Monday, February 13, 2006

School Report

Home School report
Feb 13, 2006
For Student: Galen

During Galen’s first 2 months in an exclusive home school environment we have seen a large amount of changes in him and how he functions in relation to society and family.

Galen has become more verbal. He will not only talk to you, but he will make eye contact and works hard to make sure your eyes connect with his while he is talking. He will talk in full sentences with no encouragement and about a variety of expanding interests. Galen will initiate conversations in the home, at Tae Kwon Do and in many other places. He has learned how to get attention by asking and we are working on polite conversation techniques.

Galen has also been exposed to music and now will spontaneously sing by himself and occasionally in group settings. Along with speech and music he has developed an interest in foreign languages, often repeating the phrases of Korean used in his tae kwon do class and also in listening and imitating DVDs played in Spanish. Now we are taking home duel language books from the library every week.

Galen is learning the importance of group and family work. He tries to contribute to the meals and has made a rather interesting yogurt desert. He also has learned how to make soups and sandwiches. His favorite item to make for every one is toast. He is also required to help with the dishes and has learned how to clean his room. It is his job to keep his room clean and in so doing it gets cleaned about 5 times per week.

Galen has been helping some in the care of his younger brothers. This has been a very good learning experience for him. He has learned and shows some empathy, patience and brotherhood through these dealings. As he learns to connect with his brothers he also learns to connect with the society around him.

Galen is largely on a self study program. We allow him to explore all topics he is interested in. He enjoys exploration via the internet and local libraries. Mother guides reading time and planned outing and activities.

Galen has flourished in this open ended environment. He has started a thirst for knowledge and I have seen a lot of play with many newly learned items.
Recently Galen learned about the immune system, then when I set him about the task of picking up a bunch of clear plastic bags in the living room he grabbed a handful of white bags, called them “White cells” and he set about having them eat the “bacteria” clear bags.

Academically we have seen strides made in his understanding of reading. However, it is still a challenge to get him to want to read to me. Part of the problem seems to lie in his understand of the text non-verbally. I believe he pulls a lot of meaning out of the pictures and often doesn’t even want to look at the words. He can read almost all 4 letter words, but still needs help focusing on and following the text.

On Math he can do basic, adding, subtracting, especially when given a story problem. I believe this shows that math is intrinsic to his understanding and look forward to building on his understanding in the future. We have introduced the concept of multiplying and dividing, but have not practiced it.

Galen is hesitant on the writing. He will not write unless he sees a good reason to. Therefore I have made him write requests for movies and TV time. We are still working on the basic forms, but he is constructing sentences on his own.

Galen has been exposed to the history of Americas, however it is not enough of an interest for him to recall most of the stories yet. He has learned the basic geography of North America and can point out some native inhabitants of north and South America in visual texts. He understands that Spanish is spoken in Mexico and is slowly absorbing information presented on their cultures.

Overall we are still just learning how to home school, but have seem much success for our family as a whole and for Galen individually. He has grown greatly in verbal abilities and with participating in group efforts. We look forward to continue his personal and academic growth here at home.

Mother and homeschooler

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