June 2

Jonah finished 2nd Grade today! YAHOO! He got an 'A' on his last test. He would have gotten a A+ but checking his work is still hard for him to do. I am proudest of his huge leaps in reading complex things accurately and comprehensively. In addition, his writing is starting to improve and he can easily fill a page once he starts going.

I am amazed at the writing he is doing as I was certainly unable to write anything like a proper composition when I was in Second Grade. I have no idea what the hell my teachers were doing but they certainly weren't teaching me much. I was living in Berlin, Germany with my family for a year and attended an American school there. The first half of the year I had a horrid German teacher who hated me and my mom finally had me transferred to a class taught by a lovely American woman whom I adored and seemed to like me. I remember getting to draw a lot in her class and loving it.

I have to say that home schooling does seem to produce much better results for these early years. I think the biggest drawbacks might occur at later grades where discussion and class interaction become important aspects to the learning experience but currently since his education is so much about fundamentals, a one on one approach is really effective. He is only seven years old and starting third grade which I think is awesome. The best thing that has occurred is his ability to read complex books on his own and his interest in reading. Jonah spends about 1 or 2 hours a day reading on his own which is great for his age. In addition, he is comfortable reading books that are at the 4th or 5th grade level. I can envision that this year might proceed a bit slower particularly in the writing department. Jonah seems to enjoy spelling but I think expressing himself in writing is still really hard for him.

He has already started 3rd grade Math (a couple of weeks ago) and he will probably have no problems finishing that work several months early. In addition, starting in December we will be sailing a lot more and that tends to disrupt school a bit. There is a lot of material in the Calvert Third Grade course plus I am still doing the History course by Susan Bauer as I find it a more comprehensive introduction to World history than what Calvert provides. The Calvert stuff is a bit patchwork and the student doesn't get a sense of progression, inter-relation of events and timeline.

Jordan has been teaching an outside Geography course by McGraw-Hill for 3rd to 5th Graders that is really fabulous and Jonah loves it. Again, the Calvert stuff was just to basic for Jonah. The 3rd grade Calvert course includes some more advanced Geography so we will probably do both of them as we want Jonah to keep up with the Calvert work as we will probably be staying with them for the next couple of grades. The great thing about the Calvert course work is that it is thorough and complete and it helps ensure that we are competitive with schools in the US.

I think we will have a nice day and go snorkeling with Jonah and then maybe watch a "family" movie in the afternoon. We got "The Gods Must be Crazy" Part 1 and 2 so we may watch Part 2 today (we watched part 1 a few weeks ago and Jonah loved it).

Yesterday Jonah went in to the village with his Dad at around 3 and spent 2 hours playing with some kids. He had a blast and came back tired and happy. I enjoyed some peace and quiet on the boat.