Monday, September 4, 2017

Kylen's Final Year of Homeschooling *gasp!!*

It's our final year of homeschooling!  Will we get everything done?  Meet all the requirements? Maintain our sanity?  Lol!  Yes, we will!

I've been too busy to dwell on the fact that we are nearing the end of a long, hard, rewarding journey. I think it's better that way, because I would probably cry a lot.  It means my son is growing up, and I don't know how much longer he'll live at home.  It means my life is going to change drastically in a year, and the unknown can be a little scary.  Instead, I am focusing on numerous tasks related to graduation.  And that's fine, because God will help me cross bridges when I reach them.

Without further delay, here is what Kylen's senior year looks like.  :)

Math ~ Calculus ~ 1 credit
Boy was this a hard one.  I researched and researched until I was sick of it.  Kylen doesn't like math, and as he's gotten older, it's gotten harder for him.  I needed something that wasn't too challenging, something designed for high school rather than college.  But I didn't want it watered down either.  We finally settled on a book with a good reputation that doesn't delve heavily into theory: Calculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic (AP Edition) by Ross L. Finney, Franklin D. Demana, Bert K. Waits, and Daniel Kennedy (Third Edition, 2007).

We also purchased the solution manual so he can check his own work.  Since I don't have tests, we will be using the review at the end of each chapter for exams.

Honors English IV ~ 1 credit
Kylen will be taking two English courses through Liberty University Online for college credit.  In addition, he will continue to make progress on his new novel.  I may have him read a few classics, time permitting.

Science ~ Conceptual Physics ~ 1 credit
Science is another subject Kylen doesn't enjoy, but Greg would still like for him to take physics.  The compromise is that instead of a traditional approach, he will be doing conceptual physics.  This simply means he will learn the concepts without being required to do a lot of math/problems.  I am using Guest Hollow as our guide.  It's heavy on reading but includes a light lab and videos.  I will be eliminating books that are not enjoyable and filling in with other things such as Physics 101 videos.

History ~ Government ~ 1/2 credit
The primary textbook is American Government from bju press.  He's reading The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen and will watch Drive Thru History videos.  This is a class he's also taking at co-op, adding a classroom discussion component.  He'll read a couple of novels if time.

Social Studies ~ Economics ~ 1/2 credit
The primary curriculum will be Exploring Economics by Notgrass.  He will watch the Economics for Everybody video series.  If time, he'll read a couple of novels.

Foreign Language ~ French III ~ 1/2 credit
We are reducing French to a half credit this year, because Kylen is getting burnt out on it.  He will be doing the final and fifth level of Rosetta Stone and working through The Ultimate French Review and Practice. He will translate at least one book from French into English.

Bible ~ 1 credit
As usual, this subject will include church, family Bible time in the evenings, personal Bible reading, and possibly a book about church history.

PE ~ 1/2 credit
PE always consists primarily of basketball: at the KROC, co-op, and Tuesday evenings with Greg and others.  Any kind of physical activity will be counted.

Drama ~ 1 credit
The current production Kylen is in will go through mid-October, and he is taking a drama class at co-op.  He'll probably audition for more plays throughout the year.

Occupational Education ~ 1 credit
We would not have done this subject if it were not required for graduation in our state.  This has been a difficult credit for us.  I have slowly added things over all four years of high school, and he is close to being done.  So far, we have the following:

*An automotive basics class taken at co-op
*Numerous hours of various shows including cooking shows and Undercover Boss
*The documentary The Hobert Shakespeareans, about a brilliant educator
*Basic lawn care
*Map skills
*Computer basics
*Touring a roller coaster company
*Visiting a college fair
*Taking a college campus tour
*Attending a writer's seminar by a well known published author
*A hunter's safety class

He still needs about 24 hours out of the 120.  I would like to have him do a few online career assessment tests and learn basic woodworking by doing a wood project with Greg.  Hopefully, we'll get in another college visit or two. If that doesn't fulfill the remaining hours, I will probably have him watch more episodes of Undercover Boss.

********
This sounds like a lot, but with the exception of the college English courses, I think it will be easier than last year.  :)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

August 2017

August started on a sad note.  Two more young deaths occurred in my family, second cousins of mine.  The brothers, ages 11 and 17, drowned in a river.  Many hearts were touched by the tragedy.  I spent a lot of time praying for their family, and we hosted relatives who traveled to attend the funeral.


Yellow balloons were released in memory of the youngest.  They shared a story about how he had commented they must be having a party underground whenever he saw balloons in the cemetery as they drove past.




We will continue to pray for the grieving loved ones they left behind.


A week and a half later, Kylen took hunter's ed as part of occupational education.






It was a long week, but I think he's glad he did it.  We celebrated completion of the class by taking him out for dinner.  I posted more pictures here.


The solar eclipse was a big event!  We wanted to drive to where we could see it at 100%, but Greg couldn't spare the vacation time.  Plus, we were going on a long drive just a week later for a wedding reception.  I wasn't thrilled with the idea of getting stuck in traffic if a lot of other folks had the same idea.  In the end, we watched it from our driveway.  90% eclipsed wasn't as cool as the real deal, but Greg was super excited.  I enjoyed it, and Kylen thought it was neat but couldn't understand the fuss.  Lol.  He's never been a science fan.



Here's a picture Greg got through the solar glasses.


It darkened quite a bit, although it didn't get dark enough to see stars.  The lighting was eerie, like just before a huge storm.  Here's a before and after pic on the porch.


Probably the most dramatic change was the temperature drop.  It went from feeling comfortable to downright chilly!


You can see our neighbors watched from their driveway too.  After it was over, Greg rushed off to work.  I hope someday we get to see one at 100%, but if not . . . it won't compare to the glories of heaven!


The full post about our quick trip to Montana is here.  Pictured below: my cousin Melody with her brother and new sister-in-law.


We had such a nice time hanging out with family the next day, we were reluctant to come home!


That was August, a mixed month of sad times and happy times.  Oh!  I almost forgot!  Kylen got cast as Willy Wonka!!  Performances will be in mid-October.  We can't wait!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Short Trip to Montana

We've probably been to Montana more in the last three months than in the past 10 years!  There have been two funerals (very sad) and two wedding receptions (very happy).

This time we drove over for my cousin's wedding reception, near Great Falls.  We stopped about halfway, in Missoula, for lunch at Cafe Dolce.


Interesting ceiling.


Kylen got our glasses and water.  :)



I didn't order any tea, but I would be interested in trying some if we make it back there again.


Fresh OJ!  More pulpy than I like but otherwise very good.


I didn't care for my bolognese (little flavor, mostly noodle, served lukewarm), but I would totally order one of their sandwiches.  Greg's was excellent, especially the textures.  The bread was soft inside, crispy outside.  And I liked the salad - very fresh, and the dressing was good.


Yummy ice cream!



After that delightful and relaxing layover, it was back to the highway!



We could see the effects of fires the entire drive, a slight haze in the sky.  At one point, we could see active fires, and we passed a bunch of firefighters once.  Here's a spot where it was particularly bad.


What should have been three more hours of driving turned into five or six, because we missed a critical turn.  We arrived two hours late and missed major portions of the reception such as cutting the cake.  But I did get a picture of the bride and groom just before the sun went down!


What a fun guestbook: a scrapbook!




Our hotel in Great Falls was nice.  They had fake fish in the water dispenser!  Lol!


The next morning, we met family at a Starbuck's where the bride works.  She helped make our drinks.  :)


An aunt and cousin.


We all went to the groom's house to watch the video of their wedding, since we didn't make it to their ceremony several weeks earlier.


The groom's father.



Everyone ate at MacKenzie River Pizza.


We had such a great time, we were sad to leave!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Late Summer Outing

To celebrate Kylen's completion of hunter's ed, we treated him out to dinner at Clinkerdagger.  It was such a nice evening that afterwards, we took a leisurely walk beside the river.  :)


We could still see traces of a wedding below that had just ended.

 

This is Kylen's meal, which he LOVED.  I have mixed feelings about this place.  The food is good but not good enough to justify the prices.  The outside seating and views were a bonus, but we had to deal with bees (which - to their credit - they warned us about).  It wasn't horrible, but it was annoying. One of my biggest complaints is that the food was sloppily plated.  You don't see it on Kylen's plate below (I cleaned it up a bit with my photo editor), but my plate was excessively sloppy with smears of food everywhere.  I don't remember having this problem at any other restaurant, except maybe a place like Denny's.  It's inexcusable at a pricey establishment.  And our server was quite cool, almost to the point of rudeness.




Time for our walk!  This area is right next to the restaurant.






On to the falls!











Greg captured a couple of really nice shots of the dam!