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Jun 03

Winding down and staying the course

The school year for the girls is almost over.

The next two weeks are a whirlwind of field trips, doctor’s appointments, first semi-formal dances and awards.  Graduations (for Lilli and Jessie) are coming up.   Eighth and first grade are almost over.  They both had a really, really good year.

After the chaos and confusion of last year, this was really a year of regrouping.  They both settled in, and reverted back to where they should be.  In a lot of ways, Julie just kept going.  She’s so much younger than Jessie, and it was easier to keep her steady.   She had Sue Gravel, first of all, and we started her seeing a therapist last summer.  That was real source of support for her too – and she was able to work out a lot of the trauma around the accident and the months afterwards.   This was a tough year for her, in a lot of ways, but she’s doing so well now.  We were able to discontinue the therapy and she’s finishing up the year in a much stronger, happier place.

Jessie is the one who changed the most, of the two girls.  She’s much happier this year, much more social and content with who she is and what she wants.  She pulled in so much in seventh grade, and it’s been lovely to see her blossom this year.  Her dreams are back, she laughs more and socializes easier.  I think last year was tough on her in so many ways – she revamped all of her college and professional goals to working with children traumatized by medical issues, researched colleges that would be best for that major.  But this year – she’s back to being a Communications Director, working at the White House (she wants to be either Toby or CJ from West Wing).

My first year of homeschooling is sort of over.  I plan on continuing thru the summer at roughly this same pace – it’s more relaxed, and there’s a huge focus for me on getting him healthy and out of the house.  We covered a LOT this year.  I started his math curriculum from scratch, and we went thru the first seven and half books in the Life of Fred series.  I’m planning on spending the next six months on getting him thru the next five books, and then we’ll dive into the middle school curriculum.  We spent the fall on electoral politics, exploring the history of elections in the United States and the women’s right to vote history.  Then we started at the very beginning, and completed the first book of Story of the World (ancient history) and are mid-way thru the second book (up to the Middle Ages).  Science – we did mostly biology, exploring biomes and different animals that live in them.  We did most of one biology textbook and then switched to a living book on Zoology that he LOVES.  In terms of ELA – he read (or listened to) close to 100 audiobooks.  We did all of the Rick Riordan series (a couple of times) which dovetailed perfectly with the ancient history curriculum, and then he listened to a whole bunch of other authors as well.   We studied parts of speech with a formal ELA textbook, as well as madlibs.

My plans for next year are to continue with both the science, history and math curriculum.  I’m going to add in keyboarding and spelling next year, as well as more formal writing.  He’d also like to add in cooking classes, with the goal to start making Shabbat dinner every week for us.



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