Well, we've been officially at school for about a month now. It's going pretty well, I'd say, but - can you say BUSY?!
We've got 4th grade, 3rd grade, 2 Kindergarteners, and a Pre-K. The course load for the 4th grade is much more intense than in previous years, which is an adjustment, and Kenna struggles a bit with her reading and comprehension still (she tests at "average" on the state standardized test, but I'd really like her to do better because it's not an area of strength for her, which is pretty obvious to me - "average" is certainly not setting the bar high, when you're talking standardized tests:-/). Brooks is well above average in this area, so it's one of those things she sort of gives up on - "Brooks is good at it, I'm not". Trying to impart that reading can be fun, is super necessary even if not fun, and a skill to be very well mastered has been our goal. She's making improvements and strides, but not without a few tears. She still has a few dyslexic tendencies with d & b, which seem to be working themselves out with age, but its just taking time, repetition, and practice. Not really her 3 favourite things at the moment:-)
I *adore* homeschooling for this very reason - it's so adaptable! When one person needs more help, we are able to provide it, and can easily make adjustments when something is not working. We center much of our "downtime" around this central-focus of bolstering her abilities where they are weaker. For games, we play Boggle or Scattergories. We read at dinner, and have her take turns reading portions aloud. Brooks is generally a quick study:-) He, although officially beginning 3rd grade, is pretty much halfway through it already, and doing many 4th grade subjects already.
We have Sonny again this year! Kindergarten is an "optional" in our state, and since he didn't get accepted into the desired public school (they select children by a lottery system), he's getting homeschooled this year. This keeps me busy as well, because of the extra course work with the olders, and then of course, since Sonny & Grey are not independent readers yet, I pretty much have to do all their work with them - teaching them the math concepts, practicing it, giving instructions for worksheets and handwriting techniques etc.
And May-May is learning letters, writing, sounds etc, and playing with lots of playdoh and busy books:-)
We have cancelled out of our science co-op for this year, because we were pressed for time in getting everything "in" and it didn't fit in with our over all focus of the year, being reading and writing (mostly for Kenna's benefit, but helps all really).
The kids do 4 hours of a Homeschool Physical Education program at the YMCA (free with membership), they love it! Kenna and Brooks have piano each Tuesday afternoon. Brooks and Grey currently are playing flag football. And now they all are in Awanas...Grey's in Sparks. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! We still adhere to at 7pm bedtime when possible, sometimes it's not with church and sports. But it generally keeps everyone well rested, and Momma totally sane with evenings free to...do dishes and stuff. :-)
We are sort of starting our own mini co-op just right here at the house. I have a fun Geography/Animal Habitat studies curriculum I got from my sister, and it's super hands on and great! For Sonny, Grey & May's benefit, we are going to have 2 other kindergarteners join us every other Friday and well do that together in the mornings. I think they'll really have a lot of fun with it!
So, life's been busy! Like, really busy! It's been nice and fun, but the kids are definitely offering up their share of complaints over the lack of free time. Welcome to the world, guys. Haha!! Super grateful for our trampoline, they are able to bounce off lots of energy with little time involved. The boys looooove to practice baseball and football together too, which is so adorable!
It's been amazing to see how our family is growing up. I still think of them as the adorable little munchkins that used to dance around the livingroom - but they are so far from that now. They are turning into wonderful little people, and we're so proud of them! I guess it's nice to look back and see how far we've come, and see that the path we set out to follow has been endured, and enjoyed, and is yielding positive results. A lot of our friends have kids much younger than ours - we're only 18 months away from Kenna being able to stay home alone. WHHHHAAAAT?!! It's so funny how busy you think you are when the kids are little. That "busy-ness" is but preparation for the real thing, let me assure you. It's amazing how quickly all baby/toddler/child behaviours (and corrections) have culminated into the people that they are. We love 'em, anyway!