I'm glad we decided to bring Ambleside Online back into our lives. It just feels so right. This week was W's first week of 8th grade. Each day we start with math. As we're waiting for the delivery of Saxon Algebra 1, we're going over some Saxon Algebra 1/2 to review anything he forgot over the summer. I'm surprised he remembered so much since he hasn't even looked at math since June. We're still using the whiteboard, but I got W a graph paper spiral notebook to start using next week or so. Literature is King Arthur by Howard Pyle. So far, I love it. The language is very old and beyond what we've seen so far. So much awesome vocabulary. I'm reading this aloud and W's narration showed me he understood everything. A lot of books from previous AO years had old and/or difficult language, but I would abridge to make sure he understood. I'm not doing that anymore. I think he'll be ok.
Copywork (for now) is a short Shel Silverstein poem. On Friday he studied one he'd used for copywork for about 2 minutes and we did our first real Studied Dictation. What a wonderful way to do language arts. It makes so much sense and he won't forget the vocabulary or spelling since it was in context. History is Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster. It's a bit young, but it's a nice story and a great intro to the world of Ancient Rome. Getting Started with Spanish is still something he does independently. Each lesson takes him about 15 minutes. It's such a simple program, but so effective. This term's composer is Hildegarde von Bingen. All we did was learn her name, learn when and where she lived, and closed our eyes and listened to one of her songs called Kyrie Eleison. I really loved it and could listen to it all day. It's so haunting. W said it sounded like the music that plays during a slow motion death scene at the end of a movie. Hey, whatever connections he makes are fine with me.
Already I'm realizing what we don't need. Spelling, vocabulary, and geography are fully incorporated into the other subjects. There is no need for us to have separate programs. I have them on hand if we feel like using something down the road, but I don't think we'll have to. We're also going with Holt (Science & Technology) Physical Science. I originally just wanted to do the Apologia experiments this year for science, but W isn't as much of a hands-on kid like his sisters. He's mainly an auditory learner (K is visual, J is kinesthetic). Having 3 kids with 3 different learning styles is ridiculous. I'm constantly changing things and can't use many of the curricula I have on hand because it doesn't work for W. What works is reading out loud (either one of us), narrations, oral exams, and, (based on today) studied dictation. He usually takes the lead if working in a group and is great at explaining how to do things - especially when he's in a teacher-type role. And he's always talking and singing. I think he'd enjoy learning a musical instrument. I should get on that.