December 15, 2011

End of the Year

One of the big differences of homeschooling from from the traditional kind is that the calendar is so much more flexible. With two moves in one year, Casia hasn't held to the traditional school year and so we picked up in September in subjects she hadn't completed the previous school year. Now that the calendar year is approaching its end, I thought it would be good to finish up her current courses in math and science and start something new in January. The rest of the topics we'll just continue as planned.

Casia's nearing the end of her Algebra course and Biology as well. I decided that it would be good to finish these up before our break for two reasons. We'll be switching gears to Geometry in math and physical sciences and I need time to plan (I'll get almost a week over break) and she can have a sense of completion on topics that she started almost a year and a half ago, as well as giving her something new to look forward to when we resume school next year. 

In math, it means she has to spend almost double the time each day to get in the extra work, but's she's willingly doing it because she loves geometry and can't wait to move on to that. In science, we've completed all the lessons I'd planned, but I realized that Casia wasn't retaining the science vocabulary, so she's going back and reviewing the whole course for a cumulative final. 

Casia was not a happy camper when I first explained that I was going to test her on everything she'd learned this past year and a half in science. Admittedly, it would have been better had she known going into the course, but it didn't occur to me that she'd forget so much and it would be necessary. Usually her memory is exceptional, but apparently, science terms don't make the same impact on her as say, Magic: The Gathering cards or Doctor Who episodes. I noticed that in Spanish she isn't picking up the vocabulary as quickly as I'd expected either. Since I know she is so much smarter than I am, and these tend to be easy for me, I figured they be a piece of cake for her, but it's definitely not her strong suit. It's always good to identify weaknesses as well as strengths!

I explained to her that if she studies the terms again for the final, it will make it that much stronger a connection in her brain and she's not as likely to forget them in the future. It's her first time having to really study, which, considering she's in middle school, is a good experience in itself. I know it took until college before I really had to work hard on learning (*cough* organic chemistry *cough*). I am glad I get to provide that experience to Casia at an age where the stakes are lower and the shock won't be as severe.