Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book report

Our experiment with homeschooling whilst registered with the local school's brand new "school within a school" Distributed Learning program continues to be quite successful. Noah has settled on Science 10 (heavier on physical sciences) and Math 9 as his first foray into coursework, quizzes and exams. Sophie is doing Science 8 (heavier in biology) and Math 9 as her venture. Access to the bricks & mortar school's events and activities is a nice perk. Sophie was out of town yesterday on a school trip to hear David Suzuki speak and had a blast. She'll be joining cross-country running next week. Fiona will be heading out on the school bus next week for an all-day trip to a provincial park nature centre to tour of the kokanee salmon spawning grounds and she is excited as all get-out. A long ride on the big yellow bus, a school lunch, hanging out with a bunch of nice somewhat older kids she knows.

They're still building the program, even while they're implementing it. The virtual communication system hasn't been created yet. The learning allowance system for the purchase of educational materials isn't in place. The staff are busy with the administrative work involved in setting up the program. Today we had a first "progress meeting" with the liaison teacher. It was fine. We brought in some of the materials we've been using to show, and some of the work the kids have done. We talked about learning plans, resources, after-school activities, upcoming special events and field trips.

And Fiona submitted her book report. Last week the school librarian had enthusiastically showed her his "Reader's Club" system and explained that it is as much for the handful of homeschoolers as it's for the schoolchildren. The deal is: read a book, write down what it's about, why you like it and what sort of audience you think would enjoy it, submit your report to go in the big binder, and get your name added to the Reader's Club list. A couple of days ago Fiona said she'd like to do a report. She's just finished re-reading the Hunger Games trilogy so I wondered if she'd want to review one of those. But no, she decided it would be too difficult to explain how it could be that she loved the books but wouldn't recommend them for anyone under 11 or 12. Quite perceptive of her, I think. So she settled on the first Percy Jackson book as one she could recommend broadly. She hand-wrote her one-page report, asking for a bit of help brainstorming how to articulate what made the book so enjoyable and assistance in spelling a couple of words.

And today she sauntered into the library on her own, found the librarian, and handed in her report. It went directly into the binder and her name went up on the Reader's Club list. The first and only name there so far. She was thrilled to be the first. Not an ounce of self-consciousness over it.

It's another first too, though. I think it's the first book report any of my kids has ever written. Kind of funny.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic relationship you are developing with the school. Good on you for the work you have done to make it happen.

  2. Ohhh that sounds wonderful, Miranda! The best of both worlds and then some. They're lucky to have you consulting on this project. Wouldn't it be lovely if the rest of the country took notice of this type of an offering?


This blog is moving to archive-only status. Please consider posting comments instead at the active version of the blog at

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.