Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 2013

Autumn in Queens
7th Grade is shaping up nicely.  We have a nice rhythm going and W even complimented me on it this week, lol.  I'm happy to announce we have completed Saxon Math 7/6 and have begun Saxon Algebra 1/2.  I'm glad we took our time with 7/6.  I feel it made a difference.  We are also scrapping Apologia science.  I tried, I really did.  I enjoy the reading and the experiments, but W is fading fast.  He's not liking science anymore and that's not cool.  Also, the YE aspect that I vowed to overlook has started to become blatantly obvious and I can't function that way.  Science is supposed to be fun and interesting, and it's not.  We are switching to Holt Physical Science.  It's a big text and we'll use it for 7th and 8th grades.  It comes with a student text and both a parent guide and chapter resources CD Rom.  Since W doesn't like online academics, I'm not going to bother with the "interactive online edition" which is an extra $50.  We'll use the CD Roms, though.  If we like this program, Holt has Biology, Chemistry, and Physics for high school as well.  They come with labs, worksheets, videos, CD Rom companion, etc., so everything we need is there.  Well, that's the beauty of homeschooling - we can change what we don't like.

Ready to gut this thing
Lately, W has been teaching himself more and more things on his computer and about computers in general.  He created a new and better Minecraft server and more than half a dozen other kids are on it with him.  Being the owner and moderator has put him in a leadership position and he takes it seriously.  When he explains to me what he does and how he does it, it's like he's speaking another language.  I love that he's so passionate about it.  W is also attempting to build his own gaming computer.  He's been researching, making lists, and amassing various parts here and there.  I think it's an awesome project to undertake.  He knows it will probably take a long time but he's determined to get it done.  His other new passion is the mixed martial arts he's been going to classes for.  He goes 4 days a week now.  In just over a month, his agility and strength have grown incredibly.  He uses a wall calendar to write down and keep track of his classes and also to schedule in more cardio (skateboarding, jogging, and jumping rope).  His determination, creativity, and independence have skyrocketed just in the last few months.

I remember J being the same way at this age.  In many families twelve is a very hard age to be and to deal with.  As homeschoolers, I find it to be an exciting age where I get small glimpses of who they will be as an adult.  12 is when J's passion for dance started to soar and it's when she got the idea to attend a performing arts high school.  12 seems to be when my kids start really exhibiting the confidence, maturity, and drive to follow their dreams and become something awesome.

Speaking of J, she is having a great senior year so far.  She:
J's Jack-O-Lantern
  • is now working with an agency and is getting paid performance gigs
  • finished choreography on her new competition solo for this season
  • auditioned for her school talent show (her school only allows the best talent in their shows, so we'll see what happens)
  • is taking her SATs next week
  • narrowed her college choices down to 9  
  • already went through one audition (several dance colleges and conservatories come to her school to audition kids)
  • will be assisting in her school's dance auditions again (these are in Nov and Dec)
  • was part of THIS  (that's her in the photo "Fateful Woman").  It was on display at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall and AMNH

Fall puts me is such a good mood.  The weather is finally getting colder, the leaves are turning all sorts of awesome colors, and the new school year is nicely underway for both W and J.

W was part of a homeschool group trip to the American Museum of Natural History.  This one was on how certain skulls have changed through time.  They discussed and studied male and female chimp and gorilla skulls, along with Lucy (Australopithecus), Neanderthal, and Homo Sapiens skulls.  The kids measured, observed, and wrote for almost an hour.  The 3 instructors were great and I think the kids learned a lot.  After the class, we got a tour of the Human Origins area.

A closet of skulls...  Muahahahaha

Worksheet to log in findings

J and I have been extremely busy with college applications.  She and B went to a huge college fair at the Jacob Javitz center in Manhattan.  J enjoyed the chance to speak with students and faculty of where she's interested in going.  She's got her list of schools and now comes all the fun stuff.

I've enjoyed the once a month posting, but I miss being able to post when the mood strikes.  So it's back to being random.  Oh and watch out, I've discovered the Blogger app...