Saturday, May 31, 2014

Goodbye School Year, Hello School Year

We are at the end of our school year and I've already begun the process of laying out the calendar for the upcoming school year. I'm finally to a place, after little man's birth, of feeling a little more myself. He's becoming more independent which lends me more freedom to really delve into things and top priority lately has been getting organized (hence the chore chart)! From storage to homeschool to my home business I am diving deep and trying to come up with solutions to keep everything more orderly. I do not like feeling chaotic and when my house is chaotic so am I. But let's talk school!

I've tried the more laid-back approach to homeschooling. I've tried flying by the seat of our pants. It just doesn't work. I need a plan. I need a list. I need a general structure to cling to so that I don't mix business, school, housework. That each thing has it's own place and time. Because right now I am doing things "as I have time" or switching things up. No more! School needs to have a specific time so that I can do work at a specific time.

So some things I'm considering for next year's school:
Math-U-See and Ambleside Online

Math-U-See is obviously mathematics. I am not good at math. This is a program I'm interested in because an actual math teacher teaches the math concepts on DVD as the child follows along.

Ambleside uses Charlotte Mason's approach to education. It's actually quite fascinating and I'm eager to use this approach. Ambleside is a free online curriculum. It is run by homeschooling families FOR homeschooling families and is volunteer-based. It is Christian education, though anyone can use it. And like anything you can mold it and use it to fit your own unique families and schedules because it is mostly books/reading.

Ambleside is like a dream-come-true. It is very much how I would have liked to have learned as a child. It also just makes so much sense to me regarding how children learn. If you're interested in learning more about it please click the hyperlink a few paragraphs up where I first mention it. There's a forum you can join in on and it looks as though they're updating the website to make browsing more efficient.

Just a quick overview from what I understand in my recent research: it is very much literary-based. History, science, grammar, spelling, etc. are learned through reading. Reading GOOD literature. There's also emphasis on the arts and learning foreign language.

So right now I'm busy using some downtime from my tooth extraction a couple days ago (oh haven't heard about that? I'll put a blurb at the end) to really focus on a classroom schedule right now. I haven't ended this school year yet and I don't know what to start the next year just yet either. I'm so indecisive, about a lot, but I'm trying to be more bold and confident in my choices.


The tooth extraction? I feel like I'm aging so fast! I have had so many little health things pop up and this tooth problem is one of them. My poor tooth had a filling from when I was a kid. The filling failed (the tooth kept decaying beneath it even though I care for my teeth) and almost half my tooth broke off! That was back when I was pregnant with JUDAH (two years ago). I had a wonderful dentist and he told me it needed a crown ASAP but I kept putting it off... and putting it off... and putting it off.

Until about two weeks ago I bit down on something and pain shot through my entire body and I couldn't even catch my breath. Apparently my broken tooth was dying and developed an infection at the root. I went to two dental appointments at the local dental college (not my old dentist as I no longer have dental insurance) and finally came to the decision to just have it pulled rather than do a root canal/post/crown. Now I have to decide if I'm going to have an implant or bridge. Oh joy.

Lesson learned: if you break a tooth do NOT wait! Get it checked out ASAP because saving your tooth is better than getting a fake one.

So now I'm sitting here, two days after the extraction, with a huge gaping hole in my gum where my precious God-given molar was. A student pulled the tooth. It was the longest and most uncomfortable dental work I ever remember having. When my former dentist (and an already established dentist, NOT a student) pulled my two right-side wisdom teeth he pulled them both out in under a minute. It was over so fast I didn't believe him when he said it was done. So I anticipated that this extraction would be the same! It was not. The student was slow. He was clumsy. He kept knocking my other teeth (in fact one molar that was next to the one that broke feels like it is out-of-place and pushed back!). He had to ask his professor for help twice, the first time with numbing me up (I got 4 times the typical amount because he kept injecting in the wrong spot!). He didn't rinse out my mouth when the nasty tasting medicine spilled out into my mouth and I kept swallowing it (but his professor kindly rinsed my mouth after he took a turn injecting, finally, into the correct spot). The second time the student asked for help was in having someone else come dig out the root that broke off when he finally got the crown of the molar out. I overheard his professor say "So you're giving up already? This is what you need to do..." and then he gave him a list of different torture devices, I mean TOOLS, to use. I felt like the guy was breaking my jaw when he worked. In fact my jaw, right where it hinges, is where it hurt the most afterward. He forgot to give me a syringe to take home so I could clean out this gaping horror show in my gum.

It's actually one of the best dental schools. But I feel like I was this guy's first solo in extracting teeth. He had the head knowledge but it wasn't translating to his hands while he worked. So far the healing is going as expected and I haven't taken anything but a few Ibuprofen. I have another wisdom tooth that is almost all the way out in my left, upper side and I think I'll be calling my former dentist to see what he'll charge out of pocket... quality means way more to me than quantity when it comes to pulling teeth!

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