SEVEN.

How in the world have seven years passed since this kid made me a mom. SEVEN YEARS. We’re solidly past pre-school age and very much have a kid. A real kid. A kid-aged kid that is all real and kid-like and not at all little or toddler-ish or tiny and OMG SEVEN YEARS OLD.

Celebrations were wonderful. We had a birthday party at our house for family, on her actually birthday we went to the Choo-Choo restaurant in town with friends for a birthday lunch delivered by train, and the following week we went to downtown Chicago for an American Girl store shopping spree with another friend. I think she had a great time 🙂

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Homeschooling, spring 2016, age 7

Reading

I don’t touch this formally as her love for books is strong. She’s breezing through a lot of the American Girl series currently, and likes some “easy” (for her) series like Heidi Hecklebeck. She also really liked Iva Honeysuckle and wished there were more than two of those. She has a Goodreads account that I use for book suggestions by adding in the titles that she likes.

Once again we briefly used this “reading level assessment” and she could get through the 5th/6th grade words with ease. I was actually pretty surprised at that, I wasn’t expecting that ability to keep going at this steady rate. In our use on MobyMax.com she’s testing at a mid-3rd grade reading comprehension, which seems about right based on what I’ve observed.

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Writing

Lily attends weekly homeschool classes held by a group of families at our local library. This includes a writing class where she completes assignments in class and at home each week. During class there is free writing (sometimes from a prompt) and listening to everyone share. For homework she has creative writing (she likes to create what I can best describe as fanfic, such as more American Girl stories, or expanding on Winnie the Pooh class tales) and she also has formal writing where she makes a “five finger outline” and expands it into a paragraph on alternating weeks.

Using Handwriting Without Tears books have recently come back into favor because I have promised that once her printing improves a bit and stays consistent that we can begin working on cursive. She is very excited for that!

 

Math

Math continues to ebb and flow. For a while she liked Khan Academy, but that fell out of favor. Then we were doing Life of Fred, but when she got stuck in “Cats” and started back in at “Apples” she revolted at the thought. We’ve touched on Kumon workbooks, random math games and just writing down/shouting out math problems randomly. MobyMax.com has been a great addition to our routine (it fits in a few times a week) and her math skills are getting stronger with practice. It’s been a difficult lesson to realize you have to work at some things–that not everything just makes sense right away.

 

Science

Science-y stuff just keeps happening informally and happily. Nature class with our homeschool group is a great exposure to a lot of things, as is just living life. MobyMax also has science units that she’s enjoyed so far.

 

Art

An art class is also included in our weekly gatherings at the library, and they vary from painting to drawing to repurposing recyclables. I’ve noticed a decrease in art-making at home and I’m not sure why, though I’ve made note to create more opportunities.

 

History

Story of the World Volume 1 on audiobooks is still a hit, and I really ought to add volumes 2 and 3 to her little iPod. She’s definitely getting into reading historical fiction for pleasure, so I will continue to encourage that. We also attend a monthly class at our local history center which touches on various topics from Abraham Lincoln to Frida Kahlo.

 

Music

Lily LOVES playing her violin. She started in October of 2014 and has continued to practice just about every day since then. I’m continually amazed by how much she keeps improving at (what I consider) a difficult instrument. My brass-playing brain can’t wrap around all those strings and finger positions!

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Physical Education

Also tied in with music is her ballet classes at the local park district. She’s finally at the point in the school year where they start working on the dance routine for the end-of-year recital, and she really enjoys memorizing the routine.

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Miscellaneous

Lily is also involved in Girl Scouts at the local grade school with friends that live on our street (amongst others who attend that school). They meet monthly and so far it’s been a nice addition to her activities. Other than that we make sure to schedule playdates with friends at least weekly. Life has hid a good groove, lately.

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