Monday, October 13, 2008

Week 3 Update - Cole's Home School Rocks

When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply, "Ours."
Vine Deloria, Jr.

Cole and I have been immersed in our respective every day activities for the past three weeks. He has been diligently studying math, spelling, and language arts in a somewhat traditional fashion, and I've been plugging away at my desk as usual. The other subjects Cole is studying - science, social studies, music, art, computer, and more are being learned in a less structured manner.

After a tremendous amount of research, I concluded the "unschooling" method of child education combined with a more Classical approach would best serve Cole's personality. "Unschooling" is a child-led, interest-oriented method. "Classical" refers to the Greek trivium, which addresses subjects in three different phases - grammar, logic, and rhetoric - based on the child's age.

However, for the time being, Cole enjoys having a daily schedule - albeit super flexible. He's passionate about accomplishing his daily tasks, so we're on board. The beauty of home schooling is we can adjust our methods as Cole grows & matures intellectually and emotionally.

In addition to the three Rs, we (and I mean WE) are studying the history of Albert Einstein and studying his concepts. Cole is fascinated with astronomy, and he and I thought this would be a good way to get started. I love hearing the "hey, he sounds just like me!" comments as Cole reads through young Einstein's experiences with traditional education, and I can honestly say I've not had a discussion on relativity with any other 10 year old I know. What parent doesn't love to compare their child with a genius?! LOL.

With the upcoming Presidential Election, Cole and I are studying American History, tracking the campaign conventions and debates on a wall poster, and having discussions on how the campaign ads are changing as the Election nears. Cole is an Obama supporter, and if McCain wins, he wants to move to Canada. : ) Can't say I blame the kid.

Cole is also working on family interviews and attempting to put together a family biography. He's sent off his questions to family members and is currently working on the publication's cover art.

Of course, this just skims the surface of the things Cole has had his nose in lately. Without the restriction of the Reading Counts program and others, he is reading books, newspapers, and magazines like mad. Fiction, auto mags, science and technology mags, encyclopedia, maps, biographies, and on and on and on. It is wonderful!

The kiddo also started drum lessons a couple of weeks ago. ka-BAM!!

We begin our study of Columbus Day tomorrow, and with Cole's Ojibwa and Coushatta background, we'll be delving into a more Native view of the "discovery" of America.

Regarding socialization (as it seems to be a concern among 90% of folks who learn of our new endeavor), Cole continues to hang with his friends after they get out of school and on the weekends. He had a slumber party this weekend and is preparing for his Halloween Birthday Bash.

In summary, so far - so good! We are having a great time, and we are LEARNING!

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