and we are done

5 Jun

Did you hear that scream?

It was us belting, “SCHOOL IS OUT!”  I’m pretty sure the echo from that joyous scream two weeks ago can still be heard—because it was *that* loud of a holler!

Our last day of school was spent packing away our completed curriculum and and reminiscing about the year:

We started the school year a week later than normal because we had come off of the busiest summer of our lives with moving, renovating, fracturing a rib, and just trying to settle into a new life in the country.  All of a sudden mid-August arrived, and I had not ordered curriculum, our school room was still in boxes and the actual room was still in renovation mode—no carpet, the walls needed to be repaired and a fresh coat of paint was in order.  So, yeah, benefit #1 of homeschooling is flexibility.  We started “late,” but who cares?  By mid-May, we were done!

How you might ask?  Because we rocked out our curriculum like it was our full time job (oh wait, it was) and we don’t stop for the 57 snow days and in service days and conference days and Fall breaks and mid-winter breaks, etc. etc.  Of course we enjoyed holidays and field trips like any family, but other than that, we worked and we worked hard.

As any “teacher” can agree, it is hard to quantify what was “accomplished” this year, because the inner-workings of the Holy Spirit far outweigh what I can check off of our curriculum to-do list.  I’m certain He has been working in my children, as they have continued to grow, love, and learn in beautiful ways this year.  But, because I often have people ask about my curriculum choices, this is the condensed version of what we checked off of our curriculum to-do list. 

Annie—2nd Grade:

*  Religion: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program which prepared her for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.081

*  Grammar:  completed Montessori Research and Development 6-9 year old Language Arts Curriculum, Volume 1 and 4 (noun, verb, adjective, adverbs, interjections, conjunctions, prepositions, etc, along with mechanics).  She is a champ at diagramming crazy long sentences.  My former English teacher self couldn’t be prouder! 


*  Reading:  She is an avid reader and read every book she could get her hands on.  She completed most of the books from the Angelicum Academy’s list of Good Books, along with the Mitchell series, Betsy Tacy series, the Little House Series, Christian Liberty Nature Readers, and the Moffats series, along with countless library books of her choice. 

*  Handwriting:  Completed the Montessori program for cursive.  Her cursive writing is just lovely. 


*  Writing:  Completed the 6-Trait Writing Program for Second Grade, focusing on writing good paragraphs with strong openings, clear and interesting details, and solid closings.

*  Spelling:  Completed Level 3 (3rd grade) All About Spelling Program. 

*  Math:  Completed Math-U-See Beta (2nd grade) and Math-U-See Gamma (3rd

grade).  She is now rocking out multi-digit multiplication problems like a champ.


* Science:  Completed “Behold and See” 2nd grade curriculum, along with Book 2 and 3 of Christian Liberty Nature Readers.   We added in a number of experiments, but I have to admit, I hate Science so I’m finding we need to beef it up next year with a better curriculum. 

*  History:  Completed year one of a two year study of Early American History through Beautiful Feet Books.  This included a wonderful set of classical literature.

*  Geography:   Completed Maps, Charts, and Graphs—Level B, as well as continued with our Montessori geography program, learning the states and capitals of the United States.


*  Music:  continued weekly piano lessons and performed her first recital.  Annie worked incredibly hard on Pachelbel Canon, along with a few chosen pieces from her music books.  We decided to celebrate with a (very informal)recital….now for your listening enjoyment:


*  Art:  numerous step-by-step drawing programs, art appreciation, and various art projects related to specific curriculum being studied.

*  PE:  Gymnastics and ballet, along with a general PE course at our homeschool co-op.



*  Religion:  Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program

*  Reading:  Completed Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Explode the Code books 1 and 2, Montessori Research and Development Language Arts, Early Childhood program that focused on consonant digraphs, completed Book 1 and 2 of the Seton readers, as well as countless easy reader chapter books.  We also read our way through the Five in a Row, volume 1 series.


*  Handwriting:  Handwriting Without Tears, Pre-K and Kindergarten workbook series, along with a semester of OT.  This boy now has beautiful handwriting—so proud of his hard work! 

*  Spelling:  Completed the first 1/2 of the All About Spelling Level 1 (1st Grade)program.


*  Math:  Completed Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) and 1/2 of Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)   


*  Science:  nature journals, as well as a Charlotte Mason approach to studying mammals, reptiles, amphibians, bats, and dinosaurs.

*  Music:  continued weekly piano lessons.

*  Art:  numerous step-by-step drawing programs, art appreciation, and various art projects related to specific curriculum being studied.

*  PE:  Tennis, Sporties for Shorties, Basketball, Floor Hockey, T-Ball, as well as general PE at our homeschool co-op.

As a mom and the kids’ main “teacher,” I can’t begin to express how proud I am of their hard work and efforts this year.  I’m grateful for kids who persevere when it is hard, laugh when they are frustrated, praise each other over work done well, and and are extremely easy to teach because a good attitude will always take them far in life.

We ended the year with a fun dinner and dessert and daddy, the principal, singing a silly rendition of Pomp and Circumstance while presenting the kids with their diplomas. 

2014-05-16 19.06.332014-05-16 19.07.05

And now?  We go play outside and soak up this short window of lovely Michigan weather because WE. ARE. DONE!


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