Blogging about music, family life, the outdoors, unschooling and everything else

for more than a quarter century

Category: School

  • Will school ever be the whole story?

    Will school ever be the whole story?

    Although she’s only equivalent to Grade 9 by age and this semester is taking three academic Grade 12 courses, school has ended up being fairly unchallenging for Fiona. She picked up a DL Spanish course in October to fill her days and that helped while it lasted. It’s not like she’s completely miserable; she enjoys […]

  • Second year of school

    Fiona has begun Grade 11 at the big mainstream school in Nelson. Compared to the scheduling chaos of last year, her first year in school, it has been a very smooth start. She likes being back at the routine. She loved being welcomed back by all her friends whom she hadn’t seen over the summer. […]

  • Big summers

    The big kids had big summers this year. We knew Erin’s would be big. She had been offered a Tanglewood fellowship. This meant spending the summer in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts playing in an amazing orchestra and performing at the Tanglewood Festival alongside (and sometimes with) the Boston Symphony. The fellowship covered all her living […]

  • First year of school

    Fiona finished her first year of school, Grade 10, just over a week ago. Over the previous three years she had taken two core courses (math and science) and two short electives (Spanish and dance) at our local village school, but this year was the first time she attended school on a daily basis. And for this […]

  • End of Semester 1

    Fiona turned 14 last week and has just completed her first semester as a mainstream school student at a bricks-and-mortar high school in Nelson. How are things going in the world of school? Pretty well. She had three Grade 11 courses last semester (Honours Physics, Chemistry and Art) and earned straight A’s with a 97 […]

  • First school term

    Fiona has reached the end of the first term of the first semester of her first year fully enrolled in school. She has a part-time course load, with just three out of four time-slots filled. She is taking Art 11, Chemistry 11 and Honours Physics 11. By age she in an eighth-grader, by enrolment she’s […]

  • Physics is hard

    Fiona has now been in high school for two weeks. It feels like a month! In both a bad way and a good way. Her life has been so crazy full that it feels like a month must have passed for all of that to have been packed in! But also … it has quickly started feeling normal […]

  • A new year: school

    It’s been not entirely smooth, Fiona’s entry into mainstream bricks-and-mortar schooling. For those who have been keeping track, Fiona got her first tastes of regular schooling at our tiny local K-12 school. By tiny, I mean tiny. The high school portion has fewer than forty students, and even if you’re a homeschooled kid who rarely […]

  • Conventional wisdom and unschooled teens

    All four of my children grew up unschooling through their primary-school-aged years. Their learning was wide open, uncoerced, simultaneously lagging in some areas and massively precocious in others. It was typically highly efficient, mastery-oriented and interest-led. And then they all chose to attend school starting sometime between age 12 and 14. In some cases, at times, they attended part time. But […]

  • Distributed Learning: The Final Episode

    We are now nearing the end of what will be our last year of home-based learning. And the last part of the ride has been a bit bumpy. We started the year with Fiona (12 at the time, and officially “in Grade 9”) enrolled with SelfDesign, a DL program we’d had some experience with but hadn’t been part […]

  • Accomplishments

    Over the past few years the focus of my blog (well, it’s arguable whether it has any focus at all) has moved away from the specifics of what my children are up to. That’s been the natural result of them growing up and becoming their own people, and my feeling that I want to honour […]

  • Getting ready for school

    We’ve started the paperwork, the “Request for Transfer” into the bricks-and-mortar high school that Fiona wants to attend next year. Actually, she has started the paperwork; for whatever reason this kid loves filling out forms and isn’t afraid of a pen, so she has done it herself. Really, though, this whole year has really been about getting […]

  • The school year, times 4

    For the first time all four of my kids are officially enrolled in school. Fiona (12) is enrolled one-quarter time, taking two courses at the local school. She’s doing math and science for two hours on each of Monday and Tuesday mornings. Age-wise she’s Grade 7 age, placement-wise she’s “in” Grade 9, course-wise she’s taking […]

  • At the crashpad

    Sharing our lives out between two residences feels good in a number of ways. The travel doesn’t feel onerous: Fiona and I are doing two trips a week, just like we did all last year. For Sophie I think it’s turning out to be an unqualified success. She’s happy, she has a nice social group, […]

  • Graduating

    Noah is graduating from our tiny k-12 public school. He is the only student in his class who is planning post-secondary studies next year: a couple of others may attend college in the future, but they’re taking gap years to work or upgrade first. There were four graduates on stage this past weekend. Two were […]