Friday, April 29, 2016

Seems it's going to be another Year Around School Year

Just When We Want School To Be Over
Mom Decides To Do It Year Around

Yep, you heard me. My Speed Racer has got to solidify his gap areas in Math. Sure he did Algebra 1, and Basic Math, but we have a lot to catch up on since taking him out of public school where his gaps are effecting his progress.

Also, Tiger Lilly had dropped her Pre-Calc class and has to do that before she can take some others as it's a prerequisite. So if she has school, Speed Racer does too.

THE ICING to cover it up is,

I'm enrolling them both in YMCA daycamp for the entire summer. To meet new friends, get socialized and have fun before doing their work in the evenings and weekends.


We Camped By The Beach


We stayed the entire weekend. Limited cellphones, playing capture the flag with two other families and lots of fun for the kids - no rest for the parents, lol!


And it tuckered out my Speed Racer too!

And waking up to this view ... a dream come true.

 
SPEED RACER (age 11yrs) my Middle Schooler
Homeschooled at 4th grade on.

We are sliding into our more 'relaxed' spring/summer curriculum. He finished up Electricity and Robotics written assignments, and another project in Scratch.

Done with his last week in 5 Paragraph Writing Class.

Took another break from Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 and working on CTCMath on Fractions. Workbooks which he does a page daily in (Reading, Fractions, Writing, Reading Comprehension) and some xtramath.org drills.

Membean he has recovered some of his word recognition loss. Making good leeway with Python Programming.



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

Down to the last two weeks in Professional Writing Class and Economics she finished quizzes and two papers, also a resume and article proposal.

The Landry courses are sliding to an end C Programming and she is having motivation problems finishing with her last two programs. PC Pro is caught up with quizzes and video viewing. Well,  Japanese isn't going well since she can't meet during the class time. So I am looking at some local in person classes.

Other classes she is taking to build up her 'resume' for Game Developer (her dream career) are CoronaSDK, GameSalad, Unity 3d and Linux (Command Line) using Udemy and TechRocket.


WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals I cook more here in my new home. Eating out is WAY expensive. I plan to learn to make my own bread, ice cream and meals that I enjoy when we go out.

Cleaning. Slow going now that some of our boxes arrived and we didn't have a place to put our stuff.

Work & Life Balance. It is leveling out more. I get to work at 5:30am and home by 3pm. My husband and I carpool together which works out well and gives us alone time to chat or just hold hands.

Lesson Planning. Very easy since they have a lighter courseload.

Rest. Yep, both hubby and I have been taking 30 min naps when we get home. The kids laugh at us, but it gives us a boost to get down to work with them afterwards.  

Marriage Check Up. Great! The carpooling together is so fun. We also, sneak out after work for a snack here and there. Also, we have resumed our weekly date nights.

Friday, April 22, 2016

How To Give Your Dual Enrolled Homeschooler A College Experience

What's the Best Part of the 'College Experience'?
Here's a Socialization Hack.

Well the Fun that goes on after class. Meeting new people, joining clubs and organizations, even playing sports.

My oldest daughter, Rose, was my 'experiment' on this. How could I give her a safe, fun, college experience without all the other stuff.

Student is Taking Online Classes
But wants to play sports and join on campus clubs or get involved.

1) You can enroll them in the local Community College (you don't have to actually take a credit course to be a student). This gives them the opportunity to see what clubs are available and join them - even though they aren't taking an on campus class.

2) You can enroll them in MULTIPLE local colleges and transfer credits  between the two for double the fun. (check this before you do).

How do I know? Because I did it.

My daughter was enrolled in 2 Community Colleges and her Four Year University at the same time. She was able to transfer credits between each, allowing us to pay less for summer classes not offered by the University. As well as get a MUCH CHEAPER rate on a Study Abroad program offered through the two Community Colleges while she was enrolled in the local 4 year college.

Not only that, she had friends and joined clubs at all places.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Flying and Overnights at the Polynesian Center! Hooray!

This Was The Best Idea Ever!

Yes, I am loving my new home. Love the wonderful things I can do with my kids and new experiences. Flying Planes! Overnights at the Polynesian Center and Sea Life Parks. Hooray!


Speed Racer's first Flying lesson. The boy even landed the plane. His pilot teacher told him he was a natural. 


Then they had an overnight campout with their dad at the Sea Life Park where the leading man worked in the movie FIFTY FIRST DATES.

And...just this week, we went spent the night at the Polynesian Cultural Center and it was fantastic. All these great get togethers were coordinated by our homeschool group moms. Amazing women to put together these customized homeschool adventures.



Speed Racer volunteering for acting out story telling at the Polynesian Center.

BACK TO THE GRIND of planning next school year.

Yepper, that's what I've been doing this week. I was looking at a program called Dual Credit At Home since I tried putting together a program for my older students and JUST DIDN'T HAVE THE TIME. 
So, a friend of mine is thinking of going in half with me.
Speed Racer's plan is basically going to be Abeka, some Landry Academy classes (redo of Alg 1) and Study.com for this year to orientate him with the subjects to be covered the following year. But the following year, I am considering just having him do Dual Credit At Home for CLEPs and DSST test. Both colleges we are considering accept the tests.

Tiger Lilly, will take her college courses and a few Landry and Digipen classes. I'm also looking for an in person Japanese tutorial school here since it is like the 2nd language here. This summer she is taking Java Programming 2 with the college and Calculus as a homeschooling course to prepare her for the college course this Fall.

TVs in the BEDROOMS
I am allowing the kids to have TVs in their bedrooms now. However, they are not hooked up to cable television but we are using a ROKU device for them to access netflix and hulu. 

School Work in Bedrooms
It's come a time where I had to separate them. Speed Racer is a constant distraction to Tiger Lilly. So I installed camera's in Tiger Lilly's room to make sure she stays on task. And Speed Racer is stuck at the dining room table or portable desk I have set up for him in the living room until he is finished his work.


SPEED RACER (age 11yrs) my Middle Schooler
Homeschooled at 4th grade on.

Speed Racer can't finish the projects for two of his Landry classes. Sheesh! The items have been lost in shipping or we just can't find them. I won't spend the $200 for supply replacement. Therefore, he will just watch the videos, do the reading and the questions for chapters in Electricity and Robotics He did 2 assignments over the last two weeks in his Scratch.

Finally finished 2 weeks worth of work in his 5 Paragraph Writing Class.

Getting through Algebra 1 with good scores. Basic Math review with CTCMath on Fractions - something it seems like the kid keeps forgetting.

Membean he has recovered some of his word recognition loss. Making good leeway with Python Programming.



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

The college courses are challenging. I  had to hire her a tutor for Pre-Calc.  The teacher in this class isn't very helpful and the school doesn't offer tutoring other than peer tutor service that is hit or miss. We dropped the Pre-Calc College class and are reviewing Pre-Calc using CLEP Professor and working with the tutor. Tiger Lilly will retake that class the 1st half of summer.  We agreed that if she wanted to drop the class, she had to use the time before the re-take to study and prepare. Also, we went on 'Rate My Professor' and researched the summer online course teacher better. The one Tiger Lilly had, actually got a 'D' score from students. (Epic Fail on mom's part).

She is doing well with her Professional Writing Class and I check her homework assignments. Economics took awhile to get the hang of. She is passing the test with B's instead of the D she made the first week which freaked her out.

The Landry courses is slow going. I asked them to stop grading her for the course. It's alright because I will take over the grading of the topic for her. She is frustrated she can't participate in the live classes do to our timezone change. C Programming she is now on the #2 program of the 3 she was behind, but she keeps slipping further. PC Pro is caught up with quizzes and video viewing. Unfortunately with Japanese we are to a point of frustration with how far behind we are. I am going to find a school for her in person to work on it.

The Relational Database design using Udemy and SQLZoo is easy to her and I believe she will do well in this class this fall semester.


WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals are on a roll. We are now making veggie and fruit smoothies daily so the kids get in their vitamins. It's also helped me as a meal replacement for dinner. I pre-made cut the fruit and placed in the freezer. Also, pre-made dinner and tried some new recipes. Hubby's here and he's been prepping dinner for me. I am going to miss that when he starts back at work on Monday.

Cleaning. Well we have been making up our beds daily, easy to clean until another shipped box shoes up at our door that we have to unpack. Ugh!

Work & Life Balance. Finally, things have calmed down at the day gig. Love the new job though. The work really gives me a good diversion from things I have to do at home. And I get in 2 - 15 minute walks as well as a 30 minute lunch break with some work friends. I enjoy having the juggle of both work and home. It gives me and hubby tons to talk about. Also, ways to meet new friends.

Lesson Planning. On track these weeks, but it's our Spring schedule and not as hectic. Since we are back to doing year around school, I won't get a complete break from this.

Rest. I am sleeping like a baby, now that hubby is here and reminding me to go to sleep at a decent hour, lol! And he is helping with homeschooling.  

Marriage Check Up. These last weeks have been wonderful since hubby is here. We try not to bicker as much since we still remember how much we missed each other. But we haven't resumed date night every week since the kiddos are hogging up dad's free time for video game playing and sight seeing.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Back in the Saddle Again

 Yep, We are at it again. 
Spring Break is over.
We are moved in.
And it's back to work.

Here's a little something to think about. My daughter snapped this picture.


 Sometimes, the little things just make you think.

 Now on to more thoughtful topics.

WHY DID WE MOVE?

We had a moment or a few of life reflection and planning out a hopeful retirement, redirection of our lives and said...why wait to retire to live our dreams. The options for us was, option 1: work diligently to save, pinch every penny to invest away and be able to live in Hawaii for 2 months out of the year - while we were still healthy and able to travel. Option number 2 was, have a mini-retirement of 12 weeks stay anywhere we want to explore, every 3 years as it would take us that long to save up for it and take off of our jobs. Option number 3 was - work where we want to explore, live or retire and experience our retirement dream life now.

Well you know which one we chose.

Will we move back ever? Will we move to another exotic place?

Maybe. Maybe not. But we are opened to figuring it out. So stay tuned.

Some blogs that helped us change our way of thinking in that typical work til you are near dead to retire are: (GoCurryCracker, Budgets are Sexy, and Afford Anything)


NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED HOMESCHOOL PROGRAM

Since moving, the homeschool group we found spends lots of time on field trips. Which is perfect for us and how we plan our co op time. In addition, I have found some traditional school goodies like 'Spring Break Camp', Summer Camps, After School Programs, and various sports that make homeschooling here a lot of fun.

This was our first week back to full-time homeschool (sort of)

Speed Racer completed his Abeka Curriculum, so he has a lighter schedule until we resume full-time status in August. Tiger Lilly has been focusing on her college classes which started the Sunday we moved here. She had a rough start since we didn't have internet for a week.

SPEED RACER (age 11yrs) my Middle Schooler
Homeschooled at 4th grade on.

Speed Racer is back from hiatus of no internet and Spring Break Camp at the YMCA.

He surprised me with the vigor in which he finished his studies this week. I think the kid was actually bored with not doing school work.

We are focusing on catching up to Speed Racer's Landry classes.  Electricity and Robotics are the hardest to catch up on as they have at least 3 projects that we are behind in. He only got through one project of each and has to double up to catch up with his class. He did 2 assignments in his Scratch class with Landry and just has 2 more to make up before he is on track with the class.

He is also behind in his 5 Paragraph Writing Class, he finished Lesson 4's journal entry, quiz and exercises then emailed the teacher his progress to be reviewed.

Speed Racer is getting back on the wagon again with Algebra 1 in Teaching Textbook I started him back at Lesson 1. His scores started decreasing and hey, with homeschooling, we have time to redo. Also, he is taking Saxon based interactive class next year with Landry and I want him to get the basics solidified. With CTCMath he is still reviewing Basic Math concepts and doing speed drills.

Membean has started up again and he lost some momentum he has to recover. He is back on track  with Python Programming and finished up an exercise a day.  with Code Academy and we took a break with IXL for Language.



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

Second 8 weeks of the Spring Semester at University of Maryland, University College (UMUC.edu) She started 3 classes on March 14 that run til May 9th, 2016. She only has 78 credits to go for her BS in Information Systems and Minor in Computer Science with them. Woot!

Her most challenging class this 2nd half of the Spring is Pre-Calc.  She requested to take her Java 2 class in the summer (go figure she doesn't mind taking a programming class in the summer). She had a rough start with her Economics class and had to sign up for the online tutor group. Her Professional Writing Class is proving useful and she is actually enjoying it. The teacher is good and she got off to a great start.


The Landry courses were on hold for awhile, so she too is playing catch up with them. C Programming she completed 1 of the 3 programs she is behind on. PC Pro she has 2 weeks worth to make up and only completed one of them. In Japanese she said she feels like she is drowning and too far behind to catch up, but she worked at it and made it through a week's assignment. 

She is also taking Relational Database design using Udemy and SQLZoo since she will have that class in the fall and I want her to familiarize herself with the material before taking the class.


WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals - it is way too expensive here to go out to eat. So myself and Tiger Lilly cooked. Even got lazy and had sandwhich and cereal for dinner some nights.

Cleaning. I am a neat freak in my new home. Why? Because I have way less stuff! And I like it. I really like having less.

Work & Life Balance. Loving the new job, new home, and commute to work. The job has been hectic since I've had to work late for 2 of my first 3 weeks to do work they were holding over until they hired someone. But everyone was helpful and the kids were in camp so it wasn't a BIG problem. It was a BIG challenge since I am operating as a single parent these last 3 weeks and had to drop off and pick up kids from camp on my own.

Lesson Planning. Back at it again. It's real easy now that the kids have less than half of their other 'BLOCK' sessions.

Rest. My sleep is off because I am getting used to the time change. Also, shhhh.... don't tell my husband, but I haven't been using my sleep machine since I haven't found a nightstand I wanted. Therefore, I have no place to sit the darn thing that it will reach my face. 

Marriage Check Up. It has been HARD being away from my Hubba! This is the longest we have been away from each other. We call, text, Skype, cry and moan about when we will be together again. It's rather romantic - yet VERY frustrating.