|Celebrating my friend's 50th birthday|
We went to the Venardos Circus with Grandma. It is a small traveling circus with no animals and put on a fantastic performance. We have several family members that are really opposed to animals being used in the circus. It was two hours of family fun. Thanks, Grandma, for taking us.
I made huge progress on reducing our belongings this week. I sorted all of the books in the house and weeded out an entire bookcase of books from our lives. This was not an easy feat for a book lover like myself. However, we just have too much of everything, and it was time for many books to go on to other book lovers. I mostly reduced reference books that were becoming outdated, chapter books that were less than extraordinary, and curricula that we will never use again. I can't believe we are in our last two years of homeschooling! It is a odd state to be in, realizing that this chapter of my life will end in two years.
Changes for Dean ~ We made a major decision a few weeks ago that I haven't shared on the blog until now. We decided to graduate Dean this year instead of next year when his sister will graduate. He has 16 credits completed and is actively working on completing 10 additional credits. A few of those credits may end up being half credits, such as zoology or they may be dropped entirely. In our state, there are no requirements for graduation. It is up to the homeschool (which is considered a private school) to determine the requirements. The state does encourage the graduate to have 4 years of English, 3 years of Math and 22 credits. He will have that and much more.
We came to this decision because he will be 18 this spring and is completely burned out and stressed out by school. He will have done enough by the spring and needs to put his energy and mind into growing up and forging a life. He is a very bright young man and knows much more than many of his peers, but he is not an academic and doesn't receive great pleasure from acquiring more and more knowledge. He also doesn't want to go to college, so he doesn't need more credits in specific subjects.
The next chapter of his life involves getting a job and flexing his "job muscles", finding a career that will satisfy him for few years or a lifetime and getting a driver's license. These are huge and overwhelming goals for him that will take his (and my) full concentration. So for the rest of this year he will be wrapping up school and dipping his toes into the adult world with career testing, his last educational and neurological testing and maybe some job shadowing. Then next year we will concentrate together on driving lessons, independence skills, and getting his first job. I feel really good about our decision.
Update on Katie (18 year old special needs daughter living in out-of-home care) ~ I have had several pleasant interactions with Katie recently. She is feeling pretty good in her life right now and seems to be relating better to the adults in our family. She isn't trying to bait the grandparents and parents against each other, which is a nice change. She is working with Vocational Rehab and an Independent Living program to try to find some independence in her life. She is currently trying to get a job as an elevator operator in a famous hotel in our area. It sounds like a great fit and, hopefully, Voc Rehab can make it happen. I am so pleased with Voc Rehab and their ability to work with her long list of mental health issues. It would only be a few hours a week and she would still receive Supplemental Security Income, but it would give her something to do with her boundless energy. She also wants dear husband to teach her how to drive. She has her learner's permit, but the reports from her public school driving lessons were pretty scary. If we embark on this adventure, it would only be in parking lots for a long time. There is a program for disabled adults in our area that assesses one's ability to drive. That might be an angle we will explore for her. We are finding our way into a relationship with our adult disabled daughter. I am hoping that, with careful planning, it will be more pleasant and safer for all than her childhood had been.