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Everything posted by wagingpeace

  1. We used Wolsey Hall for IGCSE science, and my friend has used them for IGCSE and A-levels for her three children. The classes are self-paced, rather than live, though. Hope you're able to find what you're looking for!
  2. I recommend this book: The Bilingual Edge. It is not a scholarly book, but the authors are both scholars and parents and they refer to their own research and the research of others. Their motto is "It's never too early (or too late) to learn another language." My experience with my kids is that we lived in a country where the best way to get kids exposed to the national language was by putting them in school. Our youngest thrived at local school and did well with the language. Our oldest was very sensitive and did not do well with the strict environment and was struggling with handwriting and reading in English as well. So we pulled her out of school and homeschooled her, but we had a young woman come three days a week to play with her and read stories, etc. She hated those sessions, even though the young woman was very kind and patient. We were out of the country for three years, when we focused on French instead, and now we are back in this country. She is taking language lessons four hours a week, with a communicative approach, and working with her dad an hour a week on the written language. She is speeding through it and enjoying it. In her situation, learning the language as a young teen has been way more effective and a more positive experience than learning it as a preschooler and young child. But my youngest, on the other hand, did really well as a young child, and is doing really well as a teen. Good luck, with whatever you choose!
  3. My daughter did French immersion in Canada before we moved overseas for her grade 8 year. She is now studying at an international school in English, and the French class for her year is using Coquelicot CM2 Fraincais by Hachette (ISBN 978-2-7531-0871-4), which is the equivalent of about grade 5 for a native speaker. It has a nice layout, and includes texts, vocabulary, grammar, spelling, conjugation. It is the right amount of challenge for her, and is not babyish, as it might be if she went down another level. There is also a workbook to go with the student book. I'm not sure how easy it would be to get ahold of the teacher materials, or if your own French is at a level where you could do without the answers. Before we left Canada, we had explored with a few Francophone families having my daughter babysit their kids (speaking French), while I helped the mom with English. They were from Francophone Africa, so the adults were interested in learning English. That's how I met them, because I was volunteering at the library's English conversation group. We never got around to it before we left, but something like that could be a neat possibility for your daughter. I'm also interested in hearing if anyone else has ideas, both for this daughter, and for my other daughter whom I'm homeschooling, but who was not in Immersion. She needs more of the second language type materials. Good luck!
  4. This has been a really helpful thread for me. I appreciate all the ideas. I was just thinking about the skill of summarizing. I've been teaching paraphrasing to a group of science students and I think we finally have that down-pat, but does anyone have some good ideas about how to teach summarizing?
  5. When I think of Brave writer, I think of the Brave writer lifestyle: poetry teatime, freewriting, copywork, movie discussions, nature journaling, read alouds, word games, Shakespeare... Some of these are done weekly (Friday Freewrites, Tuesday Teatime), and others are worked into the rhythm of the month or year. So for math, you could think of what makes a "math lifestyle" and work those elements into your weekly, monthly, or yearly rhythms. Some math lifestyle ideas that might be engaging for a 10 year old are cooking/baking, construction, cartography, navigation (make your own sextant, or buy a cheap sextant), board games, coding, money management or start a small business, counting systems around the world and/or throughout history, geometric art (tessellation, animation, string art)...
  6. For an ancient history setting, I'm looking into this for next year, but haven't read it. I'm not sure how well the narration by multiple authors works. A Day of Fire This one is about Pompeii, but there are also other books by the same authors about Boudica, Troy, Alexander the Great etc. This website has a list of YA books from 2017. I haven't read any of them, though some look like I myself would like them, and some that my dd would like. But I don't know your son's taste, so it might be good just to browse through it. You can also search for any year.
  7. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert is an engaging read that goes into some of the history of previous extinction and includes interviews and field experiences with current scientists. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren is the autobiography of a scientist with a focus on botany. If your dc hasn't already read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba, then this might be a good time. Environmental tie-in is alternative energy sources and impact of environmental phenomena such as drought. I personally read the young reader's edition because it skipped some of the detail, but you may want the detail! Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman is a really good integration of science and social science. But it is ten years old by now, and a lot has happened since then. The Botany of Desire is a fascinating movie about how plants "use" humans to get the best conditions to propagate. It's based on a book by the same name by Michael Pollan. I haven't read the book. Speaking of Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma is another look at how humans are integrated with their environment and how that makes choices complicated. Are you also looking for fiction?
  8. Sorry, I don't know too much about the homeschooling policies for universities in BC or Alberta. I do know of many homeschooled students who have gone to Trinity Western University in BC and also that Quest University is very welcoming to homeschoolers. The University of Victoria also has a fairly well-laid-out policy on their website and I have heard of one family whose kids went there. If your students know that they are for sure going to study in Alberta, not BC, then they should follow a path that meets the requirements for Alberta universities, not BC ones. In BC, as well as Ontario, it is your grade 12 grades and courses that are important, not all the high school courses. So you will likely see programs that specify requirements like "grade 12 math, grade 12 chemistry, grade 12 English." In Ontario, at least, you can either do the official grade 12 courses at a school or online or you can do SAT subject tests or AP courses for those requirements. You can check with specific universities in Alberta and see whether it is the same there. Good luck!
  9. My understanding is that for American students, they will be evaluated on a U.S. system grading scale, namely the 4.0 system. You just report whatever system is used including the grading scale (the college transcript probably has the grading scale in a sort of legend somewhere on it). This is from the Guelph site: "Senior level courses should include specific subjects that are required for admission to your degree program of choice. Particular attention is paid to performance in program prerequisites. Your school profile with grading scale should be included with documents, and all sent through Parchment/Naviance whenever possible." And further down on the page: "Out-of-Country Canadians in U.S. schools are evaluated for admission and scholarships using both the U.S. GPA and the SAT or ACT, not grade percentages alone." This is what the York U page says for high school graduates from the United States: Grade 12 graduation with a minimum overall average of "B" on Grade 11 and Grade 12 academic courses. "High School Diploma; SAT score of 1170 (SAT submission code: 0894) or ACT score of 24 (ACT submission code: 5250). SATs/ACTs are considered in combination with academic record and are only required of students studying in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam. Transfer credit granted for final scores of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) exams, depending on the program (maximum 30 credits)." Each program has specific courses that you would have to have. Presumably the "B" would be the cut-off. And they would interpret "B" however the school you are coming from interprets "B." For a transfer student, requirements depend on the program. For example, this is what it says for cognitive science for a community college transfer: "Completion of a diploma program or at least two full semesters or one year of full-time academic study at an accredited college. Overall average of 3.0 or better on a 4-point scale (or equivalent)."
  10. I've never talked to them in person, so I don't know what vibes they give off in terms of homeschooling, but the info on their website looks pretty similar in terms of requirements as the other universities in Ontario. Basically homeschool up to grade 11 and then either complete 6 4U credits, including the prerequisites for the specific program, or do SAT/ACT including SAT subject tests for the subjects that are prerequisites for the specific program. This link also includes requirements for homeschooled students from the United States, which does seem more stringent since they say the diploma has to be "accredited" whatever that means. Anyway, you're right, Dm's dd would not necessarily fall into that category. She would more likely fit into the "international transfer student" category. This link has info for American students who have done some community college, as well as those who have a diploma from a community collage. Sounds like a much easier process! Guelph also has open online courses that are a guaranteed pathway to admission that are another option for homeschool students (they can do them while in high school, I don't think there is a minimum age). They are pricey though, and my own dd has balked at the idea of her first university experience being online, so I've not looked deeply into them. Good luck to your dd, dmmetler! I love hearing about her exploits!
  11. I read an article a while back about how different frogs respond differently to changes in the environment and the authors were from Guelph University. Not sure exactly what departments though. Guelph has a well-known zoology program, and also majors like biodiversity and wildlife conservation. Guelph is near Toronto, so it might be fun to check out. In terms of cognitive science, U of Toronto has a program. I applied and got accepted to it way back when, but I ended up choosing a different field and different school. I remember really being attracted to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, but I also felt there was a strong emphasis on AI, which wasn't that interesting to me at that time. And I agree with Dicentra that the great thing about Canadian universities is that you get to jump into your major right away, without having to take lots of general courses. Good luck!
  12. Congratulations!!! And thanks for the really detailed info! My youngest has Waterloo on the radar, but she is not my homeschooled one. My oldest, who will homeschool high school, plans to go to the local high school for her 6 grade 12 courses. One thing I've noticed is that the universities seem to be more understanding of homeschooled applicants than the colleges, which is strange.
  13. These are some suggestions from my 14-year old daughter who likes the same types of books as your son. About a year ago, she was going through books so fast that we both realized she needed some more advanced writing, but not necessarily mature themes. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett Redwall series by Brian Jacques (this might be a bit young, but the good thing is that there are lots in the series!) The Ascendance and Mark of the Thief Trilogies by Jennifer A. Nielsen Watership Down by Richard Adams A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens Best wishes!
  14. Thank you so much, everyone, for sharing your experiences and recommendations. Based on your feedback, I'll probably go with the grown-up version. I'm still not sure exactly how to schedule it in. Maybe we will read it together and discuss it. Thanks again!
  15. Thanks, that's helpful. Did your daughter just read it and absorb it, or did you discuss it together, or something else...?
  16. Thank you for your input! Did your daughter's teacher just have the kids read it, and then keep an eye out for when they saw the various techniques in literature that they read, or did they do any assignments or class discussion about it? Thanks!
  17. We are doing Canadian Geography for grade 9, and are adding in Tristan Gooley's book, "Wild Signs and Star Paths" as a fun part of the geographic skills unit. Here's the article where I first heard about it:
  18. Hello, If you are familiar with both the regular and the kids' version of "How to Read Literature Like a Professor," which one would you use for a student in grade 9? I am not so much worried about the mature content, but the kids' version is a lot shorter, which is kind of appealing to me. Any insights as to the difference between the two? Also, how did you use this book? Just read and discuss? Or something more formal? Thanks!
  19. Two books that I just finished and enjoyed are: In the Sea there are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda (Afghanistan to Europe) The Boat People by Sharon Bala (Sri Lanka to Canada) One I have that is on my to-read list: Damascus Nights by Rafik Schami Enjoy!
  20. My two girls registered last year when they were in grades 6 and 7. They set their own word limit and worked whenever they felt like it, but I tried to schedule "family writing time" as well so that we all wrote together. My younger is a more logical thinker, and she really enjoyed the planning work, like the plot roller coaster, etc. My oldest is more of a creative free spirit and prefers just to write. Since I wanted to keep it fun, I didn't force them to do the planning activities. My oldest continued writing her story throughout the year, but my youngest and I gave up after the month ended! This year, they are planning to write again. My oldest (the free spirit) is actually making use of the planning space on the website already (she can't actually write in the writing space until Nov. 1), and she absolutely loves the "dare machine." She did two dares yesterday and it is an amazing way to warm up, even if the content from the dares doesn't actually make it into the story. It helps her get to know her characters better! I challenged my oldest to increase her wordcount slightly over last year. I also helped her to think more realistically about doing a short story, not a whole novel, because I think it would be quite encouraging to her if she actually finished a first draft by the end of the month, rather than have a novel drag on all year. Happy writing!
  21. Have you thought about Canadian universities? The US dollar is currently strong against the Canadian dollar, so even though you would have to pay international tuition, it is cheaper than many out of state tuition options (though more expensive than in-state tuition). For example, Emily Carr University in Vancouver, and OCAD University in Toronto are two highly regarded design schools with industrial design programs (I've been looking too, since I have a child who may be headed in that direction). Emily Carr: tuition: $18 799 CAD is about $14 100 USD. Of course that doesn't include housing, and both Vancouver and Toronto are rather expensive cities, so some creativity may be required to find affordable housing options. Good luck!
  22. Thank you so much for your responses! It is good to know that the Key to series would likely be too young/boring. Looking over the samples again, I can see that. I also appreciate your perspectives on the online versus print book. In spite of that, I still can't decide! It is also helpful to hear that MEP could be used without the lessons. We may try that while trying to decide on whether to order the AOPS print book/waiting for it to arrive. Thanks!
  23. Hi everyone, I have learned a lot lurking here, and now I feel rather audacious posting a rather long message as my first topic. But I do hope to pick your brains about math. My youngest daughter is in grade 6. This is her first year in a gifted program. She was just tested at the end of last year, which was our first year in Canada after having been overseas. The program is one day a week at another school. The teacher is amazing, not just with the gifted kids themselves, but also as a strong advocate in the kids' regular schools. My daughter is so happy because she has found a place where she can be herself (at least once a week) and is really thriving. The teacher is in the midst of developing IEPs for the kids in cooperation with the classroom teachers and resource teachers. She was at my daughter's school twice the last few weeks to talk to the resource teacher (who happened to be my daughter's grade five teacher last year). She asked my daughter what she finds easiest, and my daughter said, math. So she has already given the teacher a duotang of math stuff for her to do when she finishes her work. The duotang contains brain teasers and math contest practice questions and computer programming type questions. They have been going deeper into problem solving strategies in the gifted class itself. But my daughter has asked me to also do math at home. The first time she mentioned it, I didn't follow through because I know she values her downtime and her social life. But she has asked twice more, and she wants it to be a special time we spend together. We enjoyed working together through some Beast Academy a few years ago when I was homeschooling her, and maybe it's those times together she is remembering. She is also really ready to experience math beyond the "get into groups and write the expanded form of this number in the hundred thousands." My first thought was to order AOPS pre-algebra, but it is $33 to have it sent to Canada, which I find hard to justify on top of the price of the book. So I was wondering if anyone has experience with the online version of the book? The one drawback I see is that if we want this to be a mother-daughter bonding time as well as a math lesson, then it might be kind of weird looking at a screen the whole time. Or is there a way to use the online book in a more interpersonal-friendly way? Or should I break down and just pay for the extra shipping? I also looked at MEP year 8, but it seems like the teacher really needs to teach the lessons, rather than work through the student book together. Again, I'd love to hear how you might use MEP in a "parent-child exploring together" sort of way. Then I was thinking of Key to Algebra, which is inexpensive to begin with and only a few dollars extra shipping from most retailers. My question is whether it moves fairly quickly without beating each topic to death. From the sample pages, it looks like there are not too many problems on a page, so it doesn't seem to be tedious, but it is hard to judge how quickly it moves from one topic to another. What other suggestions do you have for resources that might be appropriate? Thank you so much for your insights!
  24. This is what my daughter says, based on an excellent experience last year in grade 6, and a boring experience this year in grade 7: Like: Individual research projects and presentations on specific topics of interest within the broad topic that the teacher assigns Hands-on projects, especially building things using scientific principles (last year they made a Ferris wheel and a motorized gadget)--but cut and paste activities don't count!! Science experiments (even if they are really simple) Doesn't like: Taking class time to read the textbook together or listen to the teacher read from the textbook (I can't believe they are still doing that in this day and age!) Best wishes to your daughter!
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