Friday, September 5, 2014

Two Week Update

We did it!  We made it through two whole weeks!!  I feel like I should shout it from the rooftops.  There were some ups, and there were a few downs.  All in all, I give us an A-.  Just to summarize (because one day he will want to read about this, I can promise) on the ups:
He learned more spelling words in these short two weeks than the last couple of years.  And by "learned more spelling words", I mean you can decipher what he is writing and in fact, most of the words are spelled perfectly.
We reviewed his "carrying" addition, "borrowing" subtraction (STICK THAT IN YOUR HAT, COMMON CORE!), and multiplication tables up to 12.  He loves fun math tricks that I learned in Mr Norris's Math UIL (multiplying by 11, some quirky squares, etc).  And he started division this week.  The first day, it took 30 minutes to do 8 problems.  Today, he did 24 problems in about 2-3 minutes.
He can calculate the amount of floor moulding and how many square feet of carpet (perimeter and area, respectively) for any whacky shaped bedroom/closet combination.  It is so fun to see him overcome difficult problems.
For social studies, we learned about Japan and India, but perhaps the coolest thing was volunteering at the Houston Food Bank together.  We met another homeschool family there and learned a great deal.  One key learning for all of you lucky readers: don't donate old and expired food.  I picked up several things that had arrived this week that expired seven years ago.  Seriously.  Just because the people getting fed are poor, doesn't mean they don't deserve food that is of good quality.  It also takes the volunteers more time to sort when half of a person's donation is trashed.  Also, we learned Houston has the largest food bank in the country.  It was huge.  HUGE!

So there were more positives than that, but there were some downers.  One morning while doing writing and spelling, he bursted into tears and talked about how much he hated spelling.  Through questions, that evolved into writing.  Through more questions, that evolved into how his writing is terrible, everyone tells him how terrible it is, and to add insult to injury, he has to redo his writing every time.  Poor kid.  I am happy to report that he is back to writing in cursive and his penmanship is beautiful.  See?  We can get through this!  It might be exceptionally hard on my liver some days, but we will survive.  And be successful.

He has started attending a science lab for after school kids on Tuesday and Thursday; he will be in a science course at the Houston Arboretum three Mondays per month this semester; he has a couple of dissection courses at the Houston Health Museum; he has almost completed his HTML programming class and is super stoked to start his Minecraft Course on Monday.  As I think about these things, I have to remind myself that he is 9 years old.  He really is incredible, irrespective of his smarty-pants, feisty, often inappropriate sense of humor, ways.  It is fun seeing him interacting with some of the homeschool kids that we have met in the last two weeks in field trips and park time.  We are a lucky little family.  Not only to have such cool kids, but to have the ability to do this.

I will leave this posting with his presentation that he had to write and present to the family.  For the record, he was not coached whatsoever.  He is a sweety!  And maybe a total suck up.  I'll take either one...


I am doing homescool (sic).  We do math, science, and programming.  When I have energy, I run the stairs.  We end earlier then (sic) all the schools.  Goods - math, science, HTML.  Bads: righting (sic).
I do Idealab.  We go on trips some times.  I love the teacher.  Come on up teacher.  XOXO