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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Shaking up the system, the plan, the way we do what we do and the Curriculum, again!!!

I know, I know, I know; it's been a while since I updated, not for lack of thinking about it but for sheer lack of anything terribly new and exciting. I've also been terribly busy with other ventures and when I think I have the time and brain waves to sit here and share, something ALWAYS jumps in my way.

I didn't think there was anything worth posting. Well, that changed didn't it; enter the new and exciting.

We've had some major glitches lately. Some incomplete work, some dropped classes (unknown to me) and some "sure I did it..." when really, well, it wasn't done. I'm torn on the level of caring I need to invest on some of it. I mean, I told the Banker on more that one occasion that, if he didn't like something, we could change it out. I suppose I should have said specifically that if he didn't like something WE could talk about it and WE could think about options then WE could change it. I worry that he's suddenly playing with 14yroldboybrain and that combined with my perimenopausalIneedavacation brain doesn't make for the best levels of communication, seriously.

So, after our glitches, yeah, we'll call them that, and after my threats to send him to the worst public school district and the worst high school [[Not my finest mother moment]] we have decided to shake it all up for a few months.

We WERE going to continue through what we've been doing, 4 core and a few electives thrown in, for the foreseeable future. I think the Banker needs to be shaken up so we're going to scrap it! EEEK! *oh and by the way, my "oh my god I think I've broken him" lights and sirens are going off in my head like crazy*

I told him we are going to alter our schedule as follows:

1. Math: he is half way through Algebra using MathUSee. We are going to switch the 1 chapter/wk expectation to 1 chapter every 2 wks and the alternating week will be used to finish working through his World History, so that as well is now bi weekly.

2. English: The grammar, vocabulary and writing books are closed. Reading. That's what takes their place. I have a Life of Pi book project for him to work on and he has book club and whatever other book he wants to read.

3. Web Design: He has started at One Day Academy and is taking Web Design for Teens [which he ADORES]. That will be done as needed. His class is 9-10:30 one day a week and he'll have a few chapters home work. He's already spent hours on the phone with other kids who have taken the same or similar classes and listening to them chat about code is delightful! They're going to take over the world!

4. Language: He is finding a channel on You Tube to teach him a [conversational] language. I think Spanish is first because we have Spanish speaking friends that can help him out.

5. Art: He is spending a few days thinking of something that he would like to learn how to do. He can take the online lessons through You Tube. Painting, drawing, calligraphy, basket weaving ANYTHING that's artistic. I think that area of his brain isn't being stimulated, I look forward to seeing what he comes up with. I'm very curious actually to see what lights his fire, what sparks a passion.

It's SO hard not to suggest but it's surprising watching him crack under the pressure. I am relatively arty and I think he feels he's not good enough, well I know that because he's said so. I don't know how to express to him that it's not that I CAN do anything better than anyone else, it's merely that I DO it. I don't care how it comes out, I have no fear, there's no comparison and if I like how it comes out, great, if not, nothing lost.

I don't have fear to at least try and fail and that's the difference, he has fear. I'm treading lightly here because I don't want the fear to overtake him and stop him from trying.

6. Khan Academy. I asked him to cruise the site and see what strikes his fancy, strikes a passion. We are meeting next week to discuss it. They've expanded so much even since we started accessing the site, there are wonders to be experienced and I want him to have the freedom to try.

The new schedule will be worked by he and I meeting on Monday mornings, like we do now. We will lay out his weekly schedule depending on what other activities I have arranged like field trips, game days or whatever. He will be responsible for the final layout of the week and adherence to the schedule.

I noticed that we started to fall apart when I gave him the freedom to lay out his week without any grand plan and he played it by ear as he felt at the moment and he got a bit lost. It was too hippie of an option. The boy IS a Banker and needs structure and I am going to teach him how to structure himself.

I think planning the schedule together will help him learn how to do it. I think I just jumped the organizational gun on that one.

I'm also going to be checking work as he completes it as opposed to just asking or checking bi weekly. I dropped the ball on that one too.

We are taking the weekend completely off any work and we're regrouping on Monday. I need to keep repeating to myself that he's already more than half way done Grade9 when his contemporaries aren't starting any Grade9 work for another 3 months. It's not a race, it's an adventure. He WILL have all the knowledge and information he needs to graduate and he'll have a great time as he gets there, he has the opportunity to experience more than the public school kids, he doesn't DOES NOT have to pigeon hole himself and it's up to ME ME ME ME ME to be sure he doesn't. I pigeon holed him, bad bad bad homeschooling mother moment. I've realized it though and I'm opening the flood gates, I'll TEACH him how to plan his time so he can have the freedom he deserves and the structure he needs.

I'm worried that I'm fucking this up but we're still on the straight and relatively narrow. I don't think taking some 'book learning' time off is a problem at all. We are too close to the public school system and if it worked, we'd have stayed [D'OH].

I need to R E L A X. He's going to be fine, this is all on me. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

Thanks for listening :)

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