at the new satellite office 10 minutes from our house, and a happy Supergirl to be on her last year of testing.
We have a freeze warning in effect for tonight, so clearly Spring is a bit confused. I was hoping to start on some outdoor plants, but not with the low temperatures as they have been. I do need to address several indoor Spring tasks this weekend, like Amber's closet, which should keep me busy.

*** And don't forget, throughout the entire month of April you can download the following  electronic high school planning resources FREE from The Old Schoolhouse with the code CSCREW16
  1. High School & Beyond Bundle
  2. Homeschooling through High School Bundle
Happy Spring Weekend!

In case you missed these posts:
-{Review}Stopmotion Explosion Animation Kit (with Amber's stopmotion videos)
-Video Education Options

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  1. You all accomplished lots this week. I am going to start the poetry review soon too. It looks great.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. I didn't think Amber would want the poetry review, but she was begging for it. She's been happy with it so far; that makes me happy.

  2. FL has some slack laws - the work assigned was completed. That's it. Thankfully my boys do not know that because I have some higher standards. =)

    1. Missouri has hours requirements, but the funny part is that there is no reporting at all. So, while we have requirements to meet, there is no where to report that we did all that is needed. We have requirements on records to keep, but no where to send those records. It's great for when you want to do your own thing, but not so great in that a few people can make the rest of us look pretty bad.

  3. I've often toyed with testing my boys. Our state doesn't require much of anything and I'm always a bit curious as to how we "measure up" but my kids are not confident testers and I worry about stressing them out. Has your daughter ever worried about how she'll do? If so how do you handle it?

    1. Amber did testing when she was in parochial school and it was overly stressful. Once we started homeschooling her, I became a certified tester and she found the exact same tests to be less stressful. She actually likes it. I don't put emphasis on them and we really just do them out of curiosity at this point. She doesn't test well in any other circumstance.

  4. I'm glad the doctors understand the importance of coop. sometimes it's hard to figure out what needs to stay and what needs to go, but usually what's good for the soul is good for the body, too! I hope you guys have an awesome new week!