Friday, February 8, 2019

Week 21 ~ How We Maintain School Through a Crisis

We worked hard this week on just a few subjects. I think I mentioned before that we concentrate on completion of credits more than completion of hours/days/grade levels in high school. This means that I am currently overseeing three lesson planners for each child (9th-11th for Anne and 10th-12th for Dean). It also means that some credits carry year to year while they are slowly filled in and others follow a more daily schedule and are completed in one school year or less. I am using Anne's planners as my example because they don't have her name on them. I use my children's middle names on this blog. I will be able to put away one of Anne's lesson planners in just a few weeks. She only needs to complete her Career and Technology credit, and then her 9th grade credits will be complete. Meanwhile, she is almost done with English II (10th grade) and is making steady progress in her seven credits for 10th grade. So far, she is only working on two credits in her 11th grade lesson planner. This way of completing credits works so much better for our family than a more traditional format. I used this technique years ago for our oldest special needs adult son. I must admit, though, that I panicked in the middle of his 11th grade year when I realized that I was still filling in four planners, but in the end, they all were finished and he graduated with 24 credits. I am not at all panicked this time when I see that Conceptual Physics is moving at a slower than a snail pace and that other credits, such as Industrial Arts, for Dean have gone weeks without having anything added to it.
Anne's current planners
Almost done ~ just need to complete CTE

She is only working on credits for Health and Sign Language II in her 11th Grade Planner.
Considering the state of our lives right now with so many important life events and lots of travel on our schedule to get proper medical care for our adult son and support my Stepmother through the loss of my Dad, this homeschooling format is perfect for us. If we were following a traditional format, we would have to either close school down or compromise our studies for a curriculum that was less desirable but more travel worthy. I am so thankful for the freedom of homeschooling so that I can maintain the standard of learning that our children need while still dealing with real life. We simply work on the credits that work well with our current situation. Math travels well and can be done anywhere, so it is popular on our schedule right now. Conceptual Physics needs several hours set aside to do it the way we wish, and we don't have several hours back to back right now, so it is only happening currently about once a week.

Our Week ~ 
  • Finished Pride and Prejudice (BBC 6 episodes) and loved it
  • Each teen did 8 to 12 math lessons.
  • Dean started Guns, Germs and Steel National Geographic Documentary.
  • Anne worked two mornings at the consignment shop, earning her 8 hours of CTE credit.
  • Dean completed a unit study on Fredrick Douglass. (Anne is almost done with the same unit study.)
  • They both completed three hours of Conceptual Physics.
  • Anne attended 15.5 hours of dance classes and rehearsals.
  • Anne attended sign language class and picked up a job tutoring one of her dance teachers in sign language two times a month. 
  • Dean completed 8 hours of World Geography and Cultures (mostly Africa).
  • Dean finished Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • Both teens cooked a meal.
Chili and rolls is a family favorite
Our Tension Busters this Week ~ In this time of crisis, it is important to find tension busters. The normal hiccups of life such as a broken retainer and broken down car (both realities in our world this week) seem so much larger when our emotional resources are already stretched. I am always looking for ways to reduce stress and increase joy and laughter in our home. Helping neurotypical people through crisis is hard enough, but dragging several brain injured people through crisis is a huge feat. Such is the life of a mom of special needs children.
  • A walk around the lake while Anne was in dance
  • A round of mini golf 
  • Our delightful pets who cuddle and do so many funny things all day long and bring giggles into our home
  • Friends over for dinner
  • When Calls the Heart season 5 on Netflix for Me

Our cat thinks she is a prairie dog

Today will be consumed with more math (see a theme here?), a doctor appointment, looking for memorial clothes for oldest son and house cleaning.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I'm going to come back to this post many times to review how you work your planners. I'm really impressed.

    You're all in my prayers every day for peace, healing, joy and whatever other blessing Heavenly Father can offer you. Thanks for being an inspiration!!!

  2. I find your high school tracking fascinating! We do cumulative work for a few things, like art, but not everything. What are the reporting requirements in your state on a yearly basis? I think part of why we don't is that we have to have a portfolio of the student's work for that year reviewed by an Ohio licensed teacher or do standardized testing every year.
    I'm praying you all have extra comfort and peace during transitions and health issues!
    And that cat is hilarious. My kids came to see what I was laughing at and wondered if we could teach our outdoor cat to do the same thing...

  3. I love that while you are trying to keep some schooling going you have found the flexibility to do that without adding to any of your stress levels. I too have found that it's key to bring our stress levels down in times of stress and really like your list of tension busters. Praying things get a bit easier for you all in the coming week.

  4. I love the photo of your cat. So cute! I have found the flexibility of homeschooling really is helpful during difficult times too. I hope your family comes over to the other side stronger for the trials you have all been through.

  5. I like how you are finding ways to carry on with school through a crisis, and the ways your caring for the emotional needs as well. It's always interesting to see other families planners, too.

  6. I love the idea of credits not grade/year. Hugs and prayers as you work through this rough time in your ives.