Six years down…

We recently finished Hall Homeschool Year 6!!  I cannot believe that I’ve been homeschooling for six years.  This was probably the hardest year yet.  I was pregnant for the first half of the year, and this pregnancy was my most exhausting.  I confess that I let many things slide this year just because I didn’t have the energy to deal with all the “extras.”  Anything that wasn’t essential to our curriculum got cut at some point during the year.  I struggled with guilt over this for pretty much the whole year, but it is what it is and August will bring me a fresh start.

I had a 4th grader, 2nd grader, kindergartner, and preschooler, plus a 2 year old, and–for the second half of the year– a newborn.  All of my little students excelled.  The beauty of homeschooling is that it allows for so much individuality, and that really became important this year.  Elisabeth and Samuel were each doing Phonics a year ahead, and they were each struggling.  Abigail and Catherine had done the same program at the advanced pace, but these two just didn’t seem to be ready.  Sadly, it took me awhile to figure this out, and we were all three pretty frustrated before I realized that they didn’t have to do Phonics a year ahead just because their siblings did!  Duh! So we scaled back a bit, regrouped and replanned, and they soared through the rest of the year.  Samuel progressed so far from the beginning of the year to the end; the change in his writing and coloring in particular was amazing.  Elisabeth had become pretty frustrated with reading altogether, but lately I’ve heard her reading and sounding out words without even realizing what she’s doing, and I feel pretty confident that she’ll sail through the 1st grade work when we start in August.  Catherine struggled a bit with the written tests in History and Bible until I tried asking her the questions orally, which she was able to handle with no problems.  By the end of the year, she had progressed to being able to do the tests in writing again.  And Abigail floundered a bit in Math (she was doing 5th/6th grade math anyway) until we tweaked our methods there as well and then she caught right up.  As if I didn’t already know it, this school year like no other highlighted the fact that every child is different and I will not be able to do every subject the same way in every grade for every child.  That is what I love about homeschooling.

I finally finished cleaning out folders and putting away textbooks and emptying off the school shelf last week, and part of me is chomping at the bit to go on and start the prep for Year 7!  We’ll enjoy summer for awhile first, but ideas and plans and “fixes” keep swirling in the back of my mind for how to make Year 7 our best year yet.

Have I mentioned that I love homeschooling?  🙂

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