Wrapping Up the School Year and Some Blogging Thoughts

A celebratory lunch at Steak 'N Shake...
Granddaddy treated us for a job well done!

It was officially our last week of school.... now I have a first and fifth grader!   Where does the time go?   This was the first year where I had BOTH children at home and I am pleased with the way things went.  Of course there are things I will change, but I feel so blessed to have gotten to know my children's learning styles in and out, and so blessed that our family has come closer together.    Since we are schooling year round, this week was just spent wrapping up some loose ends.   We continued with math, history, grammar, etc... as usual.  
GMan finished First Grade in First Language Lessons.  His sister helped him practice his poems this morning, and this evening after dinner he recited them for dad.    I love what this program has done for him, and in two weeks will continue with Second Grade.   If you use this curriculum, or are thinking about it for next year, you need to download the printables from Homeschool Creations.  They are great!  

Miss B completed a lapbook to go along with The Trellis and the Seed, which I found at Homeschool Share.   We have been gardening a lot, so I've noticed a lot of learning going on in this subject.   Lapbooking really speaks to her - I give her the printed sheets and instructions in a ZipLoc bag and each day we have lapbook time.  This is a great independent activity for her.    I've started having the kids "narrate" their lapbooks to make videos and they love it!  

The highlight of the week was going to see The Atlanta Braves play... but before the game GMan's team (The Yankees) played a pre-game show in the outfield.   There's my little guy (#4) having the time of his life.   The Braves were milling around in the outfield with the boys - very cool!    We watched a great baseball game.  Too bad all the other kids had to leave early because they had SCHOOL the next day - NOT US!   We stayed until the bitter end and slept in the next day.  I love homeschooling!

Last weekend and this weekend are taken up with piano recitals... first a recital last weekend with Miss B's piano teacher and her students.   This weekend it is a recital for my students.  We went to the music store where the recital will be held to finalize some details and Miss B spent a lot of time just trying all of the pianos.  She loves music so much!    Click on the video to listen to her play ~ it is truly what she loves to do!  

I know a lot of homeschool families are starting to make curriculum decision for next year.   We are not changing much - actually we are adding Latin and a new writing program.   Everything we do is recommended in The Well Trained Mind, so I think we are moving much more toward the Classical end of the spectrum.  The children's Writing With Ease workbooks came and I had them unbound and put into notebooks.  This way I can copy the pages as we need them and reuse or resell them the following year.    I'm so excited about now using First Language Lessons, The Story of the World, and Writing With Ease.   

When I started blogging over a year ago, my main goal was to apply for The Old School House review crew and be accepted.  I am happy to report that I achieved my goal, and was notified this past week that I will be on the 2011-12 crew!  This is going to be a wonderful opportunity for my family.    Sadly, I won't be reviewing for The Homeschool Village (because you can't do two things at once!), but I want everyone who reads this to visit The Homeschool Village and check out everything they have to offer.  It is a wonderful online community with so many talented writers.    Their current post (Year #2 Direction:  Less = More) really resonates with me right now.   

I still want to post about everything we're doing (because I think this is the way we all learn from each other), but many of my posts will be reviews.    I hope you'll find some things you can use through these reviews.  I found SEVERAL great things for my children by reading TOS reviews this past year. 

Since I started the Homegrown Learners Facebook page I've made a lot of great friends, and I think we have all helped each other with curriculum decisions and just life's issues in general.  If you haven't connected with me on Facebook, please feel free to visit!  I'm also on Twitter, but am feeling the need to really scale back there - I cannot effectively balance everything!   This blog is not a money making venture for me, and I don't want to monetize or look for sponsors, etc...   I meet wonderful moms and sometimes review great products for myself and my children, but sometimes I honestly feel like the blog is a part time job.   That's crazy, because I already have one of those!   

I'm going to be unplugging for the next couple of weeks - maybe a post every few days, or maybe no posts at all.   As a friend told me earlier in the week - I'm just a drop in the blogging bucket, and if I didn't blog for a while most people would forget my blog ever existed and I would be replaced ~ I can't say the same about my job as a wife, mother, daughter, friend and church member!    

Wow, this turned out to be much more than a weekly wrap-up.  If you have any thoughts, let me know!!    *** If you notice, I now have Disqus as my commenting system - there is still a problem with the Blogger comment counter that I need to work out, but other than that I really like it!  

*Linking up to Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers for 
The Weekly Wrap-Up

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers