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  1. Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher" Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" the one-act play "Trifles" by Glaspell
  2. A rubric is a form of feedback; there are categories with expectations and the score is calculated by where the performance fell within those expectations. Your daughter is in high school; she should be able to approach her teacher and to ask her teacher to provide additional follow up feedback. As far as the quizzing history teacher, I would also suggest that perhaps you don't have all the information regarding the assignments and the quizzes. It is easy to think our kid's perception of how the school day went is accurate and fair-minded; however, often the retelling is biased to emphasize workload and injustice. I think you are far better off asking the teacher directly before you decide to pull her from the school over it. I disagree with your solution to the teacher's grading efficiency: to simply assign fewer papers and give more feedback. To improve writing, the student needs both quantity of opportunity to practice writing and specific, guided feedback. It is very difficult to teach more than twenty students total and provide specific, guided feedback and meet the quantity of opportunity which a student should also have; furthermore, an argument could be made for the need for the student to begin taking a more active role as editor of her own work. Perhaps a critique like the argument is all over the place could be an opportunity for the student to go back and reduce her paper to an outline and make sure she is indeed making a logical progression. She won't benefit from the teacher outlining the argument for her; it's not going to improve her understanding if the teacher does the revision brainstorming. If revisiting her outline or other such solutions are not ones your daughter readily thinks of on her own, then she probably needs to take the initiative to meet with the teacher and to ask how to correct the areas that the teacher is trying to get her to see. It sounds a little bit like you are assuming the teachers are simply incompetent and purposefully shirking their career goal of improving your daughter's understanding. Perhaps that is the case, but I don't think I would start with these conclusions.
  3. I listened to an hour lecture from Logic of English at a classical education conference, and the lecture was incredibly thorough. The program teaches all the rules--defying the often quoted myth that English rules are somehow highly illogical. My daughter is in a hybrid schooling program, and we teach what the school does for LA, which is Writing Road to Reading. I am very impressed with WRtR for much of the same reason, but if I were solo homeschooling, I would want to seriously consider Logic of English. I am a big fan of students knowing language precisely as it helps later on when students are learning rhetorical devices or being corrected in their writing. It can be difficult to explain to a student why a sentence doesn't work; for example, just the other day, I had a student put an oppressed character in the direct object slot of a passive construction--all I had to ask was whether she thought her syntax mirrored her content; she understood immediately that she was obscuring the agency of the oppressor, and she went on to revise the paper. While that's not a spelling example, so I'm afraid I've strayed a bit, it does, I think, help to show how helpful it is to have a precise understanding of language. I'm also familiar with Shurley Grammar--very familiar, having taught it. The jingles are catchy; its level of detail is sufficient; its call and answer flow is very good, I think, for reinforcing the function of parts of speech. I do personally favor diagramming, ultimately, and would ideally culminate a Shurley Grammar study with a study in diagramming. I can see the reasoning behind parsing linearly first, however, and I think that makes sense. But once basic parsing is established, I think a deeper understanding of grammatical constructs and particularly their relationship to one another (how dependent clauses are anchored to the independent clause) is best understood through a visual diagram.
  4. Here's an idea for you: I am currently teaching a group of incredibly self-directed learners who are all generally around sixteen or seventeen. As a part of my curriculum, they keep a commonplace notebook. I expected this to be new to them, but I was surprised to learn that most of them had a teacher in middle school who also made time in the curriculum for a commonplace notebook. Because of the positive experience the students had with the notebooks in middle school, they have been especially enthusiastic about keeping up this notebook. So, perhaps it is worth introducing her to the idea of the commonplace, encouraging her to begin to surround herself with the most meaningful words/sketches of visuals that she encounters in her studies. It is a step towards more self-directed learning without pushing her too quickly into entirely self-directed topics and assessments, but it could become the seed for later projects. It also helps to shift the emphasis of education off of a checklist and back towards wisdom.
  5. I started calendar with my five-year-old at two, off and on, but it really wasn't until four years of age that she started really understanding the concept of weeks within the month. I use a magnetic dry erase board. When she was younger, I would add the number of the day (in dry erase marker) and then we'd count up to which day it was today, and then she'd place the today magnet. Now that she's older, I introduce the month, and then I say that "Today is the 19th" and ask her to place the "today" magnet (that I made) on the 19th. Together, we count from 1 to 19, and then she places the "today" magnet. Then we do days of the week song, and I ask which day of the week it is. She sings until she finds the day of the week. Then I give my two-year the the "tomorrow" magnet, and I show him where to place it, and I ask my five-year what day tomorrow will be; we repeat for the "yesterday" magnet. Then, I have some magnets I made from clip art of the activities we regularly have going on in our lives: ballet, church, play dates, grandparents, camping, etc. Sometimes I put the magnet up and ask how many days until ballet class, or sometimes I give my five-year the church magnet, for example, and ask her to place it on the next Sunday. We also have a weather magnet and a seasons chart to reinforce those during calendar time. It sounds like you already have great ideas from above, but I really like our little magnet board, and I thought I'd share. :) We've used it for three years now, and I have no plans to go to a more traditional pocket calendar. It has worked out very well for us.
  6. What you are describing sounds a lot like these books from Blizzard, "Come Look with Me: Enjoying Art with Children." It's a picture on one page, and a few guiding questions on the other. I don't think it has the biography section you are looking for, though. Very simple. Good questions.
  7. Here you go, ELaurie: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/359457-how-does-one-provide-a-classical-education-circe-institute-lovers/page-13?hl=%2Bcirce+%2Bclassical&do=findComment&comment=5819676 I'm not sure if that link will work. It's in the K-8 Curriculum Forum. I'm grateful for everyone's advice. I will say that I will agree to disagree on Mo Willems, ha! That said, I have a feeling my son will really like Willems' "Goldilocks..." some day soon, so I can appreciate the need for variety, and I will hold off on the extremist home library for now! :)
  8. Ah, I see someone else has asked the same question in post #218 in the thread I referenced. Sorry to be repeating a question! It took a long time to get there. :) Thank you for the advice, R!
  9. I'm slowly reading my way through the thread "How does one provide a classical education?," and it's raising a question that I've been working through yet haven't come to a conclusion on. I have a 2 yo and a 5 yo, and I'm wondering just how finely I should be culling our children's collection of books. My question is, should I only make exceptional literature available in our house? I have a TON of books from my own childhood, and I even have some of my parents' childhood books. These books range from excellent to poor quality. Specifically, I have easy readers, lesser Dr. Seuss, Disney story books, terribly written evangelistic young adult novels, and some popular children's paperbacks that I often consider culling from our more classical, wonderful book collection. I've already culled Berenstein Bears and some Mo Willems (gifted) from the bookshelves...so I am THAT parent. I worry that I am being too fastidious by dumping the lesser fiction, for I know some research on reading suggests that having a large variety of genre and reading level available at home is equated with developing strong readers, (at least according to Parents Who Love Reading, a book I read a couple years back) but after beginning to wade through the thread I referenced above, I wonder if my inkling to get rid of the junk is the better choice. I think some culling is necessary and good, I guess I'm just wondering how firmly I should manipulate the story options in the home, especially at the very young ages. Any advice out there, particularly from those who are further along on this journey? Thank you in advance for your advice. I realize that to a certain extent I'm probably overthinking it. :) Just reading great books to them is probably a wonderful start. I'm still interested in your opinions!
  10. I highly recommend Grammar by Diagram. It's an expensive text, but your knowledge of grammar and the function of words, phrases, and clauses will be superior when you finish--and I would know. I own many grammar books, and I needed to master grammar at an incredibly detailed level for my profession. After many books, this one finally provided the comprehensive and detailed instruction that helped me to master the subject. It is a bit of a time investment; if you did a little every night, you could probably finish it in a couple weeks or a month. Just be sure you don't get the workbook--you want the textbook: ISBN-10: 1551117789.
  11. Huh. Fellow teachers have reported that the teacher yells and smacks her fist down on tables in the presence (and directed towards) five year olds--and the woman is still employed? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say there is some B.S. somewhere in this story. Not on your end, but in the versions of this that have come forward. Here's the thing--generally speaking, a school with a teacher with that kind of temperment is going to FIRE the teacher. I have seen instructors lose their jobs for cracking ONCE. Ongoingly? I think there is more to this story. Unless there is a political tie, I think maybe you've got to consider that perhaps the stories are a little out of proportion or perhaps the administrator is unaware or perhaps there is something else to this story that is missing. If it were me, I'd 1) observe the teacher. 2) complain to the administrator about the teacher not making meet-the-teacher etc. nights (Who gets away with that, by the way?!) and 3) directly ask the teacher about the emotional reports. Seriously. There is a way to do that nicely. Of course, this could ruin your parents' relationship with this woman, but uncovering the truth would be helpful for everyone. Maybe she just had a bad day, raised her voice, and knocked into something, and she's been pegged as this crazy woman. Or maybe she's getting away with being a crazy woman, and the admin should be notified. Either way, children are involved, and she and administrators should be met with--not just parents chatting about it without going to anyone for change. My two cents!
  12. Here's where we are headed. We have about half of this already as a part of our week, and the formal WRtR and Singapore we will begin in late August. Language Arts: Writing Road to Reading Math: Singapore A&B, I bought Life of Fred Apples, but I think DD is a little too young for it now. I plan to reassess in December. I did order a ton of the math story books suggested in TWTM for this age too. Geography: Continental Blob Mapping History: Casually listening to SotW volume 1 and reading biographies as dd is interested. (We just finished a juvenile biography of Pocahontas. She really enjoyed hearing about a person who really existed.) This discipline is really loose for this year. I'm thinking I might just look for more biographies on influential women. Art & Music: Harmony Fine Arts & the many books that entails. Doing the art component with my whole focus, and then next year I want to add more structured composer studies to go along with SotW when we formally begin. To compliment HFA, I have picked out some pieces to see this year at local museums. We are also going to try to begin piano lessons, (hubby teaching her) but I'm a bit skeptical. :D Bible: Grace and Truth Memory Work Science: Nature studies. I am getting the Handbook of Nature Study in the mail any day. We also have Mudpies & Magnets to pick and choose activities from. Physical: DD has been and will continue dance & swim. and w younger bro: BFIAR/FIAR mixtures depending on what we have in our personal library, and rowing slowly--no real rush. I'm hoping this will complement our geography component, too.
  13. I plan to use the audiobook for volume 1 with my kindergartener this year. I want it to be our car book. It's encouraging to hear that others did this and found it worked well for their kiddos. We did just read aloud a short biography on Pocahontas, and my dd LOVED it. She really is very interested in historical figures, so maybe I'll look for similar biographies to further round out this year. So many good books to read. :)
  14. Oops, adding that BFIAR is another resource that we are starting to use again now that DD is a little older (3.5 yrs).
  15. ABCJesusLovesMe.com for age 2. We have moved to Confessions of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week curriculum for age 3. We lightly practice phonics/reading. I had been using Ledson's Teach Your Child in Ten Minutes a Day. I want to pick up the 20 Easy Lessons by Levin--I found Ledson's sentences beyond my dd's understanding when she was supposed to make the jump from part one to part two.
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