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August 23, 2016

High School. Here we are.

8 years in and here we are: High School!!

I'm given my years what many would consider an veteran homeschooler. Many have come to me looking for advice, tips, help, but yet here I am in uncharted waters.

I was robbed, yes strong words, but how I feel from being able to do high school with my son, but overjoyed and overwhelmed to be doing freshman year, here at home, with my daughter.

Freshman year.  I many moons ago bought homeschool tracker plus edition. This year I am honestly using it. For real. I have used it on and off over the years among other various tracker, record keeping programs. I just keep coming back to the homeschool tracker.  So with it being high school now I'm using it completely, for real, fully and being sure I honestly record things within the program. That way when needed with a few clicks I can generate report cards, transcripts, reading logs, materials used, etc. The more info you put in the better the generated reports will be.  One thing I do like is the plus edition (along with the free basic they still offer) is local to my computer. It's not online or some cloud.

Don't get me wrong. I use cloud things to store thing many things. I do use Google drive, facebook, etc. However when it comes to my education records for my kids, especially seeing my state is a low regulated state and does not require records, I like that it's just local to my computer. It gives me a sense that it's just for me and my kids only. our eyes only.

Although, the down side is that it's only on my computer and while the program can be loaded on multiple computers only one computer is going to have the up to date information unless I put the file on a flash drive and manually upload/download it between the two computers. Also, seeing it's on the one computer only, even though the plus edition allows for separate student login it has to be in that one computer. Hence sharing a computer. Which is not horrid, but over the years it's been nice not having to share and why I tried my hand at a series of online programs and apps when the kids go their tablets.  I wanted them to use their tablets and me my computer and have us "communicate" that way in terms of what to do for school, if the work is done, etc.

The only online programs I haven't tried are ones that cost money including homeschool tracker online. Mainly because I refuse to pay monthly or yearly for something I paid for 8 years ago as a one time fee.  Homeschool tracker plus edition, which is no longer available, was a ONE time fee of $50.

So back to schooling. It has only been 5 days so far. 3 last week; 2 this week. So far I seem please and so does WP. We have been doing Algebra 1, some English and Biology.  I ordered yesterday what I needed to complete our English course and World History. Once I have them we will start. We will also be doing a full years worth of PE/Health and Bible/Religion.  I haven't done PE/Health yet because she's been fighting a sinus infection. I also didn't start Bible/Religion because what I was going to use for her prove to be to advance when I took a closer look.

However within a a month we should be running on full steam.

How has your year started out? Have you even started? How has it been going? Already making adjustment?

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July 26, 2016

Spreading Her Wings ....

Over the weekend my daughter, Web-princess, 14 now went on her first away from home trip. It was a weekend trip with venture crew.

They went to BayJammers in the UP of Michigan. Her weekend was spent doing a series of competitions: First Aid, Sawing, Lip Syncing, etc. Honestly, I forget everything she did and signed up for; I know her first night was rough, she had a bit of a hard time, but the crew she was with was nice and helpful.

She came home with a blister on  her hand from the sawing, laughter over sharing some of the silliness that happened, bashful over dancing with a guy for the first time. (Which she described as awkward!)  Oh, what a weekend it was.

She's unsure she will go again, but I'm glad she did it.  She the night before leaving us up crying and scared about going. I know she's 14, but this is hard for her. She is my bashful, shy child. She's reserved, rather be the on looker, not the center of attention.  She is my I rather be home -- child.  She has always been this way -- even the early years when she was in Public School this didn't changed about her -- Heck, I remember the teacher calling me one day because she was bashful -- this was her.

Homeschooling didn't make her this way; homeschooling has allowed her to try things on her terms and when she was ready. Even if it was hard; even if she was doubtful, crying, it was still on her terms.  She is the one that came to us and asked to do venture crew this year. She is the one that came to us and told us she wants to go to BayJammers. As it approached she got scared about going, but I would have gladly told her she didn't have to go if her anxiety tipped over the edge.

Thursday night I spent the night cuddling with her and calming her. Friday morning she was still on edge some, but considerably better. I would have told her she had the option to stay home if she was as bad as she was Thursday  night.  She wasn't - so I just reassured her as needed and when the time came she was okay.  The first night, she told us when she got back, was rough, but over all she had an okay time.

The adults that went made a point to talk to my husband and I after they got back and shared that she did well, she fit in well with the rest of the group, and that if you didn't know any better you wouldn't have known this was her first time away from home and that she had anxiety about going, etc.

See -- letting her do it on her terms, when she was ready, even though she was scared, has helped her over the years.  I'm not sure (public) school or any school for that matter would have been good for her all this time.  She would have done it, but I know that over the years the anxiety would have grown and perhaps manifest itself into some horrid thing.

I'm very proud of my teenager and that she went and had a good weekend.

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June 14, 2016


As I shared yesterday we had plans to go fishing. We went, fished for about two hours, and over all had a great time. We are going to go again later this week.

Well, perhaps. It was good, but the kids were upset we got nothing, not even a bite. I told them we would try a different spot.

I did indeed get a license this morning. Getting the license gave Web-Princess and I something to talked about. We talked about how you have to pay for the license and how the state needed my driver license and social security number.  This shocked her some. She didn't understand why the state needed both.

I explained to her it's to make sure you don't owe the state any money, don't owe child support, etc.  I think mentioning child support triggered something in her. She immediately thought about parents taking care of their kids. I think she misunderstood somewhat what child support meant. However, her thoughts were thoughtful.

She said, "I think it's horrible the state charges people for a license and would stop people for getting one.  People can feed their kids if they were able to fish. Why stop them from being able to fish?"

This is how I know she misunderstood what child support meant.  She didn't realize it meant a parent giving money to the other parent for the child. She thought it meant caring for the child: food, shelter, clothing, etc.  She was horrified to think the state would stop someone from being able to fish and provide for their family, food, for "free" or cheap.

She knows enough to know catching fish is cheaper then buying fish.

June 13, 2016

15 On The Horizon

It's hard to believe that the boy, Superstar, will be 15 in a little over a week!  Where has my little boy gone? Gone is the sweet boy that worried about his "Toby Mommy" and here is the 6 foot and growing young man that *may* still may worry about his "Toby Mommy", but his truly isn't a little boy anymore.

Today, I had to do some traveling, because the one of regional park districts does not take reservations over the phone or online.  The parks closest to our home were already booked. The other ones that are maybe a 30 minutes drive from our home are owned by another park district and they only do reservations in person at their administration office.

We had 3 different shelter locations in mind that was owned by this park district. We did not get our first choice, but we got our second choice.  I think Superstar is happy. He wanted a playground near by for his younger cousins and something he could do.

His original choice had a sand volleyball court and tennis court.  His second choice was adjacent to the river so they can fish.  His second choice also has a splash pad so we told everyone to bring something to get wet in.

I spent the afternoon dusting off, untangling, and making sure our fishing gear still worked. We haven't used it in years!!! Many years!! It appears it is in working order.  Tomorrow, I will be taking the kids fishing and seeing.  They will do all the fishing themselves.  Seeing they are still both under the age requirement for a fishing licence and I frankly don't feel like getting a license tomorrow. Maybe I will -- they don't cost much. I will see how I feel about that tomorrow morning.

Oh and want to know what "Toby Mommy" is all about? You should ask me! Drop me line, leave me a comment below.

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June 11, 2016

LIttle Boy: Friday Movie Night

We have done family game night, family prayer night, family --  Besides prayer night, especially during the certain church holidays like Advent and Lent -- the only thing that has stuck is family movie night.  It's pretty much always a Friday Night (except for a few Thursdays here and there because Friday wasn't going to work).

We actually did family night this week on Thursday, because the boy is camping right now, but yesterday we went to the library and got some movies.  Love the library for this!! Our library only charges 25 cents to have the movie for 7 days and they do have a mix of old and newer movies.

Last night we watched "Little Boy".

It was a heart wrenching movie so if you do decide to watch it be sure you have tons of tissues on hand! Over all it was a good movie and acceptable for older children to adults.  There are some war scenes and while mild as far as war scenes go they may be to much for the younger audiences.  Kids In Mind has pretty good review on what's in the movie if you are unsure.

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