Thursday, December 22, 2016


JT's classes at the community college wrapped up last week. He had his finals and the grades are in; he received As in both English composition and chemistry. I must admit, we were both surprised that he ended up pulling off the As. Based on the grades he received on work that was returned, he averaged a B, but both instructors gave a lot of credit for attendance and participation, so he did better than expected. I'm not sure what kind of lesson this teaches. I felt he could have worked harder on the assignments and hoped he'd see the negative results of just getting by then adjust his work ethic to do better in the future. Instead, I feel that he learned he can do a minimal amount of work and still pull off good grades in the end. Maybe I've set a higher bar for work at home? Either way, As for the transcript are a good thing.

PSAT scores also arrived this week. He did better than he expected in the math portion, so we were pleased with his results. Now we can use Khan Academy's SAT prep program that will be based on the areas he needs to improve until he takes the test in the spring.

Overall, he has had a very successful first half of his junior year. In the spring semester he will have three classes, one more than fall. Although he is not looking forward to taking the speech class, he is happy about the WW2 class and music appreciation. At home he will continue his algebra 2 course and wrap up geography. He will also be working on recording some of his music for his credit in music composition.

EM will be adding a programming class after our break. He has an interest in electronics from the hardware end, but hasn't done much on the software yet. He is doing well in Algebra 1 and his earth science work. Right before our Christmas break began, I gave him a longer writing assignment. He had to write a report about a state. He chose Alaska. I let him work independently to see what he would come up with on his own. When we get back to work in January, I will be helping him work to improve what he wrote.

Our break will be a much needed three weeks of school free time. We had originally planned to take a full month off, but the boys both voted to start one week sooner so we could take a week off in March when the community college closes for their break. I have a few things to work on over the break, but mostly I'm going to relax and do some work around the house.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 2017!