Sunday, August 14, 2016

Blogging, Co-op and Seasons...

The past couple of years our family has been in a hard season. There has been a lot of loss for my immediate and extended family including death, near death x 2, a house fire, loss of pets and jobs, sickness, pain and suffering, dealing with dementia and having to put my mother in law in a nursing home. I don't know anyone who responds well to chaos and confusion. That's why Satan uses those very things to disrupt our lives and divide families. I have a very strong faith and it has been tested in ways I never imagined. Through it all God has shown me love, grace and mercy like I never imagined.

It has gotten much harder for me to blog about these things in part because of Facebook and because some of it is just to sad too articulate.  We lost my father in law and now we are watching my mother in law deteriorate.  Lately, however my daughter who is now 16 and so full of life and love and energy that I think I will have plenty to write about as our homeschool journey comes to a close in a few short years.

 Even our dog Belle was hurting after the loss of Freddy, my mom's Cavalier.

Sydney and her friends at acting camp this summer!

One of the earliest photos of Sydney and Kendall together from years ago!

 Pondering the future...

For the past 2 school years we have been involved in a homeschool co-op. For 14 weeks each semester we gather for classes at a local church every Monday. This has truly kept me going and maintained my sanity.  Ours is a parent taught co-op so there is heavy participation expected from the parents. There are somethings I love and a few things I don't love about it. I love the social aspect for sure. Sydney and I already had a pretty awesome network of homeschool friends but this has broadened our spectrum of friends immensely.  I still teach core classes at home and she takes electives at co-op. Sydney has been in dance since she was six and dancing, singing and theatre are her passions. So I allow her to focus on those outlets for her coop classes. For example, last year year she had art, drama, character design and study hall for her classes. You can opt for study hall if there isn't a class any hour that suits you. Some of her other classes have been Victus Study Skills (hated but will admit it was helpful), Quilting (also hated because of the pins) Yearbook/Newspaper and Photography.

In the beginning I didn't love the idea of teaching other kids at all! I mostly assist or co-teach with another mom. After 4 semesters I do have more confidence and I am beginning to like the other kids, dare I say love them! I have taught pre-school age, young elementary, older elementary and middle school kids. I have really warmed up to them this year though.  I avoided Sydney's grade level classes because, let's face it, she gets enough of me at home! I have taught Lego Mechanics, Pre-K story time,  Geography, Science and Math Games which is just fun ways to enrich math skills for elementary students (I have to admit that after years of depending on calculators, it challenged me).  This year I will be co-teaching drama and middle school grade General Science...Yikes!

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