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About Jackie

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  1. I remember finally understanding that subtraction is just the adding of the opposite, and that division is simply multiplying by the reciprocal. That made all the rules make so much more sense to me! So, if I see something as simple as 9-7, my brain knows it can restate that as 9+(-7), and then it is easy to move things around because I know I can move the numbers around with addition. If it helps with the problem, I can now rearrange things to be -7+9, because that is still obviously valid in terms of the addition rules. I see division similarly. 12 divided by 3 is the same as 12 times 1/3. It is also the same as the fraction 12/3. If the rules for any way of thinking of that make more intuitive sense to me, I can think of the problem in that way. It is hard for brains to learn things in new ways. Even working my way through the AOPS books, it is easier to let my brain default back to what it already knew instead of always implementing new approaches. I know for my kid, she much preferred watching the videos in advance, before there was any expectation of working problems. She watched some sections repeatedly. It let the concepts have time to rattle around in her brain and sink in, and that works much better for her than having to immediately apply new learning.
  2. I have actually used all or part of everything on your list. I may own too many math things. (Your proposed list, not your ruled out list.) Arbor Algebra - we only used part of the first book. It turned out not to be as good a fit for us as I hoped, but it could serve as a base Algebra program. This could be the program that you use as a core. It does not go *nearly* as deep as something like AOPS, but it’s much, much better than something like Saxon. HOE - great for learning to set up and work with basic equations. Doesn’t get deep enough into the more complex equations that Algebra starts working with, but a fantastic introduction. I would use this either alongside the first book of Arbor or before starting any Algebra program. HOE Fractions - This is way more basic than I expected. Remind me what you’re using now? If he’s done fractions through about a 5th grade level using any other mainstream program, he is already past this. Patty Paper Geometry - has no overlap with Algebra, but has been an amazing pre-formal-Geometry program. Alcumus - I know nearly everyone disagrees with me, but we could have used this as our entire Algebra 1. DD watched the (short!) AOPS videos, then worked on Alcûmus. She was about halfway through the Algebra 1 topics when she decided to take the online class. The class offered nothing new. She had learned it well enough from the videos and Alcumus that she didn’t need more. She did have to pull out the book when it came to the graphing chapters, since she had never done graphing before, but otherwise the videos were enough.
  3. My kid needs a lot of physical activity. I’m horribly lazy about it, so I’ve learned that this is an area that I need to actively schedule and/or outsource. Her physical activities currently include: - 4.5 hours one day per week at a wilderness/primitive skills class, held outdoors regardless of weather - 6-7 hours per week of classes at a parkour/aerials gym (that has a monthly fee that covers all classes, making it a bargain) - 2 hours per week of martial arts - 2 hours per week at homeschool hours at a skating rink - 1 hour per week of a Stage Combat class So, adding that up, 15 hours per week of physical activity, all with other kids. It’s a good bit of our homeschool budget, too.
  4. I consider 2e to be gifted alongside any condition that significantly impacts ability to learn successfully and needs academic support. Because of my personal definition, it’s possible that one child with a certain diagnosis might be 2e and another child with the same diagnosis might not be 2e, depending on severity of impact. Without medication, my daughter’s ADHD has a huge impact on learning and she would need all kinds of supports in place. With proper medication, I need only provide minimal intervention. I believe her to have mild dysgraphia, and handwritten work can torpedo her ability to be successful. However, her dysgraphia does not carry over to typed work, so if she is allowed to work at a keyboard, it is all the accommodation she needs. Her anxiety is sometimes at a level where academics come to a grinding halt, but often not. I sometimes refer to her as 2e as a shortcut of sorts, but for the most part I do not think of her as 2e because most of the time these issues have minimal impact on her, while only needing minimal supports.
  5. Neither AMC nor Math Kangaroo require teams. Math Olympiad has options for teams and individual; we found a local Math Circle that joined up with a tiny private school to offer it to anyone who didn’t otherwise have a space to take it. There are places where homeschool kids group together to form homeschool teams.
  6. I see the fact that no one homeschools quite the same as I do as a sign that I’m doing something right. I want to set things up as well as possible for my child and for myself, and if that looked like a bunch of other people, I would really doubt that it was actually right for her. After all, if doing what everyone else was doing was right for her, I could make things a lot simpler by sending her to school.
  7. Saxon really focuses on teaching procedures, but isn’t strong in teaching problem solving skills or concepts, so I would use the time to work on those. Problem solving skills could be learned with old Math Kangaroo tests. If she prefers a more lesson-based format, then Zaccaro’s Becoming a Problem Solving Genius might be a good introduction. Singapore Math’s Challenging Word Problems book could be a more typical school-y option. Some issues of MathMania from Highlights would also work. Concepts could be played with using something like Amazing Math Projects. If you just want review and practice, then using Prodigy Math’s Online game could work. If you want a fun, creative supplement, then Math and Magic in Wonderland would be a good fit at that level. So would Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School.
  8. No. My child does choose to write in cursive over manuscript, but her manuscript is pretty much illegible and she doesn’t use it. I don’t care what format she writes in (manuscript, cursive, or typed), as long as she fulfills the actual assignment.
  9. Everything is completely up in the air right now, even more so than usual. We are exploring private school options for next year. It’s so weird to say that; DD has been homeschooled from the beginning, and I believed she always would be. If we do not find a satisfactory school option, we will likely do an extremely relaxed year, even more so than our usual. One idea that intrigued her was a completely arts-focused year. There are several theater groups and art classes around here. She could actually do Hoffman Piano. We could get a membership at our local makerspace and go to their meetups. We would need to keep her physical activity stuff on the schedule (currently parkour and aerial silks) because it is important for her to regulate, but she could potentially do dance or other more performance-based activities. I do not post on the regular grade threads. DD simply doesn’t come close to “fitting” in those threads, which means that I don’t find much community in them and my educational choices are unlikely to be useful to others with similarly aged kids on the thread.
  10. And the second recent essay was a prompt to write a descriptive essay about any place, including a fictional place. (ETA: I have no idea why it turned one sentence blue in the cut and paste. It isn't any different in the original document, and won't let me alter it here.) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In Hogsmeade, you can get nearly all your magical needs met. There are stores where you can get school supplies for Hogwarts, like Flourish and Blotts or Scrivenshafts. If you are not interested in school stuff and would rather hang out with your friends, you could go to the Three Broomsticks or the Hogs Head. There are also stores that are just fun to be in, like Honeydukes and Zonko’s. You can get almost anything you might want in Hogsmeade. Any student going to Hogwarts needs plenty of magical school supplies, and there are stores in Hogsmeade for that. If you need school books, you could go to Flourish and Blotts, the bookstore. When you run out of ink, or you lose your favorite quill, you can go to Scrivenshaft’s to get new ink and quills. You might even be able to get color changing ink or a quill that jumps into your bookbag by itself at the end of class. You should not have problems getting school supplies if you can get to Hogsmeade. Of course, you don’t just go to Hogsmeade to get school supplies. You need to be able to hang out with your friends too. For that you can go to the Three Broomsticks or the Hogs Head. The Hogs Head is much less popular, but you could go there if you liked quiet. It is also much more welcoming to non-human magical creatures. The Three Broomsticks is much more popular and serves the same variety of magical drinks as the Hogs Head. You could go to either one to hang out with your friends. You could also have some fun going to Honeydukes or Zonko’s. Honeydukes is the magical candy store. It has a lot of choices including chocolate frogs, which are very popular; Droobles Best Blowing Gum, which can fill a room with blue bubbles that don’t pop for weeks; and many other options. Zonko’s is the magical joke shop, where you can get enough stink pellets, nose biting teacups, and frog spawn soap to last a whole school year. Hogsmeade should definitely be able to keep you entertained. No matter what magical items you need, you can probably get them in Hogsmeade. You can get your school stuff, and when you get bored of that you can go hang out with your friends. After that you can buy some candy at Hogsmeade, or visit Zonko’s to get what you need to ruin Umbridge’s day. You can get almost every magical item you need in Hogsmeade.
  11. Hi all! DD has always been resistant to any school-y type of writing, though she enjoyed writing fiction. She has surprised me with how well she is writing now that she is doing so willingly, and my plans for teaching seem like they may have been too basic and underestimated her. If anyone is willing to read through, I'm going to post two recent essays. I'd like advice on what to focus on next. Not necessarily curriculum to use (though I'm open to it), but more what specific things to work on. First essay, with an open prompt of "write about anything". This was meant as a baseline assignment so I could get an idea of what she could do right now. She chose to write about a topic in which she had disagreed with the majority opinion at a recent book club meeting. ------------------------------------------------------------------ In the World’s Greatest Detective, I think that Hugh Abernathy was actually the worst detective instead of the best one. In the end of the book you see that he has closets and closets full of detective gadgets and disguises. He was also several years older than the other detectives, so he had a lot more time to practice. And the only case we know he did well at was the one case with the Colebridge cutthroat, and even on that case he hadn’t thought of the possibility that the cutthroat could be a woman. So, he only became famous for one case, and even on that case he had some advantages and made some mistakes. All the detective tools gave Hugh Abernathy an unfair advantage over the other detectives. If Hugh Abernathy needed to be disguised for something, for him that’s no problem! He can just go to one of his closets and pull out a disguise that best fits what he’s doing. If Gabriel needs to be disguised, he has a few disguises, but it would be a lot harder for him to disguise himself than it is for Hugh. It’s not that Hugh is any better at disguising himself than Gabriel is, it’s just that Hugh has more access to disguises. Hugh was also much older than the other detectives. He had a lot more practice doing detective work because he was older and therefore had more time to practice. If Gabriel had been alive long enough to get as much practice as Hugh got, Gabriel would have been at least as good as Hugh. So, a lot of what Hugh knew came from having more time to practice. He wasn’t any smarter than the other detectives, but he had more time to practice and pick up little detective tips. Since Hugh was only really known for one case, a lot of his fame was the fact that he had the opportunity to do that one big case. He was probably decently well known before that case since Lord Entwistle decided to hire him instead of any of the other detectives, but that could have come from his other advantages. Also, he just decided to rule out all women because he thought that it was impossible for women to be murderers without any evidence at all. If Lord Entwistle had picked any of the other detectives, they would probably be famous instead. Also, from some of what he says, you get the idea that Peartree was probably altering the stories to make them more fascinating, so the details of many of his cases, including the Colebridge cutthroat one, were likely Peartree-made. Hugh was really no better than any of the other detectives, he just had a lot of advantages over the other detectives. If the other detectives had the advantages that Hugh did, and one of the others had been hired by Lord Entwistle, then instead of having huge lines outside his house he would have almost nobody coming.
  12. I have no idea how it would compare time/cost-wise, but this is my daughter’s third year on a Destination Imagination team. While no category of problem is specific to robotics, this is her second year in a row solving some major part of the challenge using robotics, and her team has also done a good bit of non-robotic engineering, worked with a variety of tools, done some basic wiring, and random other stuff. It is always combined with some artistic pieces (creating backdrops, writing and performing a skit). Time commitment and costs are fairly low at the regional and state levels, though if they qualify for Global Finals, those costs are pretty crazy. We have never been fortunate enough to just find a team. I’ve started teams in both places we’ve lived.
  13. There was a Facebook post from Beast Academy/AOPS folks a year or two ago. I’ll never be able to find it, as it was buried as a reply to a reply, but the gist was this: Beast Academy 5 and Prealgebra are very similar in content, differing mainly in style. The company was responding to a request to make a BA version of Prealgebra, and said they wouldn’t even know what to cover, since so much of Prealgebra was already covered in BA5. They recommend students still do Prealgebra after BA5 in order to have a gentler transition to the style of AOPS. As more evidence that BA5 and Prealgebra are substantially the same, my daughter wanted to get through Algebra sooner to make a specific deadline. She went directly from BA5 to Intro to Algebra with no problems. My vote would be to go directly to Prealgebra.
  14. I assume there is writing in his English class? If so, does his writing give evidence that he needs specific instruction in grammar or spelling this year? How is his typing? What is the purpose of teaching it? Proper ergonomics? Fluency/speed? Does he type for any of his classes? If so, how is he doing with it? What do you mean by “computer”? Coding? Learning to use software such as word processors, spreadsheets, photo editors, etc? I’m wondering if, for next year, you envision the same amount of outsourcing? More? Less? If less, then some of these subjects could be moved to next year’s schedule. Grammar does not typically need to be done yearly. Typing, as a skill, is best done for a short amount of time every day to build muscle memory, so I wouldn’t do it unless it can be committed to with frequency. Spelling may or may not be needed at all at this age, depending on the child. I know it is heresy to say this on a Classical board, but I think history can also be negotiable. At least, it can be minimized for a year, or done by listening to some great history-focused audiobooks. I didn’t catch it if you mentioned this already, but are the classes in person or online? Is there a good way to fill the social need next year if you outsource fewer classes? Are the current classes meeting the social need? We’ve had mixed results with outsourcing for social purposes, so it’s worth evaluating.
  15. For this year, I would just let go of doing other things. The outsourced classes are covering all the core subjects except history. I find that most outsourced classes take at least twice as much time as the same things taught by me. Simply having the instruction and assignments structured for a group instead of targeted exactly at my one child takes a lot longer. Because of this, I’ve become really careful about outsourcing. We outsource when either I am not capable of teaching a subject, when having a group for discussion or projects is a specific benefit to the material, or for fun low/no homework “extras”. Otherwise, we cover the material ourselves.
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