Monday, March 27, 2017

Sharing What We Learn With Our Community

We read a few pages of this book together every day.

Sometimes there are activities.

Lu's been facilitating origami workshops with the children 
who come to our after-school arts and recreation program.

One day, they saw some of the drawings in Lu's notebook.
They are very much inspired by what we've read in
"The Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe"

 They asked him to give a class on this style of drawing.
We didn't have enough compasses and Sharpies,
so Lu raised the money by selling cupcakes and pie
at the local community market.

He bought a dozen compasses and a dozen sharpies,
and they got to work on some awesome mandalas!

 Being able to homeschool my child is a privilege,
as was my own private-school education,
so we see sharing what we learn as a very welcome obligation.

Good job, Lu!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Random Cool Stuff My 8th Grader Does

Drawing stuff:

Lu's really getting into his dot-work.

Some of the designs are inspired by 
we're reading this year.

It's all about seeing geometry in everything.

Here he learned how to make Borromean Rings -

Guitar stuff:

The guitar is a big part of Lu's life. 
He plays every day. Draws guitars. 
Sells baked goods to save up and buy more guitars.  
His room is full of guitars. 

He's a little guitar crazy :)

Ed has been Lu's guitar teacher for 3 years now.

Computer stuff:
 And here is Lu doing something very complicated with his computer. 
Installing or rebooting or hard-driving or something like that. 
I would tell you more, but I understand no-thing about it.

So, besides the Portuguese explorers, and the linear inequalities, and the ionic bonds we've been studying, there's also all this cool stuff that sometimes isn't even on the schedule. It's the magical stuff that happens when there's time to explore and listen to what calls you. 
I love seeing Lu find and follow these interests.

Friday, January 20, 2017

First Week of School, 2017

8th grade, here we come!

May this year be more successful than this selfie 
we tried to take with the chihuahua.

It's been an awesome week and our schedule has a nice flow.

Lu takes the goats out to pasture 3xweek. He's out there for 3 hours, so he takes an assignment with him. "Cambalacha" is the afterschool program we run from our home, where Lu will be acting more as a facilitator than a participant. I started the program when he was a few months old, so he's been a part of it his whole life. It will be beautiful to watch him come into the role of "tallerista". On Wednesdays we'll go out for some yoga, ping-pong, kayaking and lots of swimming. "Free Time" is for Lu to go hang out downtown with his skateboard *if* all Mon-Wed schoolwork is done. Anything incomplete from Thursday or Friday will get done on Saturdays. This system helps keep the motivation high for getting the job done!

But what about having the freedom to take as long as you like on something if it's interesting? Well, we've done that too, but Lu needs to work on turning things in on time - an important skill in life. This involves being realistic about how much time you have to do something, planning how you're going to do it in that amount of time (again, realistically), and doing the best you can in the time you have. So, that's what we're working on this year. I *do* imagine us going back to a more time-relaxed way of learning, with lots of lounge-y reading and discussing. But then again, there are goats and chickens and jobs to be done, and only so many hours in the day....

 Most of what we're doing this year requires me to read ahead 
and prepare discussion questions. So, lots of homework for mama.

For algebra, we're continuing with our resource 
from last year - Great Courses, videos and workbook.

For the next couple weeks, 
Lu is participating in self-defense classes.

Cooking and guitar continue to be his main passions.
He'll be apprenticing at a French bakery/restaurant on Saturdays,
and practicing at home (yum!).

Our schedule is a guide, flexible, not written in stone. Activities are changeable, but we *are* trying to do 5.5 hours of school a day over fewer days (990 hours in 38 weeks vs. fewer hours/day over 40 weeks), for longer vacations, because, as much as we love homeschooling... ... ... we REALLY like vacations 😄

Having this as a clear goal that we both agree on, as well as the "Free Time" agreement, is already proving to be very positive for maintaining good attitudes in a headstrong teenager and a not-the-most-patient mother 😉

We are both enjoying the resources we are using (score!) and all the physical exercise we're getting. Lu is excited to start facilitating workshops. Our little farm is producing lots of awesome, organic food. Life is good. 💚 And these new emojis on blogger are fun 😜 Lol.

Hope you're having a great start to your year, 
and thanks for stopping by!