Coffee Talk 08.28.16

Happy Sunday, friends! It’s been a full day. I was up at 5AM, had my coffee, puttered around a bit, and then went running. I wanted to get my run in before it got hot. It was 65 degrees at 6:30AM and absolutely gorgeous. I made great time, running just under a 10-minute mile.


After my run (and a shower, of course!) we went over to the mall to shoot an outfit before church. So I’m finally getting around to writing this post.

There’s a fantasy football draft going on my family room, so I’m escaping — the noise as well as all the munchies that I shouldn’t be indulging in. Ha!

It’s been almost three weeks since I started my clean eating diet, and I’m loving the results. Overall I’ve lost 6-7 pounds, which puts me exactly where I want to be. My clothes all fit better, and I’m fitting into a few items that I’d held onto but wasn’t able to wear yet this summer.

Last night we ordered pizza, and I went ahead and had some (gluten-free.) I almost ate leftover dinner from the day before, and then I decided don’t want to feel deprived and it’s okay to make an exception every once in a while. Otherwise, I’ve been sticking pretty close to the program, and I’m hoping to keep it up.

In other news, I’ve been obsessed this week with our decision to put our 8th grader in a cyber charter school. I think I mentioned this briefly in another blog post.

This is something we’ve considered for a long time, but I didn’t get serious about it until last week when I started thinking about the angst that always surrounds back-to-school season in our home. While my other two enjoy school, C has fought going to school since her 2nd year of preschool. Some years were better than others, but all were drama-ridden, and the fall transition is always the hardest part.

Last year was her first year of middle school. Middle school is hard enough, but it was especially rough because of the early start time. (Our middle and high school kids have to be on the bus at 6:50AM.) My son deals with it fine, but she doesn’t, and I just don’t have the heart to put her through it all again. Heck, I don’t want to put ME through it all again! I think it’s time to try something else.

In Pennsylvania, we have a very well established and highly rated public cyber school system, and she’s been asking to try it. I have no idea if it will work out or not, but we’re going to give it a go.

For those who don’t know what a cyber charter school is, it’s a public school that operates under a charter from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the kids learn from home via the internet. It’s not exactly homeschooling because I’m not teaching her, but I will definitely have to be involved.

Some cyber charter schools have scheduled class times, and others are self paced, but most are a combination. The one we chose is a combination. This is definitely going to change my daily routine, but I think I can swing it. She will have access to her teachers during the school day, and there are the live virtual classes she will participate in, so she’s not just on her own the whole time. I’m very curious to see how it goes. If it fails, at least we can say we tried.

So that’s been monopolizing my mind for the past week, and it’s been hard to focus on work. I know that once things settle down, we’ll get into a groove, but right now I’m kind of manic, trying to get it all done.

Fortunately, D and R start school tomorrow, and the cyber school doesn’t start until next Tuesday, so C and I will have a week to get our ducks in a row without the distractions of her siblings.

I’m really eager to get going, and I’ve been frustrated by how slowly the enrollment process is going. I’ll call tomorrow and try to find out how to get the process moving. I’m sure they’re busy with school starting next week. I wish I’d started working on this sooner, but summer always seems like it’s going to be longer than it is, and I kept thinking I had more time.

Speaking of which, it’s been a good weekend, but it flew. We spent an afternoon at the pool, had a few casual get togethers with friends, completed two successful outfit photo shoots, and enjoyed some great weather (hot, but sunny, so I’ll take it!) I’m always sad to see summer go, but I’m definitely ready for September.

How about you? I hope you’ve had a relaxing weekend. Or at least a productive one. I’m all geared up for 26 Days of Fall Fashion starting Thursday! Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss a thing!

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30 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 08.28.16

  1. It sounds like you’ve really got your hands full with your new schooling situation. As a homeschooling parent, I will be praying it goes well for both of you and you really love it! 🙂 We started homeschooling my older two when they were in 2nd and 5th grades. My oldest is now a sophomore in college and he is doing great. My youngest has been homeschooled from the start and is now in 8th grade. We do not use the state’s cyber school but I know many who have used it successfully. My best advice is to have patience and give you and Caroline some grace as you jump into this adventure. There will no doubt be days where you want to kill each other but hopefully those will be few and far between. Also just as a heads up for you…one child doing school at home takes WAY fewer hours in the day than what kids normally spend at school for the day. Without the added time of dealing with other students, changing classes, and other downtime, don’t be surprised if she flies through her daily work in record time. Even in high school my boys were able to usually finish their work by lunchtime if they stayed focused. Best of luck!

    1. We are really hoping it takes her less time. The schools says to expect to spend 5-6 hours a day on school, but maybe that is worst case scenario? She has a hard time focusing at school, but she always manages to do her homework so I am hoping that she will work more efficiently at home with fewer distractions.

    2. I’ve always been curious…how do you spend the rest of the day then? The possibilities are endless! My neighbor would take the kids to the nursing home to hang out with/read to the residents there. She also took them along to deliver meals on wheels. It seems like a great opportunity to contribute to the community!

      1. I think it depends on the ages of your children. When they were younger, we had lots of other homeschool related activities…park day, museum trips, pottery classes, etc. And we also let them have “kid time” like playing in the woods or riding bikes that most kids in the school system don’t have a lot of time to do. As they got older, school work was more time consuming and they had their own activities to do. Also when my boys were in elementary school we pretty much had a one activity rule – each kid only got one activity (lesson, team, etc) outside of school and church. Once we started homeschooling we changed that completely. They were able to do church activities plus music lessons, art lessons, sports teams, and more. A lot of places such as our area tennis club and golf club have special times during the school day for lessons just for homeschoolers.

  2. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us: your hopes, your dreams, your struggles. You’ve got a great attitude about life. It’s hard sometimes, but we keep our eyes on Jesus and do the best we can. God bless you!

  3. Fantasy football is currently going on in our house too :/ As for me, I am fighting the post-vacation slump. Our long road trip is over, after all those months of waiting. After 2,874 driving miles, 19.5 walking miles, 4 colleges, and an aquarium trip, I am ready to relax at home. School starts tomorrow for the boys, so I am going to catch up on laundry. I just miss Loew’s Royal Pacific and wish I was sitting poolside with my Rum Runner. Good luck on your schooling experience, can’t wait to hear more about it.

    1. Ohhhh… that sounds like a fun vacation, despite the insanely high temps. It’s hard to get back to reality! When does your son start school? Is he a senior this year?

  4. Friends from church took our daughter for the night last night so husband and I had the day to ourselves from about noon on. Got our daughter back at church and then went out to lunch with a bunch of people. Now we’re home with my daughter napping and my husband about to head to bed before working tonight. Then tomorrow we’re going to the please touch museum. We’re hoping it won’t be crowded since a bunch of kids will be back in school. Good luck getting things set up for your daughter, it’s great to have options like that.

  5. How productive you’ve been today! One of my dearest friends in Reading PA has a daughter that did a charter school just like what you described. Her daughter is now in her sophomore year in college; it was a huge success for her. I hope it’s the same for you! What a huge change for the dynamics of your day but of course we all do what is in the best interest of our kids. It’s back-to-school day for us tomorrow too even though the weather seems firmly planted in the high ’90s. I wish our pool stayed open for a few more weeks for us at-home moms!
    *If my son put the same amount of work into school as he does his fantasy football team, he could probably skip a grade 😉

    1. It is good to hear successful cyber charter school stories! 🙂 I would love to see her go back to high school, but we will have to see how this goes. If she loves it, and it’s working, then we can stick with it.

    2. Oh! I also meant to add, it is still warm here too, but only upper 80s AND it looks like only upper 70s by the end of the week. YAY! I am not ready for cold weather, but I wouldn’t mind some milder temps. It’s been sooooo stifling hot here lately. Our pool stays open till Labor Day, but they don’t open till 3:30 Mon-Thurs this week. Our school is off Fri-Mon so they have regular weekend hours for those 4 days. I am hoping it is warm enough to go a couple times. I am not ready for pool days to be over.

      And I always say the SAME thing about my son and fantasy football. He was up till midnight doing his summer AP History assignment last night. Naturally fantasy football research came first. *eyeroll*

  6. Yay! Love your coffee talks! Sounds like it’s been busy for you! I’m thinking that’s just the norm these days. As a fellow runner, do you prefer running alone or with someone? I’m always curious what other people prefer (I’m a solo runner myself!) Best of luck with back to school for all of you! We start Thursday and move my oldest into college on Friday!???? Hoping for the best!

    1. I DEFINITELY like running alone. I need my music to power me through, and when I run with other people, I feel like I should talk. I did enjoy having a running partner on the longer runs when I was training for my half marathon, but these days, I only go 2-4 miles at a time, and I like to have music and some alone time to think. 🙂 I am hoping to add on this fall as the weather cools down, and get back to doing a 5 or 6 miler on the weekends, but I can’t seem to get over 4 for some reason.

  7. I really like the idea of a charter school and we don’t have many of those here in Canada. Kudos to you for recognizing your daughter needs a change of environment and good luck in those first few weeks as you settle in. Hoping she gets new back to school clothes, too!

    1. Ha! Ironically, she is the ONLY kid who got back to school clothes! We did that AEO post and I bought her a few things to feature on that. David and Becca each got new sneakers, but they don’t need clothes yet. It will be hot here for a while.

  8. Nice job on your 5k. I love that your state offers that for kids I wish Ilinois offered that when my kids were of school age. I’m sure you’ll be a great teacher to your daughter. Heck, you’ve taught me how to dress after all these years! Ha

  9. I am sure all will go well with your new school arrangement. Give yourself grace during the transition. I homeschool my girls 11 and 13. It can be difficult at times but there are also many benefits.

  10. I am really curious to hear about the charter school experience. I am wondering if they somehow help the students prepare for the transition to college along the way? For students who have difficulty paying attention in the traditional school setting, how do they prepare them for college?
    Best wishes to you and your daughter!

    1. In my experience, there are exponentially fewer distractions in a college classroom than a typical middle school classroom. I’m not too worried about that. Plus a lot of colleges offer online courses now, which are similar to cyber school. That said, I’m very curious about how it will all go. I definitely have some reservations, but the only way to know is to try. 🙂

  11. We had a busy weekend moving my son back to college for his Junior year. He has an apartment with 3 other friends this year and I must say it’s fabulous. Better than some of the apartments I’ve lived in. They even have a dishwasher. What?? Good luck with your daughters charter school!

  12. I just read this article regarding cyber charter schools. http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/how-do-pennsylvania-cyber-charter-schools-stack-up-on-state/article_9fcfba44-71a8-11e4-b54f-cfc901f93a7a.html A bit concerning, but I don’t think test scores tell the whole story. I can imagine it’s agonizing as a parent to see a child not enjoying school. It seems like a good compromise between home schooling and regular school. You really have nothing to lose. She can always go back to high school, or maybe she’d thrive in a smaller, private school. Best of luck, it will all work out.

  13. I just found your blog via Pinterest. You really are inspiring and so put together!!! I am a mom to 4. I have 2 daughters in college and and 11th grader (girl) and 8th grader (boy). HE does 8th grade with PA Cyber Charter School and this will be his second full academic year (he started in April of 6th grade). Virtual classes are the way to go because we have learned the hard way about the extra workload in Blended Classes and “AKA’s” – applied knowledge assessments). Have patience, it does take time for your equipments and books to arrive. Take one day at a time and try to stay “on pace”.

    My son enjoys cyber school, he starts school at 8:00 which is the same time as our local middle school in Westmoreland County, Pa. He can focus 100% on his classes and I am home to help him if he needs anything. I hope your daughter enjoys her cyber school, it has not been a problem for us to have multiple children in different schools.

    Thanks for all you do, your Pinterest has been a huge inspiration to me!! Blessings!

    1. Hi Beth. thanks for the encouragement! We started cyber school today. It was a lot to learn, but my daughter likes it so far. I am eager to see if she continues to like it as the newness wears off. I am just so thankful for choices! 🙂

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