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A Week, Briefly (August 1, 2022)

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 We began working on new school routines  Step 1: New chores for everyone! So far, so good. Step 2: Reinstate morning walks. So far, so crazy hot and sticky!!  It's rather a production getting 14-16 humans and 1-2 dogs out the door, but it's worth it . . . and we're picking up trash again, so we're serving our community! Step 3: Gather at the table for snack time, so I can add another read-aloud session to the day. This is definitely a work in progress in need of further development, but we did have one lovely session of reading poems from My Book of Delights vol. 12 from the Well-Educated Heart rotation that will guide much of our reading this year. Here is The Munchkin taking me up on my suggestion to draw a picture of one of the poems. " I dwawed a bumble bee.  It gonna 'ting him on the nose!" I hope to inspire more kids to draw and write about what they hear. Step 4: Establish a toddler reading time. So far Sugar Bear likes this time best, with Th

The Second Half of July

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 We started 2 Mondays ago with the Fibonacci Sequence.  My goal was to watch a couple of videos just to catch the kids' attention.  But those two videos led to 3 more videos , and suddenly Beowulf was yelling, "I want to do that!"  The other kids joined in, and before I knew it, everyone had graph paper and markers and was drawing golden rectangles and golden spirals. It was an AWESOME afternoon of mom-inspired, self-directed learning. That evening, Nature Angel showed me the purse she'd invented and crocheted. On Tuesday, we went to the library. That evening, Ladybug and Little Princess were able to go to the temple with some of their youth group. The next night there was a big youth carnival combined with another ward (congregation), and the kids all played crazy games both indoors and out, then had popsicles.  In spite of the intense heat, they had a grand time. She's all ready to have cheese puffs thrown at her head!! The days were honestly so hot that we only

2021-22 End of Year Assessment--Belle

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  Belle doesn't take pictures, and she's never in them, either!  I'm going to have to get some done of her ASAP.  Our friend volunteered to give Belle a free photography session (and she's very good), so it will be fun to have some gorgeous portraits of my darling girl. Belle has been transitioning out from under my homeschool supervision.  She took 2 classes at the community college--1 each semester for dual enrollment credit. Fall semester:  Communications 100:  A:  1 high school credit Winter semester:  College Algebra:  A:  1 high school credit With her prior 22.75 credits, these two put her at 24.75 --a perfectly acceptable college preparatory level of high school work.  Indeed, she was accepted to SVU for admission Fall 2022! Belle has decided to defer her college enrollment to serve a full-time mission for our church.  She's had her first meeting with the bishop (the leader of our local congregation), and she's filling out paperwork now.  We've decide

2021-22 End of Year Assessment--Nature Angel

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Nature Angel has completed her 9th-grade year.  As with Little Princess, it seemed that she was doing less than she actually did, but she did so. much. good. work! Language Arts:   0.5 credit English 9, The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts High School 1 , 5 out of 10 units completed Math:   0.75 credit Algebra 1 with Geometry, Saxon, 90 out of 120 lessons completed Science:   0.5 credit Biology 1, Apologia Exploring Creation with Biology, 9 out of 16 modules completed History:       Ancient World History--Creation to Christ , custom-created course with literature, 1.0 credit          The Old Testament          The Three Brothers of Ur          Gilgamesh the Hero          Shepherd, Potter, Spy, and the Star Namer          Tirzah          Tales from Ancient Egypt (most of it)          Landmark's Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt (3 chapters)          The Golden Goblet          The Cat of Bubastes          Bulfinch's Mythology (most of it)          Black Ships Before Troy       

2021-22 End of Year Assessment --Little Princess

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  Little Princess turned 12 years old at the start of our school year.  She needed a lot of support that she didn't get, and between the two of us, we could be crushed under guilt for how the school year went. We started the year with high hopes after having worked for hours together to find books and create plans that she would feel invested in.  We were both so excited. Life happened. I couldn't give her support. She thought she should be functioning on her own--able to solve all of the problems herself. She couldn't. If she did dare to ask for help, she felt guilty, and if I didn't explain things exactly right the first time, she'd get angry at herself for taking up my time, and she'd take it out on me, and we'd both have to walk away to calm down with no problems solved. I know I tried to reach out, but she stuffed her feelings down because she didn't want to be a burden. I'd be frustrated because she wouldn't talk. She wouldn't talk beca

2021-22 End of Year Assessment--Ladybug

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  Ladybug had a big year--turning 11, getting braces, diving into fantasy novel series and becoming a die-hard reader, crocheting lots of toys and things as gifts for siblings, starting the youth program at church, and gaining lots of childcare skills. She is not by any means free of the ghosts of her past that affect her daily behaviors, but she has made so much progress, and she's really learned a lot about accepting her mistakes with grace and moving on. That was probably the biggest theme of her homeschool year--acknowledging mistakes gracefully.  It's a hard thing to be a perfectionist; it's an even harder thing to be intellectually disabled and a perfectionist!  Every single mistake would drive her into yelling, screaming, crying, and sulking.  It made school really, really hard.  (understatement) Many of her acting-out sessions would turn into several-hour marathons during which I would have to put her in a safe place and just wait them out.  When she finished, I wou

2021-22 End of Year Assessment--Mister Man

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 As with all of the other kids, we started the year with big plans and had to simplify.  When things got rough, we put Latin, typing, language arts, journaling, and Book of Mormon on the shelf.  All Mister Man had to do each day was a math lesson and a handwriting lesson. When he finished his cursive practice book, we added language arts back in.  When he finished his math book, I asked him to do double language arts, but he asked if he could do Book of Mormon , and I said yes. At the end of the school year, he'd completed HWT cursive practice and Saxon Math 5/4.  He was most of the way through Lightning Literature grade 4, and he made good progress in his Book of Mormon journal.   Mister Man is a prolific reader.  Thank goodness he's willing to re-read books or I couldn't keep him satisfied.  He read hundreds of books--both quality and fluff--and he's well on his way to completing the Mensa grades 4-6 reading list. The trauma of the early part of the year left its