Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wrapping up the '10/'11 School Year

Our school year officially met its end the Friday before Easter.  I am just now getting around to blogging about it. ;o)  Overall a good year . . . learning did happen . . . but it was also my hardest year to date.  I had to deal with more attitude and heart issues than I would have liked. 
My girls often express their displeasure toward math.  There have even been tears.  In spite of that they are both doing fine.  Marissa is capable of long division and multiplying while carrying and all that jazz, Isabella is carrying/borrowing and just beginning multiplication.  (We use Singapore Math, Marissa did books 3A and 3B, Isabella did 1B and 2A).  I'm hoping to hit the multiplication flash cards this summer for both of them--there is still too much thinking involved there.
We learned that Marissa loves grammar with a passion (We did Easy Grammar 3).  She continues to love to read and the fantasy genre remains her favorite--her most-loved authors at the moment:  C.S. Lewis, Madeline L'Engle, George MacDonald and Elizabeth Goudge. She doesn't read as much as she did a year ago because she now splits her time between reading and writing her own fantasy story (which is at the moment 38 pages in length). ;o)  Isabella doesn't enjoy reading as much as Marissa, but will do it when bribed . . .  I'm hoping at some point she will realize how wonderful it is too. ;o) She likes the American Girl stories, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was a big hit, and she enjoyed a few of Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy stories (great books for girls!).  She used a "bare book" and wrote her own story complete with illustrations entitled "A Fairy's Tale" which involved lots of fashion and dress changes (in case you were ever wondering what Isabella's passion was . . .). ;o)
Violin-wise, Marissa is nearing the end of Suzuki book 2, and Isabella just began the last piece in book 1.  At this point they continue to play entirely by ear, but I think beginning note-reading is lurking in Marissa's future shortly.
We used My Father's World "Creation to Greeks" as our main curriculum source.  I've used My Father's World from the beginning and have always been pretty satisfied, but this year kind of left me wanting.  We followed history chronologically from Creation right up to learning about Alexander the Great.  We created history notebooks that follow through this time period in order.  The girls LOVE the history notebooks and love to pull out the ones from prior years . . . it really is a great keepsake of the year.  I asked them to pick a favorite picture they had drawn.
Marissa chose King Solomon--

Isabella chose the Hebrews exiting Egypt with Moses--

We never got around to learning cursive.  I'm hoping to work on that with both girls over the summer.  We usually don't do any school during our summer months, but last year I found that the sudden start of structure brought with it a couple of trying weeks, so I going to try to have just a "little something" happening over the summer (mainly for my own sanity come fall). ;o)
And as far as my Jackson-boy goes, I am SO very thankful I waited a year for kindergarten.  I completely see him ready now, he's digging the letters and numbers (particularly numbers--he loves to fill in 100 charts in his free time!) and has a desire to learn that just was not there a year ago.  That ended up being a good decision. 
And I think that would summarize our year.  There were good things, there were bad things, and I'm excited to do it again come fall.  I guess I consider that a successful year. ;o)


Kathryn said...

Your girls' drawings for their history notebooks never cease to amaze me! Love all the color and detail.

Yay for a nice break from school. One thing that I *love* about h.schooling is the ability to fit in all the required days and still be done by the first of May. Yippee!! We're comin right behind you!

p.s. We *finally* finished The Children's Homer. My boys liked it. I did not....partly because I was the one that had to try and read all those horendous names. I rewarded myself greatly by eating a Dove chocolate bunny that had all the fat and calories removed from it. :)

Anna said...

Oh those drawings are so great! :) And good to hear about another year completed, congrats to all of you! Hope you have time to get done what you need this summer along with house-hunting, packing, and oh...moving an entire family of 7 downstate. :)

Tina Hollenbeck said...

I'll be starting CtG in August. Can I ask what has "left you wanting" with it? I'm just curious about what to look for as I begin glancing at the materials this summer.