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dragons in the flower bed

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Everything posted by dragons in the flower bed

  1. I had bought it for a keep-skills-fresh sort of scenario when we were not doing mama-taught school because of transitioning from city apartment to a working homestead, but when I saw my kids' end-of-year test results (required by our state), I decided to switch. They'd always scored in the 70% percentile in math before. After completing TT (three different levels, three different kids), they did better in math than anything else, getting above the 95% percentile. Maybe it was the fresh country air?
  2. Hm, I'm afraid I do not think in outlines, and am lucky if I can write complete lists. Here's what I have on the docket for my boy who'll be 13 in January and an eighth grader on paper. Build-Your-Library History of Science Bridget Arduin's Chemistry Jensen's Format Writing Teaching Textbooks Algebra Artistic Pursuits Construct Practice Makes Perfect Spanish workbooks That's what I'm teaching at home. He also goes to Sunday School, attends game programmers' club meetings, takes classical guitar and Celtic harp lessons, runs a Dungeons & Dragons campaign at a homeschool center, is enrolled in a three-hour-a-week science and math club, does indoor rock climbing with friends once a week, and has a membership at the YMCA down the block. I made a conscious decision this year to keep it simple at home so he could amp up his social life. ETA: Kiddo really wants to do a YouthDigital Blender course online, too, so we may add that in.
  3. Thank you for sharing these lists. I was looking for a way in to Shakespeare with my teens.
  4. Well, yay. I was just browsing the 4th grade planning thread and feeling like a) my kid who will be ten in October is kinda 4th and 5th grade, and b) I have goals, not curriculum lists. Thanks for making a thread where I can get in on the fun! Math: Now that he can add, subtract, multiply, and divide with whole numbers into the thousands, I want him to start working with fractions, decimals and percentages. I'll start with concepts and it may take him a year just to master the ideas, not worrying about algorithms, as it did with the ideas of doing equations in the thousands by parts this past year. I'll loosely follow Developmental Math's sequence, using worksheets when he just needs drill, but mostly I'll teach by talking to him and showing him with drawings. English: I want him to realize that punctuation rules actually always apply, so I'll be dogging him as he works through our usual weekly English routine of correspondence on Mondays, journaling on Tuesdays, book reviews on Wednesdays, and storywriter's circle on Thursdays. At some point early in the year I hope to introduce the idea of carefully ordering where you place your thoughts in a composition, using a topic sentence to guide a paragraph, and we'll do that by organizing his letters, journal entries, book reviews and creative stories together before he puts pen to paper. Literature, History, Geography and Visual Arts: We'll be in the Middle Ages by then, maybe with some Roman history if our summer is unproductive. I read aloud a few books every morning, Sonlight style, but I pick my own titles, and we do projects on the last day of the week, art stuff related to the history lessons. I choose my own art projects too, from Pinterest and Artistic Pursuits. I haven't picked medieval titles yet. There are so many good choices for this period! Science: Here I am utterly stumped. I need a spine to guide my choices and I don't have one yet. We may do astronomy, geology, trees, the human body, meteorology -- I have no flippin clue yet. I do know that we'll read picture books from the library and do projects culled from many sources as well as a lapbook or two. Phys Ed: I think we all need to transition to the ancient Greek mentality of working out every day just the same way we'd clean our house every day or read and write every day. I don't know how to incorporate that yet, because we are homebodies who ain't nevah gonna join no gym, but we'll figure out something. We have to. We need our bodies to be strong and flexible, the same way we need our house to be clean, and not having a routine for upkeep is just slightly oppressing us all round the edges a little. Music: I would really love it if this was the year kiddo became able to independently manage his fiddle. He'll keep working towards that goal, anyway. Religion: I want to start a morning basket routine and stick some books about philosophy, worldview, and religion in there, just to get us all talking about big ideas together.
  5. Shouldn't they take algebra when they finish arithmetic? If your child can add, subtract, multiply, divide and convert with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages and integers, then you should move into algebra, because they're done with arithmetic.
  6. We were always that way too, just following interests, until this past year. We finally found our groove with actual science curricula. Now I can't find any I like.
  7. I am low on inspiration for my youngest son for next year. I feel like I have looked at everything and nothing quite fits, but truthfully it has been a couple of years since I was active here and y'all know about all the things before they're even published. Anything new and shiny I might look at? What has come out in the past two years?
  8. I clicked through and read your post because I have started thinking about what my rising eighth grader is going to do for high school, and I don't have even a framework in my head for him, since he's so different from his older brother. Seems like he is pretty different from your kid, too, so I don't have much input. I do wonder, looking at your plans, if you might want to prioritize catching him up in math so he can take the SAT and ACT on schedule. I would consider doing more get-er-done history than Notgrass in order to give more time to math. Trades work sometimes does require college, and it always requires math, so comfort and proficiency there seems important. But I would NOT switch to AOPS from TT. TT walks one through it. AOPS makes one reinvent it. If TT works just use that, plus tutoring, and maybe fit more in a week. You might look at local unions and see what is required of apprenticeships. He may want more than a standard bio-chem-physics sequence. You don't mention what kind of science the local group is doing. What are your goals for him for writing? Is he comfortable knocking out a quick essay right now?
  9. Anybody else's kid going through robot withdrawal now they're bagged and tagged?

    1. Rosie_0801


      Mine is making a robot costume out of a box and tape.

    2. Rebel Yell

      Rebel Yell

      Mine does FTC.... they still have time to work before Super Regionals. Good Luck to your Robo Kid!


  10. Has anyone submitted a Maker Portfolio using SlideRoom? From looking at websites of colleges that request it, it seems like you can submit up to five photos on average, and a video or two under three minutes total. Anything else? Seems like there should be a text option, too, right, a write-up of what your project was and how you went about it. How long should this be?
  11. Me, Oak Meadow, and another parent asked The National Park Service on Twitter how homeschoolers could get their free passes. They said they'd look into it for us, then tweeted these three tweets: We're working w/ @usedgov's Office of Non-Public Ed to reach out to private schools & homeschooled. ONPE has ongoing communication with all the national private school associations & hslda. If you know of other homeschool-related organizations that they should contact, please let us know! I find that vague and unsatisfying but am not sure what can be done. I worry that the passes will be distributed in classrooms, leaving homeschoolers out entirely, and I tweeted that back. We'll see. Hopefully, enough homeschoolers will speak up early enough in the process that some kind of park-based, parent-initiated system will be used instead of mailing passes to schools for distribution in classrooms. Now might be a good time to email the park service (and HSLDA!) and suggest such a thing. http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/contactinformation.htm
  12. Supercharged Science has video demos of all of the science projects it includes.
  13. Here's my list for Greece, which we're doing right now. These are meant to absorb the kids' attention for a whole day at least. Week 1: Make a salt-dough map of Greece. Discuss the making of realistic fantasy maps. Let kids design their own world. Week 2: Make a life-size Trojan horse. Discuss principles of large scale sculpture, creating frames, layering skins on. Week 3: Make wings and togas. Learn to use the sewing machine, follow a pattern. Week 4: Make duct tape weaponry and armor in Greek style. Week 5: Make papermache masks showing many emotions, put on a play. We had a good time when I flipped the dining room table on its side, threw a blanket over it, taped posterboard to the underside, and had the kids pretend to be Egyptian tomb painters, painting on the dark interior walls of the pyramids.
  14. Me: "Oh my gosh, this child is NEVER going to learn long division!" Him: "Oh my gosh, he doesn't know long division?! What do we do, homeschooling mom expert of my heart?!" Me: "Um… maybe … um . . .[insert hour-long conversation about math teaching philosophy, the kid's brain, and what we've tried so far, ending in a plan.]" Him: "Sounds like we have a plan." *hugs me* He is genuinely interested in methodology, materials, philosophies, as well as the day-to-day parts. We have been wanting to go to a homeschool convention together. Besides that kind of camaraderie, he does a good chunk of meal-making so I can be distracted by extracurriculars, runs us around places since I don't drive, and genuinely enjoys attending such things with us when his work schedule allows. He has a full-time job and that's why he doesn't do any of the formal homeschool work. But, his boss is a homeschooling dad and sometimes gives him a day off so he can come do something with us, like yesterday when he attended 8yo's graduation from a class the boss' kid also did back when he was 8. The stuff he wants to do on weekends tends to be educational because he likes learning. He thinks of himself as a lousy teacher, and that's another reason he doesn't do any of the formal work with the kids. But he's actually really great at explaining technical things where you have to have a lot of knowledge to understand the answer to your immediate question, like harmonic thirds or electromagnetism. Also, he's a great unschooler, in that he tries to make sure he does only things worth doing, and if he's doing something worth knowing how to do, he calls the kids over and shows them how and gets them doing it too. Oh, and he reads historical fiction and literary classics aloud in the evening, always on theme with our current unit. And gets the kids talking about it. So maybe that's formal-ish. It's certainly planned.
  15. Awww, what a good boy. I think I would skip pre-algebra and start doing LOF Algebra with a small number of problems assigned from the extra practice books.
  16. For algebra and up, there are supplemental Fred booklets with extra practice problems. I think they are called Zillions of Practice Problems. But it sounds like the main issue is that he doesn't want to do a lot of practice problems and you do want him to do a lot of practice problems. If you sat down with him in a Math Conference and said that and, "I'm going to win because I'm the parent, but how can we sweeten that for you?" he might say . . . "offer me math amnesty for ten problems of my choice on each page . . . pay me a penny for any problem over ten that I do . . . let me do all drill via a computer game . . . ", right?
  17. No, it doesn't mean he can do ninth grade math. It means he can do 4th to 6th grade math as well as a 9th grader can do 4th to 6th grade math.
  18. Are there any writing classes online (for high schoolers) that have a visual or even animated component to the instructional information offered (ie, not just a talking head, but concepts illustrated) AND are instructor-corrected (not parent-taught)?
  19. Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit? The main characters find a magical creature in sand.
  20. This was such a great year for us! The year we did WP AP1, I had a toddler, a preschooler, a tiny school-aged reluctant writer who was already very science-focused, and an older skeptical and jaded stepkid who had just been pulled from public school. I really doubt any other program would have been successful that year. I was able to pick and choose from a variety of assignments each day, giving each kid what was appropriate for them or on a day that was hard for me, just falling back to handing out popcorn, nursing the toddler, and reading aloud from the core history books. I still have great memories of all the little ones in their bunk beds and the silence that fell over them as we finished each of the adventure reads. Most exciting of all, my science nut fell so in love with American history that he had a Revolutionary-war themed birthday. So that does not really answer your questions. What I liked: - flexibility but in an open-and-go format - the format, so easy to understand and use that I still use it when I write my own lesson plans - all the hands-on stuff - the notebooking - the book choices What I didn't like: - at the time I was annoyed that it started out with papercrafts, but now I use papercrafts all the time - it took me a few weeks to realize I actually truly did not have to do everything they said - I left WP because I wanted to do chronological history, and obviously AS in first grade is not It is much more put together for you than Biblioplan, with fewer but IMO better books. The book selections are modern, meaning you don't need to have trained your kids from the preschool years to understand 1600s English in order to understand their history read-alouds. It has more additional activity suggestions than Sonlight, and the support for these (supply gathering sheets organized by week, for example) is more extensive. There is much more talking and doing than in Sonlight, and no worksheets just for the sake of learning; all the WP worksheety things are to an end like making a keepsake book.
  21. I know in the classical world one doesn't self-teach, but I know a number of self-taught fiddlers, individuals who grew up in families that were heavily involved in folk music communities who had access to other mature fiddlers for occasional help but never exactly had formal lessons.
  22. Really, really fast. Earlier this year when one kid was temporarily in 3rd grade at a science magnet school, I had a 30 minute walk to the school and back and it was hard to do everyday. Like, as in, some days I failed. The way school takes over your daily schedule is almost always what ex-homeschoolers say is the hardest to get used to. I would be very reluctant to start right in with a crazy long commute.
  23. Since I'll have three kids doing three separate science programs next year, I would really like to be able to hand a chemistry kit and book over to my middle son for independent study. I'll tell him when to work on it, troubleshoot if he says he's stumped, and grade assignments, but other than that I'd like to be hands-off. I don't even want to have to collect supplies. Is there a chemistry program that meets these criteria? If it helps you recommend a program, he's going to turn 12 in January of the school year in which he studies chemistry and he's a motivated learner who is at or above grade level in all subjects.
  24. It's my practical skills year, following on a sudden love for sheep to shawl processes I discovered last year. I vowed in January to acquire more hands-on skills. So far this year I've learned to use a pottery wheel to make mugs, bowls and plates, as well as how to glaze, use a kiln, build an open-air kiln, and dig up and process my own clay. I also since January have learned to knit a very simple scarf. Knitting is so much harder than pottery! Socks are my end goal there and I have sworn I will not give up until I am confident that I can knit a sock, even if it's a simple sock. Making soap (from scratch, or more literally from ash, in true homesteading fashion, without storebought stuff) is next, if I ever master the sock. As this progresses for me, I am also assisting my littlest guy with learning to grow herbs and make extracts, tinctures and syrups (and essential oils if we can dig up the time/bravery/money to make our own still). Meanwhile, to keep my vocabulary from rotting while I rejuvenate my finger-smarts, I am thinking of reading through the required reading list published by my church for entry into Unitarian Universalist ministry. With all the hands-on learning going on, though, I feel like it'd be more practical to tackle a booklist that is mostly available on MP3. This year needs a book theme, for sure -- and NOT one related to the homesteady business.
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