Friday, June 3, 2011

Homeschool Happenings


Has finished Life of Fred: Fractions and moved on to Life of Fred: Decimals. This alternates with RightStart Geometry.

And is also working on Jr. Analytical Grammar.

Both math and grammar are proceeding at a leisurely pace at this time. During the school year she had science, geography, etc., in a co-op, but that has ended for the summer. Now she reads a lot, gardens, does crafts, and generally spends much time outdoors. I think that's about right for an 11 year old.


Attended a learning center for Biology and Composition this past year. The classes are over, and we (finally) received her grades: As in both. She added an Analytical Grammar High School Reinforcement to her composition class to beef it up a bit (also, she really likes grammar, and thinks Analytical Grammar is fun -- go figure).

Co-op classes are also over, but this spring we decided to add on to the art class she was taking to make it into a half-credit course -- she started working on the art history lessons from Harmony Fine Arts at Home. These aren't quite done yet, since we got a late start on them. We already had all the books needed for the art history portion of the program, so this provided Thalia with a schedule that she can check off as she moves through the program. She loves checking things off a syllabus, so its been a really good fit for her. She plans to have the course finished by the end of next week.

And the 9th grad Harmony Fine Arts meshes nicely with her ancient history course. She's reading through Susan Wise Bauer's History of the Ancient World. Honestly, she isn't a big fan of history, particularly Roman history (which, let's face it, is what a huge amount of ancient history tends to focus on). She reads chapters and writes summaries. She hasn't finished the book yet, mostly because she's slogging through the Romans now.

On the other hand, another component of her history study is literature, and I'm thrilled to announce WE HAVE FINISHED THE ILIAD! Okay, actually we have one more lecture to watch to wrap it up. But, wow, I wasn't sure we'd survive the Iliad. I vaguely remember studying it in high school -- we did some lame play about the characters, and I hadn't a clue what it was about or what was going on (although in later years we did name a cat Ajax). I'm hoping Thalia retains more from our listening to Derek Jacobi, reading along, then watching Elizabeth Vandiver's lectures. Thalia is determined to forge ahead into the Odyssey. I'm not sure I'm ready for anything more complex than a children's version.

She has completed the last test of Jacobs Geometry with great aplomb. She mentioned that the background in RightStart Geometry helped make the work with solids quite simple. Also, for those contemplating teaching geometry at home, the end of the book doesn't have those messy-to-grade proofs -- it's pretty straightforward. We've been using the Ask Dr. Callahan syllabus, which doesn't cover chapter 16 non-Euclidian geometry (the final chapter of the book) but she wants to do it anyway. So that's still hanging around on the things-to-do list. By the way, the syllabus also skipped over chapter 13, which she decided to do anyway ... she commented that the things she learned in chap. 13 applied to chap 14, but perhaps the DVDs explain the bits you'd miss by skipping it (frankly, we lost the DVDs, so what Dr. Callahan had to say on the subject remains a mystery).

Theater classes have wrapped up for the year. It occurred to us that we could use these as a half credit of Fine Arts, although she didn't quite have enough hours in for that (we're not counting musical theater, which we'll list as an extra curricular activity). The theater teacher offered to assign a paper that she would grade, but I think we're going to count the Shakespeare camp (with the same teacher) that the kids will be taking in a couple of weeks -- an intensive experience in which they put together a performance in 2 weeks.

(I had considered doing an entire Shakespeare unit for a half credit -- going to see Taming of the Shrew in Forest Park, reading the play, seeing Kiss Me Kate at the Muny, then doing the Shakespeare camp ... but the teacher commented that she went to Shrew over Memorial Day weekend and absolutely hated it, and her theatre friends were contemplating gouging their eyeballs out with the plastic forks they'd brought for their picnic supper rather than have to sit there watching it, so my enthusiasm waned. Plus it's supposed to be 97F today and tomorrw, which is when we'd go, so sitting in intense heat watching a crappy play isn't really appealing. Maybe next year.)

Phys Ed has become a constant. She should be at the half-credit mark on that soon, having started in January. She's working on lifetime fitness skills including aerobics, weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, and the various resources Lisa Howell offers. We've got piles of resources for this type of thing -- both books and equipment (free weights -- hundreds of pounds worth -- including bench and rack, Bosu ball, Swiss exercise balls, exercise bike, treadmill, resistance bands, gym mats, etc. etc. -- total fitness nerdiness going on here in our basement).

So, that pretty much sums up where we stand at the moment schoolwise -- finishing up some odds and ends by June 30, which the official end of the Missouri school year. And looking towards the summer for new experiences and coursework. After all, the REALLY fun part of homeschooling is the planning.

1 comment:

Bridgett said...

We saw Shrew last night (we go every year). We liked it, but it was definitely a lesser rendition than usual at Shakespeare in the park. I've seen all but one of them since they started and this would probably rank at the bottom or second from it. It did not let you lose yourself in the dialogue like shakespeare usually does.

But some very funny parts, and Hortensio was played by the father of one of Maeve's classmates, so she was quite engaged.