Thursday, September 10, 2009

15 weeks, 64 days...

is our official count for homeschooling days accomplished this year of our Lord. Whew! We are barely over a third of the way done regarding the "days to report" issue. Unofficially our homeschool year is 12 months, and the boys end up receiving way more than 180 days of the year of educating. Particularly when it comes to completing curriculum and taking the tangents that come with completing curriculum.

It is also the strict, legalistic, fundamentalistic, overbearing deal I have with them. For every day you use your mouth to eat, you must also use your brain to think and learn. Which means basically that only the days they are wrought with the stomach bug are their allowable non-learning days.

Hey, I'm working on my compassion quota.

Since I won't necessarily remember at the end of the year when I write my assessment report, I thought the blog could serve as a 15 weeks report card. That way I'll just have to remember I wrote a post somewhere about what we did some time ago.

Math: Chess is steadily working his way through Saxon 8/7. By the second lesson he was into concepts that slipped through the sieve of my mind when I was in 8th grade. He is persistent though in figuring it out and has done consistently well. More math lessons happen with Husband in the evening. But I can so live with that arrangement.

Pele is steadily working his way through some Kumon concept mastery books. We are finally seeing some success and self-confidence regarding all things numbers return to his life. I am immensely thankful. I know that very likely a tutor is in his future, but for now he is also persisting to truly master the concepts. And I am rejoicing instead of weeping.

The Chairman is flying though his Saxon 3. His beginning of the year testing showed we could skip a good fourth of the information. Now over halfway through the rest of the year, he is just now hitting some new concepts that are causing him pause. So we're slowing down with those and taking our time to let the foundations sink in and set. Aaah, flexibility.

Grammar: I switched Chess and Pele to the Analytical Grammar program this year. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning with whether it would work. And it was an expensive program. I can now say I would spend that money again in a heartbeat as regards the success of it. These two can parse and diagram a Shakespeare play with nary a hiccup. I'm having to really pay attention to it all to keep up with them. Plus they are receiving super valuable skill training in paraphrasing. I love, love, love this program. They easily finished the first 10 weeks and are now in the every other week review program.

The Chairman was working through Rod and Staff Level 3, which is also good. But I have got to say that I am now such a committed AG'er, I am planning to scrape the $$ together to purchase the AG, Junior for him to work on.

History: We are studying the Veritas Press 1815 to the Present this year and all having a blast. We traveled the Erie Canal, hooted at Old Hickory's antics, investigated the cotton gin, been sobered at the consequences of slavery and the Cherokee Trail; we have remembered the Alamo and acted it all out, gone west with the pioneers, warred with Mexico, tried to find our own backyard gold rush and pushed through to the Oregon Territory; we have fourscored and seven years ago with Lincoln, fought at Ft. Sumter, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg and surrendered at Appomattox; we have studied the biographies of Lee, Stonewall, Stuart and even Grant. Whew! again. It has been thoroughly exciting.

My favorite part hands down is seeing the boys pick a thread from the card or book we're reading and ask to follow it up on their own. By all means, my dear. By all means.

Science: We're studying the handiwork of God in Apologia Astronomy. A local membership to our Museum and Planetarium has paid great dividends in the offered events and shows. Regularly the boys are found outside pinpointing the constellations and planets and moon through my Dad's telescope.

Writing: For Chess and Pele, I am using Jump In: Writing offered by Apologia and also Writing Strands. We are taking it slowly because of the principles regarding grammar and writing that I am newly realizing through AG. Plus, a hefty dose of a Charlotte Mason Seminar I video-attended this year have me focusing them more on verbal narration skills. The writing then more naturally follows.

Specific to the Chairman are his Pathway Readers, A Reason for Spelling and A Reason for Handwriting. All things he enjoys and I am satisfied with their objectives.

For the next 15 weeks we will move to a four day school week so Fridays can be more unofficial learning days of catch up and review and field trips. Plus, we'll be adding in Latin flash cards, more geography, dictation, and Wordly Wise vocabulary.

And that's pretty much it for now. Good night, Gracie.


  1. Oooo, I've been dying to ask you what you were using, so now I know and that's one less email you have to answer!

    Now, I'm not asking for my own kids, but what CM video seminar did you attend? I'm teaching my siblings a writing course this year (which makes me laugh to think that my folks still want me to teach writing even though They Read My Blog) and I'm always looking for a different perspective.

  2. Wonderful! Thanks for updating us. Also, are the boys still involved with their sports? And are those getting ready to start up?