The End of the Year

Life, in the form of packing, moving, and potty-training twins, has led me to conclude that it is time to wrap up our formal school time for now. (No, I didn’t decide to combine packing and potty-training–the twins demanded to be done with the diapers. They’re getting it, slowly in D4’s case, and going out a lot definitely doesn’t help.)

We still need to finish The Swiss Twins, but then, we all would like to know what happens to them. We probably won’t finish Heidi, but then, perhaps we’ll come back around to it in a couple of years, when it’s scheduled in Ambleside Online. I’d like to keep reading Among the Meadow People sporadically (maybe with narrations, maybe not) and they are really enjoying Japanese Fairy Tales, although I pick through for suitability. I broke down and bought the huge package from Yesterday’s Classics for the Nook so that I would have books with proper chapters.

We wound up with the week of tests, although we did not go through all the questions I selected. I let them pick which ones they wanted to do. D2 wanted to do far fewer than D1 was willing to try. He wanted to just repeat “Tell me a story from Robin Hood” every day, although he also did well with math questions and managed to recite a poem and folk songs. D1 did a wider variety. I was pleased, on the whole, and I might type them up some time.

I like what we’re doing with math. I’m happy to continue it. I took out the double 9 dominoes and asked them questions, sometimes letting them look at first one side, then the other, then tell me the total, other times covering half and telling them the total, then having them tell me how many were missing. They were able to quickly identify the number in the groups, add almost instantly, and subtract with only a little thought. Neither ever made a mistake, and D2 was only unsure of his answer once. Pretty good for never seeing a math flashcard or drill sheet.

Spanish went tolerably well. I want to start working more on production and response–they are starting to get comfortable with actually starting to say things.

They didn’t do as well at reciting as I had hoped. They become familiar with the songs and passages, but they have not up until now been expected to recite, and thus put that extra effort forward to get every word down. (Except for AWANA, but those passages are not very taxing.) I think it’s time to change that. I’m hoping to make a regular recitation/performance time part of our routine–at least monthly, maybe more often.

Neither of them were really comfortable with narrating anything about nature study. I hope to make that a more formal effort in the coming year. Wondergirl picked up some nature journals for me at a book sale–I haven’t seen them yet, but I am looking forward to it.

Robin Hood undoubtedly has made the greatest impression on them, but Robin Hood is giving them a great store of knowledge and connections and I won’t begrudge him his devotion that rather outshines any planned school.

We are hoping to move in two weeks, and will spend the next two cleaning and painting and preparing. Then there will be settling in, then Grandma and Grandpa come in July. Plus potty training, which is about the most stressful part of routine parenting I can imagine. (Driver’s ed will be worse, but *that’s* DOB’s problem.) I think we’ll be busy enough for awhile, although I’m trying to at least still read a few books.

Once we are settled in, I want to devote this summer to establishing good routines and schedules: morning and evening routines, housecleaning routines, better cooperation and more consistent chores. Just getting used to being in our own house again will be a change, and I want things to be running more-or-less smoothly before we start up school in the fall. Which might not be until October, depending on the weather. The best weather tends to run July-September, and I want to take full advantage of it.

Our new house is not the one with a lot of rooms–in fact, it’s quite small and I’m going to have to keep “stuff” strictly limited. But it’s on a half-acre lot that’s been running rather wild and should have lots of possibilities outside.

I feel like we’re on the brink of a new epoch–the twins finally leaving infancy behind, our own house at long last. Maybe it won’t be as big of a change as I imagine. Then again, maybe it will.

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