Saturday, January 30, 2016


Our homeschool year is nearly halfway through. We are doing really well in some areas and lackluster in others. That's normal, right?

 We have a few kids who enjoy spelling. This year Josh was the bravest one of all and competed in the homeschool spelling bee. We didn't do a ton of practicing. We did watch a documentary that gave us a peek into the world of championship spellers. Josh did most of his practicing using In the bee, he made it to round 4. He was so upset when he got the word "median" wrong. He showed me that he spelled it correctly on his scratch paper, but he did, in fact, spell it wrong out loud. By round 5 the words were getting very difficult and by round 7 there was a clear winner. I don't know if he will want to try again next year, but I hope he will! He was the youngest person there this year. I'm sure he will get even better if he tries.

 Mostly I just took these pictures while I was playing around with my camera. I don't even remember what I was trying to do. :)

Malachi does good with all of his schoolwork. He is working hard on learning to write this year using IEW's Ancient History based writing lessons (alongside Zeke and Josh). I know that the long hours I put in now at his side helping him complete writing assignments will reap big rewards later. He is nowhere near an independent writer. I use a lot of prompts and suggestions and sometimes write for him. Model, model, model. It will come. By 6th grade, he will be working independently.

 Josh loves spelling and writing. Math? Not as much. But he does good at it, too. Some days Josh can complete his work efficiently and without much guidance. Other days he needs to be pushed.

 Tirzah is doing well in school, but I lack consistency with completing her checklist each day. If I could choose only one area to improve (in our homeschool) it would be this one--that I could spend more time with Tirzah each day. Sigh...

 Genna impresses us all with her pencil-holding abilities. Unfortunately, our walls bear some new marks thanks to her.

Not pictured:
Zeke is really good at math. He is also good at writing, although it depends on the day. I've read some of his work and almost accused him of plagiarism. It is surprisingly good. Other assignments it seems like he writes just the bare minimum. That's ok...the minimum gets raised nearly every week. :) Zeke doesn't like to practice typing, but he would rather type his work than write it. He isn't good at spelling, so writing in a word processor is a life-saver for him. It finds almost all his misspelled words!

Caleb hides in his room and works all day on his school, 7 days a week. No, I'm not a slave driver. He says his work takes that long to do. He has turned into such a teenager! I make up reasons to pop into his room on a regular basis. I feel like it's my duty as his mother. When I want to go over the problems he has missed on the latest math test (rare), he rolls his eyes at me. I insist that it is the highlight of my day, and it's ok to "let" me teach math once in a while. He is exasperated. :)

Eden is enrolled in her second semester at SCTCC. She tells me frequently that she wants to go back to being little when all she had to worry about was playing with barbies. Me too some days.

On that note...yes, when I look at the big picture of what all I'm doing and how much longer I will need to do it for, I am completely and utterly overwhelmed. When I'm having a bad day, it's enough to physically knock me down and keep me there. So I don't look. Not too often anyway. I try to stay focused on just what is in front of me. I borrowed that from one of Donita K. Paul's books recently, and I'm clinging to it.

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