Well, we’ve made it through three full days of school. So far, so good.
In our two days together, we’ve learned about the people in our class through poetry and song. We’ve learned about the placesin our classroom and in our school where we can find resources to help us develop our minds. And, we’ve learned about the things that will guide us to success by reading and developing questions for our fact sheets.
By far, I have enjoyed learning about the people around me the most. What an interesting group! When asked to describe yourselves with adjectives, you responded with this list: amazing, inquisitive, fantastic, awesome, overachieving, enthusiastic, the best, quiet, hard-working, super, multi-lingual, excited, fabulous, smart, excellent, pretty, responsible, wise, independent, beautiful, ambitious, metalhead, gamer, and cool.
It is safe to say that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Your parents are also: wonderful, amazing, awesome, highly motivated, supportive, proud, nice, involved, goofy, good-looking, interested, and ecstatic.
You have all piqued my interest with your one-word descriptions! I need to know more!
How did you get to be so inquisitive and enthusiastic? Did you have a teacher (or parent) who really motivated you to learn and grow? (Parents are our first teachers.) Tell us about your best teacher. What did he/she do to help you become the fabulous, smart student you are today?
Great news! Our homeschooling group is officially underway. August 13th marked our first official homeschooling gathering, a book club meeting to discuss You Have A Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. by Dr. Ben Carson, a 2016Presidentialcontender.Seven students who are continuing in traditional schools, our four homeschooling students, and three parents met at my home, the site of our summer book clubs for a number of years.
After spending a few minutes engaged in “How was summer?” chat, we passed around this cool rock.
Do you know what kind of rock this is?
Everyone who read You Have A Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. identified it as an obsidian rock. This common rock had a profound influence on the life of Dr. Ben Carson. (You’ll have to read the book yourself, or watch the movie Gifted Hands to find out how.) We watched a short clip from the film to remind us of the turnaround in Dr. Carson’s life once he started reading two books a week, per his mother’s direction. Inspired by the movie’s snippets of the G.E. College Bowl, one of the two television programs Ben watched growing up, we discussed the book as we played Jeopardy, a modern day quiz show, with questions from T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.
Jeopardy at home.
Our categories were: Childhood, The Teen Years, Neurology, Life Now, and Think Big. Here are a few questions our contestants answered:
What is Dr. Carson’s middle name? (We had lots of discussion after this on what proved to be a very appropriate name for Ben Carson. God’s hand at work.)
What class did Ben nearly fail in college?
What book does Dr. Carson quote heavily from in T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.?
In what country is the Benjamin S. Carson School of Medicine?
What does the B stand for in T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.?
Have you ever watched the G.E. College Bowl? See if you can answer any of the questions. These college kids sure are smart! (The only one I got was the Friar Laurence question.)
After Jeopardy, and following in Ben’s footsteps as a middle schooler, we had a short spelling bee using words from the book. The words were tough! Hence, the brevity of our bee. Here are a few of the words we tackled: charlatan, omniscient, retrospect, magnitude, and perpetuate.
All this mental activity made us hungry, so we had lunch, some of us continuing to talk about Dr. Carson, his accomplishments, and the first Presidential debate. When we finished fortifying ourselves, we discussed ways that we can THINK BIG. We decided to host a community yard sale, complete with lemonade stand, and to donate our proceeds to Heifer, International. We read through the Heifer, International catalog, deciding what we could buy to help families in need of assistance. Some of our ideas are: a llama ($150), bees ($30), and baby chicks ($20).
You can also join our discussion of You Have A Brain by commenting on this post. As you know, Dr. Carson is running for President. What criteria do you think are important for our President to have?Who would you like to see as our next President?What do you like about this person?
Well, we’re off to another school year, and this time, it will be a bit different since many of us are off to new places.
As some of you may already know, the new place where I will be teaching is totally off the grid.
I first heard the expression “off the grid” when I was visiting Hawaiiabout ten years ago. My husband and I were in the back of an SUV heading to a rainforest for a walking tour. Our guide, a native Hawaiian, pointed out a house set all by itself, behind some trees, about half-way up a hill. He told us that the house was “off the grid”, meaning that it wasn’t connected to any electricity. The owner was completely self-sufficient in regard to power. He also provided for most of his own food and water. I thought it was pretty remarkable that in this day and age, someone decided to live in a such a self-reliant manner.
My new teaching adventure is similar to that self-reliant, independent man in that I am no longer connected to a school. This year, I will be teaching a small group of homeschooling students. Cooper and I will be learning all subjects, with the exception of math, together. Peter will join us for language arts. Emmalee, Juliana and Ellie will join us for special events like book clubs, field trips, and curriculum days. And who knows? We may find some more friends along the way.
I have taught in a lot of settings: public high school, public middle school, Catholic elementary school, and a detention center for juvenile boys. I have never been totally on my own before, so this is a new adventure.
Although it is different, and I am a bit nervous, I think I am going to LOVE it!
In honor of our new adventure, I have changed the title and theme of our blog. Not to worry, though; all our old posts are still here, and currently, so are the links to the blogs of all the students who have not yet graduated. How do you like the new title and theme?
P.S. Whose famous line is “trust thyself”? What is the name of his well-known essay?