“Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.”
Walter Bagehot (1826-77) English economist, political journalist, and critic. Physics and Politics, 1879.

Another small milestone has been reached for the Frania family. We’re doing something different in our schooling, something I’ve wanted to do but never had the chance. We decided to try just two subjects, full time. We started in September to see how fast we could finish them. We did this for a couple of reasons. 1. It’s easier for students to stay focused if they’re not constantly interrupted with breaks,  lunch, change of classes/subjects, etc. 2. It’s easier for the teacher to have to check and grade two subjects rather than 6 or 8. Oh, I’d got so behind some days!

With that in mind, we chose two classes: Math and Science, the hardest and most tedious. Levi finished his entire year’s worth of Consumers Math yesterday, and Jacob finished today. I took the 300 pages of math and split it up to fit 2 months of school days. What I didn’t realize is that there were divider pages and teacher’s notes that the boys just jumped over when they did their 8 required math pages a day. This was a blessing, for they finished much earlier than we had anticipated. We made the rule they couldn’t eat lunch until all their math was done and checked, including corrections. Some days lunch time was very late, but they met their goal each day. It cut down on the stress for both student and teacher because it left no room for putting it off, which was a typical scenario of prior years.  After lunch they would do their science and then an hour of reading from some historical novel. Those of you who know me, know that I cannot forgo reading regardless of our schooling strategy. Reading is just a given in this house, and if it’s on a subject that will gain them high school credit, the more the better. I also threw in a little bit of Computer Science to give the boys something to look forward to at the end of their “regular” school day. All three boys are working on a blog and Levi is learning the Adobe products (InDesign & Photoshop) on his own. Levi is putting together his own comic book using his drawings and the Adobe products to format it.

Jonathan has Saxon Algebra 1 this year, which is a bit more challenging than Consumers math. But so far, our strategy is working well for him as well. He does 2 1/2 lessons a day unless there’s a test, which we count as one lesson. In just two weeks he’s finished 27 lessons along with 4 tests. (He got a late start on his math because he had other school work to finish up) At this rate, he’ll finish in three months.

The jury is still out, since we have never done this before, but so far it looks like our plan is working. Jacob has been taking some time out to apprentice a friend who’s an electrician, but it hasn’t hurt his output in any way. If anything, it’s helped him to manage his time. All in all, I really like this type of schooling and hope we’ll be able to finish early this year. At this rate, if all goes well, we should finish school at least a month early, or maybe even choose to take off more time than usual during the holidays. I’ve seen a desire forming in their minds to excel. There have been times I’ve let them off school to help others, fully intending to not require any schoolwork that day, yet they decided on their own to make up the time they missed. I especially like the fact we aren’t held back from important family events because of our school schedule – like moving day for the Jones family. All of us were there to help because we could. Many times they have expressed to me that they like this new way of schooling. I certainly know I do!