The End {not really!}

5059A4BA-5E46-4A32-86A8-68725065A233There are a few weeks left of the ‘school year’, although we have had a long pause for a myriad of reasons. One reason, is that the seasons are changing, and I have a hard time keeping the kids inside, when they could be outside, getting vitamin D and burning off all their winter energy. Another reason, is that we have had a hard spring, and I am having a hard time keeping myself on track. Out of all our books, there are some that I really want to ‘finish’, and some that I am not worried about at all.

8F57F2B7-1D0D-4073-97FD-E823247FF9BC{Axel read “Charlotte’s Web’ in a few days, watched the movie, and then re-read the book! I am so excited for him to transition into this stage of reading!}

One of my goals for the year was to really work on being tied to ‘finishing’ a certain amount of work, as opposed to knowing that the kids ‘understand’, and have actually learned a suitable body of work. I have residual learning habits that are leftover from my school days that I am still trying to break. Let me tell you, it’s not easy. {for anyone teaching or thinking of home educating, I recommend Sarah Mackenzie’s book “Teaching From Rest’, for encouragement, as well as John Taylor Gatto’s writings on school, particularly a compilation of speeches/essays entitled ‘Dumbing Us Down for a good kick in the pants.}BBCDF036-C973-4530-9FE5-15AB0FBA7EF3As the traditional school year draws to a close, there have been about a thousand events to attend. Everyone had end of year concerts, {although Axel’s was about a month ago} and of course we went to all of them. There are tests, and projects, and even Prom. I know. It’s hard to believe. But there are pictures to prove it. AFFE5189-1BFC-44B8-A8AC-BEE28EA02390Elvis joined the Metropolitan Youth Symphony this year, during the spring term, and jumped right in to difficult music, new instruments, and a whole different group of kids, and rose to the challenge with amazing determination. His final concert was on Sunday, and included Ballet music from Faust, which was his favorite piece. 97BFE8B4-7E50-43DA-8827-A3A387B26100A9DE3A33-8A64-4B6F-841A-F08F85365DE6The very next day, Elvis’s 5th grade band had it’s final performance at the middle school. Next year they will be the 6th grade advanced band, so it was really fun to hear the current advanced band, knowing that he will be working up to some really fun music next year. The 5th grade band program has been great for him, learning to play in a big group, and giving some context to all his practicing and learning at home and at his lessons. There is nothing quite as satisfying as playing music with other people, and hearing it all take shape in a concert! What a great year. AD1680AA-A495-4F82-9A71-48CDC4A1A35BVegas had his final orchestra concert last week as well, where he played the piece he performed for the state solo competition, along with one of his fellow bassists, who also happened to perform the same piece {the Dragonetti Bass Concerto}. They played the solo, while the rest of the orchestra backed them up. It was truly wonderful to watch. Vegas has such a fantastic stage presence! His last concert of the year will be Jazz Night, which is next week. EBC56772-3420-49DF-9C48-EA445363A25DLast weekend, Vegas also went to Prom. At the risk of him disowning me, I have to post a couple of pictures. It is still a little hard to take in the reality of him getting older, and more independent, but I have so enjoyed his whole person at each stage, that I can only expect the coming years to be just as wonderful. Bittersweet, but that’s to be expected. 3FA10F27-64E8-44D2-BB85-CFCA977266B5

8BCDF1EA-5C7B-49F5-B508-82169A66084BMeanwhile, the girls are playing, the boys are wrestling with their middle childhood, and I am running to catch up. {Meri was so wiped out by her cello lesson this week, that she literally just fell asleep in the car afterward. I feel like doing this every day, unfortunately, I can’t.} 81E98809-1213-40C5-93DA-E41C3690011FI’ve been reading a few fantastic books, my favorite right now is this book: Children’s Special Places’ by David Sobel. Naturally, fort building is a high priority right now! He also writes this book on map making , which is at the top of my shopping list! EB179E5D-6B7E-40D2-8703-164E422479E1D3D83EFD-7B45-49DB-A9A8-674366B534C6We have had a long winter. The advent of warm weather and new growth in the garden gives hope to me after a season of feeling like I have a thimbleful of energy and patience. Over a year after I started this project, the herb garden path is completed. Bea has been a huge helper, sweeping sand in the cracks, and gathering onions for scrambled eggs. She is very anxious to see the strawberries turn red. 0B892891-4BED-4D14-B94A-F3F0C4C881F2317EE23A-FC98-4BB1-91F7-9407EF8B2CF7This week, we are planting a whole bunch of little ‘sticks with roots’ that we purchased at a nursery stock sale last week. They are in a bucket of water in the back yard, and trying to figure out where they will all live is a fun challenge. Elvis picked out a plum tree, Meri picked out a spiky little juniper, and Bea just likes to help water. Axel was in Seattle when we went to the sale, so he didn’t get to pick out his own plant, but we got a honey crisp tree, which everyone will enjoy!

This morning, I need to water, before all the plants wither in the hot sun.

Also, I need to scrub the pool, which is still un-greening itself from winter algae. It is a long learning process. Summer in Portland is a trickster, because it is so hot and great, you almost forget how horrible winter is.

Next winter, we are going on vacation somewhere sunny.

Off to make a second pot of coffee, Shelley



One comment

  1. Awww…I am always so amazed by all you do and how knowledgeable the kids are, especially about living things.
    I love being alongside you (sort of, long-distance, except when I’m there) in this fantastic journey. -Diane


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