I try to post these occasionally if only so I can go back and see how we did, how we have improved or if we need to work on things. Plus, the kids may want to see this some day.
Boy, it has been HARD to teach three kids at once. Really hard. It is similar to going from 2 to 3 babies. You are outnumbered, you don't have enough hands and they all need something from you at the same time.
I wasn't convinced I had it in me to go carry on with homeschool this year. I looked really hard at a few other options, but I was struggling to figure out how I was going to get kids to and from school and work and keep the babies on their nap routine. Blech. Sam stepped in and started doing school with me every morning he isn't already at work. That hasn't been an easy adjustment for any of us because we are all used to Sam not being around for school. However, this year his schedule is set up so he really can do this most of the time and I need this much help in order to not be a lunatic every day. It has made a big difference. I feel less stressed when he helps out, the kids are more orderly and I even get time to go running when I want to go instead of cramming my time in somewhere. That alone is wonderful.
Our ALP (Advanced Learner Program) teacher has once again been such a support. Buddy was fighting me hard on math and she was able to talk me off a ledge there and remind me that maybe I am a bit of a perfectionist (who, me?) and that he is only 8 and I sometimes expect my kids to have the maturity for 50 year olds (again I say, who, me?). She suggested some instant gratification for doing school without a fight. So, Sam and I bought a giant bag of Halloween candy. When all 3 kids do school and don't torture anyone else while doing it, they get to pick a piece of candy. Wow. What a huge difference candy makes!
We have some good extracurriculars this year. Belle is clogging still and loves it. She is also wrapping up "A Little Princess" since they ran it again this week for Spud Days. Buddy is in scouts and he and Xander are both doing gymnastics through a lovely local gal who does classes during the day for homeschool kids. It goes by age which is working great for me. I drop Xander off and I park the car and run 4 miles. I get back just in time to hurry and pick up Buddy, drop him off, get Xander, take him home, shower and go back and get Buddy. The little boys are with Sam or Belle or both of them and usually Henry naps. This gives me a break to run and gives the boys something to do. It has been nice. We also have another homeschool group we are going to do sport stuff with, but the weather has not been cooperative. Plus, I got a sore throat/cold thing this week so we stayed home. I don't like to share germs.
Today we had the IRI tests for Buddy and Xander. That was a huge confidence booster for me. I remember when Belle started at IDVA in 2nd grade and she did her IRI test. She was at the top of 2nd grade for reading. By the end of the year she was a 5th grade reading level and it has taken off since then. Well, Xander was supposed to know 11 letters and he knew 34. He also knew a ton of letter sounds and they don't really count that in Kindergarten (not for this time, anyhow), so he did great. Buddy was supposed to have 40 something words I think. He had, 93, 97 and 103! The teacher was certain he can read at a 3rd grade level easily and probably a 4th grade reading level. Wow. I helped teach him to read, and he is even good at it. That is crazy to me.
Overall, this has been a hard year so far. But, I feel like we are slowly finding our way and it may not be the easiest year, but it will be a rewarding year. As long as I keep running (up to 8 miles without stopping!), I think we'll all be okay.