Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Busy, Busy...Preparing for High School Again

Time to get ready for school!

Actually, it was probably time a while back...but I was busy moving...and busy working...and busy traveling to Joe's Air Force graduation. Of course,we did do quite a bit of our planning a few months ago. It's just a matter of pulling it all together now.

For example, I still need to sign up for Netflix. Yep, that is going to be a part of our curriculum for world history. Since Peter is visually impaired but not blind, he enjoys movies a lot. I bought a guide to help me find pertinent movies, called Learning with the Movies by Beth Holland. If you're interested in bringing the cultures of historical times to life for your student in this way, in addition to this great book, there is also a Learning with the Movies website.

We still need to get Peter signed up with Hadley School for the Blind for their English Skills correspondence course. He will get the lessons on cassette...and then, of course, write or type his work.

For science, we bought Biology 101, also from Timberdoodle. It's a Christian program presented on DVDs. They say this about the course:

"Biology 101 is best for students who:
1. Would benefit from an overview before an intense biology study.
2. Struggle with textbook learning but readily learn via discussions.
3. Are not college-bound but need the basics of biology."
BUT, they go on to say: "With initiative, Biology 101 can also be used as a fullblown accredited biology course. Towards that end a printable PDF file with a 12-page Course Accreditation Program booklet is included on disc 4." We plan to make it into a "fullblown accredited biology course", because Peter definitely plans to go to college in a few years.

Once again, I am so grateful for the new (well, "newer") made-for-homeschoolers' math programs, called Teaching Textbooks. I would recommend these for everyone, but they do work particularly well for my son, as he can do the lesson from the book, using his video magnifier...after listening to the author present the lesson in real voice. While the lesson is being presented, he can watch the numbers, using his computer's screen magnification software.

For Religion, I plan on using the apologetics CDs by John Martignoni of Bible Christian Society, discussing them with him and having him write some appropriate papers. Since I have not yet listened to all of the CDs yet myself, this will be a learning process for both of us, and I will see what we think as we go along, remaining open to adding other resources as well.

The only thing left to work out for this year is what would be best for him to use to improve his Braille skills. He can read just about anything in Braille, but quite slowly. Because he can read print with his video magnifier and with computer magnification, and because he has excellent auditory comprehension, Braille has not been our primary focus the past few years. But I've been encouraged that it would benefit him in the future to become more proficient in Braille...which of course is why we taught him Braille in the first place. So I need to decide whether I will braille selections for him myself with the software and his Braille embosser; or whether we will have him just practice reading Braille books; or whether we should sign him up for a course with Hadley School for the Blind.

If you are a homeschooler, and you, too, are getting ready to begin schooling...well, I was going to wish you well...and I do; however, I'll bet you already have all your plans in place! If so, this tortoise will catch up with you when you stop for your nap.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Proud Family

Last week all eight of us met in Alabama. The five of us in Maryland drove down in our fifteen year old minivan. (Thank you, God, for another safe trip!) Paul and his new guide dog "Chicago" flew from Northern Kentucky to Atlanta on a buddy pass, which Mary got from an airline friend. (Thanks, Kelly.) Mary picked Paul up at the Atlanta airport and they drove to Montgomery together.

We all came to attend Joe's graduation from Basic Officer's Training at Maxwell Air Force Base. We had a wonderful time being all together. And we are all very proud of Joe's success in qualifying for the program; his perseverance in getting through the very rigorous twelve weeks' training; and his commitment to serve his country.

Thank You for Your Prayers

My father is improving.

Thank you, and God bless.