goals,  homeschooling

Year End Review

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The school year in Canada stretches for a few more weeks, but we’re ready for summer here. The two children I’m homeschooling are doing just our minimal amount of schoolwork for the day, and my one remaining child in school is wishing and dreaming of summer holidays.

I’m thinking over the schoolwork and other projects we did this year, and wondering that never-ending question – is it enough? Did we do enough? Did we make good use of this year?

This year my six year old learned to read. She learned to count, to add and subtract. Yes, she was a little late learning to count. As a toddler she named her fingers after her family members, so she could never count on them. They weren’t “one,” “two,” and “three,” they were the mommy finger, the daddy finger, the oldest brother finger. It sounds silly, but I can’t help thinking that held her back a bit. Then as she began to count she decided five was high enough, and six just three plus three. She’s a wonderful stubborn treasure and I’m so proud of what she did learn this year.

My twelve year old has been working on essay writing. He’s read a number of books on time travel for an online class discussing time travel literature – a class that turned out to be just him and the teacher, so a very private class. He’s dabbled more on computer programming. He read more about the history of science and Isaac Newton.

My nine year old has enjoyed school. He’s learned more about sports and music than he would have at home. He’s learned a lot about interacting with his peers at school and the injustice of some of the rules of recess games. In science they talked about plants and structures. In social studies about pioneer times. He’s been learning to answer short answer questions with somewhat longer answers than he first wanted to write.

We’ve spent time learning about our new pets. We have hamsters and rats now.

We learned about slime molds and tried to raise some in petri dishes. While we weren’t able to keep the slime molds from being overwhelmed by mold, we did learn some about the procedures my husband uses at his lab, where he dips his knife in alcohol before lighting it on fire to sterilize it.

The kids all enjoyed the magnificent philosophy series put out by the Royal Firework Press. My twelve year old read through the self-evident truths series and continued working through the Michael Clay Thompson language arts series.

We talked a lot about the American election, about politics and about the kids fears for the future. We tried to comfort them and to look for the good things. Necessity is really teaching me to look for the good things.

I had way too many health problems this year and didn’t do nearly what I wanted to do. I spent quite a bit of time lying on the couch. I never felt I talked enough with the kids, but we talked and we read. I taught my online classes, and I know my kids were listening in some of the time.

It is enough. I need to assure myself, it is enough.

I don’t know how many kid I might be homeschooling next year. My two younger ones might go back to school, or one might, or all three kids might be home. I don’t know. It makes it a little awkward for me planning, but at the same time, I’m just going to go ahead and plan. I want to make sure we spend more time doing unit studies, more time talking about things together. I’m pulling up lists of books on various topics to read together with the kids. I need to pull myself away from my other projects and make sure I spent enough time on these kids. I don’t have all that many years left with them, and I’m realizing that now.

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