Wrapping Up Our School Year

We only have 2 weeks of school left! We are ready to be done.  It’s amazing how quickly Ethan can finish his school work when he doesn’t have homework to do for tutorial. He really only has Math and Language Arts to work on each day. He is behind a little. So, he needs to do 4 lessons a day to finish. Those 4 lessons can any combination of Math and LA (until he finishes this year’s curriculum for either one of them– then he will just have the remaining subject to do). Ethan did his end of the year testing last week. I should get those results next month.

Today, Audrey finished her very last reading lesson from the All About Reading series. I added up the number of lessons we had done since we started that program a year ago January. There were 217 lessons! The last several lessons had some hard words- Italian, Greek, Spanish and French words that have found their way into the English language. They don’t follow all he traditional English rules.

I happy to have 2 proficient readers. That means that 2 of my kids can actually read their own assignments and instructions all by themselves. They don’t need me for every assignment they do. Hallelujah!

Now Isaac gets more of my time and attention to help him with reading. I should be done teaching reading in about 2 years 🙂

Something Awesome

As we were getting ready to sign up Ethan for tutorial for next year, my friend, Katherine, encouraged me to sign up Audrey. I was hesitant because I was a little afraid of it being confusing or frustrating for her. Katherine assured me that she knew the kids in the class that Audrey would join and that Audrey would do just fine with them.

So, we registered Audrey and Ethan when it came time. My remaining hesitation was that it costs a big chunk of money. It’s nothing compared to private schooling, but it still meant being creative to figure out a way to afford it. I had been wondering if I could work off some of the cost by helping at the tutorial, but I wasn’t sure how I could do that while having Isaac with me. Paying someone to watch Isaac would have defeated the whole purpose.

And then this week happened! I got a call from Katherine telling me that the director of the tutorial was sad that there was only one boy in next year’s 1st grade class. Katherine mentioned that our family had a Kindergarten boy this year, but told the director it would be an issue financially. Then the director asked Katherine if she could use a helper for her classes next year (Katherine teaches at the tutorial). When it was all said and done, I agreed to be Katherine’s helper, I signed up Isaac, and I’m getting 50% off tuition cost!

So, in summary, I will be paying less tuition for 3 kids than I thought I was going to have to pay for just 2 kids. I only have to pay for 1.5 kids tuition 🙂 I still have to pay the class fees and for books, but I’m still coming out ahead and I don’t have to worry about Isaac because he will be in class. Actually, he will be in class with me for his first 2 hours of the day.

Isaac will be taking Galloping the Globe, PE and Music, Oozing  Bubbling. . . Experiments, Lego WeDo, and 3D Art.

It’s so cool when we get to see God provide– and sometimes He provides more than we even ask!

School For Next Year

It may only be the end of March, but it will be time to re-enroll for Ethan’s tutorial next year. Registration for continuing families starts on Monday morning. I’m excited about the classes that Ethan will be taking:

Institute for Excellence in Writing: All Things Fun and Fascinating

Mystery of History. AD 30-1456

Zoology (Land Animals)

JA Biztown and Civics

For Ethan’s electives, he hopes to take one class on engineering and one on strategy games.

And to add to the fun and excitement, we will be enrolling Audrey as well. These are the classes that she will be taking:

Lego Story Starters

Inventors and Explorers

Math Odyssey

PE

Zoology (Land animals)

and she would love to do the American Girl Club elective class.

Ethan had a great time participating in this tutorial this year. We’re still homeschooling. He has Math, Reading and Language Arts that I choose and he does that daily. In addition to that, he does assignments that he gets from his teachers at the tutorial (history, science, typing, music, art, PE, writing composition  . . .) Then he attends the tutorial on Thursdays. It has been perfect for us.

We chatted with his therapist about school stuff this week and she confirmed that this is a good set up for Ethan. Homeschooling is difficult, but it is what is best for Ethan. We’re starting the process of getting Ethan started with medication for ADHD. We’ve been doing therapy for OCD and ADHD for a year. Right now, it’s the ADHD that is causing Ethan the most day to day issues. We’ve tried all the tools and tricks that we have available and feel like it’s time to take the next step with medication.

Lots and lots of people have opinions on ADD and ADHD. They have opinions on using medication or not using it. This is not a decision that we’re making lightly. I’m feeling sort of defeated that we have to go this route, but if it makes life easier for Ethan and the rest of us, then it’s what we need to do.

 

A Report on Ethan’s First Day At Tutorial

Thursday morning came this week and Ethan wasn’t feeling well. I didn’t think it was nerves about school, but I couldn’t tell for sure if he just had a cold or something that should keep him home. I was disappointed when we agreed that he should probably stay home. I messaged his tutorial teachers. 10 minutes later Ethan said he thought he was feeling ok. What? Ack! Only 15 minutes to go until we are supposed to be checking in for the day. It’s a 10 minute drive to get there.

Everyone quickly put on their shoes. Miraculously, we made it in time! Audrey and I had packed his backpack the day before. She had even written a note and put it in his planner.

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 Sorry that it’s sideways and hard to read. It says, “Made by Audrey. Have a fun time at tutorial. You have everything you need.” On the back she had a picture of Ethan holding his backpack and yoga mat and Audrey drew herself waving at him.

It melted my heart. She had asked to help me pack his bag and was so serious about it.

After the family time of singing, scripture reading, pledge to the flag and devotion time, it was time to dismiss the kids to their first class. They called for Ethan’s class and I showed him where the teacher was standing and he went on his way. Audrey and Isaac and I stayed for a brief parent meeting and then we went home. The tutorial goes from 8:30-3:00 on Thursdays. At noon, the parents (usually moms) are supposed to return to have lunch with their kids. After watching Ethan walk off to his first class, I realized that I wasn’t sure what class he had right before lunch. That presented a bit of a problem in meeting up with him. After wandering a little, we found him finishing up his typing class.

Lunch time was full of reports on how the first classes had went. All got thumbs up from Ethan. Thumbs WAY up. He had finished writing class, music, botany and typing. After lunch we left so he could finish his last two classes: TN History and Physical Fitness Challenge. At the end of the day, Ethan reported that is was awesome! He even talked me into getting them all chocolate shakes to celebrate.

Ethan and I both ended the day very, very tired.

Enjoying The Pool While It’s Open

The outdoor pool will only be open for a little longer. Today we decided to take advantage of the hot day and spend the morning at the pool. It is a little crazy to me that the pools in the south don’t stay open for a longer season than they do in the north, but I guess it has to do with lifeguard availability.

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 It is a hot and humid day. 91 degrees at 1:00pm. I’m guessing that means it will get a few degrees warmer before the end of today.

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 After our morning fun, the kids are playing nicely with each other upstairs. They probably think if they leave me alone that I’ll forget about having them work on some school work. Sneaky kids.

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There is still plenty of time to do reading, math and language arts. Tomorrow is the open house for the tutorial. Ethan is very excited. It’s going to be a great school year. Why not kick it off with a field trip to the pool? Lucky kids!

Reading Update

Here’s a page from the story that Audrey read to me today:

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 I’m so proud of her!

Do you know how amazing it feels when a child makes big strides with their reading? It’s awesome! Audrey and I both feel very accomplished 🙂

Keep Swimming. Keep Swimming.

We finally got the official word that Ethan was accepted in the Heritage Homeschool Tutorial for 4th grade. It meets on Thursdays! He will have classes for most of the day and then assignments that he needs to do each week. He will have classes in history, science, art, keyboarding,  and PE. It is going to be so awesome!

We’re dealing with a lot right now and could use prayer. Every time I think I should sit down and spend some time in prayer, I just push it to the back of my mind and do something else because there is a voice in my head that is telling me that God is going to do whatever He wants to do regardless of what I say. I know it’s not  exactly complete perfect theology, but it’s honest.

Therapy for Ethan went well yesterday. He really opened up. In that respect it was encouraging. On the other hand, as I sat there and listened to him, I felt so very sad and questioned how in the world I could have missed this for so long. But, as I talked to Nathan last night about some of the things that Ethan said to the therapist, we both realized that it was stuff that Ethan specifically didn’t tell us about or hid from us. There was no way we could have known the extent of this. We also need to talk to the therapist about ADHD because, I’m realizing that a lot of my school frustration with Ethan is that he cannot concentrate and sit still when it comes to things he is not interested in.

Nathan is still in quite a bit of pain in his shoulder.

Some things have been happening with my health that are hormone-related and I had some blood work done last Friday. The results were “normal”. So, I don’t have any idea why my body is flaking out on me and I need to make an appointment with an OBGyn if things don’t get better in the near future.

Collection calls for the house in MN have started.

So, we are dealing with a lot.

How can you help? First of all, please pray. I have not been able to and I need you to on my behalf. Second, we’d like to clarify for any concerned people that Nathan and I are in complete agreement that homeschooling is absolutely the best thing for our family. Please trust us enough to understand that we have not made this decision lightly. No parent should ever have to defend their parenting decisions to any one else. It’s a personal and individual decision. Lastly, if you want to, feel free to study up on OCD and hoarding. We don’t have an official diagnosis, but I’m about 99.9% sure this is what we’re fighting.  We need your support, love and prayers.

 

I Feel Like Blogging Twice Today

Life has been crazy and stressful. I feel like our hands are very full. Right now my mind is a bit distracted by listening to Ethan making super hero sound effects in his room, but I want to talk about homeschooling.

Audrey learned about “silent e” today. A whole new world has been opened up to her 🙂 She actually already knew it, but I officially taught her today. She had learned it in the previous curriculum, but with this new one it was just now introduced. She did very well. She has been reading herself to sleep at night. I love to see her in her bed surrounded by books.

As for Ethan, today I sat with him and taught him about helping verbs. It was something he really wasn’t very excited about, but since he loves to read and does a lot of it, it was not difficult for him to figure out which verb or verb phrase was the right one for each sentence.  He is almost through his math curriculum for the year. Today he worked on writing out long numbers in word form. That is a slow and painful process for a boy who doesn’t love handwriting!

Tomorrow he has piano lessons and he is diligently working on The Medallion Calls for his recital:

Unrelated to homeschooling, Nathan was home today. He has been in a ton of pain in his shoulder and neck. He was able to see a chiropractor/physical therapist today. Please pray that he will be pain free soon. He hasn’t slept much for about a week and he is not himself.