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  1. Another thread and a post by Ruth has really got me thinking. It seems all our subjects are so restrictive and in depth when it comes to how we do them. I have been racking my brain for weeks now trying to figure out why it seems we are spending all day doing school and not really much being accomplished. Why cant you pick a list of topics and let the child read and watch about it? I think this would really work for my kiddos but I guess I am lacking the knowledge to step out and do it. I want my kids to have more time for math not just their regular curriculum but all the extras. I want them to have more time to focus and explore in science. Both girls are excellent spellers and their writing is coming along fine. So why do I take the time out of our days to do things I don't think they need? Mainly because of the pressure I feel from other moms. I read some of the threads on here and other boards and moms are doing 3 math programs, 2-3 languages, 2 sciences multiple history and I always feel like we are lacking. So what do I do? I add more!!! This is not working! I need to find away to revamp our school days so the kiddos have more time to learn in their way. Any thoughts?
  2. I've been asked in this thread http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/489738-living-books-approach-to-9th-grade-biology/ to write a living books approach to physics. Although I am a qualified teacher in all sciences, my speciality is biology, so I am sure that others (obviously Regentrude) will have suggestions to improve this plan. I hope that it is helpful to all the poets out there (read humanity types) who want to be educated in physics, but don't have an interest in using a mathematical or textbook-based approach. I have found this week-long project to be fascinating! See post 25 for an explanation of *why* I designed this course in this manner. Physics for Poets: a living books approach to physics This will be a conceptual class using 'living books.' It is not a history of science or a study of the biographies of scientists. It is about understanding physics concepts. This class is at a high school level, so although no textbook will be used, the resources chosen are targeted at a reasonably high level. This class could be taught with or without a lab component. GOALS: 1) To understand why objects behave as they do 2) To understand how technology works 3) To study modern physics 4) To understand physics issues in the news OBJECTIVES: 1) To gain a general understanding of basic physics: mechanics, optics, electromagnetism, modern physics 2) To apply this understanding to everyday objects and observations 3) To research current physics topics and understand the importance of large physics projects like CERN 4) To explain both orally and in writing, the physics behind everyday objects and issues in the news 5) To do practical scientific investigations in physics in order to gain an understanding of the scientific method. I don't have time to plan out the labs, but expect them to take about 4-5 hours each (including write-up), so more like investigations than quicky labs. This adds to 20-25 hours lab work, a bit light but still respectable. I have copied an example investigation at the bottom. WORK LOAD I am assuming 6-8 hours per week which includes reading. Reading classes, like English, require more reading hours, so student might find that 8 hours per week is required. Read 5 books (averaging about 45 pages per week) Watch 1 lecture per week Write 5 small papers Make 3 presentations Research and write about 1 larger issue If the work load is too heavy, drop Physics of the Impossible, and reduce to 30 pages per week on average. Your student should read more on reading-only weeks, so that there is more time for the presentations/writing/investigation weeks. RESOURCES Video Lecture Physics in your life - The Great Courses Unit 1. The Physics of Everyday Objects (Mechanics/motion, optics/waves, electromagnetism, digital/machines): 15 weeks. (40 pages/week) 1)The New Way Things Work. Macaulay (400 pages) 2) For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics. Lewin. (pages 1-188 only) Unit 2. Modern physics: 17 weeks. (40 pages/week for 15 weeks, then 60 pages/week for last 6 week of the easy read) 3) How to teach physics to your dog. Orzel(250 pages) 4) Physics of the impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel (350 pages) 5) Lightweight book: choose one from these three 5a) Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. Feynman. Biography (350 pages) (see Regentrude's post #15 below about possible inappropriate content) 5b) Both The Wizard of Quarks and Alice in Quantumland (380 pages together) 5c) The Physics of Superheros (380 pages) For students with a more mathematical bend, replace selections 2, 3, or 4 with one of these selections, and remove the lightweight book to make more time for the harder selection. 6) The physics of football (300 pages) 7) A Brief History of Time. Hawking. The physics of astronomy. (340 pages) 8) Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory. Gamow. Requires some algebra but not more advanced math. (240 pages) For students with less time or less-skilled students, remove either For the Love of Physics or Physics of the Impossible (depending on interest), thus dropping out all reading for the last 6 weeks so the student can focus on his/her research paper. Unit 3: Research paper on Socio-Scientifc issue Student selected resources. Useful websites listed below. SCHEDULE: 6-8 hours per week. 36 weeks. Unit 1. The physics of everyday objects (weeks 1-15) Watch: Lectures 1-15 Read: How Things Work and For the Love of Physics. 40 pages per week Present: Three 20-minute presentation on the most interesting objects you have studied Write: Three 2-page papers explaining in your own words the physics behind everyday objects (see at the bottom of this post for ideas) Investigate: Three topics Weeks: 1-2 Read, prepare presentation on mechanics 3-4 Read, write 2-page paper on mechanics 5 Read, investigation #1 6-7 Read, prepare presentation on waves/optics 8-9 Read, write 2-page paper on waves/optics 10 Read, investigation #2 11-12 Read, prepare presentation on electromagnetism 13-14 Read, write 2-page paper on electromagnetism 15 Read, investigation #3 Unit 2: Modern physics (weeks 16-32) Watch: Lectures 16-32 Read: How to teach physics to your dog; and Physics of the Impossible; and begin one of the lightweight books Research: Two topics in modern physics Write: Two 4-page papers on modern physics (see bottom of this post for ideas). Investigate: 2 topics Weeks: 19-21 Read book 22 Read, Research topic on modern physics 23 Read, Write 4-page paper 24 Read, Investigation #4 25-27 Read book 28 Read, Research topic on modern physics 29 Read, Write 4-page paper 30 Read, Investigation #5 Unit 3: Research paper on Socio-Scientifc issue (weeks 33-36) Choose one topic that is particularly interesting to you and do an in-depth study. Write a 10-page research paper both describing the issue, persuading the reader to either support or decline funding to the area of research (see bottom of this post for ideas). Watch: Lectures 33-36 Read: Finish lightweight book Research: One large topic Write: One 10-page paper Weeks: 33-34 Research 35-36 Plan and write 10-page paper Useful websites Physics in the news http://www.physics.org/news.asp http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/matter_energy/physics/ http://phys.org/physics-news/ http://www.physnews.com/ Investigations http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/wop/homeexpphys.html http://seniorphysics.com/physics/eei.html http://www.sciencefairadventure.com/Physics.aspx http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics http://www.courseworkbank.info/Dndex.php?d=R0NTRS9QaHlzaWNz&catagory= PhET simulations Physics Fun and Beyond ASSESSMENT 3 Presentations 5 Papers 1 Large research paper 5 Investigations IDEAS FOR WRITING ASSIGNMENTS After writing up the above plan, I went looking for resources to augment the books. I found to my utter amazement, that the NZ 12th grade physics curriculum includes the exact same writing assignments :blink: (yes, apparently great minds think alike :thumbup:). So I have included here the description of the writing assignments to give some clarity to what I was talking about: UNIT 1: Demonstrate understanding of the application of physics to a selected context Option 1. Semiconducting Today’s society is very reliant on the use of electronic devices. These devices make use of semiconductors, therefore understanding how semiconductors (and the electronic components they are made of) are used in modern technology is increasingly important. Apply your understanding of physics to a real life context. You need to apply your knowledge of circuits and semiconductor physics to the function of a semiconductor component used in an electronic device. Possible electronic devices: light emitting diode (LED) photodiode bipolar junction transistor (MOSFET, CMOS, JFET) light dependent resistor (LDR) thermistor. Research your chosen electronic device. Using your knowledge of circuits and semiconductor physics, explain the function of a semiconductor component used in the electronic device. You are encouraged to use diagrams and pictures to support your explanations. You need to clearly link key physics ideas together to provide a coherent picture of the physics relevant to the semiconductor component. Option 2. Other ideas General – bridge building, musical instruments, sound recording, stellar evolution, radio astronomy, and particle accelerators Specific – GPS and the Large Hadron Collider. Investigate how physics applies to your chosen context. You need to clearly link key physics ideas together to provide a coherent picture of the physics relevant to your selected context. You may choose: producing a written report, preparing an oral presentation (with handouts), preparing a multi-media presentation, or constructing a poster. UNIT 2: Demonstrate understanding of Modern Physics Option 1. Nuclear fusion by 2030 Write a report for your local council about the physics of producing power using nuclear fusion. Research the subject. Write your report. In it, explain clearly the physics concepts and principles at work in a nuclear fusion power generator. Explain also how these concepts and principles work in conjunction with each other to create energy. Based on the physics, discuss the potential of nuclear power as a future energy source for your locality. Conclude your report with a recommendation(s) to the local council. They should be well supported by your earlier explanations of the relevant physics. Option 2. High-powered solar cells Write a report for your local electricity lines business (ELB) about the physics of solar cells. Research the subject. Write your report. In it, explain clearly the physics concepts and principles at work in a high-powered solar cell. Explain also how these concepts and principles work in conjunction with each other to create energy. Based on the physics, discuss the potential of high-powered solar cells as a future renewable energy source for your locality. Conclude your report with a recommendation(s) to the ELB. They should be well supported by your earlier explanations of the relevant physics. UNIT 3: Use physics knowledge to develop an informed response to a socio-scientific issue Option 1. Should your locality remain ‘nuclear power’ free? Conduct research on electrical energy generation using nuclear power. Develop an informed personal response to the issue of your locality remaining nuclear power free based on the physics knowledge. The format of your response is an opinion article for the editorial pages of a newspaper. To prepare for this article you will research and explain the key physics ideas relating to electrical energy generation using nuclear power, identifying the potential benefits and risks to your locality. The benefits and risks may be related to economic, ethical, biological, or environmental factors. Keep a research log book (or folder/electronic record). All your research notes, outlines, drafts, and so on must be kept in this log book. You need to date your work and reference your sources as you take notes. Hand in your log book with your final article. In your article: provide key physics knowledge that includes:key physics concepts and processes that relate to electrical energy generation through the use of nuclear power physics and social implications – the benefits and risks (for example, economic, ethical, biological or environmental) of nuclear power use the key physics knowledge you have gathered to state your personal position and recommended action(s) about your locality remaining nuclear power free justify your position and action(s) by providing supporting evidence to explain why you chose your position and action(s) analyse and prioritise the physics knowledge used to justify your position and recommended action(s). This may include: comparing the significance of implications of the issue on individuals and society considering the likely effectiveness of identified action(s) commenting on sources and information, considering ideas such as validity (date, peer reviewed, scientific acceptance), bias (attitudes, values, beliefs), weighing up how science ideas are used by different groups. Option 2. Renewable energy technology in new buildings – should it be compulsory? In January 2011, scientists published peer-reviewed findings that suggested global energy demands could be reduced by 73% using energy efficient technologies in buildings, industries and transport. Your local council is investigating the feasibility of requiring renewable energy technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines to be compulsory for new buildings. You are the consultant hired to prepare a presentation on this socio-scientific issue for their consideration. Use your physics knowledge to develop an informed response to a socio-scientific issue related to renewable energy technology. You are required to develop a presentation that: gives an informed personal response to the issue of whether renewable energy technology in new buildings should be compulsory includes recommendations of actions that could be taken as a result of your informed position. Research the physics of renewable energy technologies for buildings. This may include photo-voltaic solar panels and wind turbines, identifying the short and long-term benefits and drawbacks to individuals and society. The benefits and drawbacks may be related to an economic, ethical or environmental issue. Develop an informed personal response to your chosen issue of whether renewable energy technology in new buildings should be compulsory, based on physics knowledge. Develop suggestions for actions that could be taken. You will be assessed on the overall comprehensiveness of your presentation, whether it explains the relevant physics ideas, and your analysis and discussion of the issue(s). Keep a research logbook to record your notes, references, article outlines or plans, drafts of paragraphs, comments on the validity, bias or purpose of resources, and so on. This information will help you to prepare and refine your presentation. Topics you need to cover in your presentation provide physics knowledge that includes:physics concepts and processes that relate to the renewable energy technology for buildings. This may include ideas such as energy storage/links to the national grid, conversion between AC and DC, voltage and frequency considerations etc. a comparison of the renewable technologies in buildings with the technologies currently used to provide electricity physics related to social implications – this may include possible short and long-term benefits and drawbacks to individuals, society and the environment use the physics knowledge you have gathered to state your personal position and recommend action(s) about compulsory renewable energy technology in new buildings justify your position and action(s) by providing supporting evidence to explain why you chose your position and action(s) analyse and prioritise the physics knowledge used to justify your position and recommended action(s). This may include: comparing the significance of implications of the issue on individuals and society considering the likely effectiveness of the identified action(s) commenting on sources and information, considering ideas such as validity (date, peer reviewed, scientific acceptance) and bias (attitudes, values, beliefs), and weighing up how science ideas are used by different groups. EXAMPLE OF AN INVESTIGATION Baby bouncers behave differently for different sized babies. This assessment activity involves modelling a ‘baby bouncer’ using a spring-mass system in order to test a physics theory involving two variables in a non-linear relationship. You will take suitable measurements, use techniques to maximise accuracy, process and graph the collected data, determine the equation of the non-linear relationship and critically compare this with the theoretical relationship between the variables. Plan and prepare the investigation The aim of the investigation is to find out how the period of oscillation, T, is affected by the mass, m, which is suspended on the spring. Construct a spring-mass system to model a baby bouncer. Gather data When gathering your data: gather a reasonable range of data points plot the data points and conduct graphical analysis decide what kind of relationship exists between the variables. Account for accuracy and uncertainty in your measurements at all steps during the investigation. Analyse data To analyse your data: Process your data, including uncertainties Transform your processed data in a way that allows you to plot a suitable linear graph that shows uncertainties Determine a mathematical relationship based on your linear graphs that links the period of oscillation, T, and the mass, m. Write the report Write your report using the data that you have gathered and analysed. In your report include: a summary of the investigative process a detailed presentation of your results and analysis, including graphical analysis that includes uncertainties a conclusion that states the equation of the relationship between the variables and compares this to the physics theory identification of how other uncontrollable variables may have affected the results consideration of the limitations of the theory’s applicability in the practical situation and/or at the extreme values of the independent variable a discussion of any unexpected outcomes of the processing of the results and how these have been caused and their impact on the validity of the experiment.
  3. Several people have asked about the literature course I’ve titled Roots of Steampunk. (This will take a couple of posts) I got the idea at the end of last year, when I very much needed the refreshment of something more inspirational than the road we’d been on. We had used Windows to the World for freshman/8th grade and I wanted to give the boys a dose of fun, but meaty books that they could apply some of their new skills to. I found myself thinking about the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and thinking that there were so many little jokes and references in the movie that my boys probably missed, because they weren’t familiar with the original books. I also remembered having read Dracula for the first time a few years back, when the Twilight movies were coming fast and furious. That book was such an antidote for the sparkly vampire gack and defense of evil as “maybe only sort of bad, from one way of looking at it†that I see in a lot of books and movies aimed at the young adult market. Plus our family has a real fondness for the Steampunk vibe. My kids enjoy a lot of books in or around the edges of the modern Steampunk genre. I thought that it might provide a nice hook to get them to dive into the books upon which Steampunk is founded. So I started out with the books referenced in the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. [CAVEAT: The graphic novel is in no way suitable for kids. The first chapter includes the depiction of an attempted rape of one of the main characters. I have a pretty strong omnivorous reading appetite, but I sent that one back to the library unfinished. The movie is much tamer.] Then I added in some other books that I thought were important and could generally tie to the theme. My working booklist looked something like this: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde The Picture of Dorian Gray 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Dracula The Invisible Man King Solomon’s Mines Sherlock Holmes Frankenstein War of the Worlds Island of Dr. Moreau Sherlock Holmes Pride and Prejudice The Time Machine Father Brown by Chesterton Metamorphosis and The Trial by Kafka Huckleberry Finn A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Something by Dickens Most of these are from the Victorian era, an era when the ages of Exploration and Industrialization and Science were firmly bumping up against each other. Pride and Prejudice and Frankenstein are on the early end of the spectrum. I also had a hard time thinking of quality American books to fit into the theme. Huckleberry Finn is mentioned in the movie, but I wanted to hold that off one more year, in case we did a one year American History study. And because I think it’s a book that a lot of extra meaning has been loaded onto and I wanted to give it justice with a little more adult readers. My husband suggested A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court as having a time travel and “what is modernity†theme.
  4. I am considering designing a half-credit interdisciplinary study for 9th grade, but I have never done such a thing before and am interested in hearing some Voices of Wisdom. If you have designed courses of your own, I'd love to know your plans and experiences! I love this old thread about the Daniel Boorstin trilogy: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/207482-what-type-of-books-are-the-daniel-boorstin-trilogy/?hl=%2Bboorstin&do=findComment&comment=1993240 Corraleno and others shared some stunning ideas! I would love to hear from anyone who implemented those ideas. The course I am currently considering will focus on the creative process, but I am still in the initial research/gathering stages. Any and all ideas are welcome!
  5. Ok, I've been talking and thinking about this almost since I started homeschooling almost 3 years ago, but I think it's finally happening. I think I'm starting to relax and trust the process. My kids are going to learn what they need to learn, I'm going to be able to teach them what they need me to, and find them resources for things that I can't teach. I think it's going to be ok. What has led to this epiphany? Well, I've been super busy with work this spring. Some days I just have to give the kids a list and work. And you know what? It's great. They get their stuff done. They've both learned more than a year's worth of stuff this year, they are both developing into lovely young people, and they are happy. Shannon has turned her passion for horses into a really amazing opportunity - she volunteers at the stable in exchange for extra lessons, she works hard, she's developing a strong work ethic and a great reputation as a hard worker. Doors are opening. She is turning her passion for theater into . . . I'm not sure what yet, but she studies, and focuses, and memorizes, and works so hard, and she is really impressing her directors as well. And, watching her interact with this new fan site/MOOC - Hogwarts is Here - watching how motivated she is when she really wants to learn something, she knows what to do. She set up a binder with dividers, she downloaded her textbooks, read them and took notes, and writes essays and submits them online. So you know what? She knows how to learn! So we've been talking a lot the last week about what is motivating, what is a passion, about what my job is in her education (making sure she has the basic skills and requirements that will keep all college/higher ed doors open, and to help her research resources and opportunities) and what her job is (actually, you know, learning stuff), and I'm starting to actually believe it, and let go a little bit . . . So. That filmmaking class she's been wanting to take, and I've been thinking she needs to wait on? I made her a deal: she needs to go online and learn to use the editing software for her digital camera, and I'll pay for the class. Those online equine science classes she's been wanting to get started on, but I thought she was too young? Ok. More Shakespeare? Yeah, ok, we can do that! More poetry? Yep. Hmmm, there will be less time in the schedule for stuff I had planned on doing. But you know what? That's ok too. I am officially . . . relaxed. :biggrinjester:
  6. Ok, here is the first of what I feel certain will be many questions about teaching my dd7, who is just starting her homeschool career as a 2nd grader this year. I've homeschooled dd10 for 2 years now, but as with everything with these two, I feel that nothing I've learned with dd10 will prepare me, in any practical way, to work with dd7. She is a strong-willed, stubborn, yet incredibly sensitive small human. She has strong opinions - mostly negative - about many things, her first word was literally "no", and she had terrible twos for a solid 2+ years. Yet at the same time, she is very perceptive about other's emotions and her feelings are easily hurt. She is one of those people who will not take life easy, or let life be easy, ever . . . My non-negotiables with her are the skill subjects: we will do math, writing, and language arts every day. She doesn't have to like it (she mostly doesn't), but she has to do it, just like I have to clean the bathroom and cook meals even when I don't feel like it (an analogy that I feel will get pretty worn out at our house the next few weeks! ;) ) I've chosen things that are efficient and don't take a lot of time, no wasted effort, but she has to do them daily. So this part is fine, I don't really have a question about that. What I'm wondering about is the content areas - specifically lit, science, history, etc. I had planned to do this whole cool world geography thing, where we read about different countries, found them on the map, read nonfiction & stories from the cultures, cook food, etc. She's basically not interested in anything but the cooking part. So, ok. I can let that go. We can cook meals from around the world and maybe soak up a little culture while we're at it. I've asked her if there is anything she wants to study - and no big surprise, it's horses. She's all :001_tt1: about horses. So, ok, we can read about horses. But can we just read about them, or do I need to try and turn this into something more complicated and "educational?" I'm also thinking of doing the SWB suggestion and taking her to the library each week and telling her she has to pick out nonfiction books she's interested in, and just reading those together. Does this seem ok? No specific science topics, no 4-year classical history sequence . . . just reading lots of great literature and reading from a book basket of nonfiction she picks out? I know that some of you who I greatly admire generally do interest-led content studies in the elementary years, so I'm feeling kind of brave about this, but not sure if what I'm thinking is "how it's done". Obviously, if she develops an abiding interest in something, we can follow it up! But am I ok just letting this be it for now?
  7. In a recent thread I was introduced to a course that would be a good fit for my son....Movies as Literature. This got me thinking. What other unusual High School courses are there out there? Things that your child would NOT meet in ps. I know this is a classical board, but i am thinking outside the classical arena here....although fun, unusual or unique approaches to classical stuff is also welcome. :) Willow.
  8. Anyone want to share? I think it could be fun, and we could get each other's creative juices flowing. The more details the better. :D I can share mine after school, when I have more time, but I wanted to get the thread started.
  9. What sorts of curricula or other materials have your children found interesting and thought-provoking in your home school?
  10. of your coming homeschool year? I have begun taking my 14-year-old DD to a series of book readings and signings by popular science writers. We met Mary Roach this past week and heard her talk about her latest book, Packing For Mars. Next month's book is The Calculus Diaries; then there are several coming up on recent work in neuroscience. I'm also quite happy to have found a group that meets monthly in a bookstore to read a Shakespeare play aloud; anyone who wants to read gets a part. First meeting is in September. What sorts of things are others doing that are not "schoolish" but chosen for educational value?
  11. The recent MCT and grammar thread has me pondering larger questions than can be resolved by changing curriculum. Many board member have been pushed to teach "outside the box" - going against traditional methods or curriculum or even current standards. Sometimes it is our own personalities rebelling against our youthful educational experiences, but most often, the needs of our particular children push us to the ledge and straight over. What happens when learning disabilities, extreme giftedness, or quirky personalities push us to move beyond the norms in teaching? How did you get to that point? How did you make the change? What tools did you have on hand that help you? What tools do you feel you need? Where would you encourage someone that is struggling to start from? This is really broad but I know sometimes I see wonderful posts about teaching "outside the box" and I think "Oh, I want to do that, but my gosh, look at her educational background, her financial resources...her saintliness.;)" "I could never do that." Let's talk about the nitty, gritty details. And please, educational theories are welcome. It was obvious, at least to me, from the other thread that a few of us are dying to talk about education on a deeper level.
  12. I thought someone might benefit from seeing some examples of what outside the box middle school looked like for my neurotypical ds. In other words this is some of what I did when I wasn't worried about accommodating learning disabilities. I can't tell you what kind of writing he did as I didn't use a program nor did I assign writing from all the reading he did. If anyone is really interested I'll go dig through the box of all his school stuff to see what I can find! I hope some others will post what they are currently doing or have done in the past. First up, book lists. We read and discussed. And that's it. No analysis, no written assignments, just literature for the love of literature. Classics 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea Journey to the Center of the Earth Around the World in 80 Days Hound of the Baskervilles Sherlock Holmes stories Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Hobbit Lord of the Rings near classics -- darn good books! Watership Down all the James Herriot books Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy My Family and Other Animals by Gerrald Durrell Murder on the Orient Express Everything else he devoured: Brian Jacques Redwall series Garth Nix Keys to the Kingdom Rick Riordan -- the Percy Jackson books Charlie Bone books Robert Heinlein books for boys (Have Spacesuit will Travel, Rolling Stones, etc) Ursula Le Guin Earth Sea Trilogy Jonothan Stroud Bartimaeus series Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy Christopher Paolini Eragon series There are more, I'm sure. We attended several author signings and readings, attended plays, too. Some examples of units (for lack of a better word) I created: A very short unit on early man The Kin by Peter Dickinson: novel about a group of children 200,000 years ago Young Oxford Guide to the Prehistoric World books on cave paintings in France, did our own cave paintings visited Museum of Man exhibit on evolution and did early man timeline Longer unit on Asia: Monkey: A Journey to the West Long is Dragon about Chinese calligraphy: taught ds to use my calligraphy brush Japanese mythology (don’t have the source jotted down) Ramayana (read aloud and edited as needed -- never found a good for kids version) books on Hokusai (Japanese artist) Blue Fingers: A Ninja tale Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shoguns had ds fill in blank maps of different Asian countries, noting mountain chains, major rivers and cities Visited Asian art collections in area museums Finally, we did a year of geology and geography based on Runkle's text Rise and Fall of San Diego a book on area geology. Did field trips from that book to find local rock formations. lots and lots of geochaching and many visits to the local natural history and oceanographic museums
  13. I've been thinking a lot about the idea of teaching my children how to learn and not just what to learn. This school year has been going pretty well, but I have a little itch that I can't quite figure out how to scratch. We're getting our list of things done daily (mostly). Things like math, latin, history, writing, spelling, etc. But I feel like there isn't much fun or adventure or excitement. I've been looking at Five in a Row and the upper levels thinking I'd love to be able to read with my kids and draw from our reading fun ideas, or fun rabbit trails to take and discuss and study. I don't know where in the world I would start with such an idea. Wouldn't it be fun to read Little Britches and study about cowboys, maybe go horseback riding, learn how to lasso, or tie different knots? Learn about early irrigation, make a small model. Look at paintings of the American west and learn about artists from that time period. Now see, this book lends itself easily to rabbit trails. But I still don't feel well equipped to take them. I feel I lack the knowledge or the desire and so instead of pulling a learning adventure out of a book, we just read. Anyone have any thoughts? Anyone know of a good book or article to read? Anyone really good at doing this in their homeschool and want to share what they know? Thanks for listening.
  14. Have any of you homeschooled a dc who became or is planning to become an artist (visual--drawing, painting, etc)? How did you work that into a classical or partly classical education? My 12 yo apparently has talent and draws all the time on virtually every page of work, on her own time, etc. She loves to draw, paint, etc. I've been thinking about what to do for her in high school (she's gr 8 now and would like to graduate early at this point, and is on the road for that), and am thinking even more about this since watching a video posted by Techwife called "Do Schools Kill Creativity? I still think dd needs to do her academics, but how much art can I include, do you think?
  15. DS was asking what cool, out of the box stuff we can do for Chemistry and US government. Yikes. I have only been researching how to hs high school and trying to find the perfect curriculum, I forgot about the reason we've decided to hs in the first place! So, what cool ideas do you have for us? And, yes, I FINALLY started slogging through the Breadth vs Depth thread. If I go through a few pages a day, I should have it read by the holidays! :lol:
  16. My two year search for the perfect science curriculum has led me to conclude that I shall either have to write my own, or appraoch science without a curriculum, piece by piece. So, to those of you who do not use a science curriculum, what do you do to provide structure and coherency? Do you use a standard line of questions and a science log ala WTM which the student completes for every book or experiment? Do you choose a spine and follow rabbit trails? Just narration, copywork, etc.? I am asking generally, for grades 3-8. I have divided our science studies each year into three parts: nature study (with a nature notebook), natural history (readings), and "science". I have already planned out nature study and natural history, and have only "science" to consider. In this facet, I'd like us to study chemistry, zoology, botany, physics, astronomy, physical geography, meteorology, etc. I have a general order of study, but HOW to go about this has my stymied. I have read the WTM recommendations for grammar and logic stage, but I'd love to hear from the hive, too.;) Thank you for all your replies! :)
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