Saturday, August 30, 2014

Week One of 2014-2015 Highschool at Home Complete

I have more gray hair now than last week - swear it.  At the end of the week both the teenager and I were wiped out!  Adjusting to the new daily routine and work load rankled a bit, but we kept our chins up and muddled through.  Okay, to say we muddled isn't fair.  We worked very well through the rough patches that cropped up.

The best part of the week was the READING!  Every day for an hour from the literature shelf.  At first he said emphatically, "Mom, an hour of reading a day is too much.  How about 45 minutes?"  On the first day I set the timer on the iPhone for one hour on the nose and turned him loose.  When it alarmed, he didn't seem to register the noise and kept on reading.  For another half an hour.  An hour a day seems just about right for his tolerance level!

He is reading this:

I read this and giggled all the way through.  The Queen accidentally discovers the public library and all heck breaks out in the Monarchy:

And started this.  Still laughing: 

Guess I subconsciously picked books from the humor section because I had a feeling the week was going to have its challenges, huh?

With math, biology, world history, programming, literature and grammar, the days got a little long.  I am so PROUD of him for his willingness to jump in.  Most days we started between 10 and 11 a.m. and worked through with breaks until 3 or 4 p.m.  

He is pumped about programming, less excited about math, but he's been attacking math problems every day.  World history is terribly interesting for both of us (I'm watching the lectures and taking notes for a refresher course).  Biology is ramping up so we've had to broach the subject of taking notes.  

Now, note-taking does not rank high on his list of life priorities.  In fact, he rather blossoms with an insanely itchy rash over most of his body when I hand him a pen or pencil, poor guy.  His fingers were bred for the keyboard!  I am of the firm belief, though, that something magical happens between the hand that is writing and the brain that commands the hand to write.  Taking notes in my opinion is an important skill to learn; you need to be able to synthesize information so you can access it later, especially for those pesky quizzes and tests that appear at the end of units.

So, we practiced taking notes.  I posed a question on a homeschooling forum today asking for ideas for note taking that might fit his style.  Yay for other homeschooling parents!  They are a deep well of knowledge when it comes to figuring stuff out.  These are the suggestions we got - thank you, ladies!

OneNote  - nice, but it doesn't involve putting finely sharpened pencil to crisp paper

Popplet - an app for the iPad or Web that lets you brain map to your heart's content

Color-coded index cards - he could spread them out like a brain map on a wall or table  


Overall, it was a good and productive first week.  I want to introduce him to the workload over the first few weeks and then let him take over and create his own schedule.  We will keep working on note taking to find the right method for him.  

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