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Everything posted by Bonsai

  1. My dd went in a very different direction, taking two years of pre-algebra. She used Arbor Algebra's Jousting Armadillos last year (G7) and is finishing up AoPS's Pre-Algebra this year (G8). She is a solid math student, but never enjoyed it or felt confident with it. This is the first year I've seen her actually enjoy the process of math. Her confidence has really bloomed. She is "playing" with math for the first time, exploring statistics with the help of excel. It was really worth spending the extra time on a solid pre-alg foundation. I don't know if your learner has to complete calculus before graduation - that seems to be the consensus here? Post-secondary here requires pre-calc in G12. Many schools don't even offer calc on site, although it is always available as an e-class.
  2. We use Rite in Rain notebooks as nature journals; they hold up well in all weather, year round. We save those little white bread bag clips and use them as labels. Write on it with a sharpie, and throw in a ziplock with your specimen. Then the ziplocks can be reused. We use ziplock sandwich boxes for fragile specimens. A 120" flexible plastic sewing ruler is lightweight and washes off quickly in the sink.
  3. For G8 this year, my dd wanted to focus on birds and the science fair. She took courses through The Cornell Lab Bird Academy, participated in their citizen science projects, and volunteered with two bird banding programs. She'll wrap up the year by going to the International Ornithological Congress in August. For the science fair, she used remote cameras to monitor ungulate and canid interactions at a mineral lick that is within walking distance of our home. Cornell's bird anatomy course led to a six-week investigation of how UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C impact animal vision. We'll postpone textbook science for as long as possible!
  4. I give dd13 and ds6 fee choice. We visit three libraries a week. Each one allows them to take out five items. Sometimes I will make a suggestion, but they can take it or leave it. We also have a home library of favourites and reference books, they each get to pick a magazine subscription (National Geographic and Scooby Doo right now). They’re enjoying reading 15+ books a week - I don’t want to mess with that. With ds6, most of his choices are read aloud. I do get tired of Ninjago, but I suck it up.
  5. MA - BA, trying out 2a LA - HWoT, library card, book club SCI - nature journal, Jr Master Gardner SS - UN Charter on the Rights of the Child Four-six inquiry-led, cross-curricular projects. He's my labrador puppy: never as happy as when he's full steam ahead. Taekwondo, speed skating, swimming, dance, soccer, sailing.
  6. Except for math (which has been everything from unschooled to AoPS), we've done all inquiry-led, cross-curricular projects for the last six years. We love it. With dd13, many interests came and went. Others have stuck around for the full six years. She puts together a three ring binder at the beginning of the year for each project (or just adds another tab in an existing binder). It includes her goals for the year, a presentation plan and a list of resources - mentors, books, websites, moocs, etc. I've asked her to keep it to only four project areas at a time. Any more than that and we get overwhelmed. Sometimes she'll put one project aside for a term, pick up another, then circle back. Some of her projects have seasonality, so that influences things. With ds6, his projects are still new and have a much shorter timeline. For example, he loves pop-up books. He made his own eight-page pop-up book, wrote a simple story in it and shared it with the local librarians. He loves board games. He designed his own and we 3D printed the game pieces. Stuff like that. It is amazing what you can put together with a little creativity. I love researching resources for my kids (and their friends, and my friends, and myself). We've done things like beekeeping, birding, braille, bats... that's just the B's. Yes, I love external accountability (I work). We schedule our family holidays around their interests whenever possible. Ideally, I like to see reflection on personal growth, a group learning component, community service and a presentation or sharing of learning. Over the years, I've learned not to get too attached to their interests. And I no longer feel guilty when we simply can't support an interest - like llama farming. It has to be reasonable, achievable, flexible... and undergo family negotiations. We only have so many resources, which we all have to share.
  7. I mostly observe on these forums, but am anxious about G9 next year. We're in Canada, so dd won't start accumulating credits for graduation until G10. Still. LA - NaNoWriMo, U of Iowa Young Writers (second of three) MA - AoPS Alg I SCI - Cornell Bird Academy, sci fair: prey-predator interactions at mineral lick SS - no idea EL - digital photography at local cc, Braille with CNIB, entrepreneurship with farmer's market, Duke of ED
  8. When we are home for the day, ds7 gets up around 7:30 or 8:00. He makes his bed, has breakfast and helps dd13 with feeding the dogs, chickens, sheep and pigs. We play board games or work with manipulatives for numeracy, read together, and work on projects. After lunch, we walk the dogs and he plays - inside or outside. He's usually in is pj's all day when we're home (Th,F). Mondays and Tuesdays we're home in the morning, Wednesdays we're gone all day. We aren't using any formal numeracy or literacy programmes. He loves Bob Books, Willems' Elephant and Piggie series, and Sparkle Stories. We lean heavily on our library, visiting three different branches every week. He hates to write, but I've been able to sneak it into his projects. This year, he wants to make his own pop-up book (he adores Reinhart & Sabuda). He also wants to make a Mouse Trap-ish style board game and learn about bones (he collects skulls and teeth). The only other curricula purchases I made were the 1st Grade Star Wars workbooks and Smart Start story papers and board. He takes Meet the Master classes 1x/mo with a coop. He's an active guy. Exercise is critical to his/our sanity. He takes classes in taekwon do (2x/wk), speed skating (1x/wk), and gymnastics (1x/wk). We also do activities as a family - swimming, rec skate, rock climbing, curling...
  9. I taught my dd soroban as a supplement to her main math programme (Jamie York). Like Heathermomster, we used NutureMinds. I liked their products, but they are out of print. If anyone knows where to find them - please share! I actually erased a few pages in dd's old workbooks so that ds could use them... then I regained my sanity. I ordered the Abacus Mind Math workbook, hated it, traded with a friend for a Minimus Latin workbook. I think supplements should be fun. My dd loved learning soroban, so it worked well for her as a supplement. I liked that it reinforced place value, developed mental math skills, and introduced new math strategies (four processes left-to-right vs right-to-left).
  10. Ask your ped about ketotic hypoglycaemia too. If she does have KH, you'll notice her breath smells a bit funny when her bs drops - like nail polish remover. My ds has KH, and can be sluggish or difficult to wake after a long, uninterrupted sleep. It is fairly easy to manage and they outgrow it around age 7-9 years. Good luck.
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