These are the things I really enjoyed this year and some I did not or would do differently.
I like the system we used for Little Sis and I think this calendar time made a HUGE difference to her understanding of Math concepts.
Anatomy and Astronomy
I know some parents found this tedious, but we REALLY enjoyed the learning of the human body through the models this year. I experienced a deep sense of AMAZEMENT in learning about how God created us and the incredible universe. I never knew I would enjoy the study of astronomy so much.
I am dreadfully unfamiliar with this part of the world history, even though they are so important. I found myself touched by how the people who have gone before us fought so hard for our faith to be so "natural" and "commonsense" now.
The Story of the World made understanding history so fun. We especially enjoyed the audiobook versions read by Jim Weiss.
As usual there are some read-alouds this year that I ABSOLUTELY enjoyed. The kids and I loved Dangerous Journey. Bronze Bow and Twice Freed were SOOO good in Big Sis and my view (too "sad" in Big Bro's view). The Door in the Wall was interesting to read but not that fantastic.
However, we did not particularly enjoy Galen, or Augustus Caesar's World. I tried very hard to summarize ACW and added some "character puppets" to make it clear. We still did not like it, but it was tolerable.
Some art lessons were interesting and the kids found satisfaction in their work. Other lessons were less interesting and I found it hard to keep up with teaching on the history part especially.
One huge thing I enjoyed this year was my relationship with Big Bro. We never had a "bad" relationship, but I felt last year we had more tensions due to things he was being trained in and also my frustrations with him.
This year I made a very very conscious effort to work hard at this. When he turned ten, he was able to stay out 30 minutes later at bedtime. On certain days he helped daddy with laundry or did his own things. On others we spent time together. He would read to me, we would play chess, or we would look at stuff together and talked.
Although we still talked at the level ten-year-old boys usually would, I feel there was a reduction of our distance and I really relish that closeness. Such a relationship made training him different. He is less argumentative when it comes to discipline and more willing to discuss about things.
Big Bro worked extra hard on his Math this year. It has never been his strong subject, and we even needed to work through 5A textbook all over a second time to make it work. He complained MUCH less than last year and tried to work through the difficult sums. I am proud of him.
He enjoyed making the Science Astronomy pages on the computer. He is very good at technology and this project gave him joy.
Big Sis worked hard at writing notebook pages this year. Last year she did not participate as much in this and I saw a difference in her writing.
She excels in Math and worked hard at keeping up with the history lessons. The introduction of chess gave our family so much new "fun"! Big Sis is really good at this game! This is the set we bought after being frustrated with the dollar store set.
One pity is we did not spend as much time in one of her favorite subjects, art. She really enjoyed the different projects we did.
She also continued to learn piano and Daddy even started teaching her chords so she could play some worship music with him. It was a surreal experience.
Big Sis learnt to make a couple of dishes on her own this year and she was mighty proud of that! She makes a mighty corn casserole.
This is my third child who has learnt to read under my tutelage and the use of My Father's World materials. It still does not cease to amaze me how wonderful it is when a child reads. I stand by MFW's reading program and I think with some work and tweaking to the individual needs of a child, this program is solid and effective.
Lil Sis also excels in Math and shows great talent in art and design.
Towards the end of the year, she is always "plugged in" to listen to audiobooks. She has listened to 7 or 8 books she would have otherwise not be able to read like Boxcar children, The Series of Unfortunate Events.
Another big thing this year was the introduction of Baby Sis to "formal school". She has been in school her whole 3 years of life, learning from play, interacting, listening etc. This year we brought her to the table and I planned out "school" for her and she REALLY REALLY enjoyed it.
I thoroughly enjoyed planning themed preschool. It was TOO much fun.