We just had our end-of-year homeschool portfolio assessment. As much as I don't like extended vacations, we will take 6 weeks off, just doing reading and Bible. I think the children would plot their runaway if I didn't give them this time.
Personally I think we all do better with the structure of school, and I suspect the children agree, but they would never admit it. Behavior and the stress level around here are definitely better when their free time and structured time are balanced. I think maybe this is true for adults as well? God knew what he was doing when he told us, after the fall in the garden, that our lives would now include work. Some work each day keeps some sinning away....
Just my two cents and it's a good thing you can't throw tomatoes at me....
I had both boys summarize their year (American History Year Two - Civil War to about the 1950's. This is what Paul had to say (I'll get to Peter tomorrow):
Paul, age 9
The main thing I learned about this year was war. I understand better that there are two sides to every conflict. Some wars are necessary and some are not. The World Wars and the Revolutionary War were necessary, but I think the Civil War could have been avoided. Ending slavery could have occurred over more time without such loss of life.
The benefits of war are freedom and sometimes, land. The cost of war is death, hardship, sadness, and bloody disasters. People live sadder lives because of the memory of loss and death. The people who lived through the war go on to live better lives because of their new freedom, and the people who died will never be forgotten.
If the war is justified, I would be willing to give up my life. I would have fought in the Revolutionary War and the World Wars, but not in the Civil War.
My Favorite Fiction Books this year:
Johnny Tremain - Johnny became much nicer and not so prideful. At the end he was willing to give up his life for his country. He cared about something bigger than himself.
Half Magic - I liked this book because it was adventurous and imaginative and had a lot of humor. The writing was very good. The children really wanted their mom to get married in the end. They missed having a father in the home, after their father's death.
Gone Away Lake - I liked this book because it was so imaginitive. I liked the characters a lot. The children loved visiting the forgotten houses in the woods. They liked the two elderly people and having the children around made the elderly people less lonely. The children were nicer in the end and more friendly, and happy to have good friendships with their new neighbors.
I read 17 fiction novels, mostly historical lit. I also read 16 non-fiction books. My dad read 11 read-alouds to us (historial fiction).
Favorite Non-Fiction Books:
Fabulous Facts about the 50 States - This book has a lot of facts about the 50 states, like how many square miles the state is, the state bird and tree, and many other interesting facts.
Kids Almanac for the 21st Century - This book has many interesting facts about all subjects. It has colorful graphs and many charts. It teaches you so many different things and I love the variety.
Two Main Improvements This Year: I think I improved a lot in reading. I understand more words than before because I read so many books. I also improved in music--now I play the Piano!