I recently connected with a couple of Canadian homesteading and homeschooling bloggers and we decided to link up to our end of the year reflections on how schooling went this last year. I love connecting with other people and learning from them. And since I really enjoy other cultures and people from different countries, it’s even more fun for me to connect with Cheryl and Savannah.
Cheryl writes at On the Old Path about her homesteading and homeschooling adventures with 6 children and many chickens, and tells about her son, a brain cancer survivor. She also shares fun tutorials and delicious looking recipes, like this pectin-free strawberry jam.
Savannah writes about her family’s adventures at Ramblings of a Christian Mom while homeschooling her 4 children and homemaking in Eastern Ontario, leaning on Jesus along the way. Savannah also has some fabulous recipes and fun tutorials, like this chunky crochet baby blanket.
But this post is really about our school year. So here goes!
Anna is 9 and will be in 4th grade next year. She went to public school for the first time this past year. I was both excited and apprehensive, but she loved it and excelled. She was quite nervous initially, but made great friends and had a fun time. Her handwriting improved as did her repetition of basic math facts. She has been reading since she was 5 and continues to love reading. I was pleased to learn that I prepared her quite well for public school. Homeschooling’s a scary thing sometimes, but she did not struggle at school and was chosen to attend College for Kids this summer, a two week summer school for bright kids.
There were many things I liked about her year at school and a few things I didn’t like that much. For instance, I didn’t really enjoy packing her lunch every day. Luckily, she’s surprisingly not picky at all about her lunch and it turned out that I was able give her many leftovers that she ate! Without griping! It turned out to be a great way to use up leftovers… And having to be home by 3 pm when she got out of school was quite challenging for me. Many of our homeschooling activities are in the afternoon and it definitely complicated my day to have to worry about getting back to town in time. That was hard and some of our fun homeschooling activities, like a park day in the Quad Cities, just didn’t happen that often. Overall, though, I am pleased with her year. She brought home some really wonderful art projects and a great class book that her teacher had them put together. And most importantly, she likes it and is excited to go back to 4th grade.
Anna continues to play piano, and she added Girl Scouts and Tae Kwan Do to her list of activities this year and has been playing ball this spring.
Ben is 7 and finished 1st grade. He is usually a cheerful and loving child, interested in nature, riding his bike, and making weapons and duck tape creations. My approach to homeschooling so far for the younger children has been pretty hands off, bordering on unschooling. I let them explore, take them out into nature often, and read books. Anna learned to read on her own when she was 5 and I kept thinking Ben would learn too, in his own time. Around Christmas it became obvious to me that he wasn’t learning like she did and I started to get a little concerned. We stared working through Explode the Code books and the Spelling Workout: Level A from Modern Curriculum Press. Ben also worked quite a lot on Reading Eggs for something different. I shared more about our First Grade Curriculum in this post, if you’re curious.
Basically, since Christmas, we have been working on reading. It’s slow going with him and frustrating for me. He learns so differently than Anna did and I really have to work hard to remain patient as he is frustrated with all the words that break the rules. I can’t blame him for that, but it’s been hard on both of us. We are continuing to work with him this summer and we’re taking a new approach – just having him memorize words. I didn’t do that much with him, see disclosure above about me being bad about drilling basic facts. I often think reading will click for him when he’s ready and I need to stop pushing him. And then I think I have to do more. Help him figure it out. I don’t know what the right answer is. For the time being, he is working with his supervisory teacher a bit, and I am trying really, really, really hard to be patient and not lose my temper. It’s tough.
Ben played flag football and started taking Tae Kwan Do lessons this past fall, and is currently playing ball. He’s really quite good at sports. And I’m thinking about starting him on piano in the fall.
Cora is 5 1/2 and finished up pre-school. She’s also been working through Reading Eggs and she worked through a few get ready for Kindergarten books from Kumon last year. She’s knows all of her letters and numbers and is really close to reading. She’s a master egg cracker and loves to help me bake bread. And she’s the only kid who will willingly clean the toilet! She really wants to go to public school kindergarten this fall and we are thinking of sending her.
Cora is playing ball this spring and really wants to take Tae Kwan Do with Anna and Ben in the fall! And sometimes, Anna tries to teach her how to play the piano.
And last but not least, here is Sara. Sara is quite the stinker at 3 years old. She’s often found hiding in the bathroom playing Angry Birds on the ipad! But she also love puzzles and building and reading books. Her favorite books right now are Alona Frankel’s Once Upon a Potty and I Want My Mother. It was a huge year for her. Sara potty trained all on her own and she weaned right before her third birthday. She’s also sleeping half the night in her own bed in her own room. Huge accomplishments this year! She’s definitely a mama’s girl, but she has been warming up to her dad quite a lot and she now loves her babysitter and hanging out with grandma too!
I hope you also had a good school year with your children!