Fifth Reporting Period
                            October 7 - November 27, 1996
                                       End of Fifth Grade
History: After covering geographical and historical information about  the Roman Empire, India, modern England, Australia, France, Africa, Oceania, U.S.S.R., Antarctica, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Portugal, Spain, and European languages, we finished the fifth-grade Old World history book.  We did history every day to get through this much material.
Math:  He learned to divide with fractions and with decimals and to use percentages.  After completing the lessons on percentages, we'll start set theory.  He has been whizzing through the math exercises with little need for me to teach him.  Many times I'd have him work only the multiples of five.  He needed more guidance on the percent problems.  My goal for him is to be able to reason his way through unfamiliar material.
Cars:  We did Small Engines Unit 12, "Size and Performance Measurement," up to torque and horsepower curves (page 132) and the diesel engine part of Unit 7, "Diesel and Rotary Valve Engines." He's writing a report on Felix Wankel.  The last two weeks we've gone to the downtown Dallas library after picking A___ up from work on T___'s gymnastics day.  (We did piano instead of cars last reporting period.)
Science:  We finished studying the planets from Physical Geography, by Arnold Guyot, read about vitamins and nutrition, and started the unit on the human body in the Bob Jones (B.J.) Life Science textbook (7th grade).
Reading:  He is reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and The Bobbsey Twins for his pleasure.  He has read two Wally McDougle books, plus the usual car magazines and books and a chapter a day in the Bible.  He read selections from his B.J. (sixth grade) and A Beka (eighth grade) readers.  His comprehension was low on the Gettysburg Address, so we went over reading tactics to dig out meaning.  I plan on him reading from McGuffy's Sixth Eclectic Reader (1880) so he can practice digging out meaning.
English:  He started sixth-grade English in the Comprehensive Curriculum workbook.  We've reviewed parts of speech, punctuation, and spelling rules up to page 129.  I'm using the worktext to the B.J. reader, too.
Comments:  T___ persevered in karate to get the reward of no school in December and then the brown-belt class was disbanded.  He was still pursuing a brown belt though, practicing on his own and in his weekly private lessons, so he got his days off anyway.
          Piano is going to be for "de-rust" over December.  He reads, works on the word-processor, and does projects on his own.  He might work in the Seventh-Grade Super Workbook.
Grades:  I concentrate on T___ doing good work, and if he doesn't, he does it again.  I don't count off when he misses something; I make him correct it.  If he forgets something, I bring it to his remembrance and keep asking him the fact till it's in his memory.   I don't keep grades because he knows if he's done well without them.  He needs more understanding on percentages.
     When colleges are interested in what T___ is doing, grades may be necessary, but for now he doesn't operate under that kind of system.  With no report cards I've entered another level of homeschool liberty.

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