As many people are facing new uncertainties because of the coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are considering homeschooling this year. Our local schools are requiring students to wear masks in the common areas of the school, but not in the classroom. Even so, just two days into the school year, one of the elementary classes is in quarantine after exposure.
I can’t imagine what those families are going through. We are largely unaffected by the changes in most aspects of our daily life and homeschooling is not affected by them at all. I’m so thankful that we made the decision long ago to homeschool our children.
We started back to school at the end of July after a short summer break. I hadn’t planned a long break because two of the boys tend to lose skills over extended breaks. Plus, they all benefit from having more routine and structure to their days–and so do I.
So, what do you do when you are homeschooling a seventh grader and two kids who fall somewhere between kindergarten and third grade for most of their learning? Well, you do what works best for your family and your kids, but this is what I’m hoping to do this year:
- For Micah, who is in seventh grade and works well independently, I want him to gain more independence with keeping track of his assignments. He has been doing this for a couple of years with math, but I’m giving him a lot more responsibility this year. He will keep track of all of his assignments and I will check on them weekly.
- For Mark, I want him to master single digit addition, read more fluently, and slow down and pay attention to what he is doing instead of rushing to get it done. Goals with Mark are harder to quantify because like most kids with Fragile X Syndrome, what he is able to express is usually only a small portion of what he understands. I just have to assess what I see as his overall progress in less measurable terms.
- For Max, my goals are a bit different. He was already two grades behind in public school when we adopted him, but realistically he was much further behind in terms of math and reading skills. He also has focus issues and hates schoolwork. My goals for him this year are to master addition and subtraction facts up to 20 and progress through second grade math, and for him to do his best work without arguing or complaining.
Of course these areas are not the only things we will work on, but they are the goals that I see as the most important for the start of this year.
As I mentioned in my last post, our new house is in an internet dead zone of sorts. We are outside the coverage areas for all of the non-satellite internet providers. We weren’t really surprised by that, but we didn’t realize how difficult it would be to get satellite internet.
There are really only three choices for satellite internet in our area. We decided on one based on the plans and pricing and they came out to install it, but they couldn’t get a signal because the trees were blocking the tower. After a lot of waiting and investigating, we found out that one of the other internet providers didn’t use towers, but instead links directly to the satellite and eliminates the tree problem. Of course, they are the most expensive, too.
Tuesdays are busy days anyway (Todd’s weekly deadline is Wednesday morning; Mark has therapy), so we probably should have waited until the scheduled installation appointment on Wednesday, but they had a cancellation and we decided to take them up on it. The installer got there while we were all home for lunch, just before I left to take Mark to therapy.
About two hours later, I’m driving back from therapy, thinking how nice it will be to have internet when I get home. Then Todd calls to tell me that when the installer drilled a hole in the wall, he hit an electrical wire and knocked out power to half of the house. Yes, half of the house.
By the time I get home, the internet installer is almost finished and just checking to make sure everything is working. A few minutes later the electricians arrive and get to work. They start checking out the problem and decide that they can’t fix it from outside the house. They have to cut a hole in the wall in the living room (a wall I spent over an hour patching) to reach the cut wire and repair it. They cut the hole and discovered that the drill had mangled the wire into the stud and they would have to further cut the wire to get it out, leaving them with with less wire to work with. They decided the easiest way to patch the shortened wire (without further cutting into the wall) was to add an outlet to tie the two lines back together.
So, after all of that, we have an internet connection, a new outlet, and a nice new hole to patch.
It’s been a while since I have posted anything. We’ve been busy working on the house. Since we have had to replace almost all of the flooring and baseboards due to the flood, we have decided that now is a good time to try to sell our house. Of course, we still have work to do before we list the house. The kitchen needs a new floor (this was one of the main things on our list before the flood), and the cabinets need to be repainted. The kitchen walls need a new coat of paint, and all of the interior trim and the entire exterior need to be painted, too. We are hoping to have the house all spruced up to put on the market in March.
When we sell the house, we are hoping to move out into the country in the same general area where we live. We like living here and have gotten quite settled into the community in the nearly seven years we have been here. We finally feel like we have really put down roots. But with things still up in the air with Todd’s job, there is the very real possibility that we could be moving somewhere else.
The newspaper that Todd works for was put up for sale last month, with the bids on it closing a few weeks ago. What this means for us remains to be seen. The new owner could keep things running more or less the same as they are (although they would almost have to hire someone else to handle some of the writing/publishing responsibilities), or fire everyone and close down the newspaper, or anything in between. We also don’t know what kind of time frame there will be for these changes. What we do know is that we will most likely be facing some big decisions about our house and Todd’s job.