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Everything posted by RebeccaMary

  1. For really young kids: Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies For the immune system and germs: Germs Make Me Sick by Melvin Berger Germ Zappers by Fran Balkwill and Mic Rolph Not sure if you want to incorporate videos, but there are a bunch of TED-Eds on good microorganisms ("The beneficial bacteria that make delicious food" and "You are your microbiome"), germs ("How do germs spread and why do they make us sick?") and the immune system ("How does your immune system work?") And Hank Green has a new YouTube video series called "Journey to the Microcosmos" that has cool close-up looks at all different kinds of microorganisms. The narration is geared toward older students but anyone can appreciate the images.
  2. If you're studying Chemistry, then definitely the Theodore Gray trilogy – Elements, Molecules, and Reactions. For Modern History, we really enjoyed Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution.
  3. This topic has been on my mind a lot lately as my kids are moving into higher math ... On the one hand, I'm often wondering whether they need to commit a new formula or equation to memory, or whether it's better that they just really understand the underlying concepts. On the other hand, I'm seeing how certain concepts, facts, and formulas come up again and again at every level of math. To answer your question, then, I think that it is really helpful for kids to have these facts and concepts really nailed down as they progress through the levels (many of these won't be relevant until the upper middle and high school stages): Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts through 12 x 12 (we got lazy, stopped at the 10s, and neglected to memorize multiplication facts through the 12s – I regret it) Squares of 1–15 (they really come up a lot and it's so satisfying to be able to quickly recognize 169 as a perfect square) Formulas for calculating the circumference of a circle and areas of 2D shapes (circle, square, triangle) – perimeter is easy to figure out without a formula, but circumference and area aren't always as intuitive # of degrees in a triangle and in a circle How to determine mean, median, mode for a data set Order of operations (once this is learned, it's used so often that it becomes intuitive, but important anyway) Quadratic equation – so annoying to memorize, but so helpful to have on hand whenever you're presented with solving a challenging quadratic Rules for exponents: x^a • x ^b = x^(a+b) and (x^a)^b = x^(a•b) -- these come up often enough that kids really need to know them but infrequently enough that they always seem to mix them up. Maybe it's not worth trying to memorize because they do get addled in kids' minds (or at least my kids'), but whenever we encounter them, I ask them to figure out for themselves which rule applies by substituting 2 for a and 3 for b, then running the experiment to see which is correct. [So, if you're multiplying two x's to two different powers, and you don't remember what to do with the powers (add or multiply), test it out in the simple case: x^2 • x ^3 = (x • x) • (x • x • x) = x^5 = x^(3 + 2) -- then you'll see that you add the powers.] Pythagorean theorem! It's absolutely everywhere in Geometry, Algebra 2, and Trigonometry Trig functions (sin, cos, tan) are easily confusable – we memorized SOH CAH TOA. They should also memorize the csc, sec, and cot Values of sin, cos, and tan for 30-60-90 and 45-45-90 triangles. This seems kind of random, but they come up all throughout Algebra 2, Trig, Precalculus, so it's really handy to have them memorized by the end of Geometry. One last thing – this isn't a 'memorization' item, per se, but the one concept that I absolutely would make sure your kid understands forward and backward is fractions – add, subtract, multiply, divide, find the reciprocal, simplify, find common denominators, everything fractions!! Once you get into advanced math, you can always use your calculator for long division and multiplying decimals and adding and subtracting huge numbers, but your calculator can't really help you with fractions if you don't understand how they work and how to work with them.
  4. For science, one of our all-time favorite nonfiction read-alouds is Alex & Me by Irene Pepperberg. It's not specifically for kids, but it's a really great story that teaches a lot about parrots, animal intelligence, and scientific research.
  5. Since you're looking for a textbook and you don't mind doing the teaching, I might recommend Brown's classic Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II & Trigonometry sequence from Houghton Mifflin. You can find used versions of the textbooks and teacher's editions on Amazon. We turned to these when we hit the wall with AoPS and we've been really happy with them. Algebra 1: https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0395977223/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used Geometry: https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0395977274/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used Algebra 2 & Trigonometry (basically covers Algebra 2 + Precalculus): https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0395771188/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used
  6. If you want to focus on presidential campaigns, you could check out this free module from Ithaca College's Project Look Sharp, called "Media Construction of Presidential Campaigns." https://www.projectlooksharp.org/front_end.php?kit_id=5 You have to register to download the material, but there's tons of interesting visual content (historical cartoons, campaign songs, print ads, commercials). It could be a good, relatively text-light Government option for your daughter.
  7. Smarthistory is a great high school resource, and the material can be easily integrated into your history studies: https://smarthistory.org
  8. Thanks to everyone for the feedback! Yes, right now most of our resources are for Elementary and Middle. We're working on building a separate section of the website with in-depth high school content. The big goal for this spring is to create our first two High School modules, starting with Biology and Chemistry. For each subject, the idea is to create a collection of topic pages that correlate with the chapters of a standard HS textbook. Then, a student doing an independent study at the high school level could consult the chapter-specific topic pages to find tons of useful content (videos, sims, animations, labs, practice links, etc). So, it's a big project, but the hope is to have these first two subject modules ready to launch over the summer!
  9. Thanks for the feedback – very helpful. Yes, my instinct had been to avoid such a statement because our philosophy is to be welcoming to homeschoolers of all stripes. You're absolutely right, though, that it would be frustrating to spend time on the site only to find such irreconcilable differences (particularly on the science pages, which recommend secular resources). I've taken your advice and added an About Us page that clarifies our position.
  10. Thank you! Yes, additional resource recommendations would be very much appreciated at this time. I just added a "resource recommendation" field to the Feedback form on the website. Or you could just add them to this thread.
  11. Hi – I'm looking for help from some resource-savvy homeschoolers! For the past several years, I've been working with a few homeschool friends to build a website that recommends great resources across the main subject areas (Math, LA, Science, World History, and US History). This has been a long-term project, but with the recent influx of new homeschoolers, we've decided that now is the time to roll this resource out. We need fresh eyes on the site and would love to get some honest feedback from this community about the content, design, and ease of navigation. If any of you would be willing to poke around on the site a bit and fill out a short questionnaire (accessed from the "Feedback" link in the menu), we would be so grateful! www.besthomeschoolresources.com
  12. This sounds lovely to me - just the right amount of time per subject for this age. I like how you have plans for the other two kids to stay busy while you're working individually with one. Do you plan to have DS7 do one-on-one reading practice with you in the fall or does that come during the evening reading time?
  13. I'm a big fan of the Bozeman Science videos. Here's his AP Chemistry series: http://www.bozemanscience.com/ap-chemistry/
  14. My education was science-based and humanities-deficient, so I also wondered about instilling literary awareness, having passed over many of the classics myself. I liked ED Hirsch's Cultural Literacy and Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, which address this issue. All of the suggestions on your and HomeAgain's lists are great. The Greek and Roman myths come up a lot in literature, so definitely those. The Mensa book lists cover a lot of the classics that HomeAgain mentioned and more.
  15. I know, but it just depends on the kid. If your ten year old is hitting puberty and asking the questions that Perfectly Normal answers, then you might as well provide the resource (if you're comfortable with it). Other ten year olds aren't there yet, and the Stork book would have everything they really want to know...if you check out the book samples, you can get a pretty good indication of what the books cover.
  16. We had this problem several years back and tried out a bunch of different pencil grips with little success. Someone in the forum recommended this ergonomic grip, which worked for us! I'd recommend testing some different grips to see what works for your daughter. https://www.amazon.com/Pencil-Grip-Crossover-Ergonomic-TPG-17706/dp/B001SN8HPI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1471945665&sr=8-2&keywords=pencil+grip
  17. It's So Amazing, It's Not the Stork, and It's Perfectly Normal is a series by Robie Harris for young kids, upper elementary/middle, and middle/high, respectively. The reason these books get so many negative reviews is that they take a fairly liberal position on sex and sexuality (less obvious in Not the Stork, more so in Perfectly Normal). If this works for you, then these are good, reassuring books that will answer all of your son's questions.
  18. Here are a few possibilities. I'm not sure any quite hits the level that you're looking for, and you may need to read these texts along with her. Paul Hewitt's Conceptual Physics (not much math) Campbell Biology: Concepts and Connections (high school, but less intensive than some other options) CK-12 Life Science for Middle School is a downloadable middle school text (it may not be meaty enough, but it's a starting point and it's free!). Exploring Geology by Stephen Reynolds (college level, but has lots of pictures) Have you checked out the Homeschool High School Chemistry, Biology, and Physics threads in the high school board?
  19. Probably - If I recall, there was a ton of repetition from year to year. The same rules, just more detailed explanations every year.
  20. For a spine for the older kids, you might check out the World in Ancient Times books from Oxford University Press. There are individual books on each major ancient civilization (Near East, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Americas, and South Asia) and a Primary Source guide that goes with all of the books. They're good but expensive, so it might be worth checking your library...
  21. Another vote for Evan-Moor here! I'm in a similar situation - when it comes to Language Arts, my kids do not like a lot of sit-down workbook stuff (and neither do I!) This past year, when we needed to prepare for our state-mandated Grade 5 standardized test, I bought the Evan-Moor Grammar & Punctuation book. It was a good choice - it took only a few months to complete, my son was well-prepared for the online CAT, and we appreciated the clear rules, clean aesthetic, and minimal writing requirement. I would definitely recommend!
  22. I think you're right that they are pronounced differently. When we used AAS, the "oo" phonogram was actually taught to have three different pronunciations - the two that you mention, as well as the long o sound in "door".
  23. Thanks, September! Linda Greenfield's "Where Poppies Grow" tells the history of WWI from a Canadian perspective. I think it would be a good companion to Flanders Field.
  24. A writing contest sounds like a great motivator. Are there any particular national contests that you participate in or would recommend?
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