Another school year has come to an end in our house. I wasn't really looking forward to some parts of this past year. I love studying history. Historical fiction is my favorite genre to read casually (I'm reading one by Francine Rivers called Her Mother's Hope and loving it right now!!!) because I learn so much about history this way. I was a fan of "living books" long before I knew what the term meant. As a child, I read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books. I love to vacation at historical locations.
So spending an entire year focused on world geography? Yea. Not so much my cup of tea. Or so I thought.
I am glad to say that I had a blast studying world geography with my kids this year. Yep. I was wrong. I'm sure my husband is writing down the date that I admitted defeat. Heehee!
Both of our children learned so much about the world. If you've kept up with my blog, then you know a lot about the things we have studied this year, so I won't bog you down with too much. I'll just say that we all four enjoyed experiencing each country and continent, learning about the festivals, creating art projects, experiencing native cuisine and more as we journeyed throughout the entire world through the books, atlases, internet and library resources suggested by My Father's World.
The amount of information which Lukas absorbed this year about our world amazes me. He remembers things that I don't even remember. He can walk over to the world map and point to countless countries on demand. I don't really think that matters a bunch when you're 8, but, gosh, it certainly sets him up for later success! Even Ava is able to do something that many adult Americans unfortunately cannot. Give her a world map, and she will show you the United States. She can also point out other rather random locations like Greenland, Russia and Canada. I don't know why those three stuck, but they did. It makes me giggle.
Besides learning to love geography this year, I was blessed to help Ava discover the joy of reading. I remember when Lukas began kindergarten that my worst fear was that I would not be able to teach him to read. It was the one reason I wouldn't commit to homeschooling for the long-haul. Lukas was an ideal first student and learned to read quickly and with ease. Teaching Ava hasn't been so hard either. The curriculum which worked for Lukas ended up on the shelf, and Dick and Jane proved to be a better fit for her. Now, we're going to spend our summer perusing Pathway Readers together(because the Dick and Jane series didn't republish past the kindergarten level). She's excited, and so am I! Reading has really begun to click for her. She's reading words all the time, and we're so proud of her progress. Before May, she wasn't connecting her reading lesson to the rest of life, but now she has begun to do so, and we couldn't be happier.
Ava very proudly proclaimed herself to be a FIRST GRADER this past week. Sigh. I mean, a really BIG SIGH.
It's hard to explain to someone how quickly time flies when you are raising children. I am so blessed to be able to cherish each of these moments with my kids as they grow and learn and become the adults that God desires for them to be. In September, we'll begin another school year with a fourth grader and a first grader, and it totally blows my mind!
We made some great discoveries together this year. Ava decided that she loves math and art. Lukas decided that reading chapter books isn't so bad, though he'll continue to enjoy those picture books for a while longer. We found out that Indian food is pretty good as well as some other tasty treats that we enjoyed from places like Canada, Germany and the Philippines. We still have a few recipes that we didn't get to try from Kenya, Russia and Australia, but we have all summer to enjoy these things together. I can't imagine our life without homeschooling. Thanks, God, for this truly blessed calling!