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The One Where We Catch Up and Take a Breather – Homeschool and Life Happenings

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Usually we have a six weeks on and one week off schedule for our school time, but because we had a few different trips planned, McKenna’s musical, and what feels like a million other things, we opted to take a full week off during Thanksgiving. 

Let me tell you the kids aren’t as thrilled about that. 

In some ways, it’s been great – we have momentum going in certain areas and can run with it. In other ways, it’s hard. That week off gives me a chance to regroup and make sure we are covering all of our bases and also ensure the kids are on target with their studies. 

It also means we don’t have that REST and mental break that we often need every six to eight weeks. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep up on all fronts and Zachary got a little off kilter in some of his subjects thinking we weren’t supposed to be as far along as we are, so this past week (and in the next few weeks) he will have to adjust his schedule to pick up the slack. 

The good thing though – it’s the beauty of homeschooling. We can put something aside if needed and adjust things to tweak what needs to be done. 

Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to this week…

LEGO League

Kaleb and his group are in the final stages of putting their presentation together for their first LEGO League competition at the beginning of November. Their robot has been misbehaving, but fortunately they were able to get the programming figured out and their missions are back on track. 

If you aren’t familiar with LEGO League, the kids are given a theme each year, build specific missions (designed by LEGO), and have to program their robots to “solve” these missions (i.e. shoot off a spaceship, move a satellite, etc…). The kids create attachments to add to their robots and then program the robot to complete those missions. 

It’s really been a lot of fun for Kaleb (he especially likes the programming and problem solving part of it). One of the other aspects is teamwork and a presentation the kids make to a panel of judges. They have to come up with a creative solution to a problem and then share their ideas. 

This is a little out of Kaleb’s comfort zone since it involves public speaking, but it’s great to see the boys work together in this area as well and be pushed out of their comfort zone. It’s also neat because it make the league more than just programming, giving kids other areas to grow and excel. 

Physical Science

One of the areas Zachary dropped a little behind was in his Physical Science class. He misread the syllabus we put together, so this week he had to spend some time catching up in a few areas. He isn’t a fan of writing long answers to questions and after his first test is now understanding the value of responding in more than five words (grins). 

He absolutely LOVES the hands on projects that Exploration Education offers with their science program. This week he completed the light circuit and is now working on building a miniature house that will have wiring (and he plans to make it a little more fun). 

One thing that has been great to see with him this year is his looking toward the future and what he would like to do as a career. He has been talking about different engineering fields and what he might enjoy, but it’s fun to watch the wheels turning in his head as he weighs the various options. 

High School Chemistry

We missed a chemistry lab with our friends, so this week we worked on our upcoming labs as well as some of our past ones. Something we also focused on this week was how to write up labs properly (I have a printable I’ll be sharing soon for high school that we are loving!!). 

Sometimes teaching high school classes can be a bit daunting – I’ll admit it! But I love watching things click for both the kids and myself. This week it was understanding the periodic table more thoroughly (seriously – it was literally like seeing a light bulb go off over the girls’ heads!). 

Community College Classes

This week Laurianna had a few things to tackle as well with her classes. One of her professors is a bit late in grading and she (along with the rest of the class) misunderstood something on the syllabus that resulted in some not-happy grades for them. Nothing major, but definitely something that needed to be addressed going forward. 

It’s hard stepping back and letting your kids take responsibility sometimes, but she contacted her professor so she could better understand what she was missing and could change for the upcoming weeks. While she can’t change some of the things that were already graded, she (and the rest of the class) were given grace in fixing a few problems. 

Also this week we are working on her class load for the spring semester. She has completed all of her prerequisites for the nursing program at our community college (YAY!!) and will now work on a few classes that are required for the RN to BSN program with the university she intends to transfer to after she has her RN completed. 

You all – my eyes are crossing with all the numbers and professors – and trying to figure out an overall schedule and make sure we are getting it all together correctly. Her SAT scores are back (WOOT!) and she’ll be taking her Kaplan for nursing in a week – next step is applying to the nursing program for early admission! 

CAMPING

Every year we take a camping trip in October with some friends. It’s a much needed break for us and we added an extra day (Thursday) onto our trip so we could really just SIT and relax a little bit. Granted we are adding in a swim meet on Saturday since it’s nearby, but otherwise, it will be great to catch up with our friends and do nothing in particular. 

 

That’s about it from this last week! I hope you all are doing well and would love to hear about your homeschool time – feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you’ve been up to. 

That’s about it from this last week! I hope you all are doing well and would love to hear about your homeschool time – feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you’ve been up to. 

Be sure to stop by WeirdUnsocializedHomeschoolers.com and hang out with some other moms who are sharing their day-to-day happenings. 

 

Our Curriculum for 2018-19

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Comments

  1. We used to take a break every 6 weeks. It doesn’t seem to work now that they are in high school and have so many activities. the science program looks great.
    Blessings, Dawn

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