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It’s been a whirlwind of activity since September kicked off. I am grateful for all the things we’re involved in that make Brooks’s day to day more rich and full, and yet, sometimes, between balancing my schoolwork, his, and spending time together as a family there isn’t much time left for much else. At the very least, we spend our time where it’s most important, knowing full well that our time with LB is limited, in a very real sense.

Either way, six weeks into school and I’m quite thankful that I’ve worked out any kinks in the schedule and we are following a good pace that keeps B challenged and excited but not overwhelmed or exhausted. Balance is always good and I always try to keep that at the forefront of all we do. I don’t always succeed (last year’s overscheduled schedule accounts for that) but I do try.

Tuesdays are mirror images of Friday in that the schedule is very similar, in the same way that Monday mirrors Thursdays. Wednesdays are in a whole league of their own since we have roller hockey, lunch with friends, and then typically meet at a park with B’s friends for play and fellowship.

Tuesdays and Fridays contain all the same subjects as Mondays and Thursdays except for a few exceptions. Computer Programming happens these days, though typically B is working on his own projects throughout the week. We tend to use Scratch for this although we have added Alice and Code Academy.

B is pretty passionate about becoming a video game programmer someday and to that end he is quite diligent about learning as much as he can about the field and coding in general. He’s also began working on animations and has become quite adept at pulling together funny and short skits. Some he shares on Scratch others he continues to tweak until some point that he decides it can no longer be perfected.

Other notable differences include Penmenship (Cursive), Poetry/Memory Work, our Intro to Logic class, Greek Mythology, and Computer Science. We include as many living books as we can, and also cover current events with various websites, most notably Dogo News, Izzit.org, and our Scholastic Readers. I love using Brainpop as well wherever I can.

Penmenship: I thought about purchasing a curriculum to teach B cursive but I ran across Donna Young’s website that includes some great, and free, worksheets and tutorials (animations) for cursive.

Poetry/Memory Work: In my pursuit to lean towards a more classical education with B we’ve included Poetry this year, as well as requiring B to memorize portions of poetry each week. B is actually enjoying this class. I was worried I’d have some resistance but he actually enjoys learning new poems, analyzing them, and learning about their structure. We use Memoria Press’s Poetry curriculum and I’m quite pleased with it.

Intro to Logic: We began this last year but weren’t able to finish it before we finished for the school year. I love this course and B’s ability to not only memorize the informal fallacies but to pick them out in real life and in written work is pretty impressive. We subscribe to Schoolhouseteachers.com and LOVE the ability to pick different units to study. Right now we are using their Computer Science unit, their Geography unit (which B loves as it entails not only learning geography and all its terminology and history, but creating his very own atlas to keep), and their Into to Logic Unit. We’ll soon finish up this unit and have to supplement with something else and I’m really leaning towards their Social Justice unit.

Greek Mythology: We have yet to study ancient history other than through mini units in the course of reading different things or running across articles or videos which then peaked B’s curiosity and caused us to dig further (a bit of unschooling there, in that philosophy I suppose). I was intrigued by including a real thorough study of Greek myths, while learning about Greek culture and history. We are using Memoria Press’s Greek Mythology and love it. B would have us read the book in a sitting but the curriculum allows you to dig a bit further, thereby causing you to really learn the myths and various deities and heroes. 

The only other differences are an omission of a whole subject (which I will flipflop with another for next semester) and the addition of a companion study to our Vocabulary class. We opted to drop Music and Music Appreciation for Art four days a week as we are both truly enjoying that curriculum.

And I’ve added a vocabulary builder to B’s already stellar vocabulary program: Wordly Wise. We are utilizing Success with Words which I’m thoroughly pleased with. It’s really aimed more towards high school students hoping to improve their SAT and ACT scores so we are working our way slowly through it, aiming for retention and real understanding.

September has slowly added activities to our schedule. Roller hockey and flag football began. Next week B’s Discovery Imagination team starts. Royal Rangers started up and B is going to be attending that as well. Lastly, our friends put together a Co-Op that begins in another week or so. 

I’m so grateful for each moment I get to school My Boy. I’m grateful for friends, for cars that work (and friends who know how to fix them), for the ability to travel and experience new things. Six weeks into our new school year and I’m feeling as excited and gung ho as day one, and I’m grateful for that too.

Life is truly sweet.

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