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lewelma

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Everything posted by lewelma

  1. My friend had a 24-week preemie who struggled to gain weight her whole life. She was told to put every. single. food with a dip. Carrots with mayo, french fries with ketsup, chicken with homemade whipped real cream, crackers with PB, fish sticks with guacamole. Sauce, sauce, sauce. Basically she paired healthy food with fats for the calories.
  2. I allow myself 2 carb portions per day, usually breakfast and lunch. Breakfast and lunch are the same every day: a palm sized portion chicken, 2 baby potatoes, huge spinach salad, and plop of baba ganoush, raw olive oil and vinegar on salad. I snack on carrots, salad, and a small portion of nuts. Dinner is whatever family is having minus the starch. I eat 5 squares of 85% dark chocolate and drink a glass of wine per day as my treats. My goal is 80% healthy food each week by calorie count. So my cho and wine habit cost me the 20% treats budget. No other treats allowed. I eat about 1600 cal /day. When I have to lose weight (up a pound or two), I drop my cho and wine, which basically puts me into the Whole30 as everything else I eat is from basics. I walk 1 hour, do 50 girly pushups, and stretch for 15 minutes per day. I'm 5'4",127lbs and 51yo. I have maintained my weight for the last 15 years after losing the baby weight from my younger.
  3. My long term goal with both of my boys has been to develop life long learners. Kids who *want* to learn. Kids who think *everything* is interesting. I have been incredibly successful at this, and I think it is because I run a supportive, collaborative, positive homeschool environment. Now, there are negatives to every approach of course. And I have found that my younger has struggled to be more independent because I am so collaborative, and he has struggled to push himself because there are no rewards or punishments from me. We learn because we live. I do not run a school environment with tests and requirements and deadlines. But by not arguing, by not asking leading questions, by working together I have been able to encourage my older mathy boy to embrace both the humanities and the arts to the point of winning scholarships in both at MIT. And I have been able to encourage my younger to actually embrace working on his writing for 2 hours a day, when at the age of 12 he could still not remember how to form the letters. It sounds like you need to make some choices. You need to decide what of the hidden curriculum you will make into goals. You cannot have everything. You need to choose.
  4. But you see, I could have fought for longer. I could have *made* him understand. It could have been a hill I was willing to die on. It is not worth the fight.
  5. Oh that is a wonderful example and reminds me of my older boy's science fair project on mushrooms when he was 7. He was studying what the most common mushroom was in our woods (he found about 30 kinds), and there was this very little orange one that he had found in 3 places and counted 67 mushrooms in total. Then one day we found a single log completely *covered* in these tiny mushrooms and there was simply no way to count them all. So I showed him how to estimate by counting the mushrooms in a small section and then estimating how many sections were on the log. So in the end he estimated that there were 32000 mushrooms on the log. So a month later he starts making his poster for the science fair, and he writes down that there were 32067 little orange mushrooms in our woods. This led to a huge argument over the fact that all he could say was 32000 mushrooms, and that 32067 implied accuracy that he didn't have. It implied that he actually counted 32067 individual mushrooms. WELL, that was NOT OK by him. He had COUNTED 67 mushrooms and they MUST be included in the number he was reporting. And this complete lack of understanding was from a kid who had *invented* algebra a year earlier at the age of 6. It was just so surprising. He just could NOT understand. On that day I came to realize two things. 1) that the child's mind can grasp some things that appear very complicated to an adult while at the same time being unable to grasp some things that are very obvious, 2) it is not worth the fight.
  6. Just pulling out pieces from the first post. I don't actually ask questions. I let my kids ask the questions, then I say let's see if we can find the answer. I model looking it up in the book or on the internet. After a few times modelling it, my kids have always wanted to join in with their own books or computer. Then it is What did you find? Oh, that's a better site than mine. Oh, I found a different answer. I wonder why the answers are different. etc. If my kid asks a direct question, that I know the answer to, I just tell them. But I don't usually ask questions. We read and discuss -- we discuss like two people discuss, not like a teacher and pupil discuss.
  7. Can you give me an example? Maybe you did upthread, if so just tell me where.
  8. I really need to read this entire thread as I am just getting pieces here. But this is so interesting. I completely agree with you. I have done very very little direct teaching in my day with my boys. It sounds like you have an idea as to what you want to 'teach' and try to draw out the ideas through questioning. I don't really do it this way. Rather, I work collaboratively to make meaning, and try hard not to know the answers. My goal is to make meaning together. Because of this, I typically chose topics to study that I know very little about. It is obviously harder when kids are in primary school, but our discussions at that age would be about characters in books where every perspective was equally valid and my opinion would be just one of many. Or for history I would ask about how *they* would feel if put in that historical context. Or we would do science fair projects, where we would run into difficulties, and my goal was to have a child's solution, not an adult solution. This means that the child would have an equally valid opinion to me. So for example when my older did his science fair project on sand moving on the beaches, it was his idea to go get the different colour sand from a different beach, and dump it in the water to see it move. *He* had to brainstorm how to dump the sand without it floating all over, and how to hold the measuring stick with his feet. I was not even in the water. We worked collaboratively, but it was not top down learning. He had to figure things out with me guiding, but not standing on high with a clear objective trying to get him to see a certain thing. If ever I did that, he hated it. So for me, I don't try to draw out ideas. Instead, I try to create situations where both of our opinions are valid, so that we can make meaning together. This caused my very independent older boy to be much more willing to engage with his mom when learning.
  9. I haven't read the entire thread, just bits and pieces. But with my older, I've told you before that he would have NO interaction or help for Math. None. And in the end I negotiated 30 minutes per week in session, where *I* would be in charge. By setting this time aside where he knew he would have to do the math that *I* needed him to do, this allowed me to make sure that the things I noticed throughout the week that needed tweaking, could be tweaked. But the rest of his math time (10+ hours per week when he was aged 7-10) were him directing and implementing his own goals and learning. This was not true for English. I made sure that English was discussion based. Deep, nuanced, collaborative analysis of poems, essays, novels, movies, ads etc. It was the same for History -- re-alouds with dad would have research, discussion, perspectives, and arguing. It became clear to ds that he could not do these subjects nearly as well on his own, so he enjoyed doing them *with* us. I do not believe that he felt that way about math. He definitely felt that he knew what he wanted to discover, and had the tools and motivation to accomplish his goals without me. My help hindered his goals in math. His goals were not my goals, but he was young, so my goals did not matter to him. In the end, he did math independently and English, History, and Science fair projects collaboratively.
  10. I so wish I could. I have been at my maximum space allotted ever since I posted all the photos and posters for my dss' science fair projects. Unless, I delete them, I can't post anything else.
  11. I've told you before that my older learned to write English essays by writing Math proofs. If you can structure a page long math proof, you can structure an English essay.
  12. Her handwriting is so cute. I've kept all my older boy's math notebooks from when it became clear that math was his thing. They are adorable. I don't have any from my younger, because he didn't write!
  13. Well, that is exactly what ds was talking about. Skepticism and inquisativeness lead to proofs. Glad she finds them fun and useful, as I do not! haha. I am so not mathy, I can't stand a proof. Give me math that has been proven by someone else so I can USE it as a tool to solve a scientific problem. I guess this is why we need both mathematicians and scientists. 🙂
  14. Well awesome! Sounds like you and your dd are enjoying studying maths! And it is cool that she is keen to do proofs. Way to go mama. 🙂
  15. Gosh, so many great things to think about. I've got just a bit of time now, so thought I would start with this one. The answer is Yes, this makes total sense. The first year is always a muddle, with both you and the kids figuring out how to make this thing call homeschooling your own. In the end, the way I approached this independence, scaffolding, collaboration dilemma was to discuss it with my kids. 1) Independent subjects. What did they think they were able to do independently? And the answer might be "not much." But I would discuss with them the importance of independence and how it actually felt good, how it was a skill that developed over time. So they would pick something. Usually workbook based, but for my older it was actually AoPS math books. My younger who has dysgraphia could do very little independently because he could neither write nor type, so he chose violin and documentaries. 🙂 2) Collaborative subjects. Then we would decide what we wanted to do *together* in a collaborative way. I usually tried to reserve this for discussion based subjects, things like history or literature or geography, that were actually *better* when done together. These usually end up as programs of study for us, because you can attack big overarching questions. However, for my younger with dysgraphia, we did dictation together until he was 15, and that absolutely needed me as a collaborator. Many kids can do spelling, grammar, mechanics with a workbook independently, but not this boy. So it really depends on the kid and the circumstances. 3) Scaffolded subjects. Finally, we would decide how much scaffolding was required for the remaining subjects. Right now for my boy that is Chemistry. Yes, he can do it independently, but he looses track of the forest through the trees. So scaffolding for him, is 10 minutes before he starts trying to keep the big picture in mind. I teach him how to constantly refer back to the table of contents to see where he is at. I teach him to look at the 'learning objectives' and really think about where he is headed. I teach him to look up questions that he has that refer to other content he has learned or will learn, so his knowledge doesn't remain siloed. There is also content that he gets stuck on, so I teach him directly. So this is a subject that is scaffolded -- neither independent nor collaborative. The key is that the *kid* needs to decide which category a subject falls into. You might think he is ready for xxx, but he may not agree. In my experience, learning is most efficient when it is at the exact level of the student, both in content and executive function skills. You and your child need to assess that together in order to make a plan. Ruth in NZ
  16. Last night I showed my ds both this thread, and the proof that you posted on the AL board. He has some interesting ideas, and I really wish you guys could get together for a cup of coffee, because being the middle man is going to be a lesson in humility. First to understand his perspective, you have to understand that he was completely self taught from the age of 7 to 18, when he started taking Grad level math classes at MIT. He had no teacher, tutor, or parent with the exception of text bases AoPS classes, and refused all help as he considered it cheating. He hated direct instruction, so all content he discovered himself, either through guided discover with AoPS books or through I-wont-look-at-the-textbook-explanations approach to doing all the problems/exercises at the end of each chapter by discovering all principles on his own. So, point is that I don't know if his perception is typical. He said that for young mathematicians, there should be 3 goals. To develop: 1) Intuition 2) Inquisativeness 3) A healthy skepticism He believes that inquisativeness and skepticism lead to a math student to want to do proofs, and that teaching proofs before these two traits are developed is doing things backwards. He also said that intuition is the rock upon which mathematics is built, and that although your daughter should be skeptical that the prime factorization is unique in all cases, that teaching or requiring a proof at this stage of her mathematical maturity would undermine the development of her intuition because prime factorization makes sense, so should be intuitive. He believes that math should be taught in the order that it was discovered, not in the order that it is built. Math was first discovered for a purpose and that the underlying theory that supports it was done later. He thinks that math should be taught in this order, with basically 2 loops. Each and every piece of math could be taught from up from the ground up from the very very beginning, but he thinks that it would negatively impact the 3 goals. He also said that there is no good way to teach the proof you referencing to make it improve intuition. He thinks that you should pick a different fundamental piece of math to dig into with deep theory, a piece whose proof *improves* intuition. And this is not the one. Ok, I'm not sure how I did. We talked last night for an hour, and I took a few notes when I got home. So I hope I got it all right. This is way past my pay grade. 🙂 Good luck!
  17. I like the idea of a map of the learning goals. My younger boy is 16, but he is only now starting to take ownership of his learning. I think the dysgraphia really got in the way (and now his sprained right wrist arrrrgh!) There is an overlay of executive function skills with how a program/curriculum can be implemented. Do three pages in a workbook is straight forward; write a research paper is not. I've come to believe that kids may really want to follow their own interests, but to do that means embracing learning that requires high level executive function skills, or requires that learning be done collaboratively with the parent. I think it is a very special student who can work independently in a sustained way on their own interests. This is why when you see homeschoolers talk about how independent their kids are, and how effective workboxes are etc, it is because the tasks being set are to do as you are told by working through a workbook where the content/skills has been laid out for efficient completion. The problem is that true, deep learning requires more than following instructions. It requires a student to understand 3 things 1) what they need to know, 2) how much they already know, and 3) how to get from one point to another. I work with a lot of kids in my tutoring business and I can tell you that these 3 things are rarely understood. There is just a follow along in the workbook mentality, there is no engagement, and thus no sense of if they are understanding and where they are headed. This is where curriculum vs program of study are different. A curriculum lays it all out in tiny little boxes, and program of study requires more from the student because they have to guide their learning. Little steps of a curriculum need to be linked in the child's mind, which is why I like the idea of the map you mentioned. Most kids really lose sight of the forest through all the trees. I see it over and over. What I have found over the years with both my boys is that using both curriculum (either purchased or self-made) AND using a program of study for other subjects leads to the best development of skills. My kids are not the kind of kids who could guide their own program of study without a LOT of collaboration from me (the idea of this being done independently is the dream of every unschooler, I know as I was/am one). So I worked WITH them, side by side, to research, think, plan, develop their ideas into a cohesive whole. But they also need to learn to work independently, and this is where a curriculum (purchased or made) is key. If it is purchased, it is usually workbooks - I used math and grammar pre-made curriculum. But then I created my own science curriculum, where I picked topics for each of 4 terms, laid out books for them to read xxx pages per day, and had them make a poster or give a presentation at the end of the term. Clear cut steps. Even now, my younger uses a chemistry curriculum, where he needs to do one section per day. But for Geography and English, we do a program of study. I also did a program of study for all our science fair projects, and my older did a program of study for IMO math. These are bigger picture, larger scale ideas that need to be developed and understood at an appropriate pace. I would provide the *questions* but then they figured out how to learn. I think the combination of these three approaches (purchased curriculum, homemade curriculum, and programs of study) has been very effective with my kids. Ruth in NZ
  18. I definitely have more of a skill focus than a content focus. For my ds's geography research papers on an issue, we are focused on researching, perspectives, comparing and contrasting multiple solutions to issues. The issue chosen doesn't matter. He chose to look at the dairy cattle from the point of the farmer, tourism operator, and conservationist. He could have done mining, tourism, etc. When we did a research paper on comparing developmental economics between two regions or countries, my ds wanted to learn about Africa because he told me he knew nothing about it. He needed to have one rich country and one poor country for the comparison, but he wanted to study subsaharan Africa. So after a week of research, chose to compare Botswana to the DRC. This took us 6 months! He looked at the impact of history, leadership, physical geography, and political structure on the economy using both quantitative and qualitative variables. So I had the skill goals that I was after, and he chose the content that he wanted to study.
  19. My younger is currently studying Organic Chemistry. There are 2 national exams he will be taking at the end of November (the end of our school year), so I know the exact content he must complete. I would like him to finish this content by then plus the related spectroscopy unit. But I find it very difficult to pace this content, and we are currently 1.5 weeks behind where I thought we would be at week 7. My frustration is that it does not help him to have set content to do for the week if it is harder for him than I expect, because then he just can't get it done on time. I am very against working to a schedule like what is done at school, where it ends up you don't master the content, but rather just keep pace as best as you can. So my approach has always been to have a general goal for the day/week, and then have something that can be thrown out. For us, it will be the spectroscopy unit. But what I would really like to do is set up a 6 week schedule and then readjust after 6 weeks to align with what has or has not been accomplished. Perhaps I make 4-day goals with the 5th day for catch up. The reason I have not done this, is that every time I try, my estimates are off and the plans worthless. This is why I go with the flow. And my kids really like just learning rather than keeping to a schedule. I think it is the unschooler in me. 🙂
  20. Story of my life. However, I will say that reading all the writing curriculum that I have read, has made me better able to design my own courses and made me a better teacher.
  21. I think being a writing teacher like being a violin teacher. Our music teacher could play the exact same basic piece and make it sound like it should be a solo at Carnegie Hall. So what does he do when he hears a young kid play this basic piece so poorly? He picks the ONE thing that could be improved that will make the most impact and still be within the capability of the kid. He focuses on a single thing for a month, before adding in ONE more thing. He does not expect mastery with each concept taught, not even after a year or even 10. There is simply no way that my kids would have continued with violin if he had pointed out all the errors with their playing a basic piece, nor could they have gotten any better. For writing, you work on ONE thing, and ignore the rest of the errors and possible improvements. What ONE thing will make the biggest impact?
  22. I do half and half - 1) composition: writing publishable real-life essays/speeches and 2) analyzing literature. For real-life non-school composition, I have my children pick 2 pieces they want to mimic and then we study the form for hours and days before attempting to mimic it. My older did an Economist information science article and a Scientific American persuasive opinion. My younger did a creative writing short story and a National Geographic article. The purpose is to learn to write content that is of publishable quality, rather than just school essays. My younger will also do a formal speech after studying works by JFK, MLK, Churchill, Ardern, etc. The focus will be on analyzing effective rhetorical devices, and then writing and delivering a speech. For Literary analysis, my older did 6 response papers on Post-Modern Lit and 20 one-page literary analysis essays on short poems and creative nonfiction. My younger is doing a year of Pride and Prejudice, with 1) a research paper comparing internal vs external enforcement of conformity between Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion and Jane Eyre. 2) He will then do 5 essays analyzing P&P's themes, characters, setting, etc. Each child focused on what they found interesting. My older was on writing science for a lay audience, and then analyzing post modern lit and poetry. My younger has focused on writing creative fiction and creative nonfiction, and then analyzing 19th C novels. By choosing what they write about, the course helps them focus on skills that are more useful and more interesting to them.
  23. Stadiums! They are allowing people to attend events in stadiums! There are no social distancing requirements, no limitations on group size, and no suggestion to wear masks.
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