2019-20 Mid-Year Homeschool Review

I wish I would’ve gotten in the habit of these mid-year (or 2/3 year) review posts earlier into my homeschool blogging game. From August to August it can be hard to remember all the things I changed and reasons for doing so, but after a couple semesters, it’s usually much easier to reflect and make notes. I know this post may not appeal to everyone, but it’s a valuable log none the less.

If you remember this year’s curriculum post, you’ll know that we started this school year with a houseful of sick kids. Ultimately, Teddy would miss the first two weeks of public school due to a respiratory infection that turned into pneumonia and required his first hospital admission. Fulton never did develop the bug as bad as everyone else, possibly because I put him on Tamiflu once I realized Teddy was sick. So, in short, we got off to a rocky start.

Thankfully, Addie and Byron were well enough to begin their first semester at the community college. Addie got As in all her classes (Comp 101, Psych 101, and Child Psych 110), and Byron passed his classes. Math was…a challenge… but he pulled off passing grade and I was reassured that all his previous math issues were not in fact entirely due to my poor teaching and repeated yelling, but are just how Byron does at math.

This semester, Addie is just taking Statistics (we wanted to pick something that would likely transfer), along with the Easy Peasy All In One (EPAIO) American Government course, a financial literacy course, and a Korean language class. She will graduate Friday June 5, and her plan is to continue a year at our local community college full-time before transferring to the University of Detroit Mercy to fence and study social work her sophomore year.

Byron is taking two art classes this semester, one in drawing and one in 2D design. He is continuing the Early American History course, but I switched him to the EPAIO high school Biology course. I really appreciate the schedule and ease of grading that comes with EPAIO. I’ve never been a daily lesson plan kind of gal, but I think some of my kids really benefit from having a daily lesson given to them each day vs a weekly assignment. It’s also helped me see more clearly when things are falling through the cracks. Byron is also taking an online French course, and I’m thinking he’ll probably pursue it at the college in the fall. His scouting group is taking a pilgrimage to Chartes, France in the spring and I know he wants to be able to converse with the other French scouts.

I had planned to choose some religion selections for Addie and Byron but, seeing as many of our religion books are still in boxes, it’s been hard to find any of our books, so that subject has, embarrassingly, fallen off the school radar. Our parish does offer a high school religion class, but I hadn’t pushed it in the past given the work Addie was doing through Queen of Heaven and the other work I had Byron doing. Next year I think I will sign up both Byron and Edie and take one more thing off my plate.

Edie’s Confirmation is coming up on Tuesday, April 21, so she will wrap up religion nice and early in the year. Tony has managed to find some time to continue Latin instruction with her so that is progressing and the only change I’ve made to her line up was moving her from iXL to the EPAIO 8th grade math course for many of the reasons I gave above. We’ve created lots of nice watercolor paintings together, and overall, everything is working well. I don’t know when I’ve ever written that before in regards to homeschooling!!

The four of us have kept up morning meetings most days when Addie and Byron are home (even if Addie is just rolling out of bed to join us). We read Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. For the last part of the year, I’m adding some basic art appreciation lessons to the meeting, rather than simply look at and talk about an artist and their work. Ideally, we can add some more technical terms to our discussions, and as Byron is pursuing art, it will hopefully help in his classes as well. Liturgical year reading has not happened for the same reason Addie and Byron’s religious readings have fallen by the wayside. I simply can’t find the books I’m looking for. Thankfully, now that the attic is finished, we are working to finish up the basement which means shelves! shelves! shelves! and finally, organization for all our books, homeschool and otherwise.

The classroom Fulton is in right now is his best fit by far, however, I’m still considering bringing him home next year (which is what he is requesting). Everyone in the district is wonderful to work with, I would just like to resume homeschooling him. He’s a unique kid and I feel like being at home with me (and a part time tutor) would really help him grow academically more than another year in school. I guess I’m just not sure what would happen with nursing, and even with help, if I’m willing to basically make homeschooling him (and maybe Teddy) my full-time job again. I have lots of thoughts about this which I’ll need to figure out by the end of the year, so that’s a whole post for another time.

Teddy is doing well at school, excelling in every subject and trying to evangelize his one-on-one aide and the school nurse every chance he gets. He’s finally realizing that his family is a different kind of Catholic from many of the Catholics he knows at school and he likes to share his opinions…with zeal. Thankfully, it’s only with the adults he’s most comfortable with, and who don’t mind these conversations. But, like Fulton, Teddy is asking to be homeschooling next year and frankly, he’s such a quick learner I know that, outside his physical needs, it would be easy to homeschool him again. But it’s hard to think about placing all the care and education of both boys back solely on my shoulders again when right now there are at least six adults to mange everything for me at school.

I guess that’s it in a nutshell. The only other change I forsee is in regards to adding another kids to the mix. We finally had our initial walk through with the state and our home was approved! Now, Tony and I need to figure out how to fit in all the training to become licensed. So by next school year, I’m hoping we’ll have another child whose education to consider. I don’t think everything will move fast enough for us to get a placement by the end of this school year, but who knows? Exciting stuff!

UPDATE 8/13/21: This post was written about two weeks before the world shut down. Funny to read how well everything was going when, just a short time later, everything changed.

Just a reminder if you need help evaluating your homeschool, don’t forget to check out The Catholic Homeschool Audit Workbook.

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4 Comments

  1. If you have a child placed with you, would you homeschool the child? Or would s/he have to go to public school?
    Congratulations to your daughter for her college plans – and I hope she enjoys statistics!

    1. Until we have legally adopted a child, we couldn’t homeschool him or her. And depending on the age of the child, if they preferred to stay in school, we would probably honor that.

  2. Hi Kelly,
    I’m a long-time reader but not a frequent commenter…just wanted to say this was very interesting (especially because in addition to homeschooling, you have kids in school and college – so many different types of education happening at once! :)). I was also wondering…would you mind sharing why you guys have chosen to adopt? I applaud you for it, but I was also surprised when you first mentioned it, just because you guys already have so much on your plates (or so it seems). If it’s too personal a question don’t feel obligated to answer it – I’m just curious.

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