As we have approached the middle of our “school year”, it is time to evaluate what we are doing, what is working, what is not. My first instinct is to panic as we are halfway through but have not learned nearly enough! But then I remind myself that learning continues whether the calendar says we are in school or not. Technically there is no real end to our learning. As long as progress is being made, then we are successful.
Now for the details:
I have seen great improvement in Bethany’s work ethic this year. She knows what is expected and gets most of her assignments done on her own. She has become more responsible with her cleaning and pet care chores. She has also become a big helper in caring for her sisters.
Academically, she is flying through 7th grade math, a grade level ahead. She has spent many hours reading and researching information on small animals. While there has been significant improvement in her spelling, we could definitely focus on getting it even better. She still needs to learn to spell many of her sight words.
Andrew has shown a softened spirit this year as he has begun to understand how his actions affect those around him. He is adjusting this year to being “in school” while the younger kids play. He is an avid reader, so for Science we have been reading Magic School Bus books. This is a double bonus as we get to snuggle up with some great books AND we are learning some great science. He has been slow to write and still has plenty work to do, but has shown some improvement. I will start teaching him to type and practice his letters and numbers with free printable Kindergarten handwriting sheets I found online. Shhh… he doesn’t have to know that. It is all about progress, not grade levels.
I did not start formal lessons so early with Andrew, but she is ready. She showed no interest in learning to read early in the year but would follow along in our hymnal at church each Sunday. Now she is reading everything she sees except for books not written by Dr. Seuss. Emily is my child that will do it when she sees fit to do it. She has taken a liking to clipboards, so I am able to put a couple worksheets with writing or math on one and she works diligently. I think it makes her feel important! One thing I need to work on with Emily is her independence. She still wants me to do absolutely everything for her, and nobody else’s help with do.
Lily has been the easiest preschooler I have had. She has always been very good about entertaining herself or lying down across my lap and falling asleep during our school time. She is only four, but has recently decided she wants to do “her school”. She doesn’t come every day, but when she does, she joins in, does her worksheets that I give her, and proudly displays her work afterward. She is beginning to read letter sounds and put together matching words. Lily is the opposite of Emily in that she wants to do EVERYTHING by herself and adamantly refuses any help. This makes for lots of messes, but she is making the effort to grow up.
That wraps up my mid year evaluation. Surely it is easier to guide their learning after looking at where they have come from, what they have accomplished, and where they need to go. It is time to press forward and let the learning continue!