Friday, September 20, 2013

Is it Working?

Now that we completed our first six week session of sixth grade, how are things going?  Is this switch to a classical education working?  Are the break schedule and daily schedule working?

During our wonderful week of no school I took a few minutes to mentally think over the successes and difficulties of those first six weeks.

Most subjects appear to be smoothly sailing along.  I have noticed that we have a tendency to skip the formal discussion portions of biology and history.  Amber is a very independent learner who prefers to be given her reading assignment and assimilate the information in her own way.  I prefer for her to discuss the reading assignment with me, but some days she is entirely unwilling.  I should clarify that.  If I ask her to discuss the reading with me the answers I get are brief and grudgingly given.  If I entirely avoid the subject of discussion she will tell me every last interesting tidbit of information she read over the whole day.  If my interaction in the discussion seems "schooly"  Amber instantly stops talking.  It is so hard to nonchalantly discuss biology.

Writing is going much better than I ever expected.  Amber is willingly completing her Writing With Skill lessons and enjoys her narrations in history.  I decided to forgo biology narrations and stick with notes or outlines only in biology.   Maybe when we switch over to Earth Science and Astronomy next semester we can pick up science narrations. 

As in previous years, music and art appreciation have been often forgotten, but for a different reason this year.  Their time slot on the schedule conflicts with the recently added art class (away from home).  Amber did have a great time with the Homeschool In The Woods activity paks, we just need to find a more feasible time.

Our electives on Fridays also have been hit or miss.  That's partially my fault since they are scheduled for the afternoon, yet I often have us run our weekly errands directly after Friday lunch.  Who wants to switch back to school mode after a 2-3 hour break on a Friday afternoon?  Still, even on the days when we have time, Amber has been less than enthused about her computer programming lessons and would rather practice any musical instrument, play with the cats, or simply relax with a good book.  Perhaps alternating creative writing one week with programming the next week in the same time slot will allow us to get through these items more regularly.

We had many discussions prior to the start of this school year about new middle school responsibilities and Amber definite took those conversations to heart.  She is showing a great deal more pride in her work and the quality of her school work has dramatically increased since fifth grade.  Thankfully Amber seems capable of rising to the maturity level needed for our new structure.

We absolutely love the six weeks of school then one week of break schedule implemented this year.  It gives us something to look forward to, but plenty of time for school throughout the year.  It is working out so much better for us than the 4 day school week. 

Overall, the first six week of school have been a success and a great deal less stressful than any other year.

1 comment:

  1. Reflection weeks are always a blessing to see the fruits of our hard work poured into the hearts and minds of our children.

    Happy Homeschooling!