Friday, August 22, 2014

Planning and Progress

This was our first break with our new five week on with one week off schedule. I am so glad we returned to this schedule and wondered several times through the week why we ever gave it up a few years ago. The kids and I are sold on it. My week was spent jumping through the last hoops to get Goldilocks into school and planning my homeschool lesson plans for  the next five weeks.

Goldilocks Goes To School ~ Goldilocks was accepted to the day treatment program in our county for challenging children who have serious emotional and behavior problems. There are only 18 slots in the whole county, and our Goldilocks was the first kid ever to go straight from homeschooling into this program which is considered the most intensive program our school system has. I am not sure that is a distinction that anyone would ever want but it says a few things.... Goldilocks really is seen as a very troubled child to have gotten into such a program with almost no fuss. We had to prove that we had provided Goldilocks with an adequate education before she was accepted to the program. I faithfully pay for professional end of year homeschool testing. I'm always a person who wants to cross every "t" and dot every "i". Fortunately, we used a special education teacher from our county last year to tutor her in math. This teacher has twice won the county's teacher of the year award. After a year of her tutoring my daughter, Goldilocks' math scores on the end of year tests had gone DOWN noticeably, while her reading and language arts scores (taught by me) had gone up! The school system representatives were speechless! I was kicking myself a few weeks ago about paying all that money for tutoring and getting such negative results. However, those scores helped us tremendously in the long run. This is just another example in my life of God providing.

Goldilocks was delighted while waiting for the school bus. For years while living with me, she has wanted to go to public school and has done many things to sabotage my teaching her. We don't know if her current placement with her caregiver will hold more than a few more weeks. We are out of funds and the license is still being reviewed at the state level. Since our caregiver lacks this particular license, our insurance has not picked up the cost of her care. Goldilocks may need to move to another placement that has licensure. If she has to leave the county, which will likely be necessary, she will not be able to attend the day treatment program. I don't even know what is best anymore. I just keep praying and reminding myself that God is control.

Mother Culture ~ I got a bit of mother culture in this week. I completed two books, The Smartest Kids in the World and Freedom Writers Diary.  Both books are thought provoking and will enhance my thought process as I help the kids through this school year. I really want to raise the bar for the kids this year. I know they can do so much more than they have been doing in recent years. The stress in our family has been so intense in the last few years that many expectations have been lowered. It is time for a change. I also was able to watch the movie Freedom Writers. It was excellent. I also watched the movie, Dive. This was a good documentary that really left me shocked. It is about how much food is wasted in America. I had no idea so much food was being thrown away from grocery stores instead of being passed onto organizations that help the poor. We are hoping to start composting in the near future so that we will stop wasting food in our own home.

Planning ~ We will be starting our first geography unit study in our next five week unit. We will be studying Paddle to the Sea, using a Beautiful Feet unit study. I love the map they sent with the guide. It is on high quality card stock and is a nice size. We will also be looking at Europe after World War II for history. I will be using a host of picture books and some excerpts from The Story of the World  Vol. 4 to illustrate the devastation in Europe and the new divisions of countries around the world. Our literature plans include a small unit study with The Trumpet and The Swan and a FIAR  unit study with The Cricket in Times Square. In addition we will be listening to the last two books from the Melendy Quartet, Then There Were Five and Spider Web For Two. Little Red Riding Hood will be starting French and Tom Sawyer will be starting Spanish. I will introduce our workbooks and free online videos next week. We will be working more diligently through our Physics lessons during the next five weeks. There is also lots of plans in the works for Music, Language Arts, Math, and Art. I think it is going to be a grand five weeks.

In addition to all of our at home lessons, we will be starting back to our out of the home classes. Little Red Riding Hood will be in tween company for dance five hours a week. Tom Sawyer will be doing only one Modern dance class since his knees really can't do anymore than that at this time. They will both be attending Lego club and The Tar Heels historic club once a month. Tom Sawyer will continue with physical therapy and a writing class weekly. I am considering having them join a once a month Culture club but don't know all of the details yet. We will have to see how our schedule feels. It is always a bit different than it looks on paper.

All The Rest ~  The kids have enjoyed their break. Tom Sawyer had two play dates and Little Red Riding Hood had hours of crafting. We did lots of errands and meetings this week to try and get ourselves squared away for learning next week. The kids liked going to the labyrinth in the river district this week. I try to go walk around it whenever we are in the neighborhood because of the possible health benefits. I do find that Tom Sawyer is always calmer and more focused after walking through the labyrinth and they enjoy it.
Blessings, Dawn


  1. We are praying for you that everything with Goldilocks has a more definite status soon. I hope the rest of the family continues to be well. Good forethought on the end of year testing to ensure there were no problems later. We do the same, but have not yet had need of the results. I hope next week is a good week too.

  2. You've had so many challenges over the year! I've read the previous posts about Goldilocks but didn't comment because I wasn't sure what else to say, but now I'm glad that you're getting the help that you need with her, and that the other two children are having some much-needed normality at home.

    Your plans for the next 5 weeks look fabulous. You're all going to be busily engaged with lots of learning! :-)

  3. Praying for everyone's safety and sanity...keep on keepin on...

  4. I have always been intrigued by doing a regularly planned off week, I'll be following your posts about it this year closely! It sounds like a great week was had.

    Goldilocks and your entire family are in my prayers. It is such a hard situation but you're right, God will work it out. ((HUGS))

    I like your plans for the coming weeks, sounds like lots of fun and learning!

  5. It must be hard having a lot of what ifs with Goldilocks! Everything works out in the end, but the wondering is SO hard! I wish you and your family the best!

    It's always nice for us Moms to have some time for books and our own learning, huh?

    I've done a 6 week on / 1 week off schedule that worked really well. It seems so much easier to focus on 6 weeks, planning and such, then having a week off to plan the next. I hope it works well for you for the year!

  6. I'm pleased Goldilocks is getting the help she needs. Are you more peaceful about the situation now? I do hope you are.
    It must have been very affirming for you to be told you were doing a better job than the professional (it doesn't surprise me one little bit though).
    I'll keep praying that Goldilock's future remains stable. xx