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Terran did this morn a bunch of pages of problems like, “60 = 20 + ____.” This stumped him and he told me he doesn’t actually know what the equals sign means. I have been suspecting for some time that Terran’s understanding of math has been crippled by too-early exposure to flash card drill (which his father does with him when he’s at his house). Terran has felt confident that he knows math and doesn’t need to go over basic things like what an equation is and subtraction and addition symbology, but as soon as you change even a bit from the format in the flash cards, he’s stumped. It’s very frustrating for me and him. Today we went over what an equation is and what the equals sign means a few times, using drawings on the whiteboard. Eventually he felt confident solving this type of problem. Hopefully that sticks and he isn’t stumped again the first time he sees a subtraction equation that says, “60 = 70 – ____”. He did those, then some money problems, then read all the pages from Usborne’s Living Long Ago on the Stone Age. He did some weaving, some making yarn from fleece, and also made a cave in which to do some “cave painting” with blow paints to mimic reeds. He’s in this annoying stage where I try to read aloud to him, but catch him quietly whispering the words from a different paragraph to himself. He has been reading Nate the Great in his spare time.

Bear did half an hour with the new Music Theory app. On his free time, right now, he is immersed in Here There Be Dragons, a novel in which classic kidlit authors (JM Barrie, JRR Tolkien, others) go into a fantasy land to save it. He’s read The Hobbit and Peter and Wendy, but not, I think, any HG Wells, who is also in the book. Maybe I’ll be able to get him to do so now.

Both bigger boys read the first few chapters of The Early Human World, finally. They also read the whole Genesis chapter of Brush Up Your Bible. Look at us, getting history and literature done!

Last night Verdi looked through the NARHS catalog. NARHS is an umbrella school, meaning families can design their own courses as long as they submit the type of documentation the school wants (a portfolio of physical evidence of work done and a chart of how much time was spent) and do the minimum number of credits the school wants (4 that are English, 2 that are math, etc.). Given a list of social studies courses, he chose History of Music and Psychology as the top two most interesting. I went and looked up some resources for those, but I am having a hard time coming to terms with the idea of graduating him with a transcript that looks like that. It would qualify him to enter our state university system, but how would it look to any of the good engineering schools he’s interested in? But maybe the point of doing NARHS is to get him through high school with as little distracting work as possible, letting him put all our resources into the science that does interest him. But wouldn’t it make more sense, if that’s the case, to do History of Engineering for a social studies course? Only I am glad he’s showing some interest in music. Surprised and glad. I don’t want to look that gift horse in the mouth. The bottom line here is I have NO IDEA how we’re gonna do this high school thing.