I put his daily lessons up on the Year 9 Dashboard so as you can see, he is well into the second quarter of the school year. Daily he loads up the site and then leaves a comment below the lesson when he is done with it.
How is this working? Generally speaking, I like it while recognizing that there are some drawbacks.
- It keeps me organized and if something is happening that day, he can keep going without me. In fact, he usually loads up the page as soon as he wakes up to get through a couple of subjects.
- I don't get so easily discouraged by a bad day and drop a book or method too soon
- Since it's on the blog and not relayed by me to him, it is easier for us both to take the objective point of view. I am having trouble explaining this. My kids aren't usually directly resistant but to me it's important that they are transitioning into proactivity rather than just reacting to something said by me. So if we have a "thing" to focus on it makes the discussion more focused on tangibles.
- I have an easy record of what was actually done. It might actually be helpful for when my next one gets to be that age.
- I like the way I can approach the lesson in various ways by the blog format -- I can have visuals, review games and quizzes, audio/visual aids and also write my own comments. There is a lot of flexibility.
- As you can imagine, it takes some time to write out the lessons and then lay out the organization. Possibly other people regularly write out lesson plans for their kids, but this is the first year I've really done it. In the past I would just write down page numbers and that sort of thing. That's probably the biggest complaint.... the time and focus involved.
- Also, when he's working on things mostly solo I don't really get to assess by intuition how much he is absorbing. On the perspective side of this -- that's usually been my experience with a 9th grader. It's generally been a year of transition in my family (Kieron's the 5th highschooler) and there's often an almost-audible shift of gears during this time.
- Finally, I started too chaotically with the review/quiz components of the lessons. I was just getting bits and pieces of things off of various sites. So there wasn't enough mastery learning.
- In order to help with the time-consumption problem and also make sure he is interacting with things offline we've started having two offline days per week where he reads and writes and we discuss. This also helps me get a handle on his thought process.
- Now that football season is over for him I'm planning to have more nature study and narration.
- I'm trying to organize the "mastery" component of the lessons so that he has more preparation and accountability. This also helps with time-expenditure for me because I am not always searching for new reviews.