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lewelma last won the day on April 8 2014

lewelma had the most liked content!

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About lewelma

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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    New Zealand
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  1. Manhattan Mom, my oldest was an explosive child from age 8 to 12. I don't want to go into the details on the board, but it was pretty horrible and had a large impact on my younger. I found a book that really helped me change my parenting style to work better with his reality - The Explosive Child by Greene. The author is a psychologist who deals with explosive children with all sorts of labels, and his approach is very straightforward and doable. Implementing his techniques turned my life around, made the situation more containable, and gave both of my children a more consistent and effective parent.
  2. lewelma

    Challenging science

    I'm with 8, my kids read science books. At age 10, my older boy read The Way Things Work and Scientific American cover to cover. My younger boy, at that age, read coffee tables books (big pictures, great writing, and full coverage of the topic) on weather, astronomy, and geography. We also did science fair projects which allowed them to dig deep into questions that interested them. I have written about them in depth on the board and can track down the links if you want them. Ruth in NZ
  3. In New Zealand the cutoff is typically July with beginning of school year in January. This makes half of the kids 17 and half of them 18 when they start university. With an August birthday, my son is an oldest here and a youngest in America. I am not sure I could have kept ds home for another year. Not only was his last year of high school crazy difficult to pull off at the level he was studying (no dual enrollment here so it was all on me!), but he has become *very* much an independent adult and is ready to leave home.
  4. Wonderful! mumto2 you found the course I had heard of! yea! And Sebastian, the lecture series looks great and is in my cart. And Regentrude, I would love to see the book list your dd used if you can find it. Thanks, guys! My plan is to have him continue to listen to classics (he just finished pride and prejudice and *loved* it), watch/discuss Shakespeare movies, and read poetry (which he loves). But for his everyday reading, he just can't seem to get into anything but fantasy, so I think I'll just go with it and make it awesome, complex, and insightful! I asked ds (who just woke up) what he has read. This is what he can remember: Lord of the Rings Enchanted Forest chronicles Novels of Valdemar (Mercedies Lackey) Temeraire series Wheel of Time (Jordan) Belgariad (Eddings) Watership down Last Unicorn Once and Future King Riftwar Saga (Feist) Golden Compass series Eragon series Narnia series Some of these books are literature and some are not. Most are pretty easy/basic. I'd like to move him into more difficult books and a variety of sub-genres. I think I start with his favorite (epic fantasy) build up the complexity and move to expand to other subgenres. So epic fantasy that looks complex and has a positive outlook: The wheel of time (finish) Earthsea cycle (leGuin) The Kingkiller chronicles (Rothfuss) Lyonesse Trilogy (vance) Shadowmarch (williams) The farseer - assassin's apprentice (Hobb) Prince of Nothing (Bakker) Any comments on these books? Off to look for more....
  5. My younger son really likes Fantasy literature and I would like to bump it up into an English class. He likes books with beautiful writing, deep thinking, large vocabulary, moving plot, and generally positive outlook. So I know a book like Gormenghast by Mervin Peake would not work because the plot is way too slow, and I also know there are some fantasy books that are dark, which would be a no go (He didn't like Donaldson because the leprosy thing was too depressing). I have just bought him Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss which I understand to be well written and deep. What books would you suggest for this class? Do you have any resources (lectures, list of tropes, sub-genres, literary analysis of fantasy, etc.) that we could work through? It looks like there used to be a coursera course out of University of Michigan but I can no longer find it. sniff. Thanks for any and all ideas! Ruth in NZ ETA: just looked at American Gods by Gaimen (won a bunch of awards), and it appears to be part horror. That is also a no go.
  6. Before he starts in August, DS's university required him to write 2 freshman evaluation essays so that they could place him in an appropriate freshman writing course. This was a 20 hour assignment and two tough topics. After doing the readings and doing some thinking, ds went back to check the assignment. He came and found me and said: DS: "The instructions say I can't write a 5 paragraph essay, and I had planned 5 paragraphs for this essay." Me: "You can write 5 paragraphs, they just don't want you to write the official formulaic 5-paragraph essay." DS: "Ok, but if I write 5 paragraphs, what if I write a 5 paragraph essay by accident." Me: "I've never taught you the 5 paragraph essay, there is no way you could write one even if you write 5 paragraphs." DS: "What?!? I have no idea what you are talking about" Me: "Trust me. Write *your* 5 paragraph essay, and I promise you it won't be *the* 5 paragraph essay." Ah, being both a foreigner and a homeschooler. 😁
  7. lewelma

    The IMO is today!

    So results are out. DS scored 14 points for an honourable mention, same as last year. He actually said that it was good to have experienced panic, because he has never felt that way before and thought it was an experience worth having. Once his panic abated, he easily got problems 1,2,4 and 5, giving him the 28 he was expecting. I was particularly surprised that even with this second disappointing year, he said he is up for Putnam and plans to join the Putnam club. I thought he would be done with competitions, but he said that he really wants to continue to build his problem solving skills and loves working with like-minded students. So thumbs up for Olympiad Math giving my son persistence, gumption, sportsmanship, friendship, and challenge!!
  8. lewelma

    Long term prep for math competitions

    My ds started a math club last year, and convinced one of the other top competition kids to help him run it. They have a class of 12. They are doing 9 weeks on each of the competition topics - algebra, geometry, combinatorics, number theory. My son lectures on the new content while the other boy works with the subset of kids that already know the content to solve problems. Then after the lecture, the kids in the lecture group start in on the problems. They work in groups of 3 mostly self-sorted into skill level for that particular topic, and the two older boys wander around helping them solve the problems on the worksheet that they had prepared earlier in the week. Over the course of 9 weeks, they try to get through most of the basic content in each subject area. In ds's final 2 weeks, they are going to focus on *how* to write up proofs. The whole experience has been excellent for both the kids in the class and the two older boys leading it. My son and his friend have put this class on their university applications and on their resume. DS is considering running one of these classes in Boston for pay now that he has a year's experience, knows what he is doing, and has references. I think he could charge a decent amount to help him fund his university education.
  9. lewelma

    The IMO is today!

    Well, guys, ds bombed the second day. He said he panicked and his mind went blank. The chances of a medal are slim, but interestingly he doesn't really care. Last year so much of his self worth was mixed up in the results of the IMO, that he spent the entire year this year working to disconnect the two. And he was successful. His goals this year were to have fun, enjoy the people, and be challenged. He feels that this year's results in no way reflect his skill level, and earning a silver on both mock exams last week reinforces this belief. He has decided to just see where the cards fall tomorrow, and go have a great time sight seeing around Romania. As always, resilience is his middle name. I am so proud of him!
  10. DS has been in Romania for the past week, doing the last bit of training. The NZ team took four 4.5 hour-exams over 4 days, using the short-listed problems from last year. DS took a photo of their exam room at the rented house, and DH and I couldn't understand what we were looking at because it was a mess, like a real mess with chaotic furniture everywhere. The NZ team is only country in the world that is not fully funded to go, so they try to keep the costs down so the parents don't have to pay a ton (already it is $2000 each). So the 6 team members and 3 adults (team leader, deputy team leader, and student organizer) were sharing some sort of small house with only ONE bathroom for a week! They only had a very small shared living space with one small table for 2 and a sofa. So they brought in a table from outside, and some of those cheap plastic outdoor chairs, but were still short a table. So DS suggested they turn a dresser over sideways to use as the third table (2 kids per table). They were still one chair short, so one of the kids sitting at the dresser (for 4.5 hours!) got to sit on a bedside table. I was like wait, what?!?! How did you sit on a bedside table and write up a math exam on a dresser? He said "Well, I had to hunch a lot, and turn this way and then that way as there was nowhere for my legs. But we each took a turn at the dresser, so it was ok." 😮 Surprisingly, he did well on the mock exams given he was jet lagged, sick with a cold, and hunched over a dresser!! We figured the American team probably had a better set up for the last week of training. 😀 So after the opening ceremony, they got to view the big gym with all the 600 desks in it. DS didn't really want to go as he has seen desks before, but finally decided to give up his down time to go see the set-up. And the most amazing thing happened. One of the American team leaders came up to DS in this big gym and handed him an MIT t-shirt sent to him by Chris Peterson of MIT admissions! DS was soooo excited and flattered. He had only found out 10 days before leaving for Romania that he could get an MIT t-shirt if going to an international competition this summer, so by the time he signed up we figured it was too late for the shirt to make to NZ, and it didn't. Oh well, no worries. But apparently Chris figured it wouldn't make it, so made other arrangements - hand delivery in Romania! DS was wearing it proudly when I talked to him a few hours ago. It really set the stage for a good first day of testing. Thanks Chris! So the weather is lovely, the city is beautiful, the NZ team is amazing, and maths is challenging and fun! So far, DS is having the best time ever! Ruth in NZ
  11. lewelma

    Homeschool fails

    It was in my freshman year at Duke University when I found out there were companies. I knew there were factories, but had never given it even a small piece of thought as to who ran them. Companies were never discussed in school subjects like English, Calculus, Chemistry, or History, even though my school was excellent. My dad worked for the government, so we didn't discuss companies at home, and they didn't own stocks or track the stock market. I was not allowed to watch TV, so never saw any advertisements; and my mom only bought clothes from yard sales and goodwill. Companies just never came up, ever. Needless to say, all my friends were quite floored that I didn't know there were companies. Point being, I think that it is easy to have BIG gaps in your education let alone small ones, but you just fill them when you find them, and move on. 🙂
  12. Hi Manhattan Mom, I remember you from 6 years ago. Welcome back! It sounds to me like your kids are each in a good schooling situation and learning a lot. Do you think that they *need* afterschooling? Or is it a way to connect with them? In my experience, when my kids have school holidays, they like to go to camps and do hands on experiences just to unwind. I'm not sure about *more* academics in their off hours. Are your kids keen on the weekends and breaks for academics? Sometimes kids need the gift of time to develop passions. Ruth in NZ
  13. lewelma

    Transcript - unweighted/weighted GPA

    Hugs to you. Last year's effort to get all the paperwork is still fresh in my mind. It felt like I was building a house. Each decision was small (what doornobs, molding, etc) but yet, the decisions still have to be made. And there were a LOT of decisions! Good luck! Ruth in NZ
  14. I've been enjoying the MIT opencourseware courses. You can watch the lectures at double speed and do the problem sets with the answers right next to you. Ruth in NZ
  15. As I wrote earlier, I did not do a weighted GPA, but I did make the transcript very clear as to what was honors, AP-equivalent, and university level. For university level, I just used a superscript U. This was for the two classes taken at a university, 5 math courses that were self studied, and music diploma done by exam through the Royal School of Music in the UK. Knowing that CMU in particular reweighted grades when determining scholarships, I did not want my son to be at a disadvantage. And he did earn the highest merit scholarship they offer that is not also connected to need, so they must have weighted his GPA using the info I gave them.
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