Monday, September 27, 2010

Connor's journal entries

I've had multiple family requests for Connor's "blog" (his illustrated journal) to be posted here. So here you go, two fresh entries! The latter, on volcanoes, was composed just today.

We learned about two kinds of lava, one called "Pahoehoe" and another called "aa." Connor cracked up. He's been saying "aa" all day. He was fairly amused that the Romans had separate gods for everything. I think he found the concept rather excessive. I happened to have a miniature statue of Vulcan from the Birmingham attraction. Connor laughed at his bare butt. Apparently, volcanoes and Roman gods are hilarious. They really are.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Homeschool cool

Some good stuff about Connor:
  • "Pre-homeschool" is going great. We have signed up with an online program called, which offers a fantastic curriculum of basic subjects (math, science, language arts, and something they refer to as "language arts extension," which is basically everything else, with loose connections to reading and grammar.). Connor spends literally hours on it if I allow him to. I've even had to cut him off and tell him no when he asks to do it on Sat. and Sun. I love how organized the whole thing is; it tracks his lessons, logs the time he spends on each subject, records his quiz scores, and even takes attendance. He's pretty much self-propelled on the whole thing, although I require that he check with me before he moves on to a new lesson, and he's not allowed to take a quiz without me there. He has access to three levels, essentially. His determined grade level (right now it's 2nd grade), the one below and the one above. I can "promote" him whenever I feel he's ready. I'd like to move him up in Language Arts, but I'm not going to do that until he's more confident with his math.
  • The past few days (really since we started the online curriculum) have yielded fewer tantrums, fewer wetting accidents, and better concentration at school. I won't say we're a perfect score. I won't even say it's a permanent improvement. I will say that he's trying. We had a long chat last week after a particularly hard day and he revealed to me how frustrated he was with school. He's basically been enduring the same curriculum (with minor adjustments at each level) for the past three years. He's had it. "Mom, I want to be learning about volcanoes and amphibians and weather and stuff," he said. Knowing he'd probably develop this opinion was my main objection to having him repeat pre-k. So we went in search of a happy compromise. It looks like we may have found it. I am seeing improvements in his concentration (he's been dutifully working away at a complex paint-by-numbers project I gave him over the weekend) and task-completion efforts (preschool take-home papers have all come home finished so far this week! And today at home he wrote his first "essay" on tornadoes!).
We have a long journey ahead of us still. I'm aware of that. But I am encouraged. Further testing is scheduled, and maybe that'll give us an even deeper understanding. More to come.

Now I need to get busy blogging about Miss Mimi the Magnificent! What's she up to these days? Among other things, she's my model for my "line" of boutique hairbows. I'm going to see if these things sell, and maybe I'll start a second blog, just for boutique nonsense! Oh now I'm just getting crazy.