Alternate title: End of Year (2021-2022) Homeschool Wrap Up
Our 2021-2022 homeschool year started off rocky and late. Our move from California to Idaho in September, living in our travel trailer, and house hunting in a crazy real estate market really made homeschooling extremely difficult. So we didn’t really start until October. Getting off to such a late and rocky start felt like it threw off the entire school year. The less than ideal start, plus my homesickness, plus a long cold bleak winter, plus picking up every cold and flu germ possible didn’t help matters at all. We must’ve been down sick at least one week per month. It’s been ridiculous. Although I’m not totally surprised, because the same thing happened when moved to North Carolina in 2016. We just picked up every single stinkin’ germ in the new locale.
Then the basement flooded over Thanksgiving break and it wasn’t fixed until… until… hmmm… still not fixed…
I had some personal issues with friends and relatives that were heart wrenching. Then we made the difficult decision to withdraw from our church when politics made their way to the pulpit. All this left me in a state of existential crisis and I’m currently still dealing with that. I will spare you any further diatribe and suffice to say: physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally it was a really rough year! If we wanted to be dramatic (and I do), we could title my homeschool year, “Heavenstobetty and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Homeschool Year”. I’m hoping that most of you are familiar with the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz. If not, you should check it out because “…some days are like that. Even in Australia.”
C’est la vie. It does sound a bit better in French doesn’t it!?! We all have bad days, bad weeks, bad moths, or even bad homeschooling years. That’s life after all. The best we can do is enjoy the moments of joy and keep a chin up during the moments of misery. Have faith, don’t loose hope, and remember that sometimes moving forward looks more like zigzagging around in circles.
We managed, and it was certainly not a wasted year. I know that my children learned and grew, but I don’t feel great about it. I’m totally exhausted. I felt like I never quite got a foothold, and I was perpetually stuck in survival mode. “I don’t want to survive! I want to live!” – the captain in the Disney/Pixar film “Wall-E”
Here are some things that went well despite all the drama.
We eventually unpacked the keyboard in December, and because we had taken such a long break (since May) we restarted everyone at lesson #1 in Simply Piano. We are really enjoying this piano instruction app and highly recommend it. The kids really seem to be doing well with it. It almost seems like the long break and starting over from the beginning has improved everyone’s skills. Thank you Jesus!
We switched math curriculum in mid-January adding yet another stumbling block to our already sluggish momentum. Math Lessons for a living education, which worked just great for our oldest son wasn’t working very well at all for our middle daughter. The level 6 our oldest was using was taking a really long time to grade. So we switched all 3 kiddos over to Teaching Textbooks, an app based program. That was a huge weight off of my shoulders even though I had a twinge of guilt for letting the computer teach my children. The twinge didn’t last long. It’s just so much easier!
The kids earned Junior Ranger Badges from Craters of the Moon National Monument, The Underground Railroad and National Forest Junior Snow Ranger patches.
We try to read together before bed every night (except for 2 movie nights per week). We usually spend about an hour reading before bedtime to wind down. Our oldest son (age 12), is allowed to stay up later reading his own books before he goes to sleep. I’ll post a list of the books he read when he finishes this year’s Extreme Book Nerd challenge. Our middle daughter (age 9) is working on reading more this year, and she might complete the challenge too. Our youngest son (age 8) can technically read, but he’s just not that into it yet, maybe next year… Here are the books we read or listened to together as a family:
- How Great is Our God: 100 Indescribable Devotions about God and Science by Louie Giglio
- Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost, Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman
- Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo + movie (2005) on Disney+
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (we skipped the movies because I think they are just so weird) + LitWits class
- Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ririe Brink + movie (1989) + LitWits class
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson + movie (1983)
- Freedom Train: the story of Harriet Tubman by Dorothy Sterling + Annimated Hero Classics: Harriet Tubman short movie + LitWits class
- How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell + movie (2010) by Dreamworks
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate + movie on Disney+
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London + movie starring Harrison Ford
- Rascal by Sterling North + movie (1969) by Disney
- Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
- The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw + LitWits class
- The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett + movie (1993) imo this is the best movie version of the book & the only version I would recommend. We also watched the movie, Return to the Secret Garden (2002) and enjoyed it very much + LitWits class
- Peter Pan by James Barrie + old Disney cartoon movie (1953)
- More About Paddington by Michael Bond
- King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry + movie (1990)
- American Girl Molly series + Molly’s short stories series
Several of our book choices were LitWits books and the kiddos participated in corresponding Zoom classes with the teachers, Becky and Jenny. These women do a wonderful job and the kiddos really enjoy the enriching classes. They learn a lot and have a great time doing it.
We also joined:
- our church’s scouting type program (before our withdrawal from the church)
- a co-op where the kiddos took classes in American Sign Language and choir
- ice skating lessons
- the neighborhood mom’s book group
- we set up a table at a used Homeschool Curriculum Fair
- the kiddos launched a hand loom-knitted hat business (more on that venture to come…)
Why did I do all this extra stuff?!? Because we didn’t have enough going on already!?! What was I thinking!?!
We’re going to need to chill out on all the extra curricular activities because that was way too much obligation to fulfill! Whoa 😳
We ended up joining a nearby rock climbing gym mid-May and we will continue with that one activity for the foreseeable future.
The end of the official school year and switching gears to summer school is just what I need to refresh, recharge, regroup, take stock, re-prioritize, organize, and start fresh. I’m heading into the next season with high hopes! We are going to continue with summer school to finish up our app-based math, our spelling workbooks, and 3 summer classes with LitWits. I’ll write a post about how our summer school works very soon. I’m hoping to find the kiddos swimming lessons this summer, plant a garden, we have a few camping trips planned, and we will spend as much time out-of-doors as possible!
Cheers to the 2022/2023 school year – that’s gonna be the year!
☀️ We hope you all have a great summer! Love, heavenstobetty