School has taken over the Wideman household completely. Everyone in our household is a full time student. So, it is kind of a major part of our lives right now. Billy is taking 15 hours this semester and I am taking 12. It is our first semester going full time (because we are READY to knock out those classes to get our degrees!) And it is hard. I mean HARD. It is a constant juggling act: my homework, the kids' homework, housework, work-work, trying to have quality family time, etc. But, I am blessed to have the opportunity to go to school, and I don't take it for granted.
It's not just Billy and I with a ton of homework this semester. The kids are all in much more intense classes this year as well.
Natalie is in 7th grade, and in ALL Pre-Advanced Placement classes. She actually started out in a regular math class, simply because she does not like math (although she does well, and received an A in AP math last year) and she was very stressed out about it. So we decided to let her choose, and she chose to go to a regular math class. That lasted a few days. She was actually called to the counselor's office and told that she was too smart to be in that class, and they were moving her to Pre AP. We talked it over with her, and she is ok with it now. And she's doing great in it of course! Every week she brings home a "family math" assignment....UGH. Luckily, Billy is pretty decent at Algebra, because...well, it is not mama's strong suit, lol. Anyway, she is doing excellent so far in 7th grade.
Emily was chosen to take part in a brand new "experimental" class at her school. It is the first ever combined grade class - 4th and 5th. (She is in 4th.) The principal emphasized that each child was carefully chosen based on their academic achievements. So, we were very honored! I have to admit, I was a little bit skeptical about how it would all work. But, it is fabulous! Even though it's 2 grades together, it is the smallest class in the school at 15 students compared to 30. Therefore, lots of one on one. They are doing all kinds of cool stuff. Last week they started mummifying a chicken since they are doing a unit on Egypt. They are also doing a family novel study (RIGHT up my alley, lol!) she and I are reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle and each week we discuss it and answer questions the teacher sends home. In addition to all this, she is also in a gifted/talented program where she goes once a week by bus to a different campus. She LOVES it! They do all kinds of research projects there.
Even Stephen, in 2nd grade, has been having lots of homework this year. He is not used to this! Every night he has either math or spelling homework. He is a very smart boy, and always gets high marks, but he does not enjoy it like the girls do. Getting him to do his homework takes one very vigilant mama to stay right there with him to get it done. But, he really seems to like his teacher, and his reading skills (which were always above average anyway) have just exploded!
One of my hopes is that by Billy's and my committment to not just taking classes, but excelling at them, our kids are learning the importance of education. We hope to make them proud when we graduate!