E12 still does not love school. I have not given up hope that she ever will love school, but I'm awfully close.
She is so bright!
She is so talented!
She is so exciting!
I was about to write that I pray for her to love learning and see her talents, but I realized as I wrote that I haven't been praying for her about these concerns . . . and I think I shall begin this year.
She sure reads! She loves fantasies, but she's also been working on some more challenging material from The Well-Trained Mind 7th grade reading list. She understands what she reads and can converse intelligently when engaged. She still tries to back off from literary conversation with, "I dunno. That's just what I think." But when pressed she can give concrete examples from the books to back up her opinion.
We participated in NaNoWriMo this year; though our illness in November prevented us from completing our goals. I've promised the girls that if they finish their books by the end of January I'll have them printed and bound for them. E12 seems to be working on her book--though Christmas etc. has rather gotten in the way of recent progress. When she reads excerpts aloud I am delighted by her voice. She's got style!
She's nearly done with Life of Fred: Elementary Series and seems to be learning the concepts taught. She refuses to memorize the times tables, but I've given her a chart that she refers to, and when that becomes too cumbersome I imagine she'll take action. I was about to purchase the Fractions and Decimals and Percents books for her when she asked me for a return to more traditional math books. I reminded her of our epic failures at anything remotely resembling traditional math, but she says she's sure that she'd like a traditional approach so that she can hone her basic skills . . . it just occurs to me as I write that perhaps that multiplication chart is cumbersome and this is how she's taking action. Serendipitously, a friend just gave us 4 Saxon math textbooks, and after looking over the 5/4 book I'm sure she could complete that independently. If she likes it I'll have to find a 6/5 book because that one is missing from the series we were given!
We tried to follow The Well-Trained Mind history plan for 7th grade--what a bust! It just about killed the love of history for us both. We decided to drop it in favor of having her read and journal The Story of the World volume 3 on her own and supplement with interesting history books as we find them.
We're nearly done with Chemistry. It's been fun. We used Christian Kids Explore Chemstry (I picked up a cheap used copy). It really is geared toward younger children, but I used it as a base for organizing our learning and supplemented with library books. We're also still participating in Explorer's Club and going on nature outings. E12 always seems to be disengaged as we explore or do experiments, but then she shows me fabulous nature sketches or can recite verbatim the results of our experiments. I'm slowly learning not to push her to look involved but trust that she is (though my progress is slow!).
I'm thoroughly impressed and satisfied with Visual Latin for my E12. It is a perfect fit. The subject matter is getting harder right about now, so she's starting to be frustrated, but she can translate quite well, and my favorite part is that she's constantly recognizing Latin roots in our daily speech and happily shares her knowledge with the rest of us.
Geography and Logic:
Both of these have fallen by the way. We used Mapping the World by Heart--I have no intention of picking it back up for my eldest girl. I foolishly thought that the drawing part would engage her brain, but she hates drawing and the work was excruciating for her. We're just keeping a map of the world up on the wall and talking about countries, cities, and places as they come up in our reading/listening/learning.
I do plan to pick up Logic again . . . somehow. It was interesting stuff, and I think E12 was getting more out of it than she would admit.
I worked hard to break down the goals into smaller bites for my work-phobic girl. I printed out the plans and put them in a darling binder. And it worked . . . for about a month! Suddenly she didn't need my plans, and she just works straight out of the Personal Progress book. And it doesn't hurt that she was able to buy a tablet with her babysitting money, so now she completes her goals using her favorite new tool. :)
We're nearly done. We fell out of the daily habit because of holiday schedules, but we're going to pick back up with our reading, discussing, and journaling. I was going to go on to the New Testament, but with the church schedule beginning church history, I'm awfully tempted to go that route instead . . . still thinking about this one.
E12 is starting guitar lessons this month!
We're making changes this year. We need to prepare our house to sell, so formal school is going to take a back seat to home repairs and interior decorating. E12 will need to keep up with Personal Progress, Math, Latin, and finishing her book. As a family we'll have our Old Testament "classes," and she'll have guitar lessons. Other than that she'll be required to complete a couple of pages of one of those all-in-one workbooks that you can buy at Sam's Club or Wal-Mart (a 6th grade one was in that box of books that my friend gave me). Though she's 7th grade age, the material will be simple enough to not frustrate her and will probably fill in some of the gaps that have been left by our eclectic way of doing things.
Once the house is ready we'll pick up Chemistry, History, Logic, and interesting Language Arts lessons again.