I don't think you need to worry too much about your son not retaining stuff if he works through it quickly. Children absorb what they are interested in quite easily, and it sounds as if maths certainly does interest him! And, in my humble opinion, if he does "skim" stuff now and forget it later on, there's no reason he can't go back and just go over the basics to root them more firmly in his mind. Also, if he has a highly intellectual ability in maths, don't be surprised if he later has trouble with the basics. My older brother is a maths whizz - top of his Advanced Maths class all through school - but he is HOPELESS when it comes to his multiplication tables (or he was when he was 15, he may be better at them now!). He was forever asking me 7x6 or 9x8...I am good at maths, but I never liked it that much and it was the basics that stuck for me. Interestingly, my father recently told me that when I was in primary school (up to grade 6) my maths was better than my brothers, and he says I could have done even better than Craig in Advanced Maths, but I lost interest (he blames the friend I made in 8th grade for that!). The thing is, I grew up with the idea that NO-ONE could do ANYTHING better than Craig...it might have been nice to hear that I was jast as good if not better back then!!
(sorry, I got a little off track there!)
My daughter finished half her Science booklet in half an hour yesterday, it was supposed to last her 6 weeks! We are going to just work through the curriculum I have set at whatever pace Liana sets, and if we run out of work before the end of next year, she's going to branch out and learn more about other things that interest her.
Our school year is set up fairly similar to the Tasmanian State School system - we have 3 terms, although ours are equal, 13 weeks each, instead of varied like public school, and our holidays reflect the school system - 8 weeks for summer, 1 week at Easter and 2 weeks between terms. This is because I wanted to keep a "school-like" structure. Of course, there will still be learning throughout these periods, but it won't be "school".
Haha, I've kind of rambled on a bit, but I hope there was SOMETHING useful in amongst all that!
- Erica xo