We made it

16 May

Last week Thursday, we finished our last day of school for the 201-2012 school year.  Can I get a, “Woot, Woot!”  Friends, homeschooling is no easy job and of all my teaching jobs, this has been the hardest.  But, man, we have had a really good year.  I am proud of my kids for their hard work and of myself for not completing losing my mind (ok, I did a few times).

It’s crazy for me to reflect on just how much the kids have grown this year! 

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Then there is the curriculum that we covered.  When I went back to the scope and sequence that I wrote last summer for our school year, I was amazed at how much we had actually covered—far more than I had outlined.   Here is the lowdown:

FOR ANNIE: 

*  She rocked it out in her in reading by finishing a Kindergarten reading program (that we started in pre-school), along with all of the Kindergarten, 1st and a portion of the 2nd grade readers. 

* In math, we completed the Kindergarten and 1/2 of the 1st grade math program. Long gone are my days of saying, “Just five more minutes and I’ll be off the phone.”  She can totally bust me with my under exaggerations of (how long I can put them off) meet their every need with her time telling skills. 

* For handwriting, she completed a Kindergarten series, as well as a 1st grade D’Nelian style workbook, because, “all of the curvies on the letters make them look prettier.”  Gotta love a kid who likes having pretty handwriting. 

*  She also completed a first grade spelling program.  This was definitely her least favorite subject, but man, it is a good program and her spelling has already improved. 

*  Spanish, anyone?  This was her *favorite* subject, which is why after completing a Kindergarten Spanish program, we invested in the Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish program.  It’s awesome and you should totally invest if you are a homeschooling parent. 

* Then there were the (in)frequent science experiments, lots of nature journaling, art projects, and countless novels, short stories and poems that we learned together.  Snack and story time was always a favorite part of our school day, as Annie, Jonah and I could snuggle on the couch and read and eat (what a great combo!).

*  In an effort to keep my kids well-rounded and social, Annie participated in 2 sessions of gymnastics at the YMCA, a semester of Making Music at the local community music school, continued with piano lessons, participated in soccer camp, and was enrolled in our religious education cgs program all year.  Anyone who says homeschooling kids don’t have social skills, haven’t been around families like ours.

*  We also began every school day at the prayer table. *This* was my favorite part of the day, as the prayers, songs, and scripture reading where a much needed way to start our school days together. On the rare day that we were not able to start our school day here, our rhythm undoubtedly suffered.

FOR JONAH:  Given that he is only three, we focused our attention on practical life skills.  We take a Montessori approach in our house and our school room has numerous bookshelves with various “works” on them.  These works currently range from buttoning, zipping, and velcroing works, to ordering items from smallest to largest, to pouring water, rice, sand, etc into different types of glass containers.  I rotate out these works ever 6ish weeks, providing new opportunities to be challenged and to meet his “sensitive periods” of learning.  We also have an art shelf set up with access to water color paints, a card making work, etc.  Jonah  spent a good hour at these works each day.  It is awesome to see his independence blossom as he develops his fine motor skills (something he has been far behind in since he was a wee-one). 

When I asked him what his favorite part of the school day was, he quickly answered, “Snack and story.”  He is a snuggler, so this opportunity to get mom to himself was his favorite part of the day. 

FOR JAMES:  Well, he listened to my pleas to not give up his morning AND afternoon nap until the school year was done.  Because he is a complete tornado, getting the bulk of our schooling in while he was sleeping was an absolute must.  Just this week, we stopped his morning nap…just in time (and I am so losing my mind over it already).

We celebrated by going to the park, sitting together doing puzzles, and eating a big spaghetti dinner with homemade push-pops for dessert.  Daddy awarded the kids with their diplomas and even hummed, “pomp and circumstance” because he is a nerd like that.  The kids thought he was hilarious.  He handed them their diplomas and they were grinning ear to ear.

Annie surprised us by giving us both a flower (from the bouquet daddy bought her on her birthday the week prior) and said, “Mommy, thank you for teaching me school this year and Daddy, thank you for going to work everyday.”  Total heart melt.

It was a good year.  I am thankful.  

 

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One Response to “We made it”

  1. Katie May 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    WOW! Awesome job! I so want you to teach my boys! Is it a thing to send your kids to someone else to be homeschooled? Ha!

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