2023-24 Mid-Year School Review

Even though St. Bruno’s has a small class this year (just Edie). I still wanted to do a quick update on how things were going, and also update everyone on her post high school plans. I’ll also share a bit about how public school is going for Fulton and Teddy.

As for Addie and Byron, they’re really excelling at the whole adult thing. Addie is still set to graduate in May (family road trip!). Byron has an internship lined up for the summer, and is acing all his writing classes.

The Cleveland State University Fencing Team at a recent tournament in Chicago. Addie is sporting the bright hair in the front row. After dealing with a lot of injuries, she’s back to competing this winter.

Edie’s senior year is going pretty well. She’s taking some pretty hard math and science classes (live, through Homeschool Connections) and the work load is challenging for her to juggle on top of her other classes. But after a rough start to the second half of the year, I’ve been working harder to check in with her more and help her block her time out. As a teen, I sort of naturally fell into keeping a planner, and while I certainly still missed assignments and meetings, I never needed outside help to organize my time (and thank goodness because none was being offered). So its been hard at times for me to guide my teens in developing the skill of time management. I sort of thought I’d give them some pointers, set them free and they’d find a system that works for themselves and stick with it. And while that ultimately has happened, I think it was a much more stressful process for Addie and Byron (and now Edie) than it was for me, so I haven’t always been as helpful or sympathetic as I should have been. But now with child three I’m doing better!! Or at least really putting in the effort.

I will say, while I love Homeschool Connections, I’m not a huge fan of Moodle, which is the platform they use to distribute content. I actually hate Moodle, but I’m sure it’s the most cost effective solution for them so I get it. But it does make grading harder. Edie does not love her math and science classes, but she does enjoy all the pre-recorded courses we selected for this year. I’m still using Google Classroom to grade assignments not corrected by her teachers or auto-graded in Moodle and I’m tracking all her grades in a very large spreadsheet.

She applied to Massachusetts Maritime and was accepted. We were very proud, as was her Sea Scout Ship. But she’s actually leaning towards a two year apprenticeship program through the Marine Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies. Tony and I both think this would be a great option. (If anyone has any first hand experience of MITAGS, feel free to share!)

Edie’s finally doing more driving and I’m hopeful she’ll have her license in time to drive herself to a summer job. She remains active with her Sea Scout ship and should get some long cruises in this summer, as well as get her own sailboat in the water this spring.

Final item on her/ my to do list is get some senior pictures taken. I don’t think she’s going to walk in a homeschool graduation ceremony because most of her friends are older or younger and the few homeschoolers we knew with students in her grade we’ve either lost touch with, or they stopped homeschooling for high school.

Yay! I always feel personally (selfishly?) validated when one of my kids gets accepted by a college.

Fulton and Teddy are both doing well in public school. And to answer questions raised in my back to school post, yes, Fulton got in a digital art class after lots of pushing from me, and no, Teddy did not get to be a statistician for the high school football team. Fulton also has regular reliable nurses, but his insurance company is looking to cut his hours and we’re in the middle of appeals again. Both still ask to be homeschooled on a regular basis.

When I put them in for the 2022-23 school year, I was at my wits end and even wrote that I felt fine if I never homeschooled them again. But of course, I got a year’s reprieve, and now that they’re back for the 2023-24 school year, I find myself more frustrated with the public school system than grateful for the break…almost. I’m still grateful to be able to focus on Edie and manage the home, and make time for my own projects, but I think both boys can tell next year is up in the air. I don’t want to keep doing the back and forth thing, so I’m really discerning what the next step will be.

There’s obviously more to tell, but I’m not comfortable putting too many details on the blog publicly. …that’s why I’ll be sharing more thoughts behind a (cheap) paywall over at Ko-fi! While still being respectful of the school staff and the boys’ privacy, I will write at least monthly about some of our experiences moving between public school and homeschool, especially as it relates to special education. While I can only offer our family’s experiences, which is hardly exhaustive, I think it may be helpful for others considering a switch. If you’re interested in following along (you’re allowed to be nosey), just click and sign up for the Friends & Family plan. I named it that because it’s all the stuff I’d tell you in person. It’s also where I can answer related questions that don’t warrant a whole blog post, so feel free to ask away! I’ve been journaling some of our experiences, and obviously talking to my IRL friends, but I’m looking forward to processing some of my thoughts in longer posts and allowing feedback from a smaller community.

So that’s the latest from St. Bruno’s. While I’m still a homeschool mom, homeschool activities make up a very small part of my day, and for right now, that works. We’ll see what the future holds.

One Comment

  1. I’m not sure how to post questions at Ko-fi, so here are a few.
    Do you think the public school experience would have been easier had your boys gone when they were younger?
    Do you think your sons benefit from having other teachers besides you and your husband?
    These are things I think about with one kid who’s been in public school from 3 yrs on (DS) and a kid who went to parochial school and now has a 504 plan (of dubious merit) now in the public high school.

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