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Everything posted by lewelma

  1. I am considering having ds only take 3 courses his first semester so that he will have time to learn how to learn in a more formal setting. Older son's university does not give grades in the first term so that freshman can figure things out without fear of mucking up their transcript. Pretty awesome idea. Wish my younger ds's uni did that.
  2. Are you saying that some universities give students a person to sit in class and take notes for them?!?!?!
  3. No, he cannot DE. He must past 11th grade english first for *any* subject at the University. In addition, it won't count for high school graduation, and we need to put all his time into the credits he does need. He has to take about 20 national exams to get into uni here. (5 chemistry, 4 english, 5 math, 5 geography, 1 music I think). Not tons of extra time. We could look at a MOOC. I agree that he just needs to practice and find a way. I'll go look into the tech, never heard of any of it.
  4. Very helpful, guys, thanks! So far, ds has never taken notes on anything oral or written. He has no external classes and none he can take that will lead to his graduation here in NZ. The correspondence school we must use is all online text based, which is *really* not ideal. So ds will use the print based materials that I saved from his older brother before they phased print based materials out. He can underline text, and I am starting to get him thinking about a summary sheet. But he has never taken a test before. Like NEVER. Next year there will be a few tests as he enters the correspondence school. I am going to have to fight for accommodations, and my current goal is to get him a computer for all exams. My understanding from others is that he can write the chemistry formulas by hand and then type all written answers, then they print and staple his typed answers to the test paper when he turns it in. This is for the national high school exams. I am unclear what happens at the university he will attend (already chosen and entrance guaranteed). This boy is my push and pull to the finish line boy, but he is starting to take ownership. But until there is a requirement for note taking in lecture, I doubt he will go hunt down technology. His father was a very late bloomer, and ds is quite similar. My goal is to get him college ready in 2 years, and I just hadn't even thought about the lectures situation, which made me think that I better think that through. I need to get him practicing note taking, so I need to talk to him about the software and provide a context to give it a go.
  5. Well, kind of both!😀 I know it seems kind of a zany idea, but my nephew was similar and my sister got him an electric drum set that could be plugged in so not nearly so noisy (just sounded like tapping to her). The rhythmic work, energy, and focus required to play from a score helped to calm him. A used set could be found for reasonably cheap, and it would be in your home and available round the clock for when he just needed to pound something. No need to travel, no need to supervise, no need to organize others, no need to pay for a tutor, no worry for safety, no ongoing costs. Just good clean energy-driven fun. Just saying.
  6. I didn't want to derail the successes thread, but can someone please walk me through the technical options available and what universities often offer as accommodations for note taking in lecture or recitation. DS can type, but I doubt he could multitask typing with listening and summarizing into notes (we haven't actually tried, as his typing has only just gotten past 30wpm after years of effort). And of course for math or chemistry, he can't type in the formulas very fast even with an equation maker. Thanks for explaining the options to me! Ruth in NZ
  7. Well, basically for the whole process. The paper he read to dh was about how colonialism impacted the economic and social development of the DRC. There is NO WAY I could have given my ds this topic and said, 'go for it.' We sat on the sofa for a week researching and reading out loud to each other. We sat on the sofa and made a list of facts and brainstormed ideas (he typed). We sat on the sofa and outlined the paper and wrote a started thesis. We sat on the sofa, and I did something else while he wrote the paper from his outline. During the writing time, he would ask me for advice, or a word, or a starter sentence. Sometimes during the writing time, we would need to brainstorm what should go in the *next* sentence, then try to outline the ideas so that he could write just that one sentence. Sometimes, he would realize his outline for a paragraph was not quite right, but was not sure why. So we would work together to figure out that it was not supporting the thesis. Then we would brainstorm how to cluster ideas for support rather than just for a generic narrative of events. After writing was done, he was able to edit on his own for basics (style, spelling, grammar, word choice.) Then we would sit on the sofa and work together on bigger editing. Does each sentence have a purpose? Are they in a good order? Do you have an intro and concluding sentence (he often doesn't)? etc. Then, after a couple weeks of work, he reads it to his dad at dinner! So notice that I SAT ON THE SOFA WITH HIM every single day. Sometimes doing something else, but always available. Sometimes completely involved as a co-writer, sometimes just as an adviser, sometimes as a cheerleader, and sometimes even as a teacher. We work collaboratively, and when he asks for help, I give it. So when he said 85% for the DRC colonialism paper, that was 85% of everything above. For the 50% of the Botswana leadership paper it was 50% of the above. Writing about leadership is much harder than colonialism! Is that what you were asking?
  8. We used magazines and real life writing. For example, for my older ds's Scientific American policy article: 1) We read 4-5 articles out loud and discussed them, 2) we picked our favorite, and 3) then we spent about 3 hours analyzing *how* it was constructed. What was the thesis? How was it supported? What kind of supports were used - authority, statistics, logic, what? What was the style - sentence length, scientific words, formal/informal? How was the introduction catchy? How did the conclusion bring it together? How was the title created? Etc. 4) Research a topic, and read for a few days, 5) Then, we would work together to brainstorm ideas, write a thesis, outline the paper. 6) he would write it independently (this is the part that my younger boy cannot do yet). 7) we would edit together and compare it to the model. Then we would edit it again. 8) Finally, rinse and repeat with a new article or a new genre. Very straight forward approach. Plus, it felt useful and interesting to my science boy. Next term at university, he is required to take a writing class, and plans to take the one on scientific writing for a lay audience. Exactly, what we worked on throughout high school.
  9. I do a LOT of scaffolding. My younger read his most recent report to his dad, and at the end, I asked him "how much of that was your work." And he said "about 85%". Yup, that was exactly what I was thinking. However, the current paper on the impact of leadership on the economics of Botswana, he is closer to 50% I think. I have found that he is way more motivated by big interesting projects done jointly, than easier projects done independently. We are making progress, but he is definitely NOT independent in his writing.
  10. I will add that I required 1 hour of writing per day. For my older Physic/math kid this was enough. For my younger with dysgraphia it has not been enough. We are currently at 2 hours per day, but he does want to be a geographer so he is motivated to accomplish the goal of learning to write.
  11. Just an FYI in case you had never thought about it, writing for English class does not mean you have to write about literature. My focus with my boys has been purpose, audience, and evaluating sources. For my older boy who wants to be a scientist, he wrote research papers on Genetic Engineering and Fracking (evaluating sources was goal). He also wrote papers mimicking The Economist science news articles, and the Scientific American policy recommendation articles (Purpose and Audience was the goal). We studied how these different genre were created, what kind of support they used, and then he wrote about space flight, nuclear power, fracking, etc. These papers were much more useful to him than any literary analysis would be My younger boy who has dysgraphia wants to be a geographer. So has written research papers on Demography and Environmental use. His purpose and audience paper he is writing this term is mimicking a National Geographic article. He is studying how they sway your opinion through creative nonfiction rather than straight argument. He will also be working on synthesis of sources in essay writing, and this one will be under time pressure so he will be prepared for exams in university. But he is Not writing about literature. So, if you want to teach writing for an engineer, perhaps focus on topics that might actually help him in the future. People need to be able to write, but they don't have to be able to write literary analysis. Ruth in NZ
  12. We did Economics by us taking turns reading aloud and discussing Capital by Piketty (he did no papers or tests, just discussion). It put economics in the context of world wide inequality, which was really interesting, especially because we did it together. Any terms we did not know, we looked up then, so there was actually a point to getting economic concepts rather than just a test.
  13. I think you need to move this to the high school board. 🙂
  14. mlktwins, my two nephews attended the governor's school in Northern VA (the younger is still there). The older is currently at Princeton. His experience at Princeton was very eye opening to me (and to him and his family). Basically, he had spent so much time on academics and official ECs in high school that he had never lived. He did not know who he was. He regretted so much. He told me that he should have taken the gap year that Princeton offered to go so SA and teach English. That all the students on that program were more interesting and more interested and had actually *lived*. He ended up doing what he called his "voyage of discovery" in the summer after freshman year, where he got in his car and drove randomly across the USA for 2 months, sleeping in his car and stopping at as many national parks as he could. He unplugged. His goal: to find himself. Basically, the *intensity* of highschool got him into Princeton, but left him a shadow of the man that he could have been. He pushed me *hard* over many late night talks to learn from his errors, and do things differently with my boys. He was 19. Your more recent posts make it appear to me like you are trying to recreate the Governor 's school in your home. That you are trying to compete on the same playing field as kids that have 28 full time teachers helping them over 4 years. I think this is causing you quite some stress because my guess is that you have realized that it is a HUGE ask to personally recreate these environments. I would gently suggest that you think about what *you* and your homeschool can offer your children that the Governor's school could not. That is where you will get an edge up if you are keen to compete for top schools. But as others have said in previous posts, you may not need to compete at all depending on what schools your dc is applying to. And I would suggest that if you do *more* academics and *more* outside work than required, then you do this at a cost - the cost of doing something else. Of finding yourself. Of having the *time* to be and to think. Of having time to discover. It depends on your goals, but I think right now your goals are to be like the others you see around you. I would stop and think and breathe before choosing a path. Ruth in NZ
  15. I would x-post this on the learning challenges board. There are some wonderful parents over there with an epic ton of knowledge. Ruth in NZ
  16. We only read library books in 8th grade. But for textbook style science, I really like the Scipad worktext because it picks a few topics to go in depth rather than trying to cover everything in a surface way. There is a view button so you can look before you buy. (FYI year 9 = 8th grade) Ruth in NZ
  17. Always. There are so many interesting conversations happening on the board right now. Too bad I'm about ready to go into busy tutoring season with final exams in 3-4 weeks.
  18. I love that we both said we would bow out. Haha. We just can't help ourselves. 🙂
  19. Oh, I also have a friend who cut large sheets of styrofoam to fit her windows. She inserts them at night because she has drafty single-pane windows.
  20. We hang wool blankets over the windows at night to stop drafts and insulate. Just wrap them around the curtain rods. Take them down in the day, or don't in the worst of winter. Also, hot water bottles are key. And hats to sleep in. I have been known to put a scarf around my neck to really insulate while I sleep. Dehumidify your house -- damp is colder. My boy's room can get to 45 degrees at night, and this has worked.
  21. He is not even 5. I would suggest the joy of books for a bit longer and then try again with phonics. There is no hurry at age 4. There is no hurry at 5 or even 6. From my point of view, the *love* of reading is way more important that reading at 5 rather than 7. I would wait.
  22. I find this conversation very interesting. Thanks all for taking the time to kick it around.
  23. Animal Diversity: Classify every animal you can find in Kingdom, Phylum, Class, and possibly Order Anatomy: Dissect all dead creatures you can find and identify parts and look up their functions. Compare anatomy between different phylum (jellyfish vs fish for example) Botany: Classify all seaweed you can find, make slides of slivers of tissue and compare parts between different species, identify function. Microbiology: get samples of different water from different locations (including tide pools), classify species, and compare what is in different water samples. Ecology: find two locations with different environmental conditions (shade/sun or tidal action/protected) and compare communities of organisms living in each. Do this also for the microbiology in different types of water (old evaporated pools vs ocean). Physics: observe how water waves move as they reflect, refract, diffract, interfere with seawalls, jetties, lighthouses, coves, inlets. Study how light refracts as it moves from air into seawater and how this affects where you think something is located underwater Geology: observe longshore transport of sand by looking at the sand accumulation on either side of the jetties. Observe the impact of the prevailing wind on the shape of coves. Chemistry: evaporate seawater and if not a polluted beach, taste the salt. Compare tastes between different locations. Pollution: gather sand from different areas and look for microplastics. Where is there more? How does surf and wind impact where it collects? Ok, that is about all I can think of in 10 minutes. Hope your trip is fun! Ruth in NZ
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