Beginning Our Year End Review - Collage Friday


I'll be honest with you. This week has been tough. (Well, tough is a relative term I guess. It's been tough in my world, but I realize it could be so much tougher.)

I'm feeling the weight of finishing the year - making sure Anna is preparing for her Challenge A final exams and ensuring Grant gets a proper review of all of the Foundations information in Classical Conversations.  We have choral concerts, piano recitals, and baseball games. 

We are redoing all of the floors in the main floor of our house (which I am SO THANKFUL for), but I'm preparing to pack up my downstairs and start this project in just a couple weeks. 

We've been busy with life in general and to top it off my pain really was in high gear this week. I think the change of seasons causes a lot of issues for my back and legs, so each day was physically a struggle for me. Thursday morning I honestly could have sat down and cried a river. 

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No time for that, however, because we had to be at the orthodontist. On the way home my son put it all in perspective for me. He wanted to ride  with the windows down because, (in his exact words) "Life just makes me happy".  

Don't you love that?  As I looked in the rear view mirror at him and the pure look of happiness on his face, I just had to smile and a lot of the stress, worries, and pain melted away.

As the English proverb says,  "The Soul is Healed by Being with Children.".   Yes, it is. I am a lucky woman to live the life I do and spend my days with my children. It isn't always easy, but God sends me so many reminders to let me know it's WORTH IT.

The blog was very quiet this week because I just had to put writing aside to accomplish more pressing responsibilities.

Challenge A Accomplishments and Review

This year has been a huge success for Anna. I think 7th grade is going down as the best year in her homeschooling career so far. 

The Challenge program has expanded her horizons and matured her, too. 

With just three weeks left, everyone is starting to think about the final exam and how to best help the students prepare. 

The final includes:

  • Drawing and labeling the entire world (countries, capitals, etc....) - that's a HUGE job.
  • Drawing from memory and labeling the major body systems
  • Latin declensions and translations
  • Testing on all of the catechisms

In class this week the kids' tutor, Miss Nancy, played a review JENGA game with them.  Essentially, she wrote review questions on JENGA pieces and as kids pulled out the pieces they had to answer the questions. I got to sit in on this portion of class and the kids had a BLAST. (They were reviewing countries and capitals, geography terms, and catechism questions.)

Of course I came home and ordered JENGA (on sale on Amazon -- woohoo!) and we will be making a review game. (Check out this post from Living Out His Love to see more about how to make the game.) 

The white board is also our friend, and Anna LOVES to review on the white board. Each day this week she is drawing the neuron/neuromuscular system and one other system as review. 

Honestly, the vast amount of knowledge learned in Challenge A astounds me. Couple this with all of the goodness Anna has soaked up from just being around her brother and Foundations and I feel like this year was WONDERFUL. 

*And can I tell you a secret?  I'm encouraging Anna to buckle down and really do awesome on the final exam, but I am just so proud of everything she has accomplished this year. Even if there weren't a final I could rest knowing she has learned inordinate amounts of information this year! 

Enjoying The Wonder of Childhood

Meanwhile, in Grant-land:

This boy loves life and loves learning. I do stick religiously to the CC memory work and a math lesson each day for him, but beyond that he is my guide.

Most days he comes up with new things to learn and do and is on auto-pilot.

Saxon 5/4 Math this week was about Tesselations. Grant really enjoyed this and spend a lot of time coloring and cutting out his shapes and then filling a flat surface with them. His brain sees the world through shapes and numbers - I don't entirely understand this, so I just get out of his way and let him explore!

Art for Kids has great drawing tutorials. Grant learned how to draw Olaf this week, and of course we watched Frozen. Again. 

This week (April 15 to be exact) was also the anniversary of Jackie Robinson, #42, playing his first game in the major leagues. Grant has a small obsession with Jackie, so we read a new book, Teammates. If you have a baseball lover, I would highly recommend this book! 

Grant continued traithlon training this week. Grant is riding his bike and running faithfully each day. If you lived in my neighborhood you would see me standing in my driveway timing him (which he loves) each morning just before lunch. Next week we begin the swimming training - we are restarting our membership to the YMCA so we can all hit the pool more often and swim laps. 

The history sentence this week was about the Gulf War, and as Grant copied the sentence in his PreScripts book he also was prompted to freehand draw a map of the region. We also began reading The Gulf War: A History Just for Kids

Next week is our last meeting of the CC year. I have heard it is going to be a lot of fun!!  I know this time of year many kids are testing for Memory Masters, but Grant didn't express an interest this year and I didn't push him. We have spent the year getting our feet wet and learning the CC ropes. Just like Anna - he has learned so much - and I am content in that and don't need Memory Master testing right now. 

A Little Easter Fun and Something Serious

 I thought these "Peep Shows" were so cute. Our middle school youth leader gave the kids a bunch of art supplies and lots of Peeps and let them be creative. The bottom scene depicts the stone being rolled away from the tomb and the women that came to find Jesus' body gone on Easter morning. 

I was impressed with how the Peeps activity got the kids talking about the true meaning of Easter. 

I also want to share something serious and amazingly heart-warming with you. Last year my friend Sandra lost her husband to Melanoma. You may remember that I had been asking for prayers for Greg during his battle with cancer. 

Sandra has been an example of grace and perseverance in the months since her husband's death. She keeps a blog that has been a blessing to me. I want you to read what happened to her middle child a couple of months ago. I've never heard such a story of Christ-like sacrifice and love.  I know Sandra's words will bless you. 

I pray each of you has a wonderful Easter and that you have time to truly contemplate the gift of Jesus. It's incomprehensible to me, really - but then again God is in the business of doing things that just surprise and amaze us, isn't HE?  

How was your week? 

Please join me by linking your photo collages! 

If you'd like to link, you can do so in a couple of ways:

  • Enter your link below. Be sure to link to your post with photo collages and link back to this post (or include the Collage Friday button on your blog).
  • Share your photo collage(s) on Instagram, FB, G+, or Twitter - use the hashtag #collagefriday so I can find you!