Sunday, September 3, 2017

Still Tweaking - (Wk 5 - 10th)

We have finished a somewhat off week for school and life in general. Amber was feeling run down and fairly tired during the early part of the week. My back was rather painful from moving tables and chairs at co-op the week before, and I had to reschedule my GI test because I could barely move. Oddly, Monday was our most productive at-home day.

Amber had energy to be awake and functional every day, but her cognitive abilities were clearly diminished this week. That was reflected in my choice of school subjects. Again, we did not even come close to following our "normal" schedule. However, Amber managed a fair amount of school hours and I'll take that over complete sick days.

She started out watching Drive Thru History in a mostly upright position, but it didn't last.
Consumer math was still a success. I won't say it is a hit, because Amber simply despises math at this point. Amazingly, she managed a consumer math lesson on Monday without it affecting the rest of the day negatively. She also worked on some of her languages, marine biology (review Tuesday), art class, music practice, and a little driving. Not bad for a Monday.

However most of the week was spent on American history and U.S. government. Those were the topics she felt most able to complete with the hazy brain. She is definitely not behind in either subject at this point. I think next week, since it is a short week due to the Labor Day holiday, we will focus on other aspects to balance out her subjects. Then, we will go back to the normal schedule. I hope.

Amber did drive us to and from lunch on Monday, although the restaurant is only roughly 2 miles away. We could walk it if we had to. Still, it required driving on actual roads with speed limits, stop signs, other cars, and a roundabout. She did a good job for her first time with most of those. I'd still like to see her working in a parking lot a little more. But since we were out for a late lunch and it's so close to our house in a residential area, it was relatively safe with almost no traffic. It boosted her confidence to drive the entire trip. Ironically, she hasn't driven since then due to exhaustion and slow cognitive problems. This is going to be the main issue with learning to drive for her; she can't even attempt driving on days when she's having a flare.

Testing our meteorology heat transfer labs.
Curriculum Update:
I discovered this week that we will quickly, at least more quickly than I realized during planning, finish the current level of Amber's Lightning Literature. Yes, we still have both of the Lightning Literature Shakespeare books to complete, minus Julius Caesar. However the intention for those was to complete two-three plays a school year. Not all of them in one year. It became clear that I really needed to decide what she was going to do next. It's great to have a list of novels I want her to read, but how did I exactly plan for that to play out? Apparently, by magic.

Therefore, I spent part of Friday and Saturday really thinking through the remainder of high school literature. What novels and plays do I want her to complete in the next three years? What is the most efficient way to do that in a way that Amber learns?

At one point I had a rather complex set of literature guides that I was going to use and still needed to decide on a few remaining novels. In the end, I decided to go back to what we were going to use last school year - Excellence in Literature. Amber wasn't ready for it last year. She might not be now either (just being honest). Although if I remember correctly the main issue we expected to come up with EiL last year was the immense amount of writing. This year I decided to override the curriculum. I am the teacher and can skip some of the papers. What Amber does not like are study guides with endless comprehension questions and busy work; a reasonable amount of writing assignments she is perfectly happy with.

Art homework: shading.
I really wanted to continue with the Late 19th Century British from Lightning Literature. Really, really wanted it. But... Amber has already read some of it. And then we get back into the complex list of other study guides to fill out the novels I have planned. Logically, it makes no sense to do this. So, I bit the bullet and just ordered the American and British levels of Excellence in Literature. She'll do sections of their American literature this year, and then the British Literature in 11th grade. If these go well, we will do the Excellence in Literature World Literature in 12th grade. Minus a couple of things, this gets Amber everything I wanted her to study.

We will substitute the Lightning Literature Shakespeare for all of the Excellence in Literature Shakespeare modules. And add a couple more Shakespeare plays each year. I'll probably skip a couple of works from each level of Excellence in Literature to make room for the Shakespeare. Still, this seems the easiest option to achieve what we want. At least I discovered our quandary before she finished the current Lightning Literature guide with no plans for the remainder of the school year.

Biscotti: he really is sweet and silly. We call this one "squirrel-skin hat". It is a Skineeez squirrel and has a huge fluffy tail sticking out the back, like a coon-skin hat.
It's a long weekend for us, and I'm just doing my normal weekend stuff: planning co-op classes, planning Amber's school week, grading co-op class homework (what was I thinking assigning homework?), grading Amber's school work, cleaning the house and playing with kitties. Amber plans some marathon gaming sessions and maybe a driving lesson.

Linking With:

Weekly Wrap-Up  Homeschool Coffee Break


  1. I am glad you are adapting the literature program to work for your student. You are right, you are the teacher. I hope you all have a restful week.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Sorry that you were both having an off week and not feeling well. Love Amber's art homework - very nice!

  3. I too love the art work/ she following something specific for art? If so, I'd love to know what you are using!

    1. She is taking an art class at our Homeschool co-op. It's the first art class where she's actually being instructed, instead of told to "draw a sphere ... draw a face." It's hard to draw those when you don't know how. She has tried to teach herself with art books from Michael's, but never felt competent. Now she's learning the intricacies of drawing from a lady who majored in art and works as an artist. It's a dream come true for Amber. But sorry, I don't have anything that I can tell you to use unless you come join our co-op :-)