Jed (the dog) & I held the fort down here at home. Boy, was it quiet! I missed them, but I really enjoyed my time alone. I worked on school plans for next year, watched Institute for Excellence in Writing DVDs, cleaned and decluttered. I wasn't as productive as I had hoped (I barely made a dent in the stack of books I'd hoped to read), but I was refreshed.
I also reflected on the last year, and overall, I'm happy with the progress we made.
- Nicholas went from being a beginning reader to a fluent reader who can read anything he wants to read. This coming year, I want to focus on penmanship with him (his handwriting looks like a drunk serial killer's).
- I gave Micah a lot of books to read, and he read them. At the end of 2nd grade, he was fighting me about anything that involved a pencil, so we changed our approach. He read about grammar in Super Grammar and math in Life of Fred and Beast Academy, in addition to history and literature. Now, at the end of 3rd grade, he's doing the exercises in King Arthur's Academy without complaint (along with other things involving a pencil). We'll move back to more typical instruction for all his subjects and get him writing more.
- Jacob also read good books, including The Chronicles of Narnia. He wrote some great stories using The Creative Writer. This coming year, I need to focus more on math with him. We're approaching it from several different angles to fill in some gaps I've left with him.
- Luke & Ezekiel also read some great books. We didn't get to as many as I'd hoped, but they read Gilgamesh and Hammurabi, along with lots of C.S. Lewis and a couple by R.C. Sproul. They had the opportunity to go see The Screwtape Letters on stage right after they finished the book. We're making progress in writing and math and Latin. This coming year I really want to get them analyzing and thinking about what they read even more.
They all learned this year. It's so easy for me to focus on what we didn't get to, but when I step back and look at what we did do, it's encouraging. There was progress and learning in science and history and gymnastics and Judo, and we filled our minds with good stories and literature. Everybody made progress in math. And we're wrapping up the year, happy that we're schooling at home and still enjoying each other. I'll call that a win.