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Everything posted by Deee

  1. I live in a state with home visits and mandatory registration (New South Wales, Australia). We were registered homeschoolers from 2008- 2017. When DS turned 17 registration was no longer required. To register, parents must provide an education plan that meets the appropriate age and stage based outcomes for each child, show work samples from the previous year, show a timetable that meets minimum school hours, and have a home visit where the children talk with the inspector and the inspector can see that you have adequate space, light and resources to educate the children. We must also show that the children have a range of social experiences and a chance to interacte with other kids. Registration can be for 3,6 or 12 months initially, depending on how well prepared the parent it, or for up to two years for experienced homeschoolers. For while, experienced homeschoolers were able to register by sending all the stuff in, with no homevisit. I did it once for one child. It was a massive PITA. The home visit is much easier, despite the need to vacuum. About 2/3 of homeschoolers in NSW are registered, the homeschooling community estimates. We use a wide variety of methods, from natural learning, to Steiner, Charlotte Mason, Classical and standard school at home. Many families use Christian materials. As long as they cover the outcomes, you can use whatever you like. The inspectors (called Authorised Persons, which I think is daft) are all experienced educators. Our first AP was a former high school principal who told me to calm down and put me in touch with a local natural learner and a lovely homeschool group that we are still members of. Our second AP was a former maths teacher who also inspected schools to determine that they met the curriculum requirements (she passed me on the same day that she failed a very expensive private school one year). Both were very pro-homeschooling, great mentors and were very keen to provide support. Our second AP was working with a refugee family who wanted to homeschool but was badly under resourced. She met with them monthly for a while to help them find their feet. They’re aren’t any real financial incentives for this unless you receive a social security payment. Homeschooling is completely unfunded in Australia. Most of us register because we think homeschooling is a legitimate education model and we want some recognition for that. There is some feeling of validation that comes from it, too. I didn’t realise I needed that until I got it, but we were accidental homeschoolers at the beginning. You can apply for a year 10 completion certificate but it doesn’t count for much. Yes prepping for a visit is a pain. But I would do all that planning anyway. Yes I did have to clean the house, but I would have done that anyway. The real oversight comes from an experienced, trained person sitting in your dining room, eyeballing your kids and having a low-pressure conversation with them. That family would not have passed. Any visitor to the home would have noticed that something was wrong. And so there is a layer of protection, not perfect, but there anyway. Could I use excessive physical punishment and not get caught? Yes. Could I emotionally abuse the kids? Yes. Could I get away with living in filth, systematically under feeding, not socialising and chaining the kids up? No. Our system also means there is a delineation between registered homeschoolers and those who are not. I know good homeschoolers who are not registered. I know some fairly ordinary ones who aren’t, too. They have a pile of reasons, including fear of oversight, anti govt sentiment or a wish to do their own thing. Some of them simply can’t be bothered planning 12 months in advance and some of their kids do fall behind. And yes, they do give us a bad name in a country where homeschoolers are still in an very minority and fight for recognition. So registration not only protects our kids, it also means I can point to it and say “we are legal and doing the right thing and someone always comes out to checkâ€. It actually protects me, and apart from an afternoon’s kerfuffle, costs me nothing.
  2. I have a 16 year old son. This year he has completed an online 3D modelling certificate. I am really quite shocked that he managed the deadlines so well. He has his mothers procrastinating gene (and an additional copy from his father) and no one oculd accuse him of completing anything early, but after the first anxious assignment at the beginning of the year, he has managed really well. The difference came from breaking the assignment down into chunks, making sure he understood each chunk, and worked on a bit each day. Which is how grown ups work on projects, really. Maybe it would help your son to break down each assigment and schedule the smaller pieces, rather than the overwhelming whole
  3. Night is superb. Don't skip it. I read it with my sensitive DS last year when he was 15. It is dark, but so beautifully and economically written, with such clarity and lack of self-pity that it really is a must read. I read it when I was 14 and its stayed with me for 30 years. The relationship between father and son is beautiful, and perfect for your son's age group. It opens up a world of discussions about the human spirit, sacrifice, survival and love. D
  4. I found the best way to learn the names compounds was to read out the proper name when I wrote equations. So instead pf saying "HCl" I would say hydrochloric acid. Eventually it stuck. I am really bad at rote learning.
  5. I can't comment of LToW, although I did get a lot of info and help from listening to Andrew Kern's lectures. However, Brave Writer's Help for High School was fabulous for my reluctant writer. Clear, structured and confidence building. We're using the Lively Art of Writng and Writing with a Thesis this year, comfortable that he has a good foundation to build on. D
  6. I only have one, so its always been him and me (or him and DH when I was the main wage earner), apart from a term or two when his best mate joined us. It is harder to motivate him, discussions can be painful (I have to watch that I'm not expecting him to come up with all the answers - its a discussion, not an interogation), and the whole thing is a bit more intense. If you can keep an eye on the intensity and try to balance it with some fun, you'll probably both enjoy the privilege of having each other all to yourselves.
  7. I have this child. Which is unsurprising, because I also was this child. Most days I still am....
  8. Congrats on raising a child so refreshingly free of anxiety. Seriously, its a rare thing these days. By far my greatest challenge as a parent has been to accept my son for who he is. I think this is made harder because I have only one child, and homeschooling compounds the intensity of our relationship. My DS16 is not motivated to do school work. He never really has been. He is very bright and very lazy if he isn't interested. But today he is helping DH build the entrance to our cellar, he has had a long conversation with me about restoring my old car, been for a bike ride (because DH refuses to feed him until he exercises), finally emptied the garbage bin in his room, watched a video with us, may eventually discuss his year 11 subjects with me, is working on a 3D model for a MkII Jag for a game he plays online, plays the guitar beautifully and is generally cheerful. He has taught himself to weld, got a job, volunteers at a local heritage museum and is well respected. He is not the anxious, ambitious student I was and I'm actually very glad of this (when I'm not mourning all the books he might not read and the unused curricula on the shelf). My introverted boy who left school at 7 due to bullying and couldn't even get up on stage in his kindergarten play is the lead male actor in his drama troupe, managing two parts in a single night: a bumbling, comical Harry in A Delicate Balance and a chilling John Proctor in the Crucible. He learned his lines with the minimum of fuss, helped the other kids, controlled his nerves and was so intense on stage that I had to remind myself that he was my son. He is not who I thought he would be, but he is himself and that is more than good enough. Your son is smart and has parents who care. He will be fine. You and DH will probably be fine, too. D
  9. Thanks everyone! This is great. Please keep them coming. Tuesday's Child pleas thank your son for the R&G recommendation. I have Hamlet on the short list, along with Othello, so really good to know that R&G is worth reading. For Australian content I've picked The Secret River. Its an award-winner novel by Kate Grenville about the conflict between white settlers and the Darug and Darkinjung people in the early days of the colony. Its set on the Hawkesbury River, where we live. It will be a confronting read. Lori you made me laugh. And feel better. Yes, if he can't come up with anything he wants to read, he'll have to put up with my must-reads (insert evil laugh....) Rosie I love your idea! He's read Pride and Prejudice - he quite likes Darcy. I might try Persuasion, but I think I prefer North and South. D
  10. Thanks Ladies! Very helpful as always. I think our year will look a lot like Liza's, with an Stephen Fry's An Ode Less Travelled thrown in. This is tough. There is so much I think he still needs to read, but he doesn't want to read anything. D
  11. Hi all, DS16 is moving into his last year of homeschooling. He will complete a TAFE course (we are in Australia - Community College is the closest US equivalent I can think of) in 2018 to gain entry to University. The English component of that course is largely writing, with little literature analysis, so 2017 will be his last year of literature. He wants to study mechanical engineering or IT, so lit isn't his end game, but I want to finish off his education with some really good books, authors and poets. But there are sooooo many lovely things that I need help choosing! He used to be an avid reader. Now he is not. What are your top picks for a teenage boy who loves Shakespeare but would rather be online than reading a book? Thanks muchly D
  12. I have THE fad name of 1970's Australia - Danielle. I was born in the last weeks of the 60s and named after my grandfather, Daniel. Daniel is a family name and occurs in every generation. I was the last child born in mine and there were no boys, so I got it in feminine form. I think my parents thought they were very clever. Over the next two decades, there was an explosion of Danielles. There were three in my class at school and it was unheard of to go to the shops and not encounter some snotty Danielle in an aisle. The Australian accent can do truely horrible things to French words, and the ability of nasal Strine to turn Danielle into Dan YELL is just dreadful (hold your nose and really drag out that second syllable so that it makes a third, like you have a very bad pain). The spelling has been butchered so many times that I now routinely have to spell it, even though mine is the original, boring spelling. Mostly I get Dannielle which I hate, sometimes I get Daniele or Daniela which are fine, but the worst is Dan-yell. I met a Danyell the other day who told me she loves it because that is just the way its pronounced. No, no it isn't!!!!! Arghhhh!
  13. Sorry for being so slow to reply Jewels. I'm an Aussie, so our maths sequence isn't the same as yours. The maths involved in stats is pretty basic, so do it when your kids can understand the psychology of stats rather than the maths. Year 10 is good.
  14. As a scientist, I think everyone should be tied to chairs and taught statistics*. It is THE most useful maths you can learn and can save you years of grief and lots of money believing the nonsense fed to you by people who are clever at manipulating numbers. Advertising, quackery in all its kinds, journalists, shock-jocks, slick public servants, slick developers, slick politicians. Do some stats! *I may have a slight, perfectly rational bias.......
  15. Snap! For me its the computer and iPad, and then I fold my arm up when I sleep and it aches in the morning. Its tennis elbow, but for people without the rest of the tennis body.....
  16. You could try History Odyssey Modern Times. We've done it slowly, but you could just pick and choose and cut it right down. I bought the ebook so it was pretty cheap and no shipping (hooray!). The Students Friend is another great, get-it-done option. All free online. Or there is the fabulous Big History Project which starts with the Big Bang and covers all the way up to today. Its far more focussed on changes than specific events, but if you added, say, Kingfisher History Encyclopedia or something to read about what was happening at each time period. It was written in conjunction with Macquarie Uni and the Gate foundation. Everything is free - register as a teacher and download the programs to see if it will work for you.
  17. This is DS15. Opinionated, passionate, argumentative. Unless that opinion needs to be written down in response to a question. Then he knows nothing. NOTHING!
  18. Have a look at The Big History Project. Completely free, all online, big sweep of history from the Big Bang to now. All planned and ready to go, aimed at yr 9 or 10 kids. It has lots of science that you could use as jumping off points. Its anything but boring!
  19. Australia post also has an international postage option where you get some one like Not Horrible Ray to post your books to the OzPost address and they then post it to you. Its great for companies who wouldn't normally ship to our end of the planet. Not sure how it affects the price. D
  20. I have this child, which is mortifying to me because my degree is in biology (molecular genetics and biochemistry). He LOVES physics (which is mostly incomprehensibly dry for me). Cell biology was a slog, botany was torture. Anatomy and physiology was tolerable because there are nice resources discussing the mechanics of the human body. Human reproduction nearly ended our homeschooling journey (because who wants to be taught this by their mother!). Then came genetics and evolution. He was happy. So, my advice, view the human body as machine, do enough cell biology to make genetics comprehensible (you need to cover the various organelles and the ATP cycle) then get stuck into molecular biology. Its all applied chemistry. Hewitts Conceptual Integrated Science is brilliant - straight to the point, thorough, good questions at the end of each chapter and no fluff at all.
  21. "I had to learn to find my place on the map, then hold the map so that it was going the same way I was, not the north/south orientation that we generally see for maps in books." Anyone who tells you that good navigators don't need to turn a map or that only women turn maps has no idea of navigating. I'm a former soldier, as is DH (who is an amzing navigator). The first thing soldiers are taught to do is to "orientate the map", that is, to turn the map so that it reflects the direction you are travelling in or so that north on the map aligns with true north (on a compass). Then you find where you are and hold the map so that map reflects whats on the ground and the direction you want to travel. Its called "map to ground" navigation and good navigators can walk for miles in difficult country without looking at a compass. Its not a fault, its a skill that reflects common sense.
  22. This sounds very much like non-verbal dyspraxia to me. DS15 has it. I ignored the geometry section of maths until year 8 when he was ready for it. Its still the weakest part of his maths. Online map making for gaming, 3D drawing on various programs and lots of patience have helped. On really difficult days, we throw a squishy ball around for a while. Fortunately, he has my husband's fabulous sense of direction. My mother, on the other hand (who also has dyspraxia) couldn't find her own backside with a map and compass. She also struggles to tell left from right at 77 and swears someone has wired the world upside down. She blames it on being left handed. We don't use left and right for directions. We just point and say "go that way". She continues to have an amazingly productive life, has travelled all over the world, has been a brilliant nurse and is a fabulous mother and human being. But she has no sense of direction at all. None!
  23. We've been using them for about 5 years. We love them. We've had one that didn't write smoothly. It was part of a faulty batch according to the newsagent when I took it back. Take the scratchy ones back to the shop and ask for replacements. My only criticism of these pens is that they don't last long and that makes for a lot of plastic waste, although we can now get refills in limited colours in Australia.
  24. As a former Army recruit instructor, I thoroughly agree with this post. The Army is a war machine. It doesn't need people who don't want to be there. The training is mentally brutal. You have to want to pass, and if your executive function is lousy, you are in for a world of hurt. Trust me on this - I delivered a lot of that hurt. D
  25. This. From another biochemist. And I would add knowledge of evolution and ecology because the world needs people who can see bigger pictures, especially now.
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