The semester ends!

We have finished up our fall semester! Our last day of school was December 18 (last Wednesday). The kids each prepared some short presentations about what they had learned during the semester. I didn’t do show & tell this year, so it was like one giant show & tell to share what they had learned for several months! They each picked one or two science things, one or two books they’ve read, etc. I picked a time when Joe could be there, so that they could basically present it to him and he could ask them questions.

Though a bit tedious at times, we had a great show & tell day.

I was reviewing some of our old show & tell posts from last year, and the biggest difference I noticed is Jacob can read now! Jacob reads a lot. He can buzz through a chapter book in almost no time at all. He’s doing great reading the scriptures, too. Joe challenged him to read the entire Book of Mormon this school year (which means he can read it before his birthday, when he’ll  be baptized.) He reads one or two chapters in the Book of Mormon each day and does very well! Joe and Jacob talk about what he has read every day and Joe says he’s reading well and comprehending well. What a change from just 6, 7 months ago! He still tries to read fast, so almost every day during the semester I had him read out loud to me for 10 minutes so I could help him not skip words like “the” or “his.” He does great with the big words, but sometimes those little words make a big difference!

Emma has had piano lessons this year. It was fun to notice in our old posts the songs she was learning and how much she was enjoying playing even then. I’m so grateful she has the chance to improve her skills with regular piano lessons!

She was doing so well with that American History book that I might pick it up again. She got tired of it so this year we were working on the Pioneer Journal. That has been a great project too, but the demand of a text book is good for her. She’s a great researcher and presenter, and I want to make sure I am encouraging that to develop. She liked her Life book this year, but without show & tell I didn’t get to hear a lot about it. She knows we are going to be picking a new Science topic for the next semester (what she doesn’t know is that we ordered about 10 DK books for Christmas for the kids!). Always an interesting and fun process, to decide what to have the kids study and how to make it rigorous yet fun for them.

Jonah has enjoyed school and finally by the end was on a good, systematic schedule. He had three parts: Read to me, I read to him, and math/letters workbook. He got more and more responsible about it. He could pick a learning book or story book when I read to him. He’s doing okay reading — he actually has just done well right off, without much help! But because he did so well I didn’t have to push him, and I wonder if I were pushing him harder how well he’d be reading right now. But, guilt aside, we had a very good semester and I’m happy he is doing so very well. Very well. He’ll be a good little reader and probably reading any picture book you can throw at him by the end of this next semester.

Anyway, there’s a little update on the kids. It’s nice to have this break for Christmas but I can tell I’m already looking forward to crafting a schedule and subject assignments for each kid. Yay for homeschool! We have really enjoyed it and I’m so grateful it’s legal and possible to do this. Bonus: Joe’s schedule is freer next semester, so I’ll be able to do things like leave Emma and Jacob here with their work and take the others to Costco for a short shopping trip. Anything that allows me to homeschool and get other mom-related things done really helps! Anyway. Joe is also going to start working through philosophy with Emma, and maybe even teaching Jacob some guitar, we’ll see. I’m always glad when Joe has more time at home, and it’s always so good for the kids.

But for now, may you enjoy your own holiday breaks. Merry Christmas!

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