Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Schola Update

I never write about homeschooling anymore, do I? I used to try to do Week in Reviews last year but it was hard to write it all out, kind of boring to read (for me, anyway -- I like to write things I enjoy reading later), and this year I am always a bit concerned about breaking copyright if I give too many details about what we're doing in the K12 curriculum (though really -- it's probably not a huge concern -- I don't give anywhere near enough details so that anyone could reproduce the curriculum).

I thought maybe I could start writing occasional reports that just concentrated on a couple of things rather than trying to list every detail.

The educational thing most on my mind right now is what to do about Kieron next year. He will be in high school. We've talked it over several times and right now are pretty sure he won't do K12 for high school. I do intend to continue the program for Paddy. It works great. But high school's a bit more intense and I am worried about that Catholic formation thing.

I am seriously thinking about using the Mother of Divine Grace syllabi. This was what Liam mostly did and it worked well. I still have the syllabi around, though they're probably not the most recent editions.

I am more tired than I used to be, it seems. I just want something Kieron can do and I can help him with. We've worked into a good pattern this year -- but I'm not sure it will transfer over to another curriculum. It's so cool to load up the page and have the assignments all laid out in detail with links to other resources and special accessories like online flash cards. And I could respect the materials -- they were all good quality. It would be hard to reproduce something, well, so EXPENSIVE, with our own resources.

Education doesn't have to be flashy, of course. Perhaps it shouldn't be. But it was kind of nice for a year.

I'm going to try and think about what I liked most about the program besides the flashy parts. It has daily assessments so you can be sure you mastered the key points of the lessons. I liked that. There are wider assessments after every unit. He had regular writing assignments. We usually tweaked those to make them more appealing to him. It had review games and flashcards online. That was nice to consolidate key points, too. It had a "point of view" -- the program tried to make the student think -- not always an easy task, to make middle schoolers think. Mostly the thinking required was about civic and justice issues, for history, and literary questions, for literature. There were a lot of discussion questions and a lot of comprehension questions. He generally liked those. There was a solid hands-on element in both science AND art. The experiments and art projects were all laid out -- again, we sometimes tweaked the art projects to make them more interesting for him. There was a sort of variety built-in. For example, language arts was divided into various strands -- Grammar, Vocabulary, Composition, and LIterary Analysis. So you did different things on different days.

I don't think there's very much out there quite like that. Of course, to make this ideal I would have wanted it to incorporate Latin, Logic and pre-philosophy. Sigh.... what I want doesn't exist. So I have to look for something that works.


  1. It sounds like K-12 has some really nice features! If only someone would develop something similar for people with a more Classical orientation.

  2. Praying you find peace and clarity in which direction to take.
    Thank you sooo much for all your help and support to me when I was searching last year. It was not a good place to be but being on the 'other side' of all that turmoil is wonderful:)
    I pray you find your way there...quickly{{}}


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!