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Little Green Leaves

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Everything posted by Little Green Leaves

  1. So far, we have used BA as a supplement. But I don't know whether we'll continue this way or switch to just using AOPS when my son finishes BA. Does anyone have thoughts about this? He's done Singapore math for 5th grade and is now working through BA's year 5 stuff. He really likes their approach and I'm loosely planning to use the AOPS pre algebra with him next.
  2. It would be super strange if Russian conversation were independent 🙂 Like an old art movie with lots of monologuing. I'm doing well, thanks! And you? Congrats on your younger daughter joining the homeschool!
  3. My nine year old has a lot of semi-independent subjects. So for example he reads a chapter of history on his own and narrates to me, and then we talk about it. Or, he works at his math on his own and then we go over it together. Same with writing. But honestly there's a lot of leakage -- we are all sitting at the same small table so he asks questions while he's working too. Usually we start the day with the activities that we all do together -- read alouds, art, music, science projects -- and then we do writing, math, history separately.
  4. When I think about the subjunctive, I think about a certain kind of Yiddish-inflected English. Phrases like "I should be so lucky" seem to me like a direct translation of subjunctive. It's not just that the situation is unreal, wished for, or uncertain - it's that it's downright unlikely, or even impossible. In your example, keeping pork all summer isn't unlikely - it's just something that you need to plan for. Therefore not subjunctive in mood.
  5. Oh! I saw the title and I didn't realize this was about a specific curriculum...I thought you just meant how long did it take you to learn whatever was most important in your life! Totally misunderstood, I'm sorry.
  6. I think it's pretty common to have trouble with the brainstorming / outlining process. I used to tutor adults who were taking remedial English courses, and this was a common issue for them. No matter what techniques we worked with, the planning stage was tricky. I think a lot of people find it quite painful to examine their own ideas, breaking them down into manageable pieces and fitting them into an outline. Sometimes my students found it easier (kind of like what @BaseballandHockeydescribed) to just free-write about the essay topic. Sometimes I'd set a timer and have them just write while I sat next to them, because certain students found that calming. Once they had SOMETHING down on the paper, they could cannibalize it to create an outline, and then it was easier to create a second draft.
  7. My kids, especially my son (only nine and a half) can be like this too. So I guess I am mainly sending you sympathy. When my kids complain about my totally reasonable requests I usually tease them (" ah, you're miserable. Should I have you wash the dishes too?") Sometimes they find this hilarious -- other times they just sigh and get to work. When they are really out of line, they get warned. When they keep acting out, they get sent to another room. Honestly it doesn't come to that much these days. I do include lots of fun together time in our school day, but I try to stay calm if they aren't enjoying something. My goal is always to have clear goals that are easy to communicate.
  8. As an undiagnosed but probably ADHD kid, I really benefitted from teachers who were firm and clear and non-judgmental. I had a lot of teachers who fussed at me about my potential. But I also had a few teachers who held me to simple, verifiable standards like showing up to class on time, paying attention, and turning in my assignments. They literally stood over me in class to see whether I was taking notes. Went outside to find me when I was skipping class. They made me feel like an ordinary person. I am still grateful. I bet your son has passion for lots of things. It sounds like he has a lot of love and support behind him and he will be better than fine 🙂
  9. I love this! No Russian here, but I think there are lots of natural intersections between language and math. (This is partly why I get turned off when people turn literature into solely a discussion of feelings.) I wonder if kids would do better in math if they also did more grammar / foreign language / literature with complex language structure.
  10. I think it's very important to encourage humility. But I also think it can be tough to be a "book smart" kid. It's not like being a great dancer, or being good at games, which will win you social status with other kids. Adults tend to encourage academic kids to play down their achievements in the name of not showing off. We don't do this in the same way to, say, star athletes. Everyone deserves to be respected for their strengths!
  11. We are really enjoying Sugar Changed the World -- thanks for recommending it! Not related to the French revolution but on the theme of teaching history to upper elementary -- we're reading Growing Up in Coal Country, which is a slightly different approach to history than we've done before. It's a great account of the lives of coal miners, but I also love the way it weaves in lots of first-hand accounts of people's lives.
  12. A lot of classic card games seem almost designed to teach about probability. My son loves bridge (and really most card games), and I think it's done a lot to help him understand probability. For addition and subtraction -- we did a lot of walking around math, as in, here we are on 28th street and we need to get to 35th street. How many blocks do we need to walk? I feel like you could make an online map game that way.
  13. For what it's worth, that's not completely true. If you're born abroad to US citizens, your parents need to have been resident in the United States for a certain period of time (I think it is one year but it also varies depending on whether both parents were citizens) in order to be able to pass on their US citizenship to you. I know that's not at all the point you're making and I'm sorry to sidetrack. I recently learned this and I found it kind of unsettling, so I'm sharing! But yes, in Obama's case it wouldn't matter at all where he was born because his mother was a citizen AND had lived in the US.
  14. I'm sorry if this advice is totally off-base, because I know all kids are so different. My son is a reluctant writer who grumbles daily about his writing assignments and struggles to explain things or add details. It's like pulling teeth to get him to explain WHY he likes playing games, or reading a certain book or whatever. But he really LOVES writing assignments that have him take on a different voice. Sometimes I'll ask him to write a short letter as if he were a certain historical figure -- or a character in a fable -- and he does a great job. Usually it's a little over the top, but also really funny and lively. I think writing in the different voice is liberating for him, because normally he tends to be a perfectionist -- which I think feeds into being kind of crunched up and unwilling to explain one's ideas. Editing to ask -- do these problems come up when your kids do oral narrations too?
  15. That looks really good -- thank you! I just requested it from the library.
  16. Just chiming in to say that I used the Caravel French Revolution book this year -- thanks again to @8filltheheartfor recommending it. It was really great. Lots of vivid detail, plenty of opinionated views, great illustrations. I also had my son read "Why Not, Lafayette," by Jean Fritz, and The Story of Napoleon by HE Marshall. I really wanted to find a kids' book about the Haitian revolution and all I could find was a picture book: Haiti, the First Black Republic by Frantz Derenoncourt. If anyone has other suggestions I'd love them : )
  17. I used a textbook called Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-Arabiyya. By Kristen Brusted. It was great. First there's a separate book for learning the alphabet and sounds, and then you get into words and simple phrases. It comes with a DVD and there's a built-in story line about a young woman from Egypt who's studying at NYU. I guess the books must be written by an NYU professor, but I used them without a class, just me and a friend doing it for fun back when I had loads of spare time on my hands.
  18. Every family is going to find their own way forward -- there are lots of families that do well with two working parents, and lots of families that do well with one parent at home. I firmly believe that there is no one right answer that's going to fit everyone. I do think that we tend to over-play the importance of work. I really, really want my kids to understand that they don't need to draw their future self-worth from their work. I want them to have long, slow childhoods with lots of unscheduled time. I want them to pay attention to the little things in life, I want them to love learning and creating, and I want them to have strong values. For me, that translates to staying at home with the kids. I do, also, work part time, because honestly we need the money. The kids understand what I'm doing and they get a kick out of what I'm working on -- sometimes they think it's funny, and sometimes we all learn something together. But I don't think work is my main contribution to the world, and honestly, if I inherited a million dollars tomorrow I would do things differently. I would learn how to paint, and bake sourdough bread, and I would teach English to those who can't afford lessons...so many things!
  19. I wouldn't call Renaissance art pornographic, no. I do think that all that glorying in the human form can feel just a tiny bit limiting. Michelangelo's work is gorgeous but I also find it a bit obsessive. It's also very different from ancient Greek nudes in terms of the worldview it conveys. With an older student, I'd want to talk about that -- with a young student I'd stick to the excellent explanations already given about the difference between art and pornography.
  20. I dont remember the exact topics, but I mostly picked things he was interested in -- sports, history, things in the neighborhood. I think his favorite was a letter to the parks department complaining about changes to the local park:) Like I said, he was able to do it but I felt like I had to give too much guidance throughout. I also felt like he needed to get better at observation and narration. Editing to say -- it didnt feel like he was making progress towards something, if you know what I mean. More like I was trying to guide him to do my idea of what the result should be.
  21. I tried doing opinion writing with my fourth grader this year but dropped it pretty quickly. He's a bright, logical kid so I thought it would suit him, but instead I ended up feeling like it just didnt make sense yet. He could do it BUT it took a ton of guidance from me, and it felt really constricting. I'd rather have him work on descriptive writing and narrations for now. I also think that's a better way for him to build up the skills he'll need later as a writer. That said, obviously all kids are different:)
  22. Thanks Negin. The gender equality paradox is really, really interesting (women from hyper-egalitarian countries getting STEM degrees less often than women in less egalitarian countries). I wonder why that is. In my totally unscientific, anecdotal experience, the Scandinavian women I've met seem really, really pragmatic about their futures. (I'm thinking about Norwegian and Swedish people since those would be the hyper-egalitarian countries.) The women I'm thinking about had a really clear plan for their lives: graduate college, get a 9 to 5 job, marry, have kids. Being a SAHM seems to be socially taboo for middle and upper middle class families in Norway now. They seemed really focused on work-life balance though. Which I guess is healthy, but probably makes it harder to be passionate about your career.
  23. In terms of what people can do to help: I think there are a lot of tremendous teachers on this board, with a great store of knowledge and experience. I think it would be lovely if people found a way to contribute those skills. Off the top of my head: --Maybe by creating lesson plans for new homeschooling families and sharing them online --Maybe by signing up to online tutor kids who are struggling in school. --Maybe by giving homework help. I know that some of the shelters in NYC are organizing online help for the kids who live there, since many of them are struggling with online school. Maybe there is a way to reach out (virtually) to people in old age homes? I wonder if there's a way to pay virtual visits to people, read to people, etc. Those are the things that come to mind, off the top of my head. Obviously those with money to spare can also donate to food pantries and other charities.
  24. I think in the Jewish tradition, Genesis 9 is interpreted quite differently. The verse says not to eat from an animal that still has lifeblood in it. That (according to tradition) doesn't mean not to eat meat -- it means not to eat an animal which is literally still alive. The idea is that before the flood, human beings were really barbaric and were behaving like wild animals, to the point of cutting off pieces of living animals and eating them. After the flood, they were chastened enough to receive some governance and law; those are known as the laws of Noah. The laws of Moses (10 commandments) came later, after mankind had advanced further. https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/62221/jewish/The-7-Noahide-Laws-Universal-Morality.htm https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-noahide-laws/
  25. Charlotte Mason always reminds me a lot of my grandmother's style of teaching, which she used on me whenever I stayed with her. I don't remember half hour sessions of talking about opening and closing boxes but I definitely had to sit and take dictation about any number of repetitive subjects, in French. I also have seen her teach adults French and it was a lot of repetitive talk...I drink from the bowl. I eat from the plate. etc etc. @wendyroo I can definitely see how it sounds horribly boring when you read about it. In my experience, it was not boring at all. It was just what we did. It was done in spurts, sitting at the kitchen table while the dishes got washed or the toast got made (on one of those dangerous asbestos stove-top toasters). I think Charlotte Mason-style lessons are meant, in the early years, to be short and to the point. Obviously not the only way to do things and it sounds like your kids are getting an amazing foreign language education in quite a different way.
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