Monday, July 27, 2009

Back into the swing of things

So, back here already. I was hoping O would make the right choice. School seems to have the worst effect on him. He just got himself convinced that he is stupid, that he was far behind and doomed to failure.

So, now we're 100% sure we're hsing, O is already bouncing back to his old self. He's currently playing an online text adventure game of Hamlet, amusing himself with trying to kill anachronous plot elements. We also did some Wiki-surfing, discovering to both our delights that the text that Shakespeare based Hamlet on was writing by Saxo Grammaticus, the hand's down possesor of the greatest name in history, at least in the history of Danish chroniclers. Seriously, does that not sound that best, most pretentious heavy metal band or what?

Down to business, a bit, I managed to get O to make a few decisions on curriculum. We'll be sticking with Math-U-See, and he even wants to get the honours book to go along with it. Tells a lot about why O hasn't succeeded well at school that he got excited over "more word problems."

Along with MUS, we'll be rejoining History Odyssey, that I picked up for O in grade 9, but we never got very far with then. Ancients is still not turning his crank, largely because there's not enough military and economic history in it for him (hint #2 that O is not really suitable for a public education, lol), but he's really excited about Middle Ages, quote from him when I read through the outline for him "Those are all the cool Empires!" He's especially looking forward to doing work on the Mughal Empire, and the assignment on tracking the spread of the Black Death with known trade routes of the time. He loves that kind of stuff.

This spring, while he was not doing photocopied worksheets of character studies and reading short stories written solely for high school english anthologies, what he was doing was reading everything he could on Swine Flu, and tracking media coverage of the flu against death rates and GDP's. You know. For fun. (hint #3, lol.)

So O seems happier than he's been for ages, he's getting out of the house, hanging out with friends, helping out around the house, reading, programming, and debating (everything, with anyone, online or IRL, who will debate back.) I was pretty worried about him for a while there, but so glad to have him back now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Return

I may be back here after all.  This school year has been an unmitigated disaster.  The enthusiastic young teacher lasted all of one month before being fired.  The self-directed program has devolved into worksheets and workshops.  I warned ds before the program started that it`s not likely to stay as free and self-directed as it was presented for very long, bureaucrats get very, very nervous with anything new or different, but even I was surprised with how quickly it got crappy.  

Ds says he`s 97% sure he wants to hs again this coming year.  I`m just crossing my fingers against the other 3%.