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About merylvdm

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    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

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    Homeschooled for 11 years. Teacher at homeschool co op. Coach to homeschool academic teams
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    Academic team coach, teacher at co op, online teacher at FundaFunda Academy

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    TN, USA
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    Teaching, reading, traveling! And chocolate.

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  1. If you have kids who are good at math, the Purple Comet Math contest is still open for registration and participation for a few more days. Kids can work alone or in teams of up to 6. It's free and for middle or high school.
  2. I use Canvas for my online classes (and my co op classes). It has a lot of functionality but isn't super user-friendly. But if you Google for answers you can usually do what you want to do. It allows rubrics, peer reviews, weighting grades, dropping lowest grades, etc. We also used Engrade but stopped when they started charging. Now the teachers use a mixture of options but about 1/2 of us use Canvas
  3. I teach programming and Scratch is perfect for his age to start on. Because it is drag-and-drop there is no syntax to remember and spelling isn't an issue. He can try playing around with it on his own or you might find local classes. And of course you can find online ones or books. Just make sure they are teaching Scratch 3.0. Scratch just updated and while the functionality is the same, the look is different and screenshots or videos using the old Scratch would be confusing.
  4. I used a variety of math over the years with my kids and eventually ended up with LOF - and from Algebra 1 we used it exclusively for 1 of my kids and partially for 2 more (one started on TT and had to redo lot of it with LOF and the other went to public school after 8th grade - she tested into Algebra 2 after doing LOF Algebra). My kids scored well on standardized tests and used math a lot in the Science Olympiad competition. LOF gives practical applications and they liked that and it worked for them.
  5. I am the head coach of the teams @ClemsonDana is talking about. It is very doable as homeschoolers BUT as has been mentioned Science Olympiad has a rule that you can't have more than 2 counties on a team. We just had our regional competition and in the middle school division homeschool teams finished in the first 4 places. And in first and third in the high school division. A team can be up to 15 students. But you can manage with less. I belong to a homeschool coaches faceboook group and some of the teams have as few as 7 students. Also, we use students as young as 3rd and 4th grade on our middle school team (the little ones all went home with plenty of medals even though the school kids are much older)
  6. Well, I teach an online class, so if that is what you are looking for - I can help. Each module has one main project which I show how to do (recorded videos). If you are looking for free or cheap, Codeacademy has tutorials in Python. And of course, there are many books you can find on Amazon. So if your child doesn't need his work graded and he won't need help as he works through the tutorials, that would be the way to go. My sons taught themselves every language but the first one (I gave them a book which was a course in Visual Basic) - so it is very doable
  7. Definitely - as long as she spent about 65 hours (or whatever your state suggests for the number of hours for a 1/2 credit) on the class, it is definitely credit-worthy and can be used as a Fine Arts elective.
  8. Not really - though I supposed the Year by Year one would be good to get the overview of what happened and then you can get more specific with the Who's Who.
  9. Do you want graded? Self-paced? Photography, Photoshop, Music History / Appreciation, Intro to Theatre, Writing Clubs, Debate, Programming - so many options. I suggest that once you have a number of ideas that you are happy to pay for and you think will work, show your dd and let her select. I did that with my kids and they were a lot more enthusiastic if they chose something. We did things like Linguistics and Game Theory as well as some of those mentioned above. I created most of them myself but obviously, you don't want to do that.
  10. This Poetry and a Movie class looks awesome - And Music in our homeschool has music history / appreciation online classes that look awesome - Photoshop, Photography and Visual Literacy are all fun classes to take too
  11. There is a Twitter account that tweets as if it was WW2 - It would be fun to follow that. And I posted a host of ideas on fun projects in another thread in this section of the forum that is related to interactive history. I have taught WW2 at our local co-op and I have 2 unit studies I created on it and there is no shortage of material and cool things to do. There are a number of Choose Your Own adventure books for example. And there are some online games and simulations. You can put together a really awesome year that he will never forget!!
  12. I teach history classes and I don't use tests or essays. There are plenty of other ways to evaluate understanding. I do like to use a lot of primary resources and I have the student answer questions (written) but you could things like that as a discussion. Here are other ideas: Create Facebook profiles of the main characters ( has a nice template) Create tweets as if an event was happening now Make videos using Powtoons (animated) Make videos using Mysimpleshow (another animated tool) Create a picture ebook to explain a topic to younger children using Storyjumper Create a poster using Canva (eg war propaganda) Write a postcard from a historical event Build a battle scene from legos Write a song / rap (you could provide a tune) Make a website (National History Day - - is a history contest so you could incorporate that. He could make a video instead of a website or even a posterboard or performance - they have categories for all)
  13. Yesterday I got an email from one of the students who had been on the Science Olympiad team I coach. He emailed to say that last year he participated in at my suggestion (I have a vague recollection of seeing this and sharing it with the team) - and he won a $500 scholarship. He said there aren't a lot of people participating. So I thought I would pass it on here. None of my own kids have done this but from the FAQs it seems they have to watch video lessons on decision making before they get to "play" each week. It opened yesterday but it seems it is fine to start late as only a student's best 12 weeks count.
  14. I would say it could be a plus if you don't know much about programming - it will force the kids to figure it out for themselves. I coached an inner city First Lego League (robotics) team for 3 years. I am a programmer and teach programming - but I don't know the language used by the EV3 robots. And I intentionally didn't try to learn it. The kids knew I didn't know it and that forced them to figure it out. And FLL is all about the kids doing all the work and not the coaches. Their robot never did all the things it was supposed to, but it did perform many of the tasks. And in the 3rd year, they did well enough to get through to State. They felt so proud of what they had achieved because they knew I hadn't done any of it!
  15. Look for asynchronous classes - they won't have chat boxes as the lessons aren't live. If you want to have deadlines and the work graded, then make sure they aren't self-paced, but you can find classes that aren't live and won't have that chat bar.
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