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I have no idea if any of that is helpful or not. :tongue_smilie:

 

Yes, 8, this is definitely helpful!!! It's very interesting to hear how much time your kids spend on writing. I have no doubt that your method is effective, not only how you go about teaching but the regularity of your schedule - that's food for thought!!! As you suggested in an earlier post, there is so much value in your personal experience, compared to someone like myself who is starting from square one and having to use a curriculum. Thank you for sharing! :)

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This has a chart in it, used for learning writing skills. I can't wait to learn more about it, as it will add to my arsenal of tools for teaching my kids in various ways how to "output." I think the chart helps in the "translation" from the brain into sentences on paper.

I can't seem to find this chart in the extensive samples of WWS that I have, though I could have missed it (I haven't printed the samples yet) or maybe it's not contained in the samples. Do you happen to know where this is? thanks!!

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I probably ought to start another thread - I don't mean to derail this one. In spite of there being plenty of linear/sequential practice, I worry that VSLs might not be getting the right kind of linear/sequential practice - or perhaps the problem is that there is a void in teaching some way to connect that linear practice with their VS multi-dimensional thinking - because it seems not uncommon for linear weaknesses, or weaknesses in translating their VS thinking into communication, to continue to cause trouble in late high school, college and during their careers. I'm looking for ways to help develop that connection, basically between the two sides of their brains. I'm just thinking out loud here :tongue_smilie:. That would be different than looking for ways to develop VS skills.

 

I would love to see a discussion about this. Not just from the perspective of VSLs, but looking at developing those connections between both sides of the brain regardless of where personal strenths/weaknesses lie. I really think this would be of value to all types of learners. So yeah, please start a spin-off and post a link so we don't miss it. :)

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A beginning list of science and math resources for VSL high school kids and/or for those who would like to see how kids can expand their skills in both linear-sequential and more open-ended, nonlinear areas, often through techniques or practices that do not rely on direct instruction:

 

Math

 

Mathematics: Modeling Our World is a 4-year program that combines rather than separates separate strands of math (algebra, geometry, trig, etc.). The chapters each begin with a real-world problem, including things like predicting voting outcomes, using satellite imagery to estimate areas of forest or similar things, animation, the problems of making "fair" tests and setting norms, etc. This approach through actual problems facing mathematicians and scientists might engage kids who need to see the whole picture before they can access the material.

 

The books actually proceed within the framework of each question using both overarching questions -- what kinds of math do we need to be able to do to solve this problem? -- and incremental steps of teaching kids how to do just that.

 

http://www.comap.com

 

The Discovering Mathematics series incorporates discovery-based learning and lots of "mini-explorations" -- guided rather than direct instruction -- within the context of a more conventionally structured, incremental program. In a way, it's the opposite of CoMap. There's no overarching real-world scenario, but plenty of exploratory activities within the more typical framework.

 

http://www.keypress.com

 

Math puzzle books such as those by Martin Gardner and Ian Stewart are wonderful at exercising and developing BOTH VS and linear-sequential reasoning skills. Chess is another way to combine and hone the development of both.

 

Science:

I can't recommend highly enough Eleanor Duckworth's book The Having of Wonderful Ideas. Duckworth, who works at the Harvard School of Education, explores at great length how non-direct instruction can work. It's simply a brilliant book. Again, what Duckworth is talking about is something that would benefit ALL kids, not merely VSLs. And the activities/experiments she describes are a wonderful example of how linear/sequential skills can be developed through nondirect instruction, in a hands-on way that allows ACCESS to the linear-sequential thinking process for all kinds of minds.

 

Duckworth also published several long articles on the internet, including this one:

 

http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/research/inventingdensity.html

 

If the link doesn't work, the IFI might possible be lFl; I couldn't tell.

 

Here's a series of wonderful short videos on each of the elements, made by chemists at the University of Nottingham. It's a great resource, and you can watch them in any order. Dh had dd go from the top of one column down, rather than across as is typical, to see what elements in each column had in common and how their properties intensified, if that's at all accurate chemically, as you go to elements of heavier weight.

 

http://www.periodicvideos.com

 

Non-textbook with activities and discussion (requires trigonometry):

Why Toast Lands Upside Down, by Robert Ehrlich.

 

I had note of a physics book which began with an activity, then went on to more guided instruction and conventional problem-solving, but can't find it at the moment. Looking... my search function is unfortunately a lot slower than my computer's.

 

Manga guides to physics, chemistry, calculus, and other STEM subjects are also available in just about every bookstore.

 

I also saw this in poking about on amazon:

The Inventive Writer: A Discovery-Based Rhetoric, by G. Scott Cawelti and Jeffrey Duncan. I have no idea what it's like, but the title is intriguing. The book is apparently out of print, but there are copies for a penny if anyone feels adventurous.

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I had never heard of morpheme instruction before Ottakee (I think that is the correct spelling :lol:) on the special needs boards talked about Apples and Pears. I was desperate b/c I had kids that spell like those signs you see on the side of the road that make you cringe.

 

I am so glad that I followed through with investigating the approach. It made a world of difference. You can view the entire Apples and Pears curriculum online so you know exactly what you are getting. You need to see the tm and the student's book simultaneously to understand how it works. (2 computers side by side makes it a lot easier.)

 

http://www.prometheantrust.org/usshop.htm

 

(FWIW, if you search my name and spelling, OG, phonograms, morphemes, etc (if the search is working), you'll find way more info on spelling from my POV than you care to know!!)

 

Thanks!!!

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I can't seem to find this chart in the extensive samples of WWS that I have, though I could have missed it (I haven't printed the samples yet) or maybe it's not contained in the samples. Do you happen to know where this is? thanks!!

 

Not offhand, I don't. I received a (pretty generously extensive!) sample a few weeks ago, because SWB posted that we could ask for samples from her assistant. I looked through it quickly, and haven't printed it, either. I just remember seeing the chart idea when a local homeschooler/WWS beta-tester showed it to me briefly. I will TRY to remember to look for it and let you know. Feel free to pm me to remind me....so sorry I don't know right now!

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I also saw this in poking about on amazon:

The Inventive Writer: A Discovery-Based Rhetoric, by G. Scott Cawelti and Jeffrey Duncan. I have no idea what it's like, but the title is intriguing. The book is apparently out of print, but there are copies for a penny if anyone feels adventurous.

 

I was adventurous for a total of 4.00. :D If it's not helpful for ds, I could probably use it in my own writing. Thank you, specific titles and sites are most helpful.

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Ok, thanks Colleen! I have the very generous sample too - I'll probably have to wait for the PDF :)

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I've loved this thread. It inspired me to finally write down how we homeschool with my elementary aged whole-to-part learners. If interested you can read it here.

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(FWIW, if you search my name and spelling, OG, phonograms, morphemes, etc (if the search is working), you'll find way more info on spelling from my POV than you care to know!!)

 

I remember when you were first talking about all this stuff a few years ago. It took awhile to wrap my head around it because I was still just learning about basic how-to-teach-spelling-and-reading, but you kept patiently (or maybe secretly not, lol! It took me awhile...) explaining it to me - now you've got me curious enough to go searching for your posts from back then to refresh myself! I think I might find a jewel or two for my family...

 

...I feel as if my own education failed to help me strengthen my visual/spatial tendencies and left me sort of lopsided in a way that hasn't served me well. So I see the benefit in strengthening a variety of input/output methods, not just the linear/sequential, for all styles of learners. I think this is where the article in the OP is valuable to everyone, and not just something to be considered by VSLs (meaning those on the extreme end of the VS spectrum).

 

:iagree:, and I feel the same way about my own education. That's why I talked a lot in my last few posts about specific ways in which I learn visually. I think it would have been useful for me, for example, to have been taught with more visual/hands-on methods for arithmetic and then mathematics proper, along with learning how to do the linear output. I think it would have made my linear output a lot easier, engaging, and fulfilling. Following, that linear output would have given me a feeling of mastery of a subject; rather than drudgery that I didn't understand by the time I got to pre-cal and had to drop out. And the fact that this visual-to-linear process didn't happen for me makes me feel terribly lopsided, esp. with homeschooling. I hate that I am lacking in math and other academic areas!!!

 

It seems that it will enrich anyone's life to be able to better understand people who are thinking differently than themselves in many ways.

 

(just want to say that in behind-the-scenes interactions, Joan is a great example of living this out ;))

 

What I'd really love is to have Richard Feynman take my son on nature walks.

 

Ha, so I googled this idea and of course I found...

 

http://www.feynmanlectures.info/

 

Cool! Clicked on that for later reading!

 

The response to this thread...shows there is a need for this. Our kids get plenty of linear/sequential practice, which was the point of the Eides video one poster linked. The intent of this thread was to provide a place to discuss VSL-friendly or otherwise nonlinear options, both philosophically and practically.

 

Yes, it's been great for me to see the non-linear ways in which people learn, and ways with which people work with their kids. It just confirms to me again that I've been balancing things well with my kids all along, with providing plenty of visual and hands-on and auditory learning, along with the linear. I remember when my firstborn turned 3, and everyone started asking me if I'd be sending him to preschool, and they'd be puzzled when I'd say "No." I was just as puzzled as the askers were, because I thought preschool was all about the things we were already doing at home (reading aloud, playing with play-dough, using the stuff in the "dress-up" basket, playing around with the plastic letter magnets, doing wooden puzzles, counting objects, looking at ants on the driveway, swinging at the park, walking to the library, drawing and painting on huge pieces of paper, etc.). I was surprised to find out just how "pushy" preschool could be. Anyway, I found, gradually as my kids grew, just how useful all that non-linear activity was when it came to me gradually teaching them, in bits and pieces, how to "output" linearly. All that play-dough squishing and ball-tossing helped strengthen their hand muscles to be able to learn to hold a pencil for copying a sentence here and there at first. And so on. I'm thankful to my VERY innovative elementary education-specialist, reading-specialist teacher Mom, for helping me learn this stuff when my kids were younger.

 

Interestingly, this morning I had opportunity to help my daughter learn something visually so that she could then translate it onto her paper. She is learning about how to match verbs to subjects in Latin sentences, and this week is learning how to write direct objects in Latin sentences. Now, she has learned the previous item before, but had forgotten. And I-the-visual understood her frustration about this, because when I was first learning this concept three years ago with ds, it took me for. ev. er. to understand what was going on. So anyway, it occurred to me to stop "talking at her" with my explanation, and start asking her questions to find out what she did understand. We had to back way up. It then occurred to me, instead of referring her to the charts that were already printed out in her book (whose boring-but-necessary text was visually overwhelming her at the young age of 10), to make our own chart, that she could *see* being made. I asked, and I filled in the verb and noun endings charts with her as she told me what to write. Then I asked her questions such as: what's the verb of the sentence, what's the subject, is the subject a pronoun that should be "in" the Latin verb, if not-is the subject a noun, what case should the subject be in (don't remember? the subject should be nominative - repeat that back to me - where's nominative on the chart?), is the subject singular or plural, OK so which ending should go on that noun? Great. Now, what case should the direct object be written in? Don't remember? Go look at the note I wrote for you in your book. Accusative? OK, (and go through the same applicable questions for this particular noun). After going through this questioning (which looks tedious here in print, but was actually fun because she was snuggling with me on the couch, finally laughing at my intentional silliness through her tears) once, she *got it.* She went on to complete the other three short sentences that were in her book for translation to Latin. It was pretty exciting for me to see. Now, I don't expect that today's session is going to "stick" for the rest of the year - I expect to have to go through that again a few times. But that's alright, because I've seen her come to other understandings in other ways before having to commit to (short and appropriate for her age and development) linear output in other areas. And I do fully expect that she'll be able to finish the book (Latina Christiana II) well in the year that I have planned for her.

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We do spend a lot of time on learning the process of writing itself. My kids write 1 paper/wk every wk starting in about 3-4th grade (basically when they are on a solid 4th grade+ reading level, but not before 3rd grade even if they learned to read at a young age.) We follow the same pattern every single week from 3-12th grade. :tongue_smilie:

 

They learn initially from breaking down writing from examples I find. They have to learn to find the topic sentence and supporting details. Sometimes I cut copied paragraphs into pieces and they have to reassemble them into logical order. I give them details and they have to come up with a topic sentence or I give them a topic sentence and they have to come up with the details. We work side by side together doing this until they can construct a paragraph independently.

 

Once they are writing somewhat on their own, the pattern is writing assignment given on Mon. They have to research their topic, collect notes, and write their contention. Tues and Wed are rough draft days. Thursday we revise and improve together (Thursday is a high instruction day......revising and editing is one of the main ways I teach my kids), Friday final copy due.

 

I have no idea if any of that is helpful or not. :tongue_smilie:

 

8FilltheHeart - Could I trouble you to ask for a sample of what you'd expect from your "typical" 3rd and 4th grader? How about 6th grader? :D

 

Capt Uhura

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As a VSL I have to write down a word to see if it is correctly spelled. I don't know how people can do it otherwise. And phonics? I still can't make sense of it. The International Phonetic Alphabet and it's application was rather easy to learn though.

 

 

I've posted in the past how my dd actually never learned phonics formally. It was included in some early Comprehensive Curriculum generic workbooks, but other than that, we didn't do anything with phonics. In hindsight, I wish we had done more as it's harder for her to decipher the correct pronunciation of words she hasn't encountered before. I had no idea this was related to her visual-spatial learning.

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My VSL is incredibly logical, so I am not sure whether it is b/c of life here or simply who he is.

 

FWIW, here are some of the things I think help my kids with logical thinking that are not directly academic in nature.

 

First and foremost, I think it is all of the strategy games we play. We play all the time. I think having to constantly plan multiple steps ahead really does build logical thinking. (It drives my kids crazy to play games with kids that play randomly. You can definitely "see" logical/strategic/ordered playing of games.)

 

Construction activities: legos, zometools, fischertechnik,

 

Academically, we are very math-oriented here. So I think math is definitely one route. I can't say we do mathematical logic, though. But, ds does do proof-heavy math. (AoPS is proof-oriented,, so are most math camp applications!)

 

We do spend a lot of time on learning the process of writing itself. My kids write 1 paper/wk every wk starting in about 3-4th grade (basically when they are on a solid 4th grade+ reading level, but not before 3rd grade even if they learned to read at a young age.) We follow the same pattern every single week from 3-12th grade. :tongue_smilie:

 

They learn initially from breaking down writing from examples I find. They have to learn to find the topic sentence and supporting details. Sometimes I cut copied paragraphs into pieces and they have to reassemble them into logical order. I give them details and they have to come up with a topic sentence or I give them a topic sentence and they have to come up with the details. We work side by side together doing this until they can construct a paragraph independently.

 

Once they are writing somewhat on their own, the pattern is writing assignment given on Mon. They have to research their topic, collect notes, and write their contention. Tues and Wed are rough draft days. Thursday we revise and improve together (Thursday is a high instruction day......revising and editing is one of the main ways I teach my kids), Friday final copy due.

 

I have no idea if any of that is helpful or not. :tongue_smilie:

 

Good ideas! We do papers though not as much and we could stand to do more, and yes, I've seen them get better through editing and revising. And I love the cutting out the paragraphs and putting them in the right place exercise.

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I've loved this thread. It inspired me to finally write down how we homeschool with my elementary aged whole-to-part learners. If interested you can read it here.

 

Thank you for sharing your blog. It sounds like you're doing a great job of meeting them where they are and catering their education to their specific learning styles and needs. You're doing a great job!

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Thank you for sharing your blog. It sounds like you're doing a great job of meeting them where they are and catering their education to their specific learning styles and needs. You're doing a great job!

 

Thanks Teachin'Mine:) It has been an interesting journey. I thought it would be so much simpler to teach my kids. On the positive side, life is far from boring :tongue_smilie:

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8FilltheHeart - Could I trouble you to ask for a sample of what you'd expect from your "typical" 3rd and 4th grader? How about 6th grader? :D

 

Capt Uhura

 

My typical 3rd grader would be writing an independent paragraph by the middle of the yr. The information would be from a single source (say they were writing a paragraph about the life cycle of a frog......I would give them 1 short juvenile article to read, take notes from, and then write.)

 

My typical 4th grader might still be on a single paragraph but gathering info from say 3 sources and synthesizing it into a single paragraph. A stronger writer might be writing 3 paragraphs. (this is really child dependent b/c 3rd-4th grade are really the foundational yrs for writing and it is hard to predict how they will progress.)

 

My typical 6th graders are normally writing reports. My 6th grader last yr sort of ruined it for my younger kids ;) b/c she was writing 3-5 page essays. My older kids were not really writing essays like her in 6th grade. Before her, my ds was my really late reader and he wasn't really writing much at all until 5th-6th grade b/c he didn't read on grade level until 4th (and w/o reading, there isn't much writing.)

 

HTH

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My typical 3rd grader would be writing an independent paragraph by the middle of the yr. The information would be from a single source (say they were writing a paragraph about the life cycle of a frog......I would give them 1 short juvenile article to read, take notes from, and then write.)

 

My typical 4th grader might still be on a single paragraph but gathering info from say 3 sources and synthesizing it into a single paragraph. A stronger writer might be writing 3 paragraphs. (this is really child dependent b/c 3rd-4th grade are really the foundational yrs for writing and it is hard to predict how they will progress.)

 

My typical 6th graders are normally writing reports. My 6th grader last yr sort of ruined it for my younger kids ;) b/c she was writing 3-5 page essays. My older kids were not really writing essays like her in 6th grade. Before her, my ds was my really late reader and he wasn't really writing much at all until 5th-6th grade b/c he didn't read on grade level until 4th (and w/o reading, there isn't much writing.)

 

HTH

 

Thank you, 8FillstheHeart. Together with your other post, I'm putting together a much clearer picture of your approach. It makes so much sense! :) (now I need to go back and read that older, long thread of yours if I can find it....)

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8fillstheheart... Thanks so much for breaking down your writing process for us. We've been doing something similar here via notebooking, but your posts are helping me see ways to tweak and improve the process for my girl, and giving me ideas for moving forward as she progresses. :)

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My typical 3rd grader would be writing an independent paragraph by the middle of the yr. The information would be from a single source (say they were writing a paragraph about the life cycle of a frog......I would give them 1 short juvenile article to read, take notes from, and then write.)

 

My typical 4th grader might still be on a single paragraph but gathering info from say 3 sources and synthesizing it into a single paragraph. A stronger writer might be writing 3 paragraphs. (this is really child dependent b/c 3rd-4th grade are really the foundational yrs for writing and it is hard to predict how they will progress.)

 

My typical 6th graders are normally writing reports. My 6th grader last yr sort of ruined it for my younger kids ;) b/c she was writing 3-5 page essays. My older kids were not really writing essays like her in 6th grade. Before her, my ds was my really late reader and he wasn't really writing much at all until 5th-6th grade b/c he didn't read on grade level until 4th (and w/o reading, there isn't much writing.)

 

HTH

 

That helps a great deal!

 

Thank you!

Capt Uhura

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