Year 7

Another year of homeschool is in the books.  Every year presents new challenges, gets a little harder, and quite honestly, a little more chaotic.  This year started with trying to homeschool and care for a six-month-old, we threw a move into the middle of the year, and by the end, I was trying to homeschool and care for a 16-month old!  As the students get older, the workload increases for both them and myself, which requires some creativity and stress-management, and more often than I’d like, a good TV show for the little kids.  But I love it.  Homeschooling is my absolute favorite part of my life.

Abigail finished 5th grade with flying colors, as usual.  She pulled consistent B’s in math all year, but considering she was doing 7th grade math, I think that’s a pretty good showing.  She will do some math this summer, just to “stay in shape,” and then head into pre-algebra in the fall, a year earlier than her mom did.  She reads books like they’re candy, and her favorite book this year was Little Women.  Grammar, Writing, Latin, Bible, and History–she aced them all.  Her workload won’t increase a whole lot next year, but it will require much more digging and thinking than she’s done so far, so I may have to rearrange our usual set-up to spend some extra time helping her get used to work that isn’t automatically easy.

Catherine did very well in 3rd grade.  Their different personalities really shine through in school.  She is such a different type of student than her sister. She does just as well, just in her own unique way.  She reads books at lightning speed as well, and her favorite book this year was Anne of Green Gables.  She struggled some in math, so we’re going to work on it through the summer and see where she is in the fall.  She was doing 5th grade math though, so I’m not very concerned with the fact that she’s struggling.  We may just need to adust our pace, and the freedom to do that without the hassles of changing classrooms or grade levels is one of the things I love about homeschooling.  She aced Grammar and Spelling, loved learning Latin and did extremely well, and kept right up with her sister as they studied Bible and History together.

Elisabeth finished 1st grade, and is miles away from where she was at the beginning of the year.  She still is blazing her own trail in reading–not following quite the same path through the lesson plans as the other girls did.  But she started first grade struggling to read storybooks and repeating the same phonics workbook that she did in kindergarten, and she ended it reading chapter books on her own with no problems, and tearing through the second half of that phonics workbook completely on her own with no help from me at all.  It is such a joy to see her reading for fun, and reading to her brothers, when I remember seeing her tears and hearing her say, “I hate reading!” last year.  She is very good in math, and tackled her first year of grammar with no problems at all.  Next year will be a jump for her, because we add three or four new subjects to her day, but I know she’ll handle it just fine.

Samuel is my 4th kindergarten graduate!  He also needed to repeat his phonics book from preschool, and where he was struggling in preschool, he sailed in kindergarten.  Repeating those two kids this year was the best homeschool decision I’ve made thus far.  His mathematical mind amazes me.  Numbers are truly a strong point for him.  Sitting still and staying focused, not so much.  I have to sit right with him and keep him on task, but when I do, he flies through his work.  He is absolutely ready for 1st grade.

Silas will start preschool in the fall, and I already know he is not quite ready for the workbooks the other kids started in preschool. After seeing Samuel struggle through and have to repeat in kindergarten, I’m not even going to start Silas on them until kindergarten.  We ordered a different, much more basic workbook for him to do in preschool, and I can’t wait to see the letters starting to mean something in his mind.

So, 7 years in and counting.  I am so glad to be a homeschool family.  Next year, our enrollment grows from four to five, and Lydia will probably stop taking her morning nap in the next few months, so there will again be new challenges that require adjustments and creative solutions.  But I wouldn’t trade what we have in homeschooling for anything.  I am so thankful for this time with my children.

Bring it on, Year 8!  We can’t wait!

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