Thursday, October 28, 2010
Loosening the Chains
We have one full week of afternoon schooling under our belts and it continues to be a successful transition. With the new schedule, I'm finding that the boys are working on their own passions in their free time. JT started writing a story on Sunday afternoon about slugs and bugs. It has many epic battle scenes. His favorite books include The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Guardians of Ga'Hoole series and The Redwall series. All of those are full of battles and desperate times. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that his writing is following the same path. Monday and Tuesday he SET HIS ALARM clock so he could wake up early and write. Did you hear what I said? He WANTED to write!
In case you have forgotten...this child dreads the physical act of writing. He is full of excellent ideas, but when it comes time to put them to paper...forget it. I have spent hours in vain trying to bribe, threaten and plead with him to write a simple composition. So far, his story is 17 pages long. Handwritten. This is nothing short of a miracle. Remember what I said about finding your passion? I made a deal with him that if he continues to write the story, I will count it as his writing 'class'. I will type up the rough draft just as he writes it, but he will have to do all of the proofreading and correction on the computer himself. He loves to use dialogue in his stories, so I reminded him he will need to brush up on use of quotations in order to do his corrections. Sneaky mom. :-)
EM has started spending much more of his free time reading. After he resigned to the fact that the mornings were not to be spent on computer games and non-educational movies, he realized reading wasn't as bad as he thought. He checked a huge volume of Curious George stories out of the library and read it in 2 days. This is also unprecedented. Typically he spends much more time looking at pictures in books than reading the stories. He usually wakes up an hour or two before the rest of the family. Most mornings, I find him sitting on his bed reading Calvin and Hobbes or some other favorite from his book shelf when I get up. What a joy this has been for me.
We are still having fairly structured classroom time in the afternoons. Everyday we have reading, spelling, grammar/writing, and math. Two days a week we cover history. Three days for science. Health, civics, art, geography and music each have one day. Right now we are covering these subjects in approximately 3 1/2 hours a day. But based on how the boys are using their free time I believe those hours may turn out to be more educational than any of the structured learning I will provide.