I haven’t posted Gohan’s weekly wrap-up in weeks, partly because he hasn’t done a whole lot of exciting things recently and partly due to the whole lack of sleep I posted about yesterday. This week, however, there have been some major changes for Gohan. Gohan loves taking lots of outside classes, so we have belonged to a PPP (parent partnership program) through the public school district for over 4 years. He attended one PPP for 2nd-5th grade, but this year we tried a different one because the old one just wasn’t offering enough classes for middle schoolers. We have enjoyed the new program, though it is one hour away. We’ve had some issues, however, with the teacher’s giving him unsatisfactory progress, due to lack of attendance for things like missing one class for illness. The final straw came when his musical theatre teacher sent a very nasty e-mail to all of the parents and one of the things to come out was that if students missed more than one class all year, they would be given unsatisfactory progress for the entire year! I even wrote the teacher to clarify that I was reading that correctly. Well, neither Gohan and I were okay with that and given that musical theatre is one of his main reasons to attend these programs, we decided to drop the program.
He will be taking some privately run homeschool classes starting in January and he will be continuing to attend the Homezone program at the YMCA (swimming, PE, and art), but he will be taking a lot fewer classes now.
The other big change in Gohan’s homeschooling is that I finally had it with Singapore math asking questions that were never taught. Gohan was doing a chapter review about fractions and decimals. Up to this point, he had studied converting fractions to decimals, ordering fractions and decimals, and the basic four operations with fractions. He came to me during the review, however, saying he didn’t know how to do a problem and no wonder. The problem was “Find the value of 5/m when m equals:”. There were several values for “m” including 1/2 and 1 2/3. What the heck! He was supposed to solve for 5/(1 2/3)! When I taught him how to do it, he was perfectly able to do it, but I have a major issue with a new concept being introduced during a review and I have an even bigger issue with the number of concepts Singapore just throws in without ever teaching. I honestly do not understand why so many people love Singapore.
END RANT! Whew!
Moving on to more positive things. Right now for math, I subscribed to Skills Tutor though the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op and Gohan likes it a lot, though I worry a little that it is not meant to be a full curriculum. My current goal with math is to have him ready to use The Art of Problem Solving’s Introduction to Algebra textbook next year.
I will also need to start science at home again as that as one of the classes he took at the PPP. Quite frankly, that class had so much required homework that Gohan needed help with, it was like I was homeschooling science anyway. I am not going back to Awakening Wonder, however, as Gohan has made his displeasure with that program quite clear. The problem with that program is that though I would have loved it as a kid, Gohan is not me and I should have bought a program that was more suited to his needs. Most importantly, due to his language issues, he needs a program that does not require a lot of reading, even when I read out loud to him.
In other news, for literature we’re reading The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. I haven’t decided if I like this book or not, though I did purchase the sequel already. I’ll get back to you when we finish it.
I also switched Gohan to Skills Tutor for vocabulary, because I found that with Red Hot Root Words, he either knew the word already or I had to explain the word to him, he wasn’t learning any new vocabulary from doing the workbook.
Another major issue to come up with Gohan is that he is literally incapable of summarizing things. For geography, he needed to come up with 2-3 sentences about three animals from North America. He printed out several articles, but when I wouldn’t let him plagiarize, he honestly did not know how to put things into to his own words. It took him about 45 minutes to for each animal! We had to break up the lesson into a multi-day lesson. So, I somehow need to work on this specific skill with him. Once again, this is a direct result of his learning disorders.
Gohan has also been struggling with A Work Book for Dyslexics. The concepts are getting more challenging for him, currently the “ct” sound is proving to be extremely difficult. He also continues to struggle with knowing when to use “ee” or “ea” in words as that seems to be mostly a matter of memorizing the spelling of words.