Saturday, May 10, 2014

Kindergarten, Week 36; FINITO!

     We are done!  I don't even know where to begin to write, which is why although our official last day of school was May 1, it is a week later that I am beginning to summarize our last week.  Plus, in the middle of writing this my daughter stopped me to work on telling time.  (The learning never stops!)

     Our last week brought us to Revelations in the Bible.  What a fantastic way to end our school year; with the image of God's Kingdom yet to come!  I constantly see God at work in my daughter and am thankful that He has plans for her that will bring glory to Him.

     We also finished The Hundred Dresses.  I don't know if I was emotional because everything was coming to a close, or if the ending of the book really touched me, but I teared up!  My Little Toughie had to console me as I explained the significance of the ending.  It's a book I definitely recommend reading to little ones and keeping around for them to read to themselves later on.

     As a way of acknowledging the end of our school year (Although I will continue to do a little homeschooling during this 2 month hiatus; she wants to start again in July.) we had a little celebration luncheon.  We were in attendance along with my step-daughter, her fiancee and kids.  There, The Principal handed her certificates of completion by Sonlight.  She also recited "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer from memory.  It's a beautiful poem!  It was a wonderful gathering and a great way to end her school year.

     So, what did she learn this year?  Between Classical Conversations and Sonlight my Little Toughie learned:

  • 24 history sentences covering topics from Charlemagne to the present
  • 161 events and people in chronological order
  • 44 presidents
  • Over 100 locations around Europe and Asia, including mountain ranges and rivers
  • 24 science facts, even the laws of thermodynamics (at 6 years old...what?!)
  • English grammar facts, including memorizing a list of pronouns from objective to indefinite
  • Multiplication tables up to 15x15 and laws of addition and multiplication
  • Latin Verb endings of the first conjugation

     She also:

  • Read the Bible from Old to New Testament
  • Read biographies of 30 different missionaries who spread the Gospel throughout the world
  • Did 12 science experiments
  • Learned about the orchestra
  • Studied 6 Great Artists and completed corresponding projects
  • Read over 40 books to herself
  • Listened to me read (I don't know how many) books aloud
  • Completed over 400 math worksheets
  • Did 25 oral presentation, one of which was the poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer, which she memorized and recited.

     Those were just the things I could pull from our resources and could remember.  There were many discussions that came forth from our homeschool days; deep conversations that could only happen because I homeschool her and we can take as much time we need.  These were lessons that weren't planned but were taught and I know God had His hand on those particular moments.

     Which leads me to what I learned this first homeschool year.  I learned that a homeschool day doesn't always go as planned, but it's okay.  That could be anyone's day, but I was able to work through it with my daughter and teach her how to handle the curve balls life can sometimes throw.

     I got to spend real quality time with my daughter during what we termed her Kindergarten year.  I'm blessed to be able to do that.  We are blessed to be able to do that.  Not many parents are, and I thank God every day for blessing us with the provisions to make it happen.

     I learned what kind of books my daughter likes and am glad that because our reading list varied, her taste in books does as well.  I learned her favorite subjects (all of them for now).  I learned to not worry so much about whether or not she would "get it" because in the end, she did.  Homeschooling allows me to take it at her pace, not anyone else's.  It allows me to teach her a love of learning and that it can be fun at any age.

     I learned to prioritize better, in all aspects of my life.  Not that I was ever bad at that but I was able to narrow down what I deemed important to our family and our relationship with Jesus.  I let everything else go.

     I learned how to create my own curriculum, which I will share with you when our school year begins!

     Ultimately, what was pressed upon my heart during this first year of homeschooling is that God is at work and has plans for my kids.  Great and wonderful plans!  Academics aside, I've been entrusted with raising lovers of Christ; future apostles to spread His Word and shine His light; to be living testimonies of how much God loves us.

     There is no greater lesson.

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