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I have been very surprised lately by the development of my first son, Ken, for his much better independency in his learning. Well, If you would like to see how we use our curriculum, please peek our previous posting about our Eclectic homeschool method we decide to be classified into. We are considered as an Eclectic with a tendency to Charlotte Mason and Classical homeschooling.
A bit explanation about those term:
According to Simply Charlotte Mason, Charlotte Mason Method is a method of education popular with homeschoolers in which children are taught as whole persons through a wide range of interesting living books, firsthand experiences, and good habits. is a homeschooling method
The classical method is a method that depends on the trivium, which is three stage of mind or academic development. The three stages are: Grammar Stage (approximately year 1-4), Logic Stage (approximately Year 5-8) and Rhetoric Stage (approximately Year 9-12).
According to the stages characteristic, both of my sons should have been categorized into the Logic stage. However, I can say that only Ken who is eligible at that moment. As my previous post said every kid has his or her own progress track. It also happens with my children. Here is a brief explanation I took from Susan Wise Bauer, The Well Trained Mind:
A student is ready for the Logic Stage when the capacity for abstract thought begins to mature. During these years, the student begins algebra and the study of logic, and begins to apply logic to all academic subjects. The logic of writing, for example, includes paragraph construction and learning to support a thesis; the logic of reading involves the criticism and analysis of texts, not simple absorption of information; the logic of history demands that the student find out why the War of 1812 was fought, rather than simply reading its story; the logic of science requires that the child learn the scientific method.
Ken started to be able to construct more structured paragraphs which have both main ideas and a thesis. He always looks for explanation and reasons for statements and information. Ken starts to be able to analyze reasons for characterization, plot and wettings whenever he reads stories.
I wish that I could give a logic study for him. So far we just upgrade his reading and writing into more complicated materials suited with his ability. At the moment, Ken is in the transition period toward Writing With Skill, Level 1: Student Workbook (The Complete Writer). It is great that this book has an Instructor Text which is very helpful for me to handle. He has just done it for a week. On the first four weeks, he is doing a kind of warming up, which has similar pattern with The Complete Writer: Level Four Workbook for Writing with Ease (The Complete Writer), the series we did.
In this Writing With Ease series, instructor or parents are supposed to read some paragraphs from some popular literature reading passage, to help kids get the main ideas of the stories by asking some plot oriented consecutive questions, to have kids writing one to three summarizing sentences based on the questions, and to dictate kids. Continuing Writing With Ease, Writing With Skill, Level 1: Student Workbook (The Complete Writer) urges kids to work independently. It also has longer passages with more complicated vocabulary. The first lesson needed some help, but the next one was much better. Ken just needs some correction in grammatical mistakes, which most of them deal with tenses. I was so surprized for that. It should have been beyond his level.
His problem solving competency has also shown improved as well. He could comprehend more word problems better with clear procedures or steps.
Ken also started to question more about world war and biographical reading that he reads in his free time. Most of the time I cannot answer the questions by myself so that he has to browse to get the answers.
Thank you God for everything. My job is still long to prepare him to the rhetoric stage and to get his brothers to higher stages of learning. However, I still needs a great deal of patience as everybody has different rate of self development.