June 2007 Homeschool Adventures

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Despite the fact that, as homeschoolers, we don't rigidly follow any schedule with regards to the academic year, June still tends to mark the beginning of "summer vacation." Flo's little neighbor friends, who attend public school, are now around a lot more. The weather has become hot and often humid. Also, this year, I'm eight months pregnant, so the kids get to witness all the fun that includes.

Darren began working at the VA Medical Center in Martinsburg, WV this month, and this has greatly improved our family schedule and time together. I'm very happy about the impact of this, as for the past three years, the commute to DC has been pretty taxing on us. Already Darren has had more time to spend with the kids doing activities and just hanging out.

Joe has developed a real interest in any sport involving a ball or stick. He loves to play with his soft baseball and bat, and he's fascinated with basketball and trying to get the ball through the hoop. Our neighbor's son has a kid's basketball hoop, and Joe could spend hours playing. So, we'll have to find one for him soon.

Flo is having a good start to the summer. She's been playing outside a lot with her two friends and neighbors, Dara and Caroline. I have to admit, it's difficult to get her to focus on anything, when the possibility of playing with her friends exists. Nonetheless, she's continued doing some reading comprehension exercises, occasional ShillerMath lessons, and some handwriting practice. We're also reading Physik by Angie Sage together. I've noticed a big improvement in her reading the past few months. I'm just amazed how gradual it happens without much direction on my part.

On the 15th, Flo went to the library with her friend Dara, for the kick-off "party" to the summer reading program. They call it the Reading Road Trip. The kids get a sheet of reading activities to accomplish, and each time they finish so many, they get a parent to sign it and get to go to the library and get some prize. Flo's working her way though the activities, such as reading about a national monument, reading to a friend or pet and reading to herself for 15 minutes.

On the 13th, Flo had her final Little Gym Class for the season. We got to go watch her do her final routine and they give the kids medals when they're all done. Joe finished his class on the 15th. He did a great job, though he's not quite focused enough yet to sit still through the whole class, he does a great job listening to directions and participating in most of the activities. In the Fall, he's going to take their Sports Skills class, which I think he will really like.

From the 18th to the 22nd, both kids participated in our church "Peace Camp." They had a lot of fun, though Joe often ended up leaving with me, as he wasn't quite ready to calm himself enough to participate. But, Flo had a great time. It was small group of ten or twelve kids, and they went each night from 6 to 8pm for stories, crafts, snacks, games, etc. I'm debating about any further summer camp opportunities, but thinking we may just have a relaxing summer without too busy of a schedule, as my pregnancy is starting to slow me down a bit.

Even trying to keep things not too busy, we still do plenty. Flo takes piano every Monday, and has started a Spanish class with a lady who is a local public school Spanish teacher, and is offering a class for homeschoolers. She seems to really be enjoying that. She's constantly reciting the Spanish alphabet.

We ended the month by going to a fellow homeschooling mom's 40th birthday party. It was a 60's theme. The kids had a great time playing in their sandbox, playing frisbee and hanging out with their friends, and Darren and I got a few hours to sit in lawn chairs and chat with our friends.

So, summer is off to a good start!

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