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Everything posted by C&W'sMum

  1. Has anyone done a camp or class with SIG (Summer Institute for the Gifted)?
  2. I am hoping CTY moves some of their summer programs to online, because they had some great options. The current online list is mainly foreign languages and writing classes, which aren't of interest to my son.
  3. I'd sign myself up for Great Books Summer! I signed up my 7th grader the fourth day of online registration for Duke Tip, and he is waitlisted for everything he wanted. They are having a huge influx of participants. We'll see. The website is a bit frustrating, but I certainly can't complain. They're overwhelmed and underfunded right now. I'll take a look through these other suggestions. Thank you all and keep them coming. I signed my 8-year-old up for a Harry Potter themed chemistry class on Outschool.com that he is ecstatic about. I am considering a Readers' Theater class as well.
  4. First, I hope everyone and their families are safe and well. I am wondering what everyone is now planning to do as many summer camps will be cancelled this year. My 7th grader was planning to attend the Duke Tip summer program, but that is now cancelled. I am researching their online programs as an alternative. I am wondering what summer options you all are considering. My son loves world history and geography (particularly anything to do with dictators), though he also loves math and science. I can have him continue his math class online with Russian School of Math. I think I'd only sign up for one more thing, because I want to leave time for his own reading, research, and summer relaxation. I also have a 2nd grader who will continue his 4th grade math classes at RSM. We'll probably just explore a lot of his passions as they come up, but he is my most social child and really loves class via Zoom. If you have any suggestions for younger kids, that is appreciated too.
  5. Lewelma, thank you for those great resources! Calbear, thank you for your thoughts. My son attends a B&M school, but, sadly, they just don't participate in academic competitions. So, I guess I am in the same boat as the homeschoolers.
  6. Ruth, Our boys sound like two peas in a pod! You have given me great ideas how to translate his love of geography into writing. Andi
  7. My 7th grader is obsessed with geography and cartography. He spends all his free time drawing maps and learning about historic geography. Does anyone else have kids into these subjects? Has anyone participated in the United States Geography Championships or something like it? Do you have any other suggestions of additional activities? Thanks!
  8. I would appreciate any suggestions for resources you all used that helped build writing confidence in your kids. We just received my son's 6th grade ERB scores. He did awesome in math and quantitative reasoning, as I expected. However, his writing and reading comprehension scores came back between the 60-70s, which are surprisingly low. He is so knowledgeable on so many subjects from self-directed reading or research. Yet, he can't translate that onto the paper. He has always had difficulties with perfectionism and assumed if he was writing it down, it had to be perfect. I've been working on this for years. When he writes papers for school, it is a brutal battle of him criticizing his work and stating it isn't what the teacher wanted (yet not knowing exactly what she does want). After the battle, he usually gets an A, but it is a miserable hair-pulling process. I got a Critical Thinking book on Building Thinking Skills to work on the reading comprehension, but I'd appreciate any ideas on building writing skills and reading comprehension. Thanks!
  9. Thanks for a good start. Unfortunately, my son did a STEM camp at Rice University last summer, but was bored to tears. He had read more on the subject than the instructors, who were college students (not necessarily from Rice) who had just taken a summer camp counselor job and were using kits. It may be that that the courses get better as the kids get older, but I don't think I'll be able to convince him to do it again. He has also done camps at the most rigorous private school in town and at the Natural Science Museum, but he had read so far ahead of where they were, it was the same situation. He'll be able to take summer college classes with Duke TIP at Rice starting in 8th grade, but that is a little while off. I've heard mixed reviews about Duke TIP CRISIS, depending on location. He liked the concept of the camp. I'd love to know if anyone attended a session they liked.
  10. I'm attempting to be proactive this year and get some ideas for next summer while your memories are fresh. I'd love to learn from anyone what camps/summer experiences their kids have really enjoyed and found challenging. (And if there are camps you don't recommend.) My son has just begun 6th grade, and many of the academic camps we've done in the past have been a bust. "Boring!" "Too easy!" In the research I've done the serious academic camps, where the kids can take classes at university, start after 7th grade. My son is in Duke TIPS and Johns Hopkins CTY, and he particularly loves medical/biological sciences (not engineering/robotics), math, international politics, and linguistics, particularly old English. Any recs along those lines are particularly helpful! Thanks!
  11. We just started going to the brand new Houston location. The woman who runs the program is really energetic and enthusiastic. We had our first class last week and are signing up for the session. My 6 year-old is attending the accelerated 2nd grade group. His Montessori school last year allowed him to go as fast as he wanted to, but his current elementary school follows a much more regimented plan, and he is getting frustrated. I work with him at home on BA 2A, which he enjoys, but having an expert to challenge him is fantastic. He was so excited that he was skipping around the room.
  12. Does anyone know of good books, movies or shows that introduce women's history to kids, particularly suffragism?
  13. What is gameschooling? Like Prodigy? Sounds perfect for my little guy. I have two boys in a good B&M school and I am re-analyzing what they need after school. The 6 year-old is in kindergarten. He's very social and loves "school," though he constantly complains that he isn't challenged enough. After school, we've started Beast Academy 2A, and Prodigy. With BA, I can monitor his progress, and with Prodigy, he can fly forward at his own pace and is teaching himself new concepts daily. He can't wait for BA online. He's also reading chapter books and doing science and engineering kits. My 11 year old has a full structured day at B&M school, with a teacher who has gifted kids of her own, and she is doing a good job challenging him. He's an incredibly motivated learner, and I'm moving into an unschooling mode of helping him source resources for whatever he is interested, politics, history, quantum physics... He pushed back against Beast Academy, but loves Life of Fred. He got Linear Algebra for Christmas and said he needs the previous book Advanced Algebra to understand some of the more complex math. (Oops, thought he had it. Still, it was good to know he was doing the math and not just reading for fun. :-) We're in a sweet period that he can focus on his interests to his heart's content right now, but the high school situation here is competitive. So, I am thinking about what he needs to have on his application. My oldest isn't really interested in any of the after school clubs and all of the "advanced" summer science camps/after school activities were frustratingly simplistic. He is in 5th grade, and it seems most of the more challenging programs don't start for at least another year. There is an amazing summer Duke Tips program at the nearby university, but not until the summer after 7th grade. He enjoyed the university's math circle, but the professor in charge got his PhD and had to leave for a job, and no one has taken his place. Any ideas you all have are helpful!
  14. My son, 10, also loved the myths and origin stories when he was younger and has more recently gotten into political theory. He is particularly fascinated by communism and dictators. In other words, political systems that go wrong or are corrupt. He is reading 1984 and loves it, and I have taken him to a lecture on the situation in North Korean (very interesting!). He's an excellent reader and loves history. He finds lots of resources online, but I'd love any additional suggestions.
  15. My 10 year-old son is very excited about high level math like logic and set theory, etc. I want to support him in his desire to delve deeper, but I think he needs some work on his math facts.. He does well, but at times is still processing the answer, and I want them to be comfortably memorized. Short of drills (yuk), are there any resources or methods you would recommend?
  16. We have moved overseas several times, and I have after-schooled to be certain DS10 hasn't missed anything as we bounce between schools. I also started incorporating books like Math Beast, because I could see that he needed a good challenge. We just moved again, and the dust is finally settling so I can take a closer look at where he stands. It seems he turned a major corner in his ability to self-teach and research, and I need to figure out where I fit in his education. My son attends 4th grade in a B&M school, and I am generally pleased with the level of work they are doing during school hours. The homework doesn't seem to be busywork and is thoughtful and minimal. As soon as he walks out the door, he wants to spend nearly every moment until bed time doing independent studies, particularly on science, but also on whatever subject he is most passionate about. Organic chemistry, set theory, quantum mechanics, linguistics, etc. I love his passion for learning and ability to research and don't want to discourage it by taking the fun out of it and making it "work." Yet, I want to guide him in ways that it will all be valuable to him someday. He gets very good grades, but is not motivated by grades, only by the acquisition of knowledge. I explain to him that someday the information must be used to be valuable. So, I am seeking to turn the corner from gaining knowledge to using it. I don't see a lot of opportunities for 10 year-olds to use organic chemistry, but perhaps I'm not looking in the right places? I'm on the hunt for a mentor, but I'm not sure where to start. I'm planning to speak with the head of his school's science department. We are very fortunate to have a top science research university right around the corner, so I am getting on their mailing list for open lectures. He loves the university's Math Circle. I am planning to get back to Math Beast, because I think it is a good way to have evidence of his level of understanding. I'd appreciate any of your thoughts on handling this turning point. Thanks!
  17. Thanks! The 4H suggestion is great. I was city kid and only thought it was for state fair animal raising. Their list of STEM activities look interesting. I'd love to hear anyone's stories about finding ways to work with a school system. I'm crossing my fingers on a positive social climate at the school for accelerated learning. We're likely moving to a certain school district, and I've tracked down the head of the G&T department as well as a gifted specialist in the area for her suggestions. At DS 9's present school they've been great, letting him do self-directed research during science class, which is about 10 years below him. They're going to let him start attending high school biology classes next month. His main teacher has been an amazing advocate for him. Don't know for certain yet if we're moving, but I will definitely miss this school.
  18. Thanks for posting this. It described my younger son (4) perfectly. I used to call him my safe cracker. His favorite toy while he was tiny was a set of industrial keys with locks. There was no gate or child safety device that could keep him contained. He never saw them as a hindrance but a challenge. Exhausting. While traveling in Chicago when he just turned 2, we played under Calder's flamingo. Nine months later, while we drove past our modern art museum, he started yelling "Chicago." (He wasn't especially verbal.) Stunned, we realized we had passed by a similar red structure by the Calder. He now loves memorizing complex shapes and obscure color names. I've often wondered, what is this, and what do I do with it? That Duke Tips article was really eye-opening! By the way, we love Lego, Snap Circuits Jr (supervised), Chocolate Fix, Minecraft, all the Right Start math manipulatives, and Cuisinaire rods. All these suggestions are fantastic!
  19. It's looking possible that we'll move back to the US. What are the first things you all look for in a new town? Or what are your favorite things you have in your town, that you'd be seeking out in another? My older son (9) enjoys high level math, but is obsessed with science, particularly biology, chemistry, and physics. Not so much engineering/robotics (though his little brother (4) loves it). I've checked Math Circles, but it looks as thought there isn't one for younger kids. I'm looking into local universities and community college programs and lectures. I've found the libraries and museums. We will be doing B&M school and after schooling. The local homeschool groups seem very religious, and we aren't. Still, they have a big conference nearby that I might attend and see what resources are out there. Thanks for your thoughts!
  20. Definitely agree with Jackie. My 4 year-old really enjoys Right Start and asks to "do math" all the time. It takes just a few minutes of prep work and gives a very solid foundation in numbers and mental math. I tried to do it with my older son when he was around 6, and level B was too easy. I wish I'd had it earlier for him, because I can see the strong foundation it's giving my little guy. The math games are great.
  21. We live overseas, so I had to have my mom bring almost everything with her. I'm happy to say that I'm all done shopping! 4 yo - Magformers extension kit, Chocolate Fix (Think Fun game), Bernstein Bears Big Book of Science and Nature, Play-Doh, an easel and art supplies Stocking - Tell Tales Fairy Tale game, Spot It Basic French, colorful popsicle sticks (He loves them. Who knew you could do so much with them?) 9 yo - Biology coloring book, Anatomy coloring book, Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia, Risk Star Wars edition, Star Wars chess game, action figures for the new Star Wars movie (He is very excited about the new Star Wars movie!) Stocking - Levenger Circa discs to corral his index card obsession, Roger von Oech's Star Ball, donations to his favorite science websites Love the Compounded game idea. Will be buying that for the future.
  22. We found Times Tales (though silly) to be helpful. My son loves math and has always enjoyed working through problems in his head. I had to take him out of that process to understand that the multiplication tables were facts to be memorized, and once he got them memorized he could move to cooler, more complex problems. I then quizzed him often while we were in the car.
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