Saturday, February 18, 2017

Making Changes

It's the year of the plagues here!

Again this week Amber had to miss her physical therapy appointment on Monday due to illness. She had a sore throat all day Sunday that she thought was nothing, but she went to bed Sunday evening with a fever. Monday we cancelled physical therapy and instead went to the pediatrician. Co-op classes are too important to Amber to risk being infectious on that day, so we went right away for a rapid strep test and antibiotic if needed. It wasn't strep (yay!) and since it was likely viral we pushed fluids and rest and more rest. It's all that we seem to do lately.

Of course, my symptoms of the same virus showed up on Monday, which meant I could verify it was definitely more than just a random sore throat.

Normally I expect Amber to complete the majority of her co-op homework over the weekend so it does not interfere with our regular home lessons. However, this past weekend we were resting and doing things as a family so I made time in Amber's school schedule for the week to do her co-op homework. Then sickness hit and she did no school work on Monday at all and eeked out the bare minimum of her co-op homework on Tuesday afternoon. We spent the rest of that afternoon sitting in the guest bedroom with Biscotti (yes, he's still sequestered) watching movies on the laptop.

With all of this down time due to illness, I have had the chance to re-evaluate how well Amber's high school plans have met her needs. While we would not say that it has been our best year, things have gone moderately well. However we still feel behind quite often and that is no way to spend your high school years.  To me that says I need to adjust facets  of Amber's high school courses or even the actual courses themselves.

Lots of streaming while we've been sick: A new movie called Non-Transferable, and the most recent episode of Murdoch Mysteries.
Amber and I have spent a good deal of time this week discussing her future plans and changes we think will still give her a well-rounded preparation for college while reducing her course load. Although Amber still would like to complete the rather ambitious course she set for herself before ninth grade started, realistically it is not attainable in the four years of high school for a student with chronic illnesses. We knew this to be true and it was the obvious flaw in her plan, yet we allowed Amber the opportunity to reach as far as she could.

Now that we know those plans are not feasible, instead of allowing Amber to feel disheartened that she will not be able to complete every subject in her planned high school course, we decided to revise her entire high school plan. Her courses will now be tailored more specifically to her intended college major while still looking to provide a well-rounded education, within reason.

For example, mathematics.  Amber is actually rather gifted in math, but despises the subject all the same.  She needs a single college math course for her intended degree program. Therefore, we have decided that attempting to complete calculus in high school is not a realistic or needed goal. Instead, Amber need only complete the two remaining math classes through pre-calculus. She can take as much time as needed over the next three-plus years to finish those math classes. This will keep her from losing her math skills, while still reducing her course load and stress.

A few bright spots: We finally saw the Lego Batman movie, but we had to take a picture with the Lego Ninjago sign! She's not in the least excited about Ninjago. Nope.
 Plus, we had lunch at a new bbq place on the way to OT.
Amber will focus the majority of her school time on English language courses, including creative writing, as well all of the foreign languages in which she is interested. Of course, she will need to complete science, history, and the standard electives still. However they will all take a back seat to her preferred subjects. Thankfully, we already have a fairly decent handle on science topics that will interest Amber while not causing undue stress or anxiety.

Since Amber takes quite a few enrichment classes at our homeschool co-op each semester, we will attempt to focus those into the credits needed instead of creating an excess of elective courses. These classes are the largest variable, honestly. Since it is a true co-op, the classes offered are entirely dependent on the willingness of parents to teach the classes. For example, this semester there is no middle school / high school art class, while there is an overabundance of high school level content courses (history, science, health, foreign language, etc).

If you can't tell from this vague description of our upcoming changes, it also means that we are going to need to become more eclectic homeschoolers again and give up classical homeschooling. Although we may feel like classical homeschoolers in our minds, it is not the best education style for Amber in every subject.  (Which means I doubt we will use Tapestry of Grace next year, but it is my backup if a suitable history replacement is not found.)

Look what unexpectedly arrived early! Amber is anxious to start this week. Look for the review in April.
My forced relaxation time with Biscotti over the next few weeks will be spent organizing a more manageable high school course load for Amber while also finding more suitable curriculum for her current learning style.  And if you have any feedback on the curriculum we were considering for a few specific subjects from this post, it is all still under consideration. So comment away.

That is the biggest news of our week. We accomplished little school, but made a lot of decisions.

Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break


  1. I hope you both are feeling better soon. The beauty of homeschooling is the ability to adjust as needed.

  2. sounds like you are making some much needed (and good) adjustments. it's the beauty of schooling at home eh?

  3. I had to give up being classical homeschoolers years ago. I like much about the theory and incorporate some of it into our days, but it wasn't the right fit. So sorry you all have had so much illness this year.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. Thanks Dawn! This honestly makes me feel better about changing away from classical homeschooling. :)

  4. Sorry about all the illness. I love the relief that comes with feeling good about changes. Hope it all comes together well.

  5. My boys CAN NOT WAIT for Lego Ninjago to come out; they were thrilled to see the preview durin the Lego Batman movie, which we also loved.

  6. Sometimes a step back to re-evaluate and adjust course where necessary is a big accomplishment. :-) Sorry you've had illnesses to deal with, but it looks like you've put the downtime to good use. Glad you've linked up at Homeschool Highlights again this week - I always look forward to seeing what you've been working on (and how your kitties are doing!)