still here

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Hey bloggy-friends!  I'm still here...problem is, I've taken such a long break from blogging, I'm not sure how to get back into it.  A huge part of it has been the on-going saga with my grandparents, I felt/ feel like there is  so much drama and negative-stuff, that I'm not sure how to share it without dumping it out and being, well, negative.

but, um here goes....I'll just jump back in.  My grandmother is still living with us, in my front living room.  We were hoping to use some of my grandparents' savings to build her a suite, but we weren't real sure if it was a wise move, so that was part of why we went through conservator that the court would make big decisions like that, because frankly, we are a bit lost with how to manage what little they have.  The court said no.  So....grandmother is living in my front living room, which has french doors on one side, and the other side we can board up.  Things can't stay that way, though, she really needs an attached bathroom. So, we will be moving her into our master bedroom.  Our house is a 1950's house and the master is not really big...she will lose some space in the move, the front living room is pretty spacious.  I think access to her own bathroom kind of trumps spaciousness, though. But only barely.  I'm a bit sad about giving up my room.  Sky and I will move into the front living room.  I love, love, love the big picture window in that room, so I will look forward to that.

I am taking another child development type class, this is my third. I'm planning on getting a certificate for early childhood education so I can be a kindergarten aid or a preschool aid in a headstart-type program.  I was also taking an Algebra class, but I had an epiphany last week that I really hate math and I didn't want to be there.  I thought getting an associate's degree would be the smart thing to do, since I'm taking classes....but I really just want to learn to write better and explore art. Sky said from the beginning that I should just take classes that interest me, and I can see now that he was right.  I was beginning to dread going to class, and for my first exam (which I got an A on) I had to spend a lot of time studying for, that I didn't feel I had.  Amie and Demi have started back up with homeschooling, and then I have the grandparents' care stuff....and so on.  My math class was two evenings a week, so now it is really nice to be home again for those two nights.


We've started back up, full-swing.  I'll get a homeschool materials post up real soon.  Demi and Amie are busy with a few Biola Star classes, we have our normal homeschool studies, and then art and music.  Josie is back at the performing arts highschool for her 2nd and last year, she will be graduating this year.  Meg is in her second year of college.  She cares for horses in the morning -as a job, just got a part time job at Barnes & Nobles (Yay!) and graduated from the police explorers program this Summer.  She is very busy, and I am so proud of how hard she is working and how responsible she has grown up to be.  She's still not sure which direction she wants to go with as far as law enforcement, it first it was the horses, then FBI, now she's talking about forestry.  Who knows, but I'm sure it will be exciting.

So, that's a sort of re-cap of what is happening around here.  Oh, did I mention my grandmother has a dog?  We now are a two-dog family.  Sky is thrilled. (that was sarcasm) She's a sweet, small dog.  The transition to having my grandmother and her dog here has really gone very smoothly, my grandmother is a gentle soul, and so is her dog. Grandfather is finally landed in a really nice private nursing home...for now.  He got kicked out the first week, we got him new medication and took him back after a week back home.  So far it's okay, but every time I get a call from that area code, my stomach clenches.

here's a teaser with the homeschool stuff.... Oak Meadow World History, Aleks Math, Memoria Press First From Latin, Minecraft..... (I'll just name drop, since most of you stop by for the homeschooling stuff....I cleaned out my homeschool closet, totally!!  {shriek!!!!!}  I've tried to clean it out each year for the past 4 years, it is finally done. (Sky had to help me, bless that man!)

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Here's a hawk on a fountain I saw during a run (okay, mostly walk....) because, = cool and unusual.  I love my neighborhood.

How's life bloggy friends?  I'm glad you stopped by :)

Homeschool 2013-2014

2013-2014 Homeschool Year at Cliffs of Insanity Day Academy:

{Teddy, my bonus student, went back to public school last school year.  Meg graduated and is attending her first year of college. (Yes, I homeschooled her all the way, K-12)  Josie auditioned for a performing arts high school (charter school) and will be there for 11th grade and 12th grade (unless she decides to come home, but she loves it so far).  This year, we are down to two students; Demi-Sky is in 8th grade this year, and Amie is in 6th grade.}  Here is a list of our studies and books we are using;

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Amie 6th grade

Math Mammoth light blue series     Aleks Math (online)           Piano lessons        Parkour classes (p.e.)

Science:  Aha Science -online, and a few Science 2 U classes (monthly themed classes)    Literature: independent reading

Test Prep: Buckle-Down Language Arts 6

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Demi-Sky 8th Grade

Math: Teaching Textbooks         Aleks Math (online)           Piano lessons      Lacrosse team (p.e.)

English: Intermediate Composition 8 with Biola Star (once a week class with a great syllabus):

*Teaching Writing: Structure and Style Seminar Workbook Institute for Excellence in Writing 978-0984099092 *Student Resource Notebook Pages IEW   *Word Web Vocabulary Workbook Vol. 1 Sage Education Enterprises, Inc. The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth Speare Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom Miracle Worker, by William Gibson Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt

Latin:  online Latin Class with Biola Star (twice a week)

*The Latin Road to English Grammar vol. 1 & 2

Oak Meadow Science 5                   Buckle Down Science Standards Review 8                Independent reading

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Together-Amie & Demi:

Veritas Press self-paced History: Explorers to 1850 (online)

Shurley English 4

Bible:  Who is God? -Apologia Worldview series

private art lessons

to get to 2nd semester, hopefully:

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Memoria Press First Form Latin set with dvds

Grammar of Poetry IEW

Fallacy Detective

The Ode less traveled; tackling the poet within -Stephen Fry

Philosophy for Kids

Logic of English: spelling (for Amie)






After-schooling with Josie -

Who is God apologia Worldview (independently and by discussion)

*Rosetta Stone French      *assigned literature -To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.

After-schooling with Meg-

Mere Christianity (reading together and discuss)

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Mom School:

Mere Christianity with Meg

going back to college, 3 unit Child Development class Spring semester

Math woes

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So I'm in the midst of some Math angst here.  I didn't plan at all, to move any of my kids over to regular school, so our Math choices were a bit unconventional, and I have to admit, I wasn't in a real hurry to arrive anywhere fast with it.

I'm now in the midst of some Math panic....I went through this a bit at the end of last school year, and we switched the younger kids over to Horizons Math.  I looked seriously at Teaching Textbooks but in the end decided not to throw more money at my problem -it has a price tag that stings a bit.  Well, here I am at the end of April, State testing season is upon us and I am panicking again.  Here are the things I am looking at to bring our Math learning up to speed:

-Teaching Textbooks Algebra II.   I left upper Math in Sky's hands this school year, but he has been really busy.  I'm not real happy about the retention Josie is showing, so I just ordered Teaching Textbooks and she will be going through this from now through the Summer.  >>>>look>>>> Timberdoodle has free shipping!!  The Timberdoodle catalog has been a great big love of mine for years, I am kind of sad that we seem to be aging out of it.

-Aleks Math:  we tried this with the 3 younger students a few years ago...maybe 3 years ago?  They didn't really like it.  I did, though.  I liked how it was correlated to State standards, and you can see what the child needs to work on, and what progress they have made.  The site is also very clean and easy to use.  I've got Demi working on it right now, I can't decide if I should add in Josie and Amie or one...or neither...  I'll stew on it for a few days...

- Mastering Essential Math Skills: 20 Minutes a Day to Success, Book 1: Grades 4-5

I just ordered this, the price was right and a mom over at the homeschool message boards really liked it.    It says 20 minutes a day...I think we could add that to our regular work.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Meg seems to be doing fine with Math U See Geometry, so I won't mess with it.

So yeah, it's going to be Math-ageddon here this Summer.

how is your school year wrapping up? What are the keepers in your curriculum?  The losers?

homeschool winter days


We are finally getting back into a routine since the upheaval of Christmas vacation.  So far this week, homeschool has consisted of:

  • shopping for a new full-sized violin for Meg.  She grew out of her 3/4th size and has been playing on my old, cheap violin while we saved up for a new one.  Monday she and I went to the music shop and tried out several.  We took one home on trial, to let her teacher approve of...and she didn't like it!  I guess Meg and I flunked "tone" class...!
  •  Getting the kids used to working harder on our studies.  I've let them all slip into a routine of easy/lite work. Things are a changing here now.
  •  Meg and Josie resumed classes at Biola Star.


  • I started test-prep with Amie and Demi-Sky.  I've used Spectrum test prep workbooks before and for some reason I turned up my nose at the Buckle Down workbooks.  I can't remember what I didn't like about them now...except maybe that it has no answer key (I think you have to go online or something for it) but- we started using them and I kind of like them.  I am really liking the conversational tone and all the test taking hints/strategies they are pointing out/teaching.
  •  We are doing "Farmer Boy" as a read aloud
  • Demi is still busy with lacrosse.  They actually didn't take much time off during the holidays.
  •  Josie is neck-deep in graphic-arts work right now.  She wants to- kind of suddenly- apply to the local performing arts charter school.  She has to submit a small portfolio for round one of consideration.  It is really rather wonderful to have her so immersed in something she is passionate about.  It is kind of wonderful to have her totally "own" it all herself, nothing for me to do but encourage her and offer supplies.
  •  It's also a little terrifying for me.  I worry about how she will feel if she doesn't get in.  I worry about her getting in and not being here homeschooling.  I really, really worry I will screw something up and not get the right paperwork in or miss a deadline.  I'm on the verge of little mini-panic-attacks a few times a day over this...on the verge, not real ones. Yet.   Sometimes being Bridgit Jones is a hard burden... kidding. not.


  • We started reading Don Quixote before the holidays.  It is a wonderful illustrated version recommended by Susan Wise Bauer in Story of the World- which is one of the resources we are using in MFW this year.  Funny, I studied this book in A.P. English in High School but we didn't actually read it.  I am finding it hilarious!  Meg and Josie read parts of it at Biola Star in their text book, but they got caught up in it when I was reading it out loud the other day.
  • Today, (Wednesday) I took the show on the road and we did Math and read-aloud time at a local bagel shop for lunch.  I forgot how much fun, and how re-energizing doing homeschool out and about is...I will for sure have to set aside more time for outings that include study time.
  • Art class and piano classes, and violin class have all resumed.
  • homeschool winter days are full days.  How about you, are you getting back to a routine?

Homeschool, the week that was

Well, hello bloggy friends!  Sooo, this little thing called homeschool...we had our first week last week, right after labor day.  I wouldn't be the Bridget Jones Homeschool mom if it all went swimmingly and as planned, right?  Hold on, I won't disappoint you....


I did manage to get my new My Father's World Curriculum books set up in the homeschool bookcase.  The idea is that the kids each have their own section and can put away/ find their books themselves. (they never actually ever put their books away, so we will see how this goes)  There is also a section for books on tape, which my two youngest will be assigned daily (more on that later).  The top part of the bookshelf is not so cleaned-up, nor is the homeschool closet.  }it's how I roll.....


I bet you are all wondering how it went?  How do I like My Father's World?  I love it.  I want to marry it.  I wish I had tried it years ago.  [le sigh]

...that was a sigh of deep regret for my years wasted in nomad curriculum-land....

I love the schedules.  I love that they are bound in handy/manageable book form, not in honking big binders I can't lift.  I love that everything is on one page, and that after the schedule grid-page, there are pages listed by day that have extra notes, instructions, etc.

I love that the High School schedule is written to the student.  Josie checks off as she goes and I check in with her.  <3

The first Day went swimmingly, it was more work than my two youngers are used to.  Because I was homeschooling my bonus student, I had really pulled the punches in regards to out-put of work.  Writing was really difficult for Teddy, Demi dragged his feet about it, I really went light with them all. ( I never wanted Teddy to fill dumb or like he was lagging behind).  A full day with MFW's Exploration to 1850  plus our normal 3 R's  was really a stretch for Demi and Amie.  I felt bad that I haven't made this level of work normal for them.  I am glad that it will become normal for them.  We read about Leif Erickson on Day 1 and the kids had to write a a few sentences about him. People, it was a stretch to get two good sentences out of them.  Demi is starting 7th grade, his writing output needs to seriously jump up several notches.  I thought about my 7th grade History class and all the notes we took.  My teacher's teaching style was to fill up 3 large blackboards up with the lesson, which we copied into a notebook.  Not the greatest teaching style, maybe- though I am a visual learner and do really well memorizing information I hand worked well for me that year- but my point was that I quickly and very neatly copied pages of notes several days a week.  My 7th grader?  I can't even imagine him pulling that off.  I've decided my solution will be to narrate together about each historical person, and then to cursive write several sentences onto a whiteboard that they will need to copy neatly.  I will increase the length of these narrations as I go, so that eventually soon their output will be where it should be.

Day 1 went off perfectly, though we were very stretched (which was Tuesday because of Labor Day) Day 2 was Wednesday and it all began to unravel on this day, in typical Jenn-fashion.  We had plans for a long-awaited beach day with our cousins.  We got a tiny bit of MFW work done, our 3 R's and then hit the beach.  Our hen Dapples injured her foot, I was able to get her in to see the vet after we got back from the beach...and there ended any further school work.  Day 3-Thursday we got the 3r's done, but no MFW for the littles, I had to attend a long orientation day with Meg and Josie for their Biola Star classes. I'm not even sure I want to tell you what happened with can leave that one to your imagination, but it might have involved, or not- my teens out in the wee hours tp-ing their cousins' house and my littles staying up with them to ungodly hours because I was sick and went to bed at 8, Sky goes to bed at 10 and then chaos apparently reined without mom at the helm.  I had to drag everyone out of bed around 11 on Friday  <Maybe>


Let's jump ahead and just say that on Monday (tomorrow) we will pick up with MFW and stretch out the rest of week 1.  which actually, I like the thought of, because the work load is such a stretch for the kids, this will be a nice pace.  So yeah, I like stretching it out, but I don't like that I am stretching out because I am such a loser at finishing an actual week.

Josie finished her week 1- and then some, actually.  She had to start reading Julius Caesar, and then just finished it.  Again, I love that the schedule is self-directed to the student!

So there you have it.  I love MFW, but then again, I haven't actually finished a whole week with the I will have to do a later report on our progress. But, so far, I really like what I see.  That I could follow and finish a complete day on the schedule- as written- is actually huge for me.  With other programs, I began jumping ship mid day and started skipping books, jumping days....typical mayham.

Our lives degenerated last year and this Summer into so much unproductive directionless meandering that I had to sit down and make up daily to-do lists for my kids.  Josie's and Meg's are a weekly check-list and list MFW work, basic classes, prep for their Biola classes and music practice, exercise.  They are actually really good about doing what needs to be done, but it helps them to see it listed instead of having to ask me.  Demi and Amie's are more detailed and they have two separate lists- one for daily stuff they need to take care of like 'brush teeth' and 'make bed' (sad to say, but yeah, I have to list that) and then daily lists of school work so they can see what we have to do before their school day is over.

I hate schedules, and I hate having to type these up...but I can also see that they are going to help us get so much more done.


So lovelies, it is now late o'clock on Sunday night.  My homeschool closet is not clean, but my house is and we hosted the Bible College boys over for dinner. Summer is very quiet without them.  I do have check lists for my kids all typed out and printed up.  The daily-human-living lists for Amie and Demi go into plastic sheets and then onto a clipboard so they can check them off.  My goal for my son is no longer Latin, but just to make him human.


How is back to school going for you?  Any new curriculum loves? 


**this post is linked to Homeschool Highlights in MFW at Discover Their Gifts or 2 ladybugs and a lizard "  Homeschooling with MFW or want to see what a real day is like with MFW?  Click over and read other Homeschool Highlights!

Homeschool 2012- 2013

Here are the picks for the 2012- 2013 school year for our homeschool, known around here as Cliffs of Insanity Day Academy and St. Jenn's School for Exceptional Teens  :)


Here is our line-up

Demi-Sky and Amie grades 7 and 5

(my bonus student has moved on to public school this year)

Studies Together:

History/ Geography/Literature/Science/Music:  My Father's World Exploration to 1850 (American History)  our 1st year with MFW!   

Oak Meadow 5 Social Studies and English (U.S. History)  as much as I love MFW I have to face the reality that I am not using it...will Oak Meadow be {the one}?  I'm thinking yes.  For A.D.D. mom, having a basic text that I can plow through and add to at will seems to be key.  We have switched over mid-year, I will report back


Boy, Have I Got Problems!: James (Discover 4 Yourself® Inductive Bible Studies for Kids)

Science: Exploring Creation with Botany & The World of Animals with MFW

Oak Meadow 5 Science

Geography: Geography work/ States with MFW

The Complete Book of Maps and Geography, Grades 3 - 6

Geography is written into Oak Meadow

English: Shirley English 4,

Daily Warm-Ups: Language Skills Grade 4

Music:  Introduction to Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Chopin (six CD set) -scheduled with  MFW and Private piano lessons

Art: private art lessons and unit studies with Harmony Fine Arts/Sister Wendy's History of Painting-following listed artists in MFW

P.E.: daily exercise at home and weekly homeschool p.e. class (rotating sports)  (enjoyed this for 2 months, did soccer and flag-football but couldn't continue because of Demi's Lacrosse practice times)

Demi- his studies:                                                            Amie- her studies:

Math: Math-U-See Delta, then Epsilon, Horizons Math                  Math: Math-U-See Gamma, then Delta, Horizons Math

Assigned reading                  Rosetta Stone Chinese                              Assigned reading       Swim lessons twice a week

two books w/ literature guides from progeny press

lacrosse team/practice


Josie- 10th grade

Algebra II - Math-U-See                   Daily Grammar Review

History/Geography: High School World History and Literature by My Father's World

Oak Meadow World History High School course  (loved MFW but realizing this A.D.D. mom needs a program with less parts, less books to get out/coordinate.) *we have jumped in OM at 2nd semester.

Literature and Composition with Biola Star Program  (outside class twice a week)

*Jensen’s Format Writing     *Brief Wadsworth Handbook 7th edition    *Vocabulary From Classical Roots A

*Fundamentals of Literature 2nd Edition ~ Bob Jones University Press   *The Scarlet Pimpernel –Baroness Orczy

*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn     *The Hobbit      *The Christmas Carol –Charles Dickens

*Little Women       *Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis

Science: High School Biology with Biola Star Program

*High School Biology Student text, Lab Manual, Test book, Quiz book  ~ Abeka books

Music: private piano lessons and Introduction to Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Chopin (six CD set) -scheduled with  MFW

P.E.: private fencing lessons       Private Art lessons for 1 semester.


Meg - 12th grade

British Literature with Biola Star Program

*British Literature 2nd Edition  ~Bob Jones University Press          *Brief Wadsworth Handbook, 6th Ed.

*Vocabulary From Classical Roots D             *Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe

  *The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan    *Animal Farm  -George Orwell      *Northanger Abbey  -Jane Austin

High school Chemistry with Biola Star Program

*Exploring Creation with Chemistry 2nd Edition  ~Apologia   *Exploring Creation w/ Chemistry solutions & tests book

Government-Semester1: A Noble Experiment DVD set and workbook by Zeezok Publishers

switched to Oak Meadow  high school U.S. Government

Economics-Semester2: With Biola Star Program  ( Prentice Hall Economics textbook)              

Math: Geometry by Math-U-See

Russisan  Russian level 2 -Rosetta Stone. The Everything Learning Russian Book with CD: Speak, write, and understand Russian in no time! (Everything: Language and Literature) (second half of book)

P.E. equestrian cattle sorting/riding/exercising         Music: private violin studies


the mad curriculum shopper


I went to the local hotel showing for Abeka books today.  I needed to order Biology books for Josie's Biola Star Biology class, and health books for the semester of health she needs to complete.  The cool thing about these hotel display meetings is that you get free shipping on your order. Boo-ya!  The uncool thing.... the curriculum lust and self-doubt I begin to experience as I look at all the books displayed.  I don't know about you, but I begin to re-think the approach I was perfectly happy with yesterday.  I'm good with the grammar and Math I have picked out, and yet, I begin to wonder if I have deprived my kids by not following the sequence of offerings they have displayed so nicely.

We are in the midst of some highschool Math-angst here at Home...major review going on at our house to prepare the girls for their courses for 2012/ 2013.  I am unhappy with Josie's retention and scared stiff about Meg taking Geometry this coming year.  I got a 'D" in geometry.  I was also in 9th grade and my teacher couldn't hear and would yell at me when she made me stand up and recite proofs.  Yeah, good times there...  anyhow, I started leafing through Abeka's Geometry and liked the traditional flow of it all.  I was sorely tempted to buy it and have her do two Geometry programs: Math-U-See and Abeka Geometry, you know to attack it from all theoretical angles.

If Math curriculum is good, even more would be better!! 

And heck, while I was at it, let's throw in Abeka Algebra II for Josie to do along with her Math-U-See Algebra II.. piles of curriculum for all my kids!!

The solution manual for the Geometry was $60 and some dollars.  So, I did what I had to do and called Sky.  He talked me down.

Hey, I figure if Mr. Civil Engineer is happy with what we are using, who am I to doubt?

it'll be okay, right?  Whimper....

do any of you run in circles each year doubting your curriculum choices?  Tell me it's not just me....

The post where I spill about what worked, what didn't 2011/12

Here's where it gets real, friends.  Homeschool plans 2011-2012: What really happened-


Okay, homeschool mom in the field, reporting back....

My Plans:  The 3 youngest Students [together]

Bible: Possessing the Land (5th grade) Positive Action for Christ Curriculum

Sonlight History Core D  intro to American History (was called Core 3) [History, Geography and literature]

Wordly Wise (vocabulary)                                  Abeka cursive handwriting

Writing with Ease 2 by Susan Wise Bauer

R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Chemistry level 1- Pandia Press

The Reality:

Sonlight American History - we slogged through this and got to week 19 or so.  I wasn't even really following the schedule anymore, just looking to see what book came next and if we wanted to do it.  I ended up using mostly "A History of U.S.A." workbooks from this core and then reading from "A story of US" series from Core 100 and doing narrations.  I don't have the whole Core3, what I have I've had stored away for a few years, so I don't feel bad about wasting money.   For next year, I am moving over to My Father's World- I was able to look through their TM at a conference and it looked easier to use.  They have an American History year we will be using.

Worldly Wise- didn't use much.  Writing With Ease 2- I still like it, we got about half-way through, we will keep using this through the Summer.

R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Chemistry - found it delightful, Amie loved it but we only got to Chapter 2.  Instead, for Science we ended up using Teacher Created Resources Nonfiction reading workbook- I just picked the Science topics.  Bible- didn't get done much, will do some soul-seaching and planning for next year.

Individual Studies- 3 youngers:

MCT Grammar Island , Sentence Island, Practice Island, Music of the Spheres (poetry) etc.  - did a few chapters but decided the sit down one-on-one format was too difficult for me to follow through. I also was sad to see little retention in my kids.  I ordered Shurley Grammar 4 and began using it in May, will continue through the Summer. Instead, I used mostly the workbooks I had for standardized testing prep- I relied heavily on Daily Warm-ups: Language skills by Teacher Created Resources. It was easy to use. (I like easy)

Math: *Math: Math-U-See      *Horizons Math  *Mad Dog Math (multiplication)  it was all good, I was pleased with our picks and will continue using these.  This was our first year supplementing MUS with Horizons math- I was really pleased with Horizons, it was colorful, very easy to use, I hardly ever had to use the manual.  MUS was our main text, moving through Horizons was slow, we will continue with it through the Summer.

The Highschoolers: The plans-

Math: Math-U-See -Algebra I, Algebra II     Switched on Schoolhouse H.S. English  (minus essay assignments)

Switched on Schoolhouse HS Earth Science  Biology- Biola Star Program

Intro to Composition: Biola Star Program (Josie)  Inklings-Biola Star (Meg)

The Reality: 

I continue to be pleased with Math-U-See, we will stick with it through High School.  The Biola Star program continues to shine (pun intended) and I am so thankful for these classes.  Josie's composition class centered around IEW writing and also included grammar.

Switched on Schoolhouse English and HS Earth Science:  The Earth Science was a big fail.  Doing it on the computer drove me nuts.  I need to be able to look through the book, see where she is at, what is upcoming and how I can plan to add any projects/reports.  I had to order a study guide to use with this to flesh out the content.  I have decided that for my next 9th graders (Earth Science is required in Ca) I will be putting them in the Earth Science class at Biola which is geared for Jr. High, but I've heard the text and content is demanding enough for HS.  At least it will be easier to use and document (and will have a lab)

Switched on Schoolhouse English- I had the same problem using it on the computer, I ended up ordering the lifepac units for the 2nd semester which seemed to be exactly the same as the computer version.  It was better having the units in my hands- but we will not be using these again for High School.  I added on a few meaty books with sparks notes to this program for my 9th grader and 11th grader.  Switched on Schoolhouse English got us through the required subject for reporting purposes, but we had no joy using it, and English has always, always been my favorite subject.  My only joy came through reading The gift of the Magi, The Scarlett Letter and To Kill a Mockingbird on our own, with the help of Sparks notes for the 2 novels.

The Inklings class:  (English composition/Literature/Humanities) Biola Star program

This program was stellar.  I watched Meg's writing abilities soar, her reasoning abilities sky-rocket, enjoyment- discussion- logic-argument- it was all there.  I loved this class.  Unfortunately, it was a giant reading load, and mega-writing due every week.  As much as I loved her growth, we became alarmed as her other studies suffered, she got behind in her Algebra II studies and was not practicing her violin.  We had her drop the class at the end of the first semester.  I was sad to see it go, but she needs a strong Math finish.  It was also an expensive class, it was a relief to not pay the fee 2nd semester (total honesty here)

Biology with Biola Star was great, I loved all the lab work and projects they did (that I didn't have to...more honesty)

So, all the hits and misses at The Cliffs of Insanity Day School and St. Jenn's School for Exceptional Teens.  I'll set up our plans for 2012-2013 soon and put it under the homeschool tab at the top.

So friends, what were your hits and disasters?  Spill!