Romans and Tire Pressure and Zombies…Oh My!

One thing I nearly never do on my blog is regale you with details about what we are studying in homeschool.  Mostly, that’s because when other homeschool bloggers do it, I tend to nod off for a minute.  Not that it isn’t important – – because it IS!  But somehow the excitement of a homeschool lesson is one of those things where, well, “you had to be there,” I guess.

But we’re at the end of our first “semester”, and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed nostalgic about all that we’ve covered so far this year.  So granted, this is probably more for my sake than yours, but I’m gonna lay it out there.  If nothing else, it will justify my existence as a homeschool mom.

Uber, as you may remember, is in his second year at the 3D virtual school called Wilostar 3D Academy.  He attends class via avatar, and uploads his assignments to his teachers.  First semester of 9th grade at Wilostar includes Ancient Civilization, 9th grade Integrated Language Arts, and Art.  Wilostar uses an integrated learning model, so that what you are studying in social studies or history is tied in with your literature assignments in Language Arts.  He covered everything from Ancient Egypt, to Ancient Rome, to Ancient China, and Ancient Africa.  And to supplement his studies he has read the following novels: Pharaoh’s Daughter, The Golden Goblet, Inside the Walls of Troy, and Siddhartha.self_portrait One of the highlights of the semester, of course, was his virtual performance in the story of King Midas.

For art, he has created a complete online portfolio, which I think is a really cool idea.  Using the DK Art Book as his text, he has learned about, and experimented with: shading, distance, pastels and color mixing, perspective, texture, shape and form, cartooning, and self-portraiture (see right).

In addition to his online work, Uber was also subjected to my self-designed Life Skills course.  Determined that no child of mine will head out to university or the working world without at least knowing how to check the tire pressure in a vehicle, I have put Uber through the paces of personal finance, character ed, automobile maintenance, job skills, and public transportation. Next semester is cooking and cleaning and sewing on buttons (basically home-ec, but let’s keep that little title between us, k?)

This is only Uber’s “official” education, though. That kid seems to be learning about something 24/7.  He has taught himself 3D-modeling, graphic design using Photoshop, hex-editing, and creating and designing his own trading cards. He is also slowly working on a fantasy drama novel.

Hyper-Techie (H-T) has had a busy semester as well.  He uses the Time4Learning online homeschool curriculum, and has been breezing right through math and language arts this year.  Geometry is his strong suit (not too surprising for a right-brainer), and he has made 100 on almost every geometry quiz so far!  T4L has an incredible 7th grade American History course that is animated and interactive.  I’m so jealous!  And we are supplementing that with a cool electronic field trip curriculum from Colonial Williamsburg, where we long to take a family trip one day.

H-T doesn’t stop there though.  I created my own earth science curriculum for him which involves lots of videos on Discovery’s United Streaming. We are working through the Saxon Phonics Intervention program, which is helping incredibly with the spelling troubles he deals with due to his dyslexia.  And he is also logo-final taking guitar this year and is just beginning to learn his very first song.  H-T needs to get his hands dirty, so to speak, and guide his own learning somewhat, so he is currently spending a little time each day on “social skills” – – interacting on the Fusefly social network for homeschooled kids.  He has made some pretty neat buddies online, actually.  And his current self-directed project is a screenplay B-Movie about zombies.  Thanks to a terrific online screenwriting program at, a finished screenplay is a very real possibility for a motivated 12-year-old!

Whew!  Oh my!

The main conclusion I’ve come to after this post?  We are SO ready for Christmas break!!!


5 Responses

  1. What a great semester! I need to take time to do the same thing. I actually use it for records. I plan some day to get super organized, sadly it will not be this day…

  2. O.k. so I was going to give the link for the feed, but I seem to have managed to subscribed to my own blog, which is great because you never know when I might write a post without knowing it. I also finally got am avatar there. Two down (because I always felt extremely silly not having one at flickr) 598 to go.

    Your kids sound really busy, in a truly fun way. Why the different “schools”? Different needs or is jsut and age issue?

  3. Now, see, when *I* read about what other homeschoolers are doing, I don’t nod off – I think of 40,000 other things that my kid could be learning about! Everything sounds so cool, and there just isn’t enough time in the day for him to learn it all. I do wish that he was a little more interested in computer stuff (yes, that’s the technical term), but at this point he’s only interested in a few computer games. It sounds like your boys are having a great time. Wish we lived a little closer so that my kid could hang out with your kids 😉

    • Holly – LOVE the avatar, btw. The different schools were for a couple reasons. One, T4L currently only goes through 8th grade, but even when he was in middle school, Uber needed his “social” fix, and Wilostar is very, very social-communication oriented. They even have the students collaborating on some projects. He loves IM-ing during classtime!

      FM – come on, you know you nodded off…just for a second…admit it!

      Sabrina – thanks for stopping by Sabrina!! and yes, we homeschoolers ought to start just sending in our blogs to the Dept. of NonPublic Education in our states as our “portfolio”, eh?

  4. What an interesting semester! Do you offer continuing ed? 😉

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