(The girls are trying to get a dead lizard into a water bottle without touching him. They succeeded after many attempts.)
These were my 2016 Homeschool Goals and now it time to reflect on how well we met those goals this past school year!
1. Teach Bible Literacy first and foremost.
Bible isn’t just a subject we do and check off first thing in the morning. I am always looking for ways to incorporate the truths of God’s Word into our every day lives. I truly try to live by Deuteronomy 6 and teach the Word of God to my children as we live our lives, and not just during “Bible time” at the start of our school time.
2. Keep it simple.
I kept things very simple this year out of necessity. While I didn’t have a newborn baby from the very beginning of the school year due to our failed adoption, we did unexpectedly adopt a 4.5 month old baby in December. I was grateful for all the planning I had done and that I had kept our plans for this school year very simple. The new baby took a lot of my mental energy as I learned what we needed to do to promote healthy attachment and bonding, and it was so good that I didn’t have to expend a lot of mental energy on planning for school. That was already done and I just had to execute my plans which I was able to do despite the mental fatigue.
3. Teach more life skills.
My girls sort and put away their laundry every week now! I put their laundry to wash and then to dry. It all goes into a laundry basket and then they each are responsible for finding their clothes and putting the clothes away in their closets and drawers. Since my girls are responsible for their clothes, taking care of my clothes and Dave’s plus the two boys is very manageable for me each week. Most every single week, I feel on top of our laundry and that is a great feeling when I am responsible for laundry for 6 people every week!
4. Academic Goals
I am very pleased with the academic progress of all three of my children for this school year. They each show growth from where they were at the beginning of the year to where they are now at the close of this school year and that is what matters most. Here are some specifics about their individual progress:
Little Bug reads morning, noon and night without me ever having to give her reminders to read. It is one of her most favorite things to do. As I am writing this post, she has read over 150 chapter books since last June! We are still working on basic math fact memorization, but with CLE Math, that is easy to do because of their built-in fact memorization system. Little Bug moved away from tracing her copywork to doing true copywork where she copied text onto her own paper. She has done this mostly with Bible verses and poems.
My relaxed approach to Sweet Pea’s academics this year was perfect for her. She is primed and ready to learn to read next school year! She’s gotten a good handle on some basic math concepts too that we will continue to build on.
I’ve created a love of books in Sarge this year by reading to him daily. That is always Step 1 in creating a reader! It starts way before they are developmentally ready to learn to read. He also happily does his 60 minutes of Independent Playtime in the morning while we get the bulk of the girls’ school work done.
5. Laugh a lot.
Quite frankly, I need to do more of this. Since Sarge’s birth and adoption and dealing with all of his medical issues for his first 18 months (and some are still ongoing now) and then adopting another baby so soon that required special care and concern (mainly ensuring proper attachment/bonding), parenting the past almost 3 years has just been hard. And parenting on normal days is hard. There have been many seasons I’ve lived in survival mode. Sometimes, (often times, really), I don’t feel like a “fun mom”. I feel like a mom that is just trying to get her kids well enough to be normal kids, and it’s hard. I’ve been off social media now for over a year, and one of the big reasons I decided I didn’t have room in my life for social media was because it was hard to see people (friends) living normal lives and being a “fun mom” while I was over here just trying to make it through another day and overcome the latest hurdle. I am thankful we are at the tail-end of the challenges of the past three years.
2017 Homeschool Goals coming soon!