End of School Year Learning Notes

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IMG_2413 We finished the school year by the end of May and then had a couple weeks of “summer school” before Baby G arrived and put a stop to all that.

I did have a chance to make my records before the birth and was happy to see we accomplished our goals for the year, despite slowing way down in the fall when I had morning sickness.  William progressed in writing, his focus for the year, and Louis, Ben, and Marie all became independent readers.

The main subject that suffered due to the pregnancy was me reading aloud to the kids, since I konked out at 1:30pm just about every day.  But all of them becoming real readers, as well as a bunch of audiobooks, made up for that loss. Nathaniel also started reading more to them in the evenings, so we may have actually come out ahead there!

Next year we will be enrolling with Mother of Divine Grace School, for the main subjects at least, and I am hoping having a curriculum advisor will help me to keep my goals realistic, for William’s middle school (and eventually high school) years especially.

One thing I hope enrollment will not do is stress me out about completing everything on the curriculum list. I haven’t had great success with purchasing lesson plans for multiple grades because I get overwhelmed with the impossibility of doing it all. Subjects such as art and music appreciation especially seem to get done in chunks along with field trips rather than every week according a lesson plan that is different for each child.

For example, we had a nice two weeks with N. home before the baby came.  We took two trips to the art museum, made sketches of paintings in the galleries, and painted stacks of watercolors.

IMG_2467 IMG_2468 IMG_2469 IMG_2477 IMG_2509 In May, the kids read Moonlight on the Magic Flute, the Magic Tree House book about Mozart.

Moonlight on the Magic Flute A few weeks later, we went to see an outdoor performance of The Magic Flute sung in English.  After that, the kids got excited about learning to play recorders and even tried out my old flute and N’s clarinet.

Then on our second art museum trip, we went to an exhibit on the Habsburg dynasty.

Velazquez, Infanta Maria Theresa

This lady was the star of the Habsburgs, and the kids knew who she was from the Magic Tree House book (Mozart’s patronness).

William had learned about the end of the Habsburg dynasty in World War I from The Story of the World, and so it turned out to be a perfect but totally unplanned capstone to the school year.

And two days later, we were viewing another type of masterpiece.

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