Progress So Far, Part 2 –The Boy

So I already reviewed how much of The Plan was implemented, but now we need the happy little details. This post will give you a general idea of what The Boy worked on this past semester.

6677024479_c84f83b375_mFor English, he began and nearly completed All About Spelling 2. He knows some of the words, but not a lot of the rules, so he was a little irritated at having such easy words. On the other hand, it meant we were done in 5 minutes. After I pointed that out a few times, he was much happier. He learned more just from reading words in his video games and asking me how to spell things he wanted to write in email.

We also reviewed his grammar in MCT’s Grammar Town, covering the parts of speech, but in a little more depth. For example, he learned about perfect tense, coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, and possessive and interrogative pronouns.

He read several books on his own such as Diary of a Whimpy Kid #6, D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, and my father’s dragon… but mostly the Terraria wiki pages. He also had a gazillion books read to him, either by me or through Audible (or the Kindle, or some other sort of audio book). He really enjoyed Rick Riorden books, including the Red Pyramid and its sequel.

And he learned some latin stems from MCT’s Caesar’s English. Some favorite words include “condescend”, “profound”, and “tremulous”.

Math was all over the place. He used Khan Academy, MUS Epsilon, the Living Math curriculum, Logic Countdown and other logic workbooks, challenge math, flash cards, you name it. He covered a wide variety of topics: long division, tally marks, tally sticks, categories, syllogisms, fractions — adding and subtracting, conic sections, angles, adding and subtracting large numbers, symmetry, fractals, measuring, and just practicing his basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills.

Science — our main spine is Nebel’s BFSU 2 (plus he sits in on his sister’s BFSU 1 lessons), but science is all over, and he can’t help but trip on it everywhere he goes. We had a garden, we accidentally grew mantises, we went to farms, we did a million sciencey things. Mainly, the planned things were about density, flight, animal migration, food webs, life cycles, his beloved geothermal processes, plate tectonics, evolution, origins of life, life for the past 3.5 billions years, comets, suns, stars, planets, satellites, some quantum mechanics (because why not), and using tools to build and fix things.

For history, we use Story of the World. He is on Book 3 (early modern history), but he also listens to his sister’s lessons from book 1 about ancient history. He also took a 10-week online class about mythology that he really enjoyed. So he covered prehistory (we’re calling that science I guess?), ancient Mesopotamia, ancient egypt, ancient inventions (wheel,counting, fire, writing), greek myths, african myths…. then the “first” thanksgiving, Napoleon, Mexican Independence, abolitionists, Zulus, and the Boers.

For PE, he was on a soccer team, cub scouts, and gymnastics. We also run around in the backyard a lot, throwing things, kicking things, and spinning around. He learned to ride his bike really well, too. He uses the elliptical trainer and the Wii for exercise, too.

Health is so often just reminding him he has to eat vegetables, clean himself, brush his teeth, and wash his hands. We use Kidpower coloring books to talk about strangers, safety, and Big H Health stuff. Also, the cub scouts talk a lot about health things, from fire and knife safety, to how to treat a wound, what to do when you’re hiking, and how to be a good person.

Art hasn’t been a huge focus this semester. We did a few lessons from Meet the Masters, tried out many new art supplies (pastels, Prang poster paints, etc.), new techniques, and such. We look at art for ancient civilizations we study. Still, they drew and painted and colored and sculpted a million things. My house is full of papers.

Music is the same way — he went to a singing class, and we listen to music all the time. We talked about some music history and different styles of music like bluegrass, ragtime, jazz, and punk. You can’t stop these kids from making up songs and singing all day long.

So! The next post on this topic will be about The Girl, and Friday are our portfolio reviews. Tune in to see if we pass! (Why no, no, it’s not a given…) After that, I’ll post about the plan for the spring, which will include more music (theory!) and art activities and instruction. But when the weather was as gorgeous as it was this fall, how could we spend too much time inside?

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