Today I'm sharing a few homeschooling thoughts on my mind as a way to update you on our year so far.
First, thank you Diane for suggesting the following books recently, I just ordered them:
These looked especially appealing because my sister and I took the kids to Art Prize the other day (one of the entries is pictured here) and while I've never been one to ‘appreciate art', I now wonder what has been wrong with my brain all these years that I've missed such beauty!
I don't want my kids to grow up missing it like I did until a few years ago.
Art Prize has done this for many people, it's a HOT event here in Grand Rapids and brings people from all over. I'll probably have to do another post on it soon because I love it too much not to tell you and show you more. Yeah, it's not really food related, but neither is this post!
The main reason I'm posting today, though, has nothing to do with books or art. It has to do with what a dingbat I continue to be and how I'm TRYING to get better…
I know that all of you, my super helpful reader friends, keep telling me to CHILL THE HECK OUT about homeschooling, but as I've told you, last year felt TOO loosy goosy for me (although we still did a lot, but were very weak in writing), so this year we bought a curriculum. While it's really nice knowing that those who are much smarter than I am have figured out exactly what our kids should be learning at this age, it's really tough getting through everything some days. So much so that in the beginning I couldn't figure out how to even have time out of our day to hit a daily Mass or to take a day off for the beach, etc.
But that flexibility is one of the main reasons I wanted to homeschool in the first place!
Add to that how the kids were feeling overwhelmed, too, and because of that, driving me freaking CRAZY (teasing and distracting each other or just plain not doing their work), it wasn't a good start to the school year. It felt like when I was little and playing school with my friends and one of the neighborhood boys wouldn't play right. One day I was a sobbing mess because our 14 year old would not do anything! I thought, “What else can I do but put him back in school?! He can't lay around all day doing nothing! If I can't motivate him, I guess that's what has to be done…”
But my heart literally ached at the thought of it.
That night he and I had a heart-to-heart and he said that he just needs motivation. Makes sense right? We all need that, that's why we have things called, ‘paychecks'. He had been grounded from the dumb video games for being a terd earlier that week, so he had no motivation. I finally told him that if he'd work well the next day, he could have some time again, and guess what? It was a great day. I guess I found what works, but still, it seemed like a lot for us to get through each day.
So then I talked to a couple friends, other homeschooling moms, Anne & Jann. They reminded me of some crucial points, which my brain needs to hear over and over!
- “Even in ‘regular school' teachers don't get through every single thing in the curriculum and they have things that throw off their day.” (One of my friends said something that made me feel much better: “I'd be embarrassed if you knew how much we DON'T get done in a day!”)
- “YOU are the teacher, YOU decide what is important and what you can just touch on lightly or skip all together!”
- “Instead of teaching each child each subject separately, teach using the oldest's material to save time!“
- “Just because you paid $900 for this curriculum doesn't mean you should drive everyone crazy making sure every single thing is checked off the list.”
So although it's been a bumpy start to our year, we're getting into the groove more as we go along. Like Jann said, “You felt too loosy goosy last year, and this year you've gone too far in the other direction, so now you have to find a good middle ground.”
However, as usual with me, there are still things I need help figuring out:
1. As I said, I know I need to chill out more, and I'm MUCH better, but I do still want them to get through this curriculum because it's really good stuff! And also, I don't want them to get TOO used to me saying, “OK, we can skip this…” or “We can do this orally instead of in writing…”, because how do I know this won't create a lazy mentality in them? An attitude of, “Oh, I can fuss a little and get out of this…”???
2. I'm curious how others handle video game time??
3. Where do you keep all the papers and books at your house? We're being overrun! I use a lot of storage baskets, but do you have any more tips?!
This post from my online friend, Avivah, about finding time to do it all, helped take the pressure off more, too. She tells about how a normal day looks for her, and she homeschools MANY more kids we do! One thing that has been really different this year is that I've been sleeping on Kent's schedule of 9:00 pm (ish) until 5:00 am. That's been wild for this stay up 'til 3:00 am-to-get-it-all-done kind of gal, but now I work in the mornings 'til it's time to get the kids up and if I'm not done, I'm not done. I don't get through all I could or should, but I'm getting more sleep and it's working out somehow.
The benefits continue to be worth the work!
I still LOVE not yelling them out the door every morning, not having them go off with someone else for 8 hours every day to learn only what someone else deems important, and then yelling them through homework and into bed. And as I said, this curriculum is great, I love the stuff they're learning. But some days it feels like SUCH a sacrifice when my WHOLE day is taken up with schooling, breaking up arguments, trying to keep them on task, feeling like my nerves are frazzled (I'll take more FCLO for that!) and often not having a moment to get dressed until noon, but I also know deep in my heart that sacrifice can bear great fruit, and nothing worthwhile is easy.
Thanks for continuing to share your encouragement with me along the way!
Oops! Here’s the link: homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com
Kelly, You absolutely must follow this homeschooling blog, this lady knocks it out of the park and even when I don’t agree with her I ALWAYS love the discussion she generates. Incredible on so many levels. The comment section of her posts are as good as her writing. She makes me love homeschooling so much more! Hope you enjoy it too!
Anastasia @ eco-babyz says
As your reader I knew you homeschool, but I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and struggles. I’m also a blogger, we’re a ‘real food’ family, and we homeschool. My kids are still little, so it’s easy right now. But I shudder at the thought of what regular moms go through every day. I would hate for life to revolve around school! Getting them up in the morning, everyone being cranky because you’re supposed to wake naturally, not by an alarm, rushed breakfasts, packing lunches, and not seeing your kids for most of the day. Yikes! I’m just not cut out for something like that! I hated school, okay, I really disliked it.
I struggle finding enough one-on-one time with kids each day and running 3 businesses from home (blog, photography, and social media management). I’ve also recently switched to working mornings instead of night time and it’s been great! It’s not easier, but I feel more refreshed when I get that 10pm to 12am stretch.
As of now we’re veering toward unschooling because it seems to be the only approach that my almost 5 year old doesn’t push away. She’s the kind that will not do anything if forced. Taking it one step at a time 🙂
I love essential oils; they help the body and brain in every way possible. I do use only one brand. The names listed below are from Young living.
Here is an experience from a woman, Nancy Weber, RN, CCA, CAAI
“A 15-year-old girl had issues with concentration and this affected her testing scores. When deciding which oils could help her, we settled on: one drop of Clarity, one drop of frankincense, and one drop of Brain Power™ once a day on the back of her neck up the spine and into the soft spot between the first cervical vertebrae and the skull. We also suggested diffusing Clarity while studying. Within 30 days she was seeing marked improvements in her test scores.
For those of us who simply want to grow in our understanding or release our difficulties in learning, think of the following:
Pick a subject you are not familiar with, yet curious about. Whether it is drawing or history or hiking, it is all to heighten your life experience. Biologically our brains become more active when we seek greater challenges.
Start diffusing Clarity daily for at least a half hour twice a day.
Apply Clarity on the back of your neck up the spine and into the soft spot between the first cervical vertebrae and the skull.
Apply Brain Power on your temples.
Apply frankincense on your hairline (real or imagined it still works).
Enter into your journey assured that you have an amazing trio of helpers. Now relax and discover how these blessed essential oils assist us in every aspect of our lives.”
Dr. David Stewart says that cedarwood clears the brain and improves the thinking process.
Another impressive study showed an older non-reader after applying Sacred Frankincense daily was able to read after about 30 days.
Lemon and peppermint have helped some people. Ylan Ylang, too.
Many times, learning struggles are emotional in nature. Actually, most illnesses and diseases have a foundation in emotions. So, it is important to address the emotions, too. Essential oils are wonderful for that, since the only sense that bypasses the prefrontal cortex and goes directly to the emotion center of the brain is the sense of smell.
Many individual oils fit that need, but some blends do wonders also. They may have interesting names, but the names are accurate for the need.
I am thinking, Kelly, that since you mentioned motivation is a (perceived) problem for your son, that the oil blend Motivation would be a good one to start with! Here is one person’s (Alexandra Andrews) experience:
“I put a little behind my ears and waited. I was thinking this is silly. Then, before I knew it, I started doing all the laundry and filled the dish washer and cleaned and straighten then went to the grocery store then did some work on the computer and so on…at the end of the day I had accomplished more then I thought I would in one day. Then I remembered I put that Motivation behind my ears LOL. I had forgotten. Since then when ever I use Motivation I not only get a lot done but I feel good doing it.”
Valor would be another good one.
I had an issue and someone suggested that I use Into the Future. Weird, weird. But I decided to try it. 1 drop on my throat once a day for 2 days, and my issue was gone. Couldn’t believe it. I had to reapply a few times over the next 2 weeks, but I haven’t in several months now. Amazing!
This is just a start! What I have learned about essential oils is – use them, use them, use them.
P.S. There are some wonderful essential oils to diffuse or rub on your children that will enhance their learning.
We all moms started off homeschooling like it was a public school in our home. Stop. Neither adults nor children are little robots. Life happens. Questions and curiosity are important parts of humanity.
Did you know that aviation existed long before the 1900s? Yes, even in the Colonial times. Think da Vinci (long before Colonial times!), hot air balloons, kites, pigeon carriers, etc. Get him going on that.
According to A Thomas Jefferson Education (there are some gems in this book, but not everything is accurate), children need to come off the factory school mentality, just like Mom does. For some, it takes longer. Your son can become motivated, but not by an arbitrary schedule. Why must “school” be in the morning? Why stop thinking when school is “over”? I provided my children with the material, but I let them schedule their day, with this requirement. They had to have everything finished before they went to bed (at the designated time). If they didn’t, they lost their free time the next day until they had all caught up. Didn’t take them long to figure out how to get it all done quickly.
None of your children will ever learn everything there is to learn before they turn 18 years old, but most important is for them to learn how to think, and why. That is really all you are doing with them – exciting them to learn all that God has created and all about his creations (including man and man’s actions).
I really like the approach to learning from Foundation for American Christian Education. They show how all subjects and learning are biblical. It put a wonderful sense of nobility to the subjects and to the children.
My last child “graduated” from home school about 6 years ago. I still miss it terribly; my heart aches to homeschool. That is what you want. I was well skilled professionally – RN and a degree in Spanish, but MY education began when I homeschooled my kids. Then I learned, really learned; in fact many people consider me “smart,” or “intelligent.” Nope, just a homeschool mom.
Embrace it, love your children. They are children of God (like you); go to Him. He knows them well.
For thousands of years, moms have been teaching their children. Successfully.
Tonya Scarborough says
The book, “A Thomas Jefferson Education” changed my whole homeschooling world when I read it. It’s not about a curriculum, but rather a philosophy based on what a traditional education has looked like throughout history. Classics vs. textbooks, mentors vs. teachers, scheduling learning time vs. content, etc. I highly recommend reading it. It rocked my world as much as learning about Weston Price.
One of the main things that we learn from this book is about the problem with self-motivation in modern education. We are obsessed with the idea that our kids need to be on a certain track that aligns with the school system, so that they get into college. Yet, in reality, that track is failing much of our society. In the younger ages, learning should be fun and not required, and then, around the teen years, kids start to get in touch with their interests and mission in life, which motivates them to hours of study to propel them in the direction of their interest. One easy and practical way that you can encourage this is by instituting a learning time in your household, for example, mine is from 10am-2pm each weekday. During this time the kids get to choose their activities, as long as it involves learning. If they don’t even want to learn, they can do chores and learn a good work ethic at least. Adults serve as guides and inspiration. You want them to read Shakespeare? You read Shakespeare. Maybe they will want to listen to it on audio as a family while they do drawing or something else that they like.
I have found that when I treat school hours this way, my young kids are eager to submit themselves to a little of what we think of as traditional school – math, writing, etc. They really only need to spend a few minutes per day on things like that in order to learn it in the younger years. Whereas, when they get older, they crave direction and will spend hours doing the thing they love. I see a danger in using rewards for education, because then kids never learn that learning is its own reward. A big problem for kids who have just come out of the school system is they have always been forced to learn. They need to relearn what education means to them. I see a bigger problem with kids who make it through the college system, and never get in touch with the meaning in their own life, with morals and ethics, with their purpose on earth, with financial responsibility, than I see with someone who doesn’t get any college degree or diploma, but knows what they like, what they’re good at, and how to use their talents to help others and be a positive force in the world. And the reality is that many people end up going to trade school anyhow. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But, if they’ve gone through the school system, they have wasted many hours simply being indoctrinated, being forced to focus on things that don’t serve them whatsoever, and learning that they are “less than”.
That’s why every kid needs someone to recognize who they are as a person, and what’s important in life, and to help them in reaching their goals. I see that as my job as a homeschooling Mom. All of that gets lost in the school system, except on rare occasion. If a child is only motivated to play video games, then I think that’s step #1 – to reclaim self-motivation to learn. And I don’t mean any shame towards anyone in saying that. I see it in my own kids. They would rather watch T.V. or play video games, especially my boy. But the only thing that has a chance of competing with that, is to help them find what drives them. Sticking to set curricula is often the enemy of that, unless it’s what they want to accomplish.
Briefly, in the book they describe phases of learning (and I’m just paraphrasing to the best of my knowledge and memory). In the first phase children learn morals, good vs. bad, their place in the family and world. In the second phase they learn to love learning, trying out a huge variety of subjects without force, to explore their interests. In the next phase they are ready to submit themselves to structure from a mentor in order to study something in depth. I think that when a kid comes out of the school system, they need time to go back and learn to love learning, no matter how old they are. And only then will they be ready to submit themselves to serious study.
I hope that can be helpful! You might even want to keep the curriculum, but just use it as a loose guide and not make them do every single thing.
You could not be more right. nI remember wanting to do things just right and then one day it dawned on me what am I doing? I was trying to teach them like the schools do. sit them down with paper and books and be their Teacher. The very thing I took them away from. Look at all the things kids teach their self before the age of five. Learn to be a relaxed home schooler and I think you will be amazed by how much kids learn. I don’t know if you have ever heard of Sudbury valley school, if you get a chance look it up. It is not a home school but its pretty amazing they play a lot they learn while free ;
1. Do they already know how to do what is in front of them? If so, have them skip it or have them just do one problem as a review before moving on.
2. In our house, video games do not get turned on until school is done. Attitude also has to be decent or they lose the chance for that day to earn video games.
3. We use a bookshelf for books. One shelf per child. Papers get put into their notebooks or clipboards. These are kept in baskets or on the shelf depending. I don’t keep everything for the year. Just samples of their work for their portfolio. I’ve known many who scan the work so they at least have a copy of it all.
My mother-in-law regularly said, “If a rose is in a wheat field the rose is a weed.” I take a similar approach with curriculum. Doesn’t mean the curriculum isn’t good but that it is not where I want it to be. Therefore it gets tossed, set aside for a different time, or becomes a supplemental item that we do IF we have time to do so.
Kelly, Try this forum out: welltrainedmind.com, click forums
It is for classical home educators, but all homeschoolers are on there. I would post the specific frustrations of your curriculum (and put the curriculum in the title) to get input. That forum got me through the high school years (and I wish I had found it for earlier years). Some are “rigorous” classical educators, really rigorous, but you will recognize it, just take opinions that help you.
Hope your week goes better! One thing that has helped me is the impartial timer. we used that for many applications. Unlike me, it never loses track of time. and it doesn’t extend itself when frustration levels increase.
Hope this helps.
talk to you soon,
Oooooh, I like that idea!
we also had a friend whose son was a night owl, so she would get him started and he did his work more independently. That worked for them at his age and personality. As far as I know he graduated as a homeschooler and that is how he did his work for many years.
I homeschool an unmotivated 14yo boy also–and I’ll tell you what is starting to turn things around for us somewhat is me actually sitting down to work with him. Revolutionary, I know. After years of doing the nagging/threatening/curriculum hopping/modifying schedule/removing privileges thing–all to no avail–I finally realized that it’s simply HARD for him to sit down by himself and face that schoolwork. NO amount of motivation/threats of punishment make it any more possible for him. It looks like an insurmountable mountain to him, every time. (And yes, I tried all the tricks that people who don’t know what it’s like to have a truly unmotivated student always recommend–modify/lighten the workload, tie it into something he’s interested in, look for the time of day when he’s most productive, check for learning disabilities, etc. etc.)
Now what I do is I assign him a couple things to do in the morning hours that he doesn’t find so terrible–the easy subjects, plus his instrument practice, while I work with his younger sister. Then after lunch he and I sit down together and tackle the harder subjects. Sometimes it’s no more than me sitting and actually reading aloud to him his algebra problems that does the trick to get him going (he’s more of an auditory learner, I discovered somewhere along the way). Sometimes I need to read the whole lesson aloud and do some of the problems with him and then watch while he does the rest. Now, finally, these lessons are getting done, he’s learning, and we’re spending more time together (it’s amazing to me how with all my years of homeschooling, I can look at periods where I actually didn’t spend much time with my children–especially the ones that do work well independently. We have to watch that time before it slips away and they’re grown and gone…)
I resisted doing this for a long time because I worried he’d never learn to work independently (what, am I going to go to his job with him when he’s an adult and tell him how to do it, I worried???). But that’s really a ridiculous fear. Going to a job contains its own motivations, and is very different from a homeschool setting for a teenager, where it’s HARD to be self-motivated for some of them. There’s nothing wrong with a little hand-holding to help them develop the habit of actually working through a textbook and getting the job done, albeit slowly.
You’re dead-on with our situation. There are times that Kent freaks out thinking he’s being so ‘lazy’ (and I have the same worry now and then), but I had to explain to him (and remember myself) that sometimes he gets overwhelmed or stuck and is just *paralyzed*. So that’s worked for us, too, to just sit right down with him. But this is why I don’t get ANY other stuff done all day, and that’s where that sacrifice comes in again and again!
Brittany @ The Pistachio Project says
I was homeschooled from 4th- 12th and am now homeschooling my kids (on our 3rd year) so I feel like I sort of know what I’m doing but we still skip over stuff that I realize isn’t that important and we all have our days when nobody wants to do school. My kids currently do not work on their own and I’m divvying out work so they don’t have the opportunity to slack off or not do work. Right now motivation is not an issue for us because it’s just a rule that you do school and the kids do not realize that they could not if they chose to (again, they are too young to really do that anyway..seems to be an issue only if the kids are self-sufficient.) Can’t give you much help there. I was motivated enough as a kid in the sense that I’m a rule follower so I knew that I just needed to do my school each day. My brothers were a different case. They had the standard privileges taken away from them. Seemed to work out ok although I’m sure it could have gone better. Some people just seem to be amazing at motivating others…I don’t think I’m one of those people…so I’ll probably have issues when my kids hit this stage.
As for video games, we all our kids to play them. The kids get a set amount of time each day (1 hr..total..currently they play together) but if my kids are disobedient, don’t take their nap/quiet time, etc then no games. It’s not something they just get to do every day, it’s a privilege and it can be taken away…that said, as I’m typing this I think I like the idea of it being a privilege to earn and so they’d have to behave, do school, etc each day and if that day went well then they could play…hmm might have to make that change.
As for storage, we don’t need much right now but I can let you know what my parents did for me. Each kid had their own desk station. We each had a drawer/cabinet for our school books, pencils, etc. We each had a binder that had tab dividers for each of our subjects and when we were done with a paper or worksheet, we punched holes in it and into the binder it went (we also had our week’s lesson plan in the front of the binder). When the year was over my mom would empty out our binders and store the paperwork bundles in a box for that year. (there were four of us so she just bundled each child’s work and labeled it and then all four bundles were stored in that year’s box.) I hope that makes sense.
Hang in there. You are doing great. Learning your homeschool groove takes time.
I homeschooled our daughter all 12 years and I will say without hesitation, “I’d do it all over again!” There were days when it was hard, but overall we both learned — learned from each other, learned together — and it was such a bonding experience. As I speak with other parents who sent their kids to school, I find myself realizing over and over again how valuable that time was. We often talk about certain homeschooling projects, field trips, etc. that were memorable — good times.
You mentioned that your child needed some motivation. How insightful. As you know, the older they get, the more they can do on their own. I would encourage you to give them their assignment and a time of the day when it needs to be done — and if it’s done on time and completed as assigned, provide a reward. But let it be something that encourages imagination, time with friends, etc.
As far as skipping some of the curriculum, this happens in the school system too. The teachers cannot possibly cover everything. I did this a lot with Math — I’d assign the odd (or even) numbered problems. And if she got them right, then she could move on to her next assignment. If your child masters a certain instruction or level, move on. No need to stay put….this solves the problem with boredom too. As they get older, being more independent is a reward for them —
Just keep in mind that learning should be fun. It should be enjoyable. If they sense you’re stressed, they won’t enjoy learning. You need to be having fun too. I know when our child took American History, we found the most amazing DVDs from Drive-thru History and we learned as a family. There was also a series on TV that is now available on DVD called, “John Adams”. It was amazing. It was so good that I bought the series for my parents (who are in their 80s) and they loved it so much, they couldn’t wait to put in the next disc. That’s how learning should be.
Our kids can teach us so much — another idea is allowing them to take the lesson plan and using their ideas to teach it to you and the other kids. This will show you their primary method of learning as well, which can be very helpful.
One day at a time — sometimes one hour at a time. But enjoy it — this time you will never get back and what a gift it is to share this time of learning with them. I can assure you you will look back one day and be thankful for making such a sacrifice. I know I did.
I’ve learned, especially in math, that we don’t need to do EVERY problem on EVERY page. If they know enough to get five problems perfect on a new topic, that’s enough. If not, then they need more practice. Same goes for English work too.
Above all, take a deep breath and know that they’re better off at home:)
You’re voicing all the frustrations and fears of every homeschool mom who has ever lived. And you’re right — homeschooling IS a sacrifice. But it’s a sacrifice that, when all is said and done, almost every homeschooling parent would say that they would do again. The end results are SO worth it, for your children and for your family. (My three homeschooled children are adults now.)
I’m going to say something that is totally controversial and I’ll probably get pulverized by your readers for saying it — but from my personal experience, video games are a totally worthless past time and they lead to many, many problems. They seem to be especially negative for boys. In our family, video games were a constant source of conflict with my son (but not my daughters); he still struggles with limiting his video game playing as an adult. Recently, I’ve seen my daughter struggle with the same conflicts with her 5-year-old son (!). She finally cut his media time (ALL media) to almost zero, and has seen tremendous improvements in her son’s behavior.
When I taught 4th grade Sunday School several years ago, the boys in the class could not stop talking about what level they had reached in their video games.
If I had it to do over — I would forbid video games of all kinds in my home. I know this sounds draconian, but it’s just my opinion.
We do not home school (though I myself was home schooled through all 12 grades) but our family have no video games or cable, and watch virtually no television. Our kids will have old fashioned movie nights and an occasional computer game on the weekends. As I type this the 10 and 8 year old boys are playing with their 4 year old sister, building forts in the living room and pretending they are baby cheetahs! Check out the book, “Boys Adrift” by Leonard Sax if you need more reason to ditch the video games!
Oh believe me, I would love nothing more than to cut video games, even if the only ones we allow aren’t bad (things like Minecraft or his flight simulator game), but it does seem to draw them in more and more toward being addicted. 🙁
Maybe we could say ‘only on weekends’ or something like that, but that’s all that got him motivated so far and I’m really scared that my days would be hell again…
Home schooling can be a challenge and I think we all have doubts.
Have you, though, thought about also letting your kids find something they are interested in and studying that?
I think it’s important to remember that the “smart” people who figured out what a child needs to know at a certain age are just people who made up some artificial bench marks. Kids learn at different paces, and that’s the wonderful thing about home schooling. Maybe your kid would be more motivated (beyond getting his video game back) if he was doing something he really liked. What does he like (besides video games) and if that’s all he likes, why not find some kid’s books on programming video games? He would be reading and doing some critical thinking, way more than what many students do in school. And maybe he would find a passion along the way????
Have you seen this video on schools? Ken Robinson is great and it really gets to the heart of our problems with the education system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
You are doing a good job! Keep up the good work.
He absolutely positively is an aviation fanatic, THAT also motivates him.
But how does that translate into say, the Colonial Times paper he’s writing? What about his earth science work or grammar? If I was better at this stuff, I could figure out how to make more connections to aviation for him, and then you’re right, motivating him would be easier.
(Thanks for your help!)
Kelly p.s. I’ll check out that video when I have more time later.
Well, and I guess this is a little where the unschooling theory comes in, but he can get a lot out of aviation. There is a whole history to study. If he’s reading about the history of that time period, then he is getting history, maybe not colonial yet, but who says a certain kid at a certain age needs colonial history. Why can’t that wait until later?
And yes, grammar can be studied. He’s reading right? (Hey, wouldn’t that be great if he read more because he had a subject he liked to read?) So why not connect the grammar to what he’s reading? If he’s studying parts of speech, he can take sentences from what he’s reading and mark the parts of speech. If he’s studying sentence types, he can look at his reading for sentence types. You get the point. Or maybe you just spend on hour on a little grammar workbook? But what a great compromise–you study what you want and for an hour (or 1/2 hour a day) we do grammar!
What would happen if he spent a whole day reading about aviation? Wouldn’t that still be learning. Then maybe the other stuff could be put in, like colonial history, but honestly, education is more about critical thinking. I teach college and that is the problem the students have. They might now a few facts here and there, but they don’t think critically because they have had to learn, memorize facts, without really thinking about what they have learned. And honestly, I’m an educated person, and I don’t know much about colonial history!
So I just looked up the history of aviation, and it goes back to 400 BC! He can read about it. You don’t need to be the expert. Also, depending on what he’s interested in, he might get into the engineering part which also deals with math. And I’m sure there is some science in there too.
Why not do an experiment and let him do whatever he wants with aviation for a couple of weeks. Take him to the library and check out books. Let him go online. Have him write a paper about what he has learned. Ask him to take a part of the history of aviation and read about what other major events were happening at that time. Trust that if you guide him, he might find a whole new joy for education. That’s what school should be about.
That video is basically about how our current education system came into existence and what it has become. It’s not pretty. Good luck. And if you need help with the grammar/writing part, let me know.
Good ideas, you’ve got my wheels turning, thank you!