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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Preparation for 8th grade, Week 2

I've decided it's time to take some serious school related action.  Real action, not the "fretting and worrying, staring at the ceiling all night long and sure that I won't get it done or that I'm going to break him and ruin his life" action. 

I set a start day of August 13.  That's got to count as serious preparatory work, a start date is very nearly like a list.  If you have a list, you're half way to completion and that's how I'm feeling so very smug.  I don't have a list, but I do have a start date.  Did I mention it's going to be August 13th?

I'm wresting with sending the Banker to a weekly Co-op.  It's local and he's been there once before to shadow FriendA.  I like the idea of him getting out with kids his own age and frankly, since this is a very VERY reasonably priced Co-op, I have little to no interest in what classes he takes. Is that wrong?  Like last year, we were kicking around the idea of having Friday be a catch up or review day.  We rarely used it as such, let's be honest, it turned into TV, movie or go play with friends day.  This Co-op runs for 3 hours each Friday, 10-1.  Even I can wrap my head around those 3 hours.

I just emailed the administrator of the Co-op and said I was interested in the Banker taking Art, Volunteer/Service (babysitting in younger classes) and maybe yearbook?  I was surprised at my nuts and granola choices.  Dare I think I can bring him to the dark/hippie side?  Oh doubtful.  He was slightly disgruntled and asked if there were any REAL classes *that's my boy* so we are trying to get him into a Spanish class.  There, Banker, real.  

I think art is important, especially for a kid like the Banker.  He needs the break from straight line thinking.  Sometimes, much to his abject horror, he is going to have to grab a crayon, or worse a pastel, and simply go with the flow without direction.  It'll be good for him. 

Initially we were looking at high school English, high school Botany and high school Literature.  Seriously?  I bought books for the "big three" classes and fully intend on working through them here.  I was initially just looking for a Science program to put him in, it's the one subject that causes me deep seeded horror.  It causes me to get up, like today, sleeping pills or not, at 4:22am.  I'm starting to fret.  

I managed to catch myself though and rethought the choices.  This is, after all, a Co-op we are just trying out.  I found this one through a friend and although they're terribly happy with it I don't want to overload the Banker with too many high school credit academics just yet, he IS only 13 and this IS the first full year we are home schooling.  Removing him from school for the last third of grade 7 was the dry run for this performance.  I want to continue to investigate One Day Academy or Bronze Door, here in Austin, their reputations are stellar and if we're going to continue on this ride into high school that's the direction I want to go for the big gun classes like Science.  There may be a cost feature to those but this is the Banker's education we're talking about and guaranteed any monthly fee is still going be a minute percentage of what we would have been paying through any public school year in enrichment fees alone not to mention sport, extracurricular, club and additional lab and/or supply costs.

I reviewed the classes we'd chosen, the big 3, and I wisely gave my head a shake.  I think a first foray into a new Co-op should give him the opportunity to work around some other kids, meet some new kids and generally enjoy himself with some work thrown in there.  

We have a heavy course load this year at The Williams School of Everything.  Granted, unlike last year, there will only be one class per subject.  I may have gotten over my fear of gaps in learning and won't be assigning 5 math classes, really, I'm past that.  I will admit though, this year again will be math and science heavy.   

1. Finishing Pre-Algebra then moving into Algebra then intro to Geometry.  
2. Space, Cosmology and Astronomy (the science class that's brilliant in my head but still somewhat lacking on paper or process)
3. American History (thru 1877)
4. World country study (1 per month)
5. Physics
6. English Literature
7. Grammar/Composition
8. Photography (elective, 1/2 year)
9. (pick up soccer wherever we can find it)
10. Computer language/programming/intro to Java
11. Latin

Really, the boy didn't need 3 high school classes piled on top of these.  

I'm going to teach him to cook and he'll do a couple of sewing projects because I need to shake his head up a bit.  I think we'll revisit the mozzarella making.  I may invite FriendA for a combined, one off, culinary class of sorts.

My plan, this week, is to finalize the course list and prepare the schedule.  I will be ready on Monday to hit the ground running, in a perfect world it won't be done while screaming, flailing arms in the air and heading towards the edge of a cliff.

ON a completely unrelated note; there is a bonus to being up at 4:22 am and having culinary skills: 

Dutch baby pancake, for 1
I made a "Dutch Baby" pancake for me, just for me.  No one watched me (I HATE being stared at while I eat) No one commented, asked how I was doing, what I was doing or asked for a bite.  I like eating in the wee hours.  

Plus, it's not bad for one egg, a little flour and a splash of milk.  Sure I put some maple syrup on it but not too much.  Oh and yes, I did eat it all, it's just one measly egg and a little milk and a spoonful of flour, I can't see how it's different from a piece of toast with a poached egg on it and a glass of milk.  Well, except for the volume and deliciousness factor of course.  I'll put the recipe for the "mini" on the food blog:   when I get back from taking my limping dog to the vet.  That's another story.

Hey, Happy Tuesday. 


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