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Monday, October 14, 2013


I'd like to say we're zipping along like a sprinter, but that would be a bald faced lie. We are still searching for our balance.  In reality we're not even on a casual hike.  We're more like a slosh-faced drunk trying to stagger out the barroom door.

This year we've taken on a more academic approach to our homeschool.  In the past we mostly unschooled, and last year was catch as catch can.  With Bit Boy in high school/college, and Lego Kid making noises about wanting to follow in his footsteps, Hot Dog has requested academics so he can do what his brothers do. 

As I write I have Lego Kid and Hot Dog at the public library "working" on their math while Bit Boy is in town getting some testing done.  I'm sure we're annoying every patron within earshot, since apparently they are incapable of doing their work silently.  Lego Kid is doing pre-algebra, using Art of Problem Solving.  Hot Dog is working on multiplication using Beast Academy 3B.  Lego Kid's goal is to be finished with algebra by next fall so that he can join Bit Boy at CEC.  Hot Dog wants to finish with 4th grade math by next fall so that he can be a "5th grader" a year early and do the Library Pals program earlier.  (Given that he has late fall birthday, skipping him a grade isn't too crazy, he'd be only a month younger than the youngest students of that grade - a month younger, and 2 heads shorter... sigh...)

Lego Kid has really been struggling.  He chose to do a rigorous online Latin class.  It moves fairly quickly, being designed for high-achieving high schoolers.  Lego kid is only 12, but he really, really, wants to learn Latin, and wanted to take this class because he has  enjoyed working with the instructor in an earlier class.  We both know he's capable of the work, but his work ethic, speed of processing, and organizational skills are not such that this is an easy task.  He wants to do the work, but spends literally hours avoiding it, then another hour sitting in front of it in despair.  Finally, with much gnashing of teeth it will get done, but only after we're both frazzled to the bone, having accomplished nothing else all day. 

I'm realizing more and more that while my kids learn so much more, and so much easier at home, it's not in a way that translates well into a traditionally organized class like this Latin class.  If they were in school they would have already learned to sit down and do what was expected of them without complaining (much, out loud, etc.).  Being home/un-schooled they've enjoyed learning as an organic process that flows naturally  out of their own curiosity and energy.  Doing "school" is just so different from what has worked for us. 

The difference is not a good thing or a bad thing, just something I noticed.

 I'm still baffled by Lego Kid's desire to become a classical scholar, especially given how challenging it is for him.  Given that he is determined, we'll keep plugging away at it, I'm just wondering if this is really the "best" way for him.

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