Happy September!

naked victor hugoI give up. I don’t know where time goes. (Well, I kind of do, I just passed the 1400 level on Candy Crush – yay me.  My grandkids will be so proud one day.)  Anyway, the time is gone. It’s 11:45 and I’ve set a goal to post something remotely interesting everyday in September. We’ll see how it goes. 😉

Quick update . . . we’re on our third week of eleventh grade. Surprise, Andy was not interested in my idea for a first day of school picture. (Tall, lean, muscular kid in his sleeping pants scowling at me through the bagel in his mouth – there’s your picture.)  Andy is not thrilled with the start of his junior year. In the past, this was when his brothers started picking up 3-4 classes at the local college. Our moving date precluded Andy from enrolling until January. Woohoo! More time with mom.  (He doesn’t get that I’m at least as disappointed as he is.) We’re actually making the best of it and having some fun.

British Literature (a la Stobaugh) has been kind of fun so far. We’re finishing up Beowulf (for the fourth and final time).  Andy’s writing has improved and it’s nice that he’s reading much faster.  I’m really looking forward to Hamlet, Frankenstein,  Tale of Two Cities and Jane Eyre.  We just have to suck up some poetry with our best serious faces before we get there. For me poetry is like scrapbooking – I love all the elements but when faced with it in real life, my enthusiasm evaporates.

We’re saving the rest of his sciences for college courses. The outstanding Derek Owens is teaching Pre-Calculus this year. This man saved Andy and me from many arguments and tears last year and I am expecting more of the same this year. Somehow, Andy can accept when Derek Owens tells him the answer is wrong. When I tell him …. sigh. So, if you’ve got preteens/teens that you’re homeschooling and math involves tears and you walking away to bang your head on the washing machine – this is worth checking out.

To round things out, I’ve added a college-level Poli-Sci class and a college-level Psychology class. No credit but it will give him an idea of the reading and level of work expected.

BUT . . . The BEST BEST BEST thing about this year so far has been french.  I’ve followed Lindsay at Lindsay Does Languages.  Not because I’m adept at languages but because I think she’s a really interesting young woman.  She recommended Frantastique as her favorite way to learn French. Andy and I have been slogging away for two years and I was open to suggestions. Can I get an “AMEN!?”

This is the highlight of our day. The lessons are short and perfect for a teen. A little snarky but also a little sneaky with the history  they put in to each lesson. (One lesson was Victor Hugo announcing on his facebook page that he was alive and having a party that evening. Balzac and 48 others “like” this idea.)  If the idea of a naked (cartoon) Victor Hugo offends you – skip this. If you are not open to aliens wishing to promote the spread of French culture, skip this as well. If you’re intrigued, go for it. It’s really well done and entertaining to boot.

We laugh. We replay the lessons and Andy is getting it.  I had a a lot of French through middle school-college.  I can read just fine. Speaking? Not so much. I love the option of French/French or Canadian/French pronunciations. The corrections and the options to personalize things are exactly what we needed.

So we plug along. Still don’t know any of our new neighbors. Not sure that I want to. But, we love being close to my mom and closer to work and rowing.  And, for someone like me, the painting possibilities  are still seemingly endless so it’s all good.

And, that concludes September 1.  We’ll see if I can manage September 2.

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