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Homeschooling days ahead

June 14, 2013

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This is the serenity I want in these summer days. I love the slight haze in this photo, the gleam in her eyes, and the expression on her face. I love that she appears to be so restful and relaxed reclining in this chair just perfectly nestled around her. In fact, this was a very crazy moment. I was trying to brave my camera in manual, Clare was running around like a hooligan, and Michael was in an online presentation waiting for his turn. Katie was the only smart one in the other room quietly reading her novel. However, I think given the entire scenario, this is the image I want to hold with me in the weeks to come. Such peace!

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The school year has finished. Michael completed Kindergarten with top marks. His report card reflects scores for a KG who was actually doing a first grade curriculum. Interesting how the state chooses to score that scenario. I’m so proud of him! He’s an incredibly strong reader and his mental math has grown by leaps and bounds. His summer will be focused on spelling words (using spellingcity.com and last year’s words) and multiplication facts. We might tackle money in it’s greater complexity, but we’ll see. (As an aside, the kids are enrolled with a state charter school supplying us with the K12.com curriculum. At the end of the year, his KG teacher – I’m his learning coach – put together an online assembly for the children. This picture was Michael’s presentation for that assembly.)

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For this boy, he just looks forward to a summer without his swim vest. He’s determined to learn to swim without it, and now that he can safely touch the floor of the pool with his head above water, I’m all for his efforts to learn independent of his dad and I’s presence next to him.

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Clare is happy she can join the kids in the backseat for the trip to and from the pool. I don’t require they sit in their boosters for this trip just a few blocks away. It’s a very rare treat and a big deal for all three!

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Sadly, I have no “school” related photo for Katie’s end-of-the-year. It’s getting harder now that I’m less hands-on with her to remember to take pictures and celebrate her specific successes!

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She had an incredible year…working 100% independently and completing her 4th grade curriculum ahead of the game. We need to put our focus on some grammar details that were missed somewhere along the line, but she’s really doing great. She exceeded expectation on her CRCTs and scored several grades above her schooled grade on the Scantron tests. We couldn’t be more proud! Her summer will be honing the finer details of writing and working on her 5th grade lessons so as to get a head start on the next school year. This will give her some freedom to school a bit less during the year. She’ll also complete the requirements for all four of next year’s novel studies. She’s reading Sherlock Holmes: The Hounds of Baskervilles, the Bronze Bow, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and Johnny Tremain.

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Nate and Anna, on-the-other-hand, will be spending their summer watching the newest episodes of Arrested Development. Oh my goodness!!

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We hope Clare will learn to play in her room a bit more with the addition of her new kitchen. She LOVES it and it is so incredibly adorable. A very generous and beautifully holy family gifted it to her as their little girl has out grown it. What a gift in so many ways to us! I truly love hand-me-downs as it’s economical, but even more so, a chance to remember those who gave it to you. I love knowing that it’s now connected our two families in a different way.

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When she’s not upstairs in her kitchen, I am thankful she’s busy playing in the water in my kitchen. At least the mess she’s making here is easy to clean up and I’m certain I know what she’s doing! Always keep the mischief makers close at hand!

Me, myself, and I? Well, I will simply be keeping up with everyone else, tutoring 4-5 hours a week, planning Clare’s 2nd birthday party, catching up on the kids’ yearbooks, and hopefully also enjoying the days of no school stress.

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The first week of summer means it’s VBS!!!! The kids look forward to this week ALL YEAR! Sadly, they also quickly begin to whine that they will soon have to wait a whole ‘nother year before they can do it again. For now, they are loving every minute of it.

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Katie loved her group so much, her teacher asked that she request to be placed with her again next year. Ms. Joan was fantastic!!!! The past two years, Katie has offered to make their group sign when their leader didn’t supply one. Presumably, there comes a point when the sign is no longer needed, but our girl finds it rewarding to show off their group’s pride. Thankfully, her leaders have been gracious enough to allow her the chance to design it. This year, I was especially proud of Katie for designing it so that each person could add their signature or something inside each of the letters. Well done sweet girl!

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You can imagine how much Michael loved his young leaders. He even made them each a twist bands bracelet.

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They were so sweet to have given awards to each of the kids on the last day. Michael’s was “Most Creative”! I do agree. I love it. He was so excited to have met an old friend. It’s actually an older boy who volunteers each year and always makes a point to connect with Michael during the week. Well played Nicholas. We will try to find a reason to hire you to babysit this next year!

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This is the life! The kids are still talking about the end-of-the-year BBQ we had last Friday. It’s the first week of summer for us and I committed to really stepping outside my non-social comfort zone to connect with some other homeschooling families and moms in particular. There’s a group here in Forsyth County that is really starting to become larger and quite active. I’ve been “stalking” them for a year now uncertain of the dynamic and their focus. I decided I’d simply get off the fence and put myself out there. God has blessed it already and I’m grateful for the activities in these summer days.

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The host lived on a beautiful piece of land north of us. She catered the meal BBQ style and served us in her barn (originally built for live animals but used exclusively for entertaining). I, myself, am sure grateful as it was indeed a fantastic location for a family BBQ. 64 children and 42 adults RSVPd for the event. The grounds were so spacious that there might have been that many in attendance and we would never have felt the effects. The only bummer is I don’t know which kids belonged to which parents. Did we meet their parents? Those “problems” will surely be covered in the weeks and months to come.

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Katie met a new friend.

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Michael played on the tire swing almost constantly, and when he wasn’t on that, he was truly running all over the grounds. He has also found he likes playing Badminton.

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The weather was gorgeous. The company was fantastic, and the promise of more events to come is a definite. I look forward to getting to know many of these moms even more! The next opportunity is swimming lessons next week! Praise God for the ways he blesses my efforts at home! Welcome to our summer days!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    June 14, 2013 6:35 am

    So much fun to see whats going on in your busy lives! Love you all!!!!!

  2. Auntie G. permalink
    June 14, 2013 7:15 am

    awesome….so love the graces and the joys of homeschooling!!!! Now comes the chickens, the apron, and the 12 kids and the dream will be all complete!!! 🙂 ha ha!! Love you all…!!! xoxo

  3. June 14, 2013 11:48 pm

    Congratulations to you and your kids on completing the school year so successfully! It’s great to hear that they are excelling in Georgia Cyber Academy!

    Have you heard of the K12 Summer Reading Challenge? It might be a fun addition to the reading and learning activities you have planned for your kids this summer. Details on the K12 blog:

    http://blog.k12.com/online-public-schools/k%C2%B9%C2%B2-week-summer-reading-challenge-week-one

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