Today was Benji’s first day on his new curriculum. Ceri wrote a timetable out for him for the next two weeks, as he does much better when he knows what’s coming next. Today was a tricky comprehension in his reading book – only short, but after the first, easy section (which we completed orally with no problems) there was a more difficult section where he was asked to pull out the implications of things in the text. For example, he had to work out that one character’s step sister was her step sister, just because the step sister called the step father ‘daddy’ and the original character didn’t want to. That’s probably as clear as mud, but it made sense in the text. He went through it orally with no problems, but then really got stuck at the thought of writing it out. He managed a slap dash attempt, and Lauren sent him back to do it properly – he didn’t get out of school to do slap dash stuff. Eventually, after much sighing, he emerged with a lovely, handwritten set of answers. We then did the rest of the questions with no issues, orally, and he ‘acted out’ the definitions. He needs to write things because he needs to learn to write – we are determined that he’s not falling behind his peers on that front – it’s not what we took him out of school for!
After lunch, he did a good half an hour on Maths Whizz, and progressed 0.1 years in one morning, which is fairly dramatic in my opinion. We aren’t quite sure how we are going to keep up with him, as the exercise he was doing this morning was too difficult for Ceri – Lauren had to be called in as an emergency assistant. Ceri has postgraduate qualifications in statistics, but has a horror of primary school maths. She puts it down to being subjected to her father making impromptu calculations, for fun, throughout her childhood *shudders*. Anyway, Benji did really well, and tried very hard. We’re really proud of him.
We’re pleased with the curriculum too – the books are far in advance of his peers, and are just about difficult enough for him in terms of concepts. In other words, he’s challenged, but not overwhelmed. He feels as though he’s swimming rather than drowning or paddling, which is hard work, but good fun. The books themselves aren’t worth the money we paid for the curriculum, but the way that it sets out what is to be covered in a year is definitely worth it. We are confident that Benji will progress well, if we can just keep him going.
And then Ceri put Benji to bed and he said he wanted to find out about Greek myths because they are in his curriculum. Ceri thought fast and got him Tanglewood Tales on his Kindle. And he lived every second of Theseus! Simply wouldn’t let Ceri stop reading, and begged permission to stay up late reading about Theseus – and got it, of course. It’s easy to see why he likes these stories – violence, intrigue, killing bad guys, horrible punishments, semi, demi and other kinds of ‘gods’ (although they come across more like superheroes), feats of strength, cunning and daring, evil step-mothers, swords hidden for years in stones by absent fathers, coming of age, chariots, spears, journeys, quests, and lone male heroes about whom the story evolves. Bring on the passion for Greek Myths, I say, and blow being tired in the morning!