Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So the good news about homeschooling is that you can follow tangents. Which of course leads to the bad news about homeschooling, which is that, you guessed it, you can follow tangents. In Astronomy, we read about the Mayan calendar, which led to finding pictures of the Mayan calendar, which led to Niles rediscovering that Mayans were in Guatemala, which led to Eliana is from Guatemala....and so on. Now I don't really mind this, as there was a progression, an interest, and excitement, but there's also Type A me, who is thinking "enough already, I wanted to get to this point in the lesson today and it had nothing to do w/looking up pictures of Mayan pyramids in Mexico...." So I tell myself that because I am homeschooling, I can relax, look up the pictures of the Mayan artifacts and we can read the rest of the dumb chapter tomorrow, so enjoy the fact that your kid just told you he loves history and run with it. He tried to talk me out of the actual history chapter I had planned today because studying about the Mayans in Astronomy was actually part history too....why do my children love to debate me? Yeah, yeah, I know, it's a good thing. And the history lesson was finishing up some of the American Indian studies we were doing so it was all connected in the long run I guess.

I feel to a certain degree I am doing parts of what he learned over again, but it's helping me to learn what he knows already, what he wants to learn more of, and plant the foundations for where we are going next. We started the Singapore math book today and this is a good example, as it starts with having you identify what numbers are in the thousands, hundreds, tens and ones columns. Plus, we're continuing the multiplication facts in the mathscore program. So, while it's review, it isn't hurting and he did ten pages with out prompting! I ran to switch laundry, fold it, etc and when I came back, he had finished the first two lessons. So to make up for the astronomy where I didn't get as far as I wanted, he completed two lessons in a book where I thought we'd do one. :-)

The other thing he asked me to do is what I was giving him for grades. I have a great excel spreadsheet where I keep track of everything and he sees me update this from time to time. Each sheet gets a grade, usually it works like this - each question is worth from one point up to five, depending on what it is. So math is straight forward, right or wrong, and mathscore even gives me his percentages. So anyhow, his grades are based on how well he answers each question, if it's right or wrong, etc, just like at his old school. I think he's discovering that Mom isn't necessarily going to be easier than his old teacher. :-)

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