Monday, March 17, 2014

March 2014 & A New Era

What a turning point of a month for us.  W asked about Teaching Textbooks again and that he'd maybe like to go back to that.  I pulled up a demo of Algebra 1 and let him try it.  He loved it so much, that we ordered it the next day.  I looked at the PreAlgebra one, but it seems like we have covered most of that already.  I remember TT starts off nice and slowly, so we're bypassing the PreAlgebra and going straight to Algebra 1.  We'll also take our time with it and try to stretch the program into 8th grade.  He also said he's done using the white board and will go back to notebook/scrap paper and pencil.  I haven't seen him this excited about math in such a long time.  He does the whole lesson independently - I keep myself in earshot in case he has a question.  He was shocked at how fast he finished a lesson.  When we last used TT (5th grade) he hated the CDs and just wanted to use the big workbook.  That was the main motivation to switch to Saxon (since the TT people didn't sell the book alone) - and the fact that Saxon was way less expensive.  Now he only wants to use the TT CD Roms without the book.  I'm shocked because he has never liked any educational online stuff, just textbooks and workbooks.  I've been waiting for this moment forever, lol.

With reading, we are switching gears now and going from novels to various comprehension passages/exercises and poetry.  It's much easier for him to handle at this point more independently.  The dyslexia symptoms vary in severity and certain ones just linger.  I know this is not something that can be "cured".  But I have noticed that occasionally changing the way we approach reading seems to improve these symptoms tremendously.  Even if it's just a temporary improvement, W has still learned another way to cope that he can refer back to.  Writing is still going well.  We go over the lesson and he types up his essay portion on his laptop, emails it to me, and I print it and tape it into the workbook.  It's fine with me if he prefers to do it that way.  It's getting done and I really think his writing ability even surprises him.  For history, geography, W takes handwritten notes.  For science, we do experiments and he writes in the student notebook.  All this writing is the best way for W to remember and review facts.  He also continues to do one Spanish lesson every day (independently).  Cursive and poetry are several times a week (I finally bought 3 more Shel Silverstein books!).  A couple of weeks ago W randomly said he really likes this curriculum.  That was very nice to hear.

This month, W has started taking Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes (grappling, ground fighting, submission holds).  So, now he does Muay Thai 3x a week AND Brazilian jiu-jitsu 3x a week.  He likes pairing up with new students to help them through their first weeks.  These new students are usually in their 20s-40s and find themselves pretty impressed by W's maturity and knowledge.  I'm thrilled that W has finally found something he truly loves.

It's interesting how a lot of changes in W have coincided with his turning 13 this month.

Speaking of which, the older my kids get, the less I can blog about.  That's why I dropped the posts to once a month.  W is focusing on academics, MMA, and computer stuff.  Not much has changed since September.   Field trips and homeschool group classes have lessened in frequency - he's been everywhere and done everything and he's focusing more on his own personal projects now.  We still do wonderful things around NYC, but it's on a different level.  J's dance life is fun and exciting, but it's hard to get too specific regarding her experiences.  Once she's living at her new school, I won't know as much about what's going on as I know now.  And K will be 21 this year and is already preparing for her career and adult life.  When my babies were 3, 8, and 11 and I had just started blogging, life with them was so new and there were so many things to discover and experience.  There are still so many new things to experience with the kids, but it's different now.

The good thing is that W will still be homeschooling in New York City all through high school, so there will still be stuff to blog about.  I'm not saying good-bye, but I will be posting much less frequently.  I still have high school IHIPs to post and achievements to brag about, lol.  I want to say thank you so much to my subscribers - all 200+ of you.  Many of whom have been with me since the beginning, and for that I'm so grateful.  Til next time...