Homeschool Week One

We've got week one in the books. A couple of things surprised me: 

Teens respect the manual. I mean who knew? The IG giving the workload is a lot more legit than Mom (who in his mind- randomly assigning a ton of busy work) That's fine with me, BookShark takes the wheel on this.

We both learned some things. I love when that happens. People always question homeschooling and how you can teach what you don't know. Have you ever read a book and then tell your spouse or a neighbor what you learned? It's just like that only you share in that discovery moment with your child. It's pretty great.

We are studying China for the first six weeks, and so I expected all the information to be new to him. I didn't even realize how much I didn't know. Duh- right? Still, it was an exciting week delving into the history of one of the world's most massive civilizations.

The week started with a fast trip through the Dynasty system. We filled out a timeline of who's who and what's what. I expect we'll get back to some of them as the 5 or 6 weeks go on.

By day three I was shocked at how recently much of their culture started changing. Mostly within the last 100 years, a typical citizen of China is leading an entirely different cultural life than their ancestors, And yes, I know you could say that about the States and Europe to some extent.

I'm adding in Crash Course videos as needed. I know that John Green is very "john green." But these videos are a great way to wrap up our week. This one covers most of what we studied this week. It has some high school level content- so not for younger kids doing this core. You can start at 6:42 to hear about Confucius.

We read Li Lun Lad of Courage by Carolyn Treffinger. It's a Newberry winner from 1948. Bookshark has it as a reader, and I can see why. It's clunky as a read aloud. We enjoyed it even as I stumbled over some tongue twisty passages. I may end up switching some of the read-aloud books back in if we experience that again. I'm not sure if we'll read all of the readers and read aloud books and I know that the readers are integrated with LA, so I made them the priority. We'll see how it goes with Mulan and reevaluate.


Surprising rabbit trails:  Tiananmen Square and China's role in WW2. We got interrupted a bunch and ended up stealing some time for LA to finish googling things.  



What would I change?

I don't have to change anything, so that's awesome. If time allows I want to do two additional readings during each Country (not each week).

If we have time I'd like to add some nonfiction sources to the textbook included. I may see if I can match up some of the Kingfisher pages to what we're reading.

I'd also add in Material World and Hungry Planet so that we get a bigger more current picture of life in these countries.

In non-Book Shark subjects, we continued our quick review of Math after skipping most of the Summer. I'm planning on taking 6-7 weeks on a review of multiplication, division, and fractions before moving on. Spelling went fine, and we're back to an italics workbook for handwriting.