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Thread: Roll Call, 8/5

  1. #1

    Default Roll Call, 8/5

    Greetings homeschoolers, veterans and newbies both!

    I know some of you have started or will be staring your "new" school year in earnest.

    For the veterans & new homeschoolers, for this year is there something new you are trying this year that you are excited about? What do you think will be the most fun, and what do you think will be your biggest challenge?

    I am looking forward to adding a Conceptual Physics class to my mix of classes for homeschoolers. It's very hands-on, and as the name says, very conceptual-based with very little math. By the time the 8 kids are done with my class, they'll be able to successfully annoy their family about why the sky is blue, why airbags work, and why overloading a circuit with Xmas decorations is a bad idea, among other things.

    My biggest challenge will be to keep all these students and myself healthy. The math courses have only 2 or 3 kids each. But the class of 8 will be a challenge. Weather permitting, classes will be outside. Otherwise, they'll be in my sunroom, which has it's own entrance, can be closed off from the rest of the house and is not on the same AC/furnace system, and is easy disinfected (hard surfaces for now). I'm off later this week to get a 2L pump bottle of hand sanitizer, and all of us must wear masks.

    Jump in. What has you all giddy and what has you all concerned?

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    Feb 2012


    Hello regulars and new members!

    Inmom - your classes sound perfect. We are still waiting to see if DD's science class (a nature based biology class) will happen. I hope so! But schools are online here and the teacher has young kids of her own - so I'm not sure if she can make it work.

    Yay homeschool nerd-out time!

    We are doing lots of new here this year - which is pretty typical for us - lol!

    DS - Sophomore year. Last year, I had bought Global Perspective Studies (GPS, Farrar's program), which is language arts and history. However, I ended up not using it because the workload is heavy, and there is a lot of assigned reading (as in about 200+/- pages a week) and DS is not a big reader. So for freshman year, I developed most of his classes on my own. I really wanted to spend the year strengthening his skill set for note taking, paper writing, short answer / essay questions, workload endurance, time management, and level of independence. Mission accomplished and so far, several weeks into the GPS program, DS is really enjoying it and producing quality work with little correction needed. I like the variety of books, as well as amount of digital media used - it feels like an up-to-date, modern curriculum. The other new items we are using include courses in A&P and Psychology both from Oak Meadow. I've looked over the courses and I like the looks of them, but won't be adding them until next week (a build up to full load still works best for us). I will be adding content to the A&P course to make it a full year course as well as a little more rigorous. However, after patching together biology last year, I'm looking forward to having a bit of a spine as a jumping off point.

    DD - is 7-8th grade-ish. Last year we used BYL and for us it was just alright. The reading list is solid, yet it felt a little stale at times and didn't really hold her attention. So this year she also picked a few programs from Oak Meadow (which is how I found the programs for DS). She is not a history fan, but really liked the idea of the civics program, so she is working on that. She also picked to use their English program for 7th (she had read most of the books in the 8th grade program). So far, OM has been a great fit for her, I wish I had considered it earlier! She really likes that they offer options for each assignment and that each assignment usually offers a creative option. She also left Khan for Mammoth Math, which we have used in the past.

    Between the various programs, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to read much of my choosing for the duration of the school year though - ha!

    Most excited: the Oak Meadow for DD and GPS for DS (even I think I'll learn a great deal with that one).

    Biggest challenge: I'm a little worried about the lack of IRL socializing / friends for the kids. DS has bumped into a few friends from the local high school swim team who are working as lifeguards and is already bummed out that he can't work (only 15) and the fact that swim team, and all the associated shenanigans, probably won't happen. He could get a work permit, but I have mixed feelings about him working during covid, as of now it feels like a want not a (psychological) need. DD has met a few friends at parks with masks, but it's still not quite the same. But I think most of us have that worry this year.
    Last edited by RTB; 08-05-2020 at 04:03 PM. Reason: info
    DS 15, DD 13
    Year 9

  4. #3



    DS is now starting 7th grade, so I feel like our slack-schooling ways are coming to an end. I think that will be the biggest challenge. I don't know who is more worried about it, me or him.

    My college teaching will be completely online this semester, so I will be around more. But to keep students who are not used to online learning on track takes more work. I had more students who were successful last semester with all of the upheavals, but it required an enormous about of mental work. But this term I am the most prepared as I have ever been, so that is one upside.

    I have been keeping otherwise busy by working on a political campaign. So that has been interesting. I used to work in politics a long time ago, so it has been fun to be involved again.

    Back to lesson planning...

  5. #4


    I like the look of Oak Meadow. I may try it for both my kids next year.

    We are mid-year and late-winter so all feeling a bit over it at the moment. DD's did math today and then we are forgoing regular routine for them to make turtle-shaped steamed buns:

    Riding lesson went well this week. I did a lot of leg yielding (getting the horse to move forward and to one side at the same time), which was fun.

    DD12 had her intake appt with the psychologist this week. It was just a lot of talking (1 h with me and then 30 mins with DD) and we will have about two more 1 h long appts before the psychologist writes up a recommendation for therapy and things to work on at home. She talked to us separately but apparently both DD and I came up with the same things that DD needs to work on (anger, coping with timing, writing stress, and anxiety about vomiting/medical procedures). So that is good we are on the same page.

    DH and I watched some short films last night with the NZ International Film Festival (online this year). One was about a young woman leaving home and tidying up her childhood room. I think with all that has happened with DD12 in the last year, it just made me really sad to think about her being at that point, and I actually felt physically ill watching it, lol. Sure that was not the film maker's intention. I love seeing my kids grow up but I miss each age that they pass through.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 08-05-2020 at 08:12 PM.
    NZ homeschoolers (school year runs start Feb to mid Dec).
    DD 12 (year 7) and DD 7 (year 2).
    Fourth year homeschooling.
    Part-time freelance science copyeditor.

  6. #5


    Roll Call, 8/5
    Some of the completed turtle buns. First pic is DD7's and second is DD12's. They did not get as much green in them as the photo on the recipe as they found it hard to knead in, and they decided they liked the swirly effect with less green. Also, we did not have black food dye, so they mixed up red + green to make brown for the faces, and they did not put on any shell patterns in green as they thought the swirly effect was enough. The other change they made was to add chocolate chips to the custard (about 1/2 cup) as they did not like the smell of the plain custard from the recipe.


    NZ homeschoolers (school year runs start Feb to mid Dec).
    DD 12 (year 7) and DD 7 (year 2).
    Fourth year homeschooling.
    Part-time freelance science copyeditor.

  7. #6


    Ooooh edible turtles!

    Im pretty calm abuout DS8s upcoming official school year. Same old Same old. Im going to try BYL’s Ancient History with him, we will see how it goes. (Also trying to get him into real life sessions with his therapists... virtual since March and he’s backsliding. Im hoping we will be able to do outdoor sessions at a park. Not as quiet and undistracting as a private room, but easier to keep safe.

    DS14 is going into 9th grade, officially high school! Because we are with an accredited charter, there are more requirements and coordination required. Im not sure exactly what or how that will be working this year. (And I believe the ‘enrichment’ classes will be through Zoom. To quote our inglorious leader, “it is what it is”. Not the best for learning, but the best solution for safety, I think.)

    So, thats us and our schooling plans. Nothing breathtakingly new and exciting.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  8. #7


    DD is taking a core class online (5th grade Science) through a charter. My big worry is that she tried their 4th grade Technology class this summer and it was a complete failure. Way too much work and way too advanced. We’re both a little scared. I’m trying to focus on the fact that the several week attempt at the other class has somewhat prepared her for this new class.
    Getting ready to start 5th grade with DD. Grateful for having the guts to go with this crazy notion of homeschooling my kiddo.

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Roll Call, 8/5