Saturday, May 6, 2017

Our Favorite Things This Year

With only four weeks of school to go, I am reflecting on what we loved this school year.

New York City ~ What an amazing opportunity it was to take our kids to New York City this year! We were exposed to a whole new environment and had a fantastic time. Every week that goes by, there has been some mention of our trip or a wish expressed to go back some day. It truly was an amazing and educational few days. Our budget is tight, but I would really like to do one smashing trip a year during their high school years. Seeing the country and learning about new cultures has always been one of my top goals.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ~ Like all of the other Harry Potter books, we absolutely loved this book. It being written in play form was an interesting twist. We can't wait to see the play some day (maybe on Broadway)!

Jigsaw Puzzles ~ We put together about a dozen jigsaw puzzles this year. We seem to be stuck at the 500 piece level. Puzzles will be part of Anne's logic course next year so we have already have a stack saved for then.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn ~ I love this book. I think I love it a fair amount more than my kids. However, they enjoyed it, too. It fit perfectly with our trip to NYC and the Tenement Museum.

Watching Musicals ~ We watched six musicals this year as part of Anne's study of music. She liked Fame and West Side Story the best.

Poetry Teas ~ I only managed to pull off a couple poetry teas this year. I have received a few complaints about that. I hope to do better next year.

Art with Miss Laura ~ Dean has really enjoyed taking art with Miss Laura. He has made great strides in drawing this year. She has presented some exciting opportunities for him. He currently is working on a mural that will be posted on a wall on a main street downtown for three months!!
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Bessie's Pillow ~ We loved this book. It is a real winner and tied in with our NYC trip!

Science Field Trips with our Friend, Rose ~ We didn't get to do nearly as many homeschool science field trips as I had hoped to do. However, we did have a great time on the ones we did. I hope to squeeze out two more before calling quits for the year.

Netflix Streaming ~ We enjoyed watching American Genius, Nature's Weirdest Events, The World's Worst Disasters, The Royals and so much more.

Performing in the Nutcracker ~ This is a major part of our lives each year, since my children love to perform. This was their sixth year in The Nutcracker and they were completely independent. They didn't need me at all. They are maturing into beautiful and gifted performers that are completely responsible.

CNN Student News ~ This continues to be my kids' favorite way to start school. I like that the program changed this year to depicting more in-depth discussions about topics. It reminds me of the Scholastic Weekly Readers we used to get in school.

Dance and Guitar lessons ~ Out-of-the-home classes are a major part of the kids' lives. Anne has managed more than 10 hours of dance classes a week this year. She would let anyone know that she doesn't feel pushed enough and could easily do more. In fact, we are adding another ballet class weekly which will bring her up to 12 hours of dance a week. Dean has managed well with his additional dance, art and guitar lessons. He is out of the home at lessons about 8 hours a week. He loves his guitar teacher and is a quick learner.

Swimming with Grandma ~ Grandma takes them to the YWCA pool several times a month. They really love the time in the water. We hope to make this a more regular part of next school year.

Math ~ I am not sure I can really claim that math is anyone's favorite ~ lol. But I do want to record what they liked the best this year of the multiple math programs we used. They liked Kumon Math Pre-Algebra, Khan Academy, living math and Math Mammoth.

Board Games ~ It is no secret that we love board games. Our favorites this year were Wizard Chess, Harry Potter Clue, Quelf, Quizmo, Stratego and Exploding Kittens.

The Wandering Swordsmen ~ Taking classes and playing boffing with the Wandering Swordsmen has been a highlight this year. Dean loves to go play with all of the other teens. He even had his birthday party there last month. For those who don’t know, boffing is a sport based on compassionate combat, using foam padded implements representing swords, shields, arrows, and other gear that is designed to safely come into realistic physical contact with the players. No one tries to hurt each other and it involves a lot of trust and honor. 

These have been some wonderful memories this school year.
Blessings, Dawn


  1. Wow,it does sound like a good year!!

  2. I love this positive way of looking back at the year. I regret the fact that we weren't able to do much travelling when all the kids were at home, so I appreciate that which my youngest and I can do now.New York would be a dream. Shame it involves international air travel for us ;-)

  3. Wonderful idea to go back through the year. My kids would say that they are totally bored, lol. I hope to recharge this summer. I think I'm suffering from homeschool burnout after 14 years. I have some 500 piece puzzles, I'd be happy to send your way. We put them together this year.

  4. What a lovely year--and what lovely reflections on it.

    I may copy you in a few weeks. :)

  5. You all have had an amazing school year with so many fun activities and events outside of your house. What a wonderful learning experience your kids are having!

  6. We're going to be using Kumon pre- Algebra ourselves this coming year; glad to hear you enjoyed it.