So my main focus is split into two themes:
1) more time interacting with me while learning
2) getting him confident and skillful in reading, writing, and math
After much thought, I settled on Sonlight’s Core W as our main work for the year. We are secular and Canadian, so this is pretty much our only choice for the upper-level programs. There’s a very serious literature program that would work for secular non-Americans, too, but way beyond what we can use right now.
Core W is world history, with scads of fantastic novels set in all sorts of interesting places and times. Some of the read alouds I did with Sandra when she was younger and I’m happy to be exploring them with Tias.
The reading in Sonlight is heavy. Too heavy for Tias right now. We’ve done two things to address this. 1) We bought the full 5-day program but are splitting it into two years. 2) I’m assigning him only the chapter books and reading everything else aloud to him. It’s working well. He has gone from finding it hard going to finding it reasonable. As the year goes I hope to be able to add a bit more to his plate, but as long as he’s learning I don’t mind reading aloud. It gives us lots of time together, after all.
We have already been doing the “Key to Math” series to bring Tias up to level. Since these workbooks are topic-based, they have two strengths for us: he can go through them as quickly or slowly as each idea needs because they go from the easiest concepts through more sophisticated applications; they’re not graded and make no assumptions about what you’ve already done. These factors mean that he doesn’t feel dumb as he is presented with ideas that in a traditional school would have been covered with younger kids.
This year we are doing the Algebra series. I hope to be able to go through them before the end of the year and then transition him over to the Teaching Textbooks course. We’ll start with Algebra 1, which will hopefully cover much of the same material, giving him confidence as he switches to the the program. He will probably be required to do it over the summer as we are trying to get him through all of high school math in the next few years.
A program I discovered this summer and am happy to tell you about: Friendly Chemistry. I wish I’d known it was out there with Sandra as I wasn’t particularly happy with the method we went with. This is a great course so far.
Fine Arts: Dance (hip hop)
German: Rosetta Stone
With Sandra and my father, he’ll do a comparative religion course from the Great Courses company.