Wednesday, September 17, 2014

School Year

We're fully into our school year and almost all of our extra curricular activities have started.  Overall, I'm pleased with most of the choices we made for curriculum this year.  One mistake I did made was to purchase the wrong grades of our math program for Paige and Alison.  We switched to Singapore Math this year for them.  The day I went shopping, I grabbed the 5th and 7th grade books.  Paige is in 6th grade this year; Allie is in 4th grade.  Paige is able to do the 7th grade work because so much of middle school math is review.  Allie wasn't able to skip 4th grade and do the 5th grade work.  I returned to the store and picked up the 4th grade Singapore and an extra multiplication workbook for her.  Both girls seem to like the way the material is organized and presented,

Madelyn is doing Teaching Textbooks for her math again this year.  It's been a good fit for her.  She understands the content and completes the assignments in a reasonable amount of time.  Sometimes, my expectations are to high for math.  It's really difficult to love math and have children who don't share that interest/ability. I'm glad that we invested in this curriculum and will use it for Paige and Allie when they reach high school in a few years. 

Cheerleading classes were changed to Sunday evening, as well as an additional tumbling class.  Sunday night is my least favorite time for children's activities.  We love her coach and Madz is gaining many new skills, so we will continue the classes.  Paige and Allie have added cheer to their activities.  Their classes are on Thursday nights.  Madelyn helps coach the Thursday night classes, so at least they will all be at the same location. Mike has offered to help run them on Thursday nights this year. 

Joe is busy with cross country, driver's training, and school.  His senior year isn't shaping up to be what he wanted, but he's making the best of it.  Several of his AP classes were cancelled and the school offers no additional math classes for him.  He's taking welding for two hours in the morning.  The welding class is offered at another high school in the county, so he rides the bus for 1 1/2 hours for 30 minutes of welding class.  (Seems like a waste of time to me, but he's out of options.) 

Katie is back at Grand Valley State.  She comes home every week from Friday morning-Sunday night because she works at the local Home Depot on the weekend.  She seems happy with her classes and teachers.  She's rooming with one girl from last year and two new girls, both of them named Sierra.

Steve received several scholarships at SWMU which pay for all his music classes and private lessons.  We're so thankful for all the scholarships that he's received.  The private classes are very expensive.  He's still working 5 days a week at Dairy Queen.

Paige and Allie are taking dance classes at the same studio as last year.  I like the instruction, but the drive is a killer for me.  We did manage to have all the classes Saturday mornings this year, so hopefully it will be better this year.  The Saturday morning classes have been staggered which should help with the parking lot congestion.  The parking lot has also been partially resurfaced.  There are also fewer obstacles in the driving lane.  There were several accidents in the lot last year (including when I was rear-ended), hopefully these changes will make the parking lot less treacherous.


Barb the Evil Genius said...

Sounds like you are really busy this year! Is Madelyn working on getting a driver's license? I missed it if she has been.

The Dancer's Honors chemistry class is not going very well. The teacher seems poorly prepared, and most of the kids flunked a lengthy assignment that she had to keep pushing back the due date on, because nobody had it done, including the Dancer and her lab partner. So they're redoing the parts where they made mistakes. Not how an Honors chemistry course should be starting!

The Dancer is involved in nine dance classes this year! She assists the teacher for two of those.

Karen said...

Madelyn hasn't taken driver's training yet. We make the kids pay for their class if they want to take it. I know that seems harsh, but it's around $400 around here to complete all the segments and then there is the additional cost of the road test.

I'm sorry that The Dancer's chemistry isn't going well. It's frustrating that so much of her time has not been used effectively. I hope that the instructor gets it running more smoothly soon.

How many days a week is The Dancer at her studio? I hope it's close to where you live!

It's getting more and more difficult to find challenging classes for Joe. There are budget issues and I'm not always thrilled with the choices made for which classes to drop. The local hs here is offering more and more online classes. Joe has had to take several online classes each semester to get the classes he needs. We're probably going to do some classes at the community college next semester.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I don't blame you at all about the driver's test. The Musician waited until she was 18 to get her license; although the fees are nowhere near as expensive here, they're still pricy. She did get her temps, and that was helpful when I fractured a bone in my foot and couldn't drive.

The Dancer is at the studio five days a week. It's twenty minutes one way, which isn't too bad. There are a few closer studios, but this one seemed the nicest to me when I started her out, and still does.

There are budget issues here as well, but not as bad as yours from what it sounds like.