School’s Out!! (Disclaimer: Some motherly bragging ahead)

Well, we finally finished Homeschool ’09-’10 yesterday!  School last year was interrupted by the birth of Samuel, then moving to Salem, then the ice storm.  It was with high hopes that we began school this year, hoping for a pretty straightforward calendar, but school this year ended up being interrupted by moving to the new house, going to Disneyworld, and Mommy getting mono, so we still ended up doing school in June.  Maybe next year will go smoother!

Other than calendar issues, we had another wonderful year.  The main issue was really not school-related itself, but rather keeping the little kids entertained while the big kids were doing school.  We continue to address that issue, with some days being better than others in that area.  I know that will be an obstacle for us for the next several years as we add a new baby this summer and possibly more before we’re done, so we just face each day and do the best we can. 

Catherine had a great year of preschool, finishing the kindergarten phonics curriculum from Veritas.  She has really progressed in reading, although we’re going to practice really hard on sight words this summer before she moves on.  It took a while for the light to click on for her, but now she is sounding out words like a pro.  She takes great pride in her accomplishments, possibly because she works so hard for them.  It is such a joy to watch her eyes light up as she realizes what she’s done.  We made it to Elijah and the chariot of fire in the Child’s Story Bible, and also finished Evan-Moor’s Literature Pockets, Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales.  We finished the year going through a story book on different character qualities.  She loves school and is super excited about kindergarten, especially getting to start math. 

Abigail added grammar and spelling to her reading and math this year as a first grader, and continued to excel in almost everything.  She reads as well as anyone, and completed the second-grade Veritas literature reading list this year.  This included great books such as two Little House books, Boxcar children, Pinocchio, Encylopedia Brown, and several others that were new to us.  She has learned multiplication tables for 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, and 100 in math, as well as lots of work with graphs and measuring and of course, addition and subtraction facts.  Math has shown itself to be the subject in which she has to try the hardest–she’s had some trouble recalling the addition and subtraction facts as quickly as the timed worksheets want her to, but since she was working in the 2nd grade Saxon book, and still getting above 90% on every worksheet and test, I think she’s still doing great.  Grammar proved no problem at all–she can label sentences including subject noun, adjectives, adverbs, article adjectives, and prepositional phrases.  She also learned some paragraph structures and enjoyed all the writing assignments.  She aced every spelling test in the 2nd grade curriculum from Logos School, as well.   

Not all of our goals were achieved this year, though.  We kind of dropped the ball on Abigail’s Bible curriculum, since there is not a structured curriculum provided through Veritas for 1st grade and playing it by ear didn’t work out too well for us.  Also, doing art with Daddy on Fridays was a dream that only happened a handful of times.  And when we moved, somehow our United States map and world map that Abigail had been coloring and learning in geography got thrown away by the cleaning lady at the old house, so that kind of fizzled out as well.  But His mercies are new every morning, and we’re ready to go again in August.

We’re all glad for a little break for a week or so as the kids spend time in Somerset while Mommy and Daddy celebrate our anniversary in Nashville, but we have things to practice this summer so we’ll jump back into a looser, summer school-time a week from Monday.  This is also just to keep the basic structure going so it’s not so much of a shock to start back in August.  The baby is due mid-July, and right now I have a hopeful “first-day-of-school” of August 16, with August 23 as my date to fall back on if the adjustment period is not going well.  We’ve gotten all our curriculum for next year and it looks to be very exciting as we add even more new subjects for our big 2nd grader!  So stay tuned later this summer for a starting-school post!

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