Tuesday, July 5, 2016

North Carolina

Moving really takes a lot of effort when you're an adult! I moved about every 2 years as a child, due to my father being in the Air Force, but it was just fun to move as a kid. Being a grownup requires a bit more work... Anyway, we are all settled in Clemmons, North Carolina, now (and have been for a while), so I figured I should try to get back to blogging.

We are still homeschooling. North Carolina has a few more rules than Texas, but nothing much I wasn't already doing. I had to fill out an online form after we first moved here, establishing our home school, and had to give us a name. We are now Shadow Creek Academy! There's a creek next to our property, and our cat is named Shadow, so that's where the name came from. Nothing too inspirational or meaningful, but it got the most votes among the kids. Then I have to keep attendance - just marking off the days each child does school work - no specific hours worked or anything - just "present" or not. And then I have to give them a standardized test each year, which I was already doing in Texas anyway. The state reserves the right to review your records (attendance and test scores), but apparently that doesn't happen very often. Oh, and when I submitted the initial online form, I also had to submit documentation of my own education (either a high school or university diploma) and that of any other potential teacher (like my husband). Other than that, it's pretty much just as basic as Texas.

This past year has been busier for me though, since my youngest was a full-fledged 1st grader. Having 3 students with a full load takes a bit more time. We also changed things around a bit as we got into the year, finding what worked best with each child. We used Sonlight mostly for history and literature, though my middle child tried out an online history course with Veritas Press. She liked it, but I'm not sure how much she really retained. Veritas Press is heavier on memorizing dates and events, which I thought would be good for my middle child, who is good at memorizing - but she didn't really care for that part - just the stories and video clips. It was pretty good, but more expensive than I'd like, seeing as we've already got all the Sonlight books. We're going to go back to all Sonlight for history this coming year.

We had some issues with working independently this past year. I tried to have the girls do more of their work on their own, since I was feeling overwhemled at times. But over time, I let the accountability drop more than I should have (meaning I didn't check up on whether they really did the work they were supposed to be doing), and we had to go back and re-do (or rather, do for the first time) some of the work. But I think we've gotten that straightened out. I will be doing more spot checks, and doing more work together with them (longer days for me...), and the girls have learned more about being responsible.

Part of the reason I let the girls work on their own so much was the amount of time I needed to spend with my youngest. We struggled with finding the right reading curriculum for my youngest, but he is now, finally, reading quite well. I think it wasn't really having the find the right type of curriculum - I think he just needed time. Something just clicked only a few months ago, and now it all makes sense to him. He was this way with speaking too - he hardly said any words for a long time, and then he suddenly started speaking in full, long sentences. He has read through the Beginner's Bible twice on his own in just the past few weeks. So I now have 3 readers!

Right now, I am preparing plans for next year, and hopefully I will put some more of those thoughts into this blog in the near future.

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