Thursday, May 15, 2014

End of the school year

Having nothing else to write about at the moment, I thought I would share our end of the school year plans. (Well, I could write about the ongoing conversations with the car repair guy, but I won't. Let's just say when I hear his voice on the line now, three phone calls later, my heart does not leap with joy.) Things are winding down around here and we are starting to ooze our way into a more relaxed summer schedule. (Which is pretty relaxed because I would already describe our general style of homeschooling as already on the relaxed side.)

Here is what we're doing this month: Older people are finishing up with their assigned work from the school year. They are finishing up text books, big projects, and such, though everyone will continue to work on math throughout the summer and A. will probably continue working through test prep books. For our group projects, we are finishing up leaning about Rome. We are nearly done with The Story of the Romans, which I have enjoyed, and we have at last one more big project to go along with it... building a model of a Roman road. Our lunch time read aloud is currently The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare. It is one of my favorite chapter books and it fits nicely with the part of Roman history we are currently reading about.

We are also finishing our study of sea creatures. There are just a couple of chapters left in the book, and then we will finish working on the ocean boxes the younger group of making. Plus, I have some documentaries coming that we will watch. We had been reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to go along with what we were learning, but I just couldn't finish it. The lists and lists and lists of animals' scientific names, and endless descriptions of measurements and other such dry, dry, dry lists bogged us down and we all lost any interest in the story. Instead, I have done something I hardly ever do... we put away the book and ordered the movie to watch together instead. There are just some books (not many, but some) that are just better for the editing that a movie requires. It was a relief to set the book aside and everyone now enjoys our lunch time read alouds again.

There are also some other fun end of the year things planned. Next week is our artist trading card party with friends and we are planning a field trip to Old World Wisconsin. And then it is summer, which sometimes seems busier than the school year, what with camps and trips and things. During the summer everyone will continue with math and I will continue working with H. and K. because they are both on the cusp of gaining real facility with reading and I don't want to lose momentum. Actually, things don't look all that different around here during the summer, except that the weather is (supposedly) warmer.

This doesn't seem all that riveting, but I know sometimes I'm asked about the end of school and what that looks like for us. It's easier to describe what we do in the various seasons, because learning never really ends, it just happens in different ways.

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