Thursday, May 26, 2011

2010/11 Yearly Homeschool Wrap-Up

We have wrapped up the year. It's official now because we took the kids out to eat and gave them presents for a job well done. They were not academic gifts. Flower got a craft kit, Cub another Star Wars figure and a small pack of bullets, Feeche a huge pack of bullets and KB the audio CD Focus on the Family Radio Theater of The Screw Tape Letters with the string attached that she had to let us all listen to it as well. It's one of her favs and she and Feeche have sections of it memorized. They quote it at odd times and appear to be either brilliant or just very odd. Anyway, we fed the frenzy.

We had just moved back in to our house last August (after a house fire, check out the Tear Down to Build Up posts if you want to read the drama) after a long summer of working on the house and wrapping things up with the insurance company and contractor. We jumped in to a program here that offered an enrichment co-op one day a week (Music, Art and unit study) and an Academic Class Day one afternoon a week. While the boys attended Tutoring Center, Flower and I often went to a freinds' house where we did WWE II and visited. The year became less chaotic as it went on and I think we accomplished a lot.

Singapore Story Problems 3A & B
Spectrum Math 2 & 3
Math Minutes 2 & 3
Various pages from Horizons 4

ETC 6,7, 8
Reading daily- several pages to me and then I to her.
WWE II (with friends)
IEW's poetry

We began SOTW Activity Guide IV

The continents with map work (co-op)

Moody Science videos

Art (co-op)
Choir (co-op)

Singapore Story Problems 4 & 5
LoF Fractions
Math Minute 5

Writing Tales I & II. This included grammar and writing a paper a week (TC)
IEW's poetry

From Sea to Shining Sea book and workbook (TC)
SD State History (co-op)

Behold and See 5 (TC)
Science 6 Seton (TC)

Mapping the World with Art (TC)

Art (co-op)
Choir (co-op)
Logic (co-op ext)

LoF Algebra
Financial Peace (co-op)

IEW's American Lit (TC)
Poetry (TC)
Shakespeare (co-op ext)
history of our Mother Tongue (co-op)

ScienceChemistry (TC)
Botany (co-op)

Oral Interp (TC)
Art (co-op)
Choir (co-op)
Dancing -ballroom

We also read a ton of books aloud and separately, and watched a boat-load of movies, listened to books on tape. My goal with the books and movies is to re-iterate history or science lessons and still allow the kids some down time without indulging 100% in total brain mush activity (though, admittedly, we do some of that as well). The kids all contribute extensively to house work and gardening.

Along with academics the kids showed great improvements in various personal areas. Feeche is much better at managing his own work and assignments, Cub is more willing to take instruction and do things he doesn't want to without a lot of arguing, and Flower is reading with ease, for the most part.

I listed the stuff that we do, partly in order to make sure I know what we did last year (cause it all gets blurry after a while-kwim?) but also to show that homeschooling doesn't mean that you have to do it all at home. We are dedicated to intentional education, not necessarily homeschooling, and outsourcing, when you have the means available, is a very viable way of getting the job done, if it contributes to your overall goals and vision.Too,when I list English for Cub as an outsourced course, realize that he and I were working together on it 3 days a week.

Big Wins
LOVED Dr. H teaching Chemistry and Mrs. K teaching writing for Feeche. It is so good for the older kids to be getting feed-back from other invested adults!
Writing Tales was terrific! While I love how IEW has their writing instruction set up better I really appreciated the grammar throughout the writing lessons and the weekly writing assignment. Writing in groups is the way to go for accountability!
My kids continue to love and excel with Life of Fred, Writing With Ease and Story of the World.
Singapore Story Problems were THE find of the year for me. Difficult, challenging and fantastic!
And, Choir in co-op. I LOVE the fact that my kids have such fantastic music instruction in a group setting, learning songs they'll be singing their whole lives.

The Not So Great
My big I don't like this year was how uninvolved I was with Feeche. Part of that was due to circumstance and it got better throughout the year.
SOTW IV Activity Guide is a bit over Flower's head. I've modified it to make it work but it's a stretch.
It's odd to think I've taught my last child to read. I've been teaching reading for 20 years and it is one of my favorite things to teach. I LOVE it when the kids make that break-through between illiteracy and literacy. A new season, which is great, but bittersweet about leaving the old behind.

Overall I'm happy with what we accomplished, am grateful to the wonderful co-op and Tutoring Centers Tutors we had available to us and was ready to finish when we did.

How did your year go? What did you accomplish? What were the big wins? The big losers?


Mary said...

It looks like you had a very productive year! Congrats!

We aren't done until July sometime. I am pleased to say that this is the first year I didn't change or drop any curriculum and I am sticking with everything for next year, but maybe adding one or two things.


Karen said...

Thanks for sharing your amazing year.
Today is our first day of summer so I was writing mine today too. I have about another year to finish teaching my youngest read, maybe.