Thursday, June 16, 2016

Year's End

Our school year is winding down and we are really wrapping things up.   

I thought I would take a few minutes to bore you all to tears talking about each of my students.  

Bean has come so far this year.  He is better at managing his time and following through on his assignments.   However, he has a maddening habit of being diligent until he has done about 80% of his work.  The constant need for him to catch up was very stressful to me, since it was just more stuff for my already overloaded brain to deal with.  

I am most proud of Bean for his hard work on Algebra this year.  He has had a hard time because he has been on his own with only the lessons on the Teaching Textbooks CD ROMs and no one to ask questions to.  I don't remember Algebra,  so I was no help.  Near the beginning of the year I thought it would be helpful if I took the course as well so I could help him when he needed it.  I tried, but I was just spread too thin and I couldn't find the time.  A couple of times I was able to have Bean talk to or spend time with someone who does know Algebra well, and I think that helped,  but mostly he has had to figure things out on his own.   At this point he is a little over halfway through the course with a B average on the first half (and that's letting him redo stuff.)  He wants to keep working through the summer and finish before fall, which shows some determination and initiative that I am glad to see.  

Bean made great progress with writing this year, but I still feel like he is way behind where he should be.  That's another situation where I felt spread more thin than I would like.  I did work a lot with him on spelling and he improved a lot there.  

Fish did very well this year.  The stomach problems were a challenge and they set him back some, but he was determined and diligent.  He has done well in all his subjects... Latin was sometimes a little hard for him, but he got through.  In the end he is doing just fine in math, despite the fact that I made him skip a level and that was hard for him at first. 

Roo is currently my student that is the least demanding of my teaching time.  She works very well independently.  It's nice to have one like that, with so much else going on.  She sometimes skimps on me though, just doing the bare minimum on, say, a writing assignment so she can say she's done.  When I had time to sit down with her and help her edit and rewrite her writing, adding and clarifying content, it was a good thing.  I wish I could have done more of that.  

Teaching writing well can be very time-consuming.  I enjoy it, I just wish I could find more time for it.  One thing I finally got going this year was a school newspaper.  We managed to get five issues out this winter and spring, each with four pages of the kids' writing.  It was a lot of work but we all really enjoyed it.  We mailed copies to the grandparents and they just loved it.  I definitely want to keep doing that in the future. 

The Rabbit grew a LOT this year in her ability to focus and get work done.  At the beginning of the year I dropped some of her secondary subjects because I just could not get her to get her work done.  I figured we could just battle it out over math, language, and spelling.  By the end of the year, she had her groove and it wasn't a battle anymore.  It was hard to get her to pay attention during history and science.  She didn't seem that into it.  Which is okay.  I was thinking recently about the Thomas Jefferson Education book, which I read years ago, and which has some really good content.  I like the way it describes the phases of learning, and I thought about how the Rabbit is still coming out of the core phase.  She is not really in the love of learning phase yet, where stuff like science and history would be so very interesting to her.  And that's okay.  She'll get there. 

Peanut will get there too.  She is not going to be an early bloomer, which is a blessing to me right now.  We try to read to her as often as possible, but I haven't had much time to work on academics with her this school year.  When I have, I have seen that she is not ready yet, and I know from experience now that when she is ready she will catch up beautifully.  I do hope to work more with her this summer though, since I won't be so completely caught up in working with the older kids.  A summer preschool sounds like fun!

Of course, I have so many things to do with my free time this summer that I am really going to have to plan and schedule to make sure I get them done!  I have cleaning and organizing around the house, gardening, time with friends, outings around town, and of course planning for next year.   But I have nine whole weeks... which at the moment sounds like the most amazing luxury. 

Here's to summer!

1 comment:

Bethany C. said...

I am immensely interested in your school newspapers! I've been wanting to start one but have been hesitant, knowing that I enjoy writing far more than my children do. I'm concerned it will become a Mom-project, instead of a collaborative effort. If you have time, I'd love an email with some details or pointers. Thanks!