Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Fun, Smart Girls, and Staying Fit

This summer I can say,
We made it through our first year of home schooling.

Saying it that way makes it sound like I just suffered
 through something kinda' terrible, that I didn't enjoy the school year...

NOT so.

I enjoyed it very much.
And there was very little suffering if any at all.

Looking back over the year,
 I see things that I wish I could change (mostly about myself),
or could have done differently,
 and I realize we did not have a "perfect" year.

However, I can also see a huge success.

Before we started our K5 school year,
my daughter was just learning how to read
and never even knew what science and geography was.
She could count... but there was little "real life"
 use of math in her daily living at the time.

Before we began our first year of homeschooling I was very unsure of myself,
constantly stressed out about doing everything "perfectly",
 thought I could keep up with all the laundry (yeah right)
and keep an impeccable house even with 5 (at the least)
 kids in the house during every school day.

The truth hit me pretty hard.
And that is when I had to make some decisions.
What was most important to our family? 
What could I put on the back burner for a while?
Where could I most wisely spend my time?
How could I change my teaching style
to best fit with my daughters learning style,
therefore allowing her to learn as much and as quickly as possible?

I was suddenly and swiftly thrust into the reality of two things:

A) I was not as patient as I thought I was. Not even close.
I've grown more than I want to admit to in this area.

B) Teaching and learning alike are humbling.
 I've rightly apologized more times than I can count.

Many of my challenges were self imposed.
Taking on too much.
Pushing my limits, time wise and otherwise.
Basically, trying to be a "Super Mom".

I'm not.

And I am pretty sure I would have sunk like a rock to the bottom of the deepest oceans,
had I not been fully trusting in God.

But I didn't sink.
I learned to swim.
I took my daughter by the hand and I said,
"We are in this together. You help me and I'll help you."
I think I read somewhere that a student is only as good as the teacher.
I took that statement and ran with it.
If she was learning well, then that meant I was teaching well. 

I used Sonlight Curriculum this past year.
When we first got started, I thought the Sonlight K Curriculum
was going to be too easy.
Not challenging enough.
But it proved to be exactly what we needed.
I loved (and needed) the pre-made, hassle free daily lesson plans.
THANK YOU Sonlight!

I began to really develop a relationship with my girls.
In a new light. With a new respect for each other.
It has really been a beautiful thing.
And I am looking forward to our upcoming school year.

So, with all of this being said, I am informing you now that my madness continues...

Ah yes, the dreaded "Summer School".

Oh, come on. It isn't all that bad. Really.

We have completed only 2 days so far.
I am getting a surprisingly positive response.
All the girls want to do "school" now...

"No Way", you say... "YES Way"!

I bought a very simple workbook.
Just one book with a little bit of everything mixed in
for a little summer continued education.
She thinks it's pretty easy, but I don't mind,
because it keeps her mind working and her body moving.

And that was my goal this summer. We never stop learning.

We also have a little reading program going this summer.
And my four year old has already begun her reading lessons, and is doing very well.

I wanted to share our "Summer Course" with you.

This is the cover of the workbook.

This is where I get to say,
"Listen, you do all your work for the week and you get to go roller skating with your friends."
Or whatever fantastically fun experience I can think of that my six year old can't resist.

Here's where the science comes in... I love this stuff!

More science!

Um... yeah! Core Values and Good Character.
I definitely liked this book now.

A little history...

Who doesn't like a good Mark Twain quote?

                "Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm." ~ Honest Abe

This is good stuff.

Each week introduces a new value for good charachter building.

Staying physically active is something I want to make sure is part of our lifestyle.

Each day has physical activities... A little "workout" so to speak.

I saw all 3 of my girls do pushups for the fist time last night.

I like to go to the park with the girls. I walk fast. The girls try to keep up by jogging a little.
 They love trying out different locations for walking. This keeps it exciting and fun.

This also helps me to be more consious of myself and how much physical activity I am getting.

Here is a little math review.

I do all the workouts with them, rather than just yelling out orders.

Fun , simple, and active.

And only $12.95. How could I resist?

If I go to the book store and even go near the educational book section,
 I always buy something. It can't be helped!
Each daily assignment is short and simple.
Having fun and playing is a big part of our summer as well.
I find that if I am keeping my children busy with things,
they tend to not get into as much trouble.
They don't get as bored,
 and life can move on a little more smoothly
 into our first grade school year.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. May this summer be a blast and next year even better [smile]. Learning together is such a beautiful thing!



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