A few weeks into our term & I heard a child state, "I'm bored." I wasn't surprised to hear the statement considering he'd fallen asleep through the last week of reading aloud, history, & other such learnings. Truth be told when I mapped out the second half of our World History plans I really only had my eldest in mind. I'd added in a couple of books, here & there, to add a little fun & flavour to it. In fact the extra books I selected for my boy were books scheduled for children in 8th grade or higher.
Books like our European History are much better geared for the older crowd without doubt, & when that book came out every morning the younger one pulled his quilt up a little higher, closed his eyes & settled in for a bit of sleep. "I tried, I really tried to stay awake, but eventually all this stuff just made me sleepy."
"I'm bored. I don't mean to be bored, but I am."
"I all ready know this stuff I guess."
"I don't think that's true. I know we learned things this week that shocked you so I don't think you all ready know this information."
He sighed deeply, "I'm just bored."
"Do you think maybe you're bored because you don't understand the information?"
"Maybe. I understand some of it, but not all of it."
"Do you understand the orange book?"
"No! I don't really like that book at all. It's so boring with people just fighting over who's church is right & I don't know which church is which & I just want to shout at them to stop being so stupid."
And thus we'd found the real problem. This happened last year too where he was okay for a little while, some of the books really grabbed his attention, & others were flying over his head. I've always taken the approach in educating my children where most people tend to label it as, "better late then early." I can handle that label. I'd rather my child understood, fully, what he's studying, then that I rush him through something just so I can say we did it.
Our conversation ended with my reply of, "I think that maybe you should think about something you'd really love to study & then come & tell me. We'll save the other history for Morgan, because it's meant for his age."
My boy was a little taken aback, all though it's not the first, & unlikely to be the last, time he's been asked to make a choice, but it's a big responsibility & despite his crazier side he takes it very seriously. It took him 2 days to decide that what he'd most especially love to learn about would be the Civil war.
His theory, oh I love it when they share their thought pattern, was that he knew about the Civil War, but he didn't know a lot about it like he did about the Revolutionary War. I was reminded that I have the 10-Week Civil War study from Spirited Autumn Hope & I pulled that up to look over one evening. Which reminded me to peep at Winter Promise's All-American 2.
It too starts with a Civil War study, just slightly shorter, & then continues forward with Westward Expansion & continues until modern times. It includes book much more suited to my non-fiction lover on topics he's not familiar with & in bite sized bits to keep him from finding the need to close his eyes & drift off to sleep.
He was excited to look over the book selections & to see he could still start out with a Civil War study first. We had several of the books on our shelves all ready as this was the original plan for him way back when we discussed the plans for the 2016 school year. This allowed him to really get a feel for what he'd be studying despite not having all the books yet.
Come Term 2 he'll start working through AA-2 & he's so excited about his Civil War Study he's rounded up a few books from around the house he thinks might be helpful. Never mind he's all ready read those books & will likely read them again because it's just what he does. This is the kid who is most often curled up with a non-fiction book & then proceeds to tell us all the wonderfully amazing things he's learned.
This takes us back to our original plan which allows the eldest to work independently, something he's very very good at now that he has his lovely tints. He's also an early riser which allows him to dig into his work rather then tapping his toes & impatiently waiting for his brother to rise & shine.
We're calling it our Plan B: Divide & Conquer.