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Ms. Riding Hood

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  1. I'm a hater and thought this essay was fascinating. Not everyone wants to read a treatise on math, but this is worthwhile. Bonus: this mathematician is also a clever wordsmith. http://www.maa.org/external_archive/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf
  2. It is surprisingly strong, and will support a large traffic jam of Hot Wheels. :D The folders are, well, folded to create "beams". Who invents this stuff? Thanks for the other link!
  3. This is something my ds did several years ago and I was just reminded of it. It's a really cool project, made entirely from manila file folders. The blurb says, "provides students with an opportunity to learn how engineers use math, science, and technology to design real structures–in the context of a hands-on model bridge-building project. It is intended primarily for high school students, but those in lower grades should be able to complete all but Learning Activity #3, which requires the application of geometry, algebra, and some basic trigonometry." It's a book, but everything is downloadable and free! I hope someone might find it fun! We still have our two models on a shelf with matchbox-style cars driving over them. :) http://bridgecontest.org/resources/file-folder-bridges/
  4. I got excited about sharing before I realized this was an older thread. But here it is anyway: Saxon Algebra II with Art Reid--ds has enjoyed this method, and I think Mr. Reid's teaching is wonderful. Write@Home Comp I--this will be our very first experience with outsourcing. I'm SO looking forward to it! This is his real weak area, so it's one I really want to give attention to this year. Pacworks U.S. History. I think I'll have him go through this to "check the box", but want to add in a lot of the FundaFunda suggestions for dvds, and maybe some other reading. I hoped HotAW might work with the study guide, but I'm afraid it's too dense for him to do alone. Literature: MP Aeneid, Beowulf, Sir Gawain...maybe Canterbury Tales...maybe Shakespeare. These we'll use as "read-alouds". We did that this year with The Iliad and The Odyssey and it was fun...at least for me. :) Apologia Biology, hopefully with some online virtual lab work. Does anyone have favorites? I've looked at Froguts. My Catholic Faith Delivered--I'm excited about this one, too. I hope it's everything I think it is!! My older ds keeps sending programming links, so maybe we'll work in some of that, too.
  5. PSEO= Post Secondary Enrollment Options--basically dual-enrollment for 10th/11th graders at the taxpayer's expense.
  6. I've had three kiddos do pseo at various levels. One did a single correspondence course. One did 26 or so credit hours (full time college, in other words) on campus as a senior. And one is now doing a mix of online/on-campus classes as a junior. She will have 23 credits by the end of this year, and will get another 26 or so next year as a senior if things work out. Of all these, only the eldest, who did the single college class, was a stellar student. Kid #2 was a mediocre student who didn't like to work too hard. His senior year, as a full time pseo student at a state U, he came into his own. He gained immense confidence in his abilities and shined in his classes--where he was a high school kid among college students. Plus he felt the pressure to perform. He made good grades because he cared to try. Kid #3 struggles mightily with time management, taking tests, reading comprehension. I worried that starting pseo as a junior would be too much for her, so she began with two online classes last semester. This semester she has two online (with a private U) and two on-campus (CC). It's been a little stressful at times, but she's hung in there and I've been very, very proud of her. She's learned some hard lessons, but it's been cool to see her taking on the challenge. Preparation? We just did the basics in a pretty basic way. They didn't have any super-duper outsourced classes, or any special high-level "rigorous" training. They could write basic papers, read for meaning, and had decent math skills. They are not what I consider star students in any way. But they have done well. They aren't in the Ivy League, but that's not their goal. If you're considering a pseo program at a more challenging school, then obviously the expectations might be different. ETA: I don't know what state you are in, but in MN the University of Northwestern offers an array of online pseo classes. Most state U's here will allow you only one online class per semester, but Northwestern doesn't limit it. [This is not THE Northwestern; just a small private college]
  7. I have no advice, per se, but wanted to give a little perspective. You speak positively of your son and obviously appreciate that he has some great strengths. But do you really realize how amazing he sounds, how amazing your whole schooling venture sounds, to an outsider (me, for example)? Your son does things I could never dream about my kids doing. You, as a homeschooling mom, do things I couldn't imagine doing. You feel like a failure because you are doing a "lousy" job in a couple of subject areas--even though he writes novels *on his own* and apparently already has fluency in a second language. I'm not pointing this out as a way to shame you or guilt you for expressing your very real feelings--just trying to help you see what probably most of us see, which is that you seem to have a smart, talented kid who is lucky to be schooled by a smart, talented mom (with very high standards). ;) Your expectations are what they are; I'm not judging them, and you are the one who has to reckon whether you are failing or not. But from where I sit, you look extremely successful. As mentioned elsewhere on the board, I'm getting over a major slump of my own. So it's easy for me to talk. :) The winter here has been extremely long, and I think (as so many others have said) that weather, combined with what sounds like a stressful season of college stuff, combined with his age/temperament...well, all those things build and compound and take a greater toll than perhaps anyone can realize who is in the middle of it all. Look at him and see what's good. Trust the foundation you've laid. Be gentle on yourself. Joyless is a bad place to be in; I'm sorry that you're struggling. :grouphug:
  8. A while back I posted a "despair/giving up homeschool" story. Now I'm back to report that I've got a 9th grade homeschool plan and I'm actually excited about it! Then again, maybe it's just the extra daylight and sight of bare ground (as in, without snow) that's brought about the change. I want to thank each of you that post here, and especially those that commented to me. I read books you suggested. I looked at curricula and programs you brought to my attention. I took comfort in your little group-hug smileys. And I spent hours and hours reading and scouring the archives. It's isn't that I've come up with the best 9th grade plan ever--but I've come up with one that fits what we need for this kid, that will work with our resources. I'll probably be back next March saying how despairing I am again, but right now things look good. I've been tutoring him intensively in math and he's made stellar progress. Oddly, doing this--making a proactive plan to catch him up, then working side-by-side to get it done--has also helped me rediscover the joy of homeschool and bring us closer together. Who knew math could have this effect? :) I especially want to mention FloridaLisa. You made a comment that I blew off at first, but which later hit me like a Louisville Slugger. You said something about praying that God would give you a spine and the courage to use it. Upon consideration, I realized I need that! I can't just lay down, wail and give up and I can't let ds run me over. I have to be tough. Oddly, my college sophomore (the one who broke me down and made me say "never again" in the first place) gave me the same advice. He told me to be tougher. To give zeros. To not back down and to follow through. It's like the professional criminal who speaks to people to tell them how to protect themselves from crime. He also insisted that I keep homeschooling this younger brother. Go figure. I guess I call that a success in itself. So thank you one and all for the opinions, wisdom, encouragement, suggestions and support. You helped me through a rough time. Whew. Now how many more years of this?!?
  9. Thank you to all for so many suggestions! I look forward to spending a summer "on the sea". :)
  10. This is sort of random, but a couple of years ago I ended up (unplanned) reading quite a bit of sea literature. I've often thought of that grouping of books and how much I enjoyed them. I suppose such a list could be found on Amazon, but I'm just giving it a plug here because I'm in no way a sea-faring person. I'm a land-locked land-lubber, in fact. But I found these books, especially taken together, tremendously interesting reading. Maybe a summer reading program for by the pool? :) Two Years Before the Mast Captains Courageous Treasure Island Endurance Moby Dick Adrift Kidnapped Robinson Crusoe The Long Ships I never read any any Horatio Hornblower, but I'd like to get to it. Maybe others have favorites to add (for some reason I keep thinking of Nan)? I wouldn't mind sucking down a few more.
  11. Thanks much, Sue. That thread was helpful and enlightening. Plus, I thought the cost was $200 total. Oops--kind of a dealbreaker no matter what else. :) Thank you!
  12. You're so in demand today! :) I know you used this and have tried searching the board without much luck. Maybe there's a better way than I know. Because searching "history at our house" brings up every post with the words "history" and "house". :/ I'm curious what grades you used them for and anything else you might think interesting or pertinent. They seem to have great reviews elsewhere. All in all I just want to make sure I'm getting a complete picture before I sign up and pay my money. Their website isn't altogether helpful to me, but I haven't watched the video presentations yet. Maybe that would clear everything up. Thank you!
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