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23 September 2014 @ 04:21 pm
Homeschooling Highlights  
Weekly updates have sort of gotten away with me, so I'll just hit the highlights.

Z's first lantern parade was a hit. The route was the entire East Side Trail, from Krog St up to Piedmont Park. Naturally, we couldn't expect Z to walk all two miles, so Aaron dropped us off at the parade lineup, then drove up the route to park the car where we planned to decamp. Z surprised us by walking lots farther than we thought--most of a mile, all the way up to North Avenue. He hugely enjoyed seeing all the lanterns, and insisted that we had to walk with the parade, not just stand aside and watch--but by the end of the night, he decided we'd just watch the next one, because, "oh, my feet!"

He remains enthusiastic about karate, and we've started learning to count in Korean. I can see this is going to be an expensive hobby--we're already in the hole for lessons, plus the uniform is $50...then there will be belt test fees, patches, belts as he levels up...but ye gods, he does love it, and the discipline is good for him. Having the class back-to-back with gymnastics has proven tricky, but there's only one more gymnastics class so that won't be an issue for much longer.

We found a homeschool program at the zoo: a monthly program where I can drop him off for two hours after lunch, then afterwards we can stay at the zoo til it closes. This is a steal at $20 per class, considering the regular zoo admission would be twice that for the two of us if we just wanted to go for the day.

Two more classes we found: on Tuesday mornings while I teach, Z is going with another family to a math class with the LEAD homeschool group. Then we meet up for pizza at lunchtime. He loves this, and since it's a mixed-age class, he's doing a range of math stuff, including multiplication. They send him home with activity sheets, so we always do one of those immediately after, while the interest is still fresh. I've also started him on fractions--just halves and quarters, since that dovetails with our lessons on money and telling time (and cooking, on those rare occasions I have the energy for it).

The other class is called Nature Detectives, at the Dunwoody Nature Center, about 20 minutes north of us. Four 90-minute classes, where the kids get to walk through the woods and learn about nature-y stuff. Last week it was tracking animals, so Z was quite excited to tell me all about scat. Yay. (They also made plaster casts of animal tracks, so it wasn't all scat.) Today it's identifying leaves.

Lessee...we watched the Wizard of Oz. I skipped past a few of the scary witch parts, but the flying monkeys and the giant flaming wizard head didn't faze him. We talked about some of the differences between the book and the movie, most notably that the book does not cop out by making it all a dream! Then we listened to a podcast about L. Frank Baum, which pointed out that Baum at one point owned a general store in South Dakota not far from De Smet, where Laura and Almonzo Wilder lived at the same time--so it's not altogether unlikely that they might have met.

Speaking of Laura, we are still working our way through "On the Banks of Plum Creek. We finished Mary Poppins, and zipped through Charlotte's Web in two days, sitting under the oak tree in our side yard now that the weather's cooling off. And Z finished reading *to me* the abridged "Time Machine."

We've also been doing some revolutionary war history--I found all the episodes of PBS's "Liberty Kids" on Youtube. It's an animated series that tells the story of the American Revolution from the point of view of three young people who work at Ben Franklin's print shop and write for the Pennsylvania Gazette. It's pretty good history, and doesn't gloss over the uglier parts of the early colonial period--one of the main characters is black, and there are several episodes that highlight the discrepancy between all the freedom and liberty talk and slave ownership. The voice acting is a celebrity smorgasbord: Walter Kronkite as Ben Franklin, and if that isn't enough, Sylvester Stallone, Billy Crystal, Dustin Hoffman, *Arnold Schwarzenegger*, and Liam Neeson, just to name a few.

Capitalizing on Z's enjoyment of Liberty Kids, I've started reading him "Ben and Me," Robert Lawson's YA novel about the revolution from the point of view of Amos, a mouse who lives in Ben Franklin's hat and gives him all his brilliant ideas. This led to questions about electricity, whereupon I directed him to Daddy for a physics lesson, and some videos about generators.

Whew! Half the reason I write it all down like this is to convince myself that yes, we really are doing more than just sitting around playing video games all day, no matter how often it seems like that. :P Not that the games can't be educational, but it's so easy to fall back on.
sffilksffilk on September 23rd, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
One question I have
From what I've seen, a lot of home-schooled students do not get the interaction they'd get from going to school. I'm wondering how you're planning on dealing with that. Also, how about things like team sports, activities like choir or school musical, etc., how will be get exposure to them if he's interested?
joyeuse13joyeuse13 on September 23rd, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
Re: One question I have
So you missed the bit about the Y classes and math classes and zoo classes and nature classes and...? Srsly. You think in this house he won't get exposed to choir and musicals? Kid knew what a choir was when he was three.
sffilksffilk on September 24th, 2014 01:06 am (UTC)
I guess I did
As far as the musical stuff, since none of you have been to a housefilk in quite a while, there's no way I'd know he would be exposed to music right now. As far as everything else, since I don't always see your notes on his home schooling, I can only go on what I see when I see it.
abovenyquist: mathabovenyquist on September 24th, 2014 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: One question I have
wabbit (the jack is silent): Sam-Happyjackwabbit on September 24th, 2014 10:08 am (UTC)
You are amazing. That is all.
joyeuse13joyeuse13 on October 2nd, 2014 01:00 am (UTC)
My kid is amazing. I'm lucky. :D
wabbit (the jack is silent): Luke-Destinyjackwabbit on October 2nd, 2014 05:35 am (UTC)
To quote two great axioms:

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, whose source I do not know.


In my experience, there's no such thing as luck, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Ben LantermanBen Lanterman on September 26th, 2014 12:10 pm (UTC)
I just read the abovenyquist suggested web site
I came away from it a bit/lot more informative. I realized that Home Schooling would have saved me from walks in the snow to the bus stop, standing in the rain there, freezing my buns off there, being bullied on the playground, meeting girls that I fell in love with who cared less for me and indicated as much, among other things ........... Oh well. Good article.