Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A (Homeschool) Year in Review

Well, Th and I just completed our first year of school (at home). Third grade was challenging for both of us. I was nervous because it is a pivotal year in a child's education. The subjects contain concepts that are more difficult to grasp. For instance, multiplication/division are taught in math, higher-level vocabulary is used in reading, and various grammar concepts are applied in language arts. Th also learned to write in cursive this year, which was a rewarding experience to observe in and of itself.

Besides his academic maturity, he has also grown in other ways.

Spiritual:
Th moved up from the Pee Wee Sailor's Club to join the Patch Club. Each month, he has to memorize passages of scripture (8-10 verses in length) to earn a pin for his hat. He made the transition in December and has earned 5 pins for the remainder of this year. He has also formed new friendships and strengthened old ones as a result of this Club change.

Faithfulness:
Th has shown such responsibility this year simply by doing what he needed to do. For the most part, he finished his schoolwork everyday. The days he didn't, it was usually because of a factor outside of his control (like I didn't have time to get to that particular subject, or he wasn't grasping the concept as quickly as I had planned and I didn't want him to move on to the next until he demonstrated mastery).

Th was really good about getting his work done in a timely manner, whether it was schoolwork or chores. As a result, TJ & I allowed him to take a job. He has been volunteering on a weekly basis at our local pregnancy center as the "garbage guy". He gathers up and bags the garbage from all over the building, usually resulting in about 4 big bags full, and then takes it to the big garbage can outside. He then hauls that to the curb for collection the next day. Th LOVES this job and looks forward to doing it each week. The center staff & volunteers enjoy his company and I am so thankful the Lord presented this opportunity to him. Th has definitely learned the meaning of SERVICE TO OTHERS as a result of gathering up the garbage week in and week out over the past several months. My hope and prayer is that this opportunity will put a desire in him to continue to serve the Lord in other areas throughout his life.

Responsibility:
Th has shown growth in this area, as well. In an attempt to earn money for art camp this summer, he came up with a list of jobs he can do and gave them to our  neighbors and some friends from church. Th enjoys his "jobs", which typically include caring for our neighbors' mail, pets, newspapers, etc. when they go out of town. He has also done some cleaning and yard work for other people, along with washing cars, etc. Th was able to earn the money he needed, plus more.

Along with learning the concept of saving for something he really wants (currently it's a new, bigger bike), he has also learned the importance of doing a job until completion and doing HIS best. If it's not his best, he knows he might not get paid or hired again. =)

I have greatly enjoyed watching his progression over the course of the year, and I can understand why so many choose to homeschool. Witnessing your child's learning (academic or otherwise) is awesome and something that I will cherish forever! This is time with him I will never get back, and I couldn't imagine him reaching these milestones under anyone else's supervision. Perhaps that's a little cheesy, but it's so true!