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Everything posted by 8FillTheHeart

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Not uniquie to MIT. My kids have never met anyone who has been educated with the freedom they had.
  4. Best wishes to her. What an awesome opportunity! I hope she can get over her nerves and just embrace it as a high schooler's experience of a lifetime vs. overwhelming.
  5. FWIW, you can find most of the links like Ruth posted by going to the individual forum main pages and in the right corner select "sort by." If you select most replies or most views, you can find most of the big threads. (Last night I used to google to search for threads with key words like Draconian, Jane in NC, Ester Maria, and then other posters' names that came up in some of those threads. Wow. Miss the wisdom that was posted by those knowledgeable and experienced women. They were some very serious educators who knew how to post in fun, too.)
  6. I found this discussion today when searching for the 4 Hallmarks. The discussion and links are thought-provoking.
  7. I'm on my 5th time teaching LLfLOTR. I have never been able to complete it in a yr. My 8th grade and I will complete over this and next yr. It takes us so long bc we spend so much time reading the works mentioned in the units and so studies on those, too. (Plus read books like The Tolkien Reader and the Silmarillion. ) We have so much fun with the study. I love it.
  8. Just wanted to share that the reader on Lit2Go does a great job. Love it when you find a good audio for free.
  9. I am 100% opposed to busy work or expecting students to complete assignments that hold no real educational or long-term value. That said, your view of what type of writing students are doing is very different from what our kids have done. It isn't just essay writing and most definitely not limited to 1000 words. I remember my ds writing 10-14+ page formal physics lab write-ups every single week for his introductory level physics courses (he took these in 11th grade, so I saw what he was doing.) Those papers were on top of history/English papers that I expected from him. Kids taking those courses as freshman had very full loads, some with multiple science labs requiring formal lab reports. Students who need to focus on the writing process instead of just knowing how to write and focusing on what needs to be written very well might sink in certain majors. i would not use being able to write a 1000 coherent word essay if forced to as a threshold. I would classify that as a bottom bar objective. Do they need to be able to write a 20-100 page thesis paper? Most likely not first semester freshman. But, that would be more like a top bar objective with lots of skills coming in between the 2 extremes.
  10. I haven't owned a homeschooling book in well over a decade. However, I do keep reading various things to keep me inspired. (I am inspired by St Ignatius and his Jesuit philosophy) One that made a huge impact on me even after graduating my first ds is "The Four Hallmarks of a Jesuit Pedagogy: Prelection, Reflection, Active Learning, and Repetition." It made me realize that I need my own prelection. Prelection for me is making sure I know the purpose behind what I expect my kids to be learning. If I don't clearly understand the purpose of what we are doing, I cannot expect them to be. Here is an old discussion on recharging your teaching batteries with some good resources: The link to the 4 Hallmarks I posted back then is now dead, but you can find it here: (Section 13) Four Hallmarks of Jesuit Pedagogy: Prelection, Reflection, Active Learning, Repetition
  11. Thinking in a different direction, maybe something like The Westing Game would be fun. (Maybe followed by a Holmes.)
  12. The first ed of WTM was not published until 1999. I was well into my own groove by then. I remember the first time I saw DYOCC. It was just a thin bunch of papers stapled together that a friend had. (Now I mentally categorize MODG with Seton.)
  13. I'm not sure of the specific differences that @prairiewindmomma sees, but based on her post, I agree with the general sentiment. It is a huge topic with lots of nuances but a very brief and less than completely accurate reflection is something like the following: When we first started homeschooling, buying curriculum could be difficult. Most textbook publishers refused to sell to homeschoolers. Abeka, Saxon, Rod and Staff, and Horizons are the main ones I can think of that included homeschoolers. (Singapore was not even a thing back then. Our oldest ds was in 6th grade the first time SM math books were available.) There were very specific providers that sold boxed curriculum (school-in-a-box.......reminiscent of the Calvert thread 😉 ) to homeschoolers. There were a couple of homeschooling catalogs (Greenleaf Press and Emmanuel Books are the 2 main ones that come to mind.) Homeschooling conventions became big deals. They offered lots of workshops on how to go about teaching whatever. Homeschool published materials boomed. These were things like unit studies (Konos, Weaver, Amanda Bennett, etc), multilevel family-oriented materials (names escape me but they were typically themed programs where all levels were working in the same subjects just at different depths......I guess Tapestry of Grace sort of falls into this category but is more of a complete program than many of the others that just gave general framework suggestions). Most of these programs were not "school in a box" bc they were more sources of ideas, etc that needed to be selected, fleshed out, and mom-directed/planned. You also had books like Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum and the WTM that gave ideas on how to create individualized plans around the specific needs of each child. It wasn't pre-planned. It didn't come in a box. It was mom-designed, family controlled, and nothing needed to grade leveled. It was about matching resources and child ability. Literature-based programs like Sonlight were complete programs but not textbook based. CM also grew in popularity and her works were republished. Lots of lit-themed/nature-based programs became popular amg the CM crowds. Then you had homeschool marketed curriculum that became more like school in a box (like MP). Many of these marketers ended up starting online schools that function, well, like schools (grade levels, institutionalized instruction). (Both MODG (from the publisher's of Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum) and WTMA are reflections of general book ideas that in turn also became providers. MODG is a complete "school" that requires testing to place into grade levels. Lots of oversight and lots of control.) Full circle.
  14. My kids' experiences at CCs has been similar, but not at their Us. My kids have not attended top tier schools, but writing well has been a necessity. My STEM kids have spent hours writing lab and research papers. My language majoring dd writes 1000s of words per day (and often not in English.) Their experience, yes, quality matters a lot or grades reflect it.
  15. Princess and the Goblin Chronicles of Narnia (if they havent) Christmas Carol Wind in the Willows Wizard of Oz
  16. Just think in terms of books being less expensive than paying for someone's premade plans. 😀
  17. That paper's focus is mostly on the SAT being a measure of intelligence.
  18. Main thing I would take advantage of would be summer camps. A family immersion camp at Concordia for everyone, too, followed by travel.
  19. The first question to ask yourself is what exactly are you nervous about? Name a pre-high school science concept that must be mastered in order to succeed in a high school science course. (To give you an idea of just how unconcerned I am about lower level science and the outcome, my sr never did anything chemistry related prior to Connie's honors chem course. Guess what? She did absolutely fine and she is not one of my stronger students. ) High school science starts at the beginning. Really. I own a lot of older "out-of-date" science books. I love Fabre's books. His books might be out of date, but they are inspiring. Same with many nature books. (Jean Craighead George's books are wonderful.) When you start discussing things like biochem, etc, yes, but my pre-high school kids aren't reading books on biochem. ;) We also talk about how science changes and grows with new discoveries. I actually like that approach b/c it demonstrates that we don't know all of the answers and how researchers are constantly learning more. (I think that is why my ds became so fascinated with cosmology. He wanted to search for unknowns.) My 4th grade dd and I are reading a book right now that was published in 1987 titled The Disease Fighters: The Nobel Prize in Medicine. I love the book. All of my kids have read it. When her baby niece was going in for her shots, she started asking questions. I pulled out the book bc it is such a good little book on the history of vaccines and antibiotics. We have had all kinds of conversations about how much medicine has changed since her grandparents/aunts and uncles were children. Just bc the book was published over 30 yrs ago does not mean the book's info isn't relevant.
  20. My approach is quite different from Ruth and Lori's. I do not have an overarching science topic driving selections. I don't rotate through science topics. Until my kids are taking high school level science for credit, science is mostly interest driven. Occassionally I choose a topic for them, but for the most part I do let them choose. What does that look like? Either they choose the topic entirely on their own, or if they don't have an idea of what they want to study, I offer them a list of topics to select from. I have had a child (my current physics grad student) who spent almost an entire yr reading books on nothing but ant and bee colonies. He was fascinated by them and read every book we could find on the subject. I have had another who spent an entire yr studying birds. (That sparked a memory of a thread on this topic from yrs ago. You might find the discussion helpful: Fwiw, I don't worry about scientific method, experiments, cycling through chemistry/physics/geology/biology/astronomy, etc during elementary and early middle school. I just want them exposed to science topics and nurture curiousity about nature. All high school and college level introductory courses assume no previous knowledge and cover everything that needs to be learned and mastered. A couple of my kids took their first high school sciences in 8th grade, most not until 9th. They have not been at any disadvantage in terms of mastering science topics. If anything, they are more engaged bc they enjoy science. (only 1 of my kids has not liked high school science and that is my dd who is majoring in foreign languages. My other kids have majored in science/health fields. My current sr is planning on a meteorology as a career. ) In terms of what they "do," they read whole books on various science topics about 30-45 mins per day and write papers on a science topic I select every 3 or so weeks. (I rotate through history, science, lit topics.) Late middle school, they start taking notes from their reading (Cornell style or their own version.)
  21. I only skimmed the article, but around 20 of 32 the references are prior to 2015. And, she uses that for the basis of her final claim, "Finally, when we understand that the SAT is a reasonable measure of intelligence, we can use SAT scores as a proxy measure for time-consuming and sometimes unavailable traditional intelligence assessments, as dozens of researchers have been doing since 2004."
  22. I wasn't even go to follow the link before you posted bc I think there are plenty of studies proving the contrary. But, oh, my there are so many flaws with that article. She discusses the SAT in terms of some singular test with articles going back to the early 2000s with no acknowledgment that the test of 2019 is not the same test. And, anyone who has had a kid test without studying and then test with studying knows that scores can be impacted. (And what about kids who test with vast discrepancies between ACT and SAT scores? Guess kids' "intelligence" falls out of their heads with one test vs the other?) Garbage.
  23. If you want more traditional school format/feedback vs accommodating his giftedness, you could look at providers like Kolbe, Angelicum Academy, Mother of Divine Grace, or Our Lady of Victory. They are all Catholic schools that offer enrollment options where you can get feedback on assignments. You can do full or course enrollment. (Seton is another that a lot of Catholics use.)
  24. I have not had to experience struggling with an assignment in order for me to know how to offer appropriate scaffolding for my kids to develop strong writing skills. 😉 Definitely don't think that is a prerequisite for being a good teacher. I do think it takes a few specific skills---knowing what defines quality writing, how to determine what is "good" and appropriate for an individual child's ability, how to help the student progress to the next level of writing, and how to approach the necessary types of writing required at the various stages of academics. You can peruse different resources in order to make sure you as teacher understand what the goals should be. You do not need to use writing curriculum. You just need to make sure you know your objectives and how to teach them.
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