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About ChristineMM

  • Birthday 05/31/1967

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  • Biography
    Mother to two "always homeschooled" sons aged 16 & 14.
  • Location
    Houston TX USA
  • Interests
    blogging, writing, photography, gardening, cooking/baking, knitting, reading
  • Occupation
    Homeschooling mother

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Houston, Texas
  • Interests
    soap making, gardening, photography, writing, blogging, reading, baking, cooking, slowfood, making art, knitting, volunteering.
  1. Thanks for linking over to my blog post on living books! Glad to know it helped someone. :)
  2. Lichen -- I love lichen! Read an article somewhere last year saying it is quite ignored by science and its exploration is in its infancy! Not much is known about it. The scientist who loves it said it is a field that he thinks will explode, may have medicinal uses etc.
  3. My intro was an in person lecture by the author/doctor in Feb. I found a 2 part video on YouTube that is essentially the same talk I heard. It is 1 hour long I believe. Check it out! I didn't read the book but bought the cookbook which he said for desserts is mainly for occasional use. I have been 90-95% grain free since about March 1 and have lost 16 pounds without changing one other single thing. Good luck on the Wheat Belly journey.
  4. I just started watching Turning Points in American History w DS15 (part of his US History homeschool course I designed) - TTC / Great Courses. Today I am starting TTC course about photography. I just finished reading a nonfiction book on bullying and teen social issues: Sticks and Stones. Last month I finished Salt, Sugar, Fat by Moss and learned a lot about the history of processed food in America and that industry and about health problems causes by food. I have been watching YouTube tutorials on art techniques and finally did some monoprinting using a gelatin plate made with Knox gelatin from the grocery store. I am reading and learning from lectures about gardening in my new zone 9. I have designed and planted herbs, veg, and flowers, and citrus and fruit trees here. So different in Houston than in CT. Glad to hear others are learning things too.
  5. Would love to hear your opinion on why to not do the whole book for Miller and Levine? It is an on level book. Are you saying that there are too many topics? We are half way through with bio using that (started as course in a co-op). Seems like this book will take forever to get through. Thanks.
  6. Want to add that evolution is on the SAT subject test so that is one reason that some will need a thorough coverage of the topic...
  7. My son took chem "on level" and took the SAT chem subject test (grade pending), this year. He used a co-op with a bio-chem major retired medical doctor teacher. He also needed tutoring. More later. 1. A Beka: We hated it, both tutors hated it. They felt that it was too condensed and not enough explanation. If you don't get the concept, tough luck. It is a thin volume. Math gives one example. Teacher felt math was too light and added more of her own design. (Tutor 1 was used a few times before moving. He hated the book.) Mainly we used a tutor who is a bio-chemist now works as a college prof teaching bio & chem & also for a while was a bio & chem teacher at a gifted magnet school ranked 11 in the nation. After working in the text 4 months then looking at the SAT subject test content she said no way would anyone be able to get a decent grade as the book was too shallow and also did not even cover all the topics on the test! 2. Other text: She also slammed the SAT subject test saying that the only books that could address the topic that she knew of was a pre-AP (honors) level book that I do not see on this list. It is Chemistry by Addison Wesley. This happens to be the book that Houston Ind School District uses for Pre-AP Chemistry. I ended up buying that and then my son dove into it and had a ton of tutoring in the month before the test to review and go deeper and learn new topics. I am resentful about A Beka Chemistry to say the least. My son hopes to be an engineer so as a STEM major this class was mandatory and he is trying to stack up the standardized test scores for college pre-requisites. HTH someone.
  8. Wow, your teens are volunteering a lot! My older will graduate with hardly any. He does over 900 hours a year at a 4 season varsity sport. He does 130-250 hours a year at FIRST Robotics team. He is a Boy Scout and will have done his Eagle, hopefully, before age 18. At each of those ECs they do volunteer work projects but not 100 hours a year. He wants a part time paying job but has no time after his ECs. He is starting CC in fall of his grade 11 year and will be adjusting to that, time management balance etc. I am not going to let myself freak out about this!
  9. Thank you for this thread. I have just begun planning DS15's 11th grade year and am going to use TTC for the first time. I was confused about how much extra reading and papers to write to justify a full credit in history and non-lab sciences. (Not doing math either w TTC.)
  10. I was encouraged (and shamed) by some HSers to use AoPS and my tenacity on trying to make it work wasted a year of my son's time and it was a fail for him in the end. My son loved math and is very right brained but when we did AoPS first at home then later with the online class (Intro to Algebra) he developed a serious negative self-esteem about math that then overflowed into everything about himself. The last 7 months has been about trying to dig him out of that hole and I am kicking myself for persevering with it for so long -- why did I let this happen? I was told over and over that all other math programs are inferior and some arrogant statements that AoPS is for smart kids and anyone needing some other program has some sort of lower set of thinking ability that is to be looked down upon. I wanted to use the best of the best program and wanted something interesting and was open to something non-traditional. That's why I kept encouraging my son to stay with it. We started with Intro as back when I bought it Pre-Algebra was not available. We first tried studies at home via textbook then did the online class. If you can afford the textbook buy it and try it. If it does not work for you I say ABANDON IT AND DON'T LOOK BACK. Then re-sell the book to other homeschoolers and move on with your math studies. Do not feel guilty (like i did) if it does not work for you child(ren). Anyone thinking about AoPS should take the online placement test. If it says to start at their new pre-algebra then do it, do not try to skip it as believe me, the Intro to Algebra is hard! I also feel that AoPS is best for who it is was designed for: school kids who are getting a basic math education at school with some other program who also love math and want more math in their life. AoPS provides unique problem solving challenges for kids who (in my opinion) already got the basics by other instruction. I do not feel that AoPS works for all homeschoolers when it is their ONLY METHOD of instruction. Tidbits from our experience: my son wound up so confused doing guesswork to solve problems before he was taught what to do that when it was finally correct he didn't recall what was right and what was incorrect. So he did not learn from even a correct answer. For my son the process of continued failure, and taking 30-45 minutes to do one problem left him so brain fried, confused and annoyed that his mind was shut down to learning. I worked alongside him, I loved algebra in school and in college. However I also experienced the same confusion and negative feelings. My son also used Alcumus. Anyone whose child loved AoPS, I am envious and happy that it worked for your child. I regret wasting a year on a program that wasn't working for my son. I feel so stupid for feeling pressure from other homeschoolers. It does work for some kids but not for all. Use what works is what I say. I knew that before but was not listening to my own advice and for too long I was not doing what my heart was telling me to do. (Thinkwell is working great for that son of mine.)
  11. We use Skype, not for classes, here is how it works. You need either a laptop with a built in camera or you buy a webcam. Webcams range from dirt cheap to about $100. The really cheap ones can have echo or bad distortion on the picture. Of course on both ends there are issues so if you have a great webcam and the other person has a bad system it will be imperfect. You open a free Skype account online for one on one. You can pay a fee to have a group video conference option. Optional is to wear a headset with a microphone so that only you can hear them and so your voice is well captured. You simply call the person via the computer and talk to them. This is just screen talking, you see them and talk to them. I think it is a great idea for 1:1 tutoring. I have never seen group video conferencing in action. The other responder talked about ways to communicate that include writing things down that all on the call can see. That's a totally different thing that may be better for certain types of tutoring needs. Good luck.
  12. It is hard to not compare ourselves to others but we must continue to try not to! It sounds like your decision was made thoughtfully and after prayer. It sounds like you need time living with the plans you have made and seeing how it pans out. I have done the same thing, made a decision then before really trying it, second guessing and worrying it was a bad choice. Putting the cart before the horse, as they say. I would say go forward with your choice and see how it pans out. Maybe it will all be great! Also it may help to stay away from any sources of comparision i.e. stay away from chat boards focusing on HSing with different methods as: 1) it is a waste of time 2) it is not helping you with your current plan in any way 3) it makes you feel bad for doing things differently 4) no good seems to be coming of spending time on that board. How about taking your spare time to do things that lift you up and support you in what you are doing? In the past I have sometimes done what was right for my kids but it was something different than my friends were doing. It was hard to even be around them as casual conversations made me feel bad for doing something different. Maybe it is peer pressure at play? Or feeling odd for not doing what the majority is doing and feeling too "alternative" or that you are doing something sub-par when they are doing something more ideal or better? The truth is that if you are doing what is right for your DD then that *IS IDEAL* for her. Shift the perspective... Parents with kids with an LD go through similar situations, hearing what other kids can do or what they can do easily when theirs struggle, it is hard to hear stuff like that all the time, that is why some parents of LD kids need to be around other parents of LD kids who 'get it". Good luck and hugs to you.
  13. self study, self teaching, not quite a true "class" so am not sure it belongs on this list but: (free of charge) Khan Academy http://www.khanacademy.org/ could also help as a supplement to other curriculum or classes math, science, finance, history optional free practice exercises online if you open a google email & log in HTH
  14. Invest $11 in Visual-Spatial Learners by Golem, available on Amazon. Strong visual thinkers are often very right brained learners. This has tips on how to teach them. Also google "visual spatial learners silverman" for a very good comparison of right and left brained learners. The book Study Smarter Not Harder, I am just starting to read. So far it seems the techniques given are right brained learning techniques that the author wants left brainers to use to 'tap into their whole mind'. I am using it for creative study ideas for my right brained learner who is in 8th grade. We are using mind maps instead of plain traditional flash cards. We have used various right brained spelling study techniques that worked great. Also read articles by Dianne Craft on right brained learners, see her website, consider going to hear her speak at a HS conference. She also sells copies of her lectures and some DVD lectures on her site if you can't get to see her in person. Since my son is so very right brained we have had challenges, before I knew about right brained learners. My son thinks in pictures primarily and also 'sees words in color'. I'm not that way. He also has a photographic memory. There is a ton of info out there if you do the research then really try the techniques. If your child is also dyslexic consider using the Davis Dyslexia system or at least reading the book The Gift of Dyslexia. Also IN THE MIND'S EYE portrays dyslexics and visual people as having a special gift that our world needs, a different perspective than just labeling them as special needs and learning disabled. Also the new series on Science Discovery channel INGENIOUS MINDS explains brains and learning and visual learners, the show has been so interesting (it just started running 3 weeks ago). It shows even neurologists understand little about the brain and learning. These visual learners and asperger's and autistic minds really stump them and sometimes the brain scans don't mesh with what they thought they'd show. Very interesting. HTH any questions leave a comment on my blog, I only pop in here occasionally.
  15. Hello, My oldest is in grade 8. For homeschool co-op earlier this year he took a class for gr 8 & 9 using Biology by Miller & Levine (Prentice Hall). We left the co-op at the session end but the course wasn't finished yet, and I plan to follow-up at home using this text since I paid over $100 for it and have it in hand. (I wasn't involved in the decision making process for what text to use since he was taking a course at a co-op.) I do not yet own the teacher manual due to the high expense. Honestly I don't know if it really is necessary to own or not. I also had to buy the student workbook (which is what I used to have as questions at the back of the chapter now it is a workbook and they even tell you what page to find each answer on). I see the publishers are doing this now as another money maker, to have a consumable text and use fill in the blank instead of like we did with "write your answer as a complete sentence". I also own the lab student manual, another consumable workbook. (All that I bought on Amazon at a discount.) A HS mom told me the publisher sells a lab CDROM but I have not looked into this yet. In my town (in CT, our highly ranked high school is using) this text is used for regular biology, a full year course. Honors uses something else and AP Biology uses some other text as well. A relative used this for grade 10 biology and he's graduating near the top of his class this year (in MA). I have never used A Beka for anything let alone Biology, so I can't compare the two (sorry). One opinion I have is they have changed biology since I was in school as there is a lot of environmental stuff in here, habitats, and current events like wanting to discuss stem cell research & if herbal medicine should be allowed for sale in health food stores. I honestly think this text has so much in it I don't know how the whole thing could be taught in one school year at school. IMO this is pretty easy reading level! Seems like middle school level reading to me! Here is the syllabus page for the high school course. See Biology A for the fall semester & Biology B for the spring semester. I figured this would give a very good idea of what the Miller & Levine book covers. The way the high school wrote this up is also helpful for those of us writing course descriptions for our homeschool kids using the same curriculum. We can imitate this or use it as a jumping off point. Click the links to open the PDF files, again see Biology A and Biology B for the Prentice Hall Miller & Levine Biology text's course. http://www2.eboard.com/eboard/servlet/BoardServlet?ACTION=NOTE_SHOW&ACTION_ON=NOTE&OBJECT_ID=1076172&SITE_NAME=barlow&BOARD_NAME=curriculumguides&SESSION_ID=muo8sasqwq2ucxb5036&TAB_ID=261657 I also recall getting more info from the publisher's website about this book. There was a webpage for this specific book. From what I can see this is a very popular high school regular-level biology book (not honors, not AP) in USA. In response to the issue of chemistry info being needed for biology see the link for the course description, this book starts out with some basic cellular biology and chemistry stuff. HTH
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