Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sliding into home...

Whew, we slide into home today. A little bruised, battered and plumb worn out from the past two weeks.

Almost two weeks ago, Michael came down with a flu-like virus (tired and low grade fever) that had him down and out for about a week.  As he was recovering, we went to his first baseball game.  He was still run-down a bit, so we only stayed through the seventh inning.  Apparently, we missed a whole lot of excitement in the last two innings, but we were glad to get home before midnight.  

Monday night found us at our local homeschool's high school graduation rehearsal (2.5 hours) because Daniel was accompanying a group of seniors on his penny whistle and all the music sound checks were at the very end. Michael survived with borrowed earbuds and a piece of gum I begged off another mom.  I had no idea we would be there that long, so I treated with ice cream on the way home.  

Then, three nights of VBS! 

Last night was the graduation.  One of the kids' best friends was graduating and we went out to dinner with his family afterwards.  We pulled into home around 11:30 PM.   And the kids were up before 9 AM.  Why do they do that?

Today was the day Tera finished Algebra 2!  Happy dance!  We have held off on our end of school celebration until she was done.  It was make-your-own ice cream sundaes for dinner night.  Partying with some cool music.  Laughing and defending our silly answers in Scattergories.  

This is what sliding into home looks like at the end of the day....

Monday, May 16, 2016

Career Exploration High School Elective

Do you have a student that has "no clue" what they want to do after graduation?  

I do!

Do you have a student stressing out about not knowing what they will do after graduation?

I do! 

Instead of letting my child continue to wonder and stress about what career they should be preparing for, I decided to design an elective that would allow them to explore different career paths.   While opening their eyes to possibilities they have never considered, we will continue to pray that God will lead and guide our student into the field of study that He has planned for them.

Here's our plan for a 1 credit high school elective:

We will begin with the Career Exploration Curriculum from 7 Sisters Homeschool that will cover ten different topics including: a career questionnaire, career exploration in the Bible, successful resume and cover letter writing, interviewing skills and more.

I'm updating my post to reflect a new resource I found after posting, Understanding God's Calling.  As Christians, we feel that it is important for our children's career choices to be guided by their desire to do with God has called them to do.  I'm excited to check out this curriculum! 

2. Three short term classes in areas of interests

My student will be required to take different classes offered in our community that teach specific skills, like cake decorating.  Pick classes that your child is interested in, allowing them to experience something for the first time or dig deeper into learning a set of skills.

3. Attend a career fair.

Another mom and I are in the planning stages of coordinating a career fair for other homeschoolers in our area.  If you are in the same boat we are, consider hosting your own career fair.  Ask your family, friends and co-workers to come and talk to your students about their careers and what that involves.   

4. Shadow at least three people in career areas that interest the student.

Call around and ask various professionals if your student can shadow them for the day, a half day or even a couple of hours to get a feel for what they do on a daily basis.

This high school career fair handbook has a great list of questions for students to use while shadowing or interviewing professionals. 

5. Interview at least one person per month in different careers.

Everyone loves talking about their job.   Our student will be finding at least one person a month in a different career to interview about what they do, the educational requirements for their job, their daily routines, etc.  We will be using a questionnaire similar to 40 Question to Ask in an Informational Interview.

6. Research at least 10 different career choices and write a report on each one.

As we narrow down areas of interest, our student will be researching various careers and writing a responsive paper about each one. Lifehacker has a Career Spotlight section containing in-depth interviews with various professionals from a wide variety of careers. 

7. Tour places of business in your local community.

Each month, we will tour a different place of business in our community with the goal to find places our student would be interested in working.  

8. Volunteer with at least three different non-profit organizations.

We are fortunate to have an active homeschool community with an abundant amount of opportunities to volunteer with non-profit organizations.  Even though our student does volunteer work, they will be required to pick three new non-profits to volunteer with at least once.  

Our state law states that 150 hours equals 1 high school elective credit.  Our student will be recording their hours and will maintain a notebook with all their interviews, research and other relevant information to this course.  

We are excited about this elective and how it will help our high school student explore some obvious and not-so-obvious career choices.   It may not give them definite answers about  their future, but it will be a great starting point.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 
Jeremiah 29:11 
Linked up to Finishing Strong 
and Hip Homeschool Moms
Hip Homeschool Moms

Sunday, May 15, 2016

End of school year fun

A couple of weeks ago, we got together with some friends for a Titanic learning day in anticipation of visiting the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge.  During the school year, they have a great homeschool discount.  ($10.50 for one teacher, $9.00 per student with proof of homeschooling)   Our learning day consisted of various activities on morse code, designing a poster with a scripture verse, and watching several educational videos. 

Then, the big day!  We called a couple of days ahead of time to book our tour, so we could go in at the same time.  There were no crowds at 11 AM on a Thursday.  It was a wonderful time!  Michael was in a stroller the last time we were there and I can't say I remember much about our tour.  They have added an individual audio tour component that really helps keep younger kids interested and engaged.  We also did the scavenger hunt provided on their website. 

Daniel joined his first flute ensemble this school year and they concluded their performance schedule with an appearance at the Rock to Bach Festival in Oak Ridge.  

Our last 4-H meeting of the year involved circle and square dancing...

Michael is still doing great at karate and making lots of friends...

And I'm sitting here wondering why I feel so tired at the end of this fun, yet busy week. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

My husband surprised me with these beautiful roses for Mother's Day!

A yellow rose from our backyard, a Mother's Day present from a couple of years ago.  

Tera made me this delicious breakfast---crepes, my favorite.  Michael gifted me with a handmade Charlie Brown comic book. 

Daniel had what the doctor suspected was strep throat, so he was still in recovery mode for Mother's Day weekend.  We decided to go somewhere low-key and just hang out together in the fresh air.  It did him wonders, even though he wasn't really excited about it at first!

Fort Loudoun has always been one of my "happy places".  Something about being near the water and open spaces brings a sense of peace to my soul.  I can literally just sit there and "be" rather than thinking about all the things stressing me out.  It was perfect for this Mother's Day!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Last Day of School Traditions

Last Day of School Traditions

It's getting warmer and the kids are getting antsy.    There is a  big red circle around one of the most special days of the year and it's approaching fast.  THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!   Finishing a school year is a big accomplishment and deserves some recognition and celebration. 

Have a dance party! 

There is nothing that says celebration like an impromptu dance party.  When your school day is done or your kids get home from school, put on your favorite tunes and dance away!

Last day of school pictures

Taking pictures on the first day of school is a very popular tradition, but why not start a tradition of "last day of school" pictures?  Try to pose your kids identical to their "first day of school" pictures.  What fun to compare the two pictures! 

Sweet Treats

Our favorite last day of school tradition usually involves something frozen.  My kids used to love going to Froyoz to make their own frozen yogurt sundaes. In the past few years, we've made our own sundaes with all the toppings at home.  Either way, something sweet and cold is a great way to end a school year!

Plan a mini-vacation or staycation to kick off the summer

Some years we've taken a weekend trip right after school was over.  Maybe your family likes to camp or you could take a short trip to visit family.  Nothing says "It's summer!" like something out of the ordinary.  If a trip is not in your budget, plan some special at home.  One year on our last day of school, we had a 50's theme night!   It was a blast! 

I'd love to hear about some of your favorite last day of school traditions.  Leave a comment to share!


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