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annegables

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About annegables

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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  1. At parks, I strike up conversations with other moms, and when they find out I homeschool, many express deep dissatisfaction with our current education system and say they are thinking about homeschooling. And it isnt like I am being forceful in my opinions or anything; I am a "do what works for your family" type of person. There are a whole lot of people where I live who are trying to figure out how to change the educational landscape for their kids.
  2. This is so reassuring to hear. I live in a place where I can go to a park, throw a rock, and hit a homeschooler. And there is so much trying to do assessment the way it is done in schools. It is hard to buck this system. Which is an odd thing to say because homeschoolers already buck the system. If a person learns without being assessed (via test, or something "official"), is it legitimate? (To play off the "If a tree falls in the forest" question). While the tree/forest question seems absurd, when it comes to learning and assessment, the shoe is on the other foot.
  3. I call this "my vagina eyes." I live with all males and I swear, they dont see the mess, dirt, pee, etc. My vagina eyes are like my sixth sense or superpower. With my vagina eyes, I can see floor pee, dirty clothes, dishes, you name it. My vagina eyes are also capable of finding things in cabinets where they have always been. It's a gift and a burden to have this superpower. But seriously, keep on keeping on. I make them clean the whole house every evening. My prayer is that by the time they are launched, they will be able to see and take care of the mess by themselves.
  4. I wonder if it is because a well written one-star review is difficult to do. Like when people give Flannery O'Connor's short stories a one-star review because they are depressing stories filled with awful people. Or people who dont like Lord of the Rings because it is too long and has super boring descriptions. Those are all just personal opinions (which I understand is part of a review), but they usually are not meaningful to me. I want to read a one-star review like Quill's. Thoughtful, well-organized, and has genuine issues with the book beyond "I didnt find it entertaining or enjoyable." I didnt find Flannery O'Connor's short stories entertaining or enjoyable, but that book is one of the most significant books I have read in a long time. I found it thought-provoking, soul-cleansing, and it forced painful self-reflection. It opened me up to other literature that does not feel good, but is good and right to read. And it sounds like Girl, Wash Your Face is the opposite of that. It sounds like a book that does nothing good for the soul of the reader. And if I want that, I will read a cozy mystery, not self-promoting, meme-touting, humble-bragging verbal diarrhea from a person with little real life experience to be taken seriously.
  5. Hits: Math: AoPS geometry and online BA. BA has been a long and painful road, but it has done wonders for my DS's critical thinking skills. MM for my 2nd grader. Singapore's challenging word problems. GSWL ELA: WWS 1 has been one where we are seeing the fruits of his labors and it is so rewarding. For my 4th grader, I did a home-brewed writing curriculum and he writing is improving so much. Daily Paragraph Editing by Evan Moor. All things Killgallon. WWE 2 interspersed with my own assignments. ETC 5. My 2nd grader reading aloud to me from A-Z mysteries. His reading has improved a lot. Vocabulary Cartoons. Science: Great Courses Plus. Homebrewed everything else. SS: Combining history with our read-alouds and focusing on Arthurian legends and Arabian Nights. We have already listened to all the SOTW at least 4 times through, so we are good there. Dan Carlin podcasts. Meh: Argument Builder. We have done Art of Argument and Fallacy Detective. Argument Builder is good, but it is a decent amount of writing for what he wanted to do, so we are going slowly. But He is learning a ton, and just like with WWS1, we just need to stick with it to see the fruits. Misses: Exclusively doing WWE2. We needed to combine days and then do our own writing assignments on the other days. I like the curriculum; I just had to tweak it to fit. Singapore Math (except Challenging Word Problems). We needed a curriculum that was challenging but that it was easy to skip over the stuff he already knew well. Singapore had too many different parts for me to do that effectively. WWE3. Not a fault of the program at all. My one kid was just a much stronger writer than I thought he was. And he needs to completely own his writing. He will write a lot, as long as he comes up with what he wants to write about. He will not write anything that he does not want to. HWOT cursive. Gah, I dislike how it looks. We switched to Pentime and their cursive still looks like HWOT. I am not making that mistake in my youngest. Vocab from Classic Roots. I love this. My eldest did not. And retained nothing. He switched to vocab cartoons and is much happier and uses the words in daily life.
  6. I never cease to be amazed at what the folks on here can find. the wealth of knowledge, experience and ninja-like Google powers are a thing to behold.
  7. I try very hard to break out of this very modern idea that the natural and supernatural exist completely separately from each other. The Bible Project has some great videos about this. Here are some things I say to my kids. 1. Do I believe that God holds the universe in the palm of his hand, or do I believe that it is all totally random? What a weird false dichotomy! I believe that God uses gravity (and the electro-magnetic force and the weak and strong forces) to "hang the heavens" so to speak. 2. DO I believe that babies are a miracle or an event driven by nature with predictable outcomes? Um, why can I not agree with both? In the same way, I believe that God used evolution to provide for the glorious biodiversity that I believe reflects God's love and creativity. I in no way believe that evolution diminishes God or his power. I try really hard to point out either/or fallacies when I see them and to train my kids to see them. I dont want to be forced into a box that is completely unnecessary. I will also say (and some of these books point out) that often Christians conflate biological evolution (gradual changes in a population over many generations) with Social Darwinism (which says - correct me if I am wrong-that because of biological evolution, certain philosophies are therefore morally justified). Christians and the general public also tend to conflate evolution with abiogenesis, which refers to the origin of life.
  8. It sounds like they took some pointers from my college alma mater. They are constantly sending money letters that seem to follow us every time we move.
  9. My kids like the reassurance of my voice as well:). In all the craziness and stress for you, that is a blessing. I hope you cling to that in those dark moments of the soul.
  10. How old is he? The Language of God, by Francis Collins (the founder of Biologos). He was in charge of the Human Genome Project, so he knows his stuff. Quantum Physics and Theology by John Polkinghorne. He is a both a theoretical physicist and an Anglican priest. John Walton's books on "The Lost World of..." These do not specifically address evolution, but they show from an orthodox Christian perspective, how Genesis can be read in an intellectually and theologically honest way that supports theistic evolution. Quesions of Truth: Fifty one responses to Questions about God, Science and Belief. By John Polkinghorne and Nicholas Beale. The Language of Science and Faith, by Karl Giberson and Francis Collins. This has a lot of short chapters about different science/faith questions. It is a follow-on to Language of God. Where the Conflict Really Lies by Alvin Plantinga. This book is a bit more scholarly, in that it is not a light read. He taught at Calvin College for 19 years. That is what we thought as well, until we read the above books. It was very helpful to learn that this is mainly an American problem, and one we have exported. NT Wright speaks about this, and he is one of the leading Christian theologians alive. According to Wright, the way that Americans force this dichotomy is not a problem in Britian. I had no idea how American much of my Christianity was until I started reading theologians from other cultures.
  11. I only suggested short documentaries because many of them dont need to be seen, are free and readily available, and less work for you. This sounds enormously stressful. Would Brainpop work? I know they do short videos (that can easily just be listened to) and at the end there are multiple choice questions. And the videos are around 5 min long. But Brainpop costs money. What about mrnussbaum.com? He has a bunch of reading comprehension worksheets at all grade levels on all kinds of stuff. The selections are usually around 2 pages, followed by multiple choice questions. As a quick example, this is just one page that came up on his site, which has tons of stuff: https://mrnussbaum.com/science/extinction
  12. Would this work? Are you able to do short science documentaries on youtube (like this: which doesnt require being able to see it. And then you stop it every couple of minutes and you discuss it and ask a yes/no question. Even a "can you imagine what that would be like?!" type of thing to keep him engaged.
  13. Thank you for this encouragement. I dont want to come across as the opinionated interloper.
  14. In the "What would a minimalist homeschool education look like", @prairiewindmomma said "Back in the 80s everything was classroom based---then it swung to being all literature based/multi-level in the late 90s/early 2000s---and now we're swinging back to things designed for specific grades with lots of components. I think part of this is because of the influx of charter school dollars, but that's a different thread. 🙂" And I wanted to start a separate discussion on this. @prairiewindmomma, I would love it if you would elaborate on this statement. I have no experience in "back in the day" curriculum, so this is an idea I am unfamiliar with. However, I have seen the specific everything and it kind of drives me nuts. The further along I get I get in homeschooling, the more I lean toward wanting to educate myself so that I can competently design curriculum for my kids. How this looked practically is that I purchased WWE levels 2 and three for my kids...and ended up regretting it. I appreciate the curriculum and it helped me gain a solid understanding on scope, sequence, and writing goals. But I really wish I had just purchased the instructor text. That way I could still get the scope and sequence, but with the materials I am already working with. I have realized that I needed some hand-holding, especially at the beginning, but not as much as I thought I would need.
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