The Emperor: “I’m looking forward to completing your training. In time you will call me master.”
Luke: ”You’re gravely mistaken. You won’t convert me as you did my father.”
The Emperor: “Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things.”
Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi
There has been a nice discussion going on at one of the local Facebook homeschooling groups in our area about duel enrollment classes. An area of quiet contention is that the public schools get to bump a duel-enrolled homeschool student from any class up to, but not after, the first day of school if a full-time public school student wants to take the class and there aren’t enough seats to accommodate everyone.
I was told that the public schools get full state funding per class for full-time students but only half funding per class for duel-enrollment students, although I don’t remember who I heard that from, so that’s why they give preference to full-time students. I think that’s fair. Basically, our kids fill the holes in these classes. It’s a win-win in my book.
I also think it’s been a great experience for Padawan Learner, especially the realization that classes move at a steady pace regardless of where you fall in the mix. He has had classes where he’s been so far ahead of everyone else that it’s agonizingly boring – for example, he did an entire year’s curriculum projects for two blocks of piggy-backed intro to and principles of (mostly mechanical) engineering classes in about 2 months, proceeded to teach himself several advanced concepts in the same area, and (as the teacher admitted in our winter conference) so outstripped the instructor’s knowledge in the software usage that he honestly had nothing more to teach him the remaining 7 months - and enough behind in getting things done that he’s been stressed about getting everything turned in at times. He even learned when to admit that a (distractable) student and (disorganized) teacher fit is SO bad that despite really enjoying the content of the class and liking the teacher’s personality, it’s best to drop the class and cut & run to save your GPA some seriously horrendous damage. He also learned that you can pick right back up at home with a self-teaching program and keep learning the material that you enjoyed so well.
This is, in my opinion, a great lesson to learn for anyone about to head off to a community college or – especially – a large, 4 year university. As one of my instructors in a 600 person freshman mathematics class at (40,000 undergrads alone) Galactic Empire University said in almost incomprehensible English, “Kas vate no man.” (Class waits for no man.)
Anakin Skywalker: “I’d much rather dream of Padme. Just being around her again is… intoxicating.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: ”Be mindful of your thoughts, Anakin, they betray you.”
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
So this update that is long too over-due.
Padawan Learner had a fabulous time on Cataline Island despite – I am told – wanting to kill off many of the people in his group on a regular basis. What can I say, he’s not much of a group tour kind of guy. Apparently not shutting your trap even occassionally is a guaranteed excellent way to get on his Dark Side. I don’t know where he gets that from. The island itself was fairly amazing I’m told with dark, dark skies perfect for star-gazing, crystal-clear lagoons for snorkeling, and complete hillsides just begging for some invasive species removal. He was such a monster at this task that he earned a special badge for his efforts. And to think he used to argue with me about pulling weeds back in our Michigan flower beds.
View from camp. Rough, huh?
An invasive species' worst nightmare
The ropes course
The class was also privy to a behind the scenes Physics of Roller Coasters program at DisneyLand the day before their return home. I am told it was fascinating and also that it also reinforced his previous memory of NOT being a fan of roller coasters in general.
A fun end to a great week
The Emperor: “Rise my friend.”
Darth Vader: “The Death Star will be completed on schedule.”
The Emperor: “You’ve done well, Lord Vader. And now I sense you wish to continue your search for young Skywalker.”
Darth Vader: “Yes, my Master.”
The Emperor: “Patience, my friend. In time, he will seek you out, and when he does, you must bring him before me. He has grown strong. Only together can we turn him to the Dark Side of the Force.”
Darth Vader: “As you wish.”
The Emperor: “Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.”
Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi
OK, time to brag a bit.
I just received a letter from the school where Padawan Learner takes his duel-enrollment classes stating that he has been recognized by his Energy and Sustainability instructor for “outstanding accomplishments in the field of study.” PL will be recognized at a student assembly in a few weeks for this honor.
How cool is that?
Dad Windu tells me that he’s afraid my last post might have given some the impression that I am dissatisfied with what PL is becoming, but nothing is farther from the truth. I am quite proud of who Padawan Learner is growing to be; it is simply different from what I assumed he would be (based on my own interests, experiences, prejudices - if we’re being honest - and expectations). Frankly, I assumed he would be a blend of Dad Windu and I, which he most definitely is not.
Padawan Learner, for both his strengths and his weaknesses, is very much his very own person – and someone that I’m proud to call my son.
Palpatine: “You don’t need guidance, Anakin. In time, you will learn to trust your feelings. Then, you will be invincible. I have said it many times, you are the most gifted Jedi I have ever met.”
Anakin: “Thank you, Your Excellency.”
Palpatine: “I see you becoming the greatest of all the Jedi, Anakin. Even more powerful than Master Yoda.”
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
There’s nothing like knowing your kid is off doing something important that you have absolutely NO control over. Not that I have control issues or anything. Me? No, never. Oi vey. I’m a right regular basket case this morning.
Pet Shop Boys, OMD, Modern English, (vintage) U2, New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cure, Men Without Hats, INXS - I’m filling myself up with the comfort music of my high school and university years on Pandora Radio to keep myself sane. OK, I’ve just seriously dated myself. If I end up cutting my hair asymmetrically and dying it flame red, you’ll know why. Seriously, I really, really want to have flame read hair again. I blame that mostly on Ramona from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World though. (I’m also feeling compelled to dance with several of the songs as they play though, so daily exercise? Check.)
And tea, I’m drinking vats of tea: Santa’s Secret from my dear friend, Eileen Cook. This may or may not be a good idea as it’s packed full of caffeine and has real, miniature candy canes pieces scattered through out the mix, but that’s not going to stop me. I received a Saeco Electric Water Kettle for Christmas and Ho Boy! that thing rocks. Super fast water from the tap to 150-boiling in moments, and with the measurements on the side I can measure out just how much water I’m going to need.
Padawan Learner is taking the first half of his very first mid-term exam today, the verbal Italian segment. I spent all last night saying, “Shouldn’t you be studying for that Italian test?” only to keep hearing, “No, it’s under control.” He glanced over his notes, made a few pretty sounding utterances (strange, I know, but I really miss hearing those guttural G’s from his Dutch-language days), and watching an episode each of The Big Bang Theory and CSI before going to bed. Who IS this child and how could he have ever come from Dad Windu’s and my DNA? I was a compulsive study-freak in school and I’m pretty sure DW was too. I kept thinking – but thankfully not screaming out – “What the blazes does that have to do with anything? ” In the end, I went and finished up my latest library find (Death of a Valentine) in the bathtub.
I really don’t have reason to worry too much, PL is doing well in his Energy and Italian classes, but I think one of the underlying reasons is that I feel a fair bit of pressure due to the fact that this is his first leap into the unknown of what is commonly referred to as “real school” by family and friends that were not terribly homeschool-friendly in the first place. This semester has felt like it is, in their eyes (and I fully admit that I could be completely projecting my own insecurities onto others here), the proof in the pudding of homeschooling in general and of our homeschool family in particular. How about you other homeschool to traditional school or duel-enrollment folk? Did you experience this the first time one of your kids started thinking inside the educational box?
OK, on to other things now. Like those dust bunnies lurking in the bathroom and under the beds. Time to slay them all.
Aunt Beru: “Luke’s just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.”
Owen: “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
Star Wars IV: A New Hope
Saturday in Central Iowa was drop dead, autumn weather perfect.
Although we were going to visit the historical farms and 19th Century town at Living History Farms with Dad Windu’s parents this weekend, they decided (at rather the last minute) that it wasn’t a good time to visit since his mother wasn’t feeling her best. Pulling on our big boy/girl pants, DW and I decided to go check it out anyway while Padawan Learner was at trampoline class. We enjoyed it so much, we hosed Padawan Learner off and went right back for the rest of the day.
A few pictures for you to enjoy:
This Ioway Native American lodge looked downright cozy.
Traditional medicinal plants and their uses were identified in and near the Ioway farm camp.
The one-room (with loft) Frontier Cabin…
and it’s matching lean-to barn/shed. One of the things DW liked best about this set of historic farms is that they had live farm animals and (very informative) interpreters engaged in the daily tasks of farming life. I liked that they were NOT trying to pretend they were actually IN each farm’s stated time period. I know some people love that type of thing; I am not one of them.
On our way to the 1900 Farm, we spotted a stunning set of matching dappled gray draft horses participated in the farm’s annual weekend-long fall plowing contest. (I believe there’s one in the spring, too.) What a clever way for the LHF to quickly get their fields plowed. I wonder if a laundry contest could work in the apartment…
My heart never ceases to go pitter-patter when I see a big, beautiful barn like this one. The hay, grain and leather harnesses inside made it smell heavenly.
I’m pretty sure PL’s favorite part of the day was finding this sweet little kitty to love.
This interpreter said she started as an elementary summer camp attendee, 9 years ago, and has been involved with the LHF in one way or another every year since. Now that’s impressive, in my book. Did you know that Iowa has one of the highest rates of volunteerism in the nation? Just another reason to love this place.
This pantry and the prep area below had me drooling into the collar of my turtleneck (it was in the high 50s, after all).
Anyone know what that corrugated-looking thing in the corner is?
With such a scene as this, it almost makes a girl want to go boil up some laundry. Ok, but it does make me think of flapping sheets and towels on the clothes line.
This is similar to the treadle sewing maching that I remember from my great-grandmother’s house, which she had from her mother.
The 1950s kitchen from the Modern Farms exhibit stopped me cold (there was also a Modern Farm Kitchen; I found it pretty sterile looking). This little honey is almost an exact replica of the kitchen we had when we bought our Grand Rapids house all those years ago. I think it’s just lovely.
We had planned to go back the next day to watch the old-time baseball game, but found out while eating breakfast that Padawan Learner had (a shitload of) work that was due the next day for one of his public school classes that he figured “wouldn’t take that long.” Oh, the learning curve ride this kid is taking… He worked straight from 11am until we had to leave for a homeschool family potluck at 4pm and was back at it when we got home at 8:30 pm, finally finishing around 10:30pm. Nothing like learning the hard way to get your stuff done as it comes in, rather than waiting until the very end because you’ve got “lots of time to do it.” Dad Windu is finding all this very hard to be patient about, but I keep reminding him, “The fastest way to learn is to screw up.”
For those of you who didn’t check out the curriculum log over at The Jedi Academy, here are notes I made on Thursday and today about his Ocean project and some more work that we didn’t know about until later for the same class:
Padawan Learner’s Environmental Sustainability class found out Wednesday that their Oceans-related project – his is on the Smalleye Hammerhead Shark – which was scheduled to be due in late December, was being moved up to being due… this Friday… to meet the 6th week marking period. <snark>Ah, the logic to be found in grades-based public schooling.</snark> Therefore, we have pushed our homeschooling scheduled work off to Friday (after he gets back from his public school classes) and Saturday afternoon (after gymnastics/trampoline practice) so that he can spend today getting his ES project completed.
Considering Padawan Learner’s experience with “projects” last week at Public School and the fact that he has several more projects coming due in both Italian and Environmental Science, we’re taking the next week to do some (much needed) science review here in The Outer Rim, especially since we’ve just finished Unit I in Biology, a little more Pre-Algebra & Algebra review – a few things are still a little shaky – and to give him time to get these crazy Public School projects zipped up and out of the way. No more last minute project “emergencies” for us, please.