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Everything posted by mom4peace

  1. I'd gently disagree with this. Any college level science with a lab will certainly require a good amount of writing in the form of lab reports. While sadly few will require any other actual writing about science, some will, and at that level (and I'd say long before), a student should be comfortable explaining answers in detail (even if the AP isn't on the horizon), whether aloud or on paper/computer. Writing in the sciences is somewhat different than writing in the humanities, and it deserves more practice than it often gets. That said, I'd not hold him back in science because of his handwriting/writing skills. Dictation works. So does discussion. The math, however, is an issue. I agree that chemistry -- even basic chemistry -- should follow Algebra I not go with it. There is plenty of science to explore while math skills are developing however, and again, I wouldn't wed to a six year plan or anything close. Life changes. Take it year by year, meeting his needs that are in the present.
  2. CPO is adaptable and has an inquiry focus (where the kids are asking questions and wondering about processes before the material is taught). I've also liked Middle School Science. I'm working on a series on teaching scientific thinking, and this list might be helpful: Curriculum for Teaching Science and Scientific Thinking (Essential Skills Series)
  3. I'd again encourage you to ditch the Apologia AND ditch the long-term plan. Kids change. Needs change. I'd also agree on not worrying about the writing. Math skills do drive science choices, and to reach deeply into chemistry and physics, they need to be in place, but writing? Not so much. My Aspie, heading into eighth grade this fall and doing chemistry, worked through these lesson plans of mine: Quarks and Quirks Biology. It offers plenty of text reading as well as videos and simulations, labs, and "living" readings in science. It's unabashedly secular, as I can't find a way to teach biology without evolution at the center any more than I could teach it without talking about DNA. My chemistry course, on the other hand, doesn't have anything you'd likely find objectionable. ;-)
  4. It's a sad day when learning to write from research isn't considered important. My DS17 is taking an English class at the local CC that teaches that skill, with a previous course to teach the essay. It's not dead yet, at least not there. As a writing coach and tutor, I don't see the research paper as simply explaining a topic to be terribly useful, aside from the skills of research, writing, and revision that it takes. Writing requires a central argument, and most research paper work is simply writing about a topic, it seems. I teach the essay first, then add in writing from sources, which can be done in the form of literary criticism, rhetorical analysis, the essay, the scholarly or scientific paper, and even the letter. Students intending to go to college need to learn to summarize, paraphrase, and quote correctly and use these methods of noting source material in papers. They need to learn to find credible sources (and that takes critical thinking skills and a bit of practice) and to create a thesis that has purpose and meaning. The research papers I was assigned in school did little of the latter, and reorganizing facts to fill ten pages isn't that exciting or interesting. But research with the purpose of supporting a meaningful thesis brings light and interest to the work, and that makes a large difference. Okay. Enough about my passions!
  5. This year's Chemistry plans on Quarks and Quirks are close to complete, with only the last few weeks needing labs (and I promise that will be completed months before they are needed. My biology plans, updated last year, may be another option, if you're looking for more than facts to memorize and processes to learn. Both are secular honors-level plans with breadth and depth as well as some outside reading and writing. (I'd shove in more if I could, but it seems my students -- four this year -- seem to have other classes as well.) For more about choosing science curriculum, I just finished this piece of guidance: Curriculum for Teaching Science and Scientific Thinking (a third installment in a growing series on essential skills). It, and the piece before it (Follow the Ant), will give you a bit more idea of my philosophy of teaching science. (Questions on my lesson plans are always welcome and best sent to my email, which can be found in the About section of Quarks and Quirks.)
  6. Laura Coirn, Thanks. He and I are both drawn to the humor and tone of this series. I can only get a look at the first chapter of each book online, so it's a bit hard to tell. While it appears pretty straightforward, it also seems to wander a bit, at least when I look at the workbook. There is enough in the text to support the direction they go in the workbook, correct? Are there also exercises in the text? Thanks!
  7. Thanks, Tiramisu. I've avoided First Form because I've been looking for Classical Latin without the religious component in Memoria Press. However, I think the format may work well for me. A friend has used it, so I'll take a closer look at hers. We'll likely pick up Wheelock so we know where we are headed should he head toward Lukeion.
  8. Crazyforlatin, you mention using a separate grammar book. What did you use?
  9. Kareni, that might be a fine starting place. I'd forgotten about that book. Thanks for the reminder. Santi, thanks for the technology reading ideas. That's definitely where his interests lie. He's read the Bryson title in the past, and it is a very readable overview of the sciences. Farmgirl 70, Radioactive sounds like a title I'd enjoy as well. Thanks!
  10. Belacqua, that's a doable idea. From last year's use of Getting Started with Latin, he understands a good deal about the uses of the forms, and his memorization skills are strong overall. Working through a good deal of charts and flash cards would likely also appeal. A major struggle was the "forest to trees" approach of Lone Pine -- for a language, at least, and math, really, he is a "trees to forest" guy. Show him the parts. Show him why they are there and any sensical relationships they have to one another, and then move to a bigger picture. We won't talk about how I've previously bought and sold the Wheelock some years back, okay? <sigh>
  11. Thanks, 8FillTheHeart. I've looked at AL, but it's likely out of reach at this point. I'm less concerned with gaps this next several months and more interested in maintaining the Latin he does know and making the language feel assessable down the road, when he can imagine serious study again. He's pretty thrown off and terribly anxious overall.
  12. 8FillTheHeart, so was it Artes Latinae that your 9th grader used before Wheelock? I'm hesitant to stress him out, honestly, which is why I'm avoiding Wheelock. He's a bit of a mess right now, but I'm hoping he'll relax somewhat with LP out of the picture. The VS collaborative is frankly out of my price range. It's good to know it is there should our circumstances allow, but it's just not in the budget. JennneinAZ, thank you. My older son tried it when he was 12, and I had no idea how many bits and pieces they were and how unprepared he was for that amount of organization and study. He left at the semester. Both boys are quite gifted, but both are 2e. I think most of his mismatch with Lone Pine was due to study skills. My younger was struggling with anxiety before it started, and between that and the mismatch in learning style, it was pretty awful. He really wanted it to work, and I wanted it to work, but he couldn't manage the more immersive approach and lack of clearly organized presentation of declensions and conjugations. He really thrived on Getting Started with Latin, and while we both knew how different the LP approach would be, neither of us guessed he would struggle so much, given his usually excellent study skills. I'm out of kids to send there, so I won't be trying again, but one does have to wonder at my learning curve. I was looking at Latin Prep from Galore Press, but I can't find much about it. Any thoughts?
  13. Dbmamaz, we have that series, and while I might use it for occasional reference, it doesn't quite do it for either of us. Given this is an 11th grade class, I want the bulk of his readings to be adult-level material. I should go back and mine those books for ideas, however. Thanks for the reminder.
  14. Thank you, nousername! I have The Curies, but it was in my biography section, not science. That is also a decent biography with plenty of history, as I recall. I can't recall if he's read The Disappearing Spoon. If not, I can add that. I have a Rosalind Franklin bio (again, I was looking at the wrong shelf) that also would be a good read. I'll check on the others you mentioned. That helps!
  15. I'm putting together a history class that approaches history through the technological/scientific discoveries of the time. I'm looking at starting during the enlightenment through modern times, with an emphasis on the 20th century. My DS16 is highly computer and science interested, and I'm looking for readings that are accessible to a more reluctant reader (not a poor reader, but one that takes some wooing to really stay in the game). I'd like to find books that intersect where science affects history and vice versa. So far, I've chosen only Galileo's Daughter and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, but that might give you the flavor of what I'm looking for. Our science shelves run deep, but not in this department. I'm also open to video suggestions. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
  16. My DS12 has just left Lone Pine Latin 100. He's not managing the more intuitive and immersive approach, largely, I think, because he's a trees-to-forest guy when it comes to languages. He has Aspergers, and he has a great memory. He also has an enormous amount of anxiety. I know some folks adore Lone Pine, but it just isn't for him. Anyway, he still wants to learn Latin (classical, not ecclesiastical). He worked through Getting Started with Latin last spring, enjoying it and learning it easily. It was also, mom friendly, a requirement, as I only know the Latin in that GSWL book. I think the goal would be to move into Lukeion Latin next year, probably the first course, so this isn't about trying to make a huge amount of ground in a year. This is about getting comfortable and needing something that makes good use of charts and patterns. That's what he need -- charts and patterns. (Yes, we tried making those for Lone Pine Latin, but he reached an anxiety point where no learning was possible and his mind was closed. Yes, we're working on that, too. I've looked a good deal online. I don't feel confident diving into Wheelock or Cambridge with him -- I need something a bit more gradual but not slow. He learns quickly. Cute is not going to cut it -- I know chants are popular, but that's really not his learning channel. Thanks.
  17. You are all welcome. Please feel free to contact me with questions along the way. We start Friday (my son and two friends), and I couldn't be more excited.
  18. I've just finished tweaking and revising the high school level biology course (Quarks and Quirks Biology) for my younger son, 12, and his buddy. I taught the class for my older son and his friend when they were the same age, but it needed revision. I thought it might be useful to those of you with middle school aged kids needing a challenge in science. Enjoy!
  19. I'm done! I've finally finished reworking Quarks and Quirks Biology (or MacLeod Biology, as I sometimes see it linked). This is a high school level class but not AP prep. It is, however, rigorous with plenty of reading and writing and terrific labs and would be suitable for self study or a co-op class. The text books are the same as four years ago, but many labs have changed, the order is tweaked, and the website links are almost entirely new. I'll be continuing to work on study sheets for some of the subjects, and the tests will be rewritten as I go. If a miracle occurs, supply lists will also appear for each week. Please email any questions, notifications of errors or inconsistencies, or broken links to me at sdamacleod at sbcglobal dot net. I'm glad to help.
  20. I'm the mom with the high school biology (and chem and physics) curricula online. I'm glad to answer any questions about any of them. I'll be teaching biology next fall, so I'll either be updating my original syllabus or reworking it, depending on the needs of the group of four and the quite tasty new lab book I picked up.
  21. Got your ear in two directions, huh? I'm glad we did it. He needed to be accountable to someone outside of me that was in a place he wanted to succeed. It's not been all sunshine and lollypops. He's struggled, especially with the liberal arts class -- studying when he's not interested is hard. This semester is Sign Language -- the real deal. His midterm is in a week, so we'll see what is really going on then, but he seems to be doing well. No traditional foreign language would make it past the LDs.
  22. My older son, 15, is twice exceptional (gifted with learning disabilities), and I thought other parents might find it helpful to know how we've navigated college/dual enrollment with those disabilities. In short, we've found enormous support but accommodations don't solve everything. I'm glad to answer questions on this list, off list, or via my blog. Accommodating Disability, College Style
  23. For the university, they provide (and pay for) the notetaker, who is a student with at least a 3.0 and who is already taking the class. Notes are taken with carbon paper and either passed directly to the student, scanned and emailed, or dropped in a mailbox in the disability resource office. For the community college, the professor asks the first day for a volunteer who hands notes to the student in need. If it doesn't work, student is to approach others in the class for help. I'm not at all pleased with that arrangement, as it eliminates any confidentiality and doesn't assure a student of a notetaker. Since he's taking a computer course there, I think he'll be okay, but I'd not sign him up for anything lecture-based at that school.
  24. My 15 yo (dysgraphic, ADD) has tried the Livescribe pen but doesn't care for it. It's heavy and uncomfortable to him, and since his writing is illegible, what he ends up with is notes he can't read attached to two hours of lecture that he missed essentially because he can't multitask and take notes while listening. He's dual enrolled this semester for the second time, and we're finding it's far better for him to have a notetaker in class. He has accommodations at a local University and local Community College, including the use of his laptop in class for more notes (works better but stinks for calculus), increased time for tests, tests in a quite environment, access to the professor's notes where applicable, preferential seating, recording the lecture with the Livescribe, and more. I've realized that when he's ready to enroll full-time (and that will be at the traditional age), we'll be looking for colleges that accommodate his disabilities well while having the coursework he wants in a location that feels comfortable to him. So my take-home is it depends on why the pen is being used and how well it is tolerated. It would be great for the occasional lapses in attention, but if a child is seriously dysgraphic, it's not likely to be sufficient.
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