Project activities start up again next Monday (we run an art school downstairs, seven months a year for about 70 kids), which means that our homeschool load will lessen significantly with Lu participating four half-days weekly of dance, arts&crafts, circus arts, theater, and singing.
Our school year is divided up between light homeschool months with project activities, and heavier homeschool months without.
Given that we take a month and a half off for homeschool vacation time, I have 3.5 months a year to teach new concepts and really sink our teeth into researching and Unit Studies.
Lu's been helping make an educational board game for the project. It's a life-size Chutes & Ladders (or Snakes & Ladders) type game, so the participants move and stand directly on the board.
I've been worried that we won't have another "project-free" month until September/October, and have been cramming stuff into our schedule to get it all in before the chaos begins.
I imagine there are lots of homeschoolers who break their year up like this for different reasons like travel, seasonal work, short-term projects, farming, touring...
* * * * * * * * *
We've been using this Awesome Anatomy Site.
As part of our unit on Ancient Rome,
we studied the life of Jesus Christ
and the history of Christianity.
It was pretty intense.
We read from our book about religions,
and Lu took graphic notes along the way.
We also watched National Geographic's "Jesus, the Man"
We had a heavy conversation about capital punishment, and Lu wanted to know what types still exist around the world today. I didn't want him to see photos of stonings and hangings, so I did the research alone and then answered his questions. I could see a spectrum of feelings come over his face - confusion, fear, horror, pain, sadness, and then rage. "How could they do those terrible things?" and "If they had to kill them, couldn't they have done it painlessly at least?"
And of course there were questions about what I - mama - thought about everything they say about Jesus. "Could it be true that he came back from the dead?" and "Do you believe that an angel really talked to Jesus' mom?"
I want him to know the story behind the beliefs of the 30-something percent of the people sharing the planet with him, and not just my version of it. I try to be unbiased, and precede any personal beliefs with, "This is what I have a tendency towards believing, but it doesn't mean it's a truth...". Nevertheless, he's quick as a whip to question and even scoff at certain parts of the story that are incompatible with what he already believes about the physical world through his exposure to science.
So we also talked about respect, and appreciating the beauty in all the different religions, even if we don't agree with them. I do also try to cultivate a distrust of scientific dogma.
Lu made a final poster today.
And then flopped down with a big TGIF sigh.
It's been a long week.