Although I'm often on a tangent of some kind, this is, of course, a homeschooling blog. So now that we've all endured a hideously hot summer (some of us are still enduring it . . . but I've complained enough about the weather in the past few months), let's get back down to the business of learning.
First of all let me say in advance, if something appears to be missing, it probably is. If it seems to be too much, it probably is. We like to utilize a lot of textbooks, living books, DVDs, CDs and good old fashioned discussions here at Two Moms' Homeschool. We aren't married to any specific style of learning or educational path. In fact, we have a "do whatever the heck works" philosophy of learning.
We also have been flirting heavily with the the idea of community college. We have confidence issues. We have transportation issues. We have issues with one of the Moms craving Higher Education when the son should be, but really isn't. We have a lot of issues. I'll have to really get them all out one day, but today can't quite be that day. I have a feeling this post may be long enough.
So . . . after three full paragraphs of disclaimers . . . on to the show. I'm describing all the stuff over there <--- in the sidebar, in case you hadn't figured that out for yourselves, but we're a smart group, so I'm sure you did.
- Composition - We are attempting to actually use the SWI writing curriculum this year. We have a love/hate relationship with writing right now. I love to write even though I'm not very good at it. Baby Boy hates to write, even though he is pretty good at it. We're attempting to define some actual rules and parameters before I send him off to the big world of college. I've heard good things about this method from some, not so good things from others. Everything gets a 6 week trial period around here, so stay tuned.
- Vocabulary - We literally loved Vocabulary Cartoons SAT Word Power last year, so we're going to continue with Vocabulary Cartoons II SAT Word Power this year. It's a quick fun and easy way to expand and enrich your vocabulary. We usually spend about 5 minutes going over 2 words a day in the mornings and then try to make sentences out of the words throughout the week. It's lots of fun. This is the one thing that I know works, for sure.
- Literature - We'll be indulging in some classic sci-fi and fantasy this year in the literature department. We're starting off the year with an oldie but goodie, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
- Shakespeare - As many of you know, Baby Boy has been in two Shakespeare productions in the past couple of years. Both times we have found ourselves pleasantly surprised at how much we've enjoyed reading aloud, analyzing, and (him) performing Shakespeare's works. This year, we've gone ahead and full-on committed to a Shakespeare group where they will read and discuss plays and sonnets throughout the year and will undoubtedly perform a chosen play next spring.
- Pre-Calculus - This year Baby Boy will embark on that subject that no one in this house dare say aloud, but only in hushed whispers . . . pre-calculus. No one in the Two Moms' family has ever successfully achieved higher math skills, so if any of you are good at math, please email me your exact physical location. Have graphing calculator, will travel. ;-) I'm pretty good with basic math, but as parents I think it's important to know our limitations. Pre-calculus would definitely be one of those limitations.
- Chemistry - If you've read here for a while, you may remember my tried and failed attempts to teach chemistry to Baby Boy. Finally I am able to accept defeat in this area, not necessarily gracefully, but with a humble heart. When you are an artistic language arts soul, there are certain subject you just weren't meant to master. For me, chemistry is that subject. BUT where there's a will, there's a way. Here's our way: Baby Boy has been playing Ultimate Frisbee for going on three years now and I sit and pretend chat with a lot of the other homeschool Moms there about a little bit of this and a little bit of that and mostly a lot of nothing. Well, do you know what one of those nothing conversations turned up? The young man who Baby Boy gets along with BEST OF ALL on the whole team's Mom has a PhD in chemistry. AND she's actually excited to have Baby Boy over to teach him in a delicious (read free) co-op situation this year. She's just the nicest lady ever and I'm oh so grateful. She's using a Singapore text with supplemental DVDs from The Teaching Company. We are so there! And she is ready to jump in with a full on chemistry lab, I mean on the first day, she's already giving them a blow torch. So wise, yet so foolish. Teen boys, you know.
- Economics and American Government - We're going to make this a year long project which will include lots of current events, newspaper reading, documentaries, Hollywood movies, with a dash of textbooks and educational DVDs. I expect a lot of lively discussion, which is what our family is known for.
If you've read this far, thanks. If not, I certainly understand. This is one of those things I have to do at least at the beginning of the learning season. This will be the bones of our structured learning, although we fully support a living and learning lifestyle around here and strive to make every moment one to remember.
Until next time . . .