Here I sit… on my back deck… laptop, sunshine (although I’m in the shade of my crabapple), cool breeze, coffee, Girly hollering for me to watch her climb up the slide and get onto the trapeze bar THAT way…
And wondering wth I’m going to do with BigGuy this week.
Upside: I got a free digital planner (thanks to Educents) and inside, there were pages to set goals. It was completely awesome and totally helpful. Because really, it’s hard to lay out a plan when you don’t know what the goal is.
Seriously? DUH! I TAUGHT THIS! FOR YEARS! Geesh, I STILL teach it by way of teleclass!
So I laid out semester goals for things above and beyond academics, but then I also laid out academic goals by subject. *deep breath of relief*
Now I need to get better at PREPARING. Honestly, I’m REALLY loving the way that this program is forcing us into this Socratic discussion and BigGuy is really understanding that he needs to exercise his brain better. Win-win. But I feel really ill-prepared and I haven’t looked in my teaching binder for this stuff but I’m sure I saw some kind of prep for this in there.
This week, I’m kind of returning to worldview and various faiths rather than our regular social studies/geography/writing/literature core from Tapestry of Grace . Papa is off of work for the next two weeks and we have a trip to Minnesota over the long weekend. So we’re going to take it slow and light. I’m going to try to tackle “What Counts as History?” from Tolerance.org’s Classroom Resources page (which, btw, is AWESOOOOME). Of course, that’s going to require some prep, too. 😉
In truth, I gave this whole “rigorous academic learning” thing a week and truly thought it would fail in a day or two. My inaccuracy on this point is sobering on many levels. First, because it means that life as I knew it will now change as I meet the challenge to provide my BigGuy (YES!!! That works!) with the education and learning experience he wants.
Second, my BigGuy is no longer a BoyChild.
Third: Since we will be educating, I need to get on the ball with making plans and requesting books and stuff…
This weekend, we are going to finish up our Worldview lessons. Last night, we discussed and concluded the Jedis were/are pantheists. I’m thankful that BigGuy realizes that his brain is very lazy and wants to change it–persevering through things without having to be pushed in an effort to make his brain think.
Today, we will finish Worldview, talk about his goals for the school year, and go to a birthday party for a 4yo. If there’s time, I’ll have him take the Biology quizzes he didn’t get to do. Tomorrow I will try to be at the library when it opens so as not to further derail our learning. It’s a short learning week due to playdates. *sigh*
Oy… the first day of each “new school year” (read: the day my kids can say they’re in the next “grade”) is usually a party. They wake up to balloons and streamers and possibly some cool pencils and/or school-ish supplies. We take a first-day-of-school type of picture.
This year, I kind of dreaded this day. I felt like suddenly, we had to really SCHOOL our oldest. On one hand, I felt like it was a LOT of work to school-at-home. In fact, schooling-at-home is what a LOT of parents envision when they think of homeschooling; and they use this to determine that it’s not for them. But we haven’t really done that and I didn’t really WANT to do that. I’ve spent the last month really looking at how to feed his desire for higher level learning in greater quantity without it being a school-at-home situation. I’m not sure I’ve fully “got it”, but I have the first 2-3 weeks figured out.
This was BoyChild’s firm desire. I feel like: okay, so we just full-on hit it hard per his request and if he pushes back–we just stop! We do our annual family vacation in 3 weeks and surely by then, we’ll either be on this train or off. Given that this is pretty far-fetched from how we operate, I figured day one would be rough going. Except that it wasn’t. And the stuff I planned took more of our day than expected. Still, no complaints. *dumbstruck*
We are starting the year with a foundation in “worldview”. I landed on a curriculum that is faith-based and although our family is Bible-based, Jesus-following and often identify as Christians, we are not Christians–we are Quakers. So I felt strongly that we needed to have an understanding of how worldview affects some of the works we use. To that end, we are spending this first week on “A Young Historian’s Introduction to Worldview“–a four-lesson curricula by Brimwood Press. BoyChild is doing that and then we are going through the first few pages of Usborne’s “People of the World” followed by the first few pages of Usborne’s “Encyclopedia of World Religions” and “A Faith Like Mine” by Laura Buller. I feel very strongly about my children understanding and experiencing multiple cultures and seeing commonalities among them–not just differences. This is a really big deal to us. My husband and I have also been looking for opportunities to travel more and even be places long term, but BigPuppy makes a lot of that hard to figure out.
Oh, and BoyChild decided he wanted to return to calculus…after putting it down 18 months ago. He wanted to do it for a year and finally got to a level of math prerequisite to the program I found for kids… but then (after a few months) decided it was boring. Honestly, he was right: the content was monotonous and dry. And dude, he was a 3rd grader. He didn’t need calc. But he suddenly decided to tackle it again, so I spent a lot of the morning erasing pages of “Calculus Without Tears” so that he could start from the beginning all over again. We’ll see how THAT goes.
I’m tired. A friend is having a Usborne book party tonight and I’m almost afraid to go because truly–we’re totally broke and I don’t really NEED anything. And I’m starved. And my husband just pulled up from a doctor’s appointment. Probably a good time to sign off…