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Plan for out-of-synch 8 yr old...


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We have started our school year and by the seat of our pants, btw! Luckily we have reviewing to do and are midstream in other subjects. I'm writing this up in order to 1) get my own thoughts together 2) glean feedback from this board and 3) share. Feel free to chop this up into little bits and hyperfocus on any aspects you think I should really reconsider! 8^)

This is for my ds 8 going on 9 in December, accelerated in math and science and in some language areas but not seemingly profoundly gifted and is a reluctant writer.


Maths - DS kept at his math using EPGY throughout the summer but I did not require written math from him as he was doing the program of his own accord. I will add some written problems daily but I'm not sure from what source. I will look at the Zacarro books again but this is an area where I could use help. DS is in level 5 in EPGY fwiw. Also, he and his father do some interesting (to him) math practice and application, like calculating the area of a circle (the bottom of a Pringle's can) and then dividing by half and figuring out the diameter of THAT circle to then cut that as a hole as part of the tennis ball launcher they are making... you know what I mean. He gets some applied math.


Music - For now he will be recording in GarageBand - some freeplay, some directed to emphasize things he has learned like rudimentary theory and work on keeping to a tempo. I figure after a couple of months of this I will add back in more traditional piano lessons again, a couple of days a week or so.


Grammar - MCT Level 2 Homeschool Basic package. I really liked how this was working for us by the end of last year when I used it as supplement or alternate to the EPGY grammar. I want ds to stop working on the EPGY grammar however as it's so far ahead technically of where he is with handwriting or actually writing out such work. Perhaps I can add it back in at some point but I want to work on some of the MCT books for a while. I don't assign large writing assignments but ds likes the books and generally the writing exercises don't put him off. I also used RummyRoots as an alternative to Building Language some days.


Spelling/Vocab - I am thinking of using a spelling workbook a couple of days a week. His spelling just keeps getting better without us doing much applied work - I think it has to do with him reading voraciously. But a Spelling workbook, either the WTM recommended or Spectrum or something as much for legible handwriting practice as anything else. I expect I will browse the offerings at my local B&N soon. Similarly, we have a vocabulary book that was given us. It's a cutesy Harcourt supplement workbook and a good "go to" if I am having an off day and can't call in a sub (which of course I can't.) It requires him to follow directions which he is getting better at but still sometimes jumps into doing something thinking he knows how it is supposed to be done only to find they want "boxes" rather than "circles" or something. I'm not HUGE on always doing as others do but it is a good thing to read directions...


Literature - I still read to him from larger chapter books. We are reading "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" for starters. At least half of the time I read from books more topical or contemporary to where we are in SOTW. I assign other books to him mostly in the early chapter books range - like "Magic School Bus" chapter books or "Moongobble and Me" level. I am keeping my eyes open for his readiness to get into "Little House on the Prairie" or something... He loves to read passages from "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" to n00bs as it's his favorite book. Are there any Dr. Who books out there that are any good? He would probably eat those up. (oh my goodness! I found a Doctor Who book at our library just now!) He is reading at the Simon Basher "Periodic Table of the Elements" book. Perhaps I should let him read that one as "assigned reading" and then all of the others in that series... why fight against the current? (no really, why? there are reasons but if I read other things to give him broader exposure...)


History - still working through SOTW3. The SOTW series really works well for us. I had all but given up on narrations in previous years primarily due to ds's temperament but had him do it this week. It definitely went better than in previous years.


Spanish - I am having him work on the LiveMocha Spanish 101 under my account. I am only a little ahead of him - haha! Hopefully we will also have some other outlet for actually speaking Spanish - that would be the best!


Science - As ds is way ahead of grade level in this area and I'm not inclined to do the next McQuerry book yet, I intend to purchase a Mindstorms set and to work on it. If it is too advanced or something, I would likely go back to McQuerry. Or memorizing all 204 bones in the human body... Or perhaps do something with that Basher book I mentioned in Lit. Yes, I'm a little loose in this area but partially because I'd really like to kind of unschool this area this year and explore.


Art - supplemental arts and crafts class through our local library and art appreciation or artists bios from the library. some of the projects in SOTW activities book. we love the Mike Venezia books!


Phy Ed - still up in the air. He will be in local soccer season soon, then maybe swimming lessons or our local homeschool gym class or possibly our small local 2-room schoolhouse gym class. Plus he does calisthenics every day at home.


is that it? we really seem to get a lot done and our days aren't THAT long. Criticisms? Commentary? Suggestions? Thanks all!

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We have the entire Basher series, and they're well worth it. We found the Biology and Astronomy ones in a kind of quirky bookstore while on vacation, DD latched on to them, so I ordered the rest, and every time I look, she's reading one of them or talking about something neat she found out from one of them.

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