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8FillTheHeart last won the day on April 14 2014

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  1. I was poking around the NTSA's website and found these podcasts that could be used for creating a science-themed study.( Warning---the podcasts are monotone and uninspiring. I would not have students listen to them.) But parents could listen to them (or read them....just noticed that option) for ideas for discussion and research for their kids.
  2. Oh, I know. I just thought it was funny that she posted he didnt like science fiction but then every title she said fit what they were looking for was science fiction.
  3. Just laughing at the fact that you said he doesnt really like science fiction but every book that fits is. Maybe Percy's Lost in the Cosmos for a different genre. 🙂
  4. A Night Divided combined with Ratnesar's Tear Down This Wall.
  5. Lewis's Space Trilogy Lots of great short stories (love short story studies with my high schoolers) The obvious LOTR (or the Silmarillion.....lots of good stuff. I love the Silmarillion.)
  6. 1) All the way until their first high school level science course. High school courses are introductory level and teach everything "from the beginning." 2) Not. (I have never done them with my kids. I have a chemE and a physics grad student, so it obviously didn't hurt them.) 3) You could start here:
  7. My parenting methods are hugely influenced by Catholic theology. Life is a gift from God. We are His children and every day is a blessing He has given us. We are called to glorify Him by living to the best of our ability. Our role at each stage of our life is our way of serving Him. So, if you are a parent, you parent to the best of your ability. If you are an employee, you do your job to the best of your ability. If you are a student, you do your work and learn to the best of your ability. You examine your conscience and ask yourself if you lived according the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Have you done the your best to glorify God in your daily work? As a parent, we raise our children with those values. When they do their daily school work, they write AMDG (Ad majórem Dei glóriam, For the greater glory of God) on the top of their paper before they begin. And JMJ, for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph......the Holy Family. And we discuss the purpose of education, the interior mental freedom for which they were created. Education allows them to think for themselves and not be influenced by those who attempt to control them by their lack of knowledge.
  8. It sounds like your experience and perspective fits your children, as it should. But, it is certainly not a model that would work for lots of children, especially those who lack the ability to self-regulate. For example, when our Aspie was 14 he was crippled by his obsessive/compulsive behaviors. He was obsessed with manga and drawing the images. He would draw the same picture over and over and over, crumpling up picture after picture b/c it was almost perfect but not quite. (When we looked at the pictures it was next to impossible to see any difference at all.) Left alone, he would have drawn the same picture over and over for over 20 hrs straight. He wouldn't stop to eat, go the bathroom, sleep, anything without being forced to stop. When we would "interfere" with his drawing, his reaction would be uncontrollable agitation. He would stab his pencil into the wall in pure frustration. Pt being, we have to parent the child. Sometimes what it takes is not the type of parenting we would prefer but what it takes to help them be able to function in a healthy way.
  9. I have never parented my children, nor attempted to parent my children, in some semblence of a "peer relationship." I don't see them as my peers and I don't want them to see me as their peer. I am their parent. Parenting as "parent" does not equal forceful control. Parenting means communicating with respect, guiding, but it also means instilling virtues, enforcing boundaries, etc. There is a difference between authoritarian and authoratitive. I honestly don't get the distinction "top-down parenting." To me parenting is naturally top down. It is not a relationship that naturally exists on a equal level. But, equally, I don't agree with the idea that parents "parenting as parents" are unable to nurture children toward intrinsic motivation. Again, I think it is bc parenting is not defined as "controlling."
  10. I wanted to share this with you bc it is something I am contemplating doing with my 4th grader. Do you happen to have Disney Plus? I have been watching National Geographic episodes while I do my daily walk on my treadmill. The other day I watched the one on the mars rovers. It was really interesting. (I"m not sure my 9 yr old will find it is as interesting as I did 😉 ) Anyway, I have been looking at 3d puzzles for my physicgeek ds for Christmas (I got him a functioning clock one b/c he will love it.) While looking at them, I came across this one: I am thinking that with the model as an incentive, she might actually get into watching that documentary. 🙂 (ETA: I just had a conversation with her. She wants to do it. She thinks her big brother will watch the episode with her while he is here for Christmas and the 2 of them can build it together.)
  11. My kids all have very different personalities and what works for one may or may not be appropriate for another. (If I had only had my #4 and #5 kids, I would have a very differernt perspective on parenting than what I experience with #2 (not past tense "experienced" bc even though he is 27, my Aspie still requires constant daily parenting.) My #4 and #5 kiddos never experienced any type of real punishment bc they were easy going kids who you can just talk to and discuss things rationally and unemotionally with. My Aspie functions on reactionary emotion with high doses of anxiety, ocd, adhd, and odd thrown in the mix. Some of my kids automatically push themselves to their highest level of achievement. Some of my kids would dwell in the absolute mediocre without being pushed from behind. So it really takes trying to understand them individually and helping them use their will for their own success and sparking their internal motivation. That said, doing what I request or expect is not optional. So the idea of cajoling or bargaining with my kids to do their school work is a non-issue b/c they know they have to do it. Not doing what is expected is a non-starter. Setting boundaries, working with them in order for them to be successful, encouraging them to focus and complete an different kids have needed different approaches. Where some of my kids would just sit and do math when they were 6, my Aspie might have been jumping on numbers like hopscotch or where the other kids might snuggle on the sofa listening to me read, he might have been hanging upside down off the sofa with his head on the floor or building Legos. (He has uncanny multitasking abilities and can appear to not be listening but can repeat word for word everything that has been said.) I don't think there is a simple answer to your question. Some kids need encouragement and pushing from behind. Some kids run along at the perfect pace. Some kids need to have the reins pulled back bc they don't know how to create appropriate boundaries for themselves. What works when they are 5 or 6 may be completely unrelated to what needs to occur when they are 11 and then again at 14 and 16 and 18. There is no single approach that works for all of them. If I had attempted to parent my easy-going kids with the "wall" approach I had to take with my Aspie, it would have crushed their spirits. But, if I had been the easy-going parent with my Aspie, I would have been trampled to death. Those aspects of parenting have to flow into how we teach them b/c some kids need to be under their own version of self-control first before anything academic can be accomplished.
  12. Yes. Interest-led, not child-led, is how I would look at it. I cannot fathom any state having requirements that cannot be met through interest-led learning. My kids can even meet high school graduation and college admissions requirement being interest-led. They can choose their language, their histories, and their lit choices. Math and science are the only 2 subjects at the high school level without that much leeway. Even so, they can influence what type of approach they want to take and which sciences they want to cover more in-depth and which more superficially. (For example, my physics grad student went in-depth with physics as well as taking additional astronomy courses every yr of high school. My chemE ds took more chemistry. My OTA dd took anatomy and physiology, etc). At the elementary level, my kids have complete freedom over whatever science topics they want to study. (When they are younger, we typically discuss various options they might consider and I help them narrow down choices.) For example, this yr my 4th grader and I are doing a Chronicles of Narnia theme this yr. We are reading through the series and weaving in different themes as we go along. For example, we read about Antarctica and the Arctic. We've read about how beaver dams/lodges are constructed, etc. We are reading about the history of Great Britian, castles and cathedrals, medieval life, etc. During all of that we often do bunny trail studies as well. Her baby niece was getting shots and we started talking about immunizations, so now we are reading about the history of how immunizations and antibiotics were researched and developed. We also started talking about Joan of Arc when we were reading about the 100 Yrs War. So, now we are reading a biography on Joan of Arc. We are covering every subject any brick and mortar student covers. We are just doing it in our own way with our own focus. For writing, she is creating a "chpt book" on dinosaurs. I print out 3 articles on whatever dinosaur she wants to focus on (she just finished one on the spinosaurus and is starting one on microraptors). I told her to pick a science topic she wanted to write about, and she chose dinosaurs. We will spend probably 8 weeks on her "book." Each "chpt" is really only 2-3 paragraphs containing the main details that are known and a picture that she draws. Plenty for me for a 4th grader.
  13. Our kids are raised with the mantra that education is children's work and their way to serve God. Other than our oldest 2, they have all been born into homeschooling, so it is just a way of life here. No complaining bc it is what it is. Not optional. We do try to instill that learning is its own reward bc of what it enables them to do. It doesn't mean they don't have days with attitudes. (We all have one right now b/c Friday is our last day before break and we are all just so done. We have moved 3 times in 2 yrs with the last in Sept. We just really, really need a long break of doing absolutely nothing bc we didn't have a summer vacation.) But, over the long haul, my kids have all blossomed by being able to control subjects. I do put an immense effort into designing courses that will feed their interests. They have the option of selecting what we study and when they are older, they help design their courses.
  14. Not uniquie to MIT. My kids have never met anyone who has been educated with the freedom they had.
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