Fall 2008 to Spring 2009

Now that our semester is over, I’m taking some time to assess which goals we accomplished and which ones we didn’t. Of course, our “break” times really aren’t much different then our semester time.  We still do some schoolwork, but we’re just even more casual about it (if that’s possible).   It’s just a good time for me to see what’s working and what’s not and make new short-term goals.

DD#1 (turned 6 in November) did finish her Kindergarten math with about six weeks left in the semester and couldn’t wait to dig into her first grade books when they arrived. She made real jump in her reading abilities, and by the end of the semester she was starting to breeze through BOB books and a few other simple readers from the library.  She and I had some very good discussions about theology.  She also learned a lot about baseball, fashion, and elections. In gymnastics she leaped from Preschool to Developmental I, and she has been recommended to move up to Developmental II in the next session.

I also learned two very important things about my oldest.  First of all, she does much better having school time after dinner.  During the day, she has too many other things on her mind and erratic eating habits.  This makes her easily frustrated.  After dinner she really hits her groove, though.  I also realized that she doesn’t really like fiction very much.  If she’s going to be read to at all, she would generally prefer non-fiction.  Now that she can read a bit, though, she is starting to appreciate books a little more.

DD#2 (turned 3 in October) learned her numbers 1 to 9 (she thinks ten is one hundred). She also learned how to spell and type her name correctly. Developmentally she made big leaps in her understanding, vocabulary, and communication.  Towards the end of the semester I discovered that she could crudely write half the letters of the alphabet.  Who knows what other knowledge she absorbed when I wasn’t looking.

She also had her first session of gymnastics.  At the first class she was very overwhelmed by the complex directions.   And physically she was unable to do certain things, like a forward roll, without help from the teacher.  By the end of the session she was rolling perfectly and able to follow all the directions really well.  It was amazing to watch her develop so much in just a few short weeks.

And the baby (7 1/2 months) learned how to smile, laugh, and roll over (and over and over and over).  She has started kind of crawling.  I don’t know what you call the opposite of the army crawl, but that’s what she’s doing.  She pushes forward with her knees and then drags her arms out of the way.

There were things we didn’t quite accomplish.  I still haven’t managed to work in daily reading time with my younger two daughters.  And since DD#2 discovered Crazy 8’s we haven’t even been doing bedtime stories.  That is definitely something I really need to work on for next semester.

I think I did better about getting my internet time under control (as evidenced by the scarcer number of blog posts).  Unfortunately, my cleaning schedule kind of went out the window early on.  Oh, well, I know it will get easier as the baby gets bigger and more self-entertaining.

In the meantime, once our semester starts back up on January 12th, I hope to start working with DD#1 three days a week instead of two.  I would like her to finish Singapore Primary Math 1A by the end of the semester.  We’ll continue working on reading lessons by alternating worksheets with practicing in readers.  She’ll be doing one more session of gymnastics and then it will be time for tee-ball.

I’ve got Kumon’s workbook on Uppercase Letters waiting in the wings for DD#2.  She often asks to “do Math” when her sister is doing schoolwork.  So, once we finish Kumon’s First Book of Tracing, we’ll refine her letter-drawing technique whenever she feels like it.  She’ll do at least one more session of gymnastics.  I would like to keep her in something while her sister does tee-ball, so we may stick with gymnastics or find some other activity for her.

John Lennon was very wise when he wrote, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”, even if he was rather pretentious most of the time.  So, keeping this in mind, I am again keeping our goals for the next semester short and sweet.

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