When Mouse and Buggle were younger, I schooled them as if they were twins for the most part. Last year it became clear that they needed to move away from each other in pursuits and expectations both in academics and in life in general! Boys and girls just mature differently and when you throw in their particular learning quirks and differences in interests they really need a year or two to do things on their own!
Since I don’t really want to teach five separate versions of everything every day- I’ve combined Mouse and Bull in some subjects and Bull and Buggle in others so that each has about an hour of work that they are the only student for and the rest is done with someone else (sometimes with the older child teaching the younger as they learn together).
Form 2A- Bull
Bull is 8.5 this year, and is moving into more and more independent learning with me just providing a framework and help as needed. He is capable of incredible focus and diligence but is somewhat lacking in confidence, so we are working on being willing to try something before wailing about it. He still has some trouble with speech and articulation but Memory work and recitation is helping with that quite a bit.
On His Shelf:
I organized the children’s books on individual shelves this year, with the older children being able to read anything on the younger children’s shelves as “free reads” and no one reading above their own shelf.
Bull’s shelves have a mix of history, natural history, and free reads:
Looking at Ancient History – R. J. Unstead
Ancient Construction- Michael and Mary Woods
Famous Men of Greece
Famous Men of Rome- Both from Greenleaf Press
A Picture History of Ancient Rome- Richard Erdoes
In Foreign Lands- Beth Hughson and Oda Gostick
Life in the Ancient World- Bart Winer
Nature and Science:
The Secret Life of the Forest- Richard M. Ketchum
A Picture Book of Nature- Samuel Nisenson
Rocks and Dirt – Ellen McHenry
The Story of Soil- Dorothy Holmes Allen
The House of Sixty Fathers- Meindert DeJong
The Hittite Warrior- Joanne Williamson
The Aeneid for Boys and Girls- Alfred Church
The Adventures of Odysseus and The Tale of Troy
The Golden Fleece- both by Padraic Collum
Theras and His Town- Caroline Dale Snedecker
Herodotus and the Road to History- Jeanne Bendick
Catechism and Religious Education
Baltimore Catechism No 1- He is doing about 1 chapter every 2 weeks, so there is plenty of time to memorize as well as read and answer the study questions.
Two Lives of Saints:
Saint Anthanasius- F. A. Forbes
Augustine- The Farmer’s Boy of Tagaste- P. De Zeeuw
and in order to help him understand the Mass more fully:
The Saints Who Pray With Us in The Mass- Archbishop Amleto Cicognani
Latin is the last third or so of Song School Latin 2. He should finish that around Christmas as well and will begin Latin for Children Book A.
Music is covered by a piano lesson at co-op and singing during Morning Time. That is a very hard subject for him, since his ear is not terribly developed, but he enjoys singing and is gradually becoming more tuneful!
Memory is done for 15 minutes every day. This year I have given him a collection of poems like Jabberwocky which appeal to his sense of humor and fun and are fairly short as he does better with a quick payoff for the effort.
At this point in his school career, he does most of his lessons on his own, with the exception of math where he needs some encouragement in confidence and occasionally an actual explanation of a concept. Latin also requires a fair bit of input from me as he hasn’t quite gotten his mind around the how of learning a language and gets frustrated quickly. I spend about 30 minutes with him on those two subjects and then another 15-20 during the history block to listen to his narrations and give dictations.
Finally, he is taking Geology at co-op (I’m teaching using Ellen McHenry’s Rocks and Dirt which I highly recommend). He’s also taking a geography class based on the Holling C. Holling book, Seabird.
Altogether his learning this year is full of interests and creativity as well as the foundational work that will set him up for new interests and creative endeavors in future years.
Mouse is my Form 2B student but as this post is already quite long, I think I’ll have to publish a Part B!