Another Week in Our Homeschool

This week has seemed extremely long in our little homeschool land.  Some weeks are like that, I guess.  But despite the length, it has been good.

Both kids finished up their first books in our reading challenge.  And, much to their surprise, both kids found that they really enjoyed the books I picked for them.  Yeva was excited to learn that she enjoys a good mystery, and she has asked to read more in the future.  Benjamin was surprised to see that even though it’s not Christmas, he can read a Christmas-themed book and like it.  I was just happy to see them getting out of their reading comfort zones and enjoying something new.  Next up for both is a little bit of sic-fi in the form of Bigfoot and space aliens.

Another thing that went really well this week was Yeva’s science studies.  She is soaking up information in a rate that is, for her, record setting.  It appears that we’ve finally hit on what works best for her mind.  She is learning about bird anatomy and also learning how to identify birds.  On top of that, she is learning about the scientific classification system, and is able to understand how scientists group things.  It’s fun to watch her be so excited about a subject.

We had a few rocky days with Benjamin where it just seemed like he couldn’t handle his work.  It was actually kind of strange.  In the past, he has been very good at taking quizzes and tests and remembering information.  But as he gets older the work tends to change.  I find that in things like history and science, wording of questions has changed from direct textbook wording to more of a think about what you read and discuss it type of thing.  This has left Benjamin, a very matter of fact type kid, confused and frustrated.  He reads questions on his work and doesn’t seem to understand what is being asked of him.

But he knows the information.

For instance, answering discussion style questions is hard, but he can fill in a crossword puzzle based on the chapter in minutes without looking at his book.  I asked him to consider why this is and last night he suddenly burst out at dinner with, “I think I need you to read the questions out loud to me.  I don’t understand them when I read it.”

And that makes sense.

Wording is throwing him off.

When the order of words isn’t how Benjamin expects it to be, he has a hard time rearranging them in his mind to make sense.  For whatever reason, reading things out loud allows him to process better.  He thrives with a more auditory approach.  That is why he still needs to read so much of his chapters out loud rather than to himself during our lessons.

And now that we’ve got that figured out, we can continue on in our work while making adjustments for his needs. I’m so glad that homeschooling allows for such flexibility in learning.

One more note for this week, Benjamin is doing Art Appreciation for his elective.  Today we studied cubism and his assignment was to demonstrate cubism.  I really enjoyed what he came up with:

I’m not an artist, but I think he did well in relaying the concept.  Benjamin titled this Blue Robot Circus Dog: An Act of Cubism – It makes me smile.

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