The End of Term I Review

Now that we’ve started Term II, I wanted to share a quick run-down of what I feel I did well during Term I and what I need to work on this Term:

The Good:

*We actually did school- we followed a daily/weekly routine and completed just about everything I’d set for us to do. We didn’t rush, the days seemed well-paced and the kids (mostly) enjoyed the material we’re using.

*The kids LOVE having things to do each day- they love the stories, the music, the specific time spent pursuing learning & the Lord together. They like that we have a ‘plan’.

* We got the basics in AND I was able to keep up with a lot of the things sometimes considered ‘extras’- fine art, classical music, hymns, folk songs, nature study.

*We had fun!

The Bad:

* I totally failed to teach any Art this past Term. I had ‘Drawing with Children’ carefully scheduled and just never did it. I had it planned for Fridays when Brian is home and would be able to watch Fae so I could concentrate on helping Alex with his markers. Somehow, Fridays became ou ‘running around’ day filled with nature walks, gym classes, doctor appointments- all the things we aren’t able to do throughout the week. There never seemed to be quiet time for us to take a breath and focus.

*Although we did nature study regularly, Alex rarely journaled it. What is it that dear Charlotte says?- a lesson not narrated is a lesson lost? Well, I’d wanted to have Alex journaling his nature observations and eventually adding pictures of his finds. But again, see above. There never seemed to be time on Fridays for ‘seat work’.

*Didn’t complete a single handicraft with the kids. Had a goal of helping to improve Alex’s pre-writing fine motor skills using handicrafts. I had decided to have him carefully color a beautiful coloring book of forest life, but… well, see above.

*We never included reading a book together into our evening routine. Admittedly, this time is packed with scripture reading and seasonal activities, but I just envision us all snuggled up together reading a ‘family’ book.

The Plan:

*Am going to drop art for now. Perhaps next year when Fae is older and I can direct her attention more fully, I can attempt to do art with them. The ‘Drawing With Children’ classes have been taught to children as young as 4. Hopefully, Fae will be able to do her own version of what I work on with Alex and we can do art together.

*Am going to encourage Alex to use more photography to note his nature finds. If we can get into a habit of nature photography now, in the future, he can use his own photos as a way to populate his nature journal with drawings later.

*Am going to focus on family handicrafts instead of something Alex does himself. We made chocolates together today and I’m putting together a handicraft plan for December. Think we will perhaps choose one type of craft to work on together each month and will go with that.

Sigh- Can't you just see yourself melting into this?

*Just spoke with Brian this evening about changing our bedtime routine. After the kids are in PJs and have had their teeth brushed, we’re going to snuggle up in our bed to read to them each night before we put them down. I have several beautiful Childcraft story books that Alex has been enjoying. I also think that Andrew Lang’s ‘Fairy Books’ would be wonderful- I know Ambleside has the Red & Blue books scheduled, so we can concentrate on the 10 other books Lang collected.

Anyway, that’s my take on this past Term & my plans for improving our time together! How are things going in your homeschool?



Filed under Daily Life with Dear Charlotte, Uncategorized

6 responses to “The End of Term I Review

  1. For us, we actually did quite a lot of Art class. First, our kids attend an Art school on Saturdays for 90 minutes. They also used the paint program for a free draw type Art on their own on their laptops. Also, when reading stories to them, I had them draw as I was writing. They basically could illustrate a scene from what they were listening to. I also let Ashlyn (the 5 year old) use my point and shoot camera to take plenty of pictures on our field trips and nature walks. This made her journaling more fun.

    Otherwise, I school the two younger children (5 & 8) together. They work in their own workbooks while I read and instruct them. The 8 year old also does quite a lot of reading on her own. My older child (almost 13) is using a cyber school for the majority of her work but has done most of her creative assignments without following the assigned instructions. The teachers have all accepted her work and have even given her extra credit for doing the assignments her own way!

    Keep up the good work and pictures documenting your school day. I always enjoy checking out what others are doing and possibly doing it in our school as well.

  2. Sounds familiar! I also felt like we fell short in art, handcrafts, actually using nature notebooks and bedtime reading–but we did do great at sticking to the general plan.

  3. Eva

    I have tried DWC several times. I am not an artist so I don’t have the passion for it, however I have read the book and try to put into our daily drawings the same principles. Every art picture is to be admired if we have tried to do our best. Pictures can change while we are doing them if needed (for example, I try not to let them get frustrated when they make a mistake and want to give up) I try to demonstrate differnt ways to “fix” it so they won’t think one is better than another. We also talk about any paintings we see anywhere and sometimes if we are at a restaurant waiting they will try to “copy” the picture on the back of the kids sheet. When we do artist study they try to copy from memory the picture (if it isn’t too difficult) and then we hang them beside the original art work. Also, my oldest is very talented in drawing and this past year at age 11, I let her read the lesson and teach the younger girls. This may not be an option for you since Alex is your oldest, but maybe you could find another homeschooler that has talent and interest in teaching this. Just a thought. 🙂 I should also mention that the predrawing exercises in the early lessons were a lot of fun for the girls. I kind of used them like copy work. Once a week we would do a sheet and then after they had copied I would give them a blank piece of paper and ask them to draw anything they wanted and put one of the patterns in their drawing. I also always sat down with them to do art. It only lasted 10 minutes but we had lots of fun during the time. I also did it first thing on Mondays which is the day I am most motiviated for school! 🙂

    Again, I think you did a great job for your first term! I didn’t even try the extras the first year I did AO! Thanks for sharing your blog! I will be back!

    • Thanks, Eva! I had hoped to use the drawing excercises as additional fine-motor skill practice for Alex, but… we’ll see. Maybe I’ll work it on somewhere as we go along 🙂 And thanks for you kind words! Happy to have you!

  4. Thank you for sharing! It was so refreshing to hear how others fit things into their days/ or not! I feel so similar here! Thanks again! and all the best for the up and coming term!

  5. This is great! We’re almost done with Term 1, and I really want to write a blog post of our good and bad, too. First I need to finish up, though….

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