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Found 13 results

  1. So many great men of faith have been fluent in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. I'd love this for my own children. Well, even more so, I'd love this for me! But I can't really get a picture of HOW this is going to happen! We are doing phonics still, but should be done this year, only around 22 lessons left to go! After that, we are starting Prima Latina. Then I'm thinking LCI, First Form I etc. BUT, when will we start Greek...and Hebrew? How am I going to fit this all in? Any other moms who are planning this care to share? Or even better yet, moms who have blazed the trail?
  2. In another thread, EsterMaria had the idea to post examples of high school exit exams in other parts of the world. Here is a link to the mathematics final exams for any college prep high school in my home state in Germany. http://www.sn.schule.de/~matheabi/index.m.html "gk" means "Grundkurs", the mandatory basic math course taken by every college bound student. "LK" means "Leistungskurs", the advanced course for student who choose math to be one of the subjects they want to take a harder class in. (Every student is required to declare several subjects in which he is taking the harder class) Here is a sample for an English (foreign language) exam, LK: http://www.stark-verlag.de/upload_file/Muster/145460m1.pdf there would also be an oral part to the examination And here is a collection of old exams in various subjects: http://www.bildung-lsa.de/index.php?KAT_ID=335
  3. about this sentence in your signature: Sciences should be studies simultaneously in high school, not in one year blocks. I admit I love learning and looking at something differently. I hope you don't mind the question, but I am curious. Thanks!
  4. If I want to shamelessly promote some of my posts, would it be acceptable to put links to those posts specifically (not entire threads) in my signature? I am not sure whether it is considered "problematic" to reference to the boards in signatures? I can see why it would be problematic, for example, if somebody wanted to portray another one in a bad light or link to a controversy, but if it is only to a few of my own posts, in isolation from the threads themselves, which do not quote anyone, do not reference or allude to any member and which are not related to any controversies - sort of, the "clearest" messages you can imagine, like entirely independent little articles - would it be okay? Yes, I know it may be viewed as vain and all of that, attracting attention to oneself and maybe not "nice", but I would really like to promote my attitudes on several things (e.g. a post I have on grade inflation and what I think are reasonable standards, etc.). At least for a little while. What says the Hive? :D
  5. I haven't seen any threads on rigor/academic standards in homeschooling lately. I miss reading them but don't feel qualified to start one myself ! :tongue_smilie: But I will say that when I feel like a lost, lonely misfit in the world of homeschooling, I dig up those threads and read them. Those are where I find my alignment and my inspiration to keep reaching for more. Reading those helps me to ignore the siren song that I sometimes feel surrounded by. When I need to retreat from what feels almost like peer pressure to do less, it helps to read encouragement from those who make the case for doing more. Thank you especially to those who have shared these thoughts. :) I would like to sign up for a service that sends a daily email encouraging an academic focus for homeschooling. Does anyone want to provide that ? :lol: Okay, in all seriousness....I struggle with feeling like a rarity for wanting to have an academic focus, for caring about the kids being at least at grade level, etc. I'm uncomfortable with feeling that perhaps this is a rare thing among homeschoolers now. I do my best not to think critical thoughts about others and to worry only about my own business. I care about where our kids are academically. This seems to qualify me as an oddball. :confused: Is anyone else having this experience ?
  6. ...how long they continue their Latin studies? Ideally I'd like ds to have 4 years of Latin in high school. We had a lengthy discussion about languages today. We are in our 4th year of Latin, but I consider this our first year of real study. I would like him to continue with Latin Alive and complete books 2 and 3 (3 is not yet released). Then I'd like to move to reading some original works, but I can see that not taking a full year credit. He tolerates Latin, but doesn't love it. He's also learning Japanese and wants to have 3 years of study(1 middle school, 2 high school). Today he expressed interest in learning Russian or German as well. We could do those after our Japanese years. So do you insist on Latin continuing as you would with math or English? Do you loosen up after grammar instruction is completed, or when another subject takes higher priority? He's more math/science focused so 4 years of each of those will be required. Technically he's 8th grade this year, and I don't plan on counting any of this years work towards graduation credits.
  7. I promised a thread about this to a few people from K-8 board, but I am about to post it here because I believe on this particular board it would be the most relevant and of most use. The general ideas are that (i) there are different academic traditions across the world, whose methods have developed in accordance with the material tackled and with the disposition to one approach or the other, and while much of that overlaps, some crucial differences remain; (ii) it could be interesting to study whether some of those methods can be stripped off their original context and put to use in other disciplines and traditions and (iii) perhaps much of the Jewish success in the world rests on a particularly good combination - and that is a personal opinion - of typical Judaic study methods and typical Western / secular academic tradition study methods, from which follows (iv) that maybe those are somehow complimentary and maybe more people could profit from musing about these issues and putting them to practical experimentation. BEFORE I CONTINUE, let us check off the disclaimers: (i) the point of the discussion is to focus on the Judaic study methods, not on the Judaic study methods, i.e. it is about the methods themselves, not their origin in a religious context; (ii) the thread is not to be read as an attempt at academic (or worse, religious LOL) proselytism, it is here to amuse you while you are beguiling your time on WTM boards, not to suggest that these methods are somehow academically or morally superior to what other people may do and feel more comfortable with, and (iii) a certain level of simplification - not to say trivialization - of the matters is needed in discussions of this kind, so I ask for the understanding that the methods presented, assessed and compared here are not intended to be comprehensive, uniquely Judaic (as though I was implying they are not present in some form in other learning traditions), etc. I deliberately minimized the use of "Jewish" words and expressions, substituting them wherever possible, and where not possible, explaining them, so that the discussion can be lead in a common language and a common set of cultural associations, and I deliberately approached the topic through Western lenses (e.g. explaining textual differences via De Saussure's terminology and not Jewish concepts, etc.) for the same reason. :) Firstly, it would be ideal, if you are not familiar with what I am talking about, to have some sort of visual insight into it. The longer version - which also gives you a basic background in Judaism and is excellent for general audience - is Salfati's documentary History of Talmud. The shorter version would be to check some of the advertisements for yeshiva high schools which include visual representations of how kids learn, or just searching for relevant terms on Youtube or someplace else where you are likely to run into videos of how people learn. Things that you are supposed to see and hear are lots of NOISE (reading aloud, learning aloud, discussing aloud in a huge room filled with many other people discussing other things aloud), lots of PHYSICAL MOVEMENT (swaying in the middle of the lesson, hand movements when explaining things), texts which are not "linear" (i.e. they visually look a bit "weird" - they include a middle portion of something and then comments on it around it), PAIR WORK with kids who sit one opposite each other each with a copy of a text and discuss it, a teacher with a group of kids reading from a holy text and automatically translating it to the children's spoken language, unusual musical intonation used in studying and lecturing, lots of books, and so on, but we will focus on these and how to apply them in the context of classical education. I will go point by point and explain what is so different and whether and how it could be applied to something we do. 1. NON-LINEAR LEARNING OF LINEAR TEXTS (for every text is linear)?! HOW?! or Diachronic vs. synchronic approach in studying texts The classical Western academic tradition - and WTM as a text which fundamentally stems from it - is diachronic in principle. Diachrony comes from dia + kronos, through time. A banal explanation would be that the diachronic study of a text is a study which takes texts in chronological order, but maybe I can explain it even further: diachrony is a particular type of mental organization which "segments" the phenomena by time, viewing them in their historical genesis and viewing the connections between them in their historical genesis (separate the two in your mind!). This has its enormous advantages, amply discussed in WTM and multiple times on these boards, and the main advantage is the clarity of what is based on what, what stems from what and the types of connections and interconnections that this study cultivates. Diachrony is excellent, I practice it, I love it, and it provides a VERY important piece of the puzzle. Synchrony, however, is a completely different beast, but not in the least less important. Synchrony comes from sin + kronos, it attemps to capture various points on the historical genesis of a phenomenon (following? :D), but taking them in simultaneously, on par one with another. The opposition of diachrony and synchrony was actually drawn by De Saussure in a linguistic context, but this is the best way I can explain the fundamental difference between the study of great books as typically done and the study of Judaic philosophy as typically done. Great books are diachrionic. Judaics are synchronic. NOTA BENE. Labeling one or the other means focusing on the dominant aspect. There are elements of BOTH approaches in BOTH - since you do draw across-time connections even when you study books chronologically (you go back, compare, contrast, e.g. see what the original Antigone turned into in Annouilh), and since you are VERY aware of the gradation of Judaic texts when you study them (it is not that you "forget" about the levels of texts - you are very aware which comes first, what is derived from what). So why do I bring it up? Because synchrony has actually been traditionally pushed aside for the sake of sparing oneself of a "mirror room effect". Mirror room effect is EXACTLY what you get when you study Jewish texts - you have text mirroring in other texts mirroring in other texts, ALL studied together. On the same page you have one unit of a law and CENTURIES of rabbinical comments on that surrounding it, often each in a different font (so you know quite automatically whose font it is), literally like seeing, visually, an ongoing debate. Without a conclusion. What is written is typically: "Rabbi X said A, rabbi Y replied B, rabbi Z..." The way it is studied is that the discussion is *actively reconstructed*, focusing on the argument through the prism of historical debate, but at the same time forgoing the "historicity" for the POINT (if this makes sense :lol:). The debate gets redabated, so to speak, and put in the context of legal principles. A possible application. You know the proverb that "all Western philosophy is not but notes to Plato"? But nobody has - to my knowledge - ever published an edition of Plato which looks like Talmud (and for various reasons this could not really be possible, but let us focus on the principle now). Yet, it is not impossible to engage in this way of segmenting philosophical or a literary text - anything carrying the idea - and repercussions of that idea through historical debate, focusing on that idea alone. I admit that it is often less than practical because it takes an enormous personal scholarship to be able to select things and redebate them in this fashion, but it is an enormous advantage to actually implement it from time to time to the extent of your ability. It fosters a whole other way of tackling a problem and is in my view just as necessary as the ability to do proper historical segmenting. I think that both literature and philosophy should be studied TWICE for this reason: once in diachrony, once in synchrony. WTM fits here perfectly as the high school, in my view, is the ideal diachrony-dominant stage, and college the ideal synchrony-dominant stage assuming the previous knowledge of historical segmenting acquired in high school. (And THIS is the reason why most of college literature and philosophy ultimately fails: good sychrony, in my experience, only works if paired up with good diachrony, on the long run - AND VICE VERSA.) We are talking about two very similar, but still distinct mental and textual skills. I do not argue against one or the other, but for their COEXISTENCE in the educational process. A random connection. "Mental maps" remind me a bit of the textual organization in Jewish study: central idea with other stuff connected to it and stemming from it and then further interconnected. Although I prefer linear sequencing as my note-taking method, there is something strikingly "Talmudic" in these mental maps when done properly and they may help greater conceptual order.
  8. We use TOG. Pride & Prejudice was assigned. I figured my ds would balk. He did. To compromise I let him dump the book and we ordered the movie from Netflix - the miniseries actually, with Colin Firth. (Sigh.) Anyway, he hates it too. He says (rather dramatically I might add) that he would rather shoot himself than have anything to do with this book or movie. In fact, he is now CLEANING HIS BATHROOM WITHOUT BEING ASKED, rather than watch the DVD. He is a voracious reader - almost always has his face in a book. There are only a few other books in his lifetime that he has acted this way about and I have let him off the hook. I want to let this go, to save both of us the agony, but I am feeling guilty. He's a guy and a future science major, do I really need to press him on this?
  9. I believe that (no matter how you get it) a liberal arts education helps a person become a thinker who responds intelligently to the demands of the modern world (in the workplace and civicly). I've been a strong proponent of higher liberal arts type university education for this reason. I was always against the more "utilitarian training for a career" type of higher education because I believe so strongly in what a liberal arts education does in shaping the mind. I'm wondering though, in light of the kind of liberal arts education that a classical teaching model gives, is a liberal arts university degree as necessary for our (TWTM) kids? I do want my children to get a degree of some kind because I do think it opens more doors in the world. But I'm wondering if it's ok to focus more on the practical training needed for jobs training. But then I'm wondering if I'm compromising my values because of the bottom line and just wanting a secure job for my kids upon graduation. (I hope these musings make sense. Please give me your thoughts, including requests for clarification if you need them.)
  10. I know an interesting person who has what I would call an unusual psychology - or, at least, I would consider such a psychology fairly unusual. From my experiences, it does not seem to be a common trait. I do not know how to ask the question I intend to ask without getting into too much details and what types of conversations led me to ponder these issues, but if I had to narrow it down to something, it would probably be this: that person believes that some of the commitments they have, in a general worldview sense, come before their personal happiness. I thought this was an interesting question because I hardly know people who would persist in something which does not make them happy. Take, for example, religion - people who are not happy with the commitments their religion (or their interpretation of their religion, for arguments' sake) imposes on them (such as prohibitions to marry whomever they please or decide how many children they wish to have or where they can live, etc.) typically leave the situation. After all, if one is not content with one's reality, is the primary urge not to act so as to change it, alter it to suit you better, rather than persist in spite of not being happy? For example, a person could join a different branch of the same religion with different interpretations, or leave the commitments of a religious lifestyle altogether. We tend to talk a lot about concepts such as intellectual honesty, doing the right thing even if it is not to one's inclination, growing out of one's inclinations, but we typically talk about this in the context of smaller, everyday life type of things - I believe that when it comes to bigger questions in life, most people will choose happiness, no matter what, even if it goes against whatever they technically subscribe to. People will typically "invent" loop holes where there are none or come with incredible rationalizations, but ultimately, they will tend to take the road of happiness. I think it is pretty much a basic, the most common human psychology: no matter what we say, fundamentally we are governed by the need to be happy and fulfilled, rather than to live our lives in accordance with a philosophical system or whatever. That is why the two tend to coincide in the first place - do not people naturally seek where they feel good and are happy? The unusual thing about this person is that they have really taken to the extreme the idea that there are things, ideas, values which come before personal happiness. We are not even talking about a grumpy person who kinda likes to be grumpy because it is their personality - but about somebody who actually suffers the consequences of their choices, in some pretty major life decisions, based exclusively on the principle that they do not make those governed by the personal happiness first and foremost. They consider it a secondary thing: they naturally wish to be happy, but only within limits of such a system, and if being within those limits makes them unhappy in the first place or diminishes the happiness in their life consistently, then too bad. They are staying in. I am pretty much blown away every time we discuss those issues because it seems like such an unusual way of functioning to me. I would choose happiness over most things, I think there are very few types of life choices I would purposely make or not make even if my personal happiness was at stake. For most things, honestly, I would bend. Take mixed couples for another example - even if in principle I do cherish the idea that people from the same cultural background function the best together, and even if in principle I would look for a partner in my own nation / country / whatever my allegiance first, if I really really were in love with somebody from a different background, I would probably swallow whatever my allegiances and personal emotional strings are and make a very drastic choice, only to be happy. Then I am faced with a radically different view on life: personal happiness (within legal reason) is not the supreme good and sometimes even in major life choices one ought to choose the option which, if it were possible to see in the future and prove it, would be the less satisfactory one, simply on the grounds of it being "right". Maybe I am wrong. Maybe this is NOT as unusual psychology as I find it to be. What do you think of it? Is there anyone here who would actually describe themselves as belonging to that camp and actively leading a life - or being prepared to lead one, if necessary - which would ultimately make them less happy? I know that none of us probably live our "ideal" lives, but do we not all at least strive to make decisions, especially major ones, so as to increase our happiness? Yes, sometimes we need to consider the needs of other people too, and life is complex and most choices we make are less than optimal due to all the factors we consider, but I really marvel at how far some people take their commitments. Interested in your views, I purposely tried to word it as general as possible to allow for it to "click" (or not click LOL) with as many different people and situations as possible. :bigear:
  11. A new blog post at Scientific American ties the writer's personal educational story to studies I've seen cited before and which have helped me take confidence in what I see my dd doing, and how we learn together (I seldom explicitly "teach" her). The post and the studies to which it refers may be of interest to those who are either seeking, or finding themselves unexpectedly taking, an alternative educational path. Those of us who have kids who seem to demand or to require a different approach may find it particularly encouraging. http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog Go to "Guest Blog." The post is from July 7th. "We say we want children to achieve at the highest level—to be the next generation of great scientists and innovators and artists and world leaders—yet the system we’ve put in place makes it nearly impossible for each child to reach their potential. Those worst off are typically the ones whose unique skills and talents we need the most—the most creative thinkers, the natural innovators, the ones who find comfort in the discomfort of not knowing, fearless in the pursuit of their vision."
  12. Are we all confused???:iagree: I think because alot of us do not speak this language well or at all...it is a bit mystifying!!! We are not too sure what our goal should be for HS Spanish!! So, when your child is finished High School how familiar with Spanish should he or she be,,,???? If we could figure this out...picking a curriculum would not be SOOO hard! In just 2 years in High School what type of knowledge do we want our kiddos to have concerning Spanish? They will probably go on to take 1-2 or more yrs. in College. And even then...what do we want them to come away with...how will this Spanish info. be useful for the Kingdom of God???? I think we all need to relax & realize we are here to glorify Him!!! He has plans for our kiddos...& He even cares how we teach our children their Spanish. Remember He will guide you to the program that is best for your child. So, what are your goals for HS Spanish? What do you want your child to have learned in those 2 years at home? Please reply....& give us ideas... When we pick out a HS Spanish program --what are the basic requirements?? What should our goals be? What are we trying to produce in our kiddos? Let's get our goals set....so we are going in His direction...knowing He has a plan & a purpose in all...even HS Spanish!!! Blessings,:001_smile: Christal
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