Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Easing Into the School Year

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So here I am, trying to wrap my brain around the fact that it is now September 1st and we really have started school. And I have two high schoolers this year, one of whom plans to graduate. It's a lot to take in. I thought I was ready, and for the most part I am, but there are still things I am trying to pull together or figure out how is the best way to get it done.
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This past Saturday morning was our homeschool group's mandatory orientation meeting, the one where we go over the record-keeping requirements and remind everyone of the expectations, as well as give some encouragement and just celebrate a new year. Just before the meeting gets going, those of us with graduating students have to decide on our first grad planning meeting, and a tentative date for the ceremony. Are you kidding me? Put a date on my June 2016 calendar?! It seems crazy, but here we are. When I took a look at Landon's transcript so far and double checked that my records matched those of the administrators, it got real in a hurry. Seeing in black (and red) and white the credits he needs to complete this year in order to graduate with the Class of 2016.
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And another reality check was this... even after submitting grades for seventeen years, a lot of them high school level, I can still screw it up. Not only had I forgotten to put an entire SUBJECT on Landon's second semester report card from last year (I caught that mistake immediately and sent an amendment), but I missed writing in a Course Title for his Phys.Ed. in second semester so that credit was missing from his transcript. OOOOOOPS. Sent that amendment and wrote myself a note to not be cocky and think that I can do this stuff in my sleep by now.

Speaking of sleep. Biggest challenge for this school year? I am pretty sure it will be starting on time each morning, because these kids are darn good at sleeping right through their alarms.
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Still sleeping in...
Yes, we'd already started and our first official day of school was two weeks ago, but this was the first week in which I expected full days of school, and we added more subjects this week. Kennady is working on Science, Math, and Grammar already; and sometime this week or next will start on Health, Geography, and Brit Lit. Landon is working on Science, Drafting, Grammar and Percussion as of this week; and by next week will add American History/Lit/Bible and Consumer Math.

We had planned to start Composition today, but like many of my well-laid plans, this one went awry. We headed down to the family room to watch our Student Writing Intensive DVD and get started on the writing assignment... and that one disc was missing from the case. Hmmm. Must have left it in the DVD player. Nope. On my desk? Not that I can find. (And it's a mess, but still. Don't judge me!) So I abandoned that plan, put out a call to borrow the disc from someone else just in case I can't find it in a timely manner, and added "search for disc" to my to-do list. Which was already long enough, believe me.

Oh, the desk being a mess... After I'd tidied up and organized all my school books for the year, I managed to make a mess of it over the past couple of days, pulling out this book and that to check my lesson plans and hunt up information, and decide what to do when. Right now it looks like this...
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 so guess what I'm going to be doing tomorrow? That's right, looking at it and doing nothing. No, seriously. I had to get a couple more three-ring notebooks out of my stash so I could organize this stuff, and I've already started. I'll finish tomorrow, for real.
Easing Into the School Year on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com
This is how it is SUPPOSED to look - how it looked up until
a day or two ago.

I spent a fair bit of time yesterday printing out assignment lists - or daily tasks, as Homeschool Tracker Online calls them. My plan at this point is to do those lists by subject for each month, and not scheduling from the lesson plan into the assignment grid much more than a month at a time, so it will be easier to adjust if needed. One thing I've found out that is different about Homeschool Tracker Online compared to HST+ is that any printable reports are generated for me to download to my computer and then print if I still want to. So I can't see a preview of it before I save it, but I CAN print only certain pages of it if I don't want the whole thing. And if I look at the saved report and realize I should have set the parameters differently, or that something is still showing as incomplete that shouldn't be, I simply fix that and then save the corrected report to replace the first one. Overall, I like it better. I'm still figuring out how to mark things on Homeschool Tracker Online but I'm getting there.

Landon earns credit for participating in Civil Air Patrol, and although that has been ongoing through the summer, tonight is a big deal... He is promoting tonight, which is a pretty cool way to start off the school year! I've got to watch the clock and make sure I get there in time to see the promotion ceremony.
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Kennady is ready to get her extra credit courses going too. She starts guitar lessons on Monday and chorus rehearsals on Tuesday.
Middle School Monday - Choral Singing

Are you easing back into school, or just jumping in? How are the first few days and weeks going? Leave a comment and let me know!

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SandyVH said...

I was going to ease into it until I read this. Now I see that when we start the day after Labor Day, we'll be 3 weeks behind. Thanks Kym!! 😉 Great post.

SandyVH said...

Supposed to be a :) in there.

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