Monday, September 14, 2015

Who Are You and What Have You Done With My Son?

I've had another one of those moments with my son. Actually, a few of those moments today. Where is my son? lol. The first thing started off with our morning mini-meeting and looking at the planning sheet I'd set up (available here) and he said something about "the other stuff". I said that's what the Misc. section was for and started pencilling some stuff in. And what does he say he wants to have as extras in the afternoon? He wants to learn to draw. Specifically, some sort of anime/manga he saw before going to bed last night and he now, out of the blue, really wants to learn to draw it.

I can't exactly say no! So, we did a bit of research to pinpoint that it was an anime/manga style and he read about some supplies he would need and we made a plan to get some things later.

We had our academic time and finished it off with a Writer's Workshop session. I introduced the T-chart for brainstorming ideas, as well as the Mind Map; I should perhaps have waited for the Mind Map. In any case, we both did our T-charts ("like" on the left, "dislike" on the right) and then I said I'd set the timer for 10 minutes and we could pick any topic and just write, fiction or non-fiction and that it might be a little rough at first, but in time, it'd become more of a habit and most days would be easier. So, we wrote. And he spent the entire time writing. This alone is surprising. He writes slowly, but he spent the entire time writing. The timer went off and I finished off my sentence. He kept writing.

"Do you want to continue?"

"Yes, I just want to finish this." *Mouth mentally drops to the floor while eyebrows go up high*

He spent another few minutes finishing up and said I could read it. It was about how he wants to learn to draw and why. A proper paragraph. Quite well written. From the kid I'm pretty sure has never written a paragraph in his life. Well, maybe one other. And has barely read anything resembling a full-length book in a few years, although did recently start Thunderhead (only because we insisted he read something and that was one of the recommendations and he decided to read it) and did read Lone Survivor last school year. He absorbs--or can absorb--so much. It's crazy. It just sits there in his brain and simmers a while.

But that's not the end of it. No, no.

I went off to teach my French class, got back and found out he hadn't eaten ALL DAY. He's 14. 15 next week. But he just said he wasn't hungry. There is a virus that seems to have hit all of us in its own way. Okay, fine. We ended up eating supper and heading out to Michaels to pick up a few art supplies of his own so he's not borrowing from his sister. We got back home and although he hadn't yet had a turn on the PlayStation 4 or the computer, and he would normally dash right to one of them, especially since it was already 8 pm, he didn't. He was on his iPad last I checked. I think he still is. It's now after 9pm. He certainly isn't actually playing. What has he been doing?

I'm still so... stunned? Not quite the right word. Amazed. Shocked. In awe. Whatever word you want to describe happy disbelief.

He was writing down ideas for a story he'd like to write.

*Insert massive shock to the point of holding breath here*

He has NEVER written a story of his own accord. EVER. He has always resisted writing. I even used to try to get him to tell me stories to write down, but they were always just nonsense things, so I stopped. I didn't see what it was he was getting in his notes on the iPad today, but it was stuff for a story.

Seriously, who is he and what has he done with my son?

He did mention the other day that he was wanting to continue studying astronomy (not part of the credit courses, but I told him we can't just do only the credit courses; it's important to learn the things we want to, too). Perhaps it's a sign of whoever this is and their alien origins? ;)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

First "Week" Done!

Our first "week" of school is done. I say "week" because, well, first of all, there were only 4 days this week. And then on Tuesday, I was gone with my daughter during the day as part of her transition to high school. Wednesday, my son and I looked over things that need to be covered this school year for credits and he did some math. Thursday and Friday, more work done, but then my daughter was home because it's orientation week and her orientation day was on Wednesday.

It's been a strange week.

Add to this, my husband (a teacher) had his first week back and is in the process of packing for a school trip that he, some other teachers and about 80 students are heading on for a couple of weeks. Strange week for him, too.

But it's been a decent week for our first week. It looks like we've already kind of fallen into a pattern of doing academics in the morning and other things in the afternoon. My son's trying to cut corners, of course ;), but it's been pretty good. Next week, it'll be academics in the morning and at least 2 other things in the afternoon, aside from guitar practice. Or perhaps I'll insist on 30 minutes of phys. ed. being done each day and then he picks at least one other thing. Other than guitar practice. That kid has been known to spend 2+ hours straight practising.

But even next week is going to be a different kind of week. I'm starting one French class Monday afternoon; it's a good thing we've already fallen into a "academics in the morning" pattern. I was hoping to get a phys. ed. group going on Tuesday, but I haven't figured anything out yet, so if we do anything, it'll be last-minute. I'm picking up my nieces and nephew after school on Wednesday. Friday, there's a homeschooler Mass and picnic (I think it's a picnic, I should probably check) that I will force my son to. ;) And my daughter will be in school all week for the first time ever.

I am finding, however, that already, there's a feel that things are very focused on what "has to" be done for credits rather than him appreciating the learning. Maybe it'll come as we explore more, or maybe we'll finish the requirements and I'll be able to say, "Just because we're dong the outside requirements doesn't mean we're going to stop learning." I think, though, he is feeling a bit of the "ugh" that we have certain social studies and science topics we have to do rather than just exploring what we would like. I can appreciate that. Hopefully I'll be able to make these requirements as enticing as possible.

Was this your first week back, too? How was your first week, whether it was this week or earlier?