Sunday, March 12, 2017

Spring Assessment

I'm still here...It occurs to me that the first blog post ever published on this site was in December, 2005. It is now 2017. More than eleven years later, and I have had seasons of real consistency, and seasons when I had much less to say. This has been one of those seasons. Looking back it seems like 2010-13 were my most prolific blogging years, and then things got tough for my mom in her journey with Alzheimer's and she passed away in 2014. Her death changed me. The way I think about my family changed, I became more quiet and private than I had been previously, and my son, who was growing more self-conscious in his teenage years became more private about what I posted. Then another blow struck that caused me to really pull in. My closest friend and I parted ways, and I was left with another lump of grief to deal with. This situation turned our homeschool in a very different direction. We no longer had the core group of friends to do co-op with, and so our Tapestry of Grace group disbanded. I have tried continue to use Tapestry with my dialectic / logic stage daughter, but I confess it has been a bit of a flop--a homeschool mom failure. We have done fine in some areas, but in history and TOG-related things, we have not begun to cover what I had hoped we would cover this year.

Here is what has worked well for us:

1. Math U See: This has always worked well for us and math generally just gets done because I'm afraid not to get math done. We will continue through zeta and then use Mr. D Math for pre-algebra.
2. Jr. Analytical Grammar: Gets done because we're grammar geeks and we don't mind doing it.
2. Apologia Anatomy and Physiology: This works great for us because we have partnered with a friend and have a weekly co-op to get this done. That weekly point of accountability is so helpful.
3. US Geography: Again, we are co-opping with this.
4. The Fallacy Detective: um...co-op.
5. Art: because I teach it at...waitforit...co-op.
6. Violin lessons via face-time with our beloved teacher who moved away. Who knew this could be a thing? It is working out very well.

first landscape paintings

And for the high-schooler in my life:
7. Well-Trained Mind Academy: Son is taking Chemistry, History, Rhetoric and Literature through this online school. It gets done because I'm not his teacher. He has straight A's. It is rigorous and demanding, but the teachers are excellent, and having the pressure of having to meet someone else's expectations has been a very good thing.
8. Mr. D Math: Wow! I cannot say enough good about Mr. D Math. Why? Because he is a great teacher. It has been A's in math for my son and he doesn't hate it. That is huge progress from a kid who despised math until this year.

We have done some history and literature, just not as much as I typically cover. We have covered primarily the period from Napoleon through Queen Victoria, and are currently working on a lap book that will contain mini-books and reports about various aspects of that era.

So the year has not been a flop--far from it in fact. We have learned a lot about what we need to motivate us (extrinsic deadlines are extremely helpful!) and we have three months left to finish well. Upon finishing well, we are looking forward to our third Carribean diving trip! We will return to Roatan, Honduras to dive. We could not be more excited.

Below are some of our adventures from this school year so far.

testing the effectiveness of "cerebrospinal fluid"

giving Thomas Jefferson the thumbs-up

deep in conversation at the National Gallery of Art

NGA: what's not to love?

learning the process of mixing colors

cold and windy day in Colonial Williamsburg

dressed for the occasion...

happy golden years...

getting outfitted for Colonial Williamsburg