This past fall I decided that writing is a subject that I just cannot teach at the higher levels. I was able to teach my kids writing skills through the Grammar years–copywork, dictation, narration— and the early Logic years—outlining, and writing from the outline but high school writing, forget it. Math and Science are the areas I love and while the kids do write topic reports in history, science and Great Books many times over the past years I have wondered about Michael’s writing skills. Could they be better if he had had access to better writing instruction then mine? This year he is in an AP English Language & Compostition course through PA HS’ers. I love the class: it is forcing Michael to stretch as a writer and he’s getting great feedback about his writing from his peers and his teacher. When Michael commented a couple months back that he wished I had had him write more in Jr High I took his comment to heart.
For a moment that is. I thought about all the writing I had him do and about what might have been missing. Feedback from a knowledgeable teacher was the piece missing from all these years of writing. I wondered how I could correct this error and keep from repeating it with Mark. I asked other homeschoolers for suggestions. I looked at the classes being offered locally… Finally I signed Mark up for an online class. I’d rather not mention which one right now since it is too early to give a review or recommendation…
The class began yesterday and since this is Mark’s class, with a teacher who has asked that the student do the work totally on their own, I have stepped out of the picture. Now I did help Mark learn his way around the word processor, where his files are to be saved, how to send an attachment to an email to his teacher, how to get into the classroom’s chatroom, but now that the assignments are here, I am stepping out of the picture.
Yesterday the class began and he MISSED the first session cause HE had the wrong time in his head…… (oh, so scheduling skills are going to be learned too!)
This morning the email came in from his teacher — parents, please do not help……..
Mark is sitting and doing his assignment. He’s to pick sentences from the book he is reading and use them for the assignment.
Mom, what book should I use?
(me) Your choice. What does your assignment say?
–little while later—
Mom, what’s a predicate? (We’ve done FLL, and R&S grammar for 5 years, and Latin, …….. he KNOWS what a predicate is!) I glanced at the sentence he choose: complex sentence. Good grief! He has picked out the second subject and second predicate…. no, I didn’t point that out to him….
Mark, if you have a question ask your teacher. I’m not supposed to help.
Mom, what’s a declarative? I know what an exclamatory is but what’s a declarative?
Mark, if you have a question ask your teacher. I’m not to help. (hehehe, this is actually fun. He so does NOT want to work on his own.)
Mom, commanding sentence? (he asks with those big, blue eyes…)
DO YOUR WORK!
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