As I wrote a couple of days ago, our natural learning year is just kicking into high gear now. This isn't a time I normally sit down and reflect on progress and changes over the longer term. But on one of the homeschooling message boards I frequent we were invited to brag about our kids' accomplishments this year, and so I did. Here's what I wrote.
Erin has grown brave and is branching outwards into the wide world. She's extremely introverted by nature and mostly prefers to be a homebody, but she's now taking on the world. She did a competitive audition for a summer music program which will take her for almost three weeks to two major Canadian cities, being billeted with people she doesn't know, flying between the cities with a group of teens she's never met. And next winter she's going to be trekking for 2 months in SE Asia with some adult friends of hers/ours. They'll be travelling 'in the rough' through Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Laos. She's greeted these opportunities with enthusiasm and courage.
Noah has become a performer. He too is very introverted and reserved, but he has developed confidence as a musician and has discovered that he enjoys turning on stage presence and musicality when performing. He's become a major head-turner when he plays in ensembles or as a soloist, and while he doesn't relish all the attention he garners after a performance, he does love sharing what he loves in the moment. I'm also very proud of him for joining an aikido program; he has lots of anxiety about joining new things, but was able to work through his anxiety and get involved in the program, where he is thriving.
Sophie is my jack of all trades. She is enthusiastic, resilient and willing to try all sorts of new things. She's accomplished a lot in all areas of her life, progressing well in soccer, violin, math and aikido, among other areas, but I'm especially grateful for her progress with chocolate. She's become a baker-of-chocolate-desserts extraordinaire, turning out tortes, bars, puddings, cheesecakes, brownies and cakes completely unassisted. We just buy butter and baking chocolate and keep the eggs coming and she churns out delectables. What impresses me most is her can-do, problem-solving mentality which serves her so well in the kitchen, as well as in all areas of her life.
Fiona has made grand strides in both math and music. She's now at a mid-2nd-grade level in math with some skills more advanced than that. On violin she's advanced to the mid-Book-3 level in the Suzuki repertoire, is reading music, shifting and using vibrato. Definitely my most precocious musical kid -- and with a cheerful resilience and optimistic self-motivation that is so refreshing after years of raising perfectionists.