We are scaling back on academics for Advent. That sounds sort of funny once I write it out, because our academics aren’t very intensive anyway. But I want some breathing room to do a few extras and just “be present” during the season.
I told Sean that once he’s finished with Book 6 of Key to Algebra that that’s it until January. He thought that was interesting. Part of it is that I am in interested in seeing how at age 13 he will respond to this. Will it motivate him to do more and finish earlier? or will he put it off? I remember reading in a homeschooling book once that the mom could motivate her kids to work hard by telling them they were done once they finished X amount of pages for the week. But this most notably did NOT have that effect on my three older kids. Sean is a different kid though. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. My older kids will not rush through something just to say “it’s done.” Now Sean will charge through something and this trait has its benefits too. He can accomplish quite a bit in a short time when faced with a concrete goal — ie last year, he spent the day work on timed division and multiplication drills in order to beat or at least match his Dad’s time. He went through about 20 sheets in a morning and actually achieved his goal.
Kieron will be cutting back to 3 Saxon lessons a week for math and the rest will be computer drills or games. I started reading Jotham’s Journey to him today. Elizabeth’s family sent us this book the year we spent Advent in San Francisco without any of our books or things, when Aidan was in the hospital his first year of life. But Kieron was only 3 back then; now he is 10 and it seems like it is just on the right level for him. I think the book is intended to be a family read-aloud but I have an interesting challenge right now in that I have 3 teenagers who are too old for this level of read-aloud — though I hope they will catch a page or so walking by — they even do this with picture books and often reminisce about the “old days” when they listened to that one! then my two littlies are really too young; Aidan is developmentally still more interested in board books that he can memorize and “read” to me or to himself. So Kieron gets to be an only child in this Advent reading, which may suit the circumstances nicely since as a middly and a fairly even-tempered one he doesn’t always get a whole lot of time devoted just to him.
Kieron took Aidan out sledding on the driveway again– almost all the snow is melting but there is still enough ice to make a good run.
Everyone worked on their weekly housekeeping jobs, a bit more effort today because we had the birthday and the Advent things out, and the snow clothes, and the mud we brought in from the melting snow, plus the dog made a mess in the entryway. Brendan winterized the deck — stacking the picnic table, umbrella and so on against the wall now that winter is. Really. Here.
I have been reading Fundamentals of Homeschooling, but will save the details for another post. It’s a good book though, with a different “take” on the essentials than most other homeschooling books I’ve read. For some reason it reminds me a bit of Ruth Beechick, perhaps because of the common sense attitude, practical tips and emphasis on gearing the academics to the child.
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