2014-2015 School Year

It’s hard to believe we started school almost three months ago, but here we are a third of the way done with our school year. We generally try to start school around 9 a.m. when Nolan goes down for his nap and we start with our calendar then we move right on into our morning meeting which includes reading our read aloud book, our Bible/Character Trait lesson, and any activities that go along with what either girl is learning for the week. Morgan loves to be part of our morning meeting, although he has a hard time sitting still for the books. After we dismiss Morgan into his room to play or look at books, I work with Lorelei first on her school work then let Lorelei work independently while I work with Julianne on her school work. She takes less of my time since she is able to do so much on her own. After I work with her it’s usually time to get Nolan up, feed him and fix lunch so Julianne works on her own to finish her assignments. After lunch we usually play outside or have playtime inside if it’s too cold or wet, then it is nap/rest time. Morgan and Nolan nap and Julianne and Lorelei rest quietly. If Julianne hasn’t finished her school work this is when she completes it. So there’s a rundown of our school day. Here’s how each of the kids are doing in school this year:
Julianne is in second grade and loves school. Her favorite subject is math and has learned addition and subtraction facts up to twelve so far, telling time on an analog clock, counting money, place value, and counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, and 25’s. She loves to do her math fact speed drills. She also loves to read and can be found reading most of the time in her free time. She regularly tells me a fact that I didn’t know and says that she has read it in a book. Some of her favorite chapter books now are Tinkerbell, Anne of Green Gables, Magic Tree House, and Little House in the Big Woods. She comprehends most of what she reads and would prefer to read silently to herself. She struggles a bit with reading fluency (skips words, pauses in places where there shouldn’t be a pause, and has a few mispronunciations of words) but overall reads well. She does well on her spelling tests and is spelling much less phonetically than last year, although she still makes some spelling mistakes when she writes for fun. She is beginning to naturally write in cursive, which she was not doing at the beginning of the school year, and has good cursive handwriting. She is taking Latin this year and is by far exceeding her teacher (mommy) in the amount of Latin vocabulary, phrases, and prayers she has memorized. She has particularly enjoyed pointing out English derivatives that come from Latin words she has learned so far. It’s so fun to see her make connections on her own. I instruct Julianne for about forty five minutes of the day (aside from our morning meeting) and she is able to complete the rest of her work independently.
Lorelei is in Pre-Kindergarten and also loves school. She does school three days a week and has made some huge progress since the beginning of the school year. She has always struggled with memorization, unless the information is in a song, so she’s had harder time with her recitation questions (i.e.Recite the alphabet, How many days are in a week?, Name the months, What year is it?, What is the name of a line that goes side to side?) but I have seen her start to get more of these questions each week. She also had a harder time writing letters three months ago, but has started trying to write letters on her own before we even get to them in school. Over the past couple of weeks she has started writing all the time. She writes on chalkboards, paper, notebooks, with sidewalk chalk, in dirt, etc. She’s pretty proud of herself! She has also started recognizing letters and sounds of letters. She naturally does well at mathematical concepts. She recognizes all the numbers 0-10 and is beginning to understand place value and counting by 5’s and 10’s. She counts by ones well and can do this up to 39.
Morgan loves to take part in as much school as we will let him. He enjoys singing songs, hearing nursery rhymes, coloring, counting, and listening to books being read. He amazes me regularly at how much he has memorized by just listening to us. He can sing the days of the week, count to 10, sings songs we have worked on, and memorizes short Bible verses. His favorite Bible verses to recite are “Children obey your parents, in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:2) and “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12) After our morning meeting, he usually wants to either go into his room and play with trains or cars or he wants to color with Lorelei.
Nolan is learning how to take naps during our school time and most of the time has mastered this pretty well. At the end of our school time after learning to nap he works on his gross motor development by crawling and pulling up on everything, hand-eye coordination by picking up small items on the ground and placing them in his mouth, and language development by yelling, screeching, and babbling. So far he is learning these things quite well. Ha!
I’m thankful for the opportunity to get to stay at home and teach my children. Although there are some days that I’m left feeling exasperated and ready to run for the hills, there are more days that are very fulfilling that I get to see one of them have an “Aha!” moment where they catch onto something or I get to see them succeed at something they have put a lot of effort into. God has created each one of them so differently and has gifted them in very different ways. We’re praying that God would use these gifts, not just to make them into smart, independent people, but that He would use each one of our children to bring much Glory to our Saviour with the strengths and weaknesses He has given each one of them.