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Everything posted by Amoret

  1. When I was an English professor, I spent hours and hours grading student papers -- usually marginal comments in addition to a paragraph or two at the end. It was incredibly time consuming (at least 20 minutes per paper), and often, I suspect that I spent more time commenting than students spent writing. This was in addition to comments on multiple drafts and conferences. I also used a rubric to determine the final grade, but that was only because I was a young, female professor and some students felt like they could challenge my grades. The rubric provided a structure for the conversation. I completely understand why writing instructors would give only a grade (commenting takes FOREVER when you have 60+ papers at a time, and students rarely read them), but returning papers without any real substantive feedback (either verbal or written) is kind of pointless. Numbers are useless in terms of actually helping students understand either their strengths or their weaknesses.
  2. Amazing Math Projects You Can Build is fun, as is This is Not a Maths Book: A Smart Art Activity Book (they have a second volume and a science/art book too).
  3. He has already made the call to take the arduous route in music for both piano and violin and in math, and he sees it paying dividends. DS isn't afraid of the work (the violin in particular has been a serious challenge, but once he decided to go all in, he has excelled) and I suspect he will come around on programming too. He wants to do it right, but it's hard and slow. I can't blame him for his reluctance. I always admire him when he decides to do things right, and then follows through with impressive dedication. Thank you for your insights -- I really appreciate it.
  4. Thank you -- this is exactly what I suspected. Now, I just have to convince DS to give it a try. He isn't interested in YT videos or quick start/flashy stuff. He wants the real deal, but isn't sure he wants to do the real work. We'll see how it goes.
  5. DS 10 has been dabbling in programming for a few years and has done pretty well with it. We have mostly just left him free to learn/do what he likes, and he has worked his way through quite a few tutorials on Code Academy (all of Python, Java, CSS/HTML and maybe more), he has reached the limit of what Scratch can do, and has done a lot of work in Python, creating encryption/decryption programs, a draw program, and several others. He is poking away at various things all the time and I don't know the full extent of what he has done or knows. DH knows a little programming (I know next to nothing) and has been able to offer a little guidance here and there, but it is not his area of expertise. It has become clear that DS has some real gaps in his knowledge, though, and needs to fill them in if he wants to start doing any real work. He is trying to do higher level, more complex things and tends to cobble together pieces of code in order to get his programs to do what he wants, but lacks a deep understanding of what is going on and how to do things the right way. This results in frustration and hours and hours of wasted time wading through documentation he doesn't understand fully. Are there any books/courses/other resources that anyone could recommend that would guide him through building deeper knowledge from the ground up? As far as his math ability goes, he is cruising through AOPS Pre-A and has done a fair amount of Jacobs Algebra, but went back to AOPS because he wanted the depth it offered.
  6. It's not just teachers -- it's college faculty too, especially in the humanities. I have a PhD and had a tenure-track job with a 3/3 teaching load at a wonderful school and made $44,500 in a high COL area (colleagues with tenure were making $55k). I didn't make enough to cover our rent in a small house 45 minutes out of town and daycare expenses for one baby (not to mention gas, food, bills, etc. etc. etc.). I loved the work, the colleagues, and environment, but 60+ hours per week, increasing demands/workload, and no pay increases on the horizon just weren't worth it. I had 3 job offers in different parts of the country and they all paid about the same.
  7. Miquon might be another option and the fact that they are leveled by color and not number grade could be a bonus. The whole set of workbooks is inexpensive and the foundational concepts are so well done.
  8. My DD went from Miquon to Beast Academy 3 and is cruising right along. She also did a bit of Singapore here and there and we spent time making sure her math facts (+,_, and x) were solid before starting BA. I love Miquon and wish I had used it with DS. He had a much harder time going from Singapore 4B to BA3. It sounds like you are doing more than enough.
  9. Two Faces of Tomorrow by James P. Hogan (especially if he likes computers; it does contain violence against robots, but it is not graphic) DS9 recommends the Tripod series, though it is not exactly hard SF and the first book (The White Mountains) is very slow. It's entirely age-appropriate, though, and gets quite good by the end.
  10. Has she checked out the Ottoline or Goth Girl books by Chris Riddell? They are smart and funny. My DD 7 loves them (and they are filled with obscure literary references that go over her head, but are really great). Three Tales of My Father's Dragon is another favorite, and there are a few pictures in that one too. There's also Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures (DD liked it, but I have no idea if it's any good).
  11. We aren't that far into it, but both kids are enjoying it so far. If it gets too hard, we'll shelve it for a while and come back later.
  12. We are working through the following with DD7 and DS9 (in addition to BA4 and AOPS Pre-A) Patty Paper Geometry This is Not a Maths Book Math Projects You Can Build (not a lot of depth, but fun projects) Balance Benders Zaccaro books
  13. For her K year, DD did the following (some along with DS who is 2 years older) - Singapore (2 and parts of 3) and Miquon Math (Green, Blue, and Yellow) - BFSU science - Worked through units on the history of timekeeping, landforms, and attended a number of workshops at a local historical site - Started with Rosetta Stone French (I worked with her on it) - MCT Island books - Handwriting (HWOT) and lots of self-selected writing projects like letters, lists, stories, etc. - Logic books (lollipop, Wakeruppers, Primarily Logic) - Tons of art projects - Started piano - Read a ton -- My Father's Dragon was (and still is) a favorite - Read alouds including Mrs. Frisby, Alice in Wonderland, and the Birchbark House. Listened to audiobooks in the car - Swimming, biking, playing outside, attending local concerts, etc. It sounds like we did a ton of work, but really, our days were short and the kids spent a lot of time playing, building, and creating things.
  14. So many great ideas! I had a graduate seminar in Dickens and I love everything he wrote -- I'll see if he's up for it. I love Diana Wynn Jones -- I know he's read some, but I'll have to check which ones. He's read some Rick Riordan, but isn't a huge fan. I can see why they are so popular, though. He recently read the Taran series and liked it pretty well. He liked Fahrenheit 451, but I am not familiar with any others by Bradbury We tend toward sci/fi and fantasy around here, but also like good historical fiction or narrative history. I haven't read those other McKinley suggestions, though I just got a couple of them from the library. I was thinking of including Robin Hood in a unit on outlaws (pair it with Medieval outlaw tales and consider what she does - I agree it isn't her best, but perhaps useful in an academic sense) I'll have to check out the others. I am just looking to keep him in books, but he is picky and has high standards. I have a PhD in British lit, so I have endless lists of high quality literature that we are/will tackle together.
  15. We have the Powers trilogy -- he tried the first one a while ago, but found it a little slow (which it is, but it's also so good). I'll suggest it again. I don't think he is ready for some of the abuse themes in the later Earthsea books. I think they are some of the best ones in the series -- just not for him yet. I also have some Robin McKinley books (Robin Hood, the Hero and the Crown, the Blue Sword, etc.) that are on my list for him, though I am not sure he will love them. I haven't heard of the others -- I'll check them out. Thank you!
  16. DS (almost 10) has been reading the chapter books on our library's kids section since he was about 3.5 and has read pretty much everything there that interests him. There are plenty of classics I could give him (and we are working through several), but I am looking for any ideas people might have for good fiction or interesting non-fiction from the young adult/adult sections that might be appropriate (i.e. no extremely graphic violence or "adult" content) and that he might like. His recent favorites include the LoTR books, Sobel's Longitude, Singh's The Code Book and LeGuin's Earth Sea trilogy. I used to have time to preview all the books I gave him, but I can't do that any more. I have scanned lots of lists on Good Reads, Amazon, and other places, but I would appreciate any suggestions from others in a similar situation. We keep leaving the library empty handed and I know there are good books out there. I have plenty of college-level lists form my tenure-track days, but he isn't ready for some of those yet.
  17. Ursa Minor Learning also has some great book lists. Right now, most are high school level, but they are working on middle and then elementary grades. You mentioned codes, but have you checked out The Code Book by Simon Singh? We loved that and the kids spent weeks making and breaking codes on paper and on Python. We are working on Longitude now, which is also really good.
  18. With BA, you can start anywhere -- The BA5 books were a great primer for the AOPS Pre-A. It covers a lot of the same material and does so in a challenging way, but then they step it up in Pre-A. You might also check out Harold Jacobs -- Mathematics: A Human Endeavor. It's a decent book with some unusual topics. The books are cheap and easy to come by, but the answer keys are rare. We found one through interlibrary loan.
  19. My DS9 is still early in the program, but here is what we do: DS watches relevant videos for the chapter Works through initial problems/explanations Completes practice problems Done for the day He does most of the sections fairly quickly, but the review problems and challenge problems at the end of the chapters are harder and take longer. The videos are helpful to give a context for the initial problems (for example, he had no idea what they were looking for in the very first problem when they said something along the lines of "show that 2+3=3+2". The video introduced the commutative property of addition, which he knew, but didn't realize that was what they wanted.) I am not trying to schedule it out -- I have found AOPS to be uneven and hard to predict -- some days DS flies through it and others, it is a slog (i.e. some sections have taken 30 minutes and others have taken much longer). We have plenty of time, so we are just taking it one day at a time, and when we are done, we will just move on to the next book. I tried to work ahead, but have too many other things to do. We have a math hour where we all sit at the table together and I am available to help as needed.
  20. When I use fresh pumpkin, I scoop out the seeds, roast it, discard the rinds, and let the pumpkin sit for a while (sometimes several days in the refrigerator if I make it ahead of time), and then squeeze out all of the water. It then works just like the canned pumpkin and is never runny. However, it does take at least 1 large or 2 small pie pumpkins to get enough for a pie. Squeezing out the water is kind of tedious, but the pies always turn out great.
  21. I don't live near Milwaukee so I can't recommend areas to live, but I can say that the homeschool regulation in WI is pretty relaxed. We have to fill out a form indicating how many children we are homeschooling and approximate grades (does not even ask for names) and indicate that we will cover the standard range of subjects and that's it. No tests, no portfolios, etc. Once you submit the form, you are done. It's easy and painless. Good luck with the move and the adjustment. We are getting ready to go out trick-or-treating with winter clothes under the costumes. It's 37 right now with a chance of snow!
  22. My DS9 switched to Jacobs Algebra for a couple of months and he was flying through it -- it was a real confidence boost. Eventually, he missed the challenge of AOPS (he was tired of the challenge, which was why we switched in the first place) and he is now happily back to Pre-A. I have found that forcing him to push through a math curriculum when he is frustrated never goes anywhere good in our house. I have a variety of decent quality materials that he can choose among -- like Jacobs, serious programming courses, etc. I think he sometimes gets this idea that something else will be easier/more fun/better, but we always end up back with AOPS. The variety and change is good, though, and helps him regain perspective. He is young still and way ahead of the public school sequence, so he has plenty of time to experiment and try things out. Since the writing, not the the content, seems to be a real sticking point for your DS, what if you offered to scribe for him? -- Maybe not every problem or every day, but just to lighten his load a bit? Sometimes I'll just format DS's page for him with the section number, problem numbers, etc. so it looks a bit more like a workbook. I think it's a huge step to go from the workbook format where everything is nicely laid and the problem information is right above the working space to a blank sheet of notebook paper and a separate book to consult.
  23. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good early level Italian/English parallel text reader? I am looking for something more advanced than "This is a cat. The cat is gray." but nothing too complex either.
  24. We like Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. It takes some time to sort through the book and pull things together, but the lessons are really solid and the content is fully secular. Plus, the book is only about $35 and it is designed for k-2. We started with Book 1 last year (kids were 6&8) and while there was a little review, the content was very different and they learned plenty.
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