So we still have a few weeks in the 2012-13 school year, but I thought now would be a good time to look back on the goals I set for this year and see how we’ve done
1) Reading improvement. I said that I expected Brady to be reading at a 3rd grade level by now, he recently tested at an early 5th grade level so I’d say we’re good here 🙂
2) Spelling and handwriting. I wanted him to be at a 1st grade level in both subjects by this point, he has far exceeded that in Spelling as he will be working on 4th grade in the Fall. Handwriting is probably still Kindergarten level, but that is ok since
a) he is 5
b) I had terrible handwriting as a child and
c) He will be having (minor) surgery on Friday to treat a trigger thumb that causes him pain and prevents him from holding his pencil correctly after which I believe his handwriting will improve.
3) Math. Ok, so my goal here was for him to move beyond the use of manipulatives for basic math. He can do some addition and subtraction in his head now, but I’ve embraced manipulatives (and his kinesthetic learning style) and we will be using either Saxon or Math U See in the Fall
4) History. My only goals here were exposure to history and having fun with it. Brady LOVES the Magic Tree House books and really enjoyed our History Tables which I think puts us in a good position to begin a more formal study in the Fall.
5) Spanish and Latin. Again I was only aiming for exposure and fun here and I think we managed both (maybe more with Latin than Spanish). We’ll be studying both subjects in more depth this year
Art and Music: Brady learned about a few artists and a little bit about art history and gained a good basic foundation for studying an instrument (ie: identifying instruments, VERY basic reading of sheet music, etc) which satisfies our goals for the year.
7) Science. Another subject where our goal was mainly to have fun and nurture his natural affinity for the subject. We really enjoyed our Science experiments this year and went into a little more depth than previous years. We also did Paleontology and Geology units at Brady’s request and a TON of anatomy (he has been obsessed with the urinary system for MONTHS)
Swimming: I wanted Brady to be swimming independently by now, but he hasn’t been in swimming lessons very consistently (first we skipped December because we were busy over the holidays, then they didn’t have lessons in April, and since May we’ve been waiting for his surgery) he’ll start back up at the Fall and I’m hoping he won’t have lost too much ground.
9) Geography. I wanted to incorporate more of the food and culture of the countries we were studying into our lessons. We did this a little (we learned to make homemade tortillas and flan to wrap-up our Mexico and Central America unit, for instance) but we ended up doing much more of this with our history lessons and it was too much/confusing to do both at once. I’m going to try, in the future, to do a better job of synching our history and geography plans.
10) Social. This was, hands down, the hardest part of this year for us. Our playgroup never started up again after the program moved into a new building and there just was not much else for him to do around here aside from the occassional playdate. I have a plan for the upcoming year, though, including a homeschool group that I joined and that we will be going on a field trip with monthly, the field trips and groups he can join through K12, and a 4H group in our area. I’m hoping he’ll get to spend a lot more time playing with other kids this year which he LOVES and which I’m always trying to facilitate for him.
All in all I think we had a very successful year. All of the academic goals I had he met or exceeded and the other ones we have at least made progress on. I have to sit down and figure out the goals for our upcoming year, yet, but all of our books have been shipped and I’m getting excited. How are things in your homeschool?