Friday, October 30, 2009

This fall

Our schooling life has changed profoundly this year, what with Yakov in Israel and Shoshie rarely at home because of working and community college courses. Noach, 13, is really the only one who needs daily attention. It's so quiet here now.

Noach, who has usually been along for the ride with whatever his sibs were doing, is now looking for his own way in the academic world, and social world too. He is not a big reader, so unlike his brother and sister, and this has caused a major shift in how we are doing school.

History is being done largely with movies. Our focus right now is Medieval history. We watched a 5 hour version of Ivanhoe that we loved. We also enjoyed Becket. Now we are watching a PBS documentary, Islam: Empire of Faith. Before we move on to the Renaissance, I plan for us to see Kingdom of Heaven and either The Name of the Rose or a Father Cadfael mystery. The former has one of Noach's favorite actors, Sean Connery, and the latter, one of my favorites, Derek Jacobi. I ask him to write some dates, such as the death of Becket or the reign of Henry II, in a timeline book that he has been keeping for years and we look at maps to get a feel for geography and the settings of the movies.

Science is being done in a homeschool class once a week. They are doing introductory Physical Science. From my standpoint, this is a social activity as much as science. It does require homework weekly and this is a new experience for him.

Math is daily but we aren't following a particular program right now. MUS provided some review earlier in the fall. Soon we will do Hands-On-Equations and I want us to work on probability which he seems to have missed.

We read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and are now reading Treasure Island. I plan for us to be continually reading some classic. We started Lightening Lit 7 but the formal lessons have fallen by the wayside.

He attends a class with 2 other boys on Monday and Thursday mornings where they discuss NY Times articles. Each brings one article to discuss. The boys have varying interests and so the class tends to have lively discussions on a variety of topics. The mom who leads the group also gives them vocabulary words and makes some informal research assignments, such as find out who Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela are and what they have in common. This too is a big social event for Noach and he has really enjoyed the class.

The new Chaplain's Aide also is supposed to be working on his religious award for Scouts. He should begin that next week. We have to ask someone to be his supervisor. And we have to start going to synagogue more often. Fortunately the new student Rabbi seems to be quite good.

Noach, the aspiring cook, has been cooking some too. I want him to plan, prepare and clean up from one dinner a week. Today he will plan next week's menu so we can shop for the ingredients over the weekend. He has baked 2 cakes from scratch. I purchased a Mixmaster mixer for him because I only have a handheld one and it is old. Maybe he can take a cake decorating class. I'll be looking for one.

So that's what we are doing. I have been blogging very rarely lately. I'll try to do better as if anyone cares. And soon I can blog about Shoshie's college search. And my creating another transcript. PRM


Aliadelaide said...

Just wondering if Beckett would be suitable for my 12yo to view as we are also doing Middle Ages history.Although we are still only in the 900's!
Also any ideas for getting reluctant writers to write! He reads but writing!!

I am enjoying discovering your blog.

Roxanne said...

We live in Virginia and San Diego part time. I was wondering which Temple you recommend here in Virginia? Also since we go back and forth my kids are getting very little Hebrew. Which Modern Hebrew do you use? My son is doing his Bar-Mitzvah in San Diego in March and then we should be back. We are hoping for a trip to Israel this May. We have never been there so if you have recommendations that would be great. Thank You,