Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Boy and His Dog

We started planning for the 2008-2009 school year in February.  One of the things we decided early on is that we would definitely use KONOS for the bulk of JSS's and COS's schooling.  In May I began to read through the KONOS Compass, a companion book to the curriculum to help you become acclimated to using the KONOS volumes (an invaluable tool to any of you considering this character-based curriculum).  One of the suggestions was to prayerfully consider what character traits needed work the most in each of your students and plan your year around that.  One of the character traits that we felt JSS needed work on was responsibility.  I just wanted to share with you that we have not even begun KONOS, but God has been working in this area in JSS nonetheless.  

Just yesterday, JSS came up and asked if he could wash Jack, our Chihuarrier.  JSS has been responsible for the care of the dogs this past year as one of his chores.  Jack had escaped (again!) the night before and gotten into some foul-smelling something or other on his escapade.  JSS saw that Jack was dirty and smelly.  He took it upon himself to be the solution to this problem!  SCORE!  (We like to celebrate the victories around our house!)

Keeping Up With the Wesleys

Have you ever had one of those "A-ha!" moments with your kids?  You know, the kind where, after the years of teaching, coaxing, training, yanking up your kids in the way they should go (if necessary), you finally see the fruit of your labor in one area or another?  Well, we had one of those moments this morning at breakfast!
Picture all of us sitting around the breakfast table talking our way around the map and all of the favorite places we'd like to visit.  As conversations normally go, rabbit trails took us to this, that and the other til we landed on the famous Wesley family.  I commented that I would LOVE to have an interesting (read that, not dry) biography of Susanna Wesley.  I hold her in high regard seeing as she bore 19 children, suffered the loss of a few of those children and yet still managed to churn out two very notable goldy men in Charles and John Wesley.
At this point, AMS, added to the conversation by sharing with the little ones her own interesting facts about the Wesleys.  It was a real "A-ha!" moment for all of us "big people" because I don't think any of us expected AMS to have retained such minutiae from her World History course this past year, most especially AMS!  (Side note for those wondering, the curriculum she used was ABeka's World History course for Jr. High.)  I mean, how many times during the year have we heard from the big kids, "When am I ever going to use this?"

What a truly blessed breakfast we had today, to see firsthand some of the fruits of our homeschooling labor so beautifully packaged in natural conversation!

College Road Trip

Now that we've finally gotten the hang of high school transcripting, we face another challenge on the road to college:  testing!   There are so many letters involved in the names of these tests, requirements vary, testing sites differ, dates to remember, fees to be paid...ugh!  There is a whole other world out there just waiting to challenge the administration of our Upper School!  Please pray as you read this that the Lord would give us clear vision in this next leg of the journey as JDS and AMS continue on this college bound road.

For those traveling alongside us (or just slightly behind us), here is some information that might be of help to you and your student (from the Heart of Texas email):



To Find out When Your Local High School is Offering the PSAT Test:  Click Here 

PSAT TESTING FEE:  $13 (some schools charge an additional fee to cover administrative costs)
Homeschoolers who take the test at their local public school should not be charged more than the school charges its own students.  


Regular Registration Deadline:  September 9, 2008 
Late Registration Deadline (late fee applies):  September 16 

Regular Registration Deadline:  September 26, 2008 
Late Registration Deadline (late fee applies):  October 10, 2008 

Regular Registration Deadline:  November 5, 2008 
Late Registration Deadline (late fee applies):  Novembr 18, 2008

JANUARY 24, 2009 
Regular Registration Deadline:  December 26, 2008 
Late Registration Deadline (late fee applies):  January 6, 2009 

MARCH 14, 2009 
Regular Registration Deadline:  February 10, 2009 
Late Registration Deadline (late fee applies):  February 24, 2009

MAY 2 
Regular Registration Deadline:  March 31, 2009 
Late Registration Deadline (late fee applies):  April 9, 2009 

Regular Registration Deadline:  May 5, 2009 
Late Registration Deadline (late fee applies):  May 15, 2009 

Important Information for Test Takers: 
Sunday administrations occur the day after each Saturday test date for students who are unable to take the test on a Saturday due to religious observance. 

The Language Tests with Listening are only administered in November. 

On March 14, only the SAT Reasoning Test is offered. 

For SAT Subject Test Calendar:  Click Here 

For More Information:http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/calenfees.html 

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Great Divide

The 2008-2009 school year finds our happy home in the midst of a great divide because it is the first in which we have seen a need to form a high school, seeing as half of our students are now in high school.  Let's face it, "SimKids Academy" does not seem very professional on the ol' high school transcript.  So, we are in the midst of coming up with a more appropriate name for our Upper School.  

Upper School:  This is the first year in which the older kids will begin taking classes outside our home school (We were in a co-op for the first time last year, but this is different in that instead of the parents teaching the classes, you pay a teacher and she is responsible for their learning.). We term this type of place a "drop and pay."  JDS will be taking Chemistry there, which eases my mind considerably since I never took Chemistry and don't really want to house chemicals in the kitchen.  AMS will be taking a Creative Writing class, at the end of which she will have written her second book of fiction.  We are also looking into enrolling JDS at the local community college for one dual credit class this year (either Fall, Spring or Summer semester--TBD). 

Lower School:  This is the first year in which I will use the character curriculum KONOS.  I discovered it when JDS and AMS were little, but we could never afford it.  I found an older copy at a huge home school store locally and Simon and I decided to just do it!  We're very excited to learn alongside JSS and COS and look forward to all of the memory-making this form of learning will afford.  We plan to share some of that with you via this blog.

To find out how this will work out practically, you'll have to check back.  We're still ironing out those details.  : )


I want to welcome you to the opening day of SimKids Academy Online, our private home school's public identity.  

Through the SimKids Academy Online blog, we hope to allow our family and friends (especially those living farther away) better access to our day-to-day lives...at their leisure.  

Feel free to peek into our lives whenever you'd like by checking back with us here at www.simkidsacademy.blogspot.com .