Thursday, August 21, 2008

Schooling in Cycles

Yesterday's fieldtrip was a great start to our year-long study of biology. We do science in four-year cycles (biology, earth science, chemistry, physics), so Jake is getting a more advanced exposure to biology than he did four years ago. I think Jolie and Jensen will both benefit from having an older sibling expose them to more complex materials during each cycle. It works out nicely that my kids are about four years apart in school. Well, actually Jake and Jolie are four years apart in school and Jolie and Jensen are three years apart, but I’m going to keep Jensen on the same “rotation” for school as the other two so that they can all be studying the same thing at the same time. That will sure make my life a little easier.

The cycles seem to be working out thus far, although we are only on day four of our second cycle with Jake. Our four-year cycle of history includes ancients, medieval/early Renaissance, late Renaissance/early modern, and modern times. Jake is remembering most of the information about the Ancients that we did four years ago and is easily making connections with the more advanced material he is studying this year. Specifically, he was reading about Upper and Lower Egypt in his Early Times book and brought up the difference between the two kings’ crowns and how they were combined when Upper and Lower Egypt were united. He told me about the crowns and then pondered on why the two parts of Egypt were originally separate and how the lives of the people were affected by the changes that took place when they rejoined. He is definitely in the Love of Learning phase (Thomas Jefferson Ed.) and the Logic phase (classical education). I am glad that he is making those transitions. It shows he is progressing and maturing.

Don't forget, Jake is has been given the freedom to decide what he will study and when he will study it. He has kept pretty close to his weekly schedule so far this week. He is putting off Latin and GUM Drops (language mechanics), so I may need to find different sources or methods for him to learn those subjects, or just let him pick them back up when/if he becomes interested in them again.

I found a cool book called Woe Is I, Jr. that I need to order. It is a chapter book that goes into all kids of grammar and language mechanics in a story-book format. That is a really good method for Jake. He learns very well from reading printed material. I need to check with my friend about the Latin program she uses. I thought she mentioned it in her blog once, but I couldn't find it last time I searched. He would probably enjoy picking up a book and reading about Latin mechanics and then learning about vocabulary rather than vise versa.

We all learn differently, don't we? I have a great book for that too but Jensen has decided that I'm done blogging for the night by laying on my arm in his attempt to get some "hold you." More on different learning styles later.

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