Seventh grade! Parks always boggles my mind. I think I am finally starting to figure out his learning. He is able to bust out school work in the first semester and then he needs more hands-on and practical school work in the second semester.
The main theme for Parks this year was the Middle Ages and Wish, Wonder, Surprise. He does not enjoy doing the Waldorfy art and main lesson book any more, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up on the themes all together as I find that the themes are so appropriate for the developmental stage. Thus, I weaved them in.
We tried a class through out school on the Middle Ages. It was ok. He didn’t love it. I didn’t love it. It was too much like school, and we homeschool so that we can do things differently. You watched a powerpoint presentation that was narrated by the teacher, answered some questions, took a quiz and did some discussion via a web bulletin board. It was very impersonal. It did give the background to the books we read, but it wasn’t engaging.
So here we go. Parks read Along the River and learned about China during the Middle Ages. He read Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali to go along with the Middle Ages in Africa. He read the Ways of the Samuri to go along with the Middle Ages in Japan. Lastly, he read Sweet Ladies, Good Masters to go along with Middle Ages in Europe. He also read the Alchemist and Outsiders to go along with his Wish, Wonder, Surprise block.
In math, Parks use the key to series, math u see, and the Life of Fred series to work on fractions, decimals and percents.
He also worked on writing using the IEW’s Middle Ages book. I love these books because they incorporate vocabulary, writing, note-taking and grammar all in one program.
I really wanted Parks to do a woodworking block and everything I planned went awry. Then I found Roarockit– a skateboard building kit. Parks has made one longboard and is working on another now. He also started making fingerboards and fingerboard parks. In order to make these, he is learning all about woodworking. You would think that by the third kid, I would know that I need to think outside the box sometimes! I forgot, but luckily it all worked out beautifully.
In addition to school, Parks continued snowboarding, sailing and skateboarding this year. He works really hard to learn new skills and spends a lot of time researching and practicing. His goal for this year was to snowboard in Colorado. Well, it sort of happened. As we ended up driving home from our ski trip to Utah, we drove through Colorado. The ski slopes were closed out there, but Parks climbed up a hill and snowboarded down at one of the rest stops! He was hilarious. Goal accomplished.