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Everything posted by MamaChicken

  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.
  16. My kids are 10 and 13. We have listened to a number of great courses on Audible and are now loving gc plus. We watch while we eat lunch. We're currently enjoying The visual guide to the universe (their current favorite, paired with the nasa app Eyes on the Solar System) Visualizing mathematics (this one is amazing. I thought it'd make a nice light math day and explained negative numbers so beautifully that I don't think either of them will ever get confused again!) Secrets of mental math 30 greatest orchestral works Joy of science Origin and evolution of earth Ive also cherry picked lectures depending on what we are learning about. We went to see Messiah last night and there were 3 lectures to choose from. While we were at the concert, ds10 whispered, "This part was in the lecture!" Ds13 is writing a paper on plate tectonics and has watched several lectures from different courses. It's also been great for the kids to explore interests like oceanography and quantum physics. I say try the free month and see if they like it. I initially got it with the assumption that we'd use the guide books, but so far that's been a bust. It's been very worthwhile without them though. So, maybe a little older for that. While I was just checking my watch list I saw that they've added a paleontology class! I think I'll watch the first lecture while I put dinner in the crock pot :)
  17. Funny because my son had a alcumus problem that said he could use a calculator and he refused :). I told him to check it with a calculator then.
  18. I am loving the DK book. I used my gift card from completing the Big History teacher training!
  19. I'd like to tie in Dr Art too. If you figure out a chapter by chapter plan. Please share. We have done some astronomy activities from Yhe Universe at your Fingertips and really enjoyed them.
  20. We're doing Big History this year too and LOVING it. So far I'm just trying to cement the 3 reads and get the reading in the course done :). We also just got the new DK Big History book and it's beautiful. As for the other books, I agree that the Hakim would be redundant. But I must admit that we tried these and did it enjoy them. We used From then to Now last year and I expect to revisit it in appropriate units. We listened to Bryson as an audiobook and I highly recommend that. It was well read and we all really enjoyed it (even my husband who hates audiobooks). I wish I had known about that study guide also. It looks great.
  21. Halloween tree by Ray bradbury is our favorite. The Audible reading is very good too.
  22. Loving: Big History - ds13 says this is the best thing we've ever done! He even loves the writing assignments Aops pre-a - picking up where he left off last year with much more ease and enthusiasm Writing Circle - I can't believe the progress that this group of kids has made in the past year Harry potter Arrow - ds10 is really enjoying this. Great courses plus introduction to spanish - much much better than what we've tried to use in the past. Great courses plus everything else! We've watched first lectures for way too many courses, just not enough time. Tea time - I love that they still love tea time. Morning pre-math walks - puppy needs them, ds13 needs them, and we have great conversations. Meh: Bfsu 3 - It seems light for us now Singapore 5a - ds10 wanted a break from BA, but now he's begging to go back. I thought it was working pretty well for him. Mega words - coming to this after apples and pears. I'm burned out on spelling Not loving: That I can't seem to get in the swing of morning basket this year. They didn't like the first book, wouldn't touch the chalk pastels, and I'm having a heck of a time getting both of them to the table at the same time. Can't wait to start: Literary lessons from lord of the rings - we decided to wait a little while until all of our more routine stuff was underway. I keep hoping ds10 will get excited about it but it might just be ds13 and I. Cooking class - maybe something from great courses....after fall baseball when we might be home to eat.
  23. BA is the first curriculum that worked for ds1, aops is the second, for which he was well prepared out of BA4. I just switched DS2 from BA to Singapore (hopefully supplemented by BA). He didn't enjoy the puzzly aspect. He also needs more review. I think for the right kid BA is perfect though. We had 3 bad fits before we found it and it was an absolute gem for us.
  24. We stalled out on negative exponents in aops last year, spent way too much time finding other resources, finally moved on, and when we got to negative exponents in the fractions chapter, he said, "oh, that makes perfect sense." It just clicked. Made me wish we could have had the weeks back that we had spent struggling with the concept earlier. Or maybe all that struggling had primed him to understand it the next time it came up :)
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