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Everything posted by ikuradesuka

  1. My dd was excited to start AoPS Pre-Alg (at 10), but then was a little shocked and overwhelmed at the effort it took. She's flown through everything thus far, so having to really, really think about something was a bit much. I had to make her do it at first, and then she had a bit of a break down and just sort of went blank, like it was all too over-whelming and hard. We had a big talk about it all, and took a short break. We had company for a week, so it was just sort of coincidental. During that week, she kept going back to the book on her own, and keeps coming to tell me things she's discovered from reading/working through it. I was debating about making her push through, or finding something else after her first dismayed reaction, but now I'm glad we waited it out. She LOVES it now, and now that she isn't choosing to be scared and overwhelmed by it, continues to shock me with how quickly she's moving through, and the connections she's making. It is definitely a superior program to anything I was offered, and making friends with it, while difficult, I, personally, feel is a good thing to do. So, if you decide to go with it, give it a little time, and see if she clicks with it. It's not as bad as it seems after you get a feel for it.
  2. What is it called when a child is gifted, but does not process information quickly? What about when they are gifted, but can't remember things? Thanks.
  3. I forgot about the short history book! She'll love that! The space book is Failure is Not an Option, by Gene Krantz.
  4. Dd is really into science, specifically physics and engineering, and the space program. She is really enjoying reading a book by the director of the flight program through the Apollo missions. She's gathering so much random knowledge, and big picture understanding, as well as tidbits about the people who contributed to the space program itself. The other day, she asked me if there was something like this book, but with a chemistry focus? She is already working through a basic physics book, and we have a chemistry one in the mail. Both are conceptual, and don't require advanced math, beyond the bit of algebra she can already handle. She said not history, or a story, or a workbook/textbook, but a pick up and read book about chemistry that is meaty, yet accessible to an 11 year old. She's already pretty much memorized the Basher books, and the cartoon chemistry book. I think she's looking for something that brings Chemistry to life, like this book about the Apollo program has done. Chemistry is not my thing, and I'm feeling a little unsure of where to go with it, besides biographies, which she specifically doesn't want. Any ideas?
  5. My dd (almost 11) is doing a chapter every other week, about an hour a day. Some weeks take a little longer, and she is doing every problem. I'm not teaching anything except to give her a bit of a hint which direction to be thinking when she gets really stuck. She went through Singapore about a semester a month, 20-30 minutes a day. She was hoping to do both AOPS pre-algebra and algebra before she turns 12, but I think it's going to take her more like 9 months each. ETA: It's been really good for her to struggle and have to think really hard, but her fast computation/conceptual understanding skills have made it possible to not be extremely frustrated. I am considering letting her go through another algebra program afterwards to rebuild her confidence a bit.
  6. It might be helpful for her for you to start at the end when you are teaching her. Most of my children learn this way, also, and it makes them seem like they are more ahead than they are at times. Let's take music theory. If I teach my child a scale one day, and then another another day, they tend to get confused and frustrated. It seems logical to do it in parts and pieces, but a different approach goes far better. I start at the other end. First I define a scale, and explain how to create one. I mention major and minor and chromatic. Then I tell them exactly how many scales there are. I mention modes and the like, and tell them that isn't something they need to think about now, just know they exist. I'm typically drawing a diagram that looks something like a family tree as I'm talking. This is brief, just a few minutes, but it places everything into perspective, and answers the "What if" questions kids like this find so distracting. Now I can say, usually, the first scale we spend a lot of time practicing is c major. It's fun and easy to play because you don't have to think about flats and sharps. It's used for x kind of music. Like, this song. And now I can finally introduce the song I want them to play. We still don't just play it, though. We look at the whole thing and see the parts that repeat, the limited number of notes, and etc. Big picture kids can struggle because they have more questions than answers. It's not that it's arbitrary, necessarily, it's that everything is relevant, and until we know what things aren't, we are trying to sort all of it, and are waiting to draw conclusions or solidify anything in our minds until we know that's all. We find it incredibly frustrating to be told another little piece of something. I feel like the instructor has been holding out! What ELSE do I not know?!? How can I possibly be sure that 2+3=5 when something like a - comes along? Does it matter if the 3 or the 2 come first? What if....and on and on and on... My oldest dd is flying through Japanese, finally! I told her that once people learn about 5000 words, they can be reasonably conversational in most languages. All the pieces of learning kana, and some grammar, and lists of vocabulary about colors or clothes or what have you, wasn't working. Now that she knows exactly what she is trying to do... BAM! She learned 200 words last week, and can go from English to Japanese and back, and can write them in kana. She just needed the big picture. When are we done? What are we accomplishing?
  7. Yes, I'm much like that, too. You might find some answers by reading about whole to parts learning. The whole system idea the pp mentioned is how I see things. I can listen to a 40 minute lecture, and pretty much get zero out of it because he didn't tell me at the outset what he was trying to say. I spend the whole time trying to remember all the random parts so I can reorganize them to my mind's liking. By the end of a talk that long, there have been so many parts, I'm done. I might walk out with a neat new quote, but that's about it. I don't particularly enjoy museums for the same reason. All those random placards everywhere mean nothing to me because they don't have clear enough context. Numbers as what they are make sense, but numbers as an abstract figure do not necessarily follow. Written math is a language that is separate from understanding math. It's okay that she isn't ready for the representation of written math. The same thing with the song. It does sound a little odd to me that she hasn't memorized it yet, after a whole year? But I do know that I don't really memorize things that way either. Again, I have to reorder it and make associations to other things to remember it. For the record, I was a straight A student with no learning disabilities, and I didn't really do homework. I can memorize just fine, and have a great memory. It's not my ability, it's the teaching method.
  8. Wow, I love the plug and play idea. Good call. My younger kids struggle with these, too. We have talked about switching animals around on a scale, which can be done with pictures. Miquon...I want to say the first book of third grade? has some scales with blocks and circles that work this way. d+c+m=12 c+m+m=10 d+m+m+m=14 So, if I were trying to keep the scale balanced, I could put a d, c, and m on one side, what do I have to do to the other side? Well, I could put a cat and two monkeys and a two pound weight (just draw 2 blocks) over there. Oh, so what if I had a d, c, and m on one side and I wanted to do something with the dog and 3m? I could add a two lb weight to the d c m side. Or! What if I started with weights? I could put a 10 pound weight on that side, and the cat and two monkeys on this side. I wonder what would happen when I took the monkeys off? And then after just playing around like that for a while, with no particular place to go, we start wondering things like, if I had 10 pounds, and I took off those two monekys, I guess I'd just have a cat left. So, does that mean 10 pounds minus 2 monkeys is the same thing as a cat? Huh, then I guess maybe I could switch my scale around like this...d + 10 pounds -2monkeys, plus a monkey = 12 pounds. So maybe 14 pounds minus 3 monkeys is a dog? Then I could trade the dog for 14 pounds-3 monkeys plus 10 pounds minus 2 monkeys...plus a monkey. And by this point we are really laughing. But then we work through the pile of stuff we've made, and realize that 24 pounds - 4 monkeys is 12 pounds. And I could put less stuff on the scale if I just took 12 pounds off both sides, because that's the same, isn't it? It's just extra. And then, it's kind of weird to keep remembering to subtract these silly monkeys, so maybe we should just PUT monkeys on the other side, and then we don't have to think about it. So these twelve blocks, and those 4 monkeys...if I separated THEM...one monkey gets 3 blocks. And we just keep playing and playing and eventually we know what everything weighs, and who the friends are, and who can sneak off the scale and no one notice, as long as his friends help... Obviously, they don't have the time to play these games while they are taking the test, but I think it really, really helps them get a feel for what equals what and how to get where they need to go. It becomes a lot faster and a lot more intuitive with time. Miquon is helpful because they start with just two variables, but by the end of a couple of pages, you are doing three.
  9. Brandishing a weapon? Anything illegal about that? It's his body language (and dress), not his gun that makes that picture so awful.
  10. Stalking? He is harassing that poor woman. Open carry and intimidation aren't the same things. I don't care what color of skin is under that mask, that guy is highly inappropriate. He's a vigilante looking for a fight. Not okay. At all. And I'm okay with open carry, by any respectable looking person, of any color.
  11. I didn't read all the posts, but I did select "additional...not listed." I think there should be MUCH stricter consequences for foolish uses of a weapon. If your weapon causes an "accident", 30 years to life. Minimum. If your weapon is the cause of an accident, or crime, whether or not you are aware of it, 30 years to life. Or whatever. Very strict. Sometimes I feel like more regulations are simply telling people, "Yep, you can't handle it. We knew you were incompetent and untrustworthy. You need the government to protect you from yourself." And that really only goes so far. A downtrodden and untrusted person will eventually revolt. Heavily regulating guns in the short term will work, but it will not be the same America it once was. Something else has changed...maybe it's our culture and not our guns. Instead of stripping an entire country of its ability to control itself, perhaps a government by the people and for the people returns to regulating itself. Innocent until proven guilty and all that. Edited to add I actually did read them all. Oops.
  12. If this does have ties to terrorism, I will think it terribly ironic that we wasted a whole day arguing about gun rights when we could have been discussing terrorism. Because surely we can all agree that preventing access to guns isn't going to prevent a terrorist attack? Either one of those shooters yesterday could have been wearing a suicide vest, and killed everyone in the room faster than anyone could blink. Gun or no gun isn't really the issue.
  13. No, it doesn't. It means she COULD be armed at all times.
  14. I was up late last night, long after everyone else in my house was asleep. I don't get on here much, but I thought I would see if anyone was talking about the shooting, because I was hoping to process it a bit in my own mind. I was pleased to see there was a thread, and then I read it. And I was terribly sad to read that it was mostly arguing about gun control and being ugly back and forth. I decided to post just because I hope that everyone reading can just take a breath and take a minute to just let this be about what happened, and not about pointing fingers and arguing. We all wish there was some way to prevent this, but erupting into a debate before the shooters are even caught is....I don't even know what. I suppose it is indicative of the divisive climate in the U.S., which is something we should all be looking to heal, rather than to deepen. So, from a mostly stranger, please accept this call of peace and respectful and slow communication. Our words and actions can be measured on both sides, and logic must rule over emotion, for both sides.
  15. I hope I make sense. All the kids are bouncing around right now. :) I have six kids, ages 15 months to 10yo. We can't have a regular routine because my husband's hours are extremely unpredictable, and often involve travel. We frequently travel with him, so the kids aren't separated from him more than they have to be. I've had to learn to move forward without relying on a schedule, and that has been so freeing! I try to think in terms of end goals. What am I trying to accomplish, what is the next thing, instead of being curriculum driven. I frequently read through a whole curriculum to get the meat of what is taught throughout the whole course. Then I am able to keep my eye on where we are headed, and can confidently adjust as necessary. Also, it might not be your thing, but I've found that knowing the point of the lesson allows me to change it entirely and make it fit within the context of reality. For example, if I know my pre-schooler's math pages are about counting, I'm going to ask her to collect a certain number of acorns while we are at the park. I can easily count them with her, and know that I am moving through what she needs to do, but not have to formally sit down with her. When I do pull out the math book, she can do the page with only a minute or two of direction from me. I try to keep all my kids working orally significantly ahead of their seat work requirements. The result has been that I need to do very little formally with them AND they feel confident because most things are "easy." I do a lot of things while we are eating. Why not make the family discussion about history? Or, we often practice our memory work just before (or after) we eat. I also do memory work a lot in the car. That's also a great time for a one on one with a child. I think ds (8) has learned everything he knows about grammar in the car, chatting with me. Surrounding them with interesting things that make learning the basics natural and fun are very worthwhile also. Studying the ancients? Put maps all over the walls, pictures of artifacts, and stock the shelves with interesting books. Make a magnet matching game of vocab words on your fridge, and write memory work on your bathroom mirrors. These sorts of things can be done when the kids go to bed, and then they can work through what you've prepped during the day. You have more free time to work with one child on a math concept, or just have discussions on educational topics. In a nutshell, I'm advocating a sort of unschooling approach, but much more structured. I figure out what we are supposed to know, and then work to integrate that information into our daily life. I figure the reason we educate our children is so they can use the information anyway.
  16. My girls hardly used the rods, but ds used them all the time. If they can do the math without them, then great! I usually have my kids do 4-5 pages a day, more if it is really easy. I wanted them to get the practice, but also the nuances of each worksheet. Sometimes a worthwhile mental math skill is unlocked on those easy pages. Sometimes I tell them that I can tell they understand the rest of the c pages or whatever, so let's try to get those done really quick. I'll even do the writing, and make a few comments as we fly through them.
  17. Late to the party, but wanted to chime in because I've been pondering this myself. I have a bunch of really nice flash cards...and a bunch of kids who couldn't care less. I'm teaching my fourth and fifth to read right now, and none of my kids have benefited from flash cards. Even the ones that have used them some, haven't transferred the knowledge from the card to the book. We have enjoyed the Bob books, sort of. We don't usually use them as "learning to read" books, rather the kids just like to read them after they get their feet under them in other ways. My kids are usually on the younger end when they start trying to learn to read, and the Bob books don't allow enough spacing between the words to be clear for my kids. At three, my oldest could read them if I isolated it one word at a time, but couldn't read it otherwise. She did fine with some hand-me-down Sonlight readers with larger font, and larger spacing/margins.
  18. And, quick reading, but interesting are the Boxcar Children books, and the Bobbsey Twin's Mysteries. All the books I mentioned are dated, but are also milder than a lot of the new stuff.
  19. Narnia Lord of the Rings Easier reading, but my older dd loved the Mary Poppins series. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh Has she read the Little House books? Dd hasn't read the last few because it's all about Laura and Almanzo dating... Little Women Little Men
  20. I'm a "hit the nail with every hammer in the garage sort", so I've tried a lot of things. I just make sure to make reading easy and worthwhile. Probably one of the most effective things has been to read a book to them, and give them a word to read. When we get to the word, I pause and they read it. Next time through, I give them another word, etc. Then, just read, a lot. It's sort of like "on the job training." They have also enjoyed dictating short letters to friends. They tell me what to write, then they copy it. I have them write shopping lists for me, and then ask them questions at the store that they can only figure out by reading the boxes. Starting first with easier things like numbers on the box, and then moving on to other things, like, can you find the box that says "big"? I'm really nonchalant about the whole thing. "Hey, can you find the box that says "big", while I get the ketchup? Thanks!" I just sort of assume they can, and then they do, too. I also show them the words for things they have memorized (like a Psalm, or something else lengthy ) so that they can see they already know them. I heard once that children learn to read in the same way they learn to speak. The written word is simply language through a visual pathway instead of aural. The problem is that we have made the written word inaccessible to them by making it too small, and less important. When we talk to a baby, we emphasize words, we speak in a higher voice, and we quickly show them that talking is a good thing. So, make the print bigger, and the usage necessary. Chose words that they want to know. They can learn through phonics in small steps, or you can just tell them the words they REALLY want to know, and then point out the phonics now and then as necessary. I'm not sure if that's all true or not, but, it's been a pretty useful working theory.
  21. I don't have time to read all the responses, so I'm sorry if this has been said. I just wanted to throw out there that my most energetic and difficult child seems to have some food issues. I don't want to start you on a crazy journey, but if you've never considered food allergies, it may be worth a ponder. Dd is a different child when I watch what she eats. If I don't, she can't control herself, takes HUGE and CRAZY risks, doesn't sleep, etc. We used to joke that she didn't come with a cause and effect connection. Except, it wasn't funny. Among other very scary things, she jumped in front of a car on purpose when she was three. She has also nearly drowned, had some run-ins with electricity, etc, etc, etc. I'm not a distant parent, either. I was close to her for all of those events, and that's probably why she is still alive. She's just so unpredictable and so fast...it's amazing. Fast forward to her lovely 5 year old self. I know better what's coming if I've fed her the wrong things and can compensate. I also thought she was significantly less bright than my others, but that wasn't true at all. Now that she is able to sit still for longer, she pleads with me to tell her more information, to read another book, to do more math. She wants to be a surgeon and will spend hours watching surgeries on youtube. Huge change from the child who couldn't sit still long enough to hear Go, Dog, Go until about a year ago. She asks complex and deep questions, and I'm amazed to hear what has been flitting behind those eyes since she was tiny. I have no doubt that she's as bright as the others now. Also, she had a bad fall (from being her crazy self), at three. We took her to a chiropractor, and she was really out of place. The chiropractor found some issues that probably happened when she was born, as well. Regular adjustments changed her behavior and her focus tremendously. And...she needed glasses. It is highly possible she didn't enjoy sitting for books (or anything) when she was small because she couldn't see them, and her back hurt. :( So, just consider whether there might be physical causes that make him seem so on edge all the time.
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