This year is starting off much better than last. Now that I know what I'm doing and had time to research some more interesting resources, plus the ability to enroll the kid in more than two classes at the resource center... we're already rolling along.
So far, I've got a happy, interested, busy kid learning things and enjoying life. There is no comparing the kid I have now to the kid I used to pick up from school - I like this one SO much better.
Drama, vocal lessons and clarinet have all begun and are rolling along smoothly. Much better than guitar lessons, he seems to really like the clarinet. I have not even had to remind him to practice... yet. Spanish, math, writing, history and metal arts start up next week. PE too. Yesterday was the first day of Capture the Flag with kids he already knows - such a change from last year... it took us a couple of months to even know about the capture the flag game at lunch-time at the resource center.
Their new playground is going to be built soon - remember when I was asking people to help us vote to win the Pepsi challenge? Well, we won that! And this will be what the new playground will look like:
So... it's all good. So far. Next week's schedule really picks up and we'll see how busy it really is - I've got 36 official hours planned with the state, but there's really more than that. (The state only requires 25 learning hours).
Both Luke and I like the books I chose for our "home" portion of school. Except... I'm running into a few things here and there that I'll have to be better about filtering. The history book I picked, which I think, so far, is really pretty great - and Luke agrees with me... is "All American History" - it's a text book, a work book and a teacher's guide - the first time I've gone that route, and I have to say, I like the teacher's guide. Except... a bunch of the books it suggests for further reading keep showing up with a religious bend to them... not all, but some, and I know religion played a huge hand in shaping history, I just don't want the history being told from one religious point of view. So... I'll be reading a lot of history myself this year to make sure that isn't what is happening. It's ok, though, I like history, too.
Science, this year, is historical too, and the book we have, "The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way", starts out with the Bible's story of creation. Which... put Luke off right away. He wants science, not Sunday School. As did I, when I ordered it. But again, I think that is just a comparison of how people thought - before science, and how scientific thought evolved... to where we are today. Again, I'll be reading a lot of science it turns out, just to make sure this is series I want to continue as well as field all the questions. Oh well. Not my favorite subject ever, but it's not like we'll be dissecting frogs or anything. Our "fun" science books are by Bill Nye, The Science Guy - and I'm pretty sure there's no dissecting in those either.
Even Math is historical this year, the stuff we are doing at home - he's got real number and word problems in his class at the resource center - "Mathematicians are Poeple, Too" is where we are starting with that. Plus daily word problems and some logic and creative thinking puzzle books.
There will be lots of reading of literature and biographies too - we have a huge stack of those. King Arthur and Tom Sawyer, Treasure Island and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. And something called "Word Ladders" which is a fun way to learn vocabulary. I was going to skip spelling this year, but Luke wanted a spelling workbook, so he has one after all. And some other language arts and writing books.
And ART. Art always takes a backseat to everything else, doesn't it? Why is that? In this house it should go first. But it never does. Why? I don't know. But for art this year, we have season tickets to the Seattle Childrens Theater. And studio time at a glass fusing studio. And trips to museums, and hopefully some painting and drawing here on the dining room table. I've been collecting some fun project ideas on Pinterest - this is my idea board - not all are for Luke, but he's welcome to join me in any of them if I ever get around to doing them. (do you do Pinterest?! You should!) Art is the thing we save for last, and then almost never get to. At least that's how it worked out last year. It's the same with my own art... melting glass and painting always comes after the house is clean, the yard work is done, and the schoolwork and internet work and soccer is done. Which is why I don't make much these days - that work never gets done. I will have to work on that... for both him and me.
But first, I've got a bunch of work to do... see how that happens? Perhaps I need to add "housework" and "yardwork" classes to our curriculum? Now, that's an idea!