It's academic day 1 and it was a very smooth, easy morning. Banker came down and I had his weekly schedule ready. He took it and got straight into work. I did make fresh biscuits for him to nosh on while he worked, you don't get that in public school.
I can tell he is much more comfortable with the system and the work he's doing. We had a very long, mature, conversation about the whole thing on the 1 1/2 hr drive back from Fredericksburg yesterday. That was a wonderfully successful trek. He worked some, with FriendH and they compared some notes and lesson ideas. They played some, there was much laughter.
He and I talked about his concerns, the main one being he was 'behind'. I can't quite figure out how to reassure him he's not behind but rather miles ahead already of his crowd in public school. We are doing a chapter in a few days from the math book they use, in addition to the other math classes he's taking online. I think he felt a little better after the conversation. He needs to not compare himself to his home school friends. FriendH has been home schooled since 3rd grade and is almost a full grade ahead I think, FriendA is on a different path and is doing different math in a different order, FriendJ is ahead one week and behind on another. FriendJ is doing the same program but whereas Banker is doing it in order, FriendJ said he is doing whatever chapter he wants, randomly. When I pointed that out, plus the fact Banker is doing 2 additional math classes (same subject just more intense) plus a workbook, he sort of got it. I think he seriously realized you can't compare levels when everyone is on a different track, different curriculum and different path ultimately. Welcome to home school, Bankerboy, you get to THINK here, you get to PROCEED at your own PACE here, you can be INDIVIDUAL here... you DON'T have to be exactly like everyone else! I think I saw a light go on!
We did make some major decisions about altering what we are doing (again). I asked if he thought he could finish up the workbooks we brought from public school by spring break (March 9) He thought he could. I am going to streamline the process even more while we are camping, sure there'll be a laptop! and I plan on working. I saw a spread sheet curriculum system plan and I liked it. Oh and work is easier when you're in the desert looking at nothing, in silence, with no laundry or cooking to do other than something over a campfire. Anyway, I am going to streamline his classes to only ONE of each subject, as he currently has 3-4 maths depending on the day!!?? I think that was part of my knee jerk panic reaction that I would break him, which I do still think, daily, I was unwilling to break completely from the work he was doing in public school I merely added online work. dumb. C'mon Trace, you can do better than this. I'm forging ahead on the assumption I won't (please please) break he immediately. I found a math program I am going to buy him, we all knew I would, and I'm going to buy the 8th grade algebra video lessons, he can start slowly after spring break and will have a massive jump by the time we start again in August for 8th grade. I think he's ready and piddling him around on a number of different maths is ridiculous.
He is also going to fire through the social studies, Texas history, workbook we brought with us as well, he's 3/4 through and when he's finished we'll not fill that spot with anything, he can do one social studies/history. I'd like to move him off the US and start studying other countries...there ARE other countries and hardly any public school students, in Texas, truly realize that.
Science is going to continue to be space/universe/big bang; he's digging it; he sings while he works; why change a good thing.
I am tweaking Latin to include the book from public school in a bigger role. He was inundated with worksheets in that class so I do need to find a better less worksheet system that still allows him to feel he's completing work at the same rate. I couldn't BELIEVE the number of worksheets glued into a composition book... what are they, 5? Crazy.
English is going well, physics, typing and grammar will all stay status quo.
Environmental science will be purely the iPad book for the time being.
I feel good about the plan, so does he. I love that he can simply and succinctly express his thoughts, comments and concerns, I think he's more confident about this home school thing. I think he feels less "behind" and has been a little inspired by his experience with the home school gang yesterday. He didn't look like he was watching the other kids but he most certainly was and I think it's made him realize we are onto a good thing, doing it right and he's excited about the future.