Another school year lies behind us. It was, by far, the most emotionally taxing year of our lives (and that part isn't over yet), but we managed to get the schooling portion of our life accomplished in the normal amount of time. Sort of. We usually finish in May, but we don't usually miss a month of school for pneumonia and bronchitis. While I'm all about the philosophy that you don't have to catch everything up and tie your school year in a neat bow, I am also a realist. There are topics that need to be covered, and missing a month of school means something didn't get covered, right? Right. Schooling in June was fine, but I sorta feel like we missed the best month of summer. Here's to hoping for better health during our next school year.
This is a year in which I can say that we covered all the subjects, and I know we covered them well; but did we have fun? Eh. Not really, or, at least, not as much fun as we usually have. There was fun, but there wasn't enough. We usually do a lot of fun projects, art lessons, read-alouds, crafts, and field trips. We didn't really get to do much of that this year, but I am not complaining at all. I am grateful for the flexibility that homeschooling has allowed us so that I can take a Tuesday and spend the day with my mom at her chemotherapy appointment (love spending that time with her), or drop everything and earn a little cash by running some Amish friends to the Cleveland Clinic, or take a mental health day when life gets so incredibly taxing (and let me tell you, life has been more taxing than ever).
That said...fifth grade is now in the past for Lukas. He is tall and wears a men's size 8 shoe. Do you know how much a boy's shoes cost as soon as he hits a size 6? Oy. Size 8. No one prepared me for this, so I am here to prepare all of you who have little boys. Get ready for it!
Obviously, Lukas' shoe size has no effect on his education, but it is shockingly mentionable for a blog post, don't you think?
Okay. Maybe not.
Back to the topic of this post (I told my husband last week that I should donate my brain to medical research because no one can jump from one subject to the next the way I can)...Lukas worked diligently this year. At the beginning of the year, he was working through some vision therapy, which helped to improve his math scores and decreased the amount of time it was taking him to accomplish his other school tasks (like...cut it in half!). It was definitely not his favorite thing to do (ha! He pretty much hated it), but I can see how it very much helped him academically. He has never really struggled with academics, other than a little with math, and he didn't struggle with math at all this year thanks to the therapy fixing the eye muscle issues he was having. He carried an A in math the entire school year! We don't generally give our kids grades, but Teaching Textbooks keeps track of his scores, so it isn't hard to figure out.
Moving on to sweet Ava...She has also had great success this year but, thankfully, she does not wear a size 8 shoe. Heehee!
At the beginning of the school year, I pulled out the books on the Sonlight 2nd grade list. I wasn't surprised when she wasn't really able to read them in September, so we dug into the Pathway Readers (much to Ava's chagrin) we had been plugging our way through.
In February, just as Lukas finished therapy, Ava began vision therapy, and, around that same time, she seemed to develop a little more dedication to the educational process (that wore off in mid-May making the last month and a half of school rather trying at times). Those two things combined brought great success in reading. She is now reading her way through The Beginner's Bible, which she will continue to read throughout the summer break, and she is still doing vision therapy 2 days each week until August. I am so very, very proud of her. She finished her reading lesson this afternoon, and then I pronounced her to be a 3rd grader. She was sitting on the couch snuggled next to me and very wisely asked me if she could scream before actually screaming. Of course, under the circumstances, I allowed her to scream with excitement.
In the foyer. NOT sitting next to me on the couch.
Here are some of my other highlights from this school year:
- Finished the Narnia series
- Discovered Homeschool in the Woods history unit studies and Bible supplements
- Enjoyed teaching science for the first time with Answers in Genesis' World of Animals and a little of the World of Plants
- Lukas really started to apply Biblical passages during our family Bible study each morning
- Our 24 Family Ways family Bible study
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. If you haven't read it, you will love it every bit as much as your kids.
- Island of the Blue Dolphins. I loved, loved, loved introducing this story to my children, my favorite book since 4th grade.
- Several Five in a Row books including Owl Moon, Miss Rumphius, The Story of Ferdinand, and several more. Five in a Row is always a highlight.
Ava had her list of highlights:
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
- Finishing Narnia
- Bible projects
- The Salamander Room
- History projects
- Bible projects
- Discovering the 39 Clues series
Now let me add a further highlight to this school year. Lukas just stated that he found a book series that he loves reading so much that it was a highlight of his school year. Yeah. That pretty much ROCKS!