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2022-23 Curriculum and Back to School Adjustments

Since I’m only homeschooling one child this year, I figured I would just combine my usual curriculum post with whatever else I was writing about. So come for the curriculum, stay for the family photos! Or vice versa.

Edith, Grade 11

Unlike Addie and Byron, Edie has no desire to take classes at the local community college. She’s been dragging her feet on getting her driver’s license (she does have her boating license though!) , and I’m not too eager to spend my free time driving her there either. However, I’m pushing for her to take her foreign language classes there her senior year at the latest, but until then, all work is completed at home and chosen by me (but thankfully in some cases, taught by others).

  • History – Story of the Renaissance World: Edie reads two to three chapters a week and then submits her answers to review questions to me through Google Classroom. She also submits regular, longer essays and does some map work. We use both the text and the teacher’s guide (that contains a whole removable section of student workbook pages).
  • Science – Chemistry with Lab: Homeschool Connections pre-recorded class. Parents have access to the answer keys through HC, so I’m planning to grade all her work that isn’t auto-graded through their learning portal, but there is an option to tack on teacher grading if needed.
  • Literature – She’s going to be reading Don Quixote, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Gulliver’s Travels, and a Jane Austin novel of her choosing. She’ll take weekly review quizzes via the SparkNotes website, and submit quarterly essays to me through Google Classroom.
  • Writing – Homeschool Connections Aquinas Writing Program, Grade 11 Creative Writing, pre-recorded classes. I’m going to try grading everything myself, but teacher grading is an option here too. All her assignments are submitted to me (for now) through Google Classroom.
  • Math – Algebra II, Live class taught through Homeschool Connections. Edie didn’t want to continue with Teaching Textbooks, and I was not teaching Algebra II so we compromised. This class uses Saxon, which I’ve never used before in my homeschool so, I’m hoping she does well in the class.
  • Logic/ Religion – An Introduction to the Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas: Homeschool Connections pre-recorded class. Assignments that aren’t autocorrected through the HC learning portal are submitted to me through Google Classroom.
  • Art – Drawing with Art Theory: Homeschool Connections pre-recorded class.
  • Extracurriculars – Edie will continue to stay busy with Sea Scouts, her part-time job, and her and I workout at Planet Fitness three times a week. She’s taking a break from fencing, but may resume it if she thinks her schedule can handle it.

(If you want any specific info on homeschool a high schooler, or on using a Learning Management System (LMS) like Google Classroom, I’ve already written about it HERE and HERE respectively. All other curriculum posts HERE.)

Edie and I at “PE class”.

Edie officially started school back up the day after Labor Day, same as Fulton and Teddy. We couldn’t start a new school year at our local public schools without some transportation “issues”. I had not been given a pick up time, but I knew that both boys were to ride the same bus. However, when the bus arrived, the driver had not been informed he was picking up two wheelchairs as the bus only had space for one. So, Teddy waited at home while Fulton was dropped off, and then Teddy got picked up and was on his way to the middle school with only a slight delay. For the afternoon, they removed a row of seats to accommodate both chairs, so thankfully, it was a quick fix.

Rainy first day, but Fulton happily forced a huge grin for me.

There were a couple other snafus and I wound up stopping by both schools during the first week to help educate and ease transitions, but overall, it wasn’t a bad start at all. Teddy has joined a fantasy football club, and Fulton is hoping to join the chess and video game clubs. The hardest part for the boys is the early wake up time of 5:30 a.m. (which is honestly hard on all of us).

Sums up Teddy’s feelings about the return to school.
Teddy has been much happier at the home high school football games that we started attending. It helps that our school is undefeated so far.

Tony dropped Byron off at Kutztown University on August 27, and he’s adjusting to college life just fine. We text less often than Addie and I, but I’m still in regular communication with Byron and he patiently answers all my questions related to him making friends and “getting involved”.

It’s been weird having two kids off at college. I think about them a lot and wonder what they’re up to and try to make mental notes about everything I want to tell them. And I think I’m more aware of how quickly Edie’s departure is coming. Sure I’ve got two years until that happens but it’s a more tangible reality and feeling – if that makes sense.

I’m adjusting to having free time during the day now. It’s wonderful, but I quickly felt overwhelmed with all the things I could be doing. I’ve tried to create a schedule to help me hit all the important tasks and remind me that, yes, I will get to that particular thing, s0 I don’t need to stress about it right now. I’m also trying to be more “fully present” when the boys are home and save my home and ministry tasks for school time. Even when ultimately all we do is watch a show or movie together, at least I can now just enjoy watching something rather than think that I’m losing time I could be spending on something else.

Lastly, I need to mention my outing to see Jennifer Fulwiler on her nationwide comedy tour. I’d seen her previously in NYC, but I was relieved to see she was able to add a stop in the Philly suburbs which is a much shorter trip for me. If you enjoyed Jen’s blog, or her Sirius radio show, or currently listen to her podcast, it’s safe to say, you’ll find her live comedy set hilarious. And I’ve always enjoyed her opening acts too. I don’t get any kickbacks, but be sure to see if she’s coming to your area a snag a ticket ASAP – and tell her Kelly Mantoan sent ya!

My hair looked especially flat and lifeless next to Jen’s perfect blowout so I did some subtle photo editing to give my locks some life.

On my schedule is time for weekly blogging- let me know if there’s some topic you’d like me to write about (or do a video about, I’m looking to expand my repertoire). I’m hoping to start writing about more than just “family happenings” again.


  1. I really love your family happenings! Thanks for the update and yes it’s so hard to not get overwhelmed during the small window of time kids are at school. Thanks for the wise words about how quick the highschool years go. Would like to hear more about that. Or anything!

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