Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wrapping up Second Grade and Kindergarten

We are starting to finish some of our books. The kids finished their math book today (Singapore 1B) and I'm happy about it. We gave each other several high fives to celebrate. I'll give them a couple of weeks off (maybe) and then start Singapore 2A because I'm fun like that. The plan is to continue school daily until it starts warming up a bit in the mornings. As soon as the weather is nice all day, we'll be done with lessons until the super hot, humid days appear.

Maeve finished Handwriting Without Tears and has started cursive. Finn desperately wants to learn cursive too, but he's not ready. He has sped through his handwriting book and his handwriting still stinks. I do appreciate his love for workbooks, but I'm going to have to buy him another handwriting book.

Both kids are reading from McGuffey's readers and are doing great. Maeve is an excellent reader, but not at all confident. Maeve has started Primary Language Lessons and hates it. We'll keep at it. I see us doing a lot of reading/writing outside in the near future.

My kids are very nature focused and the last week they've finally been able to play outside. We found a huge, dead snapping turtle and are keeping it for observation. Daddy will clean it out at some point, but I imagine the kids will get a kick out of watching the turtle decompose. Yum. We've been busy planting flower seeds, re-potting tomatoes and peppers, and prepping the garden. The kids have spotted a dead squirrel, have noted the signs of spring, have been playing with the chicks, hunted for green grass and worms, and have built squirrel houses out of landscaping bricks.

Oren surprised me a couple of weeks ago by counting to eight. He's finally grasping numbers. He still has no idea or interest in letters, but counting is a good start.

Overall, I'm happy with the progress made since August. I took a less stress approach to school this year and did only the required stuff. Well, mostly. We've done bits and pieces of history, but nothing consistent. Most of science has been everyday stuff. We're like Charlotte Mason unschoolers. Is there such a thing? Learning is a constant process. There is no concrete start and finish for us anymore. I know the kids are learning a lot even on the days we don't do lessons. If they are playing a game and working together, I'm happy. My goal is not to raise the smartest kids on the block, but to raise well rounded kids who appreciate life, who love nature, and who can think for themselves. I started this homeschooling journey with super detailed plans and lists and a binder and that's just not how we work. We're more of a learn as you go and do kind of family. I used to stress about doing school at X time everyday and getting everything done Mon, Tues, Wed, or Thurs. This year, we start school whenever we're done with breakfast and do school whenever it works, which has been several Fridays and Saturdays lately.  I see great value in the outdoors and letting the kids explore their interests. I'm starting to ramble so I'll wrap up, but I've learned a lot this year and homeschooling has become more than just school at home, but our lifestyle. It's kind of neat.

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