We had our homeschool evaluations done yesterday. That is the yearly event mandated by the state of Pennsylvania (the cradle of liberty) in which a nice state-certified lady comes to our house, looks over the kids' reading lists and work samples, chats with them about some of their work, and determines whether or not I have given my children an appropriate education.
If we pass (we did), she gives me a certificate to submit, along with the portfolio of work she just reviewed, to the school district so someone there can review it and also determine the appropriateness of my kids' education.
As I looked over last year's portfolios, I realized that this year we had done far less in terms of fun stuff: field trips to historic sites, science experiments involving vinegar and pennies, read-alouds of exciting books. We did enough, and the kids grew in their skills, knowledge, and understanding, but, from my perspective, this wasn't such a great year, compared to last.
Then I remembered that this was the Year of Therapy. We spent much of this academic year taking my boy to various appointments for various learning problems. We didn't have time for much fun stuff. We were fixing his brain. And, it seems to be working pretty well. He has improved in all of his troubling areas. We have seen a lot of progress. And some of the therapies are winding down now.
As I look back on this past year, I remember that sometimes it was very hard. It was frustrating, being unable to do so many things I wanted to do. I hated dragging my kids around, especially my girl who had to sit around a lot, waiting. (She got an enormous amount of reading and drawing done, though!) I hated not reading to them as much as I like. But, it was a season, and it seems to be almost over. And we saw results from it. It's good to remember that seasons come and go, and that every year will be different.
So, I'm going to call our next academic year the Year of Field Trips. Maybe we'll make it to Daniel Boone's birthplace, the National Canal Museum, even Betsy Ross's house and the Natural History Museum just downtown. (Thanks to Gladys, our GPS, we no longer fear driving in Philadelphia.) We'll try to go further afield and see Menlo Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. See more of the Pennsylvania countryside and rivers; view more art; listen to more music.
Sounds like a better school year to me. Even the planning will be more interesting!