Our summer break officially started yesterday. This year we have an entire 6 weeks off to slow down, read good books, and play. Every time I think about our journey to homeschool and reflect on our homeschool mission, I praise God for his constant hand in direction. Last year I posted our year in review as we kissed first grade good-bye. After going back through that post and the many pictures that I captured this past year, it’s humbling to see the abundant blessings that God has poured out on my family as we follow him in our home education journey.
After having homeschooled a year and a half, this year has been the most pleasant that I’ve experienced so far. I started to overcome self doubt. I felt more equipped as I continued to seek God’s help every morning.
We still had our trials and heartache but through every battle we found victory through God to overcome them and continue in our journey. What did these battles look like? Well, on some days the children didn’t have it in them to learn. They weren’t interested or would much rather make a sibling laugh in class than behave and sit still. On other days, I may have been lacking patience or had other priorities on my mind. This year, I’ve realized that these trials are all a part of homeschool as well. It’s how we deal with them that leads us to victory… and, praise God that the sun sets every evening and in the morning son we can begin anew.
Many people still like to ask me how long I plan to homeschool for. My answer will continue to be year by year as the Lord leads; however, I feel confident that this lifestyle is for my family and I. Homeschool fits and I couldn’t be more excited to start lesson planning for a brand new co-op and another year of life education in the fall.
This next year is going to be awesome!
Below are our K and 2nd grade years in pictures. Be aware, there are a lot of them.
Our first day of school started with a big nourishing breakfast and a new pencil kit.
Club Soccer for P.E. in the fall is so much fun!
Big brother has ramped up his cooking and baking skills in the kitchen this past year.
We were so excited to find black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars growing on our carrot tops in the garden. We were able to capture them and learn about the life cycle of a butterfly. We also learned that since they formed into a chrysalis in the fall, they wouldn’t hatch until spring. Unfortunately, we learned that only after we threw them away because we thought they had died. Hopefully, we’ll find some again this year.
We turned our science project into an art lesson as well.
The boys loved watching their chickens grow from chicks to hens.
We learned about landscapes and impressionism.
This year we learned a lot about horses at our first homeschool horse lessons.
Little Brother learned to read!
Many games of math bingo were played.
We went apple picking and made some sweet jam.
The boys were super excited to be able to see a full size wig wam just like the ones we were learning about in history.
We had fun learning about art from Iowa.
We were thrilled to see one of our favorite books played out in theater. Tomas and the Library Lady.
The boys spent an entire school day playing in the first snow of the season.
My heart began to melt as I started receiving sweet notes from the newest writer in our family.
The boys received special rewards from nailing their math and reading skills.
The boys made their own gingerbread house pieces for a special party with dear friends. Hospitality at its best.
We all had a blast hosting a gingerbread house making party.
Big Brother tried something new and learned that it was okay that he didn’t enjoy it. He tried something, all by himself, and that’s worth its weight in gold.
Little brother learned this year that he is quite the master builder.
The boys learned to serve others as we delivered care packages to mama’s for Valentines Day at the U of I NICU. This was my favorite learning experience of the year.
The kids learned about teamwork and building together.
We all learned about patience and working around a schedule as we tended to the needs of our Little Mama.
We also learned that sometimes we just need to get away after being cooked up in a house for much too long.
The boys planted seeds to start the new gardening season.
The kids had a blast as they learned to tap a tree with papa and make their own maple syrup.
The boys climbed trees…
and learned multiplication in fun new ways.
The boy continue to learn the value of hard work…
and take pride in their labor.
We went out on Earth Day to pick up garbage from parks and ended our day at this beautiful arboretum.
As the weather continued to warm we spent some days hitting the bike trails and revisiting our foraging skills.
We went out a bit too early, but explored nonetheless.
We skipped stones to our hearts delight and learned about why not to drink out of a lake…. yeah, that happened!
The boys started a new semester in horse lessons….
and a new season in new chicks for the homestead.
Big brother is becoming quite the baker.
The boys built a working telegraph with Papa…
and then took turns sending each other messages in morse code from different rooms in the house.
The boys played a ton of baseball.
We’re always amazed at how quickly chicks grow.
I was excited at how much these boys are learning to care for and ride horses.
Little Brother is finding the value in taking care of others needs before his own.
The kids all had a blast learning at the zoo.
This year the boys have planted their own peanuts. We’re hoping for a small harvest so that they can then roast their own peanuts to enjoy at a ball game!
The boys picked strawberries for days and made their favorite strawberry jam.
We ended the year at the library, one of our favorite places that we visit and will continue to throughout the summer as well.
If you hung around to the end, this was our year in homeschool. Big Brother gets a special treat this year as well as he’s headed off to Spain with my mami and papi for 3 weeks before he starts 3rd grade. I would definitely say we had a blessed year, indeed!
I have been thinking about the idea of homeschooling. Your post is a great example of how wonderful it could be. Which blogs or books helped you the most in research? How did you find time enough time to do it all? My oldest will be entering 4th in the fall, I wonder if it will make the transition more difficult..
Homeschool is a blessing for families. Enjoy and cherish the moment.
Sandy toe says
What a fun post!!! Looks like you had a great year!!! Homeschooling is such a blessing–enjoy each minute b/c the younger years are so fun!!:) Thanks for sharing!
Looks like a seriously fun year, full of learning! We just finished our 1st year and are looking forward to a ( hopefully more organized!) New year as well! 🙂 thanks for sharing!
Heather @ My Overflowing Cup says
I have two teenagers that I have homeschooled since the beginning. It has been such a blessing for our family. There are two things I have learned that I wanted to share with you. First, when the struggles and the doubts come, remember that if God has asked you to do this, then He will provide everything needed. When you worry that you aren’t doing enough, remember that God already knows how things are going to work out for your family. Take the pressure off of yourself and rely on His strength. Secondly, when there are struggles, battles, and fatigue, consider that maybe things should be simpler for a time. I hope you don’t feel like you are being preached to. I just wanted to share some of what I have gleaned from my experience. Love the pics!
So inspirational! Thank you. I finally ended the school year and my job as a school counselor, for good. I am so excited to be able to stay home with my 2 1/2 yr old and eventually start homeschooling, gardening (more than just my usual herb garden and tomatoes), and venturing out to explore the bays, bird sanctuaries, and beaches we live near. We already make little lessons out of the regular things we do together–cooking, yard work, reading, painting, etc–and I know we’ll have some great experiences!
I am so amazed! I am in tears at what you have accomplished with your beautiful children. I am fairly new at homeschooling. I have a first grader and two younger ones and am pregnant with my fourth. I pray and hope that I will have a homeschooling year like this soon. I struggle more than triumph right now but your posts inspire me. May God continue to bless you!