Big Brother’s School


It is that time of year again, time to assess what did and didn’t work this last school year as we decide what to do with our year ahead. According to our yearly proof of progress, which we do by a CAT test, Big Brother just completed 2nd grade. At our house, however, we give little thought to grade and recognize that Big Brother’s capabilities are not all the same grade level. He remains a math/science type and while he loves to read, the language arts aren’t his strong suit. I can relate. So, he has taken lots of science classes this year and we do just enough language arts to get by.

I have to say, once again, we started the fall staying very busy and scheduled more like a classical homeschool then by spring the beautiful weather and planting time lead to an unschool that involved building a fence, planting a garden and building a treehouse. We are now back to one of my favorite times of the year, summer after the 4th of July. This sweet place I look forward to after our regular “school” commitments and Violin Camp are over. We are reading lots and limiting our commitments. We are also playing catch up on things we didn’t complete over the “school year” such as our third year with “Story of the World” that we didn’t even get half way through and Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding that took a back seat to all the science classes Big Brother has been taking.

Did I mention, our favorite part of this past “school” year was our new Friday co-op. I’ve been teaching (this last semester on the Biome’s of the Earth) and Big Brother has been taking classes. Cisco has joined us and really enjoyed all the toddler toys in the nursery in the church our co-op meets.

Our big fail for this past school year was leaving our wonderful Suzuki Violin teacher for a traditional violin teacher. It was something we had to do not only financially but I also felt we were in a place we needed to re-prioritize as Big Brother gets older and his interests diversify. I clearly acted too hasty in the selection of a new teacher as I was burnt out with all the Suzuki method required of me as a parent. The teacher, however, did not pay attention to detail. I didn’t realize the extent of the issue until I attended our end of the year recital after being with her 5 months. The kids were all playing there newest pieces depending on the music, loosing there places and over all not doing well. She did little to prepare Big Brother and accompanied him for the first time the lessons right before the recital. It was not the way to teach a child not to be nervous in front of an audience. Mommy fail. We have now gone back to Suzuki and are so excited about our new teacher that not only teaches the traditional Suzuki method but also has opportunities to learn fiddle and rock styles on the violin from other experts.  I’m hoping it is the balance we seek.

For our core subjects, we also continued with Primary Language Lessons (PLL) and Math on the Level (MOTL). I plan to continue with both thos coming year but change things up a little. I’d like to add some ideas I learned from the Brave Writer creator at the VaHomeschool Fair in March and get more consistent with copywork but find interesting and fun copywork to do. I’d also like to find more time to do activities from the MOTL activity book which I failed to do this year.

Not sure if I’ll really add much new in the fall but tweak what we have to increase our enthusiasm and keep it exciting. I do hope to do better in creating a learning space for both the boys that gives them a rich learning environment that they guide.

Sewing a army knife holder for grampa.

Your Reply