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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Anders's Education Update - "Kindergarten"


Anders's Education August 2017 - July 2018

Grade: Kindergarten
Age: 5.75-6.75

I continue to approach Anders's education as a combination of non-coercive homeschooling following a classical curriculum and what he is interested in with some Montessori and as much "bringing your kid to life with you" as I can.

Method Notes

Before introducing any book, workbook, or documentary I ask, "Do you want to learn about X?" Anders almost always says, "Yeah!" If we start something and he doesn't like it, we stop it. Sometimes, if I think he will like it, I ask him to give a book three chapters to make sure he really doesn't like it. If he still doesn't like it at the end of the three chapters, I put it aside and say that we can try it again when he is older. (Or I toss it, if the book was bad.)

Thus far Anders is enthusiastic about learning pretty much everything. Whenever he isn't enthusiastic about learning something my assumption is that either he doesn't understand the value of learning it or I am introducing work that is either too easy (boring) or too hard (frustrating). This is the same approach I also take with his classes.

For example, when I first took Anders to gymnastics, he hated it. I didn't say, "Ah well, you don't like gymnastics, I guess we should try something else." I said, "I guess that teacher was not a very good teacher. Let's try a different class." We had to try four different gymnastics classes until we found one he liked. We tried three different martial arts programs before settling on Krav Maga. We tried two different Kumon centers, etc.

I make the same assumptions with any subject in our program. Anders recently announced that he loves everything that he is learning except grammar. My initial response was, "This program does seem to have a lot more repetition than you need. Let me order some other grammar programs for us to check out." I did some research, ordered three other grammar programs, and we looked at them. In the end, Anders decided to stick with the one he is currently doing, but skipping any lessons that repeated things he already knows. Anders did not decide to stop doing grammar or to wait until he was older to study grammar, which were both also offered as options. It is not clear to me at this point whether Anders made that decision because he respects my opinion so much or because children are fully capable of making future-oriented decisions if they are raised in reality. Most likely it is a combination of both.

That being said, it's important to note that Anders chooses a great deal of the work he does. Many workbooks are ordered, not because I recommended them, but because he found them in a bookstore and thought they looked fun. When he finishes his workbooks he keeps them. He calls them his "friends" and, especially if one is new, sleeps with it. Many times he treats me like his personal assistant, "Mom, I need a workbook on cutting. I really want to get better at cutting." or "Mom, remember those maze workbooks I used to do? I want another maze workbook, can you find me one?"

External Validation

In March Anders was invited to tour one of the most elite private schools in the country, a school so elite and private that it doesn't have a web page and there is no way to find their contact info. I had to sign a nondisclosure, so I can't share the name of the school or tell much about it, but it is literally the only school in the country I would have even considered for Anders.

After spending an hour with him, the head of the school told me that Anders was one of the most impressive six year olds he had ever met in his life, if not the most impressive. He told me he had only ever invited one other six year old to join his school and wanted to know what I had done, what my methods were, how I had raised a child so confident, capable, precocious, present, expressive, and intelligent. He also wanted to know why I would consider sending Anders to his school, when, after I explained that Anders had been homeschooled his entire life, it was clear that I could do a better job than any school, even his.

Having toured his school I had to agree. It was definitely the best school I had been to, and the science lab was out of this world, but Anders attending arguably the best school in the country would be a slight step down in education, just more fun socially.

Anders has friends he plays with most weekends and friends he sees at his classes and camps (not to mention the endless socializing he does when we are at the farm) so we decided to stick with homeschooling for now.

But the point is: I received some pretty fantastic validation that homeschooling is amazing and that those willing (and able) to do it well are capable of giving their children a better education than the best education money can buy.

Schedule

We usually read a little bit first thing when we wake up. Afterward, Anders plays in his room for a few hours. We have lunch and then after lunch we generally sit down to do his work for the day. Sometimes Anders needs an hour to finish a Lego battle or project he is working on, but most of the time we start right after lunch.

Anders's work for the day is a pile of books and workbooks that sits near the dining room table. During work time, I pick up the pile and put it on the table. There are generally fifteen things in the stack, at least one from each of the areas listed below. When he finishes something in one of the subject areas, I get the next thing in that area, hence the long list of finished things.

Once the stack of books and workbooks (and sometimes puzzles, games, or letters that need replies) is on the table, Anders picks what he wants to do from the pile and does it for as long as he is interested. Then we do the next thing he wants to do from the pile. And then the next. We do this until Anders is tired of sitting at the table.

Many times, especially with the logic books or puzzles, Anders works for an hour or more, and we get little of the other work done. Other days he does a little bit of everything. Some days he works for one hour, other days he works for three. I would say two hours is about average. The time he spends working has increased over the course of the year. At the beginning of the year, he rarely worked for more than an hour. Currently he rarely works for less than two hours.

We cycle through everything. If one day he only does three items, those are not included in the work pile for the next day. Once the entire pile is finished, however many days that takes, everything goes back in the pile, and we start again. This is not a rule - if he wanted to work on the same thing three days in a row I would not be opposed - but it has never come up.

If Anders wants to skip a day or we have plans, we do, but I would say we generally do work from his work pile six days of the week. When we are traveling or when Anders is in camp, he works for a shorter amount of time, maybe twenty or thirty minutes each day.

Often Anders has to stop doing his work, not because he is tired of working, but because it is time to head to class. Most afternoons Anders has a class in something: Kumon, krav maga, music, fine art, Montessori math tutoring, ballroom dance, hockey, Spanish conversation practice, etc.

After class we return home and have dinner. If there is time, Anders plays for an hour or two. Then he gets in bed and does his Kumon while I read to him.  

We spent August, December and January at the farm in Nicaragua. During those months Anders did his Kumon every day, and I read to him for at least an hour every day, but he generally did his work for no more than twenty minutes - there is just too much else to do at the farm.

We spent February touring the UK. The only work we brought with us was his Kumon and some books to read.

We get less work done in June, July, and August as Anders does many camps, but we never stop working entirely. 

Key

Anything in red I highly recommend.
Anything in blue I recommend.
Anything in light blue is fine, but I wouldn't mind finding something better.
Anything in purple I recommend for the repetition, but would introduce earlier than age 6.
Anything in navy I recommend waiting until older.
Anything in gray Anders or/and I do not recommend.
Anything in black I have not yet concluded what I think of it.
Anything in bold is in his current work pile.


BUSINESS/LIFE SKILLS
Was read Escape the Rat Race by Robert Kiyosaki
Was read How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn't by Irwin A. Schiff
Was read Who Was Bill Gates
Was read Who Was Steve Jobs
Was read The Tuttle Twins Learn About the Law
Was read The Tuttle Twins and the Miraculous Pencil
Was read The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island
Was read The Tuttle Twins and the Food Truck Fiasco
Was read The Tuttle Twins and the Road to Surfdom
Was read The Tuttle Twins and the Golden Rule
Was read The Tuttle Twins and the Search for Atlas
Was read Manly Manners by Ruth Crowther
Was read Dude, That's Rude!
Was read Pelle's New Suit
Watched: The Apprentice
Watched YouTube: Change Your Life in 19 Minutes with Earl Nightingale
Calendar work with Lunar 2018 Wall Calendar
Went on 30 auditions and 1 call back.
Did two photo shoots (George UK, Dole Sunshine)
Shot 4 commercials (BJ's, Apple, George UK, Dole Sunshine)
Did 1 tv show (Kidding, episode 110)
Did two weeks of Make a Movie Camp at Gray Studios.
Cooked with mom
Took classes in pre-ice hockey (I highly recommend any team sport)
Took classes in singing (helps to develop natural, pleasant-sounding voice)
Did a camp in ballroom dance (dancing is an essential social skill)
Took classes in classical drawing (objective beauty)
Went to Disneyland 7 times
Went to Dad's office, sought ways to add value
Opened Coogan bank account and savings account
Learned about net worth, updated net worth in financial binder
Did graph paper financial plan for earnings
Attended Los Angeles Auto Show (any trade show or conference in the father's area of work or the child's area of interest is recommended)
Went to Peterson Automotive Museum (any museum in the father's area of work or the child's area of interest is recommended)

Notes:
I think it is essential for children to learn about earning and managing money at this age, but rather than provide Anders with unearned money (an allowance), I always have jobs available for him to do to earn money should he want to.

Because Anders has been "brought to life with me," he has been financially motivated for many years, often choosing silver coins to fill his solstice stocking or equinox eggs rather than candy. I always give him the choice on any holiday to spend the holiday budget or pocket it. For example on Halloween I say, "We can spend $20 on a costume, or I can buy you a silver coin," and on Easter I say, "I can spend $20 on toys to fill your eggs, or I can spend $20 on pieces of silver for your eggs." For many years he always chose the silver. He now has a lot of silver.

Anders didn't enjoy making small sums of money doing chores for his dad and me and last year asked me to help him find a "real job." The only "real" work available for children (in terms of high wages) is in the entertainment business. Tom thought that auditioning would be an incredible learning experience for him, and I agreed. Auditioning would require him to develop the skill of walking into a room full of strangers and pitching himself. It would require learning to deal with rejection. It would also require memorization work. We couldn't imagine a better extra-curricular.

So I drove Anders to many auditions during the months we were in Los Angeles. He ended up booking four commercials, two with additional print jobs, and a television show. He now keeps a financial book where he tracks his net worth. I cut out a piece of graph paper with 100 squares and asked him to cut up the paper showing me how much he wanted to spend and how much he wanted to save. He chose to save 90% and spend 10%. That is exactly what he has done.

When he first started going on auditions, he thought they were a lot of fun. He made friends at all of them and found them to be an enjoyable social experience. After he got his first paycheck and got to walk around with a wad of cash in his pocket - cash he earned himself - he started to get much more into it.

It has been interesting for me to see him on set compared to the other kids. Many of the other kids I have met on the sets where Anders has worked were not there because they wanted a job, but because being a star was their dream. I watched repeatedly as they arrived on the set, elated to be there, only to find that filming a commercial is a long, boring day, and quite hard work. Usually by lunchtime the other kids were zoning out into their phones and ipads, and by the end of the day were disappointed and seemed sad.

Anders, on the other hand, was there to work and make money. He has never thought of acting as fun nor does he want to be a star or even know what that is. He takes pride in going to work and takes it very seriously - he goes to bed early before a shoot day, and he doesn't consume any sugar on the set because he knows doing so would make him act unprofessionally. He chooses from among the junk foods offered at craft services and puts what he wants in my purse to consume later, when he is not at work. He treats the adults on set like his bosses and his desire is to do good work, not get in front of the camera or show off i.e. he doesn't act like the other actor children. But he is also not shy or afraid of the camera - or the adults. He makes friends with the adults and talks to them like another adult would, like they may be his bosses, but they can also be his friends. The other children have generally stood around awkwardly or played with their phones. They are generally very polite and compliant (and if they are not their mothers yell out, "Don't be sassy!") but there is something very attractive about Anders - I would not say that he has better manners, just that he is very present and real.

I have no idea how this will all play out. Anders is welcome to audition for things as long as he wants to and as long as I am willing to drive him to auditions. I have told him that he does not need to make money now and that his father and I will support him for many years to come, but that has not lessened his motivation to earn money now.

Tangent on auditioning for work (which was too long to put in above): One of the most important lessons Anders is learning through auditions is that if you want work, you have to do work first for free, and if you want to get promoted, you have to do even more work for free. Anders has lines to memorize before every audition, sometimes many lines. He has to do the work of memorizing without any guarantee of getting paid. If he wants a higher booking rate, he needs to improve his skills (by taking classes).

This is very similar to the real world that Tom and I have experienced. You don't get a raise and then start working harder. You don't get promoted and then learn new skills. You put the time in first - you learn the new skills and that leads to a promotion; you work harder and provide more value to your company, and then you get a raise.


PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT & SELF DEFENSE
Did camp at Beverly Hills Ballroom Dance 
Took classes at Krav-Maga Worldwide Martial Arts
Took classes in singing at Cornerstone Music Academy
Did many weeks of camp at Jag Gym Gymnastics
Watched YouTube: Annies Final Gymnastics Evolution
Watched YouTube: Flexible Kids Gymnastics Training School
Did two weeks of camp at Swordplay Fencing Academy
Did laser tag
Practiced archery and ax throwing at the Renaissance Fair
Went to shooting rage, practiced shooting bb gun
Was read selections from The Gift of Fear
Was read selections from On Combat
Watched: CSGO - How to Improve your Aim with Science
Read Butekyo Meets Dr. Mew
Did elocution exercises
Learned a great deal about his body, health, and nutrition that is included under the science section.

Notes:
Anders continues to develop a beautiful looking, healthy, well-proportioned body. He is strong and agile.

Doing the Butekyo breathing program and elocution exercises at this age is highly recommended. 

"Business and life skills" and "physical development and self-defense" are the first areas of study listed in this post because I think they are the most important.


MATH
Singapore Math, Primary Mathematics Level 1A (completed)
Kumon program, first grade level, pages 100-200/200 (completed)
Kumon program, second grade level, pages 120-150/200
Kumon Workbook: My First Book of Money: Counting Coins (completed)
Kumon Workbook: My Book of Money: Dollars & Cents, pages (completed)
Kumon Workbook: Easy Time Telling (completed)
Kumon Workbook: My Book of Time Telling (completed)
Kahn Academy, first grade: 80%  completed
Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards (completed)
Curious Minds Geoboard with Geometric Shape Pattern Cards (completed)
Beads & Pattern Cards by Learning Resource (completed)
Hidden Pictures Around the World by School Zone, Ages 5-Up (completed)
What's Different by Fran Newman-D'Amico (completed)
Was read The Greedy Triangle
Was read Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!
Was read The Pythagorean Theorem for Babies
Was read Non-Euclidean Geometry for Babies
Was read Pigs in the Pantry
Was read Once Upon a Dime
Was read Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi
Was read Sir Cumference and the First Round Table
Was read Give Me Half!
Was read Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman
Was read How Big is a Foot by Rolf Myller
Was read Get up and Go (Math Start) by Stuart J. Murphy
Was read Divide and Ride (Math Start) by Stuart J. Murphy
Was read Betcha! (Math Start) by Stuart J. Murphy
Was read More or Less (Math Start) by Stuart J. Murphy
Was read Elevator Magic (Math Start) by Stuart J. Murphy
Was read The Penny Pot (Math Start) by Stuart J. Murphy
Watched YouTube: The Story of One BBC Full Documentary
Did Montessori math private tutoring
Took classes at Cornerstone Music Academy: Piano

Notes:
Anders played around with Kahn academy in the spring and though he enjoyed it, I think it offers terrible instruction. It's a fantastic idea, just currently executed poorly.

Anders does Montessori tutoring to make sure he has concrete math exposure. Kumon is for rote memorization. I had planned to start Singapore math with Anders next fall as I had read that it was too abstract for kids younger than seven, but when I ordered the materials I would want for next fall, (including the Singapore math program,) I found that Anders is way past level 1. The entire book is going to be review. If you are following Anders's curriculum with your own child, I recommend starting Singapore Math whenever your child reaches level A in Kumon.

Also, Singapore Math seems almost identical to Kumon, so I am not sure if both are necessary.


LOGIC
Brain Quest, First Grade Level (completed)
Building Thinking Skills, primary level (completed)
What's Wrong by Anna Pomaska (completed)
Was read Lots of Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids
Was read Logic to the Rescue
Dr. DooRiddles, Level A1/Grades PK-2 (completed)
Dr. DooRiddles, Level A2/Grades PK-2 (completed)
Dr. DooRiddles, Level A3/Grades 2-3 (completed)
Mind Benders, Level 1 (completed)
Mind Benders, Level 2 (completed)
Maze Craze Castle Mazes (completed)
Gifted Testing Flash Cards Verbal Concepts, PK-2ed Grade (completed)
Gifted and Talented OLSAT Test Prep Workbook, Grade 1 (completed)
Gifted and Talented COGAT Test Prep Workbook, Grade 1 (completed)
Smart Cookie Inc NNAT 2 Practice Tests, Grade 1, (completed)
Gifted and Talented Prep NNAT 2 Practice Test, Kindergarten & 1st Grade
Mr. Rhee's Brilliant Math Series: Practice Tests for NNAT 2, Grade 1
Analogies for Beginners, grades 1-3, pages 1-26/32
Ravensburger Exciting Joust 100 Piece puzzle
Melissa and Doug Towering Castle 200 piece puzzle
Ravensburger Wolf Family in the Sun 200 piece puzzle

Notes:
Anders has a logical fallacies poster above his desk that we use for reference: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756060508/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1


GRAMMAR
First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, Level/Grade 1
Mad Libs: Happily Ever After

Notes:
I love the well-trained mind grammar program. However, it is too repetitive for Anders. Also, he memorizes poems of his choosing rather than the ones in the book.

In schools today reading, grammar, writing, penmanship, spelling, and vocabulary are taught as one subject called "language arts" rather than as separate subjects. Under what is called the classical curriculum, these were taught as separate subjects, which meant that students focused on one of these skills at a time. That's why I prefer the classical system, because these are different skills, and I think child are much happier and more interested in learning these skills when they can progress at different rates according to interest and ability.


READING
Hooked on Phonics, Second Grade Level (completed)
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (completed)
Read The Cereal Box
Read Mother Night
Read The Party
Read A Rose, a Bridge, and a Wild Black Horse
Read Detective Dog and the Lost Rabbit
Read Danny and the Dinosaur
Was read Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
Was read Animal Farm
Was read Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case
Was read Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day
Was read Encyclopedia Brown
Was read Encyclopedia Brown Carries On
Was read Encyclopedia Brown, Super Sleuth
Was read The Troll With No Heart in His Body and other Tales of Trolls, from Norway
Was read An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales
Was read Ballet Stories by Lisa Church
Was read Giraffe Juice: The Magic of Making Life Wonderful
Was read The Christmas Wish
Was read The Dangerous Book for Boys
Was read The Hobbit
Was read The Fellowship of the Ring
Was read The Two Towers
Was read The Return of the King
Was read Just So Stories
Was read The Jungle Book
Was read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Was read Could Be Worse! by James Stevenson
Was read The Mysterious Tadpole
Was read Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm
Was read Elsie & Pooka: Stories of the Sabbats and Seasons
Was read What Should Danny Do?

Notes:
We did the first 85 lessons in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons a year or so ago before returning to the Hooked on Phonics program which we finished in January of this year. Then we returned to the 100 Easy Lessons program for reading practice - we didn't do the last fifteen lessons, Anders just read the stories.

With my next child I will most likely not do Hooked on Phonics or 100 Easy Lessons, but rather Phonics Pathways, which I have read great things about, but have not yet tried personally.


PENMANSHIP
Zaner Bloser Handwriting: Grade K (completed)
Kumon Workbook: My Book of Pasting
Took classes in classical drawing at Renaissance Fine Art

Notes:
Penmanship is the one subject a child cannot "get ahead" in. Even if they do finish their workbook, it would be frustrating for them to move on to the next level as mechanical development just isn't there yet, hence the move to cutting and pasting workbooks rather than the first grade handwriting workbook.

This is also one of the big reasons why I like the classical curriculum in reading rather than the modern combination "language arts." See my post about that http://roslynross.blogspot.com/2016/12/ideal-reading-programs-and-kumon-i-can.html


HISTORY
Was read The Story of the World: Ancient Times

Was read Pyramid by David Macaulay
Watched YouTube: Ancient Egyptians The Battle Of Megiddo
Watched YouTube: Ancient Egyptian Weapons & Battles - Full Documentary
Watched YouTube: Military History Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt

Was read Aesop's Fables by Ann McGovern
Was read Midas and the Golden Touch by Charlotte Craft
Was read The Story of the Greeks by Helene A. Guerber
Was read and studied maps in The New Penguin Atlas of Ancient History
Was read Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of the Iliad
Was read The Iliad by Homer, Stanley Lombardo translation
Was read The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey
Was read The Aeneid for Boys and Girls by Alfred J. Church
Was read D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths
Was read Stories from the Greek Tragedies by Alfred J. Church
Was read The Heroes by Charles Kingsley
Was read Pegasus by Marianna Mayer
Watched YouTube: Ancient Sparta and the Vikings History Channel Documentary
Watched YouTube: Chaeronea 338 BC - Great Military Battles
Watched YouTube: Armies and Tactics: Greek Armies from Mycenae to the Agrarian Warfare
Was read Alexander the Great: Children's Biographies
Watched YouTube: Alexander the Great - National Geographic
Watched YouTube: Alexander the Great the Definitive Documentary Full Documentary
Was read The Great Alexander the Great by Joe Lasker
Was read Plutarch's Lives (the chapters on Alexander & Ceasar) by Plutarch

Watched YouTube: Engineering The Carthages Empire History Documentary
Watched YouTube: Hannibal The Man Who Hated Rome (Roman Empire Documentary)

Was read City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction
Watched YouTube: Why The Romans Were So Effective In Battle by Sterling Documentaries
Watched YouTube: War The Roman Army Full Documentary
Watched Nova, season 11: Roman Catacomb Mystery
Watched Nova, season 13: Colosseum-Roman Death Trap
Watched YouTube: The Battle of Cannae 216 BC - Great Military Battles
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 1: The Rise of the Roman Empire
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 2: Legions of Conquest
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 3: Seduction of Power
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 4: Grasp of an Empire
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 5: Cult of Order
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 6: The Fall of the Roman Empire
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 7: Letters From the Roman Front
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 8: Wrath of the Gods
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 9: The Soldiers Emperor
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 10: Constantine the Great
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 11: The Barbarian General
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire - Episode 12: The Puppet Master
Watched YouTube: The Roman Evolution - From Republic to Empire - Full...
Watched YouTube: Epic Battle Of Alesia - Julius Caesar vs Vercingetorix
Watched YouTube: Julius Ceasar - TV Documentary
Watched YouTube: Julius Ceasar - History Channel Documentary
Watched YouTube: Rome - Julius Ceasar
Watched YouTube: Battle of Alesia condensed
Watched YouTube: The Tyrant Dyocletian
Watched YouTube: Battle of Actium (31 BC) - Final War of the Roman Republic Documentary
Was read Germania by Tacitus (boring for him but interesting to me!)
Was read Arminius: The Amber King Trilogy
Was read Teutoburg Forest AD 9: The destruction of Varus and his legions 
Watched YouTube: The Varus Disaster - Great Military Battles
Watched YouTube: Teutoburg Forest 9 AD - Great Military Battles
Watched YouTube: Germania 9 AD - Great Military Battles
Watched YouTube: Germania: The Battle Against Rome
Watched YouTube: Arminius: The Battle Against Rome 12: A Province Too Far
Watched YouTube: Arminius: The Battle Against Rome 22: The Battle
Was read Agricola by Tacitus
Was read A History of Ancient Britain by Neil Oliver
Visited Hadrian's Wall and Roman museums in England
Was read Mons Graupius AD 83: Rome's Battle at the Edge of the World
Was read selections from The Historical Atlas of the Celtic World

Was read selections from The History of Scotland for Children
Was read The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
Was read Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff
Watched YouTube: The Celts - BBC Series Ep 1 - In the Beginning
Watched YouTube: The Celts - BBC Series Ep 2 - Heroes in Defeat
Watched YouTube: The Celts - BBC Series Ep 3 - Sacred Groves
Watched YouTube: The Celts - BBC Series Ep 4 - From Camelot to Christ
Watched YouTube: The Celts - BBC Series Ep 5 - Legend and Reality
Watched YouTube: The Celts - BBC Series Ep 6 - A Dead Song
Watched YouTube: How the Celts Saved Britain Documentary 1/2
Watched YouTube: How the Celts Saved Britain Documentary 2/2
Watched YouTube: Military History Ancient Celts and Ancient Normans
Watched YouTube: Scotland: Rome's Final Frontier by BBC Scotland
Watched YouTube: Warrior Queen Boudica by The History Channel Documentary

Watched YouTube: History Channel Documentary History Of The Byzantium
Watched YouTube: Hagia Sophia A Walk-Through
Watched YouTube: Hagia Sophia Istanbuls Mystery, Nova PBS
Watched YouTube: Hagia Sophia Jewel of the Byzantines

Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire: The Sack of Rome by Great Military Battles
Watched YouTube: The Roman Empire Crisis of the 3rd Century
Watched YouTube: Remnants of an Empire Roman Byzantine Empire #1

Watched YouTube: Ancient Warriors [920] - The Huns

Notes:
We follow the classical history curriculum meaning that we started with hunter-gatherers and ancient civilizations. This has turned out to be fantastic, better than I ever imagined. History may be Anders's favorite subject after logic. He has especially loved the study of ancient Rome, and knows more about Roman rulers and wars than I do. The epics - the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid - it's almost like these were written for young boys, that's how much Anders loves them.

Anders currently swears by saying, "Fiends and furies!"

I think it is extremely important to expose children to challenging books from the get go i.e. books written a long time ago. In this way they get used to the old-fashioned vocabulary words and are not afraid, intimidated, or annoyed by old-fashioned books later. (For more on this idea read Marva Collins.) I don't read Anders exclusively challenging books - he always picks the next book from the stack by my bedside, and there is always a selection of picture books, easy kids books, and old epics to choose from.

I highly recommend the application "ClipGrap" for downloading documentaries from YouTube.

I love The Story of the World - it is a very entertaining history textbook, but I think Anders would have enjoyed the version the same author wrote for high schoolers more than the version she wrote for kindergarteners. I am going to try the high schooler version for the middle ages.

I have yet to see a negative effect of allowing Anders access to the real world (adult documentaries) rather than making it PG for him - he has yet to ever come to my room in the middle of the night complaining of a bad dream (I don't think he has ever had a bad dream). He is not scared of the dark. His confidence in negotiating the world and making his own life choices is highly correlated with the fact that he is given access to all the information he wants and is not lied to and has nothing hidden from him. See this lecture for more on this subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQuMWgH7Ibk

Anders has a Greek gods poster on his wall that we use for reference. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NLO0IY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Anders has a history timeline poster on his wall that we use for reference. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0721712002/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1


SCIENCE/ENGINEERING/TECHNOLOGY
Was read Focus on Middle School Chemistry
Watched TedEd: Activiating Energy Kickstarting Chemical Reactions - Vance Kite
Watched TedEd: What Triggers a Chemical Reaction - Kareem Jarrah
Watched TedEd: Just How Small is an Atom - Jonathan Bergmann
Watched TedEd: How Atoms Bond - George Zaiden and Charles Morton
Watched TedEd: Activation Energy Kickstarting Chemical Reactions - Vance Kite
Watched TedEd: What Is Chemical Equilibrium - George Zaidan and Charles Morton
Watched TedEd: Just How Small is an Atom - Jonathan Bergmann
Watched TedEd: Why Does Ice Float in Water - George Zaidan and Charles Morton
Watched TedEd: Why Don't Oil and Water Mix - John Pollard
Watched TedEd: The Science of Spiciness - Rose Eveleth
Watched TedEd: The Deadly Irony of Gunpowder - Eric Rosado
Watched TedEd: The Strengths and Weaknesses of Acids and...  - Zaidan and Morton

Was read Focus on Middle School Biology
Was read: The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body By Macaulay
Visited Bodies exhibit at Los Angeles Science Center
Watched TedEd: How We Think Complex Cells Evolved - Adam Jacobson
Watched TedEd: The Wacky History of Cell Theory - Lauren Royal-Woods
Watched TedEd: Insights into Cell Membranes via Dish Detergent - Ethan Perlstein
Watched TedEd: Cell vs. Virus: A Battle for Health - Shannon Stiles
Was read Germs Make Me Sick (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Watched TedEd: The Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep - Shair Marcu
Watched TedEd: What Would Happen If You Didn’t Sleep - Claudia Aguirre
Watched TedEd: What Makes Muscles Grow - Jeffrey Siegel
Watched TedEd: How Your Digestive System Works - Emma Bryce
Watched TedEd: How Does Your Body Know When You're Full? - Hilary Coller
Watched Ted Ed: How the Food You Eat Affects Your Gut - Shilpa Rivella
Watched TedEd: How the Food You Eat Affects Your Brain - Mia Nacamulli
Watched TedEd: What Would Happen if You Didn't Drink Water - Mia Nacamulli
Was read Baby Whales Drink Milk (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Watched TedEd: The Science of Milk - Jonathan J OSullivan
Watched TedEd: What Causes Cavities - Mel Rosenberg
Watched YouTube: The Secrets of Sugar - The Fifth Estate - CBC News
Was read: How Many Teeth (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Watched YouTube: Mistakes You Make Brushing Your Teeth
Watched YouTube: How to Brush Your Teeth Lean in 4 Simple Steps!
Watched TedEd: What Does the Liver Do - Emma Bryce
Watched TedEd: What Does the Pancreas Do - Emma Bryce
Watched TedEd: Why Do Blood Types Matter - Natalie S. Hodge
Watched TedEd: How the Heart Actually Pumps Blood - Edmond Hui
Was read: Hear Your Heart (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Was read: I Can Tell By Touching (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Was read: A Drop of Blood (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Was read: Hear Your Heart (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Was read I'm Growing (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Watched TedEd: How Blood Pressure Works - Wilfred Manzano
Watched TedEd: How Do Your Kidneys Work - Emma Bryce
Watched TedEd: How menstruation works - Emma Bryce
Watched TedEd: What Do the Lungs Do - Emma Bryce
Watched TedEd: Oxygen’s Surprisingly Complex Journey Through Your Body - Enda Butler
Watched TedEd: How Stress Affects Your Body - Sharon Horesh Bergquist
Watched TedEd: Why Do Our Bodies Age - Monica Menesini
Watched TedEd: Why Do We Cry The Three Types of Tears - Alex Gendler
Watched TedEd: How a Wound Heals Itself - Sarthak Sinha
Watched TedEd: How Do Scars Form - Sarthak Sinha
Watched TedEd: How Your Muscular System Works - Emma Bryce
Watched TedEd: Wait Til 7 How Does the Thyroid Manage Your Metabolism - Emma Bryce
Watched TedEd: What Causes Body Odor - Mel Rosenberg
Watched TedEd: What Happens to Our Bodies After We Die - Farnaz Khatibi Jafari
Watched TedEd: Why Should You Listen to Vivaldi's Four Seasons - Betsy Schwarm

Was read Who Eats What? Food Chains and Food Webs (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Was read Animals in Winter (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Watched National Geographic: Kids Really Wild Animals (Animal Builders)
Watched National Geographic: Wild (Eternal Enemies)
Watched National Geographic: Creatures of the Deep
Watched YouTube: World's Largest Python Ever Seen Full Documentary
Watched National Geographic: Burrowers Animals Underground, episode 1
Watched National Geographic: Burrowers Animals Underground, episode 2
Watched Nova, season 14: Mysteries Beneath the Ice

Was read Focus on Middle School Geology
Visited La Brea Tar Pits
Watched TedEd: The Science of Symmetry - Colm Kelleher
Watched TedEd: Why Is Glass Transparent - Mark Miodownik
Was read Sunshine Makes the Seasons (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Was read Down Comes the Rain (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Watched Nova, season 16: Treasures of the Earth: Gems
Watched Nova, season 16: Treasures of the Earth: Metals

Was read Focus on Middle School Physics
Watched TedEd: Is Light a Particle or a Wave - Colm Kelleher
Was read Gravity is a Mystery (Let's Read and Find Out Science)
Was read Quantum Physics for Babies by Chris Ferrie
Watched Nova, season 16: Treasures of the Earth: Power
Watched Nova, season 16: The Nuclear Option
Watched Nova, season 16: Search for the Super Battery
Watched TedEd: What is color - Colm Kelleher

Visited Space shuttle exhibit Los Angeles Science Center
Was read Jet Plane: How It Works
Watched National Geographic: Known Universe: Surviving Outer Space
Watched National Geographic: Known Universe: Treasure Hunt
Watched National Geographic: Known Universe: Most Powerful Stars
Watched National Geographic: Known Universe: Extreme Space Tech
Watched National Geographic: Known Universe: Construction Zone
Watched Discovery: When We Left Earth: Project Mercury
Watched Nova, season 16: Why Trains Crash
Watched Nova, season 12: First Air War
Watched Nova, season 16: Ultimate Cruise Ship
Watched YouTube: BBC`s panorama - videogame addiction  - part 1
Watched YouTube: BBC`s panorama - videogame addiction  - part 2
Watched TedEdx: Escaping video game addiction - Cam Adair

Watched YouTube: How Television Affects Your Brain Chemistry
Watched YouTube: Coolest Robots You Can Actually Own!
Watched YouTube: The Most Advanced Robots
Watched YouTube: Boston Dynamics Talks About the Future of Robots
Read first few chapters of The Story of Western Science.
Destination Science Space Camp (one week)
Destination Science Makers Camp (one week)
Destination Science Robotics Camp (one week)

Notes:
Anders has a evolution and classification of life poster that we use for reference. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0987893653/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1


FINE ART
Took classes at Renaissance Fine Art: Drawing with Pastels level
Took classes at Cornerstone Music Academy: Piano & Voice
Did a week of camp at Beverly Hills Ballroom: ballroom dance

Note:
I have listed these classes under different categories as well. In addition to developing the fine motor skills required for good handwriting, I consider traditional drawing to be lessons in objective beauty, which is a business and life skill.

Voice is also a life skill and a business skill. Many people don't speak with their natural voices and are not pleasant to listen to. In addition, strengthening vocal muscles with singing contributes to better muscular development which lowers chances of snoring or having sleep apnea and contributes to healthy facial growth, which is why I also list these under physical development.

Piano (or any music lessons) have been shown to increase math skills (which is why piano is also listed under the math section).

In studying the effect of sport-choice on children's physical development, I have always been a fan of dance. Children who dance generally develop the most attractive, limber, and balanced physiques (unlike volleyball players or swimmers who develop gigantic shoulders, making their bodies look unbalanced, or tennis and golf players whose sport causes one arm to get bigger than the other, creating not just imbalance but future back and hip problems.) A recent study came out saying that dance is also the best sport for old people, preventing brain deterioration better than any other sport studied. 


SPANISH
Anders spent four months in Nicaragua practicing Spanish all day every day
Did private tutoring with Kalpachay
Coquito Clasico, Lectura Inicial, pages 1-30/128
Was read Yoruga la Tortuga
Was read La Casa del Arbol: La hora de los Juegos Olimpicos

Notes:
I can't tell you if Anders is fluent in Spanish or not, but I can tell you that he speaks better Spanish than I do, that he can translate many things for me and that he enjoys correcting my pronunciation.


APS ON MY IPAD
Photos, Camera, Clock, Calculator, iBooks, Voice Memos, Notes
dB Meter Pro (so that Anders can see how loud things are and make sure he is not damaging his ears)
Mathtopia
Monster Math
Montessori Numbers by L'escapadou
Drawing pad
Chess
Viking Chess
Rush Hour
Jigsaw Puzzle
Keynote

Notes:
I generally keep about twenty documentaries on my ipad as well. I constantly update them according to Anders's interests.


FAVORITE MUSIC (in order of how much he likes them)
Sarah Brightman - nothing can beat how beautiful she sings, he says
Antti Martikainen - but this epic battle music comes close, he says
Josh Vietti - almost as good as Antti
Capella Istropolitana - these last three are pretty equally good
London Symphony Orchestra
Trans-Siberian Orchestra


DEVELOPMENTAL NOTES
At the beginning of this year, Anders slept with me sometimes and not at other times. Usually it depended on when we wanted to go to bed - if he wanted to stay up later he slept in his own room. Sometimes I would ask him to not sleep with me (because I needed a good night's rest) and he was happy to give me that gift.

By the end of this year Anders was almost sleeping in his own bed. He likes going to bed on his own time, which is generally about fifteen minutes after I turn out my light.

Anders has never yet come to me in the middle of the night complaining of a bad dream - not once in his entire life. This is fascinating to me because it is so rare and because Anders watches adult documentaries that many people would assume would be too scary for children. My theory has always been that magical thinking and insecurity about reality are far scarier than reality and in this little study of n=1, thus far, I am totally convinced that I am correct. Reality is far better for children than fantasy. (Though at this point Anders has been exposed to quite a bit of fantasy, I waited until he was fully competent at reality before I introduced fantasy, and even then, I always confirm with him that he still knows the difference.)

Anders stopped doing full moon movie nights from December through May because he didn't want to deal with the brain hangover. Once camps started in June, he started wanting to see movies again as he likes to have seen what the other kids are talking about.

Anders has been exposed to mine craft but finds it to be extremely addictive and for that reason currently plans to only play it once a year, on January 1. Note that if Anders had not been exposed to information about addiction, he could never have reached that conclusion. 

Anders no longer asks me for snacks or even lunch half of the time, rather he goes into the kitchen and gets food for himself. Currently he is most likely to make himself scrambled eggs, toast with butter and honey, orange juice (from oranges that he juices himself), or an apple (that he peels himself). 

Anders likes his apples partially peeled - he peels most of the apple but leaves some of the peel on. Why? Because he knows that the peels have important vitamins in them, but also finds the peels hard to chew, thus he makes that compromise. Similarly when we have pasta for dinner, we do half brown noodles and half white. Anders prefers the white noodles, but knows the brown noodles have valuable vitamins that he doesn't want to miss out on. We used to do half white and half brown rice, but Anders likes the flavor of the brown rice I buy enough to forgo the white entirely, so I stopped buying white rice a few months ago. (We buy the Lundberg Family Farms Wild Blend Brown Rice which I cook in chicken stock.)

Anders continues to show me that that given good information and the freedom to choose, children make excellent choices.

Final note: Anders has taught me a lot about "natural hierarchy." Meaning that, though I don't aim to be the boss in our relationship, I often find that I am treated as such. This has led me to do reading on hierarchy which I currently think is fine, as long as the humans engaging in it are choosing it of their own free will. (Not to leave you with the impression that I am the boss to the extent that most moms are, I am not at all, just that I am more "the boss" than I had expected to be.)