Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Beginnings

The end of August and beginning of September have been a blur of activities and changes.  We began our new school year the day after Labor Day.  I love that Michigan students don't return to classes until after Labor Day.  It provides a little more time to get outside and enjoy the warm days before the business of fall.

Madelyn, Paige and Allie are being homeschooled this year.  Madelyn is a high school freshman!  She's taking a full load of classes and plans on testing out of the classes with the local high school next fall.  After much decision making time, she's decided to take biology, algebra, English/literature, American history, Economics, piano, and Spanish.  She's using Rosetta Stone for the Spanish through a local homeschool group.  Madelyn is also taking an art class once a week with the homeschool group.

Paige and Allie are studying Spanish, keyboarding, spelling, English grammar, U.S. geography and history, earth science, reading, math, and piano.  They are both taking ballet class and karate class in the community.  A local homeschool partnership is providing art and P.E. classes once a week.   Both girls have been enthusiastic about their school work and are completing everything between 12 and 1 o'clock each day.  It's such a blessing to finish our school day early!

During our vacation, we bid on a foreclosed home.  We closed on the house last Thursday.  I love many of the homes features and look forward to seeing some of the work completed.  We can't really do much work on the interior until our contractor gets the new roof on the house.  In the mean time, all the kids went over to the new house to work in the yard this weekend.  After 10 hours of hard labor, they are making a dent in the "secret garden" area of the yard.  Here's a list of some of the things they found in the overgrown garden:

A folding-lounge-chair style lawn chair
30 metal hanging basket containers
a plastic chair
40 maple saplings in containers
26 Rose of Sharon
100 plastic planting pots
12 seed planter trays
15 cement blocks
a metal flask
assorted trash
many, many vines (the vines are being referred to as "Devil's Snare")

While they were working on the yard, the neighbor's daughter told Amy that our yard is known as the trash yard.  Amy mentioned that it was no longer to be used for trash and that it was going to be known as the beautiful yard from now on.

 I've been painting the exterior of our current home.  We decided to go with a light grey house, white windows, medium gray window frames and doors, and charcoal foundation.  Mike took a huge extension pole and attached a roller for me to use to paint the second story.  I managed to get most of the second floor, but Mike is going to need to go up there on ladders or scaffolding to get the windows and touch up my roller painting.  I have about 1 more day of painting and then MY part of the exterior will be done.  It's been exhausting work, but I have rediscovered many muscles in my back and arm!

I'm hoping to get over to the new house this week to paint the dining room.  We have removed most of the ugly wallpaper in the kitchen already.  Joe wants to help clean, paint and design the kitchen in the next few weeks.

Joe has had three meets for cross country and is doing very well.  He has taken first place on his team in two of the meets.  (The one that he didn't win, he made a wrong turn and had to backtrack.)  He's planned out his goals and is making huge progress on meeting his expectations.


MaryAnn said...

Oh the joys of treasure hunting in your new back yard! Sounds like much work but also comes with so much satisfaction with this family endeavor.

Linda said...

I know that it is an exciting time for you as you work on your new house. We just finished putting the final touches on our old house to sell and are already moved into our "new" house. I was wondering, since you have a freshman, if you had seen the site I just started researching how we would homeschool highschool (my daughter is in 7th this year) and ran across this site. It seems to have a lot of information on homeschooling highschool for parents and students. Just thought I would pass it along.
I sure wish we could finish school by 1pm. Some days we don't even get started good by that time! For the piano, are they taking lessons out, or are you teaching them at home? I would like for my daughter to take piano, but it is just not in the budget right now, I'm looking for a homeschool piano course. Well, thank you for sharing how things are going at your home and school, happy homeschooling!