{Reflections} It’s a wrap! 2013-2014 in review……

Our school year ended the last week of April.  It’s over; we’re done!  I can’t believe another year has flown by.  I feel that we’ve had our best year ever (although I think I say that after every year).  

Curly completed 2nd grade!

She flew through her math curriculum and has started the 3rd grade level.  So far nothing is stopping her and she’s actually enjoying math.  This is from the girl who only last year would be brought to tears by an addition problem.  Now she’s dancing through Beast Academy Math and will be starting a new level of Right Start over the summer.

I was so excited to really start teaching her to write this year.  She loves to create short stories and her imagination is always turned on and running away with her.  It has been such a sweet time to brain storm stories together, come up with creative adjectives, describe characters, and thicken the plot of her imaginative ideas on paper.  I have loved learning alongside her as we improve her writing and I let her creativity soar.

Ohh but spelling……now there’s a subject that has not been fun for either of us.  I could say that spelling is her biggest struggle right now.  She doesn’t enjoy it and I have not found it fun myself.  Slowly and surely her spelling is improving.  I see her apply her spelling rules outside of spelling time and I smile to myself.  The knowledge is there; I’m just waiting for that practical application.  With time her spelling will improve but until then we keep working on it one lesson at a time with lots and lots of review.

History is by far her most favorite subject in the entire world!  She has devoured every history book I have thrown her way.  Every morning we snuggle up and read from the Story of the World, examine maps, and read historical literature.  I give her stacks and stacks of library books to supplement our studies.  She discusses historical facts at dinner and gives Daddy quite an education on Medieval history with her ever-increasing knowledge.  It’s been so fun to watch her interest in history blossom into a passion.

This was our first year to successfully complete a science curricula on a daily basis.  We read through an Apologia book together and worked faithfully on Nancy Larson Level 2.  We both learned some amazing facts about birds and physics.  We also had lots of fun learning about simple machines and creating our own.  While science isn’t a favorite subject for either of us, we both enjoyed what we learned and Curly has remembered every detail of our science year.

We also had fun extras as Curly took an online class, participated in an online book club, studied Spanish more indepth, and learned the basics of typing.  She read more books than I could count and she created lovely art projects that we’ve shared with family.

Tiger completed Kindergarten!

Oh my little guy is growing up!  He takes after his Daddy and he loves, loves, loves math – and he excels in it!  His mental math ability is scary!  He is about halfway done with 1st grade math and I don’t see him slowing down anytime soon.  He is learning to add multi-digit numbers and he can even do much of it in his head.  I love that he asks to do math first every single day.  His enthusiasm is inspiring.

But reading is just not this thing!  We have had such struggles in learning to read.  I’ve taken it very slowly and I’m just waiting until he’s ready.  This past spring he made a huge leap in his reading ability and now he can comfortably read beginning readers with very little help.  He’s sounding out words and making significant progress.  I hope that he’ll be an independent reader in a year or sooner.  It’s been so rewarding to see his reading progress this year despite how difficult it has been to remain patient as he sounds out every word multiple times.

Tiger has really become engaged in his history and science learning.  He can locate most of the states on a map and he relished our history stories with Elemental History.  He had so much fun creating his science booklets with Nancy Larson Science as well as listening to me read countless Let’s Read and Find Out About Science books.   The one subject that he could do without is Spanish – he just tunes me out when we talk about Spanish.  It’s all Greek to him!  He just can’t remember any phrases in Spanish.  Maybe next year!

Bee completed PreK!

Bee enjoyed math time even if it took some time to start understanding the concepts of counting and addition.  She is now well into the K level of Right Start Math and she’s making great progress.  She enjoys all the manipulatives and the hands-on learning.  She’s my kinesthetic learner who wants to experience every subject. 

Bee has taken me by surprise with her reading ability.  She has started sounding out words overnight and enjoys our reading time.  I wonder if she might not catch up to Tiger soon.  She’s also the child with the most beautiful cursive writing.  And she loves our time when I read to her – as long as the book has pictures.  If there are no pictures – forget it!  She will just tune me out.

She participated with Tiger in his science and history studies.  I’m not sure how much she retained or learned but she was excited to be a “big kid” and do some real school with her big brother.  However, she is quite the Spanish expert and remembers every phrase and word we have learned.  It probably helps that the words were set to music in Song School Spanish since she is my musical child.

Ladybug completed Totschool!

She now knows her numbers from 1-10, her shapes, her colors, and many of her letters.  She even tries to write some letters and numbers on her own.  We did lots of art, sensory play, and hands-on activities.  One of her favorite parts of Totschool was when we would play with puppets or do role play – she loved to do my hair or be my doctor.  She is quite the creative little one who is full of personality and is quite hilarious in her own sweet little way.

And now I look forward to our next year.  I’ll have a 3rd grader, a 1st grader, a Kindergartner, a Preschooler, and a noisy little toddler.  Somehow each year that we homeschool I feel more and more official.  With each new grade that I teach I feel butterflies as I prepare myself, choose our curriculum and course of study, and prayerfully mold my children into the adults that they will become much sooner than I would wish.  
See how the other Crew Bloggers ended their school years!
Link will be live on May 14

Wrapping Up the Homeschool Year

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