2015-2016 Year End Evaluation

webinar with Julie Bogart from the Well Trained Mind Online Academy

webinar with Julie Bogart from the Well Trained Mind Online Academy

I’m not even sure how to evaluate this homeschooling year. Not a clue. At first all I could think of were the stresses of the past year and how so much of “life” interfered with my plans. My husband pointedly reminded me of the many good events of the year. He is right, of course, and I found our role reversal in that moment kinda odd in an amusing way. Usually, he is the unapologetic realist to my ungrounded optimist.

We did not have any last day of school pictures this year nor any interviews to make cute graphics like last year. I had to drop Latin

first day pictures

first day pictures

and our project weeks but that does not trouble me. We did drop the CLE workbooks this year and will not return to “schoolish” methods in the near future. I plan to gather up all of my CLE curriculum and gift the lot to a friend who loves and thrives with the “schoolish method”.

packing the school room

packing the school room

The week before we began our academic year last July my husband went on a couple of job interviews. By the end of the next month he was living in an apartment across the state. Sometimes we stayed with him at the apartment and sometimes we had to meet with realtors, inspectors and movers in our former home. We moved into our new home in October…we’re still getting moved in.

goodbye stuff

goodbye stuff

Then I went through that weird antihistamine addiction…I could not keep up with my brain! All these thoughts just raced around in my head. I was full of nervous energy and it seemed like my brain was always awake. And then the hell sent itching when I went off the medication. I itched in places that I’m sure don’t even exist in the human body. Not only did I try to educate my kids under those conditions but I also hunted for and purchased a house. That was crazy. I’m starting to get nervous about the impending ragweed season…

last meal at church with the lovely Mrs. C

last meal at church with the lovely Mrs. C

We then took turns suffering though pneumonia…that sucked.

Winter was hard on me personally. I completely lost any sense of religion. I haven’t come out of this shadow yet. I do understand why I am “in this place” now but not sure how to proceed from here. I’m not sure how to fill this sense of loss that I have toward church and my fellow Christians. I do not feel a sense of the sacred like I used

future school room

future school room

to…churches have lost their holiness. And I think that is the center of my issue. Protestant churches are about the symbolism of Jesus…the sacred “real presence” of God is whitewashed. I just cannot comprehend the “symbolic communion”…why bother with the ritual at all if it is not real? I just feel utterly lost…

my Sparkles...looking so grown-up

my Sparkles…looking so grown-up

In May our daughter became ill. This illness robs her of energy and joy. I hate it. Soon we will have answers and maybe I will be able to help her cope with her health. For now our homeschooling revolves somewhat around how she is feeling. That will have to change but the change can wait until we have a diagnosis. Then I can develop a strategy…once I know the enemy.

poetry table scape

poetry table scape

Despite all these “life events” we actually had a great school year. The kids learned about moving and adapting to changes. They lost friends and made new friends. They learned about growing up…how to let go and how to explore new places. We learned about hormones and “where babies come from” this year. (I think that was when I started transitioning from wine to bourbon). Sparkles quit crying every time she had to do math. Sparkles started writing fanfiction and she has an audience that wants to read her stories. How cool is that?!? Middle Boy discovered he loves art. Oldest actually 20151028_193802 (480x640)worked at a homeschool convention…he was my equal partner on a sales floor. We went on our first road trip together. That was awesome and a big deal for him! We all embraced the read-aloud/Brave Writer/modern Charlotte Mason/unschooling lifestyle together. And we are not looking back! My kids watched me struggle with my faith this year and health issues. They watched me lose friends and learn to set personal boundaries. We all agreed we hate co-ops together! Littlest got kicked out of his homeschool co-op class and I am proud of him for that! Littlest read a book!!!

Tibetan Monk and world peace mandala

Tibetan Monk and world peace mandala

Does anyone else have a kid kicked out of their homeschool co-op? I’d like to know…

We had a great year but most of the learning and growing that happened this year could not be evaluated by a standardized test…and I’m cool with that.

Tomorrow I leave for a retreat designed for the homeschooling mother. We’ll all be pulled out of our comfort zone a bit, enjoy some pampering and attend a few lectures. Next week I’ll share what we’ll be doing over the next school year.

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9 thoughts on “2015-2016 Year End Evaluation

  1. Thank you for this post! I am semi-new to homeschooling. This will be our 2nd year. So far, I can’t “stay on track” to save my life. My fear is that I will not give my girls everything they will need in life. Then, they do things incredibly intelligent, and then I think, “I taught them that!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, what a year! I am so sorry to hear about your daughter and I pray you find out what she has soon. I know that must be so difficult for you. I loved the pictures and reading all about the ups and downs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Storyad, I love you as a sister (!!!) and my world would be sadder without you and your family in it. As a friend, if I were with you now, I would say, “Rant, rave, weep over the trials in your life this past year, get it out of your system and then STOP the pity party, for you are so amazingly blessed!” Look once more at those smiling, gorgeous photos in your blog. What a rich life you have! I’d give anything to have my son and daughter look at me that way.

    As a Christian Counselor, I would say that it is not unusual to question God when hard times happen. Satan has tempted you to denounce our LORD who suffered through so much more than either you or I together, so that we can live in peace throughout eternity if we accept him. So I never want to hear how God has forsaken you! In fact He is surrounding you with Love, grasp on to Him. It was not His Will that heartache and disaster came upon the World. He created a perfect world and we messed it up. Still He loved us and even sent His Son to save our sorry butts!

    You are a strong, intelligent, remarkable woman. Don’t let that crafty serpent laugh at your weakness. James 1:13 states, “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.” You know my email, (if we are still friends after my rant) may I help you with as much encouragement as I can as a member of the Redwood Forest Club?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Audria, I’m grateful you know I care about you and Sparkles so much. I was so concerned about you. I never want you to lose faith in our Lord, cast your cares on him!

      How much heartache and stress can one family endure? You have very wide shoulders and I have very sore knees. I have been in constant prayer that Sparkles will be able to cope with her health challenge. So grateful she has such a caring mother who will research and follow all the instructions to keep her as healthy as possible. I’d send you some info now but don’t want to interfere with the doctor’s advice right now but I’d be happy to do that if you need me. Blessings back,

      Liked by 1 person

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