Summary: still trucking.
As time goes on, I am definitely getting better at home schooling. The changes I made at the beginning of the 2021 year had such a far-reaching impact that we're still reaping the benefits. We moved from a daily checklist to a daily schedule and that was VERY freeing! Now instead of me cooking dinner and being frustrated with why they can't just finish their math so they can play, they had assigned amounts of time for each task and when the time was up, they were done. I hate to say it, but I am aware that it mostly protected THEM from MY over the top obsession with getting things done. But at any rate, I'm glad I made the change!
Definitely the most fun change we made for the year was nature study. Over the year, we did bodies of water (which I wrote about here, flowers, invertebrates (including insects and snails and spiders) and rocks/minerals/soil. It was so cool to see the kids grow in their understanding of each category, and especially G consistently surprised me with how much he could follow and retain! It just really demonstrated to me how much there is to learn all around you, if you can just take the time to notice it.
G has been progressing well with reading and handwriting also and the girls are both trucking along with their work. M is nearly independent in history and since she's starting computer science, H has her on an app that takes her through little tutorials and stuff and that's independent too. I can sense that we're about to turn a corner with all this! It's just in time, too, because G is going to need to start first grade home school in 2022 and that's going to take a lot of direction from me. Overall, I definitely did not want to be in my second year of full-time home schooling, but I'm really grateful for the things I've learned and the way I've progressed as we've gone along. Even once we go back to public school, I think it'll still be a good thing that I've learned all these lessons!