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Everything posted by lewelma

  1. Hi all, My dad just had surgery and has low iron. My sister has been with them, but is now leaving. My mom has early stage alzheimers and will be in charge of shopping and preparing the food. She can still handle lists and cooking, but it needs to be easy. So 5 ingredients or less. I need breakfast (probably fortified cereal), lunch, and dinner for a week. I'm in NZ, so I don't know USA brands (my parents are in the USA), so if there is good fortified brands, please be specific. She shops at Kroger. ETA: just found out that he has been enjoying soups! So need high iron soup recipes. Thanks! Ruth in NZ
  2. I actually had a kid who could NOT learn fractions, just could not get it no matter what I tried for at least 6 months. But he still had to take algebra. So during algebra, he learned algebraic fractions, they were just hitting a different part of his brain because they were just algorithmic. There was no way he could actually conceptually understand them, so he just memorized the algorithm so he could get them right. And once he mastered algebraic fractions, I used them to teach him numerical fractions in a conceptual way. Once he had the structure of fractional computation firmly in place in an abstract way with algebra, he could convert his understanding to actual numbers, and then develop insight into the concepts. So the learning can go both directions.
  3. Nope. I just bring it up as the need requires. Just yesterday, I reviewed with a 15 year old how to convert improper fractions to mixed numbers. Drew lots of pizzas. 🙂 With a different 15-year-old kid this week, I reviewed how multiplying fractions work. He was writing 2/3 times 3 with the 3 in the middle of the line, and then thought that you multiply the numerator and the denominator by 3. So we covered the idea that 3 is actually 3 over 1. And how it is always better to avoid writing *anything* in the middle, because there is no middle, there is only a numerator and a denominator. Then we looked at how to actually do 2/3 of 3 pizzas conceptually, and then how to do the computation algorithmically. I just review fractions all. the. time. Always twice. Once conceptually, and then once for computation.
  4. For 8th grade, I would just focus on loving science. If she is reading scientific text, discussing ideas, and making summaries that is great! By 10th grade, I'm looking for materials that have good high-end questions with quality answers. I really like Biozone for Biology and all the related fields (ecology, environmental science, physiology, evolution, etc.) All the books are subject specific so you can just buy one topic at a time. We have also had great luck with the Scipad. Excellent high-end questions, excellent answers to study and learn from. Scipads cover Bio, Chem, and Physics for 9th through 12th grade. Both have full versions of the text available online so you can see if you like their approach. Ruth in NZ
  5. Here are two different homegrown Social Science courses, both listing books/resources, but clearly one is much longer than the other. I did list books within the course descriptions, because one school in particular asked for a reading list for all of high school, and I thought it would be more useful to have it in context. These were both unschooled courses that I had to pull together from many years of study to meet requirements for America. For history, I pulled together every single book, novel, movie that he had read/watched/studied over 3 years. Then I realized that he only started at about 1840 and finished with the Vietnam war (because we went to Vietnam one year and studied up before we went), which is why it has a strange date list. But what is interesting, is that I doubt anyone would care. Just be honest and move on. deleted
  6. I actually never gave ANY grades throughout high school because I never thought I was going to create a transcript for american university applications and because NZ does not recognize homeschool coursework. When my ds decided to apply in American at the end of 11th grade, I had to dig through all my records and come up with grades retroactively. In the end I decided that that was an impossible task to do based on my recollection from years ago. So instead I based all grades for all classes on related standardized tests including the NZ national exams. In 11th and 12th grade, he got top marks on 3 reading comprehension/writing external exams and 6 officially marked writing/research papers (NZ national internal assessments), so I gave him As in all classes that were based on reading comprehension, writing, and research for all of highschool which included all English and all Social Sciences. Same with science, music and math, exams in some years, dictated grades in all years. This was the only way to be objective that I could determine. Basically, I considered 11th and 12th grade exams to be the capstone for all work done for all of highschool, so those marks were for the whole of his highschool. So in my course descriptions, I put the course requirements (reading, discussion, papers, etc), but did not list the specifics for how I came up with grades. I'm not convinced that admissions would care given that every. single. teacher would have a different grading method with a different justification. So there are many ways to give grades from down in the weeds to high in the sky. No one questioned my ds's grades, and he has had no trouble in university so my assignment of grades couldn't have been too far off. My point is, do the best you can, but don't worry too much about the details. I didn't have any grades to put on a transcript for ds's 20+ homegrown courses, but could still find a way to honestly represent my ds. Ruth in NZ
  7. 2 years ago, I asked so many questions. Questions upon questions. It was good because I got a lot of really good advice! I posted my school profile on the other thread. I'm about ready to delete it, so have a look if you want.
  8. I had a million questions 2 years ago! just keep asking because people here love to help. We have kicked around the difference between the counselor letter and school profile last week on this thread
  9. I agree! Your description is a good reminder for me that I should spend some more time on character and integrity in these last few years before youngest is off to university.
  10. What Servant4Christ is describing sounds like a loving parent doing their best to raise wonderful children. But I would take a different approach. Hope you don't mind, S4Chist, if I use your response as a jumping off point to describe another possible path. I would increase the focus on what they are doing right, so more dance and more activity. And then reduce what is causing strife, which seems to be them working independently. I would be working to make a collaborative learning environment where we all work towards a common goal. I would celebrate their self discipline and focus where it can be found, rather than using it as leverage to control other behaviors. Basically, I have always used strengths to shore up weaknesses. So more time in what they are good at and less time in what they are bad at. And then as they find success in their strengths, I would use that to my advantage to help them desire to work on their weaknesses.
  11. LolaT, sounds like you are having a tough time of it and that your kids are not meeting your expectations. This is so hard. Homeschooling is hard because you are blending being a child's teacher with being their parent, and sometimes those hats should be different. There seem to be two different camps on this thread, 1) increase discipline to root out unwanted behaviors, and 2) reduce expectations to allow success. This is definitely a philosophical difference, but I will say that if one approach is not working, it is often useful to try the other even just temporarily. I am in camp 2 - I would reduce expectations to allow success. 1) I would decrease the work load to no more than 4 hours per day. 2) increase the exercise and hands on activities. 3) I would always supervise work and never expect them to get work done independently. 4) I would buy cheaper pens and art supplies. 5) I would have fun non-sneaking snacks available for consumption at any time. Basically, I would not making schooling a battle, nor would I set it up as me vs them. I would work to create a culture of learning and togetherness. But you see, all of us are different. And our children are different. And only you can know what to do. The best thing about threads like these is that you get lots of ideas and then in your own quiet time can go sort through them, take a few, and leave the rest. Good Luck with finding your path. Ruth in NZ
  12. I'm a math tutor. In my experience, ALL students need fraction revision through 8th grade, and MOST need fraction revision through 10th grade. In fact, sometimes we do a bit of revision while concurrently working on calculus in 12th grade. So have him learn it, learn it again, and learn it about 5 more times. Each year it will go faster and be easier. Fractions are not one of those things that most kids just master, remember forever, and move on. Ruth in NZ
  13. I put where/with whom the class was taken on the transcript as a superscript with a associated reference box. VUW for Victoria University of Wellington, ABRSM Associated board of Royal Schools of Music, AoPS for Art of Problem Solving, TK for Te Kura, etc. I didn't want them to have to chase footnote numbers, so made them recognizable letters. Then I described the different educational partners in the school profile.
  14. It also obviously depends on the school. My ds got the top CM merit scholarship, and his grades were based on: Mastery in all homeschool classes Blooms taxonomy of knowledge for all NZ national exams (not a percent correct system, but based on demonstrated level of thinking) AoPS bar colors In fact, out of 30ish classes, only the 2 he took at the local university were on a 0 to 100% scale, and the mean and median for both classes were 60%, which represented a B-. So not in any fashion based on the different number criteria you listed above I did not weight any classes for ds's GPA because CM told me that they had their own weighting scale and would ignore mine. I did put info on my transcript (like university-level, AP equivalent) so they could weight them how ever they wanted to.
  15. I find it astounding that such a subjective and varying system of grade/GPA production could dictate so much money! It is really just nuts.
  16. I did my transcript like the one 8 linked to, but wrote it as "pre-9th" rather than 8th because some of the math classes were 6th and 7th grade in addition to 8th. As I remember, I included algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2, discrete math, and Mandarin 1. I did not include grades from these classes in his GPA or in a credit count for high school.
  17. What about an Art Portfolio? We were told to only include the music portfolio if we thought that he would be in the top 10% of musicians for the school. So we looked at what were the audition pieces for the music schools at each university to make the judgement. So add the art portfolio only if she is quite good. But if you are looking for a way to validate grades without doing any more testing, that is one option. And I still think that *formatting* of the paperwork adds validation. 🙂
  18. Carnegie Mellon admissions told us face to face "there is no such thing as too much documentation for a homeschooler." I then handed him one by one, ds's transcript, school profile, and course descriptions. He got more and more excited by the detail and volume of the paperwork. And I think the good formatting helped make it seem quite official. Things that look official are generally not questioned. I think the 86th percentile already confirms the mommy grades on the transcript -- even all As. DS also added a music portfolio with music resume, letter of rec from VIP, and recording of a performance. No way to contest that because clearly *he* was playing.
  19. I was a student who quit trying to learn to spell because of failure after failure throughout school. I just quit and would not try by about the age of 11. It became something I defined myself by. In fact, my little award in high school was "least likely to proof read a dictionary." If he is done and won't try, nothing you do will make him learn. Take time off. Wait a full year and try again. My younger boy could not spell 80% of the top 100 words at the age of 12. Basically, he misspelling every. single. word. he wrote. Now at age 16, he has made huge progress. He misspells about 10% of words at this point, which is totally workable if he is typing. But this progress is because *he* wanted to do the work.
  20. Gil, we sound similar. I maxed out with maths with my 7th grader when we worked together to get him into the IMO camp at the end of that year. It was horrible work for me, as I too am an applied-maths-gal at heart. I have a degree in mathematical biology. It is not that I am afraid of math or something. But *theoretical* maths is just something I really don't care for, and the year that I pounded it with my son left me incredibly burned out and it took me over a year to recover. I never helped him with maths again. But here is the thing, he could do it on his own by that time, so it was ok that he studied for 5 years on his own. He took one foray into the world of the local university, and those two maths classes left him convinced that he would go it alone. The classes were just too easy and slow paced and dull. What I did was give him a selection of books to read. For calc, I gave him AoPS calc, Anton (which I had), and Apostol. I also gave him Algebra by Artin and Analysis by Rudin. I figured that would keep him going. He also self studied combinatorics with random resources he found on the internet to a level that he has walked into graduate level courses in Combinatorics last year, and that was without a textbook at all in high school. So I guess it depends on how good your ds is at self-learning. You have always been so involved in their maths, and been such a good teacher for them, it might be hard for both you and him to make a change. But if a kid is keen, they can make it work even without academic support. I did a lot of listening for 5 years about all this exciting maths he was so keen on. I really didn't know what he was talking about at that point, but my role was to be cheerleader. So that is how I supported his efforts. And interesting, one of his essays for university applications was about having to go it alone in maths, and that because he could not find a local community in maths, that he built his community in music. Good luck with finding a path.
  21. I've never assigned grades until I had to create a transcript and work backwards 3 years. So in my course descriptions, I had a line at the end of each homegrown class in the course descriptions that included requirements, but never mentioned how I graded. For example: "Course requirements included reading assignments, participation in discussions, short essays, and a research paper." I had a short blurb on my school profile that said that we graded based on mastery.
  22. That is a part of math, but problem solving is too. Have you considered breaking math into 2 parts, one that is independent and drill focused, and one that is together and problem solving focused. We used IP and it was excellent for problem solving. In contrast to forty-two, we dropped the workbook and only did IP. Excellent problem solving, but only an unusual kid would do it completely independently.
  23. Well, it is like teaching English. First, it is about purpose and audience. Your student must really understand that the purpose is to explain scientific principles and how they apply to a specific example. For audience, your kid needs to pick an actual person they know who is *interested* in science, but just completely uneducated or just needs to have things explained slowly and in detail. Believe it or not, finding an real life person to write the answer *to* is critical, because otherwise the kids won't write the detail, because the answer is obvious to them so in their mind should be obvious to everyone. They need to write to someone where the answer won't be obvious. So like grandpa, who loves science but is a bit slower than he used to be and you have to really explain it well with every possible link. Once you have the purpose and audience, then you have to study answers. What makes a good answer? How is it structured? This is English skills again. So do the model answers use equations to explain? How many connections do they make? (connections between ideas are key to a good answer) Do they have a topic sentence, an explanation, and then an example? Really depends on what science you are studying and at what level. But you and your kid must sit there, analyze answers, and identify a general approach to follow. This will take time - like an hour, and often has to be redone each week to build up understanding, because the more you know how to write a good answer, the more you see in the model answers when you study how they are written. Next, you start writing answers. Typically, when you first start, you actually can't write anything. So you read the answer. Discuss it. And then you write it in your own words. As you get better (which can take weeks), you eventually have the language style of the science in mind, with all the 3 word phrases that go together and the vocabulary, and then you can start to write without having to read the answer first. Finally, you compare your answer to the model answer. You change your color pen, and add details to your answer that you should have included, and you improve your vocabulary to use more scientific words/phrases. If you are completely wrong. You discuss it, and then you rewrite it in your own words, and then mark it to rewrite the following day. Over time, you will find that your ability to use proper language techniques of the genre, and write a *complete* answer improve. In my experience, the first time you do this (for the first unit of the first science), it takes the longest, and every time afterwards (for other units and other sciences) it takes less time. BUT and here is the big but, you must continue to use this process for every. single. unit in every. single. science. you study. Because scientific writing is tough, and each unit in each science is a slightly different genre. So although you are becoming a better scientific writer, you still must study the how-to's for each unit. It is kind of the equivalent of saying you are good at creative writing, but you have only written horror short stories, and now you plan to write a love story. Yes you know a lot, but there is still more to learn, and reading and studying good models will help you a lot. Keep in mind that I start this process in 10th grade. Before that, it is all about loving learning and loving science. Hope this helps, Ruth in NZ
  24. My dh is the same! He has always said he wanted a workshop, but because he lives in an apartment he picked up knitting! He makes all of my younger boys socks, and has made me a double knit hat which always impresses my knitter friends. 🙂 He also ALWAYS has something fermenting. Right now it is beer and kimchi. But he does all sorts of vegetables, and has experimented with a billion types of bread. I have not bought a loaf of bread in 25 years. He makes it all! He also cans peaches, and salsa, and bbq sauce. He just loves this more old fashioned/authentic food production. He is and IT project manager. So sits in meetings all day. But at night, haha, lots of projects. And I love the tent in the house idea!!
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