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Everything posted by DidoMachiatto

  1. Does anyone have a suggestion for evaluating progress in LOF Calculus? My son is doing well on the problems (self-study), missing very few. But I need to evaluate his current progress compared with traditional Calculus study. Any advice is welcome.
  2. As far as the need for it to be in a classroom, I was able to easily adapt it for a two-some, and since my kids always follow the same history topic even at different grades I was always had two-to-tango. In his video models he also has only a couple students debating a topic. His teacher's guide can go all the way up to a large class situation. But as I said it is not hard to adapt. It's a lot of research and the students may need help and guidance at the beginning.
  3. I absolutely love the idea of Classical Historian. This is the branch I studied in university, so I see he is getting at the heart of "doing history." His material is home-spun, so the teacher's guide not packaged up beautifully, but the plan very well thought out to DO HISTORY, which is the point. Doing history means taking clues and evidence from history and coming to a debatable conclusion, being able to argue for your point. The training videos are NOT for children. They are for teachers to see what is expected of the debate time. How it works: Each unit is made of research topics and a focus question. The students then have to create a debatable opinion statement answering the focus question. The debate is not a formal debate. It is a discussion of colleagues, weighing the proof each person has gathered to come to a consensus. This is real science of doing history. Coming to founded conclusions, not "winning" debates by fancy talk and manner. But it is time-consuming. The schedule in the teachers packets is tight. It is appropriate for the Rhetoric Stage, where the student has that foundational grammar/logic of the historical period already strung on their clothesline. This is true analysis and functioning in the higher levels of thought. My own kids absolutely loved the debates, though the research and readings were challenging. They often had trouble coming to a consensus, because they were competitive. Also, I was not able to do a thorough survey of all the levels he has, but have added some of the debates into existing Ancient, Medieval, and US History curriculum I have pulled together. This year, for example, we are doing US History and I will have my children do some of the topics he has on there. I have a review and suggestions for use of Classical Historian on my site: https://darlenenbocek.com/10teachinghistory/10elements4
  4. I have been very pleased with Critical Thinking Company's materials. My children have been able to grow in leaps and bounds in analyzing short portions of text using their materials. They have a math series, Mathematical Reasoning, that is good for conceptual review of standardized-test material. And their Detective series (Science, History, Reading) are fun and effective. Also, on another line of critical thinking, I can't say enough about their James Madison Critical Thinking Course, which presents logical critical thinking in a CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) format. My kids could not get enough of this. Standardized tests always give content material as well as literature. So using the Science and History along with the Reading will enable them to do better. My son is using Inference Jones, and loves it. While the passages are shorter, the concept is taught clearly and students have to back up their answers with line-number proof. (They say, "It has a readability level appropriate for Grades 5-6 but can also be used as a remedial resource for older students (Grades 7-12+)."). Hope this helps.
  5. I wanted to alert middle school parents to my post in the high school section. Twilight Zone Christian Worldview Lessons (for middle school and high school) I have available a series of free lessons on Worldview using Twilight Zone episodes. Most of them are about Paradigm shifts. I hope it's helpful. I used it with my 2 HS and 1 MS dd last year, and they responded very well to it. I haven't been able to put all my material up yet, but meanwhile I wanted to let everyone know about it.
  6. I have started to put together a teaching unit on Teaching Christian Worldview using Twilight Zone. I used it with my 2 HS and 1MS dd, and it was very effective. It is part of a complete unit that I'll put online in the near future. Take a look at the site. Twilight Zone Worldview Lessons (Free) I hope it helps!
  7. The challenge in teaching history is always making sure your goals are right. Doing History has never been about memorizing dates and places, or just reading what Spielvogel says ABOUT what happened. It is more about taking primary sources and working with them to find patterns. The problem I had with reading "great books" (I used Omnibus, which is a similar approach) is that merely reading those original texts is not enough, even working through the study questions as excellent as they are is not doing history. It's studying old literature. When I was first exposed to the idea of kids reading these wonderful old books like Beowulf and Socrates, I thought "how wonderful!" But then I realized it's not 50% literature/50% history. It's not doing history at all. Reading the texts from the past is not doing history. It involves history, but is not the act of doing history. A book that shows the difference is called "Thinking Like a Historian." Also, the Classical Historian series helps walk kids through the process historians use (I recommend this program as a supplement.) Unfortunately, depending on the Great Books or "great books" curricula for "history" credit handicaps the students. Firstly, it's burdensome and cumbersome. Cram cram cram. Secondly, it's not tapping into their creativity. Thirdly, it's not teaching them to do what historians do. It's like taking a science class without ever doing an experiment. To do science you've GOT to do the scientific method. To do history you've GOT to do the historical method. Doing history means interacting with the past. Historians don't just learn information. They take that primary source information and do something with it. Finding patterns: change through time, cause/effect, perspectives, etc. Though it's a lot more effort for the homeschool mom/teacher, the process of teaching history to your student needs to include actually doing history. It makes it come alive for them. It makes them scholars. The way I do it with my kids (17dd, 14dd, 12ds) is I use the great books texts and activities/study guide questions to get them into primary documents, (as I said I use Omnibus method), but I also supplement them with the kinds of activities that count as DOING history. This year our application includes making a Youtube channel where they will use their analysis skills to introduce ancient historical sites. You really need to know that when you homeschool you have the freedom to do it right. You don't have to just do what the curriculum people say. IN FACT, doing history the right way will prepare your child more for their lives than just doing textbook work. It teaches problem-solving, persuasion, accountability, engagement. These are the workplace skills they need for life.
  8. Does anyone have advice for an iphone app or online program we can use to set up alarms/bells to keep on schedule? Our schedule is fairly regular, but it sure would help to have an alarm automatically go off to know it's time to switch to the next class.
  9. Does anyone have any suggestions for the kind of time required to use Miquon, as a supplement to other math programs? I need to decide whether to do it full time for a couple months, then to transition to grade-level Saxon... or to do a 'Lesson/Lab' sequence for say 20 minutes at the beginning of dd10's Math hour. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  10. If you are looking for Christian resources, I definitely recommend the amazing books at http://www.doorposts.com. They have proactive character developement resources (Plants Grown Up, Polished Cornerstones; both focusing on building character by thematic projects) and reactive (For Instruction in Righteousness, focusing on situational character weaknesses and how to discipline while directing them away from those flaws)
  11. I am taking my dd10 out of public school, and find I have to do a lot of remedial math with her. She was in a second-language situation (we live abroad) and somehow she missed some significant things in math, though our country is strong in math (they use a program almost identical to Singapore math). That said, she can divide and multiply already, add long numbers, etc. But I think she's weak conceptually with math. This program looks like it is helping kids understand some deeper concepts about math, and this might help fill in some blanks for my daughter. I have read that kids either love Miquon or hate it. I'm thinking that if I 'start over' so to speak, but in a way like this, she won't feel like she's doing first grade all over, but learning things again using a different modality. Does anyone have any advice one way or the other as to whether or not you think this might help?
  12. My 15dd daughter registered on the SAT website (collegeboard.com) and they send a daily math question. She was so happy to be able to get the algebra questions right, and I know it's because of the solid foundation. Loking forward to Geometry next year.
  13. http://www.careerwithinyou.com/ There is an online test that points you to careers for certain personality bents. "What's my career type." But the book walks you through certain careers that match your certain characteristics: Perfectionist, Helper, Achiever, Romantic, Observer, Questioner, Adventurer. There is a visual match-up system they use that make it really easy to identify careers! My 15dd did this last week, to help me know how to direct her high school studies. Found some interesting career ideas, but mostly were pointed in the direction she was already going. She scored almost equally in three of the above 'types'. After you find your 'career type,' you go through a questionaire that shows your strengths and weaknesses within that type. And you compare your detailed assessment with careers for people of that type. What was very interesting was that even though the questions were so different within her three types, a few of the same careers kept coming to the surface through all those different filters. This is written more for adults struggling with finding a career fit, or looking for a career change, but I found it appropriate for my daughter and me as we make educational and college plans. Book is available through Amazon.
  14. We live abroad, and as we were considering these kinds of questions found an interesting perspective regarding a regular US high school diploma, as viewed by the rest of the world. According to the admissions requirements of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, six AP tests (including science, math) of 4 or 5 were required to be accepted into their BA program. A US high school diploma is not enough. http://info.huji.ac.il/ShowPage.asp?cat=334&in=216 They do offer a year of remedial courses after which they consider you a 'high school graduate'. This shows how we're viewed to the outside world.
  15. I am also interested in hearing from anyone regarding their experience with this.
  16. I would like you to elaborate on what you mean by 'out of the norm'. Also, what is HoAW as an abbreviation? Thanks. I appreciate everyone's replies. Thank you. Answers to questions. First, I do not have a program for Middle Ages yet. I have to make a final decision this week so I can order the materials. Ancient Civilizations & the Bible from last year was Diana Waring's program. Loved the projects.
  17. I recently came across the Omnibus series in Veritas Press's catalog. Seeing this really threw a monkeywrench into my plans. Last year we studied Ancient Civilizations and the Bible with dd13 and dd15. The girls were very motivated in the interaction between research and hands-on projects which that program suggested. The program was great, (except that I felt it was simplistically preachy). Next year we are to study Medieval times, and I had prepared to do more of an historical-fiction based and webquest enriched survey of Medieval history. I came across the idea of Notebooking, where the student collects information that they find interesting about the topic, and put together a "scrapbook," creatively using the information they have collected. So my plan was to do more of an open-ended research of the Middle Ages. My major was in the Social Sciences, with a lot of work in History, so I feel quite comfortable in this. But in comes Omnibus, which will introduce the girls to a smorgasbord of primary document readings from the time period studied, and all the thought-provoking questions are right there for you. Beowulf, Sir Gawain, Macbeth, Canterbury Tales... But the time it takes to do Omnibus is prohibitive: eight 70 minute sessions a week, not including reading time. Another complication is that we are enrolled in Potter's School English classes, which I absolutely love. But 'time' is taken by this. Oh, and then I have been perusing a thread from last month on the value of 'independent learning projects' http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/showthread.php?t=402048&highlight=omnibus+ii This makes me have to rethink all of my planning. Maybe I need to X all my history/science/skills plans and have the children research according to their interests. I also saw TOG, which seems to actually approach history as doing history, not just a context for literature. So as I am thinking of all this, my question for you all out there is this: Ominibus is a heavy top-down teaching program, introducing some really amazing and valuable literature that independent foragers would seldom choose, but skimming the surface with questionable retention of anything but the philosophical discussions. Notebooking has high chance of retention, and taps into the creative side that ensures positive memory, but limited in scope (if interest-driven) and questionable depth. Independent (interest-driven) learning has high chance of retention, but would be depth at the expense of breadth, and very questionable direction. What thoughts do you have regarding combining these, and I'd especially like to hear from Omnibus (or TOG) veterans? Try to persuade me.
  18. musicmom, at this point, how did your child's math success in later grades (currently) relate to their Videotext experience you mention? I am assuming they had additional math after the Geometry. What is the follow up of this program? Any difficulties? I am finding my daughter's progress in algebra quite amazing, and it seems like the VT program is quite aggressive.
  19. We are using VT Algebra with dd13 and dd15 and I am very pleased with the program. I am interested in your question and the replies as we consider moving into Geometry halfway through next year. Did you have difficulty in the Algebra program?
  20. We are using Apologia Science curriculum, but our science tutor, a middle school science teacher, feels that it is quite "anti-Science". It weights less important topics heavier than more crucial topics, and neglects some very important concepts, regardless of national standards. So I am in search of a Science curriculum. What are you using? What have you used 7-8th grade, and what is your 9-12 grade scope and sequence? Any recommendations?
  21. We live abroad and have to submit documents to the Board of Education in this country (Turkey) proving that our daughters are indeed studying under accountability. I am a professional teacher, and have a curriculum I have hand-picked for my children's particular needs and strengths. I do not want to change my curriculum in order to change my umbrella school. We are currently using Homelife Academy. I am pleased with the services and quick replies and everything about them, except for one big thing. My husband is embarrassed to submit the documents because the name is so unprofessional. Does anyone know of an Umbrella School with good service and a name that sounds like a reputable private school? An additional consideration is the name on the final high school diploma. Considering our university options, the name and professionalism is very important. Any ideas?
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