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David Sussman

Filling the High School gaps

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Hi everyone

I am wondering if you have any suggestions about how I can help my son. He's a great kid . He is in grade 10, and starting to think about his future. Grade 11 and 12 will be rather important.

He's a smart kid, but I just feel that he's not getting a really complete education. He takes math and science and studies hard to essentially get B+ grades. I'm very proud of him for that, and he knows it. Nevertheless it looks like math and science are probably not really his thing.

Again, he's bright, but if he is going to do something like law (his idea), or business or something, he is going to need some good training before he gets to university. Unfortunately the social studies and English courses he has taken have not really taught him much. They just don't seem to be great courses in high school where we live, and thus at this rate he will not enter university with the tools that he will need to succeed.

So, we are going to work together. We have started reading together and he likes it. Things like 'economics-light' - we are reading Freakonomics right now, and we discuss the short chapters when we finish reading them.

But this is only getting us so far. I have a good broad liberal education and I am quite sure that I can teach him a lot that will help, but if anyone has any resources or other guidance, I would gladly hear it. I want to put a bit of a plan together for the next year or two. I am thinking I would like to cover a bit of:

(to start):

Reading for comprehension
Writing / analysis (essays, for example)
Studying and memorization
and I would like to weave in political science, history, maybe a little economics and business if needed (he likes it)

and then later:

rhetoric
other (basic) areas of philosophy

This could also serve as a really nice relationship builder, and he is ASKING for this :)

Can anyone suggest some tips and resources as I attempt to put together a curriculum?

We intend to spend three to four hours a week on this, and if he has another hour to spend on it on his own, that would be a bonus, but it is not likely. He's a busy kid with soccer and friends, and I have work.

I really appreciate any suggestions!

All the best

Dave

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I would suggest Aesop’s fables. I also would would scratch the surcease of great writers and orators, just enough that he becomes familiar with those names and gets a taste what is great writing and why it is great writing.

Cicero

Thucidites

Plato

Aristotle

shakespeare

Chaucer

enlightenment writers.

Very Importantly, don’t just accept that “math is just not his thing”.Do something, some camp, or immersion to lift that veil, clear the fog. It’s hugely important to not walk away from math feeling like a failure, or that you just can’t do it. Classes are too short in school, not time to get in any kind of groove.

 

mike

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