Monday, May 23, 2011

Homeschooling/Family Update

{the kiddos on Sunday before church}
Well . . . we finished school last Wednesday and it feels so good!! Sam took his achievement tests and I got those sent in to be graded on Thursday. Now we just wait to see how he did. :) I think he did quite well in everything except spelling, which was my fault because we didn't do spelling at all this year. I wanted to focus on reading and worry about spelling later. Next year we will be doing it, so that should help! Overall I was pretty satisfied with how this year went, but there is always room for improvement!! I really need to work on doing more hands-on stuff with the kids. They LOVE it, but me . . . not so much. However, I know it is fun for them and helps to reinforce what they are learning, so I'm hoping to incorporate more crafts and activities next year. I'd also like to take more of a Charlotte Mason approach to learning next year. We will still be using Sonlight, but I want to add in more nature study, etc. Over the summer I'm hoping to read A Charlotte Mason Companion to get a feel for how I might be able to tweak things in our homeschool to incorporate more of this approach.

Julia lost another tooth last week, but this time it was a "natural" loss! Her very first tooth to come out without a dentist's help. :) You can see the hole in the middle of her bottom teeth in the picture above. She was pretty excited, and her tooth collection is growing!

We are praising the Lord that Jim has had work for the past week, and it looks like it will continue for a while, anyway. He has not had much work at all for the past few months and we were praying about what to do. This opportunity to work for a local furniture store came about through a friend of ours who works there part-time. Jim has been making deliveries, putting furniture together, etc. He is still hoping to get more carpentry work in the future, but we're leaving that in God's hands and in the meantime, we are so thankful for a job and the way God has provided!

On Wednesday we will be heading to a children's science museum in VT to celebrate the end of the school year. I haven't been there since I was a kid, so I am pretty excited about it! I have a feeling Sam is going to love it--he is really into science related stuff at the moment, and this museum is very hands-on. I will be sure to take lots of pictures to post later!

I still haven't received any of the school books for next year that were lost in the mail. Today I had to go to the post office and the postmaster asked me if I had ever heard anything about them. When I said no, he said not to get too discouraged yet--sometimes these things take a while. So maybe they will still show up. The seller did refund me some of the money, which was very kind, and between that and Paperback Swap, it shouldn't be too expensive to replace the books.

So that is just a little update on us. Hopefully over the summer I will have time to post here several times each week; I have missed writing here as much as I used to!


Alicia said...

Congrats on finishing your school year! We're going to finish up this week and I'm not sure who's more excited, me or Chloe! :)

I have a question for you -- how did you have him take the achievement tests?

Congrats to Julia on the tooth!

Carrie said...

Alicia, that was the same way I felt about finishing--not sure who was more excited, me or Sam. :) Either way, we are both happy to have a break!

For the achievement tests, I ordered the CAT (1970 paper version) from Christian Liberty Press. In NH we are required to test every year (or I think we also have the option to have a teacher evaluate our portfolio?--but I don't know anyone who does that, they all just do the tests). A lot of my friends use that version and recommended it to me. There are also other kinds of tests available but this was the one I was most familiar with. It's easy for the parent to administer it; it comes with very specific directions. The test has 3 sections (reading, math, language) and we spread it out over 3 days. After finishing, you just send it back to CLP and they grade it and send the results back to you. Then I have to send the results to the school we are registered under and they will add it to his file.

The "youngest" CAT available is 2nd grade (for kids going out of 1st grade, into 2nd)--this was the first year we had to test for the state requirement. Hope that helps!

Luke said...

Congratulations! As you look forward to doing more hands-on activities next year, I hope you get to check out the new Core Tips CDs.


Mary Ann said...

Thanks for the update & congrats on the finish of your school year; that's an accomplishment!
Rejoicing with you that Jim has work. The Lord is so faithful!
And yeehaw to Julia for losing a tooth the 'natural' way :-)