The Proof is in the Pudding

Da and Xuxu took their last final of the semester on Friday.  You should have seen the relief on their faces when they walked in the door!  Both of them, I am happy to report, finished the semester with solid A’s.  Xuxu finished her semester at the top of the class!  We are very proud of her!

For me, this was a true test of our homeschool practices.  In our home we teach children how to learn, provide them with resources and then we let them run with it.  We have been criticized for that in the past, but I have to say, “the proof is in the pudding!”  Xuxu knows how to study, how to organize her time and her resources, and how to apply what she is learning.  She excelled, even out-performing students from Oxford.   In addition to her university classes she “self studied” a year of seminary and kept up with a rigorous practice schedule on her viola.   She did all of this without her parents prodding and nagging, because it is what she wanted to do.

We are currently taking a week long break from ‘school’ to rest up and relax. We would take a longer break, except that we had two weeks in December and all of January off.   So far, it seems that the kids are looking forward to getting back to their school work because they’ve asked me several times if they could “just start today.”  I’m having to beg them to just relax a little, but have been allowing them to peruse the new books that have been arriving!

Over the summer break (starting on Monday) Xuxu will continue studying Chinese and Seminary.  She plans on finishing one year of math curriculum, and will continue her viola practice.  She also has a pile of books on her bedside table that she didn’t have time for during the school year, and she is excited that she now has time to read.

We have had nearly a year away from the Sonlight curriculum and we miss it terribly.  So, we bit the bullet and ordered the cores we need for Pie, Mouse and Star.  The cores didn’t exactly line up by grade because we didn’t want to purchase the ones we already have at home, but I think it will all work out in the end.  Pie will be in Core A,  Intro to World Cultures, Mouse will be in Core B,  Intro to World History, and Star will be in Core F,  Eastern Hemisphere.   Mouse should be in Core C or D, but we have it at home and I really hate to spend the money on it when we already own it. I’ll make it fit her level better by having her do some of the “out loud” reading that is assigned to the teacher.  I believe that the subject matter of the three cores fits together nicely, and it will be interesting to see how they overlap and how the girls interact and share what they are learning with one another.

We will continue to use Spell to Write and Read, Saxon Math, Apologia Science (Botany), Excellence in Writing and Jensen’s Grammar curriculum.  For Chinese we will continue the ideas put forward in this post, but will do so without the paid tutor because we wanted the funds for the Sonlight program.   I believe that at this point the older girls (Star and Mouse) have enough desire and experience to work on their own and can ask Da and Xuxu for help if they get stuck. We also have Chinese friends to play with and the teachers at the university who have become friends and willing resources.

Da is planning on continuing his intensive study of Chinese this summer with more of a focus on business terms.  He and Xuxu will both take the level three HSK exam in August, just before school starts again in September.   After the HSK exam, we will take one more week off to relax before the new NJU semester begins.

I do not know how much I’ll be updating the blog over the summer.  I’ll try, but I’m not promising much!  We aren’t planning on going out much because the heat and humidity is just oppressing!   We’ll be anxious by the end of summer to get out, and so I’m sure that we’ll have some fun things planned!

Current reading list:

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