Monday, February 1, 2016

A New Year and Its Already February!

"Is today February?" asked the young man at breakfast this morning. When I answered, "yes, it is," a huge smile spread across his face. Yes, dear, we have entered the birthday month. And a milestone, at that. This one brings a teenager along with it. Hooray for February! And Lord help us. :)

We are wrapping up his first hockey season, which has been long and very busy. But the kid is enjoying every minute of it, so that's what we do. He is on the ice at least 4 times a week, and sometimes 5. Whew! It has been quite an experience. And now as the season is winding down, he is getting ready for baseball. So goes the life of an athlete.

I wish I could say school has been as exciting. Staying focused on subjects he's not interested in has been our biggest challenge. There are some days I'm not sure we will live through English. And then there is Math. That continues to be a challenge. He wants very much to be working more independently, but his challenges with these subjects are not helping him move that direction. By December I decided something had to give.

So,in January we began trying out The Hyper-Active Homeschool Journal from The Thinking Tree. We started out using it one day a week. He liked it so well, I asked if he'd like to use it every day, and record his Texas History and zoology studies in the journal. He said 'yes' and that is what we are doing now. He is also working through the Multiplication Games journal to help solidify those facts.

I was not willing to toss our English work out the window, so we are still doing that. But having the independent time seems to help so the English time isn't quite so unpleasant. He is actually working well with the materials, except for the constant self-distraction (squirrel!). It is funny we don't have that when he is working on science or history. We are still using Life of Fred for math, but had to stop the Fractions book and go back to the Intermediate series. That is why we are working through Multiplication Games. Slow and steady, and repeat, seems to be the order of the day when it comes to math.

So, these Thinking Tree journals, Wow! I am very excited about this way of doing school and am re-planning for next year. The journals have lots of different types of pages: some to write or draw about what you are learning from books and videos, some to write down personal goals, some for copywork, logic games to improve thinking and concentration (Amen to that one!), and so much more.

This year he is using the journals with his current studies; although I have dropped some of the extras we were doing for now. But next year will be a mix of some assigned studies by me, and some self-directed studies. I'm still working on that. But I will post more as I get that figured out. The journals have been a breath of fresh air and made our school time less of a chore. I am thankful, once again, for how God brings just the right resource to meet a need at just the right time.

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