Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Term that Fell Apart

All I can say is, it's a good thing this is only Kindergarten. After a very happy and productive Fall and Winter, we lost steam at the beginning of May. I signed up for a theatrical production that required rehearsals three times a week, and we started swimming lessons once a week for six weeks. Add in the garden, and suddenly the easy, calm routine we followed every day all winter just didn't work anymore. The worst thing was that I didn't seem to have the time or energy to sit down and fix it, so we just stumbled along in the chaos.

This is why I plan each season. A fresh start four times a year? Yes please. Things have settled down a little this week, and that has given me a chance to think about what happened with our Spring and plan for better things in our Summer.

I don't want to give the impression that everything fell apart. SA read about fifty books this term, and while he doesn't love reading the way he loves math, he is happy to read every day. Our math lessons did rather dry up after the beginning of May, but he hasn't lost ground. He continued to practice at Khan Academy daily, and has almost finished Early Math there (as far as I can tell, this level covers K-Gr 2). I don't consider Khan Academy a tool for significant growth in math for him, but at least it kept his math love somewhat satisfied. Another area of progress was piano. I started him off with a few lessons from an Alfred book I found at Value Village, and he took off. He practices for the joy of it every day, and that makes me very happy.

But what I felt was the best part of our homeschool this Fall and Winter, our "circle times" of morning devotions and poetry teatimes, really did fall apart this Spring, and I regret that. Every time I needed the car, we would have to go to work with Stephen in the morning. This meant that the breakfast-around-the-table anchor for our morning memory work was gone in favour of a quick sandwich in the car. Tea time also became sporadic, happening once or twice a week instead of every day. This meant that our memory work slowed down significantly. We kept up with Scripture and hymns, but learned only ten new catechism questions and no new poems. I have noticed something good coming out of this, though. The boys are eagerly requesting favourite poems whenever we do have poetry teatime, where before they were rather taking it all for granted.  JJ especially has really connected with some of A.A. Milne's poetry, which we began to read in this term.

Nature study was very informal and mostly related to gardening. They planted some seeds and watched them begin to grow. My nature journal has been sadly neglected.

Habits are another area that suffered. Not only did we not develop any new habits, our old ones have not been doing so well with our irregular routine.

I think the most important lesson for myself is just to pick myself up, adjust my expectations, and begin again. Now to work on my plans for Summer!