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About Cecropia

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  1. I was mainly calculating his grade from the homework and the two forms of chapter tests (one in the book, one loose) that were included in the course, but based on the feedback here I will definitely add a participation grade. I'm also interested in giving him the option of a creative final project. There aren't really quizzes in this course. The last chapter ends in two review tests that I was going to give the same weight as the other tests. There weren't notes from the publisher on other ideas of things to do, and it was frustrating to plan the course at first because there was no suggested schedule and a lack of guidance in general. When ds started struggling, I added in duolingo practice and online resources (mainly videos) to help with grammar concepts. I'd like to thank everyone for responding (graciously!) -- sometimes I still feel like a newbie even though I suppose I'm a veteran homeschooler by now. My own limited experiences with foreign language classes were not very good, and my dh actually continued taking advanced French courses in college as electives, but neither of us could recognize that we were approaching this course the wrong way with ds. Getting away from our specific situation, I still feel like the original question of offering extra credit hasn't really been answered. Is it ethical when it is offered on the fly, at the end of a course as a response to low grades, with the intention of raising the course grade?
  2. I didn't know that about Breaking the Barrier. Ds was fed up with his Spanish I experience and wanted to try something else in a different format, so this was just one of the options I gave him to choose from. When he was struggling toward the beginning, we offered to change courses, but he wanted to stick with this one over the alternatives. We started in mid-May and have been working on it pretty intensively, because the goal (his as well as mine) was to be "done with languages" by the spring semester. Things are a little odd this year because he is taking DE classes and I have had to shift some of our at-home courses to accommodate. We will be close, but I see we'll still have a couple of weeks to finish after our winter break.
  3. By "fluency," I mean on a Spanish II level. I don't think I'm communicating very well here about his current abilities or my expectations. I probably sound like a drill sargeant about this grade, but it's really just a check-the-box course as ds' future plans don't involve going to a university. He took Spanish I through BJU Press last year (completely independent of me) and struggled as well, but ended the year with a B-. We engaged a tutor through italki for 10+ lessons towards the end of the school year, but that experience didn't help ds much. Can you please tell me what the goal of Spanish II is if it's not being able to read, write, and speak on a Spanish II level? I don't think he would get by very well if he were magically plopped down into a Spanish-speaking country at this moment (I just asked him his opinion, and he vehemently agreed).
  4. Google is acquiring Fitbit, too. It will add people's historical and real-time fitness records to the trove of healthcare data it already has.
  5. He has been working for about 20 minutes on Duolingo every other day to try and reinforce his knowledge; I suppose I could give him participation credit for that, but I think it is more on the Spanish I level than Spanish II.
  6. I'm just grading homework and tests; there is no participation grade. I give 1/2 credit on questions when I can. I grade work that is intended for practice -- otherwise there would only be the chapter tests. I don't mark down for late work, but that hasn't been an issue. Yes, there are low point value assignments where full points are taken off. In terms of speaking and writing Spanish with fluency, I think the grade is pretty accurate. In terms of the daily effort he's putting into it, I'd honestly put him at a B level.
  7. My son is pulling a C+ in Spanish II (Breaking the Barrier). We started it over the summer, and he'll be finished at the end of the fall semester. How do you feel about offering extra credit towards the end of a course when the grade is apparent, intended solely to give a student the opportunity to get past a certain threshold? Is it ethical? With this course, I'm talking about an end-of-the-year project opportunity that's mainly in English, such as a relevant research essay, an oral presentation, a display, etc. -- something he can do well but wouldn't demonstrate actual mastery of the language.
  8. The Yankee Doodle Boy (1904)? Wikipedia says Yankee Doodle may have originated in Holland in the 15th century.
  9. Have you ever read "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power? I don't feel that America's response to genocide today differs all that much from our typical response in the past. I mull over the problem of genocide a lot, and as it continues to occur fairly often, generally unimpeded, I've grown quite cynical about attempts to stop one in progress. Condemnations, resolutions, peace talks, cease fires, embargoes all have limited value, especially when the offending country has no intention to honor its promises. Force (war) has better potential to stop a genocide, but how does one avoid perpetual war to stop genocides from occurring all over this planet? I hate to entertain the thought that genocide may be some cyclical tendency of human nature, but it sure is hard to avoid coming to that conclusion sometimes. This list is sobering (and it is not even current) Possibly too political... but in the situation I believe you are alluding to with the theoretical U.S. president, the government of the other country has already been committing genocide with impunity since at least 2014, despite many overtures by other countries to restrain it.
  10. From an old T-shirt, I sewed a little garment for my stuffed Alien Facehugger. I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the Halloween thread. This wasn't for Halloween but for a local PopCon. Naked: Clothed:
  11. Are there any other parishes nearby with different Mass times that would work better for you?
  12. Helen Keller: The Story of My Life (1-2 passing mentions of deaths of people she knew) Everyday Fashions of the Twenties/Thirties/Forties/Fifties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs (Dover series) -- She might also like the Dover Fashion & Costume coloring books or paper dolls.
  13. Yes, this, although drugs/alcohol were not prevalent in my experiences. Some HS sleepovers were sold to my parents as girls-only when they were co-ed with sex involved. Some of the truth-or-dare dares at the younger sleepovers were actually pretty dangerous. It's a wonder that no one was hurt. No adults anywhere... Starting about 4th grade, sleepovers had much more heavily occult games than "light-as-a-feather." After being taught by others, I learned to lead the games myself. I don't want to get into specifics because it's going to be treated with skepticism, but enough very bad experiences have led me to believe that such games are physically, mentally, and spiritually dangerous. My oldest watched/played very graphic rated-M video games at 8 or 9 years old, at the aforementioned relative's house. He'd be the first to admit that it made a negative impact on him. All of these things could happen in any unsupervised environment. Sleepovers seem/seemed to be the best opportunity for my kids (or young me) to have many hours of completely unsupervised time with peers.
  14. Privacy or lack thereof. I used to get so angry at my mom, because she would randomly clean my room while I was gone during the school day. Family members would burst into bedrooms without knocking. I felt like I couldn't keep any secrets. Social restrictions. I have a no-sleepover rule because of all the trouble I got into or witnessed at sleepovers when I was growing up. The kids resented me for it when they were younger. I once thought that sleepovers would be ok at a close relative's house which was supposedly well-supervised, but in time, bits and pieces of what went down have come out, and I kick myself for letting them go. In my childhood, my mom used to be very reluctant to let neighborhood kids into our house because it wasn't clean enough for company, which made me feel limited socially.
  15. Channel thy inner Yosemite Sam. "Ratsom, fratsom, bratsom, patsom, ratten, picken, frippallitten!"
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