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Everything posted by GThomas

  1. We've recently added magazines to our reading pile. We're enjoying ChemMatters and American Scientist. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  2. We use History Odyssey, but it's not an online class. http://www.pandiapress.com/publications/history-odyssey/ Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  3. My dad didn't transition to public hs, my daughter did. Spell check!! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. I think it just depends upon each individual kid. My dad transitioned back to public high school last year. I put her a year behind because she is a Sep 30 birthday and started kindie at 4. She is very social and transitioned beautifully. She is motivated by group learning. Her algebra teacher is outstanding and her worse subject became her favorite. I also discovered how ahead my kids are on most subjects. All that worry was unnecessary! I enrolled my 6th grader in middle school and he lasted 2 months. He's my introvert, serious student. Unbeknownst to me he test at grade 11 reading! He also does MCT for language arts. It's head and shoulders above what they do in school. And we're in a top level district. We might try enrolling him next year to try again. He's not much of a risk taker but a great student. Whatever you decide, it will work out. It may not go so we in the beginning because transitions mean some fumbling and figuring out. That's how it was for us to transition from ps to hs and now the other way around. Us hs-ing Mums are clever beings who know how to figure things out...you will too! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. My dd15 has gone back to public school after 4 years of enjoyable, successful homeschooling. She has immediately disengaged from me when it comes to school. She doesn't tell me anything about what she's learning, won't let me review her homework, etc. Midterms are coming up and I keep asking her about what classes will have midterms, should we work to put together some flashcards, set up some study groups, etc. Nope, nope, nope. She says none of her classes will have midterms (I can tell by the way she's saying it that she has not asked and has no idea). She says this while her nose is buried in Instagram. I keep telling her that successful students have involved parents and that my assistance doesn't stop once she stops homeschooling. I'm here to be her helper; how can I help? She wants nothing to do with it. Compounding this is the influence from public school peers -- a new attitude that the least amount of effort put in to get good grades is the new cool. Sooooo frustrating for me! I worked so hard to instill a belief of lifelong learning, learning is fun and important and whoosh! it's gone in one fell adolescent swoop. As I type this I am beginning to think of a new approach. She's older, we're in a new situation, the old ways no longer work. I'm starting to wonder if putting up a chart or diagram of what her goals are, with milestones of how to get there (her 4 year plan of classes, GPA required for her college of choice, SAT scores for her college of choice, extra curricular activities, etc, would be useful. Then I'd have clearly communicated what is needed to reach her goals (without the confusing back and forth conversation with an oppositional teen) and it's something she can refer to and maybe we check in on a quarterly basis. Maybe putting in blanks where she can put in actual grades and experiences so she can compare if she's on track. And if things don't go as planned, we can readjust the plan accordingly. (Everyone is rolling their eyes now at how type A I am and feeling sorry for my dd!) And then maybe, just maybe, I can feel like I've done what I could and slowly start to hand over the reigns. I'm told these are the years to start to let go.. (quietly freaking out). I don't know. Have you had a talk with him to ask him how specifically you are causing stress for him? What actions would he prefer from you? And you ask him what he wants to achieve. And then tell him how you stress because you care about him so much and you want to help him achieve that and it's hard for you to sit by and not help when you see things going astray. And talk about things you can both do so you don't stress him out but you also feel like he still cares about his education. Something along those lines so he feels he has some say and control and you are being respectful to him. In regards to boys vs girls...my ds11 is way more dramatic than my dd and this conversation has me thinking about our future with him... (throws up hands in the air and says wheeeeee!)
  6. I almost spat coffee all over my keyboard reading that! I was telling my ds11 about the birds and bees and the looked at me in complete shock and said, "How do you know all this stuff about boys?!" He has also requested that I no longer teach him math because I just confuse him. So he's now doing TeachingTextbooks and it's working much better for us (so far).
  7. For Biology, maybe Elemental Science biology at the rhetoric stage? https://elementalscience.com/collections/biology-for-the-rhetoric-stage They sell a study guide and discounted access to a virtual lab called Late Nite Labs. The textbook can be found online for free at CK12.org. The textbook is all online but it's mostly written with some short videos incorporated. Late Nite Labs is used by some colleges. You can make mistakes and have failed results so although not a "wet lab" it is more realistic than most. I really like HMH Algebra 1 in how the textbook teaches. There is also some online practice. But nearly impossible to get your hands on an answer manual. Good luck! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  8. What can I include in high school that will give him a place to grow and stretch, while also meeting him in his strengths? I like Science Olympiad, but it is a ton of work unless it lines up with the science topic of the year. I'm curious about things like Project Lead the Way, but I'm not sure how homeschool friendly they are. Suggestions? Your son sounds totally cool. Does he know about Make: magazine? We just picked up some from our library. They are great idea generators. They are also online. I am over the moon excited about one of their articles last year about building near-space balloons. There's a global contest for it as well. I know nothing about technical stuff but I'm going to give it a shot. (yeah, ok my son can help out if he wants ;-) From 3-D printable humanoids to crocheting mermaid tails, this is my new fav magazine. My 11 year old couldn't put it down last night. Maybe your son will find some interest-led projects of his own to take on? How was your son able to be in Science Olympiad? Was there a homeschool team? It sounds like your son has interests that might line up with architecture and engineering. Any local classes in the area or online in these subjects? Have you also looked into your regional and state STEM fairs? Ours take homeschoolers. I don't think there are annual themes you need to align with. I would also encourage him to always be thinking about problems he might take a stab at solving. Did you know that NASA uses origami techniques for solar space travel? Origami is also being used for bendable electronics, antennas, cell origami in biology, to detect diseases...the list goes on! A stop-motion film using his origami creations would also be a fun and educational endeavor! Have fun! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  9. We did a partial year of high school at home last year. If your child has college aspirations, look up what colleges you are all interested in and what their admission requirements are. If your child knows what major they want, than look up those specific requirements. Also look up what the requirements are to graduate from high school are in your state. I put these side by side in a spreadsheet and then mapped out what subjects she would take each semester to achieve those requirements. We would choose the actual curriculum as we went but the subjects were figured out and their sequence. There's a book: Homeschooling and Headed to College that I learned this and other stuff from. This spreadsheet is still useful to me now that my dd is in public school as it's our guiding plan when we work with the school guidance counselor to select classes. There is lots out there for curriculum and home-created curriculum. Just as overwhelming in choice as the younger years. ;-) From distance learning with highly academic schools like Stanford online high school, to less academic choices like K-12 and others, to charter schools that do in class instruction for a few days a week and home study for the rest of the week, to creating your own eclectic mix of purchased curriculum (what we did), to creating your own curriculum following the passion of the child (we did that for science for one semester). I know kids have gone on to college using any of those approaches. Each child is different. Some are interested in outsourced classes either locally or online. Some prefer to self-study. For some it depends on the subject. Your and your child's school life is better when you customize to the personality and interests of the child. As the student matures, your role becomes less about instruction and more about monitoring and coaching. Are they progressing? Are they on schedule? Are they learning? You can create your own transcripts and there is plenty of information on the Internet on how. Or pay an umbrella/cover school to help you through it as well as serve as advisors on developing a 4-year plan and choosing curriculum. I never intended to homeschool high school...too scary! But once I began educating myself and after putting together her first year of records, looking back we were pretty awesome ;-) My younger one will likely homeschool through high school and I am looming forward to it! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  10. I agree with you! Doesn't sound like the kind of life we want our kids to have. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  11. After 4 years of homeschooling, my dd went back to public school. I'd love to have her back but she is happy. We have the opposite problem. I think the academics are too light and she has too much time on her hands (we just moved here and still trying to make friends). She is doing lots of volunteering though. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  12. In our district there are two sets of textbooks. One stays in the classroom and another stays at home for the school year. This eliminates the need for lockers and having to lug around heavy textbooks. Some classes have a printed book in class and an online version to refer to at home. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  13. After 4 years of homeschooling, my daughter has gone back to public school and is in 9th grade. For the first time ever she got straight As. Guess I was a lot tougher on her with homeschooling. I'm really disappointed with the study skills class she is taking there and don't feel that she's learned a thing (but she loves hanging with the kids as there is a lot of hanging out and chatting in there). And I'm very disappointed with the science teacher. A very nice man but tenured and really needs to retire. He comes in grumpy most days, he yells at them or talks non stop about the cross country team he coaches and they just read the textbook and take notes. All tests are open book and he tells them they get an A if they fill out their notebooks. But he gives them the exact notes to write down. My daughter is fascinated with being in public school and all the other kids and I doubt she'll come back to homeschooling. So sad! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  14. We're currently using Elemental Science for Biology. It uses the ck12 online textbook and Late Nite Labs for an online lab experience. So far so good! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. We've been using their program for a few years now but have not done the American History one (yet). If it follows the same format, than yes you can reduce the language arts component. What I did last year (for modern history grades 7-9) was to go through the study guide in advance and cross out any activities that required long writing assignments which were mostly essays and reports. There is still plenty of writing that I didn't cross out like 4-level outline notes, worksheets to fill out, writing a couple sentences on key people or a paragraph on a situation. I think (hope) that by doing so, it helped her to put that information into a longer-term memory. Additionally, I chose not to give her the tests. Their program is extensive and easy to tweak/omit items to suit your purposes (I also omitted a few of the lessons as we were not going to be able to get through it all -- there is a lot!) Instead of tests, I allowed her to do the lesson review worksheets with the notes and short writing assignments in front of her (also as an additional incentive to write good notes -- history is a great topic to practice/learn note taking). In my daughter's records I stated she received 1 credit for the history course. In the language arts section of her records, I mentioned the history writing she did but didn't add on additional language arts credit. I wanted to show she had done some non-fiction writing as her language arts program that year was focused on creative writing. Not sure if that was necessary or not. Technically I could have added on additional credit. I hope that is helpful! I am looking forward to doing the American History program in the upcoming years.
  16. We chose a math and science sequence based on the college degree my dd wants to pursue. I contacted some of the colleges she is interested in and asked for their recommendation for a high school math/science sequence. Not everyone got back but those that did were very nice and helpful. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  17. Have you asked Clonlara? I just sent them an email yesterday about our situation. We just moved from Dubai to Texas two months ago and there are no requirements that we need to worry about in Texas. But now we're moving this week to California and I think we will have to set ourselves up as a private school (but we'll continue to use Clonlara...we like them too!) Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  18. I didn't know about FLVS so I'm checking that out. I also discovered this resource but you have to go through a school for the lab work: http://www.ucscout.org/courses/biology. I did send them a message asking if they would accept wet labs done through Late Nite Labs. I havent heard back yet. But I think we'll stay with Elemental Science so she can go at her own pace. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  19. They just launched it. We have used them for middle school science and really liked the program (but I tweaked by removing most of the writing work and made flashcards for my kids). I'm not sure about how colleges will accept the virtual labs. I have gone through Late Nite Labs tutorial and it's impressive. They are not demonstrations and you can make mistakes. I believe CA State universities are using them in their college classes. I think ES does have lab recommendations you can do at home instead. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  20. Oh wow, more to research! ;-) These all look great at first glance. I will look into them in more detail. Ok it sounds like Analytical Grammar is a favorite among many. I am torn. My son and I did MCT's Grammar Town and we're doing 4 level diagramming of sentences within a few months. I like how it was explained and the iTunes iBooks are inexpensive. He's now reviewing with Practice Town. If the Magic Lens book follows the same pattern, I think it's a good fit. I will continue to think about it. If go the Magic Lens route and it's a flop with her (she is a different person than her brother and I!) than we will switch to Analytical Grammar. Thank you!
  21. We are stretching 9th grade over 2 years so this coming fall will be the second part of 9th grade. I'm still in planning mode: 1. Math: HMH Fuse Algebra 1 (second half of the course) 2. English 1: - Grammar: MCT The Magic Lens 1 - Writing: Time4Writing Writing Paragraphs - Writing: Bravewriter: Writing the Short Story (in prep for National Novel Writing Months...she may give it a go) - Vocabulary: Membean - Literature: private online class - Other Writing: - She will have a research report to write in science - We will try BrainFuse which is free through our library and students can send their writing in for feedback 3. Science: Elemental Science high school biology (with Late Nite virtual labs) 4. History: History Odyssey Modern Times Level 2 (second half of the course) 5. Foreign Language: LivelyLatin (second half the the course) 6. P.E.: horseback riding 7. Volunteering: at horse stables The loose plan for 10th grade is: 1. Math: Geometry, Teaching Textbooks? 2. English 2: - Writing: Bravewriter: Expository Essays, MLA Research Essay and High School Writing Projects - Vocabulary: Membean - Literature: private online class 3. Science: Elemental Science high school chemistry (with Late Nite virtual labs) 4. History: U.S. History 5. Foreign Language: Latin (not sure who with) 6. P.E.: horseback riding 7. Volunteering: at horse stables :willy_nilly: :D
  22. Thanks Root Ann! I think I will save your recommendation for another school year as it sounds super. I am now leaning toward the below, but I am still working on it. I want to keep it at 1 credit for the year. I'm trying not too add in too much but I want it all! ;-) SEMESTER 1: Grammar and Sentence Diagramming: Michael Clay Thompson, Magic Lens I (approximately 0.75 hours a week) Vocabulary: Membean (approximately 0.75 hours a week) Expository Writing: - Time4Writing: High School Paragraph Writing (8 week class) In preparation to produce a science research report in semester 2, I will review the following instruction: - How to take notes (from teachers-pay-teachers) - How not to plagiarize (from teachers-pay-teachers) Creative Writing: Bravewriter Writing the Short Story (5 week class to prepare for National Novel Writing Month) (approximately 4 hours a week) Literature Analysis: Introduction to Literature, English 1 by Everyday Education. Not the whole program but just picking pieces from it. The required reading for this project will be: - Animal Farm by George Orwell - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë - Short story: A White Heron by Sarah Orne Jewett - Short story: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber (approximately 3 hours a week) SEMESTER 2: Vocabulary: Membean Expository Writing: - Bravewriter: High School Writing Projects (4 week class) - How to Teach the Research Report (from teachers-pay-teachers) - Write a science research report from Biology class. Literature Analysis: Introduction to Literature, English 1 by Everyday Education. The required reading for this project will be: - The Tempest by William Shakespeare - Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift - Short story: Edgar Allen Poe: The Purloined Letter - Short story: Eudora Welty: A Worn Path BrainFuse. We will try this service out as it's free with our library. Students can submit papers for feedback from teachers.
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