Another week has gone by and it is truly amazing how the days can go by so fast once the weather warms up! We are focusing on finishing all our courses over the next three weeks so the boys are working a little extra hard. On top of that, we took graduation portraits for Mr. A and ordered his announcements. I got his diploma in the mail…already to go once we finish and are ready to present it in front of family and friends.
This edition of my weekly wrap-up has a theme that I found woven throughout: Independent learning. My two sons have come to the point in their education where they are beyond my body of knowledge. I have let them loose to explore their own educational paths. This has happened in just about every area of our courses: literature, science, history, and art. If you are a classical homeschooler, this is truly what the rhetoric stage is all about, at least from my point of view. The boys are going beyond assignments and spending lots of time researching and writing about topics that come up. The shape that their final projects come to me are exciting: videos, inventions, writing, and lots of discussion. See if you can find the theme in the rest of this entry.
|Key Word Outline: Yes, it is messy and has doodles.|
Mr. A is working on that final research report and he tells me he finished the key work outline this morning. He spent a few minutes trying to explain to me what white dwarves and super novas are and how he is going to pull a writing piece together featuring these two subjects of interest. Let’s just say that these topics are far beyond my field of expertise. I guess I will learn something and see a topic through my son’s eyes.
|Glimpse into one of the “self-tests” that come at the end of each chapter.|
Mr. B is focusing on finishing Astronomy: Self-Teaching Guide over the next few weeks. He actually likes this book and the format is great for independent learners. I noticed he takes the book and sits at the computer and looks things up on Wikipedia when he wants to learn more. I love that he takes that extra step.
Mr. B is designing, building, and programming a project of his own choice. I am pretty sure he decided on a self-serve cat food dispenser for the black cats who inhabit our home. I guess we will all have to see what he comes up with.
Mr. B is polishing his last video of the year which was a also a project of his choice. He researched a science topic and has pulled together a video with narration, still images, titles and captions, and of course live action video. The topic is Schrodinger’s Cat (thought experiment). Don’t ask me how he arrived on that as a topic. I hope he gives me permission to share the video.
Poetry (and why it is an important part of your literature and history study):
Langston Hughes has been the topic this week and Mr. A has shared quite a bit of his poetry aloud with me. I think he likes this poet because of the sounds and the subjects. It really is very different than most of our other poetry this year. Nice change. This week he supplemented his poetry study with a short mini-lesson on the Harlem Renaissance. We have been watching several YouTube videos for Langston Hughes…here is one from the Library Congress.
It is a little long but one that we liked because of the balance of story and his poetry. The reason I think this study has been successful? Not only are we reading and discussing the poetry, we now have a whole area of history that can be explored through the eyes of someone who has a very different point of view than we do…that of a black man in the early 20th century. I did not realize the extent of Langston Hughes’ writing and its variety including short stories and music. You can be sure we will explore this more with Mr. B when he gets to this poet. So many poetic devices to discuss with Hughes’ poetry.
Excerpt from the Weary Blues by Langston Hughes:
Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more–
“I got the Weary Blues
And I can’t be satisfied.
Got the Weary Blues
And can’t be satisfied–
I ain’t happy no mo’
And I wish that I had died.”
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.
Mr. B started his online driver’s education course this week. Sigh. I know what is coming now….the critiquing of my driving as we go around town. I have been here three times before with the older children, getting to know the rules of the road makes them more active passengers. Using an online course helps us fit the study in when Mr. B has time and it is self-directed.
I will finish there and leave the rest for another time. Hope you enjoyed seeing some of our week and hearing my rambles of a homeschool mom who is feeling like her role is ever-changing. If I can do this, you can do this.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom
Some fun books we are enjoying: