Friday, August 01, 2014

Homeschool and real-school update

Kids have busy. As usual. I take that as a sign they are becoming "independent learners" and "self-directed" and all those good educational phrases.

In maths, they have been tackling solving quadratic equations by factorisation and have now been exposed to the wonders of the Quadratic Formula. Can any of you recite it by heart (even if you no longer can remember what it's for)?? Bonus homeschool points for you if you can!

Usagi watches on...

I have no idea why they are doing their working out on serviettes.
We do have paper at home.

We are doing chemistry in science. Looking at the periodic table, learning about elements and ions (more bonus homeschool points if you know the difference) and ionic compounds. I do have worksheets which show how the different valencies combine together in compounds.

But the kids didn't have that, because I was at work. So Wombat Girl made her own. I'm am busting with pride at the self-directed, student-centred, independence of this girl!

Usagi (Japanese for rabbit) was the time-keeper for the ICAS exam in English this week. We got our results back for Computer Skills - Wombat Girl got a credit, and Video Boy got a Distinction!!! So proud!

Lots of Japanese too (written and verbal). I need to order the next workbook!

They've also been busy with English (Journeys in Time and Dear Diary), Geography (investigating the place geography of Australia's neighbours) and History (all the -ims - capitalism, socialism, egalitarianism, nationism, imperialism, Darwinism and chartism).

And, because you wouldn't want to be bored, word puzzles on the phone and mazes.

Which brings us to the big discussion topic. School. Actual bricks and mortar real school.

Video Boy bravely told me (because he was a bit worried I might not be receptive) that he would like to give school a try. He wants to be ready for university. He wants to talk to someone else apart from Wombat Girl. He wants to do practical activities in an actual science lab. He wants the opportunity to do things they get to do in school (robotics, chess competitions, careers days etc).

I totally get where he is coming from, both from a social and academic sense. Our "homeschool" may be ticking boxes, but it is definitely not quite the way it was a couple of years ago. Despite my best efforts, I agree that they may be missing out. I want them to be ready for uni too.

I'm a bit excited that a lot of pressure may be lifted from my shoulders and I can just send them off every day for someone else to look after the schoolwork side of things. I'm not looking forward to early mornings and homework, school lunches, assemblies and freaking permission notes.

On the plus side, the senior college system in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is one of the reasons we moved here. I'm hopeful it will provide what the kids need.

Wombat Girl is a little more anxious at the prospect, but I think (just between you and me), she really needs more socially and cognitively than she is getting at the moment.

And so, I am researching real-school options. I have high standards and I don't want to just chuck 'em in anywhere. I am hopeful we may have found a good solution - I will let you know in due course.

So it seems we may Defy Gravity in new and exciting ways. I'm still anxious about it all - I probably always will be. I do know that we have other options if the school thing doesn't live up to expectations. That makes me feel better. Usagi will have to stay at home though...

Quick - recite the quadratic formula!
What is the different between an atom and an ion?
What's your favourite "ism"?
Even gone from homeschooling back to the school system? Tell me good things!


  1. Ingi
    Is VB old enough for Senior College? One of our local hs mums is moving back to the ACT next year and her daughter is going to Senior College (first time ever at school) and I said to her the other day it would be amazing if her daughter ended up at the same college as VB!

    1. VB (and WG) would be going into Yr 10 - a couple of the colleges have Yr 10 in College programs for mathematically and scientifically gifted kids! They did say that apparently a homeschooled child is also looking at this program, so at least my two won't the only "weirdos" there!

  2. As you know, D started last year and had a stellar year. And he'd never had the brick and mortar experience before. I gave P the choice and he's decided to stay home one more year. He'll be joining his brother next year at the high school. Your children will do wonderfully. D found he's so far ahead of many of the other kids. He scratches his head at how much better adjusted he is than the kids who've been in the system all these years.

    1. Thank you Jane! You don't know how much that means to me that their "cousins" overseas are doing so well in school. I think they will be pleasantly surprised at how far they are ahead too. Sure, they may have missed out on some practical things, but we've done pretty well.

  3. Wow, Ingi - your family had undergone a lot of changes lately! I am excited to read about how the kids do with this transition, and do not doubt that your extraordinary kids will be extraordinary no matter where there are.

    1. We certainly have, Deb. But it was time. Looking forward to continuing to be extraordinary (so modest! Bahahaha!)

  4. I have been loving reading about all the changes that have been happening round your way. (And waiting for the inspiration to leave a clever comment. But I'm off on holiday tomorrow and having that flurry of efficiency one gets just before so I'm afraid you're getting me as I am.)

    I still get the wobbles at the thought of quadratic equations but I can't wait to revisit them and maybe even actually understand what they are for when my kids get to them.

    You don't need me to tell you this but for what it's worth it's obvious you have done an amazing job getting your kids to where they are now. How fabulous that your son is asking for a new challenge. Just one request - pleeeeease keep blogging, won't you?! The internet just wouldn't be the same without you.

    BTW I nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger award. Don't worry you don't have to do anything (unless you want to). Just wanted you to know. :-)

    1. Of course I will keep blogging! My challenge to myself is to blog once a week. I have two blogs and once a week on both is my goal. You'd better share cruise photos too, though! And thank you for the award - it's given me blog-fodder!


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