Today we had to go into town to bring Aidan to labs and neurology clinic. Going into town takes several hours from the day, since it’s 60 miles away. So we didn’t get home till after noon. This meant a lighter day of homeschool – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say a quicker day of homeschool. We do most of the same things, but at supersonic speed.
Kieron is in his first year of high school. In our house, 9th grade is usually still fairly relaxed. I start stepping up the reading level and working towards getting them talking about literature and history and science at a more college-prep level, but I work with the kid’s strengths and interests. Recently things are even more low-key because it’s only two weeks until Christmas vacation and there is so much else to think about. He reads from several books, does either Geometry (Jacob’s) or SAT prep, and also listens to a couple of lessons from Homeschool Connections, which I hope is getting him used to the audio-lecture format. I am trying to provide him with multi-sensory modes of learning because he benefits from a mixture of inputs. He is a very smart, calm person – he benefits from variety and creative presentation and needs help getting engaged in something before he is motivated to do the work. So for me, this year is about trying all different sorts of things to see what engages his mental gears and motors the best. And because ownership is part of the process, it’s helping him gain insight into how he thinks and works. This kind of thing can’t be done in a rush, so that’s why the academics stay fairly relaxed.
Paddy is in grade 2 in the California Virtual Academy charter which uses K12. This is an effective, well-designed program and since this is our second year we have hit our stride and can tailor the work pretty well to the day. So for example, some days he may get through his lessons very quickly, like we did today — other days we spend a long time on one subject using all the different options. Since there is lots of review, if we end up not covering an idea or skill very completely, it crops up again and we can go back and remediate quickly.
Before we enrolled in K12 we used Ambleside and we still do, only we “browse” through it and don’t usually do narrations very formally, since K12 has lots of narrating and discussion in its program. I read the AO books to all three of the boys in the morning and it gives Kieron a chance to keep in touch with beautiful tales and poems that most people stop reading when they are children, but that are worthwhile for any age.
Aidan didn’t do any formal school today since his day was quite busy but he did get some practice chatting with the health care professionals (good for his social/pragmatic skills) and he also wrote a story on my Treo on the way home in the car.
It’s foggy and cold-looking outside. I just shoveled the last of the old snow off the deck a few minutes ago. It gets stuck on the alleys of our metal roof and then comes down with an almighty crash in the middle of the night, sometimes scaring me half to death.
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