April 15, 2009


This past week I decided to put together the beginnings of a portfolio. I will admit that we are lazy home schoolers. Living here in Arizona requires very little "paperwork" on our part. I don't have to submit anything to our state. Over the course of five years, while we have generated a lot of papers, I have not been very good about organizing them, or at least presenting them in a "documentable" format.

My son will begin 11th grade this fall, and with the thoughts of college around the corner, the idea of having a put together portfolio, makes so much sense. I am not sure whether anyone will ask for one, but it sure would be nice to have something ready to go, just in case.

So this week, while planning our next year, I decided it would just make sense to start organizing our records and materials into something that "resembles" a portfolio.

I have pulled together some resources which I think will fit the bill. In general layout, the portfolio will be a 3-ring binder with tabs defining each section. I will use sheet protectors and folders for things that just won't punch well. We will keep samples of writing as well as some of our projects (video, music, etc.)

My goal is to keep two years worth of records, hoping that a college admissions officer will consider Y11 and Y12 worth more value than anything studied in Y9 or 10.

I will post some photos once I get the entire thing put together, but for now, my idea is pretty much all in my head. Here's to finally getting our home school organized! LOL! Only 5 years in, with 2 years left to go!!

April 11, 2009

April 8, 2009

Butter Braids

Today my son and I delivered 37 Butter Braids.

Actually, it was a good thing...because the folks who bought these did so to help send my son to CHIC 2009 at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville this summer.

If you have never had the delight of eating a Butter Braid, check them out! They are out of this world and are a wonderful fundraiser for schools, churches or any organization that needs to raise money.

Good Bye to Scott Macintyre

Well, tonight, our local favorite American Idol contestant, Scott Macintyre, was eliminated. I am not a fan of the show, but have been watching this season because Scott was a contestant. He and his family attend our church and we often enjoy hearing them sing together during services. I was sorry to see Scott get eliminated, but am confident that the Lord has a great plan in mind for his life. I am sure He will provide and open a door of opportunity for him to become the singer/songwriter he longs to become!


Thinking about next year

I have been working on next year's curriculum. We are already finished with our Y10, but are still reading a few more books and trying to complete a second math course. Next year, we will be back with AO/HEO full-time and will be following the written schedule as closely as possible. I am really glad to be back with AO. The past two years have been such a mish-mash of styles, and frankly, I have struggled to find cohesion and consistency. Our years with AO, while challenging academically, were actually easier on me as far as scheduling and planning. So...I am already looking forward to Y10 (Civil War) and am starting to collect the necessary books.

Some reviews of our Y9:

Well, we started out strong and with a good plan in order. I had decided not to use AO/HEO, mostly because we had already ready one term of the program, and wasn't sure my son wanted to return to AO after a year off.

Our fall was spent reading through ancient history and literature. While interesting overall, the problem we found was that the year was not as full as when we were using AO/HEO. We made the decision to return to AO in January and couldn't be more happy. We are reading terms 2 and 3 and should be finished by the mid-end of June.

Other recaps:

Math - we started our year using MEP GCSE. GCSE is a special program created for students in the UK in schools using the MEP math materials. GCSE is an exam prep course and students take 1-2 years of classes to prepare them to sit/pass the GCSE Math exam. We went ahead and tried to use the GCSE material, but found the course work difficult to use on our own. After a fitful start, I went back into the Y7-9 material and pulled out all the Geometry units. I had my son complete all the Geometry and Trig lessons, thinking that I would give him a full unit in Geometry. He actually blitzed through this curriculum, scoring nearly 100% on every lesson. After finishing up our review, I started him on a college level Algebra text. He is currently working through this book on his own and is doing well (80-90's). Once he finishes this text, I will give him an additional credit in Algebra 2.

Science - we completed a college-level Chemistry textbook this spring. In addition to reading the textbook, we also watched The World of Chemistry, a video series from the Annenberg Project. Now, we are working through Physics for Dummies and using another video series called The Mechanical Universe and Beyond. On completion of this text/video series, I will give him an additional credit in Physics.

Art History - we are still watching The Western Tradition, a video series we started back in the Fall. My son really likes these videos and has written some excellent summaries on them. I am not sure if I will just save this credit or add it in as Art History.

April 7, 2009

Follow Up on DH

Ok, the past month has taken it's toll on us all. We finally got our insurance coverage and now are beginning to see the specialists. Whew! What a nightmare -- a paperwork nightmare. This week we have had CT scans, blood work, and another visit to our Primary care doctor. We also spent time with the Urologist and will be scheduling in kidney stone surgery over the next week or so. All of this is to help diagnose why my DH has impaired kidney function (really he is limited to one kidney currently). His blood pressure and cholesteral are all good -- now we just need to get his kidneys under control and we are good to go.