Are you amazed at how QUICKLY this school year has gone?
It is so hard for me to believe I will be the mother of a high schooler (YIKES!) and a 5th grader next year.
We pursue an intense Classical education during the bulk of our homeschool year, but I do enjoy relaxing a bit as we enter the last month of official "school". I love the mix that we now have in our homeschool. It seems to be what our family was looking for all along.
The next month will be delight-directed, literature rich, and mostly spent OUT OF DOORS!
* This post contains affiliate links.
( But first, a recap of our last community day: )
Last Day of Foundations & Essentials
The last community day of the year was such fun!
The Foundations classes introduced the final week of memory work, and then had an hour long review time, consisting of rotating from state to state for review games! I was also so impressed to hear of the children in Grant's class recite the Preamble to the Constitution for their presentation on the last day.
I will probably say this a thousand times, but I am BLOWN AWAY by the memorization of facts -- and watching how those facts eventually resurface again (and are expanded upon) in Challenge!
Our community celebrated a milestone: the first group of kids that started this CC Community are moving to Challenge next year. Our community started with the vision of three families - and now it is so much bigger than that. God is so good.
Essentials consisted of the last week of English Grammar instruction, followed by stations of fun grammar and math games.
These kids have covered so much in just 24 weeks, and the fact that Grant will get it all over again next year (but DEEPER) just excites me so much.
I'm not sure if Grant or I learned more - I just know that I am a richer person for having done Essentials this year.
Not only can I see the benefits NOW, I can also see how much an intensive study of English Grammar will prepare Grant for Latin in the Challenge years.
The hard work done in IEW has pushed his writing to amazing places.
I'm just basking in the glow of a year of much learning, accomplishment, and fun.
The Challenge B Home Stretch
My daughter's Challenge B class still has two more meetings. They continue with math, logic, science, Latin, Mock Trial, and Short Stories until the very last day.
The more I sit and observe the Challenge program, the more the Classical method sinks in with me, and the more I am immensely thankful we found this way of learning.
These kids are working until the very last second. Next week is mock trial; when I had heard that mock trial was a big deal I wasn't sure if people were just exaggerating.
Mock Trial is a BIG DEAL!
( I'm sure I will be sharing more in a post soon. )
I think Anna's favorite thing right now is Discovering Atomos - which is a brief introduction to the grammar of Chemistry. Her tutor has the kids play fun games to help memorize the elements and the kids are getting just enough of a taste of Chemistry so they will be prepared for a deeper study later in their Challenge years.
Logic was a HUGE struggle this year (it must be - because do you see I included the picture of Logic proofs TWICE in the collage above? Yikes!). And, while the struggle wasn't always painless, that was the point: we could struggle through something hard and pick up the grammar of the subject, knowing we didn't have to master Logic (or always understand it, either).
So much of the Challenge curriculum is tackling hard ideas - tackling them with your tutor and peers in a safe environment - knowing that you can learn anything you set your mind to. Our children are LEARNING HOW TO LEARN, not learning to perform on a test. There is a HUGE difference.
Relaxed Homeschool AFTER CC Ends
I so enjoy these first days of gorgeous spring weather. We have been outside on the deck A LOT, reading aloud, doing math, and just relaxing.
School still is "in session" (isn't it always?) and while Anna is still plugging away at Challenge work, Grant is reading a lot, helping his dad with projects in the yard, helping me in the kitchen (He helped me put together a yummy Baked Peach French Toast for a family in our CC community), finishing math, and pursuing some of his interests.
We took a leisurely trip to the library, did a couple of puzzles, and rode bikes.
I was in awe of what a great lifestyle homeschooling is, and posted this pic and comment on the blog FB page this week. It resonated with so many of you:
I appreciate these relaxed days and know that this "magical" time won't last forever - I am savoring every minute!
Here are some other things Grant has been exploring, and will continue to explore over the next month as his big sister finishes her formal school year in Challenge B:
Treasure Island Audio Book (with the Memoria Press study guide- excellent!)
Weather - using these National Geographic books
Library books about the US Presidents (he's shown an interest in this all year)
Tinker Crate (probably his FAVORITE thing!)
Whatever else strikes his fancy (isn't that marvelous?)
So, you can see that we're winding down our homeschool... still a couple of weeks to go for my oldest, and my youngest is now relaxing to finish the school year.
Talk to me about how you finish your school year -- or do you school year round? I love that we can do what works best for us as a family, and that this doesn't have to look like what the homeschooler next door does. If that were the case, then we should just all put the kids in public school where they could do the same thing, right?
Join Me For Collage Friday
Feel free to grab this graphic (right click and save to your computer) and include it with your photo collage post. Use the widget below to add your post with photo collages for the week. Visit other bloggers in the link-up to gain ideas and offer encouragement and support.
The #CollageFriday community is my favorite place to be each Friday!