7th Grade Learning Plan

Half smiling while attempting to look very serious
At “7th grade age”, we now refuse to smile for photos. Ha!

After two years of growth in a Sudbury school community, Joaquin’s learning arena has moved back home due to the historic 2020 pandemic.

“Back”, however, is not the right word to qualify this new round of homeschooling. Almost a teenager, Joaquin is now an active participant in the design of his education. This year, for instance, he has joined me for the first time in formulating his learning plan for the next 12 months. And here it is!

Becoming a Soccer athlete

Goals

Work on improving his individual skills (shooting, high pass, agility, and ball control) to the level he would need to be part of a soccer team.

Tools

  • Dribble Up and individual workout practice
  • Counter Attack board game (teaches him management aspects like formations)
  • Online instruction (to be found by Joaquin).

Growing as an Author

Project 1: King of Swords

Joaquin’s goal is to finish writing this book with Maria’s support:
1st reading will be focused on storytelling (zero grammar instruction).
2nd reading will be focused on feedback to improve grammar skills. Joaquin may prefer a tutor over parents for grammar instruction.

Project 2: Write about Self

Joaquin is interested in the idea of writing a non-fiction book about himself.

Project 3: Write a work inspired by the theme of Rising Above

Write stories about sports athletes conquering personal challenges.

Joaquin intends to research athletes to find his subjects and learn information about them. He may reach out directly to them requesting a conversation as source for his work.

Reading Practice

Good authors learn their craft also by reading!

Joaquin intends to continue his independent bedtime reading practice with new books after he finishes Rising Above and My Stroke of Insight. Books will be selected by Joaquin.

Tools

  • Adult support and reader feedback as requested (Maria, Coco, Joe)
  • Online 1:1 tutoring and/or group classes on creative writing
  • 1:1 tutoring for grammar instruction
  • Joaquin intends to learn independently word processing software (Pages and MS Word).
  • Resources from the library for reading practice and research

Developing Teen-Level Learning Skills

Goals

Through motivating subjects, at a comfortable pace, and without pressure, continue to stretch and build the mature learning skills Joaquin will need to effectively pursue any education or training he needs on his way to a fulfilling life and financial independence.

  • Studying / learning new subjects independently
  • Delivering on assignments: Meeting somebody else’s requirements
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Thinking critically
  • Self-evaluating
  • Familiarity with test taking
  • Learning from diverse sources (books, news, videos, podcasts, lectures, conversations, etc)
  • Research skills

Activities

  • Math Antics curriculum: Every weekday (unless class assignments need extra time).
  • Outschool classes. Taking a 4-week break between classes if needed. Motivating subjects include:
    • creative writing
    • science (space)
    • geography
    • practical modern subjects (e.g. recognizing fake vs. credible news)
    • filmmaking
  • Domestika/Blueprint self-paced courses
  • Online shopping and projects: Joaquin intends to do more research rather than selecting the first thing he finds.

Growing as a Powerful Communicator

Goals

Continue expanding skills in: group listening, and preparing/delivering presentations.

Activities and Projects

  • Family conversations. Let’s juice this pandemic lockdown!
  • Lego Wars tournament (scheduled to resume in September) is full of presentations, and Joaquin intends to document it in writing.
  • Online classes involve written communication, 3-way conversations/group listening (if live group class), and presentations (if project based).
  • 3-way interviews/discussions on subjects of interest, like sports (radio, podcast, video)
  • Activism (if motivation for a cause moves him to take action).

Shaping our Environment

At school Joaquin had a voice, the structure, and support to pursue initiatives to shape his environment within the school community. This process will continue as Joaquin attempts to shape his environment as a teen at home, and in the world.

Project: Single-Use Plastics

Joaquin is interested in working to change the use, waste, and environmental effects of single-use plastics. Joe has agreed to support Joaquin in moving through this initiative. They will work on this project on Saturdays.

The Inner Environment

While we work to shape the outside environment, it is also important to nurture consciousness and tools to seek our own inner peace and self-empowerment.

  • We model this at home (Joe and Maria using the tools learned from Son-Rise and Rise Above).
  • Joaquin has received the gift of 2-4 one on one sessions with Raun Kaufman.
  • Joaquin has some experience using The Work, and may continue to do so (or not).
  • One on one time with Coco is another opportunity for Joaquin to seek support in processing challenges and perspectives with a mentor different than his parents.

Living Gracefully through a Pandemic

Covid-19 gives us plenty of opportunities to work in shaping (or accepting) the outside environment, and driving the internal experience that best serves us.

One area we’re currently shaping is Joaquin’s social connections and sense of community while sheltering at home:

  • One on One Time with Coco
  • Board games with friends and family (Diego, Nano)
  • Dungeons & Dragons (or other activities) with school gang?

Other Great Experiences

Project: Lego Wars

Joaquin intends to resume his muñequitos building tournament this fall.

  • A new evaluation criterion may be added.
  • Joe will join us as a judge while he works from home.
  • Joaquin is also motivated to document the entire tournament in word processing software.

Project: Finish Swonsburg Realty game

This summer Joaquin designed and produced an original and complex strategic board game. The design process involved testing, which uncovered a few modifications he would like to do to his game mechanics and materials.

Smiling while easily lying on the floor
Cracking up, proud of his own mischief

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