Thursday, October 29, 2015

Expanding

Liam created this avatar of himself on Starfall, then went out to play with his scooter


I'm a voracious reader of other homeschooling blogs.  In part, I'm looking for some sense of community.  My blog is great for keeping track of our progress, but I want the chance to share ideas with other parents who have gone before (or are yet to come).  Last week, on Facebook, I read about a local homeschooling parents' involvement in Urban Homeschoolers.  A Google search and a phone call later and we were set to audit a couple of their classes in Atwater Village.

Urban Homeschoolers isn't a school, it's a resource center geared towards kids who are homeschooled or in a charter school and are looking for enrichment classes.  We asked to audit Natural Science, which promised to be very physical and Choir. 

Classes are grouped by age.  7-9 or 9-12 being Liam's range.  I decided to skew older, as the wee ones are a bit "zingy" with their energy and I was afraid Liam would have more trouble focusing.  It was a good call.  

The Science teacher, Mr. Guest,  is an experienced Waldorf teacher and he masterfully led the class through exploration of plant vs human life, ending with an indoor/outdoor encounter with ferns and designing and building their own fern plant out of paper. 

Liam was allowed to join in and seemed to be enjoying the tactile nature of the class.  At one point, he drifted to the chalk board, and I was afraid he was going to start drawing fonts or numbers, but instead, he started to write the key words that Mr. Guest was saying.  It was his way of connecting to the language.  Nobody seemed to mind in the least.

The next day we attended Choir with some seriously talented singers.  John and I were repeatedly impressed with the kindness, openness and easy, yet attentive manner of the kids we met.  At the end of Choir, I asked to register Liam for the rest of the semester.

This evening, I heard Liam say (out of nowhere), "I had fun with Mr. Guest."  As he rarely comments on anyone who isn't immediately present, that made me very happy. 

This afternoon, we returned to Riverside Drive to Coding Class, which Liam loves. 

I feel like we're finally creating a balance between Liam's amazing self-directed skills and connection to an outside network.  Outside we have: Tuesday nights - art, Wednesday morning - choir, Thursday afternoon - computer coding, Friday afternoon, natural science.  At home we have ST Math, BrainPop science and ESL, Mandarin, animation, and now Piano. 

video
I'll leave you with Liam's latest attempt at the Tetris theme.  

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