Thursday, May 27, 2010

The End

The school year is over. Well, mostly. Kora was still getting over her bout of bronchitis earlier this week, so she missed the first day of the standardized testing. So she still has to make that up. And I have them do at least one lesson in math per week during the summer - their favorite! Our pool is closed on Monday so I try to do it then and get it over with.

I usually do a post to kind of evaluate how the year has gone. I hesitated to do it this year. Not so much because we had a bad year academically. But it was a tough year all around. We've dealt with a death in the family, a fairly serious injury on my part, the serious deterioration of the health of my grandmother, Kelly's uncertain job situation and the emotional angst that entailed, and months and months of what seemed like unending illnesses. Add that to the normal routine of taking care of a family of eight and the homeschooling year should have collapsed under the weight of all of it. But I realized as I look over the year that we had a good year, in spite of all of that. In some cases, school work provided a normality that served as an anchor during some hard times. That doesn't mean that I wasn't ready to "pitch" it at times this year. :-)

As I look over the year, here are some of my evaluation points, both good and bad:

1. Hailey really started to read this year! She struggled more than all the other girls put together, but it finally "clicked" this year. She's reading books on her own and liking it. She's not the bookworm Brynna is, but this is a huge step forward. Hopefully this will translate to being able to read her math story problems, for example.

2. Brynna is really starting to make a transition into being able to work a little more independently. Don't get me wrong, at nine, she still needs a lot of supervision. But this year she was able to move from subject to subject without too much daydreaming in between. She even had a subject with computer cd lessons and she did great with it. She is eating up Latin like Kora does. She will soon be making the transition to Saxon 5/4 and I hope that helps her with her multiplication skills - that two digit multiplication has given her problems.

3. Aubrey is making great improvement in her thinking skills and logical thought. She's on the edge of the "logic stage" of development and it shows (right down to the "pert" remarks). She's always been a math person and she is continuing to excel in that. We are working on her writing/compositions. That did get better this year, but still needs help. She's also a little, shall we say lazy, when it comes to doing things like answering her history questions. Latin is not her "thing" like it is for Kora, but she did get better at that this year as well. Next year we are concentrating on writing and thoroughness.

4. Kora's writing made leaps and bounds of improvement this year, no thanks to me. I enrolled her in a writing co-op class, and it was so worth it. Last year she struggled with math; this year she did so much better. I'm glad that last year we slowed and down and re-did some of the book she was in and really made sure she grasped the material. Yay for the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling! Now I'm not worried about her moving into Algebra I at all. She's far ahead of me in Latin now so we are going to be enrolling her in an online course to help with that for next year.

5. Lauryn, well, to be honest Lauryn is where I really dropped the ball. She turned 5 a few months ago, and with the older girls I was working with them a lot more by this age. I did work with her some, but not consistently. She wasn't terrible interested either, so it was easy to let this be a sporadic thing. Hailey and Brynna's work was very teacher intensive this last year, and so I let Lauryn pretty much have a playful year, her work largely revolving around which princess she would be that day. So next year, my goal is to consistently work with her on phonics and have some fun math activities and games to play with her.

6. Ashlynn started talking and is showing interest in potty training. 'Nough said. ;-)

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