Peanut was back to school this week, after a very good break and exams week. One thing I learned that I needed to focus more on with Peanut was ensuring that she is filling out her timeline and plotting things out on maps. I made sure to print off plenty of blank maps for the geographic areas we’re reading about and constantly remind her to use them.
I’ve also been working on honing my discussion questions for after narrations. These questions aren’t the standard ones you’d get in a brick and mortar school (no questions like “when was Paul Revere’s ride?”) but more open-ended, thinking questions. Some questions I asked Peanut was about why women being educated was considered “unladylike” during Abigail Adams’ time and how did Abigail become so passionate about women’s education? What was John Adams’ reaction to his wife’s concerns? Anything to draw her into a conversation that involves her thinking – really thinking – about what she’s reading and not just dumping information.
In the biography of Albert Einstein that I’m reading, I came across a quote that I want to put on my wall. It sums up practically every reason why I’m homeschooling in the first place. The context is that the news media was trying to give Einstein “the Edison questionnaire” and one reporter asked him what the speed of sound was. He reported that he didn’t keep information like that in his head. He then criticized Edison’s educational views with this quote:
“The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.”
I don’t think that training a mind to think is reserved solely for the college years. In this day and age where we have a plethora of information available to us in our phones and other devices, training minds to think is of a much higher importance than memorizing facts and events. One needs some level of familiarity, of course; but the standard view of “drill and kill” just doesn’t work.
For Moose, I decided to remove the biography of St. Ignatius and move it into the free reads pile. Having the biography of St. Joan of Arc and Robin Hood going – both books are very much “stretching” books for Moose – I felt that having the St. Ignatius biography was just overloading us all. I think this coming week will be much less intense for Moose and will be at a pace that he can handle without feeling like nothing is making sense to him.
We continued to make good progress in math this week, which is wonderful. I’m noticing less of a need for IXL supplementation, so we’ll probably drop that entirely in the next few weeks. It was great that it gave him a much needed confidence boost.
Both kids also were assessed for reading, both kids are comprehending well beyond their grades. Moose is reading at a 4th grade level, Peanut a 6th grade level.
This term seems to be flying by; with a couple weeks before Moose goes on break week again. Hopefully it’ll stop snowing at some point and they can have a proper vacation before we move on to the next school year!