Finishing up… (or not)
We’re on week 31 of 35 for school, and about this time each year, I am confronted with the same thing:
- Feeling that, on one hand, we’ve had a satisfactory and investigative year of school, where we’ve learned a lot and (mostly) really enjoyed doing so.
- On the other hand, for most subjects, we didn’t cover nearly the prescribed year’s worth of work.
All of the boys will be done a week or two early with math. Some subjects, like English, the way I’ve set up the pace (“scope and sequence”, if you like) of study, the pace is more nebulous and need-based, so I’m not concerned about a “year’s worth;” I just want specific areas of individual need to be addressed: for them to advance in their abilities. But, then, in things like our Core work for Sonlight, and in science, it looks like, yet again, we will only complete about half of what we’re “supposed” to, maybe more like 55-60%, but still not nearly… enough.
“Enough,” that is, if our goal is simply to FINISH. I find myself not able to completely commit to that goal. I’d much rather that we LEARN and ENJOY than to fly through the work.
Some people just work until the work is done, but I find myself unwilling to do that, because I feel like we (including myself) need summer. We need the opportunity to accomplish big projects around the house, and to go see a cheap movie in the middle of the day, and to go swimming at a neighborhood friend’s house, and mid-week sleepovers, and swimming lessons at the city pool, et al. We just can’t accommodate those activities whilst doing school.
We are going to do the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in early May. (My Stepdad, who is a semi-retired public school teacher, and an awesome supporter of homeschooling, is going to administer the tests.) Even though there are many in the homeschooling community who say that no one should have to be subject to standardized tests, I find that I am not completely of that bent. Though this will be the first time in eight years of homeschooling that we will be doing standardized tests, I support the idea of them. And, I shall like to discover where my kids’ education needs some emphasis, and where we have excelled. I do think that “those who compare themselves among themselves are not wise,” yet, I also agree that there are certain standards (which are, admittedly, highly debatable) to which students should attain.
I guess if they do “well” at the ITBS (we will get results within 1-3 weeks of completing them), I guess I’ll feel less badly about our perpetually “unfinished” school years.