I love the return to routine that January brings. Our days have been filled with “normal” learning. Reading lessons, spelling tests, singing memory work, and practicing math are filling our days.
January also has already brought it’s share of illnesses to the family, but we’re still getting a lot of learning done. (Who knew you could have strep throat without a fever?)
I love re-evaluating the school plan in January and tweaking it if needed. Our weekly checklists have changed a little since I first shared. The kids prefer if I assign the “weekly tasks” to a certain day. It’s a simple change, but it helps them to organize better. I’ve added a few fun things like a craft project to Ruth’s list and a science experiment to Elijah’s.
Our morning devotional time still includes a hymn, but we now are using the devotional book Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God instead of reading through Philippians. We haven’t restarted We Choose Virtues yet after Christmas, but I plan to add it in again this upcoming week.
Sometimes in this winter stretch, I can find myself discouraged, feeling like my children aren’t learning anything. It might be that child who takes a ridiculously long time to complete a math assignment or having to reteach the same concept for what feels like the hundredth time.
Whatever it is that is discouraging you, I encourage you to take a few minutes to look back and see the progress of the year.
A few examples of progress in my family:
At the beginning of the year, I had to write out Elijah’s math questions for him from his Saxon book. He’s been writing them himself for months and is more than half way through the book.
Isaiah has started reading books silently to himself. He even comes to ask me when he gets stuck on a word so I know he is actually reading them. His favorite books at least this week are the Fly Guy books.
When I looked back at kids’ handwriting from the beginning of the year, I can see great improvement in everyone’s writing. Both Elijah and Ruth are really learning cursive. Isaiah has taken off using Draw, Write, Now books.
Elijah, who didn’t used to write much at all, hand-wrote his rough draft for Essentials this week by himself. He also chose to write a fun (3-page) story for his dad’s birthday present.
Ruthie and Elijah quizzed each other on geography Friday afternoon as I worked on the computer. It’s been a slow process, but I think they are finally taking a bit more ownership of the memory master process. I’m still going to have to quiz them a lot myself too, but they are learning how to work together.
I’ve been able to hand over our geography fair project to Ruthie, and I think she’ll be able to do most of it without help from me.
Gideon asks me to read him books more often than I have time to read them, confidently goes to his CC class each week, and really wants to learn how to read.
I’m sure I could come up with a lot more examples of progress, but you get the idea.
As a homeschool mom, some days really don’t feel like there is any progress. Take a minute to think back to what September or October were really like, and you may be surprised at all the progress you see.
I hope you are enjoying your days, getting back to a routine, and can even see a little progress!
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