After last week’s 2-or so hours of “school,” we were back in business with our usually daily dose of…three or four.
(New readers: Over the past few weeks, I have been attempting a “Daily Homeschool Report,” not because I think what we do is so great, but rather because I think it’s helpful for accounts of typical homeschooling days to be out there for people to find. More and more folks are considering homeschooling, and having this kind of information out there might help dispel some myths and encourage (or discourage!) some.)
Last week was atypical, as I noted before – since Monday was a holiday, we “lost” a day there. But it’s important to note that although the only “school” was a few pages of math, the 11-year old experienced plenty of education over the course of the week: A 2-hour introduction to the pipe organ. A 1 hour boxing class. A 90-minute zookeeper class at the zoo. 2 90-minute basketball practices and a game. A science session centered on demonstrations of weather-related science. A professional (abridged) live production of Comedy of Errors. A live symphonic performance of Bach/Webern and Schubert. A piano lesson. A piano performance, during which he played Joplin (original form, not adapted) and Burgmuller. A 90-minute homeschool open gym time with loads of kids. Private reading time of The Fellowship of the Ring and Farenheit 451. Play time with friends and brother at home.
It was actually a very good week.
But let’s go back and look at today. I always include rabbit trails if I remember them, because that’s an important – and one of the most enjoyable – parts of homeschooling.
- Prayer: Feast is Chair of St. Peter. I said he probably didn’t remember seeing it in Rome 3 1/2 years ago, he insisted he did. I explained why it was important, the role of the sede – the bishop’s chair, and we talked about where it is in our cathedral. He asked why bishops stopped being elected by the laity, so I gave what I hope was an accurate 60-second synopsis of the history of the selection of bishops, explaining that as processes are abused, they are reformed and new processes emerge. We read the reading aloud, and did the intercessions.
- Copywork was – as it always is on Monday – Scripture, in this case, a sentence from the Gospel, Matthew 16.
- First rabbit hole was literally about rabbits. I remembered seeing some photos of Giant Continental Rabbit, so we gaped over the big bunnies for a few minutes.
- He finished Farenheit 451 over the weekend. We will deal with it in more detail through this week, but I asked his initial impressions, which centered today on the end of the book.
- Math was half of the problems on these worksheets – solving equations.
- For history he read the first section of chapter of the textbook from the Catholic Textbook Project, From Sea to Shining Sea. The focus of the chapter (11) was the history of Catholicism in the early National period – beginning with Charles and John Carroll – an interesting link to the earlier question about the selection of bishops.
- He then spent a few minute telling me about “The Fortunate Islands” – I had given him this book – The Dictionary of Imaginary Places – for Christmas, so he told me about this entry, which seem to have been imagined in a 17th century French account.
- Started a new chapter in Writing and Rhetoric, which begins the study of argument by comparing a quarrel to an argument. Two excerpts were read – one by a Quaker against slavery and a portion of Patrick Henry’s speech to the Virginia Convention. He had to narrate the argument that were being made. What followed were several literary passages from sources like Twain which he had to identify them as either quarrels or arguments and explain why.
- Then some drawing/reading/music time – his pick. He read for a bit, drew for a bit, then told me the beginnings of a story he was imagining – ten minutes worth, at least.
- Last Friday, we heard live performances of Webern and Schubert. We read a short bio of Webern from this book (accidentally shot and killed by an American GI two months after WWII ended!), read about Schoenberg, talked about 12-tone and atonal music, then watched/listened to a couple of videos of his music. The conductor on Friday had mentioned that he normally wrote rather short music, and we found that to be true. Then we watched part of a wretched auto-voiced video bio of Schubert until we couldn’t take it any more.
- We finished up with a few videos: a few from The Kids Should See This: the one on the top in the bubble, the starling murmuration and the cracking ice on Lake Superior. Then a few SciShow videos: Why we sneeze, why we faint and how dogs listen to us and puffer fish blow up.
- He then wanted to find some videos on Didgeridoos, so that’s what he did while I made lunch – and then it was time to get brother.
- Time frame: 9:30 – 1:30.