Sunday, September 8, 2013

Homeschool 2013-14

Eldest began her senior year of college last week, and Dancer started her sophomore year of high school.

Tomorrow is the first day of Big Guy's senior year of high school. We finally decided -- late last week -- that we'll homeschool Snuggler for 7th grade. We'd already planned on having Little Guy at home, so tomorrow will be the first day of school for them as well. I may be up late tonight figuring out exactly what that means.

Snuggler will be doing Medieval British Lit, starting with Beowulf. It will be a stretch, but for her it's better to go deep, slowing down to whatever pace works, than to trot along reading books without layers. In theory it's a semester-long course; if it takes a year, that's okay.

She's already started her Thinkwell for math, and she and Little Guy will both do the One Year Adventure Novel. (Yeah, I know: neither of them is in high school. But if I can get Little Guy to write anything, it will be progress. And one of the oddities of teaching kids is that sometimes -- not always, but sometimes -- setting the bar high gets them over smaller hurdles they think they can't jump. More on that another time.)

I've signed her up for Caveman Chemistry at the homeschool co-op, which we'll supplement with Conceptual Chemistry at home (because we already own the book). We'll also be working through Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking with the help of the MIT Open Courseware syllabus.

She'll also do a class at the historical society that teaches American history through musicals. First up: 1776, along with artifacts and actual documents of the time. Add soccer, a big role in the children's theater musical, being a mother's helper twice a week, and a regular service project, and that's about it for now.

Little Guy will be doing Singapore Math 5, although I realized today that I don't have the workbook. He's going to be on a FIRST Lego League team (robotics), play soccer, and he scored the lead in the children's theater musical (he's Ugly -- the duckling -- in Honk, Jr.) Science will be cells, writing will be endless, though I'm hoping the OT will help with graphomotor skills. We'll split apart the conceptual side (via dictation and, if needed, Dragon Naturally Speaking) from the physical process of composition.

We're doing British history, thanks to Little Guy's obsession with Horrible Histories (you can see samples on YouTube; it's kind of Monty Python meets history). He thinks we should take a field trip to England this spring. I told him I'm up for it, as long as he pays.

It's a plan. Or, as I explained to someone the other day, it's the plan we're starting with. It will be revised as we go along. A lot. Frequently. Because, you know, we're learning. And that requires change, and flexibility, and searching out opportunities for growth.



  1. God bless you and yours! I do not know how you do it.

  2. (I don't know how you do it either.) I'd love to be in your class. Mention of Beowulf takes me back to teaching Shakespeare to high school freshmen. These days, when I run into former students in the grocery store, they sometimes recite passages that were memorized and explicated 35 years ago! Never mind that they had to be thrown into the water -- they learned to float, swim, dive, and share the lessons of the depths. They felt really smart and capable, comprehending language from hundreds of years ago. They learned that tragedy, comedy, romance, and soap-opera behaviors are universal and timeless.

  3. Are you doing any typing with Little Guy? Curious about how you think it might fit in with the issues with motor skills (because we're dealing with something similar around here). Also: if for some reason any questions come up about Beowulf, give me a holler!