Saturday, April 9, 2011
Z has now been homeschooling for almost all of one academic year. So, what's my grade? I have been really good at exposing him at new material. Which, really means, that he has been good at it. He loves to learn and readily soaks up information. He is particularly enamored with science, math, and fantasy fiction. In science, he asks questions I can't answer. The cool thing is that I work in a building full of science professors, so if I can't answer it, someone else can (if there is an answer). In math, we had a rough start, but were able to end the formal academic year where we needed to be. We made a lot of concessions along the way in how he does the work. Lots of repetition - no. Lots of problems - no. Lots of new material - yes. Practical applications - yes. But, ultimately, he enjoys problem-solving. Reading - he would read a VCR manual if he were stuck in a room with one. He reads easily and very fast. His retention is good (kind of scary sometimes when he drops little factoids he picked up here or there). Music - We aren't great shakes here, but he takes piano lessons every week and practices some. So, he is learning about music. Where I need improvement - history, geography, and art. History - I feed him history books and take him to historical places. But, the books generally don't really light him up. He soaks up the places we visit. Geography - I bought a "really fun" geography curriculum - yeah, not so much. Art - I sporadically point him in the direction of art materials (and, I've spent a boatload on stuff). But, I am not real strong in ideas about directed art. We stunk it up this year in writing. Writing is his biggest challenge. Physically putting pencil to paper is hard for him. It is also hard for him to capture his ideas quickly enough before they get garbled. So, he is generally frustrated before he begins. We are working on his keyboard skills - as I finally felt comfortable writing when I could comfortably type. We are working on small chunks. We work on my helping him organize ideas, then he makes sentences of them. But, frankly, he is behind in his writing skills. His vocabularly, spelling, and use of words is fine. His ability to express himself on paper, though, is nearly nil. I suspect that some of this will come easier if I let him grow into himself a little. Or, maybe I am just letting him slip further? It is hard to say. Overall, though, I still want to homeschool next year (he does too). Maybe I'll start to figure him out by then. That is my hope.