Friday, January 27, 2017

Week 21 - Things Never Go As Planned

What was supposed to be an easy week at home almost every day ended up with us at home on days we hadn't planned and out on days we intended to be home, plus both of us feeling crummy most of the week. 

We skipped Amber's PT on Monday due to Amber not feeling great, which included running a low grade fever. Truth be told, I also felt awful, but that was a different story. I've felt awful for a while now.  So we were home all day Monday unexpectedly, however I ended up going back to the doctor on our at-home Tuesday.

Sick Day School with kitties
It looks like my digestive system really didn't like being on antibiotics for strep throat. I'm still swinging wildly between being able to digest food and not digesting; this week it has been a not digesting week, so I haven't eaten much. I just don't even feel hungry until about dinner time and there is very little space to put new food even though my stomach is bloated.  I've lost a significant amount of weight the past few weeks and although I'd like to lose weight, this isn't the way. I did start an anti-spasmodic on Wednesday that allows me to eat some.

Despite our changed schedule this week, Amber worked diligently on school lessons and managed a half day of school Monday along with full days Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  Thursday was our co-op day and she always gets a full-day of school there, however this week she skipped her first class of the morning, Bible study, because neither Fred or I could get her there quite that early.  Biscotti, our Maine Coon cat that's been sick, had an rather distressing episode Wednesday night. I was with him at the emergency vet until midnight and then needed to turn around and take him to our vet Thursday morning.  Fred was helping me care for him during the night, yet still needed to be at work Thursday morning.

Between the two of us and some great friends, Amber managed to get to co-op by the 11 am class (Fred left work just to pick her up at home and drop her off at co-op), I got Biscotti to our vet for additional tests and help, my 11 am and 1 pm classes at co-op were covered by people who were happy to fill in at the last minute, and friends watched out for Amber until I could get to co-op in the mid-afternoon.  Other friends helped me during my scatter-brained moments and vet call while I was leading my forensics class in a blood typing experiment.

Biscotti looking out from his room and resting while we conducted school with him. Amber with her Ancient Greece timline.
We were able to pick Biscotti back up from our vet on the way home from co-op and he's more stable now.  He's on anti-nausea medication and his anti-anxiety medication seems to have taken effect in the last day or two since he is much calmer than a week ago.  We still haven't been able to integrate him back with the other cats. Right now our main concern is his apparent inflammatory bowel disease.  He's had bouts with this his whole life, the last time it was a major problem was in 2015 and he spent time with a vet specialists because of it.  His anxiety triggers flares in the IBD.  So just as we think we have him over an anxiety attack, he flares up with the IBD.  Poor big kitty.  When this latest IBD flare is calmer he will be switching to prescription GI friendly cat food. We already have it, but can't switch out his food at the moment. That's just too stressful for him.

School details:

We are taking a small break from Tapestry of Grace to work on Home School in the Woods  - Ancient Greece for a review. It fits in perfectly with the Greek Mythology class Amber is taking at co-op, so we are giving it time.  Although we do not complete every single project or activity when using Home School in the Woods sets, it does make a fantastic supplement even at the high school level.  Whoever said Amber had to earn all of each history credit in the same semester or year. We are piece-mealing just about everything at this point, but it works for us.

We did finally start back up on German - yippie!. I really like this curriculum and wish we had used it in the beginning. However the cost is basically double of what we were originally using and since I teach German at our co-op, I decided to use with Amber the same curriculum as I would be using at co-op. Now that the original curriculum has been discontinued by HMH, I really have no choice but to use the Langenscheidt one. I am up in the air about teaching German next year at co-op, but if I do we will have to switch to a new text book that is not going to be a positive for the parents, however the kids will have a better book.

Amber has decided to make a few changes to her high school plan, which has freed us up a little bit this semester.  On the original plan for this semester that have been removed are:
  • Geometry - Amber starts her new math classes second semester
  • Genetics - after finishing up botany
Although Amber is rather gifted in mathematics, she does not enjoy it. More than that, she dislikes math. She feels it is something of a burden to be gifted in math.  Still, she had originally thought to complete math courses through calculus in high school, simply because she knew she could do it and this would put her ahead.  However, calculus is not needed for her intended degree field and she has decided it will be better to put her energy toward courses that actually further her goals. Since Amber has already completed Algebra I and II, we decided she had time to take a semester away from math and begin Geometry in August. That still gives her three years to complete Geometry, Trigonometry (pre-calc) and possibly a consumer math or other type of math course other than calculus.

School in the guest bedroom with Biscotti.  Ancient Greek history, Arabian Nights, and German.
Last year at this time, Amber was gung-ho to try her had at a science course that was entirely geared toward studying the concepts of genetics.  Although Amber is still very interested in this, she is no longer sure about taking it for a whole semester, especially after she became interested in forensic science. I'm teaching forensic science at our co-op simply because Amber wanted to take this lab heavy course. Our plans have changed to now tack on a smaller genetics unit at home after the co-op forensics class ends in April.

This all means we have more time to emphasize Amber's writing, German and literature this semester. And possibly Latin and Greek.  I know, I know, she really doesn't need to add more, yet she loves languages and intends to major in English and possibly minor in a few languages.  She's already completed several years of Latin and is keen to refresh it a little. Then recently Amber developed a fascination with Greek that goes beyond the mythology and history. She's already taught herself much of the Greek alphabet and would like to learn a little of the language.

Amber has been devouring books again and finished by this past Sunday all of the books she received for Christmas and her January birthday. Seriously, the child knows no bounds with reading. In an attempt to slow down the great devourer of books, Tuesday evening we let Amber begin reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.  Fred and I have read the series (okay, I petered out and didn't finish the last book), but he and I read the series as each book came out over the years and thus were traumatized by Robert Jordan's death.  Amber has been waiting and dusting our hardback collection for many years, so this week we let her start the books.  She is moving rather slowly through The Eye of the World, but enjoys it. Whew! Maybe we have found something to occupy her free-reading time for a month or two.

That's about it from here this week. This weekend we are removing all the toys, except Legos and board games, from Amber's old playroom to make its conversion to an upstairs living room for Amber complete. I even have the needed storage containers plus two new 6 foot bookshelves all sitting in my car waiting for Fred to help unload it. If you need me this weekend, I'll be drowning in Barbies, American Girl dolls, and books. So many books.

Happy Last January Weekend!

Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break


  1. Wow that sounds like quite the week-- our cat was sick for almost two months this summer and I thought for sure we were going to have to say goodbye to him.

    1. I'm so happy for you that you didn't! There have been times with Biscotti over the past 5.5 years that I thought we would lose him at a young age, expecially when nobody could figure out exactly why he has UTIs that last months, bouts of uncontrolled vomiting, and so much anxiety that he is miserable. But he always comes through the event with time and patience and returns to being our sweet boy. This is just the worst time he's had with his anxiety though. He's still hissing and growling when he has to see the other cats for more than a couple of minutes. Here's to hoping he keeps all his food down for the entire weekend.

  2. Oh no, I hope that you get a break from the sickies soon, the people and felines!

  3. Things never go quite as planned here either. Sorry you had illness and kitty concerns to deal with this week. Thanks for linking up at Homeschool Highlights!

  4. get better eh? No Fun to be sick! But still, it seems like you had a good week.

  5. I do hope you start feeling better soon. I am so sorry that you both and the kitty are sick. We are seriously considering doing math, classes with our friend and reorganizing the house next week. We just have to much stuff and it is driving several of us crazy. Have a blessed weekend.
    Blessings, Dawn