We are finally coming into a sort of a rhythm for the school year, it fluctuates a little, but for the most part we have found peace with the situation.
I don't feel the same anxiety about schooling this year as I have in the past. Maybe I just have other things to be anxious about this fall, and so school has dropped off the stress radar.
Maybe I am just comfortable with our decision and am just settling in for the long haul. I am no longer taken aback when people say, "well, of course your kids know all of their AWANA verses- you can work on them all day since you homeschool!", as if I am some sort of AWANA-cheater parent. I just go ahead and tell them that is the beauty of homeschool and one of the very reasons we do it, so we can learn Bible verses when their minds are fresh and so we can take a walk or a bike ride in the middle of the day to clear our heads.
I feel like I have come to a place where I am very in-tune with my kids learning needs, learning styles and strengths and weaknesses. Deacon is a fabulous auditory learning. I can read anything to him and he can be walking around the room, reading a comic book and throwing a ball up in the air and will still be able to answer any question about what I am reading that I can come up with. He learns well on the computer when he can hear a lesson as well as read it. He is quick at math and perceptive at science and history. He loves fiction and nonfiction and draws conclusions easily. His struggles are reading, writing his thoughts done on paper and spelling. We are spending a lot of time on those things this year and I am trying different approaches, specifically right brain phonics kind of stuff and styles that work more easily for kids with dyslexia. He is improving, it is just taking more time.
Roman is a quick learner in most subjects. Math is a little bit of a challenge, I think mostly because he actually has to put a little effort in. He reads well and has good listening comprehension as well. He prefers to get his work done as quickly as possible so that he can go play. When I give him his spelling words I tell him that if he can just teach himself to spell them and can get them all right on his test, then he doesn't have to do all of the spelling "learning activities" in his book. So that is what he does. He really prefers to learn in a more natural, unschooling environment.
Lincoln is very quick at math. He is a good reader and strong with phonics. He likes workbooks and doing school with me on a 1:1 basis. He is a poor auditory learner, however, and I am not sure if that is somehow related to his speech difficulties or if he often just lets his mind wander and tunes me out. I am planning to discuss that further with his speech pathologist. He is improving with his speech, and is now working on his "th" and "r" sounds. He likes science but could care less about social studies.
We are still doing our co-op and we also do gym classes at the YMCA. I am planning to try to do some more field trips this year- but I have a hard time forcing myself to fit them in, because I am pretty legalistic about not missing school days, even for field trips. I think a nice compromise is fitting the field trips in on Saturdays :)
I myself could use a few more hours in a week with which to clean and take care of domestic tasks, but I make do. Noah has graciously taken over meal planning and also does part of the grocery shopping. He is auditing a class this fall, however, which is taking up a great deal of his time.
All and all, things are going well and I am pleased with what the kids and I are learning. Just gotta keep on keeping on... :)