I already see a huge improvement in Gavin's handwriting. By making him practice the basics of printing letters, and not accepting anything less than careful, thoughtful work he took his time to complete, I've seen a turnaround.
I told him if I submit work that looks sloppy (whether as a paralegal or author), it gets handed back to me for a redo. I pointed out that this adds more time to the process, but if I pay attention and do things correctly, neatly or well the first time, I don't need to repeat my efforts. If I rush through work just to get it done, of course I will have to redo it again and again, and the initial hurry was not worth my time in the first place.
So I asked him if I should continue to return sloppy work to him, expecting a redo, or if he should just take his time to do it well the first time. He agreed that I was justified in handing badly-done work back to him to do over, and that it makes more sense to make a good effort from the start.
Today's lessons went very well, and I think Gavin is actually enjoying the work he deemed "too advanced". Why? Because it is far more varied and creative than usual. He enjoyed yesterday's science experiment and art lesson. I think he viewed today's grammar lesson as tedious at first - write a list of topics for a potential news story, then narrow it down, and prepare to write a lead by pinpointing the who, what, when, and where (why comes later). However, once he got past brainstorming and started charting out a word map, he seemed more enthusiastic about it.
Here's hoping he also enjoys his reading this year! Our reading list comes directly from the 5th grade recommendations in The Well-Trained Mind, however I also added a few modern titles for a bit of variety. Unfortunately, due to our school year lasting only 18 weeks instead of the usual 45, I know we won't get around to reading everything on this list.
Still, I think we'll enjoy whatever we choose to read. :)
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Around the World in 80 Days
Artemis Fowl books
Percy Jackson books
Harry Potter (finish the series)
ancient Chinese & Japanese poetry
myths of ancient Egypt
tales of the Pharaohs
Alexander the Great
Greek and Roman myths
Indian & African folktales
Copyright (c) 2013 Wendy L. Callahan