Thinking about 2020-21

I’ll only have two kids homeschooling in the fall. Fritz will be in 9th grade and Adrian will be in 7th. Foster kids have to go to public school and even if we adopt kids, I’m planning to send them to public school for at least the first few years in case any issues pop up that need to be addressed (kindergarten/1st grade is often when they do).

Fostering takes a lot of time. Babies take a lot of time whether they are foster kids or not. So do toddlers and preschoolers. Add the paperwork of fostering and my available time has shrunk significantly. So doing a lot of mom-intensive planning just isn’t the best idea for next year.

Jamie joked that we could just send them to public school. Fritz said that would be his LAST choice. Seriously, half a year in second grade scarred that kid for life.

Anyway, I’ve been looking at options where they could get a high school diploma through distance learning. I think I’ve narrowed it down to either Calvert or Keystone. I think. A whole lot less of me needed, an excellent education… sounds like a win-win to me!

That would be a bit different from what I’ve done with my other two high schoolers, but I think at this point in our lives – whether we are fostering or adopting little ones – this makes the most sense.

The Arts: Kinds of Art

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week seventeen of school we did unit 10. Our arts topic was kinds of art.

We did some mixed media art (Adrian’s qualifies because the N is colored pencil and the O is crayon).

We watched YouTube videos of different kinds of sculptures.

They designed candy bar wrappers.

They designed their dream vehicles (flying car for Adrian, teleporter for Fritz).

They did a bit of collaborative art.

Science: Mountains

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week seventeen of school we did unit 10. Our science topic was mountains.

We folded a piece of paper as many times as possible.

We used Play-Doh to demonstrate how rock layers can fold into mountains.

We learned about types of mountains.

We watched YouTube videos on mountain formation, Mt. Everest, and how we know the age of the earth.

We learned about delamination

Geography: Heartland States

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week seventeen of school we did unit 10. Our geography topic was the heartland states.

We did mapwork.

We learned about the Great Lakes.

We learned about Chicago’s Great Fire.

We learned some facts about Indiana.

Jamie told the story of how he had to go on a business trip to Indiana four days before Adrian’s due date and I wouldn’t let him stay overnight just in case so he went for about an 18 hour day. It turned out Adrian wasn’t born until 12 days past his due date so Jamie could’ve spent two weeks in Indiana and still made it home before the kid was born.

Adrian identified all of the Great Lakes on a blank map from memory.

We added the flags of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to our passports.

Graduating Early

Cameron turned 18 in October and he’s chomping at the bit to be done with his senior year. Funny how senioritis even hits homeschooled kids.

Cameron has completed almost all the requirements for graduation except eleven units of all together work. So we made a deal. He completes what’s left at an accelerated pace and he can graduate a semester early.

I typed up his plan last week and he’s been working on it. It’s twelve pages single spaced. He’s doing the tenth unit with his brothers this week. The requirements for graduation are:

  • Read 13 audiobooks and give a summary of each
  • Make and carry out a plan for covering all the major topics and subtopics provided to him in the plan for the final ten units for history, geography, science, and the arts
  • Plan and carry out science experiments or projects for each major topic
  • Create works of art for most of the major arts topics
  • Create a detailed higher education plan for at least the next six months and a basic one for beyond that point

So, once he’s completed all that (and it is a lot), Cameron will be graduating from high school just a little early and he’s super excited about it!

The Arts: Abstract Art

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week sixteen of school we did unit 9. Our arts topic was abstract art.

We made some Kandinsky-style art using concentric circles.

We learned about Picasso.

We made some art in the style of Picasso’s Cubism.

We made art to music, drawing whatever we felt like the music was telling us to draw.

Abstract Music Art

We did scratch art.

And we made pieces of abstract art however we wanted to make it.