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  1. I agree with the replies above that it shouldn’t hurt, and that issue should be addressed with a teacher asap. In 10 years of watching kids practice I’ve learned that frustration can be a lot of things, and that sometimes there are tears, and sometimes I can help, but often i need to evaluate whether I’m reacting to the fact that the kid is unhappy or to the fact that his emotions are making me uncomfortable. There have been times that frustration and fury have come right before a breakthrough. This same kid learned to ice skate the same way. I’ve learned to stay out of it. There have been times that frustration was the result of fatigue or hunger. It’s amazing what a silently delivered cup of tea and cookie can do for a bad practice. I still bring tea when I hear a particularly difficult etude. Helps to keep the hands warm. :) We also went through a time, when ds11 was recovering from a broken arm, that we had to discuss his practice frustration with his teacher. She was a huge help. They spent an entire lesson talking about figuring out what was causing frustration and how to handle it. In hindsight, he needed pt, but the frustration was managed much better after that lesson, and he eventually got all his wrist mobility back. It’s hard. Hang in there.
  2. We just started the physics for my 8th grader. He is doing it independently to supplement great courses joy of science. He wanted something quantitative and likes it. It seems like it would be fine as a stand alone science.
  3. I have 2 violinists, one of whom also plays drums. I'll echo some good advice above, practice every day. Keep it fun. Play games. Go see live music. Definitely sit in on lessons and take notes. In a couple years your violist may easily learn to play rock and roll guitar and then you'll have a rock band (spoken from experience) :)
  4. Here's a link to the list in my long defunct blog: http://threesongsafterdinner.blogspot.com/2014/09/violin-isnt-10-books.html?m=1
  5. A couple ideas: Play games. You can google them. Any practice task can be turned into a gamer Use a white board to lay out the practice. Have the teacher give you a general idea of what to include. Set time or rep numbers for each task. Use a timer. Reward with m&ms occasionally. Start a 100 day practice challenge. Have a prize at 10 days, 25 days, etc. let your daughter plan the prizes. We did this as a family (we all took the challenge). We had prizes like pizza, a long bike ride, bowling, mini golf, a concert. The kids made it for 1000 days. This was probably the best practice thing we ever did. Go see live music. Talk to the musicians. Buy the cd for your daughter. Find a group or ensemble music opportunity for your daughter. Play more games. I'm serious. My son is 13 and studying with a college prof at a very high level. We'll still break out a card game when he's in a funk. Remember that doing hard things (like playing the violin) isn't always fun. Practicing is hard and sometimes discouraging, particularly if you feel like someone is aways evaluating you. My younger son does better when I'm not in the room. He knows he can ask for help is he needs it but he'd rather make mistakes by himself. There are some great books, including Helping Parents Practice. Ask your teacher to organize a beginning of the year parent forum where a couple of experienced parents talk about their experiences and answer questions. Play a video every day on YouTube. One of our favorite teachers had a list called "Violin is not 10 Books". Let me see if I still have it. Remember that it's worth it. There are so many benefits to learning To play an instrument well and it sounds like your daughter is off to a great start.
  6. We spent 2 years on it and our approached definitely evolved. At the beginning we read the text together and worked the problems together. He loved the videos, but st first didn't like alcumus. Flash forward to the end of the book. He was working completely independently, sometimes watching videos multiple times if needed and aggressively working toward badges in alcumus, with it set at the highest difficulty setting. He insisted that I order both intro to algebra and geometry for this year and the AOPS sweatshirt, which he wears with pride. I'm so glad I didn't hurry him or worry about his page. He figured out how to do it in his own and it's now his favorite subject.
  7. My son loved these at that age: http://www.periodicvideos.com/index.htm He learned a lot from them.
  8. My bright science loving DS started really enjoying great courses in about 5th grade. They might be worth waiting for.
  9. For those wanting a secular alternative, ask at a local state park if they do a program for boys scouts. The Boy Scout badge requirement is pretty thorough. Watch Great Courses Geology of the National Parks, or the Worlds Greatest Geologic Wonders. Look online for fossil hunting sites in your area. We've enjoyed the following books: The Practical Geologist... By Douglas Dixon The Fossil Factory by Nile Eldredge 101 American Geo-sites you've gotta see by Albert Dickas Roadside Geology of your state Host a geology snack party with some of these great activities: https://www.uky.edu/KGS/education/cookbook.htm Take a field trip to Herkimer Diamonds http://www.herkimerdiamond.com Gem Mountain Min in North Carolina https://gemmountain.com There are lots of places like this, these are just two that we've been to. Geology is a fun and lifelong hobby. There are lots of ways for you to enjoy it with your kids without a canned curriculum! I can provide more info and recourses if you are interested.
  10. EM teaches classes locally and, as a geologist, I've been explaining to friends who take the classes that no geologist (or scientist) considers hydrofrak theory even remotely plausible. She's been teaching it in every class for a while. We all joked about it until we realized that she was serious. Plate tectonics is a theory like gravity is a theory. The movement of the plates is measurable by satellites. It's universally accepted by geologists and has been for a very long time. You might as well go outside and insist that the grass isn't growing because you can't see it. Can you imagine a botany class like that? Btw-we liked her botany class, but will not be using any more of her materials.
  11. Another option is a full sized guitar with a thinner body and a cutout (like a classical). My sons first acoustic guitar was one like this, found on craigslist. I think he was 9. Before that he had a half size but it never tuned well. He now plays seriously and has a nice electric. I recommend getting something that stays tuned. If the instrument doesn't tune well or stay tuned it won't be any fun to plan and get discouraging. Good luck!
  12. TeachRock.org with appropriate Bravewriter Arrows and Boomerangs for each decade, and lots of middle-school appropriate science labs (I'm still hunting for a good resource for this but optimistic that I will find it - something better than "gee whiz it turned blue labs)
  13. We're going to Yellowstone in 2 weeks! We've been enjoying Ken Burns National Parks and Great Courses Geology of the National Parks, as well as reading lots of guidebooks.
  14. We were stuck in 2 forever. He LOVED 5. I don't think he really understood negative exponents until chapter on fractions. Then it clicked. What I've learned is to just keep him moving though the material. We've also learned to only spend a day or two on the review/challenge problems. We were hanging up there for almost a week sometimes. He's in the geometry section now and cruising. Don't know where the next snag will be but I'm sure there will be one. I've observed a dramatic change in his problem solving skills and whole approach to math as a result of AOPS. He might not have benefited as much if it had all been easy for him :). He also told me yesterday that he loves this math. Can't beat that.
  15. Good suggestion. I had unsuccessfully tried the "here is the guidebook, why don't you read it?" approach. I think we'll use the discussion questions today. We do that for our big history videos and it works well. I think we're doing supernovas for lunch today :). I look forward to our lunchtime tv watching now.
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