Full Schedules, but never too full for......

It's August and school has started. If you're on social networks, like Facebook, you can see it by all the 'first day of school' pictures posted by parents. How about you homeschool mommies?  Did you take first day of school pictures, too?  I hope so. Why not?  It's a good way to see how the kids grow and change from year to year. We have a picture frame with a picture for each year of school. And it's so special to me because I can easily see their physical growth from the time they were five years old until their cap and gown graduation picture at eighteen years old. Yes, we have a homeschool graduation with cap and gown.  And they get to choose any color cap and gown that they want. Our daughter just graduated, and I'm surprised she didn't pick a tie-dye cap and gown. I'm telling you, she would've tie-dyed it herself, like she does with most of her T-shirts. She chose, instead, a pretty baby blue....although, I would've been fine with tie-dye. Homeschool graduations are far from boring, though, with our graduate slide shows and personal dedications.

So now my graduate has started college. Her plan is to stay home and attend our local college for her Associate in Arts degree. Then she plans to transfer to a university when she has a better idea of what she wants to do. Right now she's thinking of going into education or be a sign language interpreter, but that could change. This semester she's taking a sign language course, which may give her a better feel for that field. She's registered as a full time student this semester. She's also working part-time. And she now has a boyfriend. Yes, a boyfriend. If it were up to me, that would not be happening. Only because she will always be my little girl and it's a little hard to accept that she's growing up. Having said that, he's a really nice young man. Her mom and dad approve. ;)  We're really not concerned with her making a bad choice in that department. Dad doesn't have to put the fear of life into him. Instead, we trust we've raised her smart enough to be with someone who will honor and respect her. This week we got to see a lot less of her. She was either at school, at work, on a date with her boyfriend and friends, or with her nose in a book or computer. After a summer of just hanging out together at the beach, watching movies, going out for ice cream...or just hanging out at home, this is a new routine.  We will need to get used to her full schedule...but never too full for some family time here and there.

Moving right along to our next child still at home and homeschooling is our son in his last year of homeschool high school. He's got a full load as well. He's also working part time. He works with his sister, who is in a supervisory position at work and is the one who does the scheduling for all employees. This can be a benefit for both of them when they need a particular day off. It's also a benefit that they get to drive to work together or play tag with the car as one arrives to work while the other one is leaving work. Noah is also dual enrolled in high school at home and college. He's taking English 1101 at the same college as his sister. At home he's doing math, anatomy, pre-calculus, worldview, and a Literary course. He also meets with his local Sea Cadets on a weekly basis and serves in the children's worship team at our church. Full schedule for him, as well....but never too full for family time here and there.

Last but not least is our youngest, Samantha. We homeschool Samantha all year. Because of her Down syndrome, it's just best that we don't take time off from school for more than a week or two at a time. She did take a week off each summer month. Now that we're officially starting a new year, we're working on some lesson reviews. For math we're reviewing her first grade homeschool curriculum.  We use Time4Learning curriculum for Math, Language Arts, Science and Social studies.  In Language Arts we're reviewing 4th grade and then moving on to 5th grade. This is one of the things that I love about this curriculum. She can work at her own pace and at the grade level she is really at. She's not struggling to keep up or moving ahead before understanding a lesson.

We've added a P.E. day to her schedule this year, which she is really excited about. We have a homeschool sports organization that is simply amazing. There are about a hundred kids on each P.E. day meeting at different parks around the city. Kids are taught about almost every sport, including archery, which is a favorite. But most importantly, kids are taught to encourage and respect one another and work as a team. I'm also looking into adding a science day at the park with a group of kids from our homeschool support group. We did this a few year ago with a few families. The kids learned a lot from the park naturalist. It was nice to get out once a week and do school at the park.

As you can see, each of us has a pretty full schedule.  I don't know how people are still asking about homeschoolers and socialization. Looking at our homeschool support group's calendar, we're going to have a hard time saying no to a lot of events and activities planned for the year. Already this month we've registered for a field trip to the zoo.  Even my daughter in college is coming with us. We're excited about this field trip because it's been a long time since we've been to the zoo, it's been a long time since we'be been on a field trip with this group, and we'll be seeing lots of old friends we haven't seen in months. And we're happy to have a day planned ahead for family time.

What does your school year look like? What are you doing differently this year from last year?  Please comment below. I love new ideas or comments.

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