Good Morning! I had a minute at the keyboard this morning and thought I’d just chat a little and let y’all know what is going on over here at Petra School.
Our big change of pace, is that the boys took their year end tests last week and both of them passed. Oregon requires testing in the 3, 5, 8, and 10th years. 7 years old in September is considered year 1. They are in 6th and 9th grades, taking the 5th and 8th tests. I had not realized that I was dreading the testing, until the night before. The day went well, private testing about an hour south of us. Pretty short test really. It is the time I question if Charlotte Mason is really going to help them with other schooling options, and if changing some of our electives often with The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew is helping them. It’s a pretty short questioning time. . . . Both have been a blessing to our family.
Math: Jon finished Saxon 7/6 and we are never looking back. I can’t say it was all bad, between both boys we did 5/4, 6/5 and 7/6. I am glad for the experience. Teaching Textbooks was still coming out with the younger grades when we were there. Nathan has a couple of more lessons in Math U See Algebra 1. I have ordered Geometry and Zeta for the boys for next year. I am pretty sure we will be a Math U See family for the rest of our schooling.
Artists, Composers and History: We finished up their 6th and 9th grade work with Harmony Fine Arts. We enjoyed walking through the Ancients and exploring the Orchestra. We weaved the Ancients study through our history throughout the year with extra readings. I ordered 7th and 10th Harmony Fine Art curriculum for next year. Looking forward to Watercolors and Clay projects for Jon. Printing book lists and art supply lists to gather throughout the summer. We will be in Late Renaissance to Early Modern Middle School for Jon, and we will call it Industrial World History for Nate.
Writing/English: We are finishing up our Wordsmith with Jon. I really enjoy this program. I have all of the levels and will probably go back and forth with them. Nate has had several writing programs this year with the crew. I think he will continue with Wordsmith for 10th grade and pick back up Power in your Hands by Writing with Sharon Watson in the 11th grade. I just found out I will receive TWSS/SWI Level B, Teaching With Structure and Style / Student Writing Intensive Level B with Excellence in Writing for Jon. We’ll do a jump start on the product for the review in May and June, then may take a break and continue in September. I still have the Write Foundation that worked so well for Nathan, but I am excited for the TWSS portion for myself the most!
Geography: It has been a couple of years since our focus was on Geography. In the early years we focused on learning geography and picked up history as we went along. The past 3 years we have focused on History and picked up Geography. We were able to review Memoria Press Geography 1 for Jon. I am kind of excited. It hasn’t arrived yet, but we will work with it this month and see if it will fit in with our studies next year.
Computers: We are still working on Graphic Design and Computer Programming. Right now Jon is learning animation through a language created by MIT for students called Logos. We are using MicroWorlds EX software. I have a few posts of what he is learning, and a Review on June 10th, so I’ll leave it at that. He will continue on with graphic design I am sure. Nate is conquering the Craigslist world. Constantly researching. Not only the buying and selling, but the values. What might be broken. How to fix a product to resell it. what network he needs to get a product back on the market. He is still at the level of mostly trading, but he can get what someone wants pretty quickly!
Internships: Nate has really enjoyed his experience with the Lincoln City Cultural Center. The Director allowed Nate to work with an amazing Lighting Director. They have worked on a few productions together. He has worked with all aspects of lighting, sound and stage direction. The last production he helped with, the LCCC Director told me, “It is nice to have Nathan here, I don’t have to be involved, I just know it will get done.” He did a full day 3 showing play on his own. He is into sound, on a science level and it challenges him to get to the highest quality sound for the program.
Science: We focused on Biology 101 this year. We have one genetics lesson left. We did end up using their accreditation guide and workbook. If Nate had a question, or missed a problem on the unit test, we’d take the next week to dig into that topic. We completed quite a few labs as well. Jon followed along, and we worked through our Outdoor Hour Challenges as well. Next year, we will order the Chemistry 101. It is a great fit for our family.
Volunteering: We are still pretty involved in the community. We get calls often to help with projects with the Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau as well as the LCCC. They need people to help with the various festivals in town like the Kite Festival, Jambalaya Cook Off, Clam Chowder Cook Off, and a few beach activities. We even got a call to ask if Nate and the truck were available to cut down the town’s Christmas Tree. Ha! Our schedule hasn’t allowed us to work with the Food Bank on a regular basis, but we pitched in a couple of times. I got to work with the Dental Van that comes to town twice and it was a highlight for me. We are involved with our home church – Coast Vineyard with the nursery and what ever they need. Other churches call the boys for help often as well. Nate got to set about 50+ parking lot cement strips into gravel last week. Weird things like that pop up. We’re pretty intense right now with Baseball and Surf Team volunteering.
Fitness: Jon is playing Youth League Baseball on the Majors this year (11-12 yrs old). He has made huge advancements in skill and strength since last year. He has been batting second and third on the line up, playing Short Stop and Outfield. He really likes 3rd Base, But it seems to be the only position that never gets rotated. Maybe one game before the season closes. He is meeting a lot more kids, I’m working concessions between games and Nate enjoys hanging out in town.
We started another season of Surf Club on Sunday. Our first Qual training is on Thursday. I’ll write more about our club as the season goes on. Jon and Nate will likely be life time surfers, and life time Ocean leaners.
We go with the flow with whatever opportunities pop up. We are with the TOS Review Crew through the Summer so we will have more review items. I plan to try to continue next year as well. It is a good fit for us. After a full 8th and 9th grade of learning with a Charlotte Mason style – I am convinced that it will be how we go through High School. We take a more modern approach using her educational philosophy. We’re not exactly what I’d call Classical Education. Still Relaxed and Delight Directed in most areas, and we love to squish learning with Unit Studies when it is available.
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Great stuff. I’ve always wanted to try Harmony Arts Mom’s stuff… One of these days I’ll bite the bullet and just do it. (Actually, I think I may have purchased one of the years somewhere along the line…)
SInce you do Sonlight – I’d think it would be different for you. It is really just our launching point for a weird mixed up unit study. 😉