Thursday, February 24, 2011

Homeschool Front

Ordinary at-home days seem to be increasingly un-ordinary ever since Christmas.    Today we were all at home, though.   I scurried around for a couple of hours in the morning making breakfast, tidying, getting the fire going, taking my bath, and so on.  

Then we had our Morning Time (Paddy groans:  "Do we HAVE to read?  I can read way faster by myself!"  But I'm not giving in!  literacy through auditory channels is something I feel strongly about) .  Today we started with Tom Playfair, then read A History of English Literature for Boys and Girls, then Famous Men of the Middle Ages -- about Rollo the Viking, who was too huge to ride a horse.   Paddy does groan and sometimes tries to sneak in a little bit of reading his own book while I'm reading (he is now reading the first Guardian of Ga'hoole book, after watching the movie).  But he does hear, and sometimes remembers and discusses what he heard later.  Oddly, A History of English Literature, which is an Ambleside Year 7 book, is the one he recalls the best, maybe because I read in short sections and make comments before and after so that they are listening actively.  

Then we went our separate ways -- Paddy and I worked on K12, Kieron listened to his lectures and did his reading, and Sean sat there reading Eragon.   He was having trouble making himself settle down to his independent study.  He says it's because he's been out of the house for most of the day for the past 3 days.

In K12 we are on Vikings, too.  Today the lesson was about their burial customs.   At the beginning of last year it was almost impossible to keep Paddy's attention on a non-fiction description even if it was written in a lively fashion.   A year and a half later there has definitely been improvement.   Sometimes I still skim to the salient points if his attention is wandering.

Kieron is slowly making his way through Latin, Logic, and the Odyssey through Homeschool Connections.  In addition, he is reading:  Screwtape Letters, The Odyssey, Readings from the Old Testament, Readings from Greece and the East, and Famous Men of Greece.   Science has been taking a back seat.  I may start him on Sean's Chemistry book so I know the book better for when Sean hits a wall in the subject.

Kieron also works on Geometry using Jacob's, and supplemented with quizzes for review and fluency.    For fun I give him questions on Sets.  We both like trying to figure out what the symbols mean just from context.  

After I made lunch and helped Kieron with Geometry, I helped Sean with Algebra II.  He was in a bad mood with a headache and blurry vision (and I'm wondering if he's migraine-prone).  

Sean and Aidan spend all day harassing each other.  Aidan loves to pull Sean's hood over his face while he's doing his math, chanting, X -8 - 13! or something equally inflammatory.    Sean roars and tries to get him.  Then at other times Aidan is fixing himself a bowl of stir-fry or something and Sean says something like, "That's all for me," and Aidan roars "Seany!" and tries to kick Sean in the shin.   One can't help cheering for Aidan.   But sometimes I feel like I have 3 second-graders in the house. 

All in all, Sean has been so much livelier since he stopped going to school.  I suppose that makes sense.    He is attending an off-season football training course and going to a 7 on 7 in Las Vegas later in March.

This weekend we were going to visit Clare at college, since she is having her 21st birthday, but the weather forecast looks like snow maybe even down in the valley, and the Grapevine will probably be closed.   Of course, I know we can't go charging over snowy, windy mountain freeways filled with crazy trucks in a blizzard, so I'm resigned to reason.  But at the same time it's making me sad..... a lost adventure and reunion.   It takes me so long to access my feelings that only hours later do I realize what's sub-consciously making me feel blue!    

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