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Everything posted by ColleenInWis

  1. I voted "other" because I don't have any way of guesstimating how many families are educating to a standard I would consider "minimum." I live in a rural area, so I know a number of families who fit the categories listed above. We have a lot of Plain People or families who were Plain and left, but can't imagine sending their children to public school. We have a lot of families who were involved with Bill Gothard's programs. We also live near the Organic Valley headquarters, so we see many alternative, unschoolish families who homestead and such. In either category, I can't tell by the casual contact I have with them whether their children are minimally educated or not. I suspect that some are, some aren't.
  2. People who like Wallander, Hinterland, and Shetland, have you seen Broadchurch? For something deep, Nobel comes to mind. "A series of incidents in Afghanistan set complicated political and personal events in motion for a returning Norwegian Special Forces officer." In Norwegian. We've enjoyed a couple of French series that had character depth: Witnesses and The Tunnel. The Tunnel is on Amazon, not Netflix.
  3. More information about the Udacity Intro to Physics MOOC. The 7 "lessons" are more like Units, because once you start the course, each of the 7 lessons is broken down into smaller lessons, for a total of 18 lessons. The course also states an approximate completion time of 2 months. We are using it to get us started on physics (non-science family here). We're spending about a week on each of the 7 units by giving it about 3-4 hours a week. I love the format: A question is posed related to a scientific problem solved by an historical scientist. Questions and math problems are posed for the student to complete and answer before continuing the video. We've had some light-bulb moments as we try to solve the problems. Unit 1 covers an intro to trigonometry (how to find angles and lengths of sides, as Eratosthenes needed to do to compute the circumference of the earth). We were also guided to find the circumference of the moon, distance of the moon to earth, and distance of the sun to earth. Unit 2, so far, has taught us the equations for velocity and acceleration, in the context of Galileo's challenging of Aristotle's premise that objects fall at different speeds. Very well-explained and interesting! Both of us learn well with this type of course.
  4. Has anyone looked at Algebra 2 with Dr. Callahan? He uses a text by Barnett, et al, for College Algebra with Trigonometry from McGraw Hill, which is free online. I'm looking for something to beef up algebra 2 as dd has been using Lial's Intermediate Algebra. In Barnett's text, Chap. 3-5 of the text are mostly algebra, then chap. 6-8 go into trigonometry. What do you think?
  5. Algebra 2 with Dr. Callahan, anyone? He uses a text by Barnett, et al, for College Algebra with Trigonometry from McGraw Hill, which is free online. I'm looking for something to beef up algebra 2 as dd comes to the last 3 chapters of Lial's Intermediate Algebra. I would just do a review of chap. 3-5, then dig into chap. 6-8 for the trigonometry. What do you think?
  6. We are doing MOOCs for chemistry this year. We started with an easy, 4-week long course at Open2Study called Chemistry: Building Blocks of the World. This course would be appropriate for a student in middle school, methinks, or, as in our case, a high school student who didn't have the benefit of a lot of science in earlier years. It is an enjoyable overview that focuses on the basics without getting bogged down in detail or math problems. Then we moved on to Coursera's Introduction to Chemistry: Reactions and Ratios. We are 3-4 weeks into this 7-week long course, and it's getting tough. It is interesting and well-done, with an enthusiastic Assistant Professor from Duke University, Dorian Canelas. The in-lecture interactive questions help us practice what we are learning as we go, and the quizzes at the end of each week's unit seem to be a good assessment of the material covered. One unit per week is too much for us at this point, so we are re-enrolling in another session to give ourselves more time to cover. This seems like a comprehensive chemistry course for high school.
  7. putting together high school chemistry for 3 students...

  8. I am researching CK-12 for chemistry now. The "second edition "textbook linked in the OP is not found with a search at the CK-12 site, though the link for the textbook and teacher's edition still work. The link for the labs does not work. Instead, at this chemistry page, they have 3 textbooks available on the FlexBook Textbooks tab, CK-12 Chemistry Basic, CK-12 Chemistry Intermediate, and CK-12 Chemistry Concepts Intermediate, as well as a text titled From Vitamins to Baked Goods: Real Applications of Organic Chemistry. Only the CK-12 Chemistry Intermediate has a teacher's edition, quizzes and tests, and workbook available. Someone has added answers to the in-text questions/problems for CK-12 Chemistry Basic, however, on the Resources tab. The books are all written with some of the same authors, so the content follows a similar sequence. Just 30 min. of browsing makes me think there is considerable difference between the 3 texts. That's as far as I've progressed so far... There is also CBSE Chemistry 12, which is still in progress and asking for contributors. ? I don't know what CBSE is.
  9. Has anyone heard of this? They are offering a full 4-year scholarship to the first student to receive a perfect test score of 120! https://cltexam.com/index.php/clt/about "Classic Learning Initiatives exists as a small component of a much larger contemporary endeavor to repair the rupture between intellectual pursuit and virtue. The ancient Greek philosophers stressed the same basic ideas about education that home-school parents and classical school educators affirm today. How someone learns to think, what they read, and how they live, are all intricately connected. Mainstream education in America is failing because the pursuit of virtue, as classically understood, has been lost. Ironically, even the best classical schools and Christian colleges defer to the big "value neutral" standardized tests when looking for a measure of an applicant’s intellectual capacity. Historically, colleges have had to defer to these tests because they were the only tests available. Now, however, the Classic Learning Test (CLT) offers students, colleges, and parents a third option. Students can take a shorter exam at a local testing center, receive their score in less than a week, and have their score sent directly to any of the colleges listed on our site. We are pleased to offer the Classic Learning Test to the students, families and college administrators that have been yearning for change in the American education system. We plan to be an active voice in the ongoing discussion surrounding the standards for college acceptance."
  10. We decided to use CK12 biology this year for my 16 year-old daughter. So far, so good. So much better than Apologia that we used for some of the older siblings... more interesting, more detailed, more colorful. Good explanations and graphics, including videos, though we don't watch them all. The workbook is decent, and there is a separate test pdf which we haven't used. Early in this thread (p. 1) is a link to "Otter's biology," which is one mother's adaptation of CK12 biology complete with schedule, experiments, online resources and supplemental readings.
  11. I agree that expecting a 7 yo to master the intricacies of English spelling rules is pushing it. ;) What can you do, other than giving up? Give him time and lots of books. Seeing words spelled correctly, over and over, will help. When you think he's ready for Spelling Power, you can try that. The word lists are arranged according to the rules, as you know if you are using it, so he could become very familiar with which words use "oa" without also learning "ow" words at the same time. In the end, some students aren't as good at spelling as others. That's why we have dictionaries and spellcheck. Rejoice that he's a good reader, and let him enjoy the wonderful words that he finds in great books.
  12. As far as the OP's question, I would say that, realistically, we can't eliminate every gap in knowledge. However, one thing that I've noticed a bit in hsed kids is that, when they don't know something, they make it rather obvious and awkward. Maybe they don't know how to appear cool or how to hide their ignorance at any cost? Or maybe they just need to experience a bit more of the world before they can confidently navigate such situations.
  13. The Wisconsin Blue Book--this is all that the words, blue book, mean to me.
  14. I haven't read any of the major media stories about this case. However, a friend on FB posted a link to this article, at American Vision, which got my attention (possibly a biased source, but they raise some questions that seem reasonable). I definitely question the credibility of the brother and the reliability of his statement based on something one of the children said. I also wondered about the nature of the original lawsuit, so I did a little research. Here's what I've found. From Aug. 11, 2014, when the Court of Appeals ruling was announced. http://aattp.org/court-rules-against-homeschoolers-who-stopped-teaching-kids-because-the-rapture-is-coming/ To get a more full picture, here's the summary of the Court of Appeals proceedings from findlaw.com. It seems the American Vision article is on target when they say: "First, all charges against the family were dropped in 2007. There is no case against them. Nothing. For eight years now. Second, the case in the Texas Supreme Court is of the parents suing the El Paso school district for harassment, not the other way around. The family originally filed a civil suit, and won. The district appealed, and won the appeal. Now the family has appealed to the state’s Supreme Court. Oral arguments began last week." "The truth is that the only case pending is a civil case against the school district. The district is trying to save its own rear-end from losing. Even if they do, it will not change a single homeschool law in Texas or anywhere else in the nation."
  15. Well... press conference about an hour ago said that they didn't know if the person who left was one who came back. To me, it seems rather unlikely, given that the shooters were wearing tactical gear. Wouldn't their faces have been covered?
  16. Here in Wisconsin, the grassroots (and inclusive) group that worked to get our reasonable homeschool law passed in 1984, Wisconsin Parents Association, is still alive and well. Often when an issue arises in our state, HSLDA and WPA have differing opinions, which makes for some fireworks. I've never joined HSLDA in 23 years, but I've started working more actively with WPA because I see the possibility of challenges down the road, in part because of some of the issues raised in the article in the OP.
  17. Updated link for this. And another living books for biology plan from Barb Mccoy, who is a great nature study blogger.
  18. If this were my child, I would also look into opportunities for hands-on work and/or observation of a vet. We live in a rural community, so my child could shadow a large animal vet or a small animal vet, if preferred. We also have a lot of people in our community interested in self-sustaining farming, so there are many classes locally about trimming hooves, using road-kill for food (I mention this as a humorous and extreme, but true example!), doing fecal samples on your own farm, etc.... ETA: Another possibility: volunteering or working at a zoo or nature preserve. I don't know what's available in your area, but I'm just brainstorming for you. I really think some self-directed learning is appropriate when a high school student has a strong interest in a subject like zoology. The Teenage Liberation Handbook The Art of Self-Directed Learning
  19. Pam, do as much research as you can, looking for reviews on specific MOOCs or signing up and trying a course yourself or doing a course at the same time as your son does it. I say this because we found that all MOOCs are not created equal*. And not all students are motivated to get the most benefit from a MOOC--my son eased his way through one math course with as little effort as possible. And didn't learn much, of course. On the other hand, he works much harder at the MOOCs that he himself chooses to take. *ETA: Last spring, I took 2 mathematics courses and compared them. They were vastly different. Effective Thinking Through Mathematics had some good content about how to solve problems in life, but very little mathematical content. I did the homework, which mainly consisted of trying to solve math puzzles like these. What did I learn? A few ideas about how we think and how to solve problems. Not enough to justify a credit or even a half-credit of high school math. This is the course which my son took, for which I gave him no math credit. Introduction to Mathematical Thinking, on the other hand, deserved a semester's credit. This course claims to prepare a student for mathematics study at university, and I think it meets its claim. There was a ton of work, a lot of stimulating debate on the discussion forum, and great math content. If a high school student took this course, and truly put in the effort needed, it would be a great experience. Course my son is working on of his own free will: Developing Your Musicianship. :)
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