As I was preparing to post about our second "Not Back to School" gathering this fall, I decided to scan my archives and read some old posts. Wow, this blog has been around over 9 years! My tickers at the top show how long since I became a SAHM and how long DS1 has not been going to "building school." It says 6 years. Did I count kindergarten year? No. It wasn't mandatory, and I didn't register with the state until he was 7. Wait, that's wrong, He's starting 6th grade, so if it has been 6 years already, then I did count K.
I have been getting my boys' grades and ages mixed up a lot this week. Just yesterday I told someone that DS1 was "10, almost 11, no 11 almost 12." Actually he is almost 11 and a half. His brother is "9 almost 10." I'm also confused about what grade to say they are in. DS1 is the age of most public school sixth graders, that would put him in middle school. However, back-in-my-day 6th grade was still elementary school, so when I say he's a middle schooler or a "youth", my brain thinks Jr. High and 7th grade. Do you see why I keep getting confused?
A few weeks ago someone asked me if the boys were at the same grade level in some subject (math, I think). I honestly didn't know how to answer that. Since we don't follow a specific curriculum that has grade levels, I don't even know what other kids learn in any particular grade or at a particular age.
I do know, however, that DS2 can do mental math like no one else I know. Once he learns (or figures out on his own) a math concept or a computational trick, he owns it. When he reads or hears something he absorbs it. He likes to read and hear things over and over, then he will be able to repeat (with understanding) those concepts and scripts at any time. He also likes cartoons and toys that are intended for much younger kids than himself.
DS1 will watch videos for hours and absorb the content. Last week he watched all 12 episodes of America the Story of Us over 3 days. He has also watched the entire The Universe series, both of which are History Channel series intended for an adult audience. With all the rain we've had this month (Our city was within 1" of beating the record for the most rain in August before the month was half over.), we had a discussion about extremes and mathematical limits because DS1 learned on Mythbusters that you don't stay drier by running in the rain instead of walking. I tried to convince him that since Mythbusters was obviously wrong at the extremes, then they were wrong period. His argument was that they were talking about normal human speeds, so they were still right.
We've come a long way, and I'm so fortunate to be doing this with them!