Friday, January 22, 2016

Crazy Day In a Homeschooling Working Parent's Life

OUR CRAZY SCHEDULE
AS WORKING & HOMESCHOOLING PARENTS


Everyday is different in our house. And every year we have to adjust to everyone's schedule.



Hubba:
Is an Engineer who works from home a few days a week. Co-teaches homeschooled kids: Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly.

Momma:
Is a Systems Architect that works away from home weekly - but has a very flexible schedule. Co-Teaches homeschooled kids: Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly.

Razor Ray:
College Student who works part time at the hospital on the weekends (some weekdays too) and is now taking online classes at home to finish up his last 2 semesters at college while working. Helps Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly with homework and teaches PE.

Rose:
College Student who works Internship as a Data Scientist and is finishing up her last semester at college while commuting to work and school from home. Tutors Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly when needed.


The Schedule Week

5am - Mom Leaves for day job
8am - Razor Ray drops Rose off at Train Station on Mon, Wed, Fri to work internship
9am - Dad leaves for work 3 days a week - the days change
9am - Tiger Lilly gets up to do online class and other course work
10am - Razor Ray wakes up Speed Racer to do online work and course work
3pm - Momma home, reviews all work done up until that time, and marks items for redo
3:30pm - Momma puts dinner on the stove /oven that was pre-prepped
4pm - Razor Ray takes Tiger Lilly and Speed Racer to YMCA for PE (Tue, Wed, Fri)
6pm - Momma takes Tiger Lilly and Speed Racer to Martial Arts / Dance

7:45pm - Family Dinner
8:30pm - Tiger Lilly and Speed Racer work with Hubba to finish up work
10pm - Hubba or Momma checks the work, approves it
10pm - Tiger Lilly and Speed Racer clean the kitchen
10pm - Momma goes to bed
11pm-12 am - Hubba and kids play video games or watch a movie

Tiger Lilly
Independent work from 9am - 3pm /break/
4pm-6pm /PE/
Independent work from 8:30pm-10pm

Speed Racer
Independent work from 10am-3pm /break/ *dad when home checks work or mom calls
4pm-6pm /PE/
Work with Dad 8:30pm-10pm

*If work is not completed by Friday - it has to be done on Sunday after church - Also, Landry hands on labs and projects will be worked on that day*


Yep, it's hectic, but it works. The kids are more independent and everyone helps out.

IMPORTANT TIPS to PULL THIS OFF

  • Meal Planning (do it on the weekend) Prep Meals for Mon-Fri
  • Curriculum that teaches itself (mostly)
  • Follow-up Daily
  • Have childcare on standby or rotate work schedules
  • Kids must do chores, cook, clean and help 
  • Realize that you won't be able to attend all those 'homeschool' focused activities and your schedule will work better with mainstream after school activities.
  • Be flexible

SPEED RACER's Week


The TUTOR wasn't schedule this week for Algebra1 but we worked it out.

His work on  English, Grammar (Abeka) included some redo from last week failing quiz grade (due to him rushing to leave for his trip). We trimmed out use of the video and Abeka Spelling in place of Sequential Spelling Level 2. Creative Writing with Sandiego Scribblers online just started this week.

Reading in Biology, History (Abeka) is going slow this week.

Middle School Math we are reviewing Fractions again, since he doesn't seem very confident in them with Algebra, the tutor suggested he needed more practice (CTCMath).

Spanish (Middlebury Interactive) I have him do 3 ten minute lessons a day. It's slow going though.

Landry Academy courses gave him a bit more homework. A new project in Scratch Programming (Landry) and one in Electricity Science (Landry). Reading for Robotics (Landry) will be done but we decided to save all projects for Sunday work.

He did 25 min of practice in Vocabulary Building (Membean). For Programming he does 15 minutes with Python (CodeAcademy).


TIGER LILLY

Had some hiccups with her week back to class. Some items weren't completed correctly, so it was added to her workload on Monday (which was supposed to be her day off)

Here college courses are not in person, so she can do the work when she wants. In Java Programming 1 she had an online interactive lab, 3 chapters to read, a discussion lab and intro to give and a Test 1. In College Math 1 she had A LOT of math problems for homework, a quiz, and had to show her problem with explanation in the discussion area. For her Illustration and Computer Graphics she had to read 3 chapters, do a demo, and write a page discussion and analysis piece about her work.

The Landry classes, C Programming Pt. 2 she had a project and a test. PC Pro consisted of reviewing on Testout.com the 3 sections for this week, doing the quizzes and interactive labs.

Japanese she had a project to start on, a writing sample, a test and homework exercise. She is taking some courses independently on Game Design and Animation using Udemy.com and Techrocket.com.

Unity 3d, Game Salad and Javascript are courses she is taking using Techrocket and Udemy.com for her own passion of Game Design and Development. So I don't really keep up with what she's doing. However, she has shown me some of her works.

PE is killing her, her brother Razor Ray is serious about keeping her on a regimen.

WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals This week went well. I even had the kids put some of the pre-prepped meals in the oven for me when I was on my way home.

Cleaning. Nothing went as planned and the basement is still undone. Just 3 weeks to go to clear it out.

Work & Life Balance. Work went smoothly this week, packed with meetings and projects. The job hunt is proving fruitful with 3 interviews completed and in the final stages of decisions. Also, 2 prospects in waiting for me. All are exciting, but I need to think about how they will affect homeschooling. So far the kids are voting for me getting the travel job where I would work from home and travel every other week for 3 - 4 days. But they also like the on Island job in Hawaii where it would be just 10 min from home.

Lesson Planning. Last minute this week. It gets more challenging pulling from all the places the kids take their online classes. Which includes Landry, Online College, Code Academy, Sandiego Scribblers, Abeka, Middlebury, CTC Math and the list goes on.

Rest. I am getting great rest! With our revamped schedule, this is working out well.

Marriage Check Up. We are back in the swing of things after calming down about the move, cleaning and such. Also, planning for a birthday celebration for Hubba who told me he doesn't know what he wants (eek!)

Friday, January 15, 2016

And We're Off...


IN FULL SWING

This week seemed like it was a rush forward with some backwards steps. However, we made it and will have a day off on Monday for President's day.

Speed Racer and Tiger Lilly went to a weekend long 'Winter Fest' with out church which gave me and Hubba some time to finish the daunting task of clearing out our basement.

The older two kiddos, Razor Ray and Rose were either working or spending time with friends - anything to get out of doing work. Humph!!

SPEED RACER's Week

Course Lineup for 2016 Spring

The TUTOR from FunCation Academy is working out great for Algebra1 but we decided to forgo the tutor planned for Spanish. We slowed down the pace on English, Grammar and Spelling  (Abeka) by stop using the videos and just reading the workbooks and doing the work. Also, changed spelling to Sequential Spelling Level 2. Our planned move and cleanup is causing some raucous. Biology, History (Abeka) is still holding his interest and he is do decently on his test. He totally failed his recent quiz in, due to 'daze out' sessions while watching the the video. So, he went over it with the Abeka tutor and the FunCation Tutor. He also, is doing well with the Algebra 1 with Teaching Textbooks, he says it's 'easier'. We do practice Middle School Math so he doesn't lose it by doing drills and exercises in (CTCMath) and Spanish (Middlebury Interactive) is now becoming less successful do to the lack of personal interaction and writing. So I plan to just table this at the end of February and have him take a more interactive class next school year.

Landry Academy courses started and he is enjoying them. Although, I have to watch him to make sure he stays focused, he has a problem yawning and slipping off to play music. He had a project in Scratch Programming (Landry) and got his kits in Electricity Science (Landry) and Robotics (Landry) which didn't cost extra with the Landry Academy. His vocabulary and word usage improved in Vocabulary Building (Membean). He likes programming (for now) with Python (CodeAcademy)


TIGER LILLY

Is hating that her winter break is over. However, her classes are lighter this semester than next.

Thankfully I had her prep for JAVA taking Techrocket and her week's activities were not to extensive in Java Programming 1, College Math 1, Illustration and Computer Graphics.  

Her homeschool classes with Landry picked up with a bang, C Programming Pt. 2, PC Pro
Japanese. She is taking some courses independently on Game Design and Animation using Udemy.com and Techrocket.com.

Razor Ray is being paid as her personal training. Tiger Lilly hates it, but does what he asks her and she has dropped about 5lbs after 2 weeks of exercise daily.

WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals The diet is a struggle, but I am using LiveStrong app (for myself and Tiger Lilly). She has put on weight so now we are making basic meals with lean meat, steamed veggies and a small helping of carbs. My husband hates it.

Cleaning. The house is wrecked. My older kids have 'zoned out' and are now too busy to help clean up. I called Habitat For Humanity to pick up items and told family they can come get stuff. The house still needs a hard cleaning, but now we are just getting rid of stuff my hubby hoarded in our basement.

Work & Life Balance.Finding a job - is a job! My day job is going well, just a rather toxic environment that I've grown used to and has improved a bit in the last few weeks. But now it's time to move on and find something that will get us closer to moving. My husband's job is easily transferring him - mine is still lagging which is frustrating so now I have been coming home from work and sending out about 20 resumes a day (yes, I do send out that many - finding a job is a numbers game and you have to play the odds). Thankfully, I've had 3 interviews and I've only been at this for a week. One gig is a work at home and travel 40% and the other two are in Hawaii. Many prayers that all goes smoothly.

Lesson Planning. Well I got lazy and then had to rush and get them done. My kids 'critique' sent me back to redo them 2 more times.

Rest. I love getting good sleep. I am dreaming more, and realize I tend to have rather exciting dreams where I have either super powers, am running from something or fighting something. Hum....

Marriage Check Up. We are on an up swing since we will not have the younger kids in the house for the weekend. We sent them with our church and now we can lay in bed and catch up on all the shows we've been waiting to watch together.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year - New Adventures

2016 Goals And Changes


I love the start of a New Year! There is HOPE, WONDER, CURIOSITY of what is to come. I can say 2016 is going to be a BIG year of adventures for our family.

As a working parent who co-teaches with her spouse who also works outside of the home, we realize that scheduling and planning is a big part of our lives. At the beginning of each year My Husband (Hubba) and I do the following:

PREP FOR OUR NEW YEAR: We go out, eat and discuss the following

  • Review of 2015 'the positives and negatives'
  • Hopeful list of improvements for 2016
  • Marriage check ups 'What made us happy, What we need to work on, How to feed our marriage this year'
  • Parenting challenges to tackle in 2016, new method, new direction, new hopes
  • Finances in review and ways to improve, coming big purchases, expenses and payoffs
  • PLANS - the big one, small one, or none

NOW FOR OUR HOMESCHOOL CHANGES

Of course we made changes. We are on a BLOCK schedule where we change up every 16 weeks or so. Especially now since TIGER LILLY is in Dual Enrollment College Classes.

SPEED RACER (age 12yrs) my Blended-Middle Schooler
Homeschooled at 4th grade on.




Course Lineup for 2016 Spring
We are changing gears and adding back on for Speed Racer:

Also, we hired a personal TUTOR from FunCation Academy - to help with Algebra1 and Spanish

Jan-Mar 2016 (Daily Courses)
English, Grammar and Spelling  (Abeka) *will end in March
Biology, History (Abeka) *will end in March

Jan-May 2016 (Daily Courses)
Algebra 1 (Teaching Textbook and Abeka)
Basic Math Review (CTCMath)
Spelling Review (Sequential Spelling)
Spanish (Middlebury Interactive)

Jan-May 2016 (1 day weekly)
Scratch Programming (Landry)
Electricity Science (Landry)
Robotics (Landry)
Vocabulary Building (Membean)
Python (CodeAcademy)

All the classes were discussed with Speed Racer and he is on board to stay on task this year. We went over his REPORT CARD for his 1st 2 quarters and made some adjustments due to our discussions. He enjoys feeling as though he has a personal say so in his interest and what he is learning.

TIGER LILLY (age 14 yrs) the Dual enrolled High Schooler
Homeschooled at 7th grade on. 

 Artwork done by Tiger Lilly for my presentation

She had a great end to her Fall Semesters with a 3.5 gpa and completion of 15 College Credit hours! Woot! Total hours completed: 21 college credits.

She is enrolled in a University as a Full time student now.


Jan-Mar 2016 (Spring 1 Semester)
Java Programming 1 
College Math 1 (this is a redo since she dropped the course with the other college to do this online)
Illustration and Computer Graphics

Mar-May 2016 (Spring 1 Semester)
Java Programming 2
Pre-Calc
Economics

Landry Homeschool Classes: (Jan-May)
C Programming Pt. 2
PC Pro
Japanese

Personal Interest Homeschool Classes:
Animation Part 2: Animation Course.

Tiger Lilly loves this new college experience. It gives her more freedom and she's able to fit in classes during the days she wants to.


WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals Revised meal planning since Momma is going on a New Year's diet (wish me luck).

Cleaning. We are clearing out our basement in preparation for our move/house sell and it is not fun. Causing lots of 'disagreements' between my hoarder hubby and me who likes to just toss stuff away.

Work & Life Balance. Finally, I think it will be controlled. Had to closeout things with a rather difficult customer and am thankfully transitioning to another. God is good, because the difficult customer actually apologized to me for his behavior and then sang my praises at a close out meeting. "God will do it!" 

Also, I am working with my company to transfer my job to Hawaii. It is a rather frustrating experience as I am having to do more legwork than I anticipated, but I know it will work out with due dilligence.

Did you know, I had a part-time business? Well I do, that was suffering some in 2015, but now it's back on track and I revamped my product releases so this will be a promising endeavor. Besides, Tiger Lilly helps me out with this business and loves it.

Lesson Planning. I finished just 1 week so far. Just in time for our coming school semester.

Rest. I am getting more restful sleep now that I am the proud owner of a Sleep Apnea machine. Didn't think I'd ever need one, but it is helping me tremendously! 

Marriage Check Up. Well this moving, and parenting has caused us to have some BIG arguments lately. More so than typical. We decided to have a truce, to stay in our lane, respectfully not argue but redirect. It's been working these last few weeks. Also, we did a few date nights - even locked our bedroom door to be able to watch a movie and eat in bed without the kids bothering us.