Thursday, May 12, 2016

Looking Back: Blessings from our 2015-2016 School Year

We just finished our school year and I am not sure who is more excited for summer break, me or the kids.  We have worked really hard this year and overall it has been a good school year.  I survived another year of teaching 2 completely different grades and both kids will be promoting to the next grade.  We have read a lot of books, learned a lot of facts, and had some fun along the way.  We have conquered carrying and borrowing from 2nd grade and we have survived Pre-Algebra from 7th grade.  I can’t say that Pre-Algebra always went smoothly, but I can say that we did work our way through the bumpiness.  When I look back over our school year, I see the good days and I see the bad days, but most of all I see the blessings from this school year.
  • Ability to Homeschool – I am blessed that I am able to stay home with our kids and homeschool them.  I don’t take this fact for granted.  I am very grateful to God that He has blessed my hubby with an amazing job that provides for us so that we can afford for me to stay home, buy our curriculum, and allow for extras like piano lessons and sports.  I am also thankful that we have the right to homeschool here in our country and our state. 
  • Flexibility – I am so blessed that we are able to have a flexible schedule.  I am thankful we don’t have to do the school bus hustle every morning and hours of homework every night.  I am thankful that we can take the odd appointment times at the doctors, dentist, and orthodontist because we usually get right in and out.  I am thankful that my kids can “go with the flow” and we can change up our schedule to fit in field trips, Bible study, and illness.  We can adjust and do what we need to do to get school done.  This has allowed us to go on trips with my hubby during the school year, jump on board for last minute field trips, and spend time learning about topics that may or may not be covered in public schools.  Flexibility is a MAJOR part of our school and it is a MAJOR blessing to us.
  • Support – Support is crucial to homeschooling.  We have many friends that homeschool, our families support us in our homeschooling, and we belong to a homeschool group.  It is always a blessing to have the support of so many on our homeschooling journey.  It is nice to have others to bounce ideas off of, get help from, and just get and give encouragement from others.
  • The Schoolhouse Review Crew – I am new to the Crew this year.  I was just selected for the Crew this past December, but there are so many ways it has been a blessing to me.  The first blessing is just being a part of this Crew.  It is made up of an awesome group of people that are homeschooling at every age.  It is a place for me to go to get ideas, encouragement, and advice and that is just invaluable to me.  I know when I go to our forum I can find someone who has been there and made it through, someone who is going through the same type of experiences I am, and someone who might face the experience in the future.  We are a community even though we are spread out all over the globe.  It has also been a blessing to me because it has broken me out of my curriculum rut.  Don’t get me wrong, I really do love the curriculum we use, but parts of it just weren’t working this year.  Before I found the Crew, I was just trying to push through and still make it work even though I knew it wasn’t.  I was stuck in the “we paid for this so we have to use it” rut.  Through getting various products to review and try, I have been able to switch out what wasn’t working and find products that do work to fit the gaps.  My mind has been re-opened to the fact that I don’t just have to settle and make something work.  I am finding so many invaluable resources that it blows me away and without the Crew, I can honestly say I wouldn’t have found the resources or thought to take a chance.  I am so blessed not to be stuck in my rut anymore.  I am just blessed all the way around by the Review Crew from the leadership to the members to the reviews we are blessed to do.  It has been great and I truly hope to continue on the Crew for many years.
  • My Hubby – This AMAZING man works very hard for our family.  He has always supported our homeschool journey – he was the one that suggested homeschooling in the first place so many years ago.  He has been such a HUGE blessing to me this year.  He prayed for us and our school.  He encouraged me countless times this year when I had my doubts that we would ever make it through Pre-Algebra and science.  He spent time in the evenings working with Buddy on Pre-Algebra concepts and homework.  He read some of our chapter books with Little Miss because she wanted to read with Daddy and sometimes read to Daddy instead of me.  He stayed home to teach a couple of times when I was too sick to teach.  He brought home a cup of my favorite coffee on days where everything seemed to go wrong.  My hubby has been a blessing to me this year because he always had my back, helped out, supported, and encouraged me through the year. 
I had my moments where I thought we may not make it through this school year, but what homeschool mom doesn’t have those moments?  We made it through and it was never as bad as I thought it was, truth be told my kids passed with flying colors.  I am looking forward to a summer of relaxing, fun, and good times, but I am also looking forward to watching my kids thrive next school year.  Were you blessed in your school this year?  I would love to hear your blessings too.
Some of my friends on the Schoolhouse Review Crew are sharing their blessings from this year too.  I would love for you to go and read all about it, I know I will be reading their blessings.  Click on the picture below to go there (the link will work on 5/13/16 and after).
Our Biggest Homeschool Blessing is

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