The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Mid-Year Learning Evaluation

I’m learning along side Rose. Although I’ve been homeschooling for 24 years, this is my first year with Rose. My first year ever homeschooling an “only” child. Moving from teaching a senior in high school to kindergartener has been a challenge for me – both mentally and physically.  So, I knew I needed to evaluate our year and make changes where needed.

Observation book

This year I’ve discovered an awesome little downloadable book, which has helped me break down (with an amazingly detailed check list) where Rose is at, how she has developed over the last semester, and what we need to work and concentrate on this spring.

“Developing the Observing Eye, Teacher Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education” by Cynthia Murphy-Lang is a great read, and a handy little tool.

I actually downloaded the Common Core Check List for Kindergarten – and it reminded me why I have chosen Waldorf methodology. At this point in a child’s life, I feel developing the brain, the body, and the spirit is so more important than learning knowledge. I ditched the Common Core Check List.

What I’ve discovered:

The Good:

Observation 2

1) Increased Peacefulness

Decreasing the amount of time away from home, and decreasing the amount of people coming in and out of our home has increased the level of peacefulness.Creating, and for the most part, sticking with a weekly and daily rhythm has increased the peace.

Because of this, Rose is having less melt downs than she has in the past.

2) Increased ability to play by her self 

Rose has become more independent, and more able to entertain herself for long periods of time.

Observation 13) Increased ability to relate to peers Rose has always struggled with relationships with other kids. She has started enjoying time with others and can play for longer periods of time with them.

4) Increased physical abilities I’ve seen improvement in both her big motor and small motor skills. Rose started skipping – a great sign for brain development. She can also string small beads.

The Bad:

1) Can’t count to 10.

I count everything, but Rose just doesn’t seem to pick it up. She says numbers, she repeats when I count. She can’t seem to recite from 1 – 10 by herself – either when counting objects, or just recitation.

The Ugly:

Observation 3

1) Obsession with screen time

I’ve done a poor job of cutting screen time. We have tried to use screen time in moderation, but Rose is obsessed. Once she picks up a phone, ipad, or watches a show – she refuses to do anything else. She has more melt downs, is irritable, and unable to play by herself.

2) Challenges with transitions

Rose has a very hard time moving from one thing to the other if the first is not finished, or has not been cleaned and organized to her liking. She completely loses it. We have a visual schedule, but sometime I think it is a hindrance, because if for any reason we have to go off it – melt down. There is no flexibility. I try to give time between activities but it never seems to be enough – she gets stuck on one thing and doesn’t want to change to do something else – she even refuses to eat if she is into the activity before a meal.

Observation 43) Sensory Issues

I thought cooking our own catsup would be exciting. Rose thought otherwise. After having her peel the poached tomatoes, she was seriously traumatized by the texture and has been scared to cook with me since.

She also hates the woods. She hates the dirt and screams when she sees a bug. She cries and begs to go home.



4) Doesn’t sleep well

Rose has always had sleep issues. Lately, she just doesn’t go to sleep. She says she is scared to shut her eyes. Even though bedtime is 8:00 – she often does not fall asleep til well after midnight. I have responded by allowing her to sleep later in the morning, which throws off all our morning routine.

The Changes are coming:

1) Sleep

Be more consistent in sleep routine. Play outside at least two hours. No screen time. Wake her up in the mornings by 8:00. Check with doctor if the problem does not stop.

2) Eliminate Screen Time completely during the week.

Nothing else needs to be said.

3) Increase the amount of activities on our daily rhythm.

Add story time, circle time, and daily craft time to our daily schedule. This will help with the elimination of screen time.

4) Work on Transitions

Give more time for transition. Use songs to transition.

5) Be intentional with teaching counting

Have counting rhymes and songs in circle time. Count in

6) Modify Cooking Day

Cook things that Rose would enjoy cooking. Think about textures when planning what to cook.

7) Modify Forest Day

Have more planned activities in the forest. Think about what Rose does like – and use them to my advantage (collecting things, taking pictures).

I’ll let you know how it goes. What changes are you making in your spring semester?


101 in 1001

Inspired by friends and bloggers, Victoria Strader: Happily Ever Strader (  and Chelsea Wester: Going Wester (, I’ve written 101 Goals to accomplish in 1001 Days. It was more challenging than I thought. Hope it keeps me focused. (These are really goals for 101 days not 1001 – I think I’ll make 3 halloween costumes in 1001 days – hehe)

1.       Daily Time with God (all 1001 days – be consistent)
2.       Finish my study of Hosea (1 week per chapter – read, outline, word studies, commentaries)
3.       Fine tune my 3 lessons for the Book of Hosea (45 min -1 hr lessons)
4.       Read: Redeeming Love: A Novel5.       Talk to Woman’s leadership about speaking for woman’s ministry
6.       Buy Bible for Trenten & Eliana
7.       Buy Bible Highlighters and Pens
8.       Write commentary in Grandkid’s Bibles (1 Child’s Bible per week)
9.       Read Stormie Omarian’s trilogy (The Power of a Praying Wife, The Power of Praying Parent, and The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children)

10.   Have date Night every other week

11.   See Movie with Nelson
12.   Go to new place to eat with Nelson
13.   Go to a comedy club with Nelson
14.   Go to a piano bar with Nelson
15.   Go on a picnic with Nelson
16.   Set New Year goals with Nelson
17.   Attend Celebrate Recovery with Nelson
18.   Write encouraging notes and stick in Nelson’s suitcase
19.   Pray for Nelson daily
20.   Double date with Mark and Kim

21. Pray for Andres

(Old Pic – but good one!)

22.   Host Halloween Party With Andres
23.   Make Creepy Halloween Food
24.   Make cool and creepy dry ice punch
25.   Be in charge of will-call ticket sales for Andres’ play
26.   Do SAT prep with Andres
27.   Send away for Drivers Ed packet for Andres
28.   Get Andres’ learners permit
29.   Practice driving with Andres
30.   Research testing for Andres’ dysgraphia
31.   Take Andres to be tested for dysgraphia
32.   Take Andres to an Art Museum

33.   Pray for Rose

34.   Make a Halloween Costume for Rose
35.   Get all paperwork in for Rose to start testing at NWISD
36.   Speech Testing for Rose

37.   Reread “Phonics Rhyme Time” – after Rose is tested for speech therapy, memorize poems with her that target speech hot spots
38.   Behavior Testing for Rose
39.   Ear surgery & tubes for Rose
40.   Read Psalm daily to Rose at bedtime (1 per week)
41.   Incorporate Bible verses into daily routine  with Rose
42.   Read & Implement dealing with sleep issues for Rose
43.   Read & Implement dealing with anger issues for Rose
44.   Start Rose in Speech Therapy and Behavioral Therapy
45.   Bake Christmas Cookies with Rose
46.   Make canapy bed for Rose
47.   Make curtains for Rose’s room
48.   Find Picture Frames for Rose’s room
49.   Buy Dresser knobs for Rose’s dresser
50.   Spend 1 hour outside with Rose EVERY DAY
51.   Wash the “chalk-drawings” off all the walls in the house
52.   Make sandbox for outside (study, design, cut logs, build)
53.   Pray for my Mom and Dad

54.   Have lunch with mom without kids

55.   Go on a daughter-daddy date with my dad
56.   Visit train in Mineral Wells with Mom & Dad – have picnic
57.   Replace my mom’s camera I broke
58.   Visit Papi (father-in-law) every Thursday
59.   Take Papi out to eat
60.   Pray for Papi

61.   Pray for Eli, J, Trent & Ellie

62.   Nelson & I – Spend a day with
grandkis without Rose (or anyone else)

63.   Record a DVD “Nana’s Sing Along”
with Rose and grandkids

64.   Make one Christmas present for Rose
65.   Make Christmas present for grandson1
66.   Make Christmas present for grandson2
67.   Make Christmas present for granddaughter
68.   Make 3 sets nativity blocks – for each set of grandkids
69.   Pray for kids
70.   Take cruise
71.   Double Date with kids

72. Take daughter out

73.   Cut rose stem from Mami (my mother-in-laws) rose bushes and replant at my house
74.   Buy Ale Vera Plant & maintain it
75.   Have Fresh cut flowers in the house weekly
76.   Finish writing series of blogs (What church youth ministry can learn from debate) and post
77.   Have Andres take pictures for blog and stop plagiarizing goggle images on my blog
78.   Write and post blog 1X week (either)
79.   Buy ALL Christmas gifts before Thanksgiving
80.   Attend Gateway’s Christmas Musical
81.   Attend Messiah Sing-along
82.   Go to the Nutcracker Ballet
83.   Go to a Christmas tree farm for Christmas tree
84.   Do the North Pole Express (steam engine train ride) with kids
85.   Have Life Group girls over to the house for party
86.   Contact one Life Group girl a week – just because
87.   Plan and execute one service project with Life Group girls
88.   Host DNow 9th – 10th grade boys – plan & cook food, clean, etc.
89.   Find one person God wants me to mentor weekly (I’m open – youth, young married, young mom, new homeschool mom?)
90.   Read “Hope and Healing: Kids who Cut”

91.   Do something with friend every other week

(one week with Rose, one week just us)

92.   Go to U Paint with friend
93.   Go out with a friend once a week
94.   Prepare debate students for first debate tournament
95.   Write encouraging notes to each student before their first tournament
96.   Find all day babysitter and go to November Debate Round Robin
97.   Eat clean (1 exception per week)
98.   Get medical physical for myself
99.   Buy produce and local honey from Haslet farmers Market on Saturdays
100.   Get “caught up” on laundry
101.    Evaluate all clothes for everyone in house – get rid of & figure out need

What Goals do you have for the next 10o1 Days?