Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wrapping up the School Year

This past week we wrapped up our studies for 4th, 7th and 8th grade.  We still have a few things to finish on Monday, but generally speaking we are done.  [Insert audible exhale]  It's a been a good year.  Of course ever present is that little voice that wonders if we did 'enough', but other than that, I feel like we accomplished quite a bit.

There are so many highlights of the year, but I've narrowed it down to my top ten (in no particular order).

10. Finger boarding trip to Boston. Watching James in his element.
9.   Skiing in UT. Seeing James and Emily go from green runs to black runs in just a few hours.
8.   Epcot field trip. Watching kids discover the park as I did so many years ago.
7.   Operation Christmas Child. Kids eagerly working for a good cause.
6.   Visit to Naperville, IL for Kat's birthday. Seeing her reconnect with old friends.
5.   Yellowstone RV trip. Lots of questions about science and the world around us.
4.   Taking JetBlue ferry flight to Tampa with Dennis as pilot and kids as flight attendants.
3.   Visiting cousins in Nashville. Picnic at park and walk through Franklin.
2.   SeaWorld trip. Kat making self-motivated dolphin and whale presentation for family.
1.   Receiving the results to the Iowa Basics tests and realizing the kids are progressing just fine.

Another positive mention is the implementation of weekly blogs by each of the kids. I'd like to say that their final entry for the school year was an accurate demonstration of how far their writing skills have progressed, but I think rather it was an example of how little they could write to be done with the assignment on a Friday afternoon. That aside, I have seen progress through the year and I know that when they have something they feel passionate about, they can write reasonably well. 

So what's up ahead for us?  We'll first we all need a good long break. After a few weeks of visitors, vacations, and unstructured time, I'll start working on plans for next year.  I have a few ideas but need some more time to research.  Kat and James are certain they want to homeschool next year but Emily is considering going to high school. I think she likes the idea of having the high school 'experience', but doesn't want any part of school work or homework. I'm keeping an open mind, but of course would prefer her home. At the conclusion of this year, I am more than ever convinced that learning at home has far more benefits than the confines of the public school system.

All praise and glory to our Lord who gives Dennis and I the strength and ability to teach our kids at home. If it wasn't for His calling, I would never be able to do this. If it wasn't for Dennis's flexible work schedule and math and science skills it would be near impossible.  I'm so blessed that I get to spend so much time with the kids and watch them grow not only as individuals but also academically and spiritually.  [Insert warm fuzzy smiley face.]