Thursday, May 23, 2013

Year End

Another school year is coming to a close.  I have learned a lot in this past year.  The girls have been home with me for just over 1 year now.  I have not regretted the decision one bit.  It has been an adventure for sure!  There have been many stressful days.  There have been many laid back days. But one thing that was most valuable this past year was our chance to try out different schedules, activities, and learning opportunities.  There are a lot of lessons learned!  
Little Cowboy in his get-up!  "Howdy ma'am!"

I think trying to work around Little Cowboy's schedule has been the hardest.  He is a mamma's boy (something that I love), and he wants my attention quite a lot.  However, he also loves his sisters very much and he wants their attention a lot as well.  So, we have learned that in our tight space, it is best to do our school while he is asleep.  But even still, most of our learning experiences have been outside of the house even with the boy.

Over the past six months, we have hooked up with the local homeschoolers.  We have started up a co-op, where we meet together and teach classes, have parties, and just let the kids decompress and play.  When the kids don't get out of the house for a while, they start to get cabin fever (one lesson learned).  We have met some great friends at the co-op, but now our meetings are done for the summer.  Many of the families will continue to homeschool through the summer.  I have opted to step away from our feeble schedule and regroup.  I have learned many things that don't work:

First thing in the morning school--does not work for us at this time.
Late morning school--gets tricky due to the closeness of Cowboy's nap time... and lunch.
Winging my lessons works okay--but not as great as I would like.

This past year, I used a curriculum that is no longer in print, and I only have one volume of it.  It is Iron Rod.  I have really liked it.  It goes through the scriptures and has lessons developed surrounding that theme.  We spent weeks on the creation.  I know I blogged about it.  We focused on the solar system, time, seasons, animals, vegetation, water, and air.  It was a very time intensive unit that was a lot of fun!  After that we spent a number of weeks on Noah and the Ark.  We studied more in depth animals... mostly reptiles as that is what Bug is into, and Bunny sure was interested too.  We studied weather and some more spiritual matters surrounding faith in God and making and keeping promises with Him.  

This picture was part of our Creation Unit Study.  We were learning about time, and how we can tell time without a clock.
We went outside every hour to check if the shadow had moved.  We did it until the sun went too low to tell anymore.
I did some units solely for Bug.  She is very into drawing and art, so I taped together enough pages for her
to lay down on top.  I traced her body, and she decorated it after.  She really enjoyed this, and it hung on our front
door for quite a while!
Bunny got a scrapbook and camera for her birthday, so she has done some creative scrapbooking
and journalling.  She is very interested in developing her talents in photography!
Bunny turned 9 this year!  She is getting so big, I can hardly believe it!  We celebrated with a few friends pictured below.

For Bunny's party, I made bows, arrows, and quivers.  It was a lot of fun.  Here she is trying really hard to
make the arrow fly toward the target! Those bows and arrows have been a major hit!
Bug is a very creative girl.  I have recently learned that she is a right-brained learner.
So her favorite things are art and other hands on experiments and activities.  Santa brought her this floam.
We studied the Word of Wisdom.  If you do not know what that is, go here to read about it.  It is basically a guide to what we should and should not put into our bodies in order to keep them healthy.  For the past five months, we have been focusing really hard on nutrition and exercise.  Ultimately, the things that our bodies need to work most effectively.  In our home, we have been learning what foods we need in order to be healthy, and overall, our health and weight issues have gotten better.  We still have a lot of work to do, which will take us into the summer and beyond.  It is a lifestyle change... one that is not easy to do.  To give you an idea, Hoss has lost over 65 pounds, and I have lost just over 40!  The girls are eating better, and we have cut out fast food and sodas from our diets.  For the most part, we have cut out eating out in general.  This has been a huge help to us.  I think ultimately, this is the hardest lesson we are learning... one that takes up a lot of time, effort and commitment.

Little Cowboy is trying to put on his shoe.  He still has yet to master it, but he sure tries!
Now he has cowboy boots.  Those will be easy to put on when he gets ready.
I think the favorite thing to draw on is our large marker board.
LC likes to draw on it as well, however, he wanders quite a bit and winds up drawing on walls and doors.
I wish that I had taken more pictures and blogged more in depth, but for a while there I was taking classes online and I was just feeling too overwhelmed with everything.  Oh, another lesson learned there.  The point of me taking classes was to lead out and show the children how to learn.. how to study and read.  The only problem was that it had so much unnecessary busy work that taught me anything.  Why is that bad?  It was taking up all of my time mentally and physically.  So, while it was a worthwhile goal, maybe it can wait a little longer.  Its not like I won't be reading the same types of books and writing papers and notations on the classics.  My degree was in English Literature.  The homeschool method that I am using is based out of those very classics that I would read in school.  So it is win win.  I can get an education right along with my children!
LC's best friends are his sisters.  He loves them so very much, and they are so loving and caring toward him!
 Our year has been a very interesting adventure, and now I'm ready to put in place the lessons I have learned and start fresh next year!  Of course, we will have plenty of reading and mini lessons throughout the summer!  We are hoping to visit some new places, and of course visit Idaho!

I hope your summer is sunny and bright!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting! It's great to read about your adventures in mothering and homeschooling!


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