I was tempted to start school next Monday because Monday is such a round, whole number of a day to start something, but the boys’ brains are fried from too many screens, games, flashing lights, and annoying sounds. Since their brains were fried, so were their attitudes.
So we returned to school today at the crack of 9:30 a.m.
With the new semester comes a new routine. My goals are to streamline their curriculum into unit studies, connect lessons with lots of overlapping, and get them on the computer more. I know, I know – the computer is a screen, BUT there are worthy programs online that serve as companion pieces to what we’re doing book-wise. I’ve unearthed usernames and passwords to math and vocabulary websites, and I’ve vowed to use Khan Academy on a daily basis. To assist with French, both boys have a Duolingo account. Jackson is very excited to start dabbling in a second language.
Their schedule at the co-op will be the same as last semester, but I’m adding a second class to my duties. In addition to teaching Literature and Creative Writing, I’m taking over a composition class for middle grades. The ultimate challenge is to find the fun in writing papers. I welcome your tips and suggestions!
The last aspect of our spring semester that is still in the works is relevant civics. One could argue that all civics lessons are relevant, whether they are history lessons or analysis of current events, but I’m looking specifically at teaching the three branches of government, the Constitution, and our basic rights as a people. After watching the dumpster fire that was the 2016 election, I want to make sure the boys understand that the United States is a Republic, or representative democracy, not a pure democracy, as so many voters were unaware. I want them to understand the language of government, the process of it, and why their own participation will be a worthy effort when they’re of age. Jeremy is in a Mock Congress class at the co-op, so he’s already experienced the frustration of writing a bill and having it be rejected and rewritten multiple times.
My goal is to have this curriculum in place by the inauguration. Speaking of, I’m doing my own studies in preparation for a Trump presidency, but more on that later.