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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: The "End" of a School Year

Monday, July 2, 2012

The "End" of a School Year

New Lego set
 In my state, June 30th marks the end of the school year.  That is the date all official records and portfolios must be submitted to our district.  Really, I guess that means that some day before June 30 needs to be the "last day of school" so I can get all our paperwork together, we can be assessed, and the portfolio can be submitted.  But, thankfully, none of this is necessary for us until Tornado is 8... or really, because of his December birthday, 9.  Still, I'm trying to get my feet wet with how things are *supposed* to go.

This past year would have (in a government school setting) been a preschool year for Tornado (he turned five in December)... but he was already reading, so I decided to do my own thing. In my opinion, after all, grade levels don't matter much... progress does.  So I made plans.  And I made goals.  And today you'll see just how bad I am at follow through... and how I actually did with my goals.

In my defense... I was pregnant.  And tired.  I know many of you do school much better than I do while pregnant and tired.  Still, they were goals... and goals are not always set in stone.  So let's see how it went:  (See my original goals here, below are the goals as I revised them in Jaunary.)

Finger print Hyacinth for first day of spring.

Discipleship Studies

  1. memorize at least 25 verses/passages of Scripture18-19 worked on... still reviewing
  2. work on memorizing the catechism  made a lot of progress early on... will continue
  3. daily Bible reading  off again, on again.  Did it a lot through the year.
  4. learn at least 5 new hymns (1-2 verses of each)  Maybe one or two, as well as some praise songs
  5. learn about the Bible (how we got it, names of books, etc.)  He knows all the Old Testament books and has begun the New Testament!

Reading Beatrix Potter on his own initiative.

Disciplined Studies
  1. practice reading aloud most days (he does this without me asking him)  Done!
  2. read good literature together  Done!
  3. learn vocabulary from reading, pause to learn and practice using during the week  did this as part of life... not much pausing and practicing.  But he learns it!
  4. handwrite personal notes and stories (he asks how to spell and I tell him... letters are how he does them)  Some of this
  5. begin practicing handwriting skills (focusing on letter formation) sometime  we started... more on this later.
  6. introduce copy work???  not yet
  7. dictate letters, stories and summaries to mom (focus on sentence formation) - at his level  not much
  8. learn to tell time  only as he figures it out himself... can do hours sometimes.
  9. learn money  nothing official, but he's gleaning
  10. learn to add and subtract numbers up to 10, with manipulatives  working on this, more on it later

Discussion Studies
  1. read good literature together  Yes!
  2. read about and discuss ancient civilizations and the Old Testament  ahem... started, but took a different direction.  More on this later.
  3. read missionary biographies One or two
  4. explore geography through history and other reading and life  Yes
  5. explore 2 different artists and their work  Not so much
  6. explore 2 different musicians and their work  Yes... Mozart and Vivaldi.  Very fun!
  7. read and enjoy poetry together  can't find poetry I like for this... any ideas?
  8. memorize 3-4 poems  Nope... see above
Hanging a bird feeder in our backyard
Discovery Studies
  1. allow time to explore drawing with different mediums  Not really
  2. basic art introduction.  Not at all
  3. build with "Wooden Logs", Legos, wooden blocks, etc.  Yes... Yey!
  4. provide opportunites for creative play  in the way of giving time to do it themselves.
  5. observe and read about seasons/weather  yes... toward the end.  Details to follow later.
  6. make a scrapbook of several common wildflowers with leaves (naming them, describing, etc) - in the spring  Started this, but never did anything with it.
  7. do the same for leaves and flowers of several forest trees (fall and spring)  Again, started, but nothing.
  8. observe birds around us... know 6 birds by song, color and shape we know 2 birds by song and look, for sure... and several others by what they look like.  Still doing this one!
  9. go on nature walks and keep a journal of observations (dictated to mommy) and drawn himself  Not at all.

Horse shoeing demonstration
Discretionary Studies (the extra things we want to work on)
  1. care for own hygiene (teeth, bath, hands, etc.)  He does pretty well when he isn't eating the toothpaste out of the tube.  I still help with bath, but I probably don't have to.
  2. sweeping with a broom  learning
  3. spreading with a knife  learning
  4. peeling vegetables (supervised, of course)  learning
  5. cutting with a knife (supervised, of course)  learning
  6. grating cheese (supervised, of course)  learning
  7. stirring without making a mess  Haven't practiced much... I let Sweet Pea most of the time instead.
  8. cleaning bathroom sink/counter/mirror  Sweet Pea's learning instead
  9. planting own garden - in the spring  they potted flowers... and now all but one are dead.  :(
  10. piano lessons???  no piano... :(

So there you have it... Not a complete failure.  Much of the Fall I felt successful that I got our Bible time in.  And they learned a lot during that time.  In the new year, with my pregnancy getting further on, we were less faithful.

And I'll let you in on a little secret... Just before the baby was born I came up with a new plan.  So just after she was born, we jumped in with both feet again and started making headway in our new direction.  I told you... each plan I make looks a little (or a lot) different.  More details to come...

How was your "school" year???



At July 2, 2012 at 10:20 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

This past school year was one of our best as far as meeting our goals. I wasn't pregnant and I didn't have a newborn so we got done most that we planned. Also, with 5 years of "official" homeschooling behind us, I feel like I'm...maybe...getting a groove and realizing what works and what goals are reasonable.

That being said, there have been years when I feel like a total failure. The years where I have a new baby and can't seem to get anything done because of the crying baby. Or the months I'm so sick with morning sickness I don't want to get up in the morning, let alone dive into school work. Even on those years, though, I'm surprised at the end of the year when I sit down to compile our portfolios and realize how much we accomplished without trying. It is so true that learning is a way of life!


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