Inside Our Homeschool After 12 Weeks (7th Grade)
We have been schooling for 12 weeks now and I can say we have hit a good groove . . . I think . . . but I probably shouldn't even say that or I might jinx the good thing we have going . . . My new 7th grader had a huge jump in curriculum and I will say the first four weeks were in straight out panic mode. At week five, I had to have a discussion with the director of our entire classical program for a bit of guidance as my head was beginning to swim with the amount of work. (she was drowning)
I was really hoping to be able to send my 7th grader to her desk or table or an area where she really could move herself along in her schedule throughout the day and the week. That simply was not happening and I was still needing to keep her on track at every task.
Also, since my 7th grader had such a huge increase in her work load as well as the curriculum itself is actually at a high school and college level, she is desperately in need of my assistance with her school work. After speaking with the director, we decided to give the option to take some classes as audit classes or simply drop one of them altogether.
My middle child has this amazing spirit where she will literally give 100% +++ of her being in all the tasks that are presented to her. School work included. Week Five proved a turning point for her and week six seemed to just flow so much better. Each week that has passed since week five has been smoother than the week prior. Alleluia!
This week was workload heavy and she has five - FIVE - essays and/or papers due next Monday. needless to say, she obviously saved them all for the last day, Friday. I refuse to school on the weekends, I literally will make my girls work late into a Friday evening so I don't have to assist or do any "homework" on the weekends.
I'm happy to say that my 7th grader has been renewed and lifted in spirit and just works her little heart out to get her work done. I hear so much less complaining and she realizes the fruits of her labor because comprehension is up. I really thought she was going to be missing out on some valid learning this year with the rough start we had, but she has really focused and put all her attention back on school and is once again excited about learning.
Here's where we are so far this year:
I was sort of ready to throw in the towel after last year with Math. I would spend weeks trying to explain concepts to my daughter and in the end I hired a tutor because I just couldn't torture her or myself any longer. Over the summer, I have always schooled in Math, but this past summer I did absolutely nothing. I gave her a 12 week hiatus from Math. Perhaps this is what she needed because when we started Math this year, she knew what I was talking about.
My daughter had the same exact teacher for three years in a row for Latin and I have to say this year she has a new teacher and I am so overjoyed! I really think students need different teachers and not the same teacher year after year, especially if they are struggling in a subject. This year, we are using Visual Latin and it is a breath of fresh air. My daughter loves it and breezes right through all her exercises.
My daughter on the other hand does not enjoy this class at all and the only book she has enjoyed thus far is The Nine Tailors. Eusebius, Saint Augustine, The Church History, Confessions, and On the Incarnation Saint Athanasius have not held her interest at all. I have either read these to myself and summarized for her, read them to her aloud or found an audio version of the books for her to listen to - which I still have to explain to her when she is done listening. This is the one class that was under consideration to drop completely. But, my daughter wanted to stick with it as she was enjoying The Nine Tailors at week 6. Now, at week 12, reading the On the Incarnation is once again slowly killing her and me along with it!
The issue my daughter has is she has difficulty analyzing the books assigned because they don't interest her. While they are great learning resources, she has yet to make that connection in her mind and how these books relate to History. I'm connecting the dots for her, but this is something that takes many hours a week for us. I would have been happy if she dropped this class and I would have found something else like American History, but she wanted to continue. We will see how the semester ends.
Here are the reminder of the books to read: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Song of Roland, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Dante, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Bondage of Will, Bede, Beowulf, and Macbeth.
This book is not a good fit for us - plainly said. My daughter does not like this book and the content in not laid out well in the book or the General Science Student Notebooking Journal . The teacher is assigning every single page in the notebooking journal and it feels like busy work now. She is assigning additional work to supplement how bad the book is (in my opinion). But I wish she would eliminate some of the journal and just create these worksheets and various assignments.
We have loved all the grammar level Apologia books up to this point, but General Science is boring and factual and general. I think the issue is my daughter misses the singular focus on one area. I am going to supplement -- if I can find the time with some other material I have here at home -- which is the same thing I did with my son in 7th grade as this material was just not interesting - just factual.
The great thing about this book and this class is my daughter is making connections with the material to other subjects and with the history she is learning in catechism. We will see how second semester goes.
My daughter doesn't like direction when writing, but these books do give her the necessary skills and tools she needs in order to become a better writer.
All in all, I think we are managing well and finding our pace. I don't know if we will continue at the consortium next year because the curriculum is not the best fit for my daughter. There is so much out there that I think would be so much better for her, but I just don't have the time to fit it in because we have so much busy work from the consortium assigns this year.
She has no interest to attend a public or private school and wants to continue to home school through high school and God willing, I will teach her if that is what she wants and where God keeps leading me. But I do think this will be our last year at the consortium, at least for her . . . and this summer I plan to have a planning weekend away with her so we can figure out what plan of action she needs going forward.
We are going to adjust accordingly and I hopefully can stop questioning myself every two days "Am I doing the right thing" "Am I making the right decision keeping her here" "Am I forcing too much" "Am I not doing enough"????