09 September 2010

An Update

I've ordered some Handwriting Without Tears workbooks for the Emperor.  I let him decide which level he would be most comfortable doing.  The lower levels are a bit overly simplistic intellectually, but Emperor figures he's working on his HANDWRITING and just plain old needs the bigger lines.  I think he made the right decision.

I know... you're going, "You let the CHILDREN decide on curriculum?"  Yep.  I offer a few choices I can live with, and they pick the one they like the best.

I also found a nifty Geography program.  Free Rice is running slowly of late, so for the present moment, this is what we're using.  Emperor complains that it's hard for him to click it properly when he does European countries.  He winds up in the ocean because the countries are too small for him to get to.  The kid is mixing up Sweden and Norway, but otherwise doing pretty well on this program.

Elf has been taking placement tests in Singapore Maths and in the Teaching Textbooks curriculum.  They've helped me see just where some of his problems lie.  It's not entirely a language problem, but a good part of his difficulty is understanding exactly what the question is asking, and then remembering to give the answer to what the question is actually asking.  For example, Elf gave the correct fraction as an answer to a problem, but because the problem asked for a PERCENTAGE, he got that marked as wrong.  He tests at a fourth grade level in Singapore Maths and a beginning seventh grade level for Teaching Textbooks.  Nevertheless, he's going to be "wandering in the wilderness" for a bit, doing worksheets and reviewing closely with Mom before being placed into any one program.  I want to see a bit more clearly how he responds to the review before placing him in any curriculum which will leave problem areas behind.  The kid will have to slog it out in his problem areas until they aren't problem areas any more.  :)

In other news, I can't speak highly enough of our chemistry program.  It's engaging and not too "gather these 40 things in your kitchen and do this experiment that won't work"-y for me to accomplish.  I'm the type that in high school "discovered" new creatures with my microscope (it turned out to be sweater lint, but I spent several class periods drawing it and documenting my findings... sigh).  Here at home, frequently I "prove" things that are scientifically impossible.

And Woodjie.  Sweet little Woodjie can say something new.  "I burt!" he'll tell you after he purposely burps in your face and laughs about it.  Yes.  I can't take any credit for that one.  Maybe he is a natural unschooler type, as he has learnt about 15 Pokemon words but not too many functional ones such as, "Oh, Mother, what a lovely breakfast you've served.  I so very much enjoy it.  And the house.  So clean and tidy!  Rest assured that your efforts are very much appreciated."  Nope.  Maybe that's next, right??


  1. I totally enlist my kids in choosing their curriculum. What's wrong with that?! It helps greatly when the whining about school starts, as in "YOU wanted this curriculum so deal with it!" :)

  2. I love Aspie teens Maths Online programme - it's free, you could have a go yourself :)

  3. In the Charlotte Mason world, we do something similar. We read mainly books and do things. If the child cannot follow the book or is totally tuned out after a fair trial, we know it's not a living book, no matter how much we or other kids love it!

  4. from M by email:

    As a teaching of handwriting expert, I can definitely confirm that there is no reason being left-handed should hinder anyone in developing good writing. The people who say that it does do not know what they are talking about.


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)