Whhhaaaat in the world have I been doing? I am not sure if I have ever had a busier few weeks in my life. I'm sure that I have, but this past month has been so packed that I never even thought of blogging. And I love blogging.
Our co-op classes ended for preK-8th a couple of weeks ago. That freed up a little bit of brain-space for me, as I was co-teaching a literature class for middle schoolers. Here is Duncan with his last project. We challenged them to create a book cover for either one of the books we read or to combine two or more of the books in some way. Duncan took The Odyssey
and Alice in Wonderland
Boy Scout spring camporee hit in mid-April. I don't really have anything to do with camporee, but this one took a lot of preparation on Duncan and Randy's part. Duncan's leadership role in the troop this spring was to put together cooking boxes for each patrol. He had to purchase, label, and pack 4 tubs with all the supplies each patrol would need for their meals (not including food). This was quite a project, which started weeks beforehand with going to various stores and comparing prices. It was a great learning experience for him.
He was also charged with making his patrol's new flag for camporee because he apparently drew the best honey badger, their chosen patrol name.
The same weekend that the boys had camporee, I had our support group's annual Homeschooling 101 to do. I've been doing this for about 9 years, and I really love everything about it. (Here is how we do Homeschooling 101
, in case you think it would be a good idea where you are!) We had about 35 potential homeschoolers come. Interestingly, all but about 3 of them were parents who are pulling their kids out of public school. When I started doing this 9 years ago, most of our attendees were parents who were starting their kids fresh at the kindergarten level. Throughout the years we've had more and more people say they are done
with the school system. We had a bunch of families pulling their kids out of "the best" area high school. It is rarely about academics and almost always about giving their kids—and their families— a better life.
Next up was our last American Heritage Girls meeting of the year. Since this has been our 10th year, we ended with a 10 year birthday party/carnival. It was an absolute success! We had 5 birthday cakes, all kinds of carnival games, a photo booth, and a perfect spring day for it all. This picture is of those of us who have been in our troop for all 10 years. Imagine: those girls were 5 and 6 years old when we started!
The very next evening was the prom! Our support group puts on an amazing prom. This year it was in Knoxville's Sunsphere, which, if you've ever been in or through Knoxville, is that weird golden ball structure that stand in the middle of downtown, constructed for the World's Fair. Laurel was treated like an absolute princess by her date, who, along with his mom, is one of my favorite people. Also, she got her braces off the day before prom!!
And just a few days before the prom, we volunteered to host the after-prom party because the other after-prom event fell through. I spent a few days beforehand frantically and furiously cleaning the house. The party was fantastic. We probably had 45 kids and a dozen parents here from 11:30- 2 a.m., hanging out in the house, apartment, by the fire, playing basketball and foosball, etc. I was utterly exhausted when it was all over.
But no rest for the weary. The next night was our first AHG Hoe-Down, another 10-year-event. It was adorable watching all the girls dressed in their cowboy boots, swinging their partners. We had a low turn-out and I was completely exhausted, but they had a great time. I hope it becomes an annual event.
In the midst of all of this, we had all our normal things, too. Co-op classes continue for Laurel, although her government class has ended. Duncan and I have continued learning about WWII, doing math, grammar, and all of that. School goes on around here sometimes sporadically when we have crazy months like this, but learning happens all the time. Duncan's 30 lessons into his algebra book for next year, so I'm feeling pretty awesome about math. One semester as a second grader seemed short, but I think he's ready for 8th grade next year. My goal for this summer is to convince him that reading actually is pleasurable. I know. How did we get a kid who doesn't love to read? He loves to be read to, and he's a fluent reader, but he just doesn't get the I-need-books-to-live thing.
Jesse came home from college a few days ago. It is absolutely crazy to think that our son will be a senior next year. Sheesh!! We are so incredibly proud of him for receiving three writing awards, including Belmont University's top writing award (which included cash!!). And he pulled up his grades yesterday and found out he had a perfect 4.0! He's been on the dean's list every semester, but this is the first solid 4.0 he's received. So amazing!
Last night was a huge, incredibly time-consuming event: our troop's End-of-the-Year Awards Ceremony—but also our passing-of-the-torch ceremony. Caroline and I have been troop coordinators for all 10 years, and it was time for us to retire. Last night was amazing and overwhelming, but that will be for another post. For now, I'll end with us receiving flowers at the end of the ceremony.
Next week, I have one more American Lit class to teach on Monday—and then we're off to Paris!!