The Last Few Weeks

7:30 AM

Congress declared a new national holiday on April 5th: Bailey Finished Geometry Day. I hope you celebrated by drawing smiley faces with a geometric compass and playing pin the coordinate on the plane. I know I certainly had a blast.

But my joy lasted momentarily, because for the rest of the week I studied madly for an ACT test until my mom told me to cut it out and take a break. Don't think me heroic. I would have been better prepared if I had studied throughout the school year instead of cramming the day before. But I do have an excuse: my ACT prep was boring, with teachers lecturing on abstract concepts without any visual aids - and they had weird ties and hairstyles. That right there is criminal. (It's too bad their main goal wasn't getting me to take a nap. They would have succeeded.)

All I can say about the ACT was that bad dreams the night before = sleepless night = way-too-early morning = zoning out during the end of the three-plus hour test. My cheer squad assured me that I did better than I think, and were it not for the fact that I bubbled in answer A for most of the science questions in an attempt to get more filled than right, I would believe them. Children, a lesson from an old and experienced student ----

On second thought, I cannot think of anything redeeming about my experience, except that it's a good idea to stretch during the break instead of sitting alone in the library because all the other students left to socialize. Yes, I still have an unsocialized homeschool streak in me that refuses to break down at such times of stress.

On a happier note, the English portion of the ACT was quite enjoyable - in a frustrating way. The passages were so horribly punctuated that it took great mental power to squash the temper tantrums of my inner grammar geek. (Grammer - which is the opposite of grammar, mind - stresses me out. Seriously. It's psychological torture.) And yes, I did - I giggled aloud at some of the answer choices. Aloud. Children, do not embarrass your abnormal homeschool self to a needless extent. My deskmate very likely went away with bad impressions of me. My pencils mysteriously kept noisily jiggling around and my papers rustled and I kept twisting my legs around each other in an attempt to remain relaxed. There is a reason she never once looked at me.

I do not make a good test taker.

But talking about the ACT is as ridiculous as talking about a nightmare. What's the point of reliving the horror over and over again?

I like chemistry now. I was failing it so badly that I pleaded my case with our resident homeschool dad slash high school chemistry teacher, who pronounced my curriculum college level work and wow, are you really studying this on your own? So at least I have a reason for my density in the science department. It's like a miserable badge of honor - a high school student suffering through a college course on her own. To be honest, I feel quite heroic.

And guess what? Starting school on my birthday (July 28th, in case you're as bad at birthdays as I am - at least I think it's July 28th) means that next week I will be all done with school - squee! - with the exception of chemistry, of course, but that doesn't quite count as school because it's more like a character-building curriculum. Good for all ages and stages.

So I've been contemplating what on earth I'm going to do with all the early summertime I'm going to have in a mere week. I'll be reading Animal Farm for sure (I got through the second introduction minus the last paragraph after skipping the first introduction - not to mention the first few sentences) - that and all the other literature books I didn't get done during my "school year." Literature never counts as work, by the way. That is an important lesson in life to learn. I also have a really long mental list of non-school-credit books I'm going to read. I can't wait to max out my library card and start fretting about how I have twenty books to finish by Saturday. Glorious fun.

I'm also going to do some curriculum planning. Did I mention I'm teaching Daniel Franklyn preschool? Excitable. Simply excitable. I'm thinking about making a little learning nook in the downstairs basement - hanging up a bulletin board and decorating it like they do in public kindergarten; setting up cozy bean bag chairs and colorful carpet; rearranging shelves and bookcases; and best of all, finding out about fun preschool books to fill up those shelves and bookcases. We're going to have so much fun. I wrote about three pages of ideas back a couple months ago when I couldn't sleep - we're going to visit a bakery and hang out at the park and grow a little garden with plastic tractors and read lots of books and dance to number songs and all sorts of amazing things like that.

My preschool experience involved nasty-tasting plastic pizzas, ugly dolls, dark rooms and missing my mommy. So I guess anything is a step up from that. I can't fail, right?

And then this fall my friend and I might possibly oversee the high school biology group (sorry, guys). We have completed all the necessary requirements to handle such a task - namely, doing that same curriculum a couple years back, drawing all those little amoeba things that look like pink heffalumps and screaming when fish innards squirted out at us during dissections. We should do just fine.

I love teaching. I'm still weighing my options about how I want to spend my talents and time outside the home with tutoring and maybe substitute teaching. I want to end up a full-time homeschool teacher's aide to my mum - she's got first dibs on my enthusiasm. So I don't know how all that is going to influence my (previously stalwart) decision on majoring in Christian philosophy for the next four years. Ugh. I've got a bad case of decidophobia.

So what's your academic update right now? I'd love to see some of your future plans - summer or school-related. Thinking about other people's plans is so much easier than finalizing my own. ;)

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10 impressions

  1. I'm *JUST* about finished with school! Formal education that is. One never stops learning right? But, yeah, thank goodness my parents excused my poor inept self from things like chemistry. I would never graduate if I had to take chemistry. Geometry was easy, and algebra was painful and tear inducing, but I'm through!

    I still have a week or two more in history, seeing as I still have like 60 years left to tackle, but I'm taking my last math test today, and *crosses fingers* I hopefully that will be it!

    And future plans? Reading what *I* want to read would be high on the list. My room is full to bursting of about 50 books I want to read, but haven't been able to because of trying to finish history.

    I'm hoping to become a mother's helper to a young mother in our homeschool group, she has three young, adorable kids, and I really hope it works out!
    I also plan to take a course in learning Italian. Honestly, not a lot will change once I'm "graduated" I've been graduated from so many subjects for a year or more now, that now it's just like, oh okay, just two more subjects finished. :) Mom still cannot physically do much, so I am still largely need around the house, for cooking, cleaning, and the like! I'm thinking of taking a whole food cooking course, and going through some books with my mom, like "The Hospitality Command".

    So yeah, all that along with other summer time activities, I'm sure my summer will be incredibly full and crazy!


    Enjoyed hearing about your plans!

    ~Elissa

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  2. What fun to teach your baby brother! When you mentioned planning for preschool, I wanted to point you to this blog: http://confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com/search/label/Alphabet

    She is constantly coming up with free resources for her K4 curriculum!

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  3. Pray, what does "Sqee!" mean? It truly hope that wasn't meant to be a different word. ;)

    Let's buy cupcakes today (while we're at Goodwill *hint, hint*) to celebrate the end of math. Or the end of Editor in Chief. Honestly, I don't care about someones "bus schedule." ((did I end the sentence right??))

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  4. Congrats on finishing your subject! :) I'm almost done with a few of them...Thankfully!

    *hug*

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  5. Ha! I just took the ACT test on Saturday, too. It sounds like our experiences were pretty similar. ;-) It was my first time taking the test, and it felt like I didn't sleep at all the night before...and then the next morning I felt sick to my stomach (as I usually do when nervous).
    Science went less than well for me, too. I randomly filled in the 'B' bubbles, though, not the 'A's. Dad said that statistically, that letter is right a little more often...or maybe he said 'C'?
    I was left with a 25-minute wait for my ride when the test was over, and I have to admit, my reserved homeschooler streak must have shown clearly the whole time. In my defense, I didn't know any of the people standing around talking! (Though I suppose that's no excuse...)
    Anyway, if I weren't so ecstatic about the test being over, I'd probably be worrying about what my score is going to be. Was it your first time taking the test, too?
    Congrats on becoming a preschool teacher, finishing geometry, and nearing the end of this school year! My, you've accomplished a lot!

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  6. Elissa :: Wow! Italian and mother's helper! Noble goals, indeed. I think I read The Hospitality Command way back when I was twelve...or maybe I didn't. My mum has a whole shelf devoted to women's and home-life literature, and I've only just touched the tip of the iceberg.

    Andrew/Terri :: I quick browsed Confessions. What a cute site! I'm bookmarking it for inspiration. :o)

    Bethany :: As I explained to someone else, squee is a girly way of getting out excitment. It is perfectly ungrammatical.

    Julia :: It was probably the D's. ;o) Just kidding. Who knows. I bombed it in any case. Yup, it was my first ever ACT test (not counting the practice tests which I FLUNKED). I'm soo taking the SAT if my score turns out bad. For purely prideful reasons.

    We'll have to compare ACT scores when they come in. :D How cool that we took it the same day! And if I use another teenage slang expression is this comment....

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  7. Happy late "Finishing Math" day!!! Doesn't it feel so good to be finished with one of the "harder" subjects? I took a placement test a while back and thus "finished" with my old book....though I promptly had to start the new one... *sighs* (At least I'll have a head start on it next year!)

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  8. Congrats on finishing geometery - I have been doing basic geometery (if you can really call it basic....) and boy, it was tough! My math touched lightly on on coordinate planes....can I say confusing?
    But anyways, I've just finished my history textbook, and finished my science and health textbooks weeks ago, Finishing up my CLE language arts books, and my math. Whew! I did it; two school years were crammed into one, and I am officially a year ahead. I'm having fun calling myself a freshmen..... ;)
    9th grade, here I come!!!! :)

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  9. Ugh - I still have three weeks left of my analytical/plane geometry. And I'm a college student, so I don't get to complain. :-P I am very jealous of you, though. Congratulations! ;-)

    Love in Christ,
    Vicki

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  10. School-related: I finished my history, science, and vocabulary books ("Squee!"), didn't take English this year and am not. very. far. through Pre-Algebra. I still have my literature books (which are awesome 60% of the time) to finish, too. Only about ten. I should be done by May. =)

    Summer: I plan to write, roller skate, go to camp, read (of course!), and stay up late. What more is there to be said?

    Luv,
    Natallison

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