Here we are, closing in on the last days of our tenth year of home education. It's been a good year, and we've accomplished quite a bit. The only one with work not completed after this week is E who is a few weeks behind in World History. She should be able to do multiple lessons next week and catch up easily; she also has her last English essay due - on Tolstoy's short stories -- by Friday. But otherwise, we'll all be done on Wednesday with our regular "bookish days."
Thursday is our last co-op Class Day, and I have my College Prep class' research papers to return (which means I'm going to be grading like a madwoman for the next three days) and my Honors class' research papers to collect, and the latter class also is giving five-minute oral presentations on the topic they've researched. Traditionally, the last Class Day means a performance time in the extended homeroom period in which some of the classes demonstrate what they've learned (self-defense, choir, etc.). Then a fair is run in the parking lot with games for the little kids run by the big kids and parents. At noon a potluck lunch is served and then everyone chats for a while before leaving for home. We used to have a used curriculum sale in the parking lot, but this year the co-op leaders decided to put both Class Days' sale on the same day last Thursday, and I was in creative arts meetings all the day long in our town and couldn't get down to San Diego.
Thursday is also J's 11th birthday, so after a breakfast of his favorite gluten-free pancakes and follwing our Class Day activities, we'll be going to see the new Indiana Jones film. We'll come home to pizza (not gluten-free), presents, and banana splits for dessert. I think he'll have a fun day.
The celebration of J's birthday doesn't end on his actual day as we're planning to go to the San Diego Zoo to celebrate both his birthday and the last day of school. We'll pack a fun picnic lunch and perhaps buy some ice cream in the afternoon. It will be a wonderfully fun and educational way to polish off the school year. The only academic thing the kids must do is recite their memory verse (Proverbs 3:1-12) for the month, and then they're done.
But of course, I'm so not done after Friday. I have to submit my own four kids' grades and progress in all subjects by June 27 (two weeks after the last day of school), plus grade the incoming MLA research papers, 7-10 pages each, for my Honors students and also compute their final course grades for the year. The last week in June is also our art council's "Taste of Art" summer program, so I will be at the Community Clubhouse helping the leaders each afternoon with crowd control and artistic help (at which I am quite poor!). My sister and her family are arriving from Montana that week as well for a couple-week stay, so life is not going to completely calm down until around the beginning of July. And knowing how life usually goes, probably not then either.
I hope to devote July to writing my book and gardening. My plan right now is to spend half an hour each morning after breakfast and morning prayer in the garden, and then read/take notes until lunch. After lunch I plan to write for two hours (1-3 PM) and then spend the rest of the day with the kids, watching movies or playing board games, etc. We'll have one day a week devoted to a pool day with Lake Murray families (I hope!), and we'll go to the beach every other week, if not more. So I hope to have 3-4 days per week at home to be working and relaxing. It looks like a nice balance to me, anyway. I plan to do all my school ordering and basic planning before the end of June so I can have July *free from school*. It's also possible that on pool days I may help out at the church office in the morning as our secretary is on extended leave due to severe back pain as she waits for surgery.
So we're in the home stretch of another year of home schooling. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it's time-consuming. Yes, it's a full-time job. But I really love the lifestyle and family time, as well as the academics. I will miss teaching Latin next year, though, as E has fulfilled her high school language requirement and the boys are electing to study Traditional Logic rather than a second year of Latina Christiana. I'll post more on our school plans for next year after this week is over and grading is under control. I also have the Heritage Christian graduation to look forward to on June 20th as two students so far have invited me to see them graduate at College Avenue Baptist (blue robes and "Pomp and Circumstance" included), and I have a good number of graduating seniors in my Class Day courses.
So if I'm a bit scarce around here in the coming few days or weeks, you'll know why: Finishing our school year and grading research papers according to the MLA format... oh joy [sarcasm fully intended].