Well, 2011 was celebrated as the year without crisis. And celebrated with good reason, as that is certainly not my norm. This year we are back to crisis mode.
First crisis happened in February. The boys and I were testing for our blue belts (having already earned yellow, green and purple). I slipped while attempting (for the 4th time) to break my board, and couldn’t get up. At first the injury seemed relatively mild – no damage to muscles or tendons. The tests were all clear: x-ray, MRI, bone scan and CT scan. But 10 months out, I still can’t use my knee.
Well, the months of Feb and March went by in a haze of pain. Come spring, I decided I needed to start getting up my walking stamina so I could do some field trips when I visited my mom in the summer. Since we had been studying the revolutionary war, we wanted to take advantage of the historical sites near her home outside of Philadelphia.
First we visited the National Constitution Center. There were reenactors, a play about the revolution, all sorts of displays, and statues of the signers standing around a recreation of the meeting room where they signed the constitution. Unfortunately, the play was too loud, and Raven was begging to leave the whole time. The only thing he liked was the plaque which showed how many US troops died in each war we’ve been in. Little statistician.
Then we visited the Philadelphia science museum. Sure, it has nothing to do with history, but it’s a HUGE hit with my kids! Well, until Raven stuck his hand in the elevator door. They were really sweet with him, though, at one point giving him a plastic glove full of ice!
Finally we visited Valley Forge. Luckily you can drive around most of it, because it was in the upper 90s that day . . . still, it was a big hit. There were historical story tellers who gave out stamps to put on a map – they were very funny, too!
Unfortunately, I developed tendonitis, from limping around so much. The doc sent me to more PT for pain relief, but the PT still insisted he can’t help unless the damage is fixed first. After my doc thanked me for ‘the intellectual challenge of trying to care for your knee’ I switched to a knee surgeon for another opinion.
At this point it looks like I dislocated the knee cap, bruised the bone of the knee cap and the top of the tibia. And, the gift that keeps giving, damaged the ‘white’ cartilage that lines the inside of the kneecap – NOT the meniscus, but the lining of the kneecap itself. The doc says if that IS the problem, he has a 75% chance of being able to fix it. However, while there is swelling under the kneecap, he has a 10% chance of making me worse without fixing anything. So I’ve been resting to try to get the swelling down, but its not working. I started acupuncture, but if 4 sessions don’t take down the swelling, I’m back at square one – my knee does not function. I can stand, I can limp around, but I cannot bend the knee while putting any pressure on it.
For homeschool, over the summer we focused heavily on science. We worked through a lab kit about light, did some Lego kits about pulleys and gears, hatched butterflies and learned a bit about insects, and did a study on the human body ending with the body exhibit at the science museum. I was pleased how well it went, as it felt like we had been a bit too light on science. Orion also continued with math and did Scratch programming, and Raven did a typing tutor.
As summer drew to a close, I approached homeschooling with the confidence of a veteran. Even my husband commented that I finally seem to be on top of everything.
Orion’s Junior year:
- English: literary lessons from Lord of the Rings, a full year study – very easy for me as its all planned out!
- History: continue w US history as before, plus some Intelligo World Religions
- Math: review algebra with LOF and then continue with Singapore, switching to Discovering Math level 3 (since our previous series had been discontinued) – both went very well!
- Science: Chemistry Matters – ok, this is a bit of a PITA – I have to figure out daily lessons, find supplemental videos since we cant do the experiments, and still I make him look stuff up on google if there are things he doesn’t know – because some material is apparently only covered in the experiment book (which I actually bought . . and lost . . .)
- Robotics – this was through First Lego League, and took up a lot more time and stress than expected. Orion still does not like robotics, but he did pick up the programming very easily.
- And some French which is going very badly
Raven (4th grade):
- English: some Bravewriter-inspired freewriting, copy work, poetry and random supplemental books about language. Spelling Power did not go so well, and we’ll be trying LoE in January.
- History: continue w US History
- Math: We started with Murderous Maths measurements, did a bit of long division and multi-digit multiplication review, plus some facts reviews, did a bit more of LoF decimals, and got side-tracked with Elements of Mathematics.
- Science: for now, Raven is just reading science books and doing a sentence of copy work each day – but he hates the copy work and I will drop that when we start LoE.
- Legos: Raven is also doing FLL, coached by his dad. It is . . . well, we’re not entirely sure its worth the trouble. But we’ll follow through with the commitment.
This fall I went back to church choir. At first, I even managed to drag Orion along with me, but he kept falling asleep! So I ended up bringing the boys to the kids . .well, I thought it was choir, but it was a mixed performance – some bells, some signing, and a little singing the first go-round.
Heron seemed to be doing well this year as well. She finished up strong at the local Community College, and was accepted as a transfer in to VCU. She also FINALLY got a job – in the copy center at the local Staples. This was a good fit for her background in graphics, and also a reasonable place for her to find contacts for advertising, which was her chosen field. Unfortunately they would not cut her hours below 30/week when school started. She had a fibromyalgia flare and had to quit the job.
She was feeling sick all fall, and her mood started deteriorating too. Then she went on a trip with some friends to NYC to go to a conference, but they drove overnight and went to the conference with no sleep, so she got REALLY sick. About 2 weeks later, she ended up in the hospital in crisis. She was kept 3 nights and let out with no plan. She seems convinced living in my house is root of her problems. She was threatening to quit school until my mom offered to pay her rent so she can move in to town. She is barely speaking to me so I have no idea what is going on. Except that my house is super tense.
Oh, and last but not least, the husband hates his job. No, that’s not news, it’s almost always been the case since I’ve known him. But he’s job hunting again, which always brings a bit of hope.
Lets hope for a calmer, happier, healthier year in 2013.