Tuesday, May 26, 2015

last day of school 2015

Samuel's last day of school was also Noah and Evie's "last" day of school. I used quotations because Noah still has some work to do, but the amount is a lot less. He and I had to work extra hard this year because he was finishing up third grade work and also trying to complete all of his fourth grade work. When he was five we decided to hold him back from Kindergarden. But really, he was doing Kindergarden work anyway so it was kind of pointless. I just wanted to give him a little extra time I guess. Moving him up now has more to do with keeping him with his friends in Awana and eventual Youth Group (how is that coming so soon? just two years! ahhhhh!)

After we picked up Samuel from preschool that day, I took some photos of the kids. 

This is back to August 26, 2014, on our very first day of school. So young and full of hope and promise. Until I squashed them under my heel that is. ;)

And again with the last day of school. I thought a proper size comparison would be good. I'll have to remember to do this next year. 

And check out the school room. It's been well used this year. We filled up the walls (and are continuing to do so this summer) with Story of the World coloring sheets. To familiarize oneself with what we have learned this year (in history at any rate), all you would have to do is look at those pictures. Evie colored all of them while I read a chapter. I love it. The room looks so much more lived in than at the beginning of the year. And I must say, the improvements we made to the school room really helped. It was so much more bright and cheerful without the gray walls, huge red fireplace and dark brown car siding.

Here's Noah on the first day of school...

...and the last day. 

Evie on the first day...

...and the last. 

Samuel's first day...

 ...and last.

And lastly, Ezra's first day (because he's always learning)... (awwww, look how cute and widdle!)

...and his "last" day (though he's still learning - mostly how to be naughty, the little punk).

Okay, now that all the cute stuff is out of the way, I want to put down for remembrance's sake what the heck we even did this year. 

We've been following The Well Trained Mind, a classical approach to education. I tried extra hard this year on reading, especially for Noah. I checked out hundreds of books from the library over the course of the year to reinforce our history reading. Noah read these books aloud (because he needs lots and lots of practice with his reading) and then he would write a summary, or narration. These are supposed to take the place of reading comprehension worksheets, etc. I think I might try some of those next year as well though. The library, as I discovered has a couple really neat functions on their website. What I did was search for the books suggested by our history workbook and add them to lists which I saved. I would then make a request for all the books I wanted and a hold was put on them. The wonderful librarians would then pull my books from the shelves, send me a text when they were ready and I would drive down to the library drive-through and pick up my books. It was awesome. Here is a sampling of some of the things we read.

Here are the kids' narration notebooks. I mentioned in March how Evie started writing them as well, much her to chagrin and Noah's satisfaction. 

Check out that pile of paper! Boom baby! 

Here is Evie's pile o' books. This summer we are still reading the top book, The Story of the World - Volume 3: Early Modern Times. Under that is a Science book we completed about Space. Noah is quite fascinated by it. The black binder is Evie's Math-U-See workbook. She finished her first grade workbook several months ago and finished the year nearly halfway done with the second grade book. The blue binder is for her Narrations. The skinny one you can't read is her Handwriting. Below that is her Reading book we started last year and finished this year. I loved it. I did a much better job than How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (which is what I used for Noah, regrettably. it  worked okay, but not thorough enough. and seriously, how cute is he in these old photos!!). Under Reading is her Spelling book, then Grammar and finally her first grade Math book. Go Evie!

Here is the pile for both kids. The books in the middle are what we did together for both of them: Two Science books and Volume two of The Story of the World, The Middle Ages. 

Noah's stack is of course larger, since he did one and a half grades. On top is the Math he completed, multiplication. He's currently seven lessons from finishing the 4th grade division. Next are both Spelling books he completed. Then is his third grade Grammar workbook. Under those are two skinny white books which is Latin. We began our Intro to Latin two years ago and finally finished this year... The green notebook are his Narrations. The yellow books are the Math he's finishing up. Next to last with the white/teal is his fourth grade Grammar. That's what's holding us up, really. We are doing several lessons a day now just to knock that puppy out. And finally, on the bottom is his cursive Handwriting book. 

And that's it for this year. Go us!

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