A post on what we’re doing schoolwise for the 10-year old…mostly these days, but with some future planning. Mostly to keep myself accountable….
- We spent several weeks studying up on Spanish culture, geography and history, as well as honing in on the art we were going to see, particularly Valesquez, El Greco, Picasso and Goya. Don Quixote. I, Juan de Pareja. So that took up most of March. Then, field trip to Spain. Then there was Holy Week, during which they served many liturgies at a convent served that week by a very strong homilist. You can’t get much stronger catechesis than being carefully trained to serve at the Triduum liturgies during which you are immersed in the deep tradition of the Church, including music, you witness a community gracefully and generously caring for its aged members and welcoming guests, and you hear strong, direct, missional homilies. Yup.
- There’s another trip (stateside!) coming up in a few weeks, so prep has begun for that: geology, history, geography, bookmaking….
- Back to the present:
- Prayer today was Mass readings & Morning Prayer. Every so often, we read the Mass readings from an actual Bible rather than the Universalis website, to give him practice in looking up passages in the Bible. He also wrote down some citations from my dictation (like Acts 3: 1-10. And then, what would it be if the citation were Acts, chapter 3, verses 1 AND 10. And so on.) When there’s geography mentioned, we pull out the map and figure out the lay of the land.
- Reviewed liturgical year, particularly Easter Season.
- Copywork today was Luke 24:35, the last sentence of the day’s Gospel.
- Cursive practice, again and again!
- We finished Beast Academy 4C before our Spain trip, and so we are waiting with baited breath until 4D is released. In the meantime, he is going through Life of Fred: Fractions, which is partly review and partly new stuff and a crazy story he loves to read. We’re also working through a bit of Challenge Math.
- We’ve picked up the pace on Latin, hoping to finish up Getting Started With Latin in a couple of weeks. At the same time, we’ve started Visual Latin, another light introduction but at a quicker pace. My older son worked through part of VL year before last, and I don’t recommend it as a stand alone by any means, but as an engaging (up to a point) supplement it’s okay. We’ll stay on this course until the fall, when he will probably start Henle – although I am still pouring over forums at The Well-Trained Mind sorting through resources.
- We’ve started this writing program – I like it so far. Still using a lot of the Brave Writer way of thinking as well, but this gives me a little more structure to work with.
- Back to the MENSA poetry program – today we started “The Road Not Taken.” (link leads to teaching/memorization aids)
- Science as per usual is all over the place. It’s spring, so that’s happening: bees to be watched, dead wasps to be studied, blooms to be found…and so on. I want to finish the chunk of the grade-level science book that deals with electricity, but we’ll see how that works out.
- I found a site (don’t remember where) that listed a lot of sources for free
propogandateaching materials from organizations and industries. I’ve received a couple, and we’ll look at those this week – like this one ALL ABOUT COAL!
- Our first EEME kit came this week, so we’ll hit that in the next couple of days (or probably early next week) and I’ll report back. (I paid for it – it wasn’t a review set, btw)
- We get several magazines published by Cricket – highly recommended, watch for sales – and they, in addition to the couple of dozen books on his own interests (animals and natural disasters, mostly, although this week he brought home a book on Watergate….) he checks out from the library every week, provide much of the history and science reading.
- Some good videos lately, each of which leads to further exploration and discussion. Most of them come from The Kids Should See This, Science Dump (although that has sexually-related material, so you can’t give free reign there, if you ever do to kids on the Internet, which I don’t.), Brain Scoop, Periodic Videos, and many of the other great science-focused YouTube channels out there.
- Constant recreational reading. Now he’s tearing through this series. Should take about a week. Before this, he consumed The Tripods trilogy. Frequent interaction/questions/spontaneous narration about what he’s reading.
- I found a really good music theory site: Dave Conservatoire. It’s like Khan Academy for music. So far, it’s great – even the videos on areas he’s familiar with are engaging enough to keep him (and me) interested and in every one, we learn something new. It will be even better once he has more interactive quizzes in place, but even as it is, it’s very useful.
- And sometimes it all fits together: We watched some stuff on pitch from Dave Conservatoire, reviewed some of the many other activities we did on the physics of sound a couple of months ago, reviewed a couple of pages from the Usborne physics books we have, then watched sonic boom videos from Science Dump, and then saw and discussed this video on the George Mason students who devised a way of putting out fires using sound waves.
- Once a week, homeschool boxing class, and finally, his excellent art class is starting up again, after a basketball-induced break. (BB practice was at the same time as art). Schola at the Cathedral. Cub Scouts. There’s one more science center classes left before summer. A lot of piano this month – state competition, regular recital, and then a scholarship audition.
- We’re continuing, at a leisurely pace of about once a week, to do the Mapping the World with Art curriculum, which he really enjoys.
- Oh, if you want a good source for season-related poetry and quotes, go here – it’s great. It’s a wonderful source for both copywork and general seasonally-inspired poetry reading and sharing.
- Lunch eaten to Horrible HIstories. (Now that Lent is over…he gave up TV for Lent, and didn’t complain once…)
- Alabama Shakespeare is performing As You Like It, so next week, all three of us will start familiarizing ourselves with that.. (They are also performing King Lear, but I think we’ll stick with the comedy. )
- Wanderings? Tigers for Tomorrow – a rescue facility for, well, tigers, and other cats as well as some bears, wolves and so on. Excellent, thought-provoking tour. The weather is now turning gorgeous, so definitely more adventures to come……Mental wanderings? Lots of drawing of imaginary worlds and cataloguing imaginary animals, and creating music on the keyboard and piano…
I think we’ll follow the same kind of path next year, simply getting a little more intentional with both the Latin and the writing. I hope his math progress can track with Beast Academy’s release schedule, but I’m afraid we’re going to continually be just a bit ahead. He should, no matter what, be ready for the AOPS Pre-Algebra in 6th grade. If you’d suggested that to me before Beast Academy, I would have scoffed, but now, about to finish up 4 and looking forward to grade 5 in the curriculum, I can see very clearly how the BA road is leading straight to AOPS – methods and ways of thinking that were new to my older son as he engaged with AOPS for the first time two years ago are being introduced in Beast Academy – so that when the 10-year old meets them in a year…he won’t be meeting them for the first time.
The last time I threw out a post like this, some concerned person wondered if the poor little fellow was having room to play in his busy schedule. I’ll simply remind you that for us, “school” – takes three hours a day, tops. Then….recess for everyone!