Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Beginning of the year/end of the year photos

As I've reviewed our year I realize that it has been a great year!  I was so incredibly nervous about homeschooling.  I worried and cried about the decision.  But here we are, one year down and it was a really positive experience for me.  The boys are happy and Piper loves having the boys home.  In fact, I really feel like her relationship with them has grown so much.  I have discovered that even though it's not always easy to have the kids around all the time, I really love having my kids around, if that makes sense.  I wondered if I would feel ragged and just want to send them back but I truly enjoy them and appreciate the time they are in my home.  This year has been cushy as far as Mike and his schedule.  He has been busy but flexible.  He has been home for a lot of studying and therefore, when I need to run somewhere he is available to help with the kids if they need to knock on his door and ask a question.  This coming year will be harder, he won't have the flexibility to work from home and I will have to get used to taking the kids everywhere but at least I had this one year where I could figure things out with a little help from him.  I asked the kids if they wanted to go back to school and they each said no so we will carry on this way again for another year and reassess things when we move and are in another school district.  There are many, many things I need to do better and differently this coming year and I hope to be able to tweak things to make our experience even better but I feel satisfied that even with all my weaknesses and shortcomings, I still feel like it was a better year than last year when they were in the school and I feel like overall, it was a success.  (P.S.  They were so little when school started!  I can't believe how much they are growing and starting to look so old now)

The last two months of our school year

April and May:

The boys join the Beekeepers Association with Mike and our bees come!

The boys didn't win the Pinewood Derby but they did cut, sand, and paint their own cars.  

We took the opportunity to include our garden planting in our homeschool day.  The boys helped plant and water the garden and continue help care for the garden every day by watering.

Bee keeping, while it makes me nervous, has been a fascinating thing for us to learn about.

Feb and March homeschool highlights

February and March highlights:

The kids always think an art project is a highlight but teaching them about Kintsugi was probably more a highlight for me than for them.  

I was grateful a group of homeschool families in the area had a Valentine's Day get together

Probably the boy's favorite activity of all this year was the Great Egg Drop.  They LOVED this activity

I enjoyed putting together a History review/Easter Egg hunt for the boys.  

Another highlight was definitely having John come spend a week with us.  We went to the zoo, played board games, played at the Muse Museum, etc.

I loved being able to include so many days from our trip to Williamsburg as Homeschool.  It was an awesome vacation 

The boys were very interested in making their field journals from our trip to Virginia Beach.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Highlights part 3

December and January highlights:
The boys played basketball again this year so we took as many opportunities to practice basketball skills during P.E.  That was definitely a favorite for the boys

I tried to incorporate a lot of spatial awareness and executive skills games this year.  We discovered some really cool, new games to play.  A favorite was Swish

We took off to Maryland in January and did a tour of the Herr's potato chip factory.  Everyone thought that was a cool field trip

Mike was home a bit during December so he spent a fair amount of time doing fun science projects with the kids

We enjoyed learning about space and doing art projects to go along with it.

More science projects (with dry ice)

We continued baking lessons for Christmas treats

We learned about the phases of the moon

We took many trips to the zoo 

Highlights continued

October and November:

Studying rocks

The kids loved the rock kit I bought.  I liked being able to incorporate cub scout requirements into our school work

I made the kids do Yoga with me.  

We continued our baking lessons 

The boys worked so hard on baking yummy goodies to sell at our bake sale

Olympic games

A highlight for me was requiring each boy spend time one on one with Piper daily as part of their school.  They did all kinds of creative things with her and their relationship with her deepened.  

We had fun at the pumpkin patch with other homeschooling families

We made laurel wreaths to wear during our Olympic games

I took advantage of the boys and made them practice folding clothes while we read The Mysterious Benedict Society

Highlights of our school year

We are done with our first year of homeschool!  I can't believe we survived.  :)  I still have to finish grading and then send the scores in but that won't take too long.  I have learned that for our family some consistency and schedules work well so I plan on making the kids do some work every day throughout the summer but just things like reading, piano, chores, etc.  Nothing too terrible.

Here are some of the highlights (in my opinion) of our year:

Aug and September:
Mummifying a chicken

Learning about Egypt

Learning how to bake

The boys learned how to make banana bread.  It was delicious

Doing school work at the park

Having the freedom to do school work outside

Egyptian art projects

having the pool to ourselves

Going for a hike during school

Learning about the food chain

Learning about the body!

working together on our body project

More swimming--having a guest teacher teach some swimming strokes

Having another guest teacher (Uncle Jess) teach about mapping fires

making blessing bags