Tuesday, May 24, 2016

End-of-Year Interview ~ Anne Speaks ...

Every year I conduct an end-of-year interview with my kids. I love to hear what they have to say about their school year. Most of it isn't a surprise because I am with them all day, but I like to hear and record it anyway. It is one of the steps that I find important in the planning of their next school year. Since they are getting older, I decided to break up their posts this year so that I could reflect on their school year separately.
Raksha ~ Mother Wolf
What did you like about this school year? Dance, time used for personal growth (this is what I call time I've assigned her to do her stretching exercises, sign language and extra practice of cursive), cursive lessons, fictional story writing, and CNN Student News.

What was your least favorite subject? Spelling, although I like the way we are doing it now better than last year. I didn't like that we switched math around so much this year.

What do you feel helps you the most? I like "paper school."(Paper school refers to workbooks and writing activities.)  I need to write stuff down. I also like projects where we make things. Also, the geography games helped me learn this year.

What was your favorite subject this year? Dance! Dance! Dance! What else? I like home economics (especially painting, rearranging rooms and cooking) and geography.

What do you want to stay the same next year, as far as the order of our lessons during the day and the scheduling of our school breaks? I liked that we took very few breaks this year, so that when we took a break it was for a whole month. I really liked having a month off for Christmas. I felt like the flow of the school year went better without all of the starts and stops.

What would you like to see change? If we are going to stay on the TOS Review Crew, try harder to avoid online programs. I don't like most of them. I really prefer paper school. I also would like my own space to do school some of the time. I like learning at the table when it is group stuff, but I would rather be elsewhere when we are doing different things. The table gets too messy and noisy.

I was planning to move you to my antique desk in the hallway. Do you think that the lighting and dining room chair work for you? Yes, that works great.

Is there anything else you wish you could learn that you are not currently learning? Jazz dancing, how to read music better (but not necessarily with chimes teacher) and how to hand sew.
A village woman ~ she is pretending to sew
My reflections ~ 
  • Anne loved discovering the 10 Days series in board games. We currently own 10 Days in Asia and 10 days in the U.S.A. I hope to acquire more of the board games before next school year. 
  • She really was opposed to all of the online programs, with only two exceptions, Essential Skills Advantage and the Veritas Bible online (I will be reviewing both soon). I will be trying harder to get fewer online programs in the future. Dean doesn't care for online school, either.
  • Anne has been accepted to Junior Company at the dance studio next year. It is the highest level for teens. I hope they will be incorporating jazz dance into the program. One of her teachers says she has raw talent in that form of dance.
  • Spelling will stay the same, since I saw a huge improvement this year. We are using A Reason for Spelling
  • I noticed that Anne was much more unsure of herself during end-of-year testing this year in regards to math. She got many of the answers right (from my spot check), but she was uncomfortable. We are returning to Teaching Textbooks and keeping Life of Fred. I may work on Math U See Fractions for the first month of the new school year since that is a place of struggle for her. It seems like the more ways I hit it, the better. 
  • We are really going to have to buckle down and learn to hand sew better next year. We both struggle to fix costumes backstage during performances. It seems like there is always a hole that needs fixing just minutes before the show. 
  • The plan is to do school with few breaks next year. The kids didn't wear out this year at all. In fact, when I informed them that there were only a few days left of school, they were shocked. Dare I say, one of them was slightly disappointed!
  • There is no doubt that, at this point, dance is the most important thing to Anne. I find it unlikely that this will change since it has remained the same since she was three. She states that she wants to own a dance studio and talks often about what courses she will need in college to accomplish her goal. She also intends to work with children in several different capacities this summer to start learning more about teaching. 
A flower
Blessings, Dawn


  1. What a neat idea! I'll have to do this once our school year is over. I am surprised that your daughter prefers few, but long, breaks over more frequent breaks during the school year. My daughter is just the opposite!

    I also love the dance pictures.

  2. It is wonderful that she knows where she wants to be and how to get there.

  3. It is wonderful that she knows where she wants to be and how to get there.

  4. This was so interesting to read. Don't you just love this age where they are suddenly very opinionated about their futures and dreams. It is such a blessing to be walking this journey side by side with them, isn't it?

  5. A lovely memory interview. One to treasure in the years to come :)