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  1. There was a recent thread on scheduling and encouraging excellence on the accelerated board where Nan in Mass wrote the following: "I should add that one of the focuses of middle school was academic and organizational skills. There comes a point (and if your children are accelerated, it will come sooner) when the child needs better writing skills, needs to know how to study, how to take notes, how to keep a calendar, how to organize his materials, how to do research, that sort of things.(continues)" As always, Nan got me thinking and wondering what you all do to systematically teach study skills, note taking, researching and the other skills that Nan mentions above to your logic/dialectic stage student. If you have favorite resources, please share those as well.
  2. Or is that so generalized that it is impossible to answer? Maybe the full spectrum was available 10 or 15 years ago, and the full spectrum is available now? There are so many homeschool curriculums choices now. I was wondering if, in general, they are more or less rigorous than the original ones? (Not thinking original original here. Just thinking about the choices when I started homeschooling 12 years ago.) I can see how it might go either way. There was a strong rebel-against-the-establishment feeling among some of the older homeschoolers. That might lead to less academicly rigorous curriculums, especially among those who felt strongly that academic skills were over-rated. Or maybe those who don't want to do things in such an academic way don't buy curriculums anyway so there is no way of knowing. On the other hand, academic expectations in general might have been higher, leading to more academically rigorous curriculums even though they were more loosely structured in a non-classroom-like way. Now far more people are homeschooling, which might alter the spectrum. And there are many people who are homeschooling for reasons other than a profound distrust of the methods schools use (or used to use) to teach academic skills. And there is the whole classical movement. Or maybe it is stupid question and we should all be working on our must-get-done-for-summer-to-happen plans and not be procrastinating on the computer LOL. -Nan
  3. Hi all, There have been a number of threads pertaining to math these days as parents plan for next year or regroup for this. One thing, though, that I have noticed is that while many of us promote discussion as a necessary part of our Great Books education, I do not see parents mention discussing mathematics. I know that many parents feel some insecurity regarding mathematics. But honestly many feel the same insecurity regarding the Great Books as well, yet they read these books with their kids and enjoy the resulting conversations. In recent months, my husband and I each read a book that we haven't read since high school, Inferno is his case, Canterbury Tales in mine. Talk about new perspectives coming to these great works of literature as an adult! It also seems that adoloscent minds are well connected some days and off in the hinterlands on others. At least my dear son's brain functions this way. Yesterday he began his Dolciani Algebra II chapter on Exponential Functions and Logarithms with a unit on rational exponents. These were not hard problems and given what he already knows about radicals, this should have been easy. But yesterday was one of those days when his synapses were not firing--he was equally klutzy physically on the ice when he played hockey last night. So I literally stood next to him as he did his math and walked him through things, answered his questions and gave him the necessary approvals (without popping him on the bean as I was tempted to do!) Let's see where his brain is today. Anyway, I wonder if some things like geometric proofs or chapter five or whatever it is in Lial's that bogs many kids down which just get a bit easier if the material were discussed. I'm not suggesting that parents lecture on the math, but ask the same kinds of questions that we ask regarding literature and history: why would you need to do that, does this always work, can you see a different way of setting this up, I don't understand the graph you drew, you didn't draw a picture??? You get my drift. Jane the Fearless Homeschooler (at least at the moment!)
  4. You might be interested in Paul Tough's new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiousity and the Hidden Power of Character. NPR had an interview with the author this week. You can read more or listen to the story by going here. Among the good qualities that I believe homeschooling high school can help develop are grit and curiosity. So maybe Mr. Tough is preaching to the choir??
  5. Has anyone ever run across a program that teaches Calculus with a slide-rule instead of a modern calculator? I know all of the benefits of a calculator, but DH and I (who never took calculus) would like DS to learn the subject 'manually' as well as with a calculator (as it is required on the SAT subject test). Everything I've ever read from older engineers is that it is an invaluable skill, but I can't find any programs that still teach it. Will I just have to find a tutor? asta
  6. Here's the thread it came from and below that is the post you made. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3351201&highlight=rabbit#post3351201 That post was in Nov. of this past year, and I've been wondering how the rest of the year went for you. When we met at the convention you seemed very happy about your year. Did you make a shift toward more rabbit trails or interest-driven? Did you find another way to get peace? Anything you plan to do differently for this coming year based on what you learned this year?
  7. My dd is getting close to high school, in 8th this year. She is definitely an out of the box thinker, creative child, kinesthetic, visual spatial, loves art, hates most everything else about school. A lot of high school involves the use of textbooks (which we have not used in the past). Is it possible to get through at least most of high school without using textbooks? Learning from textbooks is just not appealing to her at all. She does not mind reading chapter books or other topical nonfiction books, just has a problem with the overwhelming dense quality of material in textbooks. I think the visual nature of them does not appeal to her as well because they distract her too much. Has anyone completed history, science, etc through some other method, reading books, doing experiments, etc and been successful in learning the material in high school? I guess I need examples of curriculum or accredited schools that might appeal to her style of learning more. We have done one year of Winter Promise in the past and I was thinking maybe I need to go back to that method for her. Any other ideas? I really want to have her graduate from an accredited school so have been looking at Kolbe and a few others. I like that Kolbe is flexible. Anyone have any ideas for an accredited school that would be a better fit?
  8. I am very much enjoying the experiential and philosophical discussion on the current state of education in the other thread. I would love to start this new thread to discuss practical application. Please share strategies and/or examples of how you support and require excellence in your homeschool.
  9. I've been reading Myrtle's blog for most of the afternoon, so that may give you an idea of where my thoughts are coming from. :001_smile: I have both the 1965 (1962) and 1970 (1967) Dolciani Algebra 1 texts. The 1970 text is the one written by Dolciani and Wooton, Beckenbach, Jurgensen, Donnelly. The authors of the earlier edition are Dolciani, Berman, and Freilich. I also own an 80's edition of the algebra text. (I have been searching for teacher's editions for these books, but have not been successful yet, so I'm hanging onto these copies and not selling them at this time. ;)) After looking through them today, I notice that the 1970 edition seems to introduce proofs in more detail than the earlier edition. (I wonder if this is due to the addition of Beckenbach as an author to the text.) As a student, I remember using the red and green text (1962, most likely). However, I also remember writing many proofs through my time in Algebra I. It was required for much of the year on tests, and we had to be able to *back up* our work in this way, or receive only half credit. It was this work with proofs that helped me to sail through Geometry the next year using, most likely, the Jurgensen text. I have found a copy of the Frank B. Allen Modern Algebra, A Logical Approach. According to what I've read on Myrtle's blog, it is a very *proofy* text. That is attractive to me, and I am excited to see how it compares to the Dolciani texts I own. If you are still following me, then I thank you for your patience. :) The reason I'm posting all of this is because I would like to insert more of the *proof* type of work into our lessons with MEP. In our current structure, I illustrate the problems on the big dry-erase board. I try to make sure that as we are working through steps that I am reminding him of which property allows us to do the work in those steps. I will ask, "What property allows us to do this?" and I expect the little guy to answer appropriately. So, to make a long story short, I'd like to know if I am on the right track, so to speak, for laying the groundwork for our approach into algebra in a couple of years. We are using MEP, some of the SMSG texts, and also a Dolciani Pre-Algebra (1977) text. We are also using a1970 elementary math text series, and word problems from David Bates Towers' Intellectual Algebra at google books. One more book we are working with is the Giant Golden Book of Mathematics, by Irving Adler. Am I aiming in the right direction so far? Thanks for any thoughts you have, and also for your time in reading this long and rambling post.
  10. I have some questions regarding the upper level math calculators. My dd finished Alg.1 and Geometry and used my old scientific calculator (it's a Casio fx-350). This seemed to be fine. In Alg 2 it states that she should have a graphing calculator and recommends either a TI-82 or TI-83. My question is whether one of those 2 calculators is absolutely needed, or would the scientific calculator that we have work for Alg 2. If she is going to require one of the above for PreCalc/Trig and Calc, then I might as well get one. Just curious as to what is really required. Thanks to anyone who might be able to help shed some light on this for me.
  11. I did an outloud cheer when I read this from the thread about which sort of hs'ing families are near you: "Only one other more rigorous hsing family here, and she put her older children into middle school and high school here. The others are either "relationships over academics" Christians or hippie-esque unschoolers, with a few boxed ABeka fans. We're too busy with college classes and orchestra to do much in the way of hsing groups any more. It's rather sad, actually. I miss those lovely days of trips to the lake..." I didn't know my style of hs'ing had a title and I'm thrilled to know there are others out there like me! :) My goal is to build a solid relationship with all three of my children *and* give them a great education . . . for me, that doesn't mean translating Homer by 12th grade ;) but I would certainly consider us a "going to university unless you have a much better idea" family. My hub tells the kids he'll only pay for a math or engineering degree and I'm pretty sure he's not joking. I wonder if the "relationship before academics" crowd would care to weigh in with their strategies to keep healthy relationship in tandem with careful academics? I refuse to make academics our family idol but I'm also of the mind that a solid academic foundation opens many doors. I'm interested! Warmly, Tricia
  12. There is a great article about STEM education in college in the Education Life section of the NYT today. All you veteran STEM educators and students will like this. I know my oldest dd left math for some of the reasons (she likes a social component to her academics). STEM college educators need to get more inspirational. Science should never be too hard or too boring if kids of these days are to be retained as students. I wish I had more time as a homeschool Mom to tackle these issues. I despair that dd #2 may abandon her STEM dreams. On the other hand, both my dh and I have had STEM careers and all our courses were tedious and boring. I survived b/c of the challenge and being able to find like-minded study companions. Dh is just wired that way, but he did change majors several times.
  13. I'm hoping you might have time to discuss something you mentioned in another thread: [Copied and pasted from your post.] I have a preference for texts written by mathematicians not math educators. I'm curious to know more about how textbooks written by mathematicians differ from those written by math educators. And, is it realistic for a parent who's not a mathematician to aspire to use materials written by mathematician? These questions are inspired partly by your post and partly by some remarks I read in reviews of math texts at Amazon. oops...I should have said that I'm interested in hearing from Jane and anyone else for whom this is important.
  14. Dear WTM board people, I was just wondering about the theory of decimal exponents. Could anybody please explain to me how they work? (from Colleen: this is getting beyond my range of knowledge...so I suggested he post his question here - thanks, friends!)
  15. Admittedly I am in an Algebra/Geometry/Algebra II-Trig/Precalc/Calculus box. I understand those who might want to include Statistics. I understand those whose children start Algebra early including a Number Theory class. For those who are advanced in Math, I see potential rabbit holes in Graph Theory or Combinatorics in high school. But lately there has been discussion of business math, consumer math and accounting for high school math credits. Could we talk about the content of the first two? What makes them solid math classes for high school? Accounting, to me, is not math. Yes, it involves numbers. But just because something has numbers, does not make it math. Granted, I am asking for a discussion where I need convincing. In other posts, people have said that consumer math uses real world examples for things like loans or budgeting. Why is this Math? Yes, it involves numbers--but the arithmetic involved is pretty basic stuff. Compound interest is usually studied in algebra as an application of exponents. If consumer math introduces material on the kinds of loans that are in the market place, is this really math? I think a case might be made for a business math class that includes a number of application (word) problems and statistics. Regarding investment: teaching students about financial instruments is not math in my eyes. I have taught a technical math at the CC which I think could be adapted for high school. There were practical geometry/trig problems, situations with rates of change (flow of fluids), proportions (application of pesticides). I taught this to a group of middle aged men whose company required that they receive some sort of certification. These guys loved the course! This was the math they used in their jobs or in their weekend hobbies, so it was very real to them. As more universities require applicants to have four years of math on their transcripts, I think that parents are seeking alternatives outside the standard path. I do not have a problem with that. I think I am having a problem with labeling something that is not math "Math". Ducking tomatoes (and hoping for a fruitful yet not messy conversation), Jane P.S. Maybe someone could link me to some table of contents for consumer math curricula. I looked around the Internet and could not find anything specific.
  16. As my son prepares to go off to college in the fall, I find myself reflecting over numerous things in his life. He played one pricey sport for a few years--hockey. Unlike most kids who grow up playing it, he picked it up at age 12. He played recreationally, not competitively. The latter would have been much more expensive because of travel. He loved it but then he was ready to leave it behind to focus on his dual enrollment courses. It was interesting though that so many parents could not grasp my son's satisfaction with recreational play. They wanted their kids on travel teams. Maybe the kids wanted to be on travel teams, too. I really don't know. In retrospect, I don't think that he will think back to all those Saturday soccer games with warm and fuzzy memories. I wonder if he would have enjoyed them if they had been pick up games, like the pick up baseball games that the boys on my street growing up used to play. (Everyone knew not to park their vehicles on the street because the boys literally took it over.) In the winter, we went sledding after school. (I obviously did not grow up in NC!) There were no parents driving us or supervising us. Whoever showed up in the neighborhood showed up. Last summer, I wondered where in the world the teenaged girls were when I saw my son and a large pack of teen boys playing Capture the Flag on the beach as the sun was setting. There were some parents there because we had ordered pizza. But we did not organize the game. It was just a bunch of boys who organized themselves, the way they also organize their Ultimate Frisbee games (although the girls usually join them for those). Wouldn't it be nice if kids could return to these unstructured and inexpensive activities? Or am I just a romantic, thinking that life can be simpler? My parents did pay for some lessons for me. Sewing and guitar when younger. I was involved in theater throughout high school so I needed transportation but there were no costs. Did these organized activities enter the front when people moved out of cities and into suburbs? I just do not remember parents toting their kids about like they do now.
  17. Now that ds is in his second ch of the trig section (in the Alg II/Trig Dolciani '65 book), we've hit a major slowdown.... It can take an hour to do 2 problems...Ds says they just take him a long time... Here I was thinking he would be finished with the book by the middle of April. Any insights? Thanks! Joan
  18. My "ideal" educated child would look like the educated Thomas Jeffersons and George Washingtons. People who started this country knew how to think and reason in their early 20's. They seemed to be able to handle large responsiblities at early ages. The stuff people read back then for general reading was so deep, we have trouble reading it today. I heard about a town in the late 1700's where they used to "draw straws" to pick the next leaders. Everyone was considered to be well educated and able to think well enough to lead well. So, the question is - how do we educate our children when our standard is that high? My husband and I - though college educated never even acheived that type of education and now just don't have the energy as we plop into bed after the kids go to bed. So, how does one go about this? Do we move to the middle of nowhere away from society and only have certain books available to read:001_huh: (lol)? Can this even be done in our society anymore? Beth
  19. I'm really struggling with high school at the moment ladies, so bear with me. I was searching through some old posts and came across this option for high school history - Spievogel's Human Odyssey Used, it's pretty cheap. I found a 1999 edition 2 years ago for $12 (which included shipping) and it was in new condition. It is a history textbook, covering ancient history through modern times, with lots of photos/illustrations, excerpts from writings from the time period, and sidebars of interesting side topics. There are 4-6 questions at the end of each 4-8 page section within a chapter, and then a 2-page spread of questions at the end of each chapter which you could use as a test. The book is about 1100 pages long, but you would be reading that over 4 years; here's a suggested breakdown: 9th grade: ancients -- 200 pages (chapters 1-6) 10th grade: medieval -- 250 pages (chapters 7-15) 11th grade: empires/colonialism -- 300 pages (chapters 16-24) 12th grade: 20th century -- 320 pages (chapters 25-34) Throw in: - a few historical fiction books for "flavor of the times - read/research/write a few papers on a person or event of that time period - watch a few documentaries on that time period or movies set in that time period for fun and you'd have a great full year credit history class! See World History: The Human Odyssey by Jackson Spielvogel at: http://www.amazon.com/World-History-...9436959&sr=1-1 (There's a used one for $3 plus shipping in the used copies at Amazon right now!) BEST of luck in finding what works for your family! Warmly, Lori D. So, that sounds fun, easy and appealing even to me :) But we're doing something harder because it's academically rigorous, will look good on the apps, includes worldview and biblical instruction and the like. I am just sad ds is not as into school stuff as I am, maybe that's the whole issue right there... thoughts appreciated
  20. Okay, so I have been reading the posts on the accelerated foruam board about long term plans... What does one look like? I think I have one for the twins (starting at 9th grade)... I have a list of what many colleges look for and what courses the kids must complete. For example: 3 yrs/cr of math (algebra 2, geometry, precalc or statistics). Algebra 1 was done in 8th grade accelerated class. 4 yrs/cr of English (English 10, English 11, CC dual credit for Rhetoric 1, 2, & Speech). They did English 9 in 8th grade accelerated class. 3 yrs/cr of Science (CC dual credit based upon their college major...Ds majoring in physics/astronomy, Dd majoring in music). 3 yrs/cr of Social Studies (World History, US History, Government, Consumer Education/Economics). 3 yrs/cr of a foreign language 7 more credits as electives (1/2 credit of health required). Total of 23 credits. But I don't have any other "details" in it.
  21. Although I did algebra, I don't think I ever did proofs. Calvin is coming across them in LOF and we are both a bit puzzled. Do they have a practical purpose or are they a 'the beauty of maths' kind of endeavour? Thanks Laura
  22. Hello all. Use of and restrictions on the use of calculators are perennial themes here. Jean has a thread going on the College Board regarding restrictions on calculator use in her son's College Math course. Regularly parents ask about which calculators are allowed on standardized tests. Etc. I wanted to weigh in with some new thoughts that I have had regarding the use of graphing calculators of the TI-83 or 84 vintage. I have not fiddled with the new TI-nspire (a name which annoys me) nor do I have personal experience with the more sophisticated calculators that have symbolic manipulators. My son's math work since 8th grade (when he did Algebra) used calculators sparingly. For example, I allowed him to check the graphs he drew by hand with a calculator. I have always allowed a calculator for word problems or science applications where answers are rarely given in exact form but are rounded. Further, we have used "antique" math texts, old Dolcianis, that did not contain calculator applications as the modern books do. Since my son is now studying Calculus using one of the suggested texts for AP courses (Larson), the time seemed right to integrate the use of the calculator into his work. I have ulterior motives as well: prior to this time, my son has used my old TI-85 calculator, something that I bought when he was a baby. The old 85s function a bit differently than the 84 which seems to be a fairly standard educational model these days. The transition is not automatic. I wanted to share our recent experience. The material on limits and continuity in Larson was covered in Dolciani's Analysis book last year. We are revisiting it (always a good idea to look at epsilon/delta proofs more than once) but adding a calculator component. My son is using the graphing calculator and its table function to estimate limits and discover the limitations of technology. Further, one does not find every feature and application of the calculator overnight. I purposely assign problems that give him the opportunity to explore certain calculator features. Larson does a good job of labeling problems that are to be done with a graphing utility. I should note that the calculator applications do not form a majority of his homework problems--most of the Larson problems do not require any technological aids. Warning: calculator instruction manuals are rarely user friendly. In fact, my son just went out for a long walk after a rather frustrating experience with his device. An application was accidentally turned on by his mother (oops) and it took a bit of work to figure out how to turn it off. I am left with instructions not to touch his calculator again. Snort! Jane
  23. I've read several times here that people prefer the older editions of Dolciani's Algebra: Structure and Method Book 1, but I've never read a reason why people find them better than the updated editions. Does anyone know?
  24. I understand there are older versions and newer versions. It seems that it is more difficult to find the older versions, from what I have read. DS9 will be in 4th next year, working a grade level ahead in Math. We are currently using Horizons Math. He is expressing strong interests in engineering and design. He is obsessed with the mechanics of things, knowing how things work and why. he is a lego-aholic, and will build with anything he can get his hands on. He can also take things and find out of the ordinary uses for them. He thinks outside of the box. I am beginning my research for upper level Math, as it seems this will be his forte and field of interest. I want to be able to provide him with rigorous math programs which allow him to work at the best of his abilities. All this to say, where can you purchase the Dolciani Math books and solution manuals? Is there somewhere to see samples? Any other curriculum you would recommend for future engineers? :lol:
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