Sunday, September 21, 2008

Term 1 Progress --summary

I thought this might be the clearest way to show where we are on Year 7 compared to where I planned.

I put checks where we met or exceeded the goals, and highlighted where we didn't.

Now -- during the years of homeschooling I've often thought that these page number goals are pretty much meaningless. They are based sheerly on page numbers, not on what was retained. In theory, I could sit down today and get all this done in a few hours -- only not very thoroughly.

However, I have found that this kind of thing helps me in a limited way, to keep track and not get muddled. It was useful to me in that way last year, so I am doing it again this year.

Now a sort of Term Report. This may be repetitive to those who follow my blog regularly, but I wanted to sum it all up.


MEP 7 is going great. Kieron can't believe it is really math. I supplement it with online quizzes, and with review sheets like these division ones.


I love the Creed in Slow Motion. I read it slowly, a bit a day, and we discuss. I am also having him read Bible History, and once or twice a week we pick up the Family Apostolate Catechism. He is also copying and memorizing prayers and quotes at a slow pace. We were going to read a gospel together -- for now, this has gone by the wayside. Perhaps I can have him read independently later in the year.

He has been reading through Vision saints books and has read five or six already.


We decided to use Traupman's Latin is Fun rather than Latina Christiana II. Traupman uses an inductive approach. I used this book a bit with Liam and it was successful in giving him an intellectual interest in Latin which carried through to the present day. After reading some articles about the virtues of the deductive approach, I went to LC1 for the next set of kids. However, this approach has not worked well with any of my kids -- their retention has been minimal. I am coming to realize there is a linear-sequential-learner bias to the deductive approach, and I can't see that it is necessarily more "classical" really. Liam called it "Cartesian" when I talked to him on the phone last week ;D. Anyway, all that is to say that Traupman is our friend right now. I know way more Latin now than I did when I used it with Liam (hooray for Mother's Learning) and so I can give him background grammar information and review that makes the presentation a bit more thorough. The little ones like looking through the pictures, and I think induction develops some intellectual skills that are not fostered by strict "top down" memorization of grammar and vocabulary. Whew, this turned into quite a ramble. Anyway, those are my (not expert, and not very humble either) opinions.
Now onto

New Testament Greek

We are using Basic Greek in 30 Minutes a Day. Now I don't have much Greek at all myself, so I hoped to improve my own learning by helping him with this. This book has limited goals; it's not meant to be a thorough approach like, say, Mounce's Bible Greek. It is supposed to be for familiarity and a bit of general knowledge. This is our "slow" language. We are only going to make it through the first couple of parts this year. I just found out how to download and utilize a Greek font so I can write my own reinforcement worksheets now.


Introductory Logic. We have a very old version. This is another one of the books I used with Liam. This year is all about nostalgia in the trivium, I guess! It's just meant to open up the subject of logical thinking with a year 7 student. This subject ties in with the Progym (below) but we haven't done much of the progym yet.

Literature and History:

As I mentioned I am integrating literature, history, science and religion into Humanitas. This is too big a subject to go into in what is already a long post. I will try to get that organized in my head so I can write it out some other time. It is going really well but in a free-floating Right-Brained Learner way right now. The core texts are Shakespeare's plays, and Plutarch's Lives, which we just started reading last week, so we haven't made a lot of progress. But there are tons of others and I want to keep those a bit free-flowing.

Now, for things that aren't really happening right now:


Hmm. This comprises word analysis, grammar/syntax, oral narration and discussion, copywork, dictation and actual composition; also literary analysis. None of this is really happening except for discussion and literary analysis (in my book, a large term that basically at this age is mostly concerned with exposure to and interaction with a large variety of literature). The kid has done a bit of copywork (definite progress in neatness) and is writing on his own (cartooning, and definite progress in sentence structure and effectiveness). I always seem to end up unschooling composition and it always seems to work out pretty well in that I raise pretty good writers. Maybe I need to just face that and deal with it. But I keep dreaming progymnasmata.

Modern Language

Also, I had hoped to do some German or Spanish. One possibility is to teach Spanish orally to all three of the children -- very easy level for Kieron and just fun exposure for Paddy and Aidan. I don't really have a good accent but I know enough Spanish to get us through a primary level year. ASL is another possibility.


Not much art or drawing or nature study or science..... sigh. That reminds me -- the last class in addition to my Humanitas was something I call in my head Localitas. This is another Right Brained Learner type project that was supposed to concern itself with things in our immediate area and of topical or current concern. So nature study and life skills and civics/character formation and political or natural events were supposed to fit in here, as well as community life. We have done a bit with this -- I had him read Smoke Jumpers & Fire Fighters since we live in a wildfire zone, and Seward's Folly because of my Alaskan background and because of Sarah Palin as the Republican VP pick -- and so on. We are also desultorily following the 100 Species Challenge. And of course, with Localitas things are always happening just because that's the nature of the thing. But I meant to expand more consciously on these things, and that has gone by the wayside. Now that I've written it out maybe I can plan it more intentionally ;-).

Sorry about this endless post. At least it cleared my head!

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