Back to Homeschool: Student Interviews

Our homeschool years have similarities but every year things change, too. For one thing, all my students get older. (Oh, and I get older too…)

Here’s a look at our homeschool students and plans for this school year:

homeschool student sophomore year

Student #1

Age: will be 15 in December
Grade level: Sophomore (10th grade)
Favorite subject: History
Least favorite: Algebra II
Favorite thing about homeschooling: Getting to do school on my bed (and other comfy places)
Mad skills in: reading, being in charge
Looking forward to: the co-op play, getting braces off
Strengths: self-motivated, disciplined, fantastic vocabulary, actually enjoys studying, works hard
Weaknesses: perfectionist, trouble with spelling, bossy, not always patient with younger siblings (or parents)
Favorite book: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, science fiction books (mostly Star Wars related), very fond of audiobooks for classic novels
You can find her: curled up with a book, volunteering at the library, helping with chores
Plans for when she’s grown-up: Considering studying library science and becoming a librarian
homeschool student seventh grade

Student #2

Age: will be 12 next week
Grade level: mostly 7th grade
Favorite subject: History
Least favorite: Algebra 1/2
Favorite thing about homeschooling: How much free time we have and getting to sleep in
Mad skills in: writing, baby-watching
Looking forward to: learning more skills in gym class
Strengths: creative writing, organizing, diligent, natural speller, great vocabulary
Weaknesses: can be fearful of new things, has a temper (that reddish hair will get you!), wants everything to be fair, distractible
Favorite book: Little Women
You can find her: writing a poem, setting up intricate play scenarios, watching the baby, reading to her younger siblings
Plans for when she’s grown-up: To have three children
homeschool student fourth grade

Student #3

Age: 9
Grade level: mostly 4th grade
Favorite subject: Science
Least favorite: Reading
Favorite thing about homeschooling: getting done faster
Mad skills in: making friends, creating
Looking forward to: learning to play guitar at co-op
Strengths: creative, friendly, artistic, willing to help
Weaknesses: distractible, sometimes lets emotions take over, impatient (mostly with herself), doesn’t play alone
Favorite book: The Secret Garden (read aloud by mom)
You can find her: drawing, bouncing on the trampoline, riding her bike, playing with siblings or friends
Plans for when she’s grown-up: To be a ballerina or an artist
homeschool student first grade

Student #4

Age: will be 6 this week
Grade level: mostly 1st grade
Favorite subject: History
Least favorite: Learning to read
Favorite thing about homeschooling: Spending time with my sisters
Mad skills in: things with screens
Looking forward to: dancing in a ballet recital
Strengths: playing alone or with others, following instructions, compliments others,
Weaknesses: avoids chores and hard work, has a temper (that reddish hair again…),impatient
Favorite book: Little Critter books
You can find her: playing with Playmobil, riding her bike, running around outside, coloring
Plans for when she’s grown-up: To be an artist
homeschool student preschool

Student #5

Age: 3
Grade level: Preschool
Favorite subject: Reading lesson
Least favorite: Quiet time
Favorite thing about homeschooling: getting out all the toys, puzzles, and games at once
Mad skills in: people skills (remembering people’s names, looking at them when he speaks to them)
Looking forward to: learning to read (we’re not actually working on this, but he listens in to his sister’s lessons)
Strengths: great people skills, can play alone, fantastic vocabulary and verbal skills, wants to be helpful (usually)
Weaknesses: can be strong-willed, inclined to messiness, sometimes rough with his siblings (and mom)
Favorite book: The Animals of Farmer Jones
You can find him: playing trains or cars, building with Duplo blocks, playing outside
Plans for when he’s grown-up: to be a dinosaur. (Look out world!)
homeschool student toddler

Student #6

Age: 1
Grade level: Toddler
Favorite subject: art (so he can dump the colored pencils on the floor)
Least favorite: naptime
Favorite thing about homeschooling: having everyone home
Mad skills in: making people smile
Looking forward to: moving from walking to running
Strengths: easy-going, curious, adorable, musical
Weaknesses: still needs two naps (but doesn’t always get them), inclined to extreme messiness, doesn’t help with chores AT ALL
Favorite book: That’s Not My Elephant
You can find him: climbing something, pulling out all the books (or toys or games) from the shelves, reorganizing our kitchen drawers, cuddled up with his favorite blanket
Plans for when he’s grown-up: I expect that his short term plans are to repay his older brother for all the wrestling

To see some of our curriculum plans for this year:

From Infant to Highschool – Homeschool Plans for All Ages.

To see how these homeschool students have grown and changed since last year see:

Not Back to School 2015

Want ideas for making History your child’s favorite subject? Try these posts:

9 Tips for Raising a History Buff and One Simple Way to Bring History to Life

This post was compiled with the help of my children. If you homeschool, have you considered asking your kids what their favorite and least favorite subjects are? Or what they consider their strengths and weaknesses? The beginning of a new school year is a great time to ask those kinds of questions.
homeschool students interviews


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Weekend Web Wandering – September 17, 2016

We’ve had a busy September. Because I’ve been reading (of course) but not posting I’ve got a lot of links saved and we’d better get right to them.

weekly links round-upLearning

  • I remember seeing ITT Technical Institute commercials as a child. I can’t say I ever thought much about them, but the news that ITT Tech is Closing caught my eye. I’m not sure exactly what I think about the whole “for profit” colleges situation, but I know that I think higher education, the costs, and the benefits, are a discussion we really need to be having.
  • Make Memorization Easier with Songs, Jingles, and Chants from Classically Homeschooling. Sara has put together a fantastic resource list here.
  • Learning Latin Like Nat Bowditch from Family Style Schooling. I love this concept! (Betsy has other great Latin learning resources too!Click here to visit Family Style Schooling.)
  • What Can Homeschoolers Learn from Traditional Schools? An Interview with Cindy Rollins by David Kern at CiRCE Institute. Thought-provoking.
  • Multi-potential-ite by Nadene at Practical Pages. This has applications for our homeschool, but I also found it encouraging for myself. I’m not a specialist. I’m interested in and want to know All. The. Things. In our current culture, that sometimes makes me feel like a failure, because I’m in my mid-thirties and haven’t found my One True Calling in life which will completely fulfill me and also allow me to earn Big Bucks. Anyway, it’s reassuring to know there’s a TED talk saying I’m not alone.
  • Have I mentioned that I really want to start a church library for our church? This post explains some of the reasons why the idea has become increasingly important to me: Church Libraries as Antidote.

Living

Loving

  • This is heartbreaking: The Sandy Hook Hoax by Reeves Wiedeman in New York Magazine. My family was talking last week about the prevalence of conspiracy theories now. I sympathize with the tendency: I also tend to see connections and motivations everywhere. But conspiracy theories are not a harmless pastime. Real people are really being hurt with this idiocy. And no matter what your political views, Truth ought to be our goal.
  • Thought-provoking: Debunking the Income Inequality Fallacy by John Glenn for The Federalist. Simplistic answers are not helpful, but the discussion needs to happen.
  • The anniversary of 9/11 brought out some ridiculous opinion pieces, primarily one that claimed this is “Flight 93 Election”. Jonah Goldberg took that idea apart:Is This a ‘Flight 93’ Election? Ben Howe weighed in too. And so did Rachel Lu.

From Living Unabridged:

Last year –

Two years ago –

What caught your eye this week?



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Words on Wednesday: Absorbed in a Book

I’m sure every bibliophile can sympathize with this quote:

absorbed in a book

This is from our current read aloud A Little Princess. My older girls and I immediately recognized ourselves in the quote. And the younger two girls listening to our read aloud (both chronic interrupters) didn’t understand why we all sighed and looked at them.

Recently Finished

Lots of reading happening, not a lot of finishing. But I did finish:
Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye this week. This is a novel combining Sherlock Holmes and the Jack the Ripper story. I liked the style, although I honestly haven’t read a lot of Conan Doyle to compare. (I have, of course, seen a great many Sherlock Holmes inspired movies, TV shows, etc.) It must have been tricky to combine two such well known elements. I’m not sure the result is entirely convincing, but it’s diverting reading.

Recently Added

Still working on the current stack.

Current Read Aloud

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett wasn’t my choice for our bedtime read aloud but the almost-six year old begged quite convincingly that she really needed to hear this one right now. It’s been a few years (maybe decades) since I’ve read it and I have to say that it is even better than I remembered.

There are so many gorgeous editions of this book:



I kind of wish we had room on our shelves for all of them!

We set Augustine Came to Kent aside in our morning read aloud and we’ve started Adam of the Road instead. We’re all enjoying the change.

Current Book to Review

I don’t have a new review copy right now. But you can see my review of Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited.

Current Kindle Deals

Lee Strobel’s The Case for Faith is $1.99 right now.
Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney is $0.99 as is:
Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Son.
Now You’re Speaking My Language by Dr. Gary Chapman is also $0.99 right now. I haven’t read it but it looks like a good companion to the Five Love Languages books.

What are you reading now?

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Dover Books

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