After a looooong and wonderful summer break (for real!) we started back to school this week. LaJoy Academy now consists of one Freshman (Joshua), one Sophomore (Olesya), two Juniors (Angela and Kenny), and...a recent graduate and new "uncollege" student (Matt).
We are beginning our 9th year of homeschooling, and looking back I can't help but think of the wonderful, deep, introspective, and thought provoking conversations we have had around this very table. There are moments when I am almost near tears in gratitude for the thousands of extra hours we have had as a family to share, to mold, and to shape one another. The truth is, it is totally a two way street and I have been molded and shaped as mightily as I know the kids have been.
Homeschooling is NOT for everyone, but it surely has been marvelous for us. Our family is what it is in large part due to the ideas we have been free to explore that would never have been allowed in public education. Faith in all its forms has been widely discussed, politics and culture have been delved into in depth, and so much more! I seriously love our school days, and will very much miss them when we move on. I suspect, though, that Sunday meals and daily breakfasts might include an awful lot of what we talk about now, it is sort of who we are these days.
This year will include social psychology, personal finance, World History 2, English/Writing, Art for Angela and Olesya, Film Making for Joshua, various levels of math for Kenny and Joshua while the girls will work on remedial math as part of personal finance, economics, Volleyball, Russian and Drivers Ed for Angela (and Driver's Ed for Matt) and whatever else we cram in. Each of our subjects is quite rigorous, while still taking into account the variety of learning disabilities and memory challenges we have at the table...or giftedness in some areas. As usual, Socratic style questioning, debate, and written work will be expected to be at a high level, while certain key areas for individual learners will have allowances made.
Matt is starting his year out strong, and we are calling it "uncollege" as Dominick and I have offered to let Matt craft his own post-high school years. After a lot of serious consideration, Matt decided to pursue tech learning on his own, and to create a schedule that includes all he wants to learn. He is genuinely thrilled and grateful to be allowed this opportunity to deeply learn what he wants.
Because we keep being asked what we mean by "He is staying home and continuing his education at a higher level, studying computer science courses and more" I will share his year ahead as we drew it up, to give folks an idea of what a young man will do who is working outside the system...if that young man loves to learn:
Self-Directed Learning Track
Professional Development (360 hours)
· COMP-TIA Linux+ 23 hours+Testing+Virtual Labs
· COMP-TIA Network+ 75 hours+Testing+Virtual Labs
· COMP-TIA Security+ 26 hours+Testing+Virtual Labs
· Web site design, SEO, imacro , HTML/CSS (Courses to be determined)
· Programming Code Academy/Projects
Project Based Learning Design/build 8 bit computer
(You Tube videos from Computer Scientist Ben Eater)
· Basic Computer Architecture Udemy
Business Development (240 hours)
International Economic Institutions: The Great Courses
Globalism versus Nationalism
· Economics The Great Courses
· Calculus 1 and Lambda Calculus Textbook, Thinkwell
· Learning Statistics: Great Courses
Concepts and Applications in R
Personal Development (240 hours)
· Personal Finance Starline Press
· Middle East History The 1000 Year War
Modern Man in Search of a Soul C. Jung
Demons: A Novel in Three Parts Dostoevsky
The Gatekeepers: How the White House
Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency Chris Whipple
· Flight lessons beginning 9/7/17 CAP Pilots
*Minimum of 40 hours in air plus flight test and written test
The most important things learned this year, though, and every year, are character, kindness, a giving heart, teamwork, and helping others. That may sound corny, but for us, it is real, it is powerful, and it is what makes a life of meaning. Without it, all the rest is window dressing and worthless.
So, we are off! A great first week, lots of school work greeted with tons of enthusiasm and diligence! A teacher couldn't ask for more!