Tag Archives: middle school

The Crogan Adventures

If your son enjoys intrigue, excitement, and a good book, the Crogan Adventures may be just the series he’s looking for. Written by Chris Schweizer, these action-adventure stories follow the lives of the Crogan men throughout the generations.

The first in the series, Crogan’s Vengeance, tells the story of “Catfish” Crogan, an honest sailor who boards a ship with a merciless captain. When the ship is waylaid by pirates, Catfish his shipmates join the crew. What follows are mutinees, storms, and sword-fights — all key ingredients to a great adventure.

The second book, Crogan’s March, follows Corporal Peter Crogan, a French legionnaire in Africa in the early twentieth century. In the story, Peter must endure both long marches and sandstorms as his loyalties are torn between his captain and his sergeant. When his entire squad is killed and he is captured by Tauregs, he makes a daring escape, leading other prisoners to safety with him.

The Crogan adventures are definitely books geared for boys, particularly those in middle school or older. Violence is depicted, as you would expect in a pirate or war story, and is probably too much for younger readers. Women have only very small roles (there’s not one in the first book at all) — these are definitely books intended to be read by boys, just for the enjoyment of the action.

And there are more books to come! The inside cover of the book reveals all the characters of the Crogan family, including a ninja, a trail blazer, a lion tamer, a pilot, a diamond miner, a private eye, and Revolutionary War soldiers.

You can find the Crogan series in bookstores, online, or in your library. So if you have an older son, check one out — and let the adventure begin!

Homework? What’s That?

cohdra100_1473 This week marked our second full week of co-op. Elementary students can sign up for one morning a week of enrichment-type classes, but for middle school and high school students, the co-op follows the university model. Students choose individual classes, attend class one or two days of the week, then work on their assignments at home. So while my younger three might be doing a  science experiment, art project, or PE class, John, who’s in eighth grade this year, is taking Geography and Physical Science. And it’s been a bit of a rough start. 

Each class requires quite a bit of work at home. Homework? We hadn’t used the word very much before this year. John brings home workbook assignments, reading assignments, study questions to answer… all of which he has to turn in to someone else besides me. He has deadlines now; he doesn’t get extra time to complete his work if it’s not done. He takes quizzes and tests just one time – there’s no opportunity to try the problems again. And he’s responsible for writing down his assignments and finishing them in a timely manner. 

How’s it going? Well, he told me he worked on his assignments all week, but the night before they were due, he stayed up two hours past his bedtime trying to finish. He tells me briefly about his current event and lab reports, then tells me he’s not sure when he’s supposed to turn them in. Sometimes he doesn’t even understand the assignment. “Why don’t you ask your teacher?” I ask him, but he just replies, “I don’t know.” 

So do I think these classes are worth it? I’d have to answer with a resounding “Yes!” No matter what grade he receives, he’ll have had an experience that requires he manage his time well, complete a project by a due date, and speak up when he has a question. And from what I’ve seen so far, he’s up to the challenge. He’s beginning to understand what’s expected, and he’s working hard at it. And hopefully next week will go a little better.