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  1. I am taking a course from Lynda. I get a free subscription to Lynda from my local library. I can just log in from home using my library card. The course I am taking is Adobe Illustrator for Fashion Design, which is a fantasy dream for me, but with a free course, I figured, why not. The course is very good. I already had the book that the instructor of this course wrote, so I was familiar with the background information of this course. However, it is helpful to see what the instructor is referring to. Anyway, my point is that you should check with your local library to see if you can use courses from Lynda for free.
  2. I found the book What High Schools Don't Tell You by Elizabeth Wissner-Gross enlightening. She claimed that every child has an interest, it's just a matter of finding that interest and using it to motivate him/her to go on and do other things. If you can find this book and in particular look at page 9, it might help. This book also has lists of ideas for summer programs to get your child's interests moving in a productive manner. Now this book can be irritating in it's "Ivy League or bust" attitude, but if you can get beyond that, it can be helpful.
  3. Well, Faber Piano Adventures has a series of supplemental songbooks that are based on levels: Pretime, Playtime, Showtime, Chordtime, Funtime, and Bigtime. These are available in different genres such as Classical Music, Popular, Favorites, Rock 'n Roll, Jazz & Blues, Hymns, Kids Songs, Ragtime & Marches, Christmas, Jewish Favorites, and Halloween. Teaching Little Fingers to Play also has supplements available in various genres. Alfred has supplements called "Fun Book," "Popular Hits," "Patriotic Solos," "Top Hits," "Merry Christmas," "Praise Hits," "Classic Themes," and "Hymn Book" for their Basic Piano Library. Music for Little Mozarts has supplements for beginning piano such as "Christmas Fun," "Little Mozarts Go to Church," "Little Mozarts Go to Hollywood," "Little Mozarts Perform the Nutcracker," "Halloween Fun," "Beethoven Bear," and "Mozart Mouse." I would pick up a supplemental book in a genre your son really enjoys close to the level that he left on in piano. Have him work through the songs in the book, Keep an eye on his technique. Work on his sight reading.
  4. I figured I'd chime in with some memories of the school trips I took in kindergarten and first grade. I went to school in the mid-1970's, when "social studies" still had a "progressive education" bent. I read a book geared towards teachers highlighting how important field trips are to science and social studies, Out of the Classroom and into the World by Salvatore Vascellaro. This book is a continuation of the progressive education movement and tradition. Among the suggestions that he had for first-grade teachers were trips to the shoemaker and trips to a tailor. When I was in kindergarten, we mailed letters to ourselves (mailed to our home address) and read books of how letters were processed by the post office. A trip to the post office would probably be a great activity to help fill in the gaps. We went to a dairy, where they processed milk. There was a fake cow there, and they showed us how to milk the cow; mostly, though we saw how they bottled the milk. If you have any factories in your area, particularly food processing plants, that would be a great field trip. Ask if they allow children; not all factories do. Some factories allow no visitors at all. Over the years, my parents took either me or my siblings (or both) to a pretzel making factory, a corn chip factory, a Coca-Cola bottling plant, a brewery, the Harley Davidson plant, the Hershey simulated plant, and a GMC truck plant. I took my own children to some of those places and the Budweiser plant in St. Louis, which is a fascinating historic brewery. While we did not go to a farm as a school field trip, it is a great idea. I have taken my children to various farms over the years--sometimes to pick your own farms, which they love (just don't stay too long so they get bored) or dairy farms (a little harder, as some dairy farms do not want visitors during milking times). In our current town of West Hartford, there is a city run farm that we love to visit. When we lived in Dallas, we were members of the Dallas Museum of Art, mainly because members got free, underground parking. When it's 100 degrees outside, underground parking cools off your car to a "cool" 80 degrees! Totally worth the $75 a year. However, that got us to go to the museum often. They had a great children's area with programming that we often went to, but I also bought the children and myself sketchbooks and colored pencils and we would stop at a piece of artwork that we liked and sketched it. My son (who had a primate obsession) would just draw monkeys (and I never censored him or made him draw the artwork), but it bought us time to actually look at the art as that son has ADHD and without the sketchbook, we wouldn't have been able to look at any art at all! My daughter has played the guitar since first grade, so for a while, we went to a lot of concerts at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Some of them were children's concerts, which are great introductions to classical music and the orchestra (some of those concerts had instrument petting zoos, where you could touch orchestral instruments). We went to "adult" matinee concerts (so as not to infer with bedtime), too, even with my son who has ADHD. The only disadvantage, according to my daughter, of the matinee concerts, was that the musicians are not dressed in black tie, but rather in suits. She missed the formality of it! :laugh: We would get seats right by an exit so if my son would get noisy, we could leave easily, but we never had to leave early. He was fascinated with the music (it helped that we sat where he could see the musicians relatively closely). Now that we live in New England, we often go to living history museums and other historical sites. Some have great activities for children showing what life was like either during the colonial area or during the early years of our country. I second the zoo or aquarium. I used to read to my children My Visit to the Zoo by Aliki. She also wrote My Visit to the Aquarium. In the preschool that I work in (with a Reggio Emilia approach) one class just went to Subway to learn how they make bread, make sandwiches, etc. They got lunch there, too.
  5. My school (a parochial girls school) taught us to read in the mid-1970's using Old Court Readers. While I used the Well Trained Mind's recommendations of Plaid Phonics Level A to teach my son to read the year that I homeschooled him, once he finished Level A, I had him use as a reader McGuffey's Primer and Open Court Basic Readers: Reading is Fun. This website explains the levels of Open Court Basic Readers (as used from 1963 to 1976). At the time, they were considered the best phonics based reading program.
  6. I just wanted to mention that I started first grade in 1975 in a parochial school with a very traditional phonics based curriculum (unusual at that time). However, we really did not do either history or science. Social studies was pretty much covered by learning about people working, with field trips to milk bottling plants and visits from parents who talked about their lines of work. Around such holidays such as Thanksgiving and Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays, we learned about the history of those days. Science was only added to elementary school curriculums after Sputnik in the 1950s. Before that, only nature study was really covered.
  7. I have not tried this book in the series, but there is a series of ethnic cooking books for children that many libraries have and there is a French one: Cooking the French Way by Lynne Marie Waldee.
  8. Knit, Hook, and Spin: A Kid's Activity Guide to Fiber Arts and Crafts by Laurie Carlson
  9. Summertime from Porgy and Bess is an illustrated book of the song (illustrated by Mike Wimmer).
  10. Years ago, in the first edition of In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences by Thomas Armstrong, he recommended a social studies curriculum that is long out of print: (Hu)mans: A Course of Study. I even wrote Dr. Armstrong to ask where to obtain this curriculum! Anyway, it is now available for free on the web at http://www.macosonline.org/
  11. I agree with Lori that you should probably expand on what you already have and get a full credit in theater. Can your daughter participate in a community theater production and learn/participate more? You could add in a textbook to give more "book learning" to the course or to make sure that you cover all the bases, if you like. I have some theater books: Acting and Theatre: An Usborne Introduction is only about 60 or 70 pages, but it is packed with information. Exploring Theatre by Nancy Price and Jeanie Jackson is a middle school/high school textbook. Theatre Art in Action is another textbook, but is more geared towards high school students. This book includes both techniques about acting as well as technical theater techniques. Both Exploring Theatre and Theatre Art in Action include the history of theater.
  12. Yes, the primary colors are red, yellow and blue. You use these colors combined (along with neutral colors of white and black) to make all of the other colors. However, I have this book, Web Colors, which shows how to mix colors for computer graphics programs. The coding in computer graphic programs is by mixing this much red, this much green and this much blue. As this book states: "Screen pixels are so small that we see different colors on the screen due to optical blending. RGB (red, green, blue) is an additive color model. Different wavelengths of light are emitted by your screen's pixels."
  13. There are pencils made out of recycled newspaper like Treesmart.
  14. Faber Piano Adventures has supplementary books that will not instruct you on how to use your left hand; rather, they are good practice for learning to read notes with popular and fun songs. Another set of supplementary books are from the series Teaching Little Fingers to Play which includes Teaching Little Fingers to Play Disney Tunes, Teaching Little Fingers to Play Christmas Carols, Teaching Little Fingers to Play Classics, Teaching Little Fingers to Play Hymns, and Teaching Little Fingers to Play American Tunes.
  15. I took a class in special education last year, and I learned that children with developmental delays do not always pick up concepts from the environment casually like a developmentally typical child might; a child with developmental delays often needs direct instruction. So you are wise in taking a proactive approach. When you introduce a concept, I would introduce just one concept at a time. For instance, if you want your child to learn the color red, I would just focus on red for about a week. Paint red, color with red crayons, make red jello, etc. Then, when you are sure that she could identify the color red easily, go on to the next color. I would do the same with letters and numbers. Only introduce one letter and/or number a week and keep reviewing it until she knows it without any prompting from you.
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