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Looks like I might need a 7th/8th grade plan... help?


AimeeM
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DD is probably coming home again next year. While she would technically be in grade 8, she has made almost no progress this year, so we're calling it 7/8, just in case she needs another year at home before brick and mortar neurotypical high school (she does want to attend high school outside the home, at this point, but she's willing to consider staying home if it works out).

 

Tentatively, my plan looks like this:

 

Review pre-algebra over the summer. I have MM6 (old version) still on hand and I can subscribe to TabletClass if needed.

 

Fall -

 

Algebra 1: Derek Owens? I have no personal experience with any algebra 1 programs. Until this past year, she very much enjoyed math - now, not so much, due to inconsistent teaching (and teacher turnover) and some odd methods of instruction. Before this year, she enjoyed a challenge. She is a visual learner. Thoughts? My primary goal for math this year is to provide her the challenge she feels she's been lacking this year, and to help her enjoy math again, like she did before. Whatever gets us to that point, I'm happy to consider.

 

Grammar: Seton's English 6 or 7. Not the writing portion.

 

Geography: Ellen McHenry's "Mapping the World With Art". She loves art and she NEEDS to hit geography. Her geo knowledge is woefully lacking. If I make this a core, and do not do a history program, I thought about pairing it up with Runkle's World Physical Geography (textbook only). Thoughts?

 

History: She's covered ancients and the middle ages. Next up *would* be early modern/modern, but she hasn't had American in a long, long time and remembers nothing of it. Part of me wants to do an American History program, alternating days with geography. I know we'll hit world history again in high school (whether she's here or elsewhere), so I'm not super concerned about continuing with her sequence. On the other hand, early modern and modern world history is her FAVORITE time period in history, outside of Greeks. If we did American history, we'd use Catholic Schools Textbook Project; same (different book) if we did early modern/modern world. Thoughts?

 

Writing: She still writes on only about a 4th grade level. We'll be going back to IEW next year. She did well with it, and liked it, the few short months she used it before leaving for brick and mortar school.

 

Spelling: Apples and Pears B or C (I need to pre-test her). Spelling is roughly third or fourth grade-ish.

 

Literature: She reads very well, considering the dyslexia. Definitely on grade level here. I *would* like to use a reading comprehension guide, and I'm considering Seton's reading comprehension books, and then just assigned literature. I'll search the board for 7th/8th grade literature lists.

 

Science: No clue. I sent the girl to brick and mortar school LOVING science. Now she professes to absolutely HATE it. I want something fun, hands on, and messy, if possible. I thought about Ellen McHenry, but it's more game based, and while I love that, she likes messy science. My only goal for science this year is to help rekindle the passion she used to have for it. My only real preference here is that the program NOT be young earth.

 

Critical Thinking: James Madison, from CTC, looks promising and very enjoyable. Does anyone have experience with this?

 

Religion: CCD at church, and apologetics at home - maybe the Homeschool Connections course. Saint books. I thought about using Connecting With History for history, religion supplements, and to give some writing assignments. If you've used the early modern/modern program, can it be done 4 days a week, so I can add Mapping the World With Art once a week?

 

 

She'll also be doing accordion with Dad, soccer this fall, maybe co-op (she didn't care for it last time), CCD at our parish, and our parish youth group.

 

Thoughts on any of the programs? I've used Catholic School Textbook Project before, as well as IEW, Apples and Pears, and Ellen McHenry's other products (we've used her science and I have a couple on hand).

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Not much input, but having read your other threads, I just wanted to say good luck.  I think the plan looks good.  You might reconsider Ellen McHenry for the science piece.  There are some "messy science" pieces you can add in and do.  For example, in the brain unit, there was an optional dissect a sheep brain activity.  Or you might look at TOPS, which is pretty hands on.

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Not much input, but having read your other threads, I just wanted to say good luck.  I think the plan looks good.  You might reconsider Ellen McHenry for the science piece.  There are some "messy science" pieces you can add in and do.  For example, in the brain unit, there was an optional dissect a sheep brain activity.  Or you might look at TOPS, which is pretty hands on.

 

I have her Brain on hand, so that might be a good idea. Sheep brain? Ew. She would love it... ew.

 

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We've had success with Hakim's Story of US (Hewitt Homeschooling has a syllabus to do the whole series in a year) supplemented a bit with reading SOTW vols. 3 and 4 (or listening to the audio for selected chapters) so the student has an idea what's going on in the rest of the world while focusing more on American History.

These charts show you when you add SOTW to Story of the US.

Story of the World vol. 3 and Hakim vols 2-5
Story of the World vol. 4 and Hakim vols 6-10
 

MapTrek by Knowledge Quest has maps to go with the Hakim series and for SOTW, and charts on the website so you'll know when to use them.

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My primary goal for math this year is to provide her the challenge she feels she's been lacking this year, and to help her enjoy math again, like she did before. Whatever gets us to that point, I'm happy to consider.

 

MATH

A possibility: let DD spend the summer decompressing from school and mentally transitioning, and, since almost no progress was made at school, do Pre-Algebra in the fall -- consider a spine program AND a supplement that would present material from a different viewpoint and help her make math connections and get strong in problem-solving, which would give her a very solid foundation for the higher maths of high school. That also would give you a whole year to see what your DD's math learning style is, and research what your options are so you'd be able to make the best match for Algebra 1 in the following year.

 

Other Math Possibilities for visual learner who enjoys math:

 

- Tablet Class Pre-Algebra + interesting math supplements:

* Mathematicians Are People Too (Reimer)

* The Number Devil (Magnus)

* The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat (and others by Pappas)

* Life of Fred Pre-Algebra

* Teaching Company DVD series: Joy of Mathematics

* Teaching Company DVD series: The Joy of Thinking: The Beauty & Power of Classical Mathematic Ideas 

* Dragon Box

 

- Art of Problem Solving Pre-Algebra

(there is also the option of taking it as an online class)

 

- Math: A Human Endeavor (Harold Jacobs)

A book that comes before Algebra 1, with focus on problem-solving as prep for his Algebra 1 ("Elementary Algebra")

 

- Kinetic Books: Pre-Algebra, or, Algebra 1

 

 

LITERATURE

 

She reads very well, considering the dyslexia. Definitely on grade level here. I *owuld* like to use a reading comprehension guide, and I'm considering Seton's reading comprehension books, and then just assigned literature...

 

 

Since some of your time will be focused on reading comprehension with a guide, I'd suggest a gentle Literature reading schedule. And, I'd recommend to start moving DD in the direction she'll need for high school Literature, which is:

- reading a variety of types of works (poetry, short stories, novels of different genres)

- learning basic literary elements

- and reading classics with an eye for how those elements are at work.

 

Lightning Lit 7 would be a very gentle introduction into that , and about half of the works are by American authors, which would connect up with your History if you do American History. LL7 covers 2 units of poetry, 2 short stories, and 4 novels, so it is a very gentle reading pace that DD could keep up with AND do the other reading comprehension work. Plus, LL7 is written to the student with gentle teaching info and some work pages to put into practice the literary topic discussion in the lesson.

 

 

SCIENCE

No personal experience or knowledge about Ellen McHenry science. For 7th and 8th grades, we enjoyed these secular, discovery-based materials:

- Reader's Digest How Earth Works,(earth science) with TOPS Rocks & Minerals unit and lots of other resources and

Reader's Digest How Science Works, with lots of TOPS units and other hands-on kits and materials.

 

We did about 4 experiments a week (2 per day, 2x/week), and reading 2x/week -- about 30-45 minutes a day -- which would leave your DD plenty of time for enjoying exploring on her own -- science documentaries and internet video clips; additional science experiments or science fair project; library books on bunny trails of personal interest...

 

Another "good 'n' messy" option is Aurora Lipper's Super Charged Science (secular).

 

 

GEOGRAPHY

 

Geography: Ellen McHenry's "Mapping the World With Art". She loves art and she NEEDS to hit geography...

… I thought about pairing it up with Runkle's World Physical Geography (textbook only). Thoughts?

… Part of me wants to do an American History program, alternating days with geography. 

 

I can certainly see the appeal of Mapping the World with Art for a student who enjoys art and drawing. Additional visual supplements: daily geography games and putting together geography puzzles. Sheppard Software has free online geography games.

 

I personally find textbooks dry and not terribly visually appealing, so Runkles *sounds* pretty boring to me -- but no personal experience, not even looked at sample pages, to know what it's really like ;). Far more important: would *your DD* be a good match with Runkles? For a visual learner, I'd be more inclined to put together a cultural geography study to go with Mapping the World with Art:

 

- travelogue videos and documentaries

- feature films set in specific countries

- children and teen non-fiction books on specific countries or key people/feature/topic of a country

- children's picture books of myths (often the artwork is done in the cultural style)

- made/ate food from different countries

- played games played from different countries

- listened to music clips of traditional music from different cultures (World Book Encycl. CD, but you can also do online searches)

- literature / classics set in different culture / by authors from different countries

 

That would also allow you to include a lot of art projects all year, creating art in different cultural styles, or making handcrafts (paper mache masks, weaving, sculpture, etc.) in the art style of the country being studied. If going that route, I personally would find it most effective to skip the History and do an all-Geography year and really go deep into the cultures (which WILL give you some history, too) as well as the countries / capitals / mountains etc. of only physical geography of Mapping the World by Heart.

 

 

History: She's covered ancients and the middle ages. Next up *would* be early modern/modern, but she hasn't had American in a long, long time and remembers nothing of it. Part of me wants to do an American History program, alternating days with geography..

 

… early modern and modern world history is her FAVORITE time period in history, outside of Greeks...

 

Tough call!

 

My first choice: If you're trying to re-ignite a love of learning after frustration with public school, then I'd say go with DD's input / wishes and do early modern/modern world. The US is actually a really big player in world history events in the 20th century, so you naturally DO get a fair amount of American history in there when doing Modern World History.

 

My second choice (after "go with DD's passion") would be to skip chronological History and go with a deep Geography year, which, when studying the cultures as part of the Geography, will naturally give you some History along the way.

 

My third choice What about getting exposure to American history *informally*? You could do a once-a-week family movie / documentary night:

 

Documentary Series Ideas:

America: The Story of US (twelve 45-minute episodes, Colonial times to present day)

US History Timeline series (collection of 33 DVDs)

American Experience (PBS, 1-hour documentaries of specific people or events)

Eyes on the Prize (six 1-hour episodes; Civil Rights movement)

 

Historical Feature Film Ideas:

LOTS of ideas in this thread: The most accurate well-done US History films?

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Also... Is Runkles the one that's more earth science than geography? And possibly young earth? I can't remember if that's right or not.

 

It is earth science-y, but I haven't seen anything yet indicating young earth (we're on lesson 15).  

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You are wonderful - as always!

I was looking at AOPS, since she's done "traditional" pre-algebra; I think it might seem less like "review"? I do want to clarify that she did pre-algebra (with the exception of mastering ratios/scaling) at home before this school year. Right now in school they are reviewing exponents, multiplying/dividing integers, equations, and working on applying exponents (pythagorean theorem). When she finishes with the year, I need to assess where she's at - I do NOT want her to be bored this year, as boredom this year (combined with frustration about the vocab emphasis) has pretty much shattered her love of math. I'm not sure how to balance what may be a need to review pre-algebra AGAIN, with her boredom and newly discovered hatred of mathematics.

 

I think she would really enjoy AOPS online class - if she can keep up with the pace. Jacobs, however, was my initial thought, because I know they have a generous pre-algebra review in the beginning.

 

Those are great science and geography options! DD loves textbooks, so I do think Runkle's combined with Mapping the World With Art (not the "With HEART" program - different programs!) would interest her, but I'm not how I would schedule that. She does NOT like literature approaches to... anything :P She hates pulling from a crap load of different resources for anything BUT science (I think she might enjoy a more laid back experiments/literature approach, like you outlined, for science).

MATH

A possibility: let DD spend the summer decompressing from school and mentally transitioning, and, since almost no progress was made at school, do Pre-Algebra in the fall -- consider a spine program AND a supplement that would present material from a different viewpoint and help her make math connections and get strong in problem-solving, which would give her a very solid foundation for the higher maths of high school. That also would give you a whole year to see what your DD's math learning style is, and research what your options are so you'd be able to make the best match for Algebra 1 in the following year.

 

Other Math Possibilities for visual learner who enjoys math:

 

- Tablet Class Pre-Algebra + interesting math supplements:

* Mathematicians Are People Too (Reimer)

* The Number Devil (Magnus)

* The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat (and others by Pappas)

* Life of Fred Pre-Algebra

* Teaching Company DVD series: Joy of Mathematics

* Teaching Company DVD series: The Joy of Thinking: The Beauty & Power of Classical Mathematic Ideas 

* Dragon Box

 

- Art of Problem Solving Pre-Algebra

(there is also the option of taking it as an online class)

 

- Math: A Human Endeavor (Harold Jacobs)

A book that comes before Algebra 1, with focus on problem-solving as prep for his Algebra 1 ("Elementary Algebra")

 

- Kinetic Books: Pre-Algebra, or, Algebra 1

 

 

LITERATURE

 

 

 

Since some of your time will be focused on reading comprehension with a guide, I'd suggest a gentle Literature reading schedule. And, I'd recommend to start moving DD in the direction she'll need for high school Literature, which is:

- reading a variety of types of works (poetry, short stories, novels of different genres)

- learning basic literary elements

- and reading classics with an eye for how those elements are at work.

 

Lightning Lit 7 would be a very gentle introduction into that , and about half of the works are by American authors, which would connect up with your History if you do American History. LL7 covers 2 units of poetry, 2 short stories, and 4 novels, so it is a very gentle reading pace that DD could keep up with AND do the other reading comprehension work. Plus, LL7 is written to the student with gentle teaching info and some work pages to put into practice the literary topic discussion in the lesson.

 

 

SCIENCE

No personal experience or knowledge about Ellen McHenry science. For 7th and 8th grades, we enjoyed these secular, discovery-based materials:

- Reader's Digest How Earth Works,(earth science) with TOPS Rocks & Minerals unit and lots of other resources and

Reader's Digest How Science Works, with lots of TOPS units and other hands-on kits and materials.

 

We did about 4 experiments a week (2 per day, 2x/week), and reading 2x/week -- about 30-45 minutes a day -- which would leave your DD plenty of time for enjoying exploring on her own -- science documentaries and internet video clips; additional science experiments or science fair project; library books on bunny trails of personal interest...

 

Another "good 'n' messy" option is Aurora Lipper's Super Charged Science (secular).

 

 

GEOGRAPHY

 

 

I can certainly see the appeal of Mapping the World by Heart for a student who enjoys art and drawing. Just to give you options: another easy, visual way of getting exposed to geography is through daily geography games and putting together geography puzzles. Sheppard Software has free online geography games.

 

I personally find textbooks dry and not terribly visually appealing, so Runkles *sounds* pretty boring to me -- but no personal experience, not even looked at sample pages, to know what it's really like ;). Far more important: would *your DD* be a good match with Runkles? For a visual learner, I'd be more inclined to put together a cultural geography study to go with the physical geography of Mapping the World by Heart:

 

- travelogue videos and documentaries

- feature films set in specific countries

- children and teen non-fiction books on specific countries or key people/feature/topic of a country

- children's picture books of myths (often the artwork is done in the cultural style)

- made/ate food from different countries

- played games played from different countries

- listened to music clips of traditional music from different cultures (World Book Encycl. CD, but you can also do online searches)

- literature / classics set in different culture / by authors from different countries

 

That would also allow you to include a lot of art projects all year, creating art in different cultural styles, or making handcrafts (paper mache masks, weaving, sculpture, etc.) in the art style of the country being studied. If going that route, I personally would find it most effective to skip the History and do an all-Geography year and really go deep into the cultures (which WILL give you some history, too) as well as the countries / capitals / mountains etc. of only physical geography of Mapping the World by Heart.

 

 

 

 

Tough call!

 

My first choice: If you're trying to re-ignite a love of learning after frustration with public school, then I'd say go with DD's input / wishes and do early modern/modern world. The US is actually a really big player in world history events in the 20th century, so you naturally DO get a fair amount of American history in there when doing Modern World History.

 

My second choice (after "go with DD's passion") would be to skip chronological History and go with a deep Geography year, which, when studying the cultures as part of the Geography, will naturally give you some History along the way.

 

My third choice What about getting exposure to American history *informally*? You could do a once-a-week family movie / documentary night:

 

Documentary Series Ideas:

America: The Story of US (twelve 45-minute episodes, Colonial times to present day)

US History Timeline series (collection of 33 DVDs)

American Experience (PBS, 1-hour documentaries of specific people or events)

Eyes on the Prize (six 1-hour episodes; Civil Rights movement)

 

Historical Feature Film Ideas:

LOTS of ideas in this thread: The most accurate well-done US History films?

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

MATH

A possibility: let DD spend the summer decompressing from school and mentally transitioning, and, since almost no progress was made at school, do Pre-Algebra in the fall -- consider a spine program AND a supplement that would present material from a different viewpoint and help her make math connections and get strong in problem-solving, which would give her a very solid foundation for the higher maths of high school. That also would give you a whole year to see what your DD's math learning style is, and research what your options are so you'd be able to make the best match for Algebra 1 in the following year.

 

Other Math Possibilities for visual learner who enjoys math:

 

- Tablet Class Pre-Algebra + interesting math supplements:

* Mathematicians Are People Too (Reimer)

* The Number Devil (Magnus)

* The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat (and others by Pappas)

* Life of Fred Pre-Algebra

* Teaching Company DVD series: Joy of Mathematics

* Teaching Company DVD series: The Joy of Thinking: The Beauty & Power of Classical Mathematic Ideas

* Dragon Box

 

- Art of Problem Solving Pre-Algebra

(there is also the option of taking it as an online class)

 

- Math: A Human Endeavor (Harold Jacobs)

A book that comes before Algebra 1, with focus on problem-solving as prep for his Algebra 1 ("Elementary Algebra")

 

- Kinetic Books: Pre-Algebra, or, Algebra 1

 

 

LITERATURE

 

 

 

Since some of your time will be focused on reading comprehension with a guide, I'd suggest a gentle Literature reading schedule. And, I'd recommend to start moving DD in the direction she'll need for high school Literature, which is:

- reading a variety of types of works (poetry, short stories, novels of different genres)

- learning basic literary elements

- and reading classics with an eye for how those elements are at work.

 

Lightning Lit 7 would be a very gentle introduction into that , and about half of the works are by American authors, which would connect up with your History if you do American History. LL7 covers 2 units of poetry, 2 short stories, and 4 novels, so it is a very gentle reading pace that DD could keep up with AND do the other reading comprehension work. Plus, LL7 is written to the student with gentle teaching info and some work pages to put into practice the literary topic discussion in the lesson.

 

 

SCIENCE

No personal experience or knowledge about Ellen McHenry science. For 7th and 8th grades, we enjoyed these secular, discovery-based materials:

- Reader's Digest How Earth Works,(earth science) with TOPS Rocks & Minerals unit and lots of other resources and

- Reader's Digest How Science Works, with lots of TOPS units and other hands-on kits and materials.

 

We did about 4 experiments a week (2 per day, 2x/week), and reading 2x/week -- about 30-45 minutes a day -- which would leave your DD plenty of time for enjoying exploring on her own -- science documentaries and internet video clips; additional science experiments or science fair project; library books on bunny trails of personal interest...

 

Another "good 'n' messy" option is Aurora Lipper's Super Charged Science (secular).

 

 

GEOGRAPHY

 

 

 

I can certainly see the appeal of Mapping the World by Heart for a student who enjoys art and drawing. Just to give you options: another easy, visual way of getting exposed to geography is through daily geography games and putting together geography puzzles. Sheppard Software has free online geography games.

 

I personally find textbooks dry and not terribly visually appealing, so Runkles *sounds* pretty boring to me -- but no personal experience, not even looked at sample pages, to know what it's really like ;). Far more important: would *your DD* be a good match with Runkles? For a visual learner, I'd be more inclined to put together a cultural geography study to go with the physical geography of Mapping the World by Heart:

- travelogue videos and documentaries

- feature films set in specific countries

- children and teen non-fiction books on specific countries or key people/feature/topic of a country

- children's picture books of myths (often the artwork is done in the cultural style)

- made/ate food from different countries

- played games played from different countries

- listened to music clips of traditional music from different cultures (World Book Encycl. CD, but you can also do online searches)

- literature / classics set in different culture / by authors from different countries

That would also allow you to include a lot of art projects all year, creating art in different cultural styles, or making handcrafts (paper mache masks, weaving, sculpture, etc.) in the art style of the country being studied. If going that route, I personally would find it most effective to skip the History and do an all-Geography year and really go deep into the cultures (which WILL give you some history, too) as well as the countries / capitals / mountains etc. of only physical geography of Mapping the World by Heart.

 

 

 

Tough call!

 

My first choice: If you're trying to re-ignite a love of learning after frustration with public school, then I'd say go with DD's input / wishes and do early modern/modern world. The US is actually a really big player in world history events in the 20th century, so you naturally DO get a fair amount of American history in there when doing Modern World History.

 

My second choice (after "go with DD's passion") would be to skip chronological History and go with a deep Geography year, which, when studying the cultures as part of the Geography, will naturally give you some History along the way.

 

My third choice What about getting exposure to American history *informally*? You could do a once-a-week family movie / documentary night:

 

Documentary Series Ideas:

America: The Story of US (twelve 45-minute episodes, Colonial times to present day)

US History Timeline series (collection of 33 DVDs)

American Experience (PBS, 1-hour documentaries of specific people or events)

Eyes on the Prize (six 1-hour episodes; Civil Rights movement)

 

Historical Feature Film Ideas:

LOTS of ideas in this thread: The most accurate well-done US History films?

Gosh, Lori, you rock. There is some wonderful advice here that I want to be able to find again.
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My 8th grader did MWA with Runkle's this year.  I like the combo.  He does MWA 2 times a week and Runkle's the other days.  We don't do any of the activities in MWA, just the readings and map drawings.  For Runkle's, we only use the text book.  I wish we were able to do the memory work in the supplemental Runkle activity book, but we haven't had time.  We started the year using HOD's World Geography program, but it had too many moving parts, so mid-way, we switched to just MWA and Runkle's.  It's been much easier.

 

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Good luck with your DD; your stories about her current school are frightening.

 

Maybe reconsider McHenry, and make it less game-based and more experimental-based by adding in your own experiments?  If you are planning on The Cell or Botany, we covered biology this year and I'd be happy to send you my biology syllabus (it's heavily lab based and my DD who is nearly 12 loved it).  I did little with human anatomy, but did do animal dissections and you can get pig hearts, brains, eyes, etc  from a local butcher or from Home Science Training Tools.  If you are going with McHenry chemistry, there are ACS lab exercises you can add in, along with extensive food chemistry experiments (which are detailed in my biology syllabus because we did a biochemistry unit). 

 

Is it possible to do the McHenry geography and add in the history, since she likes it so well?  We are using History of the US for middle school, and paired with the study guides, they are awesome!

I have no idea for math.  Saxon and LoF as a supplement works well for my DD, but she sounds like a different animal than yours, so that might not work so well for you.

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We've had success with Hakim's Story of US (Hewitt Homeschooling has a syllabus to do the whole series in a year) supplemented a bit with reading SOTW vols. 3 and 4 (or listening to the audio for selected chapters) so the student has an idea what's going on in the rest of the world while focusing more on American History.

 

These charts show you when you add SOTW to Story of the US.

 

Story of the World vol. 3 and Hakim vols 2-5

Story of the World vol. 4 and Hakim vols 6-10

 

MapTrek by Knowledge Quest has maps to go with the Hakim series and for SOTW, and charts on the website so you'll know when to use them.

Thanks for these links! Perfect. So excited.

 

 

Aimee, another suggestion for science is Mr. Q Chemistry level 2 if your dd likes to cook/bake. Each lesson has a cooking or baking activity. We plan on using it, and I've gone through all the baking activities and all of them can be done gf without changing the objective of the lesson.

 

My ds is enjoying Jousting Armadillos right now. I usually read it aloud to him because he still struggles with reading for instruction (he's also dyslexic) and we work through the problems together. Oh, he also likes Zacarro so maybe getting her some of those workbooks and make that her review of pre-A. The Challenge Math and/or Real World Algebra might be a good review.

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Science: No clue. I sent the girl to brick and mortar school LOVING science. Now she professes to absolutely HATE it. I want something fun, hands on, and messy, if possible. I thought about Ellen McHenry, but it's more game based, and while I love that, she likes messy science. My only goal for science this year is to help rekindle the passion she used to have for it. My only real preference here is that the program NOT be young earth.

 

 

I'm happy to help lay out a science plan, Aimee, if you would like. I can't tell if you are just looking for a curriculum, or if you want to think about your goals and how to implement them.  If you are interested I could post a few questions for you to answer.  Just let me know.

 

Ruth in NZ

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For math between pre-algebra, you might try "Real World Algebra" by zaccaro. Perhaps combined with keys to algebra and/or math minutes 8th grade. We've been doing this combination for a few months and it's perfect for a post pre-algebra math course. The real world algebra has different levels of difficulty and is entirely word problem oriented, the keys to algebra is gentle and reinforces the procedural side of algebra. The math minutes are easy and useful for a spiral review.

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I'm happy to help lay out a science plan, Aimee, if you would like. I can't tell if you are just looking for a curriculum, or if you want to think about your goals and how to implement them.  If you are interested I could post a few questions for you to answer.  Just let me know.

 

Ruth in NZ

 

You're wonderful. I have absolutely no clue what I want, to be honest.

She enjoys hands one, but more project based than experiment based, I think... does that make any sense? She's a visual learner, a kinesthetic learner, and she does enjoy textbooks, but we need high content, low reading ability (although I have no problem buying double any book she needs, if it needs to be high reading level, and reading alongside her/with her).

 

The only thing I *am* clear on is that this upcoming year I do NOT care about retention. Not one little bit. My only goal is that she enjoy the things she enjoyed before this school, again. I want her to feel like she is good at them again (she not only dislikes them now, but feels inadequate). I do not care how we achieve this goal.

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My third choice What about getting exposure to American history *informally*? You could do a once-a-week family movie / documentary night:

 

Aimee - I personally like Lori D's Geography plan with the once-a-week documentary idea for US history stuff.  :001_tt1:

 

I think you have enough ideas that you can put some stuff in front of your daughter (once school is over) and see which she'd like to go forward with. Since you don't care about retention and this year doesn't have to "count" for high school in any shape or form, her input will be HUGE in meeting your goal to reignite her passion.

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Maybe reconsider McHenry, and make it less game-based and more experimental-based by adding in your own experiments?  If you are planning on The Cell or Botany, we covered biology this year and I'd be happy to send you my biology syllabus (it's heavily lab based and my DD who is nearly 12 loved it).  I did little with human anatomy, but did do animal dissections and you can get pig hearts, brains, eyes, etc  from a local butcher or from Home Science Training Tools.  If you are going with McHenry chemistry, there are ACS lab exercises you can add in, along with extensive food chemistry experiments (which are detailed in my biology syllabus because we did a biochemistry unit). 

 

Reefgazer, I am considering The Cell and Botany for my younger for next year, and I would *love* to see your biology syllabus.   Do you also have a chemistry syllabus using the sources mentioned?  If so, I'd love that too.  You can PM me.

 

Thanks!

 

Ruth in NZ

 

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Good luck with your DD; your stories about her current school are frightening.

 

Maybe reconsider McHenry, and make it less game-based and more experimental-based by adding in your own experiments?  If you are planning on The Cell or Botany, we covered biology this year and I'd be happy to send you my biology syllabus (it's heavily lab based and my DD who is nearly 12 loved it).  I did little with human anatomy, but did do animal dissections and you can get pig hearts, brains, eyes, etc  from a local butcher or from Home Science Training Tools.  If you are going with McHenry chemistry, there are ACS lab exercises you can add in, along with extensive food chemistry experiments (which are detailed in my biology syllabus because we did a biochemistry unit). 

 

Is it possible to do the McHenry geography and add in the history, since she likes it so well?  We are using History of the US for middle school, and paired with the study guides, they are awesome!

 

I have no idea for math.  Saxon and LoF as a supplement works well for my DD, but she sounds like a different animal than yours, so that might not work so well for you.

We are looking at combining The Cell with The Brain, so I would love your bio plans!!! I already have The Brain.

 

You did a biochem unit! That's what she wants (I just didn't think we could do that without it being heavily math intensive, with advanced math she doesn't have yet). I'd love all of the plans that you have.

 

Which programs did you use for your biochem unit? Did you use Cells, Botany, and the chem books all in the same year?

Please PM me with the plans, if you don't mind terribly, or e-mail them to amaddonna@gmail.com

 

Thank you! She does like McHenry.

 

And I think that we *are* going to use the McHenry geography - maybe on Fridays - and do history the rest of the week. I thought about asking her if she wants to nix history altogether for a year, in favor of civics (she's had none, and I'm not sure if they hit that in high school).

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I'd be happy to send you my syllabus, but I still have the last 6 weeks to fill in (the last 2 weeks of McHenry, 2 weeks of biomes and 2 weeks of evolution) because we still have about 6 weeks left to school here and I am *always* doing everything last minute!  So would that be OK if I sent it along in mid-June (otherwise, I'd actually have to do advance planning, AAAACCKKK!)?  It's got a heavy lab base, along with videos, field trips, and readings.  I started out with ClassiQuest biology, but abandoned that because it was too dry.  I did use it as a guideline, however.

 

Chemistry.  Ugh.  I am having a tough time coming up with something I want for that because the middle grades material is quite babyish, but when I look for high school material it always requires an algebra background and my DD will only be in pre-algebra next year and so wouldn't get the full benefit from it because of the lack of algebra.  So I have been unable to find anything that suits me and I am still working on it.  As I've been looking around for a chemistry program, I realize that I covered a decent portion of it in biology under "biochemistry" (atoms and molecules, macromolecules, DNA techniques).  So, no chemistry syllabus yet.  If you have any other ideas for chemistry for me to consider, I'm all ears.

Reefgazer, I am considering The Cell and Botany for my younger for next year, and I would *love* to see your biology syllabus.   Do you also have a chemistry syllabus using the sources mentioned?  If so, I'd love that too.  You can PM me.

 

Thanks!

 

Ruth in NZ
 

 

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See my note to Ruth, above.  I am still finalizing the last 6 weeks of my biology syllabus and I'll be sure and mail it off to you then.  I know what's going in there, I just haven't typed it up yet!

 

The biochemistry unit would dovetail nicely with The Brain and The Cell; it would complement them nicely.  It's odd to me how most homeschool biology curricula doesn't touch biochemistry because it seems to me to be a major part of biology - we spent several weeks on it and it didn't require any math, but did require conceptual understanding of spatial relationships of atoms.  I used my own plans for my biochemistry unit.  I teach biology at a local university and drew heavily from our lab manual there, as well as a few exercises I found online for genetics, some ideas of my own for creating a model of a macromolecule, as well as a DNA kit I bought on Amazon for all of $20.

We are looking at combining The Cell with The Brain, so I would love your bio plans!!! I already have The Brain.

 

You did a biochem unit! That's what she wants (I just didn't think we could do that without it being heavily math intensive, with advanced math she doesn't have yet). I'd love all of the plans that you have.

 

Which programs did you use for your biochem unit? Did you use Cells, Botany, and the chem books all in the same year?

Please PM me with the plans, if you don't mind terribly, or e-mail them to amaddonna@gmail.com

 

Thank you! She does like McHenry.

 

And I think that we *are* going to use the McHenry geography - maybe on Fridays - and do history the rest of the week. I thought about asking her if she wants to nix history altogether for a year, in favor of civics (she's had none, and I'm not sure if they hit that in high school).

 

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Small hijack here.....

 

Reefgazer, I'm happy to wait as we are still on physics!  DS wants to do an Alpine plant project this summer (January) for his investigation, so botany is obviously a good thing for us to study ahead of time.  He is curious about the effect of trails on the biodiversity and abundance of nearby alpine plants.  We would go stay up at an alpine hut for a couple of weeks while collecting data.  Should be fun!  I see lots of transects in my future. :001_smile:

 

As for chemistry, in 7th grade, DS used this book: http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Chemistry-Coursebook-International-Examinations/dp/0521153336/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400478042&sr=8-1&keywords=igcse+chemistry  with the workbook, lots of youtube, and a homeschool lab class at the university. 

 

 

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You're wonderful. I have absolutely no clue what I want, to be honest.

She enjoys hands one, but more project based than experiment based, I think... does that make any sense? She's a visual learner, a kinesthetic learner, and she does enjoy textbooks, but we need high content, low reading ability (although I have no problem buying double any book she needs, if it needs to be high reading level, and reading alongside her/with her).

 

The only thing I *am* clear on is that this upcoming year I do NOT care about retention. Not one little bit. My only goal is that she enjoy the things she enjoyed before this school, again. I want her to feel like she is good at them again (she not only dislikes them now, but feels inadequate). I do not care how we achieve this goal.

 

So what does she want to learn about?  What does she like?

Does she want to do a year of a single field (like biology) or a mixture (like The Brain, Volcanoes, Mechanics, and industrial chemicals for example)?

Does she want a plan or does she just want to wander in and out of topics as they interest her?  Which do you think would achieve your goal of rekindling the passion?

How much time does she have for science?  Will you schedule time for science on a daily basis or weekly basis or just when she gets around to it?

Not sure what you mean by project based rather than experiment based.  Could you clarify please as I think this is very important.

How does she define 'messy'?  Just hands on, or are we talking biology and chemistry (which really are messy!)?

Would she like a lecture class like what you find on coursera?  (We are doing neuroscience right now for example)

How much oversight does she need? 

Does she like to learn with people or just go it alone?

Will she want to show off her learning with presentations or posters?  Will she want to keep a learning notebook documenting what she has learned? 

How much time do you have to help?

What do you think you can offer her? or said another way, what is your role?

What went wrong this year?  What happened at the school that you don't want to repeat?

 

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I will have more later....

 

I made a plan for rekindling interest for another student.  Not exactly the same situation as you are in, but might be worth looking at. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/435374-ruth-more-questions/?do=findComment&comment=4436605

 

Ruth in NZ

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So what does she want to learn about?  What does she like? She wants biochem, but until Reef mentioned plans, I didn't think it was possible without heavy math (she'll be doing algebra 1 this year).

Does she want to do a year of a single field (like biology) or a mixture (like The Brain, Volcanoes, Mechanics, and industrial chemicals for example)? See above. That's her preference, if it's possible.

Does she want a plan or does she just want to wander in and out of topics as they interest her?  Which do you think would achieve your goal of rekindling the passion? She absolutely needs a concrete plan. I'm going to try to recreate the binder system and assignment binders that her current private school uses.

How much time does she have for science?  Will you schedule time for science on a daily basis or weekly basis or just when she gets around to it? I can schedule it daily. My thought was daily reading or writing for science, Mon-Thurs, and Friday is out "fun"/"light" day, so projects or experiments then.

Not sure what you mean by project based rather than experiment based.  Could you clarify please as I think this is very important. She does like messy, but I also have small children in the house, so unless they can be done during nap time, we would need those to be on weekends when Dad is home to help occupy the boys. She also really enjoys art projects in science - project boards/presentations, models, etc.

How does she define 'messy'?  Just hands on, or are we talking biology and chemistry (which really are messy!)? Bio and chem are exactly what she wants right now, lol.

Would she like a lecture class like what you find on coursera?  (We are doing neuroscience right now for example) God help me - she has specifically stated (emphatically) that she wants NOTHING dvd, video, or internet based. She's going to have to suck it up for writing (we use IEW), but she doesn't want anything screen based for science, maths, or anything she has a say in.

How much oversight does she need? She is moderately dyslexic, so if instructions are written to the average middle schooler, she would need help with the reading and safe implementation.

Does she like to learn with people or just go it alone? She likes to learn with people.

Will she want to show off her learning with presentations or posters?  Will she want to keep a learning notebook documenting what she has learned?  She will want to show it off to us (mom, dad), I think. A learning notebook sounds like a fantastic idea.

How much time do you have to help? I need to keep my direct, daily (during the week), involvement down to about 3 hours daily, across the board. I absolutely have to be directly involved in history, spelling, writing, and math, as those are all areas she is working higher content than her reading skills allow her to actually *work* independently.

What do you think you can offer her? or said another way, what is your role? Facilitator

What went wrong this year?  What happened at the school that you don't want to repeat? In science? Unqualified, unmotivated teacher with no teaching experience, no qualifications to teach his subject, and no passion to make up for the lack of qualifications. He very much "went by the book" and followed state guidelines as to what the should learn. Heavy, heavy, heavy on the worksheets. While we've always used an eclectic mix of curricula for science at home, Dad (science dude by education and trade - not much time to help but on weekends, and no background in chem, his background is in biology, physics, and computer science) has always been adamant that science before high school should be joyful, hands on, and no heavy on the textbooks.

 

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I will have more later.... Thank you!

 

I made a plan for rekindling interest for another student.  Not exactly the same situation as you are in, but might be worth looking at. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/435374-ruth-more-questions/?do=findComment&comment=4436605

 

Ruth in NZ

 

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Would she be interested in chemistry experiment kits?  in addition to  just biochem?

 

How much time could you commit each week to doing experiments with her, given your other commitments and you concern for safety? (including weekdays and weekends)

 

Does she like microscopes?  Not really biochem, but biology of small things. :001_smile:

 

Does she like following directions for hands-on work, or does she like asking her own questions and coming up with her own methods?

 

I am still not clear on the difference between projects and experiments. She likes projects but not experiments? Could you elaborate?

 

If she is a kinaesthetic learner, is there a reason to have her read and write M-Th, and only do experimenting on Fridays? 

 

Could she do projects for more days if they were safe and did not require supervision?  Would she want to do them independently?  or does she really need to work with someone? (be honest, because there is no reason to plan something that won't really happen)

 

Are there any other topics she is interested in that would allow for hands on-work that is safe so requires no supervision?  I'm thinking ecology or microbiology for example.

 

I would find out what she really does not like about lectures because they would allow her to access more difficult/complex/interesting information than what she can read.  So what does she not like about them?

 

I'm not clear on the assignment binders you are considering replicating from school.  Can you explain them

 

Does she like writing about science?  I ask because my kids did not (and still don't), so I don't require any even of my 13 year old.  Your dd did not like worksheets from school.  However, you are planning to have her write M-Th and keep a binder like they used in school. Plus she is partially dyslexic. All this does not add up to me. It seems counter-intuitive to me that writing will help her re-kindle the passion for science.  But clearly I don't know the whole picture. Other options for output (if you want any at all) are giving presentations, making posters, drawing diagrams, and even discussion.  So, should you require writing?

 

Do you want to require any output at all?  You have said that retention is unimportant.

 

Does she like output?  Meaning does it give her pleasure to see how much she has achieved?  Some kids are really motivated by this; some kids aren't.

 

If she does like output, what kind does she want to do?  A whole binder of diagrams? An experimental notebook of observations? what?

 

 

Sorry for so many questions, I'm sure I will come up with more...... :001_huh: :rolleyes:

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Would she be interested in chemistry experiment kits?  in addition to  just biochem? I actually have a chem kit, but she didn't seem terribly interested. I think it was too "do this, then this will happen" for her. I think she'd like something a bit more open ended... more of a discovery method.

 

How much time could you commit each week to doing experiments with her, given your other commitments and you concern for safety? (including weekdays and weekends) Maybe a couple hours for experiments.

 

Does she like microscopes?  Not really biochem, but biology of small things. :001_smile: She does desperately want a microscope, lol.

 

Does she like following directions for hands-on work, or does she like asking her own questions and coming up with her own methods? I think she would prefer to come up with her own method... or at least to not have the end result told to her beforehand.

 

I am still not clear on the difference between projects and experiments. She likes projects but not experiments? Could you elaborate? She really enjoyed, this past year, making project boards, related art projects, and building models. She does enjoy experiments, but she actually *seems* to prefer the research and output of projects (i.e. art projects, models, etc), to experiments.

 

If she is a kinaesthetic learner, is there a reason to have her read and write M-Th, and only do experimenting on Fridays?  Well, she actually does love to read. She also loves aesthetically pleasing, narrative type textbooks/resource books. She may even enjoy some living literature, so long as the content is high, but the reading skills required are no more than, say, 6th or 7th grade (that can be hard for us to find, it seems). You're right that writing on those days is a crap idea. Fridays are our light days, set aside for co-op, art, geography, hands on math, etc. I do no real academics with my younger son on that day as well, so I have more time to devote to helping DD with things that DS5 can't be involved in.

 

Could she do projects for more days if they were safe and did not require supervision?  Would she want to do them independently?  or does she really need to work with someone? (be honest, because there is no reason to plan something that won't really happen) She absolutely could do them independently, provided the safety aspect didn't hinge on being able to read the text/instructions appropriately (i.e. provided nothing will blow up if she misses a key word or phrase in her reading of the instructions, lol!).

 

Are there any other topics she is interested in that would allow for hands on-work that is safe so requires no supervision?  I'm thinking ecology or microbiology for example. This whole "biochem" interest is very new. She WAS very interested in earth science (and still seems to be - when she was allowed to choose a course of study at school, recently, when they had finished their required work, she chose an earth science related field).

 

I would find out what she really does not like about lectures because they would allow her to access more difficult/complex/interesting information than what she can read.  So what does she not like about them? She likes to move. I'm not sure how else to explain it. She doesn't like just sitting in front of a screen. Even when she's watching a show for pleasure, she usually has several other things going on at the same time. She does still pay attention to the screen, so perhaps she would consider a screen lecture if I made clear to her that she can still move and do things during?

 

I'm not clear on the assignment binders you are considering replicating from school.  Can you explain them They're hard to explain. I'll have to go through her notebook when she gets home this afternoon and get back to this. There seems to be (according to the Headmaster) some sore of correlation between their dyslexia and lack of organization and working memory (at least, most of the children there have problems in these areas, despite that they are preteens and teens, most of whom have been in academic situations requiring some sort of organization).

 

Does she like writing about science?  I ask because my kids did not (and still don't), so I don't require any even of my 13 year old.  Your dd did not like worksheets from school.  However, you are planning to have her write M-Th and keep a binder like they used in school. Plus she is partially dyslexic. All this does not add up to me. It seems counter-intuitive to me that writing will help her re-kindle the passion for science.  But clearly I don't know the whole picture. Other options for output (if you want any at all) are giving presentations, making posters, drawing diagrams, and even discussion.  So, should you require writing? Nope. You're right - I shouldn't. She does enjoy writing on project boards and such, but not otherwise, and writing is difficult for her.

 

Do you want to require any output at all?  You have said that retention is unimportant. Retention is definitely not my priority at this point. If she gives no written output, I'll need to get more creative about what to put in her portfolio, though :P

 

Does she like output?  Meaning does it give her pleasure to see how much she has achieved?  Some kids are really motivated by this; some kids aren't. It used to give her pleasure, yes.

 

If she does like output, what kind does she want to do?  A whole binder of diagrams? An experimental notebook of observations? what? Right now she wants to do nothing, with regards to science. She enjoys project boards and models of any kind, when she's assigned to make one, but it isn't something she'll go after on her own right now. I'm gaining a very unmotivated, somewhat beaten down child this fall, and I have no clue what to expect from her in terms of interest level or enthusiasm.

 

 

Sorry for so many questions, I'm sure I will come up with more...... :001_huh: :rolleyes: The more, the merrier!

 

 

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I actually have a chem kit, but she didn't seem terribly interested. I think it was too "do this, then this will happen" for her. I think she'd like something a bit more open ended... more of a discovery method.

 

I think she would prefer to come up with her own method... or at least to not have the end result told to her beforehand.

 

She really enjoyed, this past year, making project boards, related art projects, and building models. She does enjoy experiments, but she actually *seems* to prefer the research and output of projects (i.e. art projects, models, etc), to experiments.

Well, this is awesome.  She actually wants to be like a real scientist.  Asking a question, researching an answer, organizing it in a creative way to explain it, thinking up her own methods to answer the question, etc.  I think it is great that she is not a direction-following experiment kid.  Open-ended research is an awesome opportunity for her; we just need to control and organize it so it leads to some conclusion.  You don't want her wandering aimlessly..

 

 

Is a microscope in budget?  It would allow her to work independently, and allow her to ask questions and find answers without following directions.  It would be kinaesthetic learning, and easily lead to lovely drawings, diagrams, notebooks, photos, posters, etc.  If you can afford it and she does want one, I would put its purchase at the top of the list.

  

She likes to move. I'm not sure how else to explain it. She doesn't like just sitting in front of a screen. Even when she's watching a show for pleasure, she usually has several other things going on at the same time. She does still pay attention to the screen, so perhaps she would consider a screen lecture if I made clear to her that she can still move and do things during?[

 

I can respect that she is more of an active learner.  Not just hands on, but interacting with the text.  That is just fine.  We just have to find resources that will be at a high level with low reading level.  She also could just use youtube when she doesn't understand the text.  So it would not be required, but rather something she would *want* to do when she can't figure it out on her own. So I suggest you make some subtle, well-timed, careful suggestions about when the internet can be useful. 

 

I'm gaining a very unmotivated, somewhat beaten down child this fall, and I have no clue what to expect from her in terms of interest level or enthusiasm.

:crying:   I say buy the microscope.

 

 

This whole "biochem" interest is very new. She WAS very interested in earth science (and still seems to be - when she was allowed to choose a course of study at school, recently, when they had finished their required work, she chose an earth science related field).

This is good to know because she needs dynamic, exciting, open ended project based work that she can do independently, and there is only so much in biochemistry and chemistry that fit the bill.  There is a lot she can do with earth science and biology.

 

Could she study 3 topics over the year?  Like chemistry, biology, and astronomy?  We could come up with 3 nice open ended projects in each, so 9 project total of maybe a month each.  Would she like that approach?

 

So here are some examples.  Which would she like?  Is variety in scheduling good or does she need to do it the same way every day?  I ask because some of these units would be more hands on and others more reading based.

 

1) She could have a biochem book to read, and she could make drawings of the chemical interactions, cells, proteins, etc.  She could build some chemical models (like DNA), and make up a pretty poster and give a presentation.  Is that the kind of stuff she would like?  I'm sure that there are a few experiments we could throw in, but the focus of this unit would be modelling the atomic world.

 

2) For biology, she could have the work revolve around the microscope, so a much more hands on unit.  But still with drawings, identification of creatures, and related readings. 

 

3) For astronomy, she could do a scale model for the solar system, a chart of the movement of the sun over 6 months, a study of the phases of the moon based on where in the sky they are.  Would she like something like that?

 

4) Does she like dissections?  They are messy!  We could lay out an anatomy unit and you could go to the butcher and get a heart, lung, cow's eye etc. Lots of drawings there

 

5) I have a great silly putty investigation for chemistry that kept my kid busy for weeks.  How do you make the best silly putty?  There are only 3 ingredients (glue, borax, and cornstarch).  The goal is to find what ratios of each (and type of glue) makes the most stretchy or bouncy silly putty.  Very fun, and very complicated.  Great for graphing the effect of quantity of borax on bounce, etc.

 

Would she want to do a poster for each unit? Or would she want some variety in expression?  Obviously, she could still do drawings, models, etc but I'm talking about bringing the material all together into a cohesive unit on a poster.

 

How long would she want a unit to last?  Could they vary time wise?  Could she choose which unit to do next rather than having them all laid out?  I ask because it might give her a sense of power.

 

 

I'm sure I'll still have a few more questions.....

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I just wanted to tell you that Autumn saw your questions/comments and she thinks you're awesome-sauce, lol.

Well, this is awesome.  She actually wants to be like a real scientist.  Asking a question, researching an answer, organizing it in a creative way to explain it, thinking up her own methods to answer the question, etc.  I think it is great that she is not a direction-following experiment kid.  Open-ended research is an awesome opportunity for her; we just need to control and organize it so it leads to some conclusion.  You don't want her wandering aimlessly..

 
Is a microscope in budget?  It would allow her to work independently, and allow her to ask questions and find answers without following directions.  It would be kinaesthetic learning, and easily lead to lovely drawings, diagrams, notebooks, photos, posters, etc.  If you can afford it and she does want one, I would put its purchase at the top of the list. Yes, i can put a microscope in the budget and I'll do so now.
  

 
I can respect that she is more of an active learner.  Not just hands on, but interacting with the text.  That is just fine.  We just have to find resources that will be at a high level with low reading level.  She also could just use youtube when she doesn't understand the text.  So it would not be required, but rather something she would *want* to do when she can't figure it out on her own. So I suggest you make some subtle, well-timed, careful suggestions about when the internet can be useful. Will do. I don't think she'd be adverse to using it occasionally - I think she just doesn't want to be glued to it as a main or core source, kwim?
 

:crying:   I say buy the microscope.
 

This is good to know because she needs dynamic, exciting, open ended project based work that she can do independently, and there is only so much in biochemistry and chemistry that fit the bill.  There is a lot she can do with earth science and biology.
 
Could she study 3 topics over the year?  Like chemistry, biology, and astronomy?  We could come up with 3 nice open ended projects in each, so 9 project total of maybe a month each.  Would she like that approach? She would love that approach. Did I mention that she's unmedicated ADD? Lol. She loves to move from one thing to the next, as frequently as possible.
 
So here are some examples.  Which would she like?  Is variety in scheduling good or does she need to do it the same way every day?  I ask because some of these units would be more hands on and others more reading based. Variety is fine.
 
1) She could have a biochem book to read, and she could make drawings of the chemical interactions, cells, proteins, etc.  She could build some chemical models (like DNA), and make up a pretty poster and give a presentation.  Is that the kind of stuff she would like?  I'm sure that there are a few experiments we could throw in, but the focus of this unit would be modelling the atomic world. She would love that - completely up her alley.
 
2) For biology, she could have the work revolve around the microscope, so a much more hands on unit.  But still with drawings, identification of creatures, and related readings. She is super excited about the microscope, so she'd love this as well!
 
3) For astronomy, she could do a scale model for the solar system, a chart of the movement of the sun over 6 months, a study of the phases of the moon based on where in the sky they are.  Would she like something like that? She loves working with the solar system, so anything working within that area will be a hit.
 
4) Does she like dissections?  They are messy!  We could lay out an anatomy unit and you could go to the butcher and get a heart, lung, cow's eye etc. Lots of drawings there She jumped up and down and shouted that she's been waiting "forever!" to do dissections, when I asked her, so I take that to be a "yes", lol.
 
5) I have a great silly putty investigation for chemistry that kept my kid busy for weeks.  How do you make the best silly putty?  There are only 3 ingredients (glue, borax, and cornstarch).  The goal is to find what ratios of each (and type of glue) makes the most stretchy or bouncy silly putty.  Very fun, and very complicated.  Great for graphing the effect of quantity of borax on bounce, etc. When she saw your silly putty reference here, she had the same reaction as she did to the dissections :P
 
Would she want to do a poster for each unit? Or would she want some variety in expression?  Obviously, she could still do drawings, models, etc but I'm talking about bringing the material all together into a cohesive unit on a poster. As long as she has a variety in terms of models, etc, she would love to make poster presentation boards for each thing.
 
How long would she want a unit to last?  Could they vary time wise?  Could she choose which unit to do next rather than having them all laid out?  I ask because it might give her a sense of power. She can do anything for as long as she wants, and in whatever order she wants - I'm being sincere when I say that while she is unmotivated in coming up with things herself right now, so I need something kind of laid out, I do not care what she studies, how messy it gets, or how long she takes on each thing, so long as she enjoys herself again.

 

Given her reaction to your post, I feel like the particular teacher and class at school was uninspiring and unmotivated her, but that all is not lost in terms of passion, lol!

 

I recently cleaned up the basement (storage area for us). I'll put a workbench down there so that she can work on things as frequently as she wants, without worrying about mom having time, or little brothers getting in her way. I can set up her supplies and everything for her, make sure she has her music in the background, and let her have at it.

 

I do know that Dad wants to do a unit on electricity and something about Raspberry Pi something-or-other (he's an engineer) at some point (he already has the stuff to do that), but that would be weekend work, as that is the only time he has to dedicate to it.
 

I'm sure I'll still have a few more questions.....

 

 

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I just wanted to tell you that Autumn saw your questions/comments and she thinks you're awesome-sauce, lol.

:001_smile:

 

I've got a busy night as both ds-the-younger's taxi driver and then as a tutor.  But will start laying out a plan tomorrow for you to think about.  (but my tomorrow might be your day-after-tomorrow!)

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Well, here is my thoughts on a plan.  Obviously, you need to adapt it to work for your very lovely dd.  If you have any questions, please ask!

 

 

Goals

To rekindle the love of science. And that is it!

 

Plan:

 

Topics (each 1-2 months)

Biochemistry and Neurobiology

Microbiology

Astronomy

Anatomy

Chemistry

Electronics

 

Let her pick the order she wants to do them in, but I would suggest that she completes one unit before moving onto the next (exception is biochem/neurobio which can be split in 2).

 

Output

1) Awesome lab notebook separated into units. She would include her lovely drawings for the dissections and microscopic organisms, her diagrams and cartoons for biochem/neurobiology, her charts of the moon and sun for astronomy, and her documentation and graphing for the silly putty investigation.

 

2) Presentation: at the end of each unit she would spend the last week (or 2) bringing it all together. Making a poster showing off her work and preparing a presentation to give to mom and dad. This is a time for celebration rather than critique and evaluation.

 

Evaluation

None. However, you would have the notebook, posters, and recorded presentations for your records.

 

Schedule (I'm not super clear on this, so please adjust as needed)

 

Monday and Wednesday – reading textbooks, watching short internet clips when desired, doing diagrams from texts

 

Tuesday and Thursday – Activity days. Working through the models, investigations, drawings, microscope work that I list below. These are the days where she is likely to need about 20-30 minutes of your help to make sure things are going smoothly.

 

Friday - You said that you have more time on fridays to help. So I would schedule an hour to initiate her lab work, which I think will be the hardest part given that she is not just following directions. Then every Friday make sure to work with her to evaluate where she is at and what her goals are for the hands-on work for the following week. You can even write down the goals. This will be a very important time for both of you to make sure that she can mostly independently implement the activities during the week.

 

Weekends- for electronics with dad!

 

Last week (or two) of each unit - she works M-F on her poster and presentation. Your role here is to offer guidance as to what to focus on and how to present it.

 

Your role: facilitator. You need to:

 

1) buy what is required

 

2) make reading goals for each week (or day). Just take each book and break it up into the number of weeks she will work on things. You need to do this ahead of time. Don't get too stressed over finishing a book. So perhaps schedule only half of each book, and then put in some 'extra optional readings' for if she is motivated and has time. That way she has success by meeting reasonable deadlines, but has the option of a laid out plan if she has extra time and motivation.

 

3) Lab oversight. I think that she would need at least two 20-30-minute of oversight each week and 1 hour on fridays for lab work. She will definitely need  oversight to make sure that she knows how to do the activities I have laid out. I have not given extensive directions, so she will need some from you or she will just stumble in the dark.

 

4) Help with finding any internet resources needed to complete the activities

 

5)General encouragement and positive can-do attitude. These things are contagious

 

Units and Resources

 

(I found most of these books in my library, but they seem to be pretty cheap second hand on Amazon. I'm obviously not clear on her reading level, but I did the best I could to think up complex books written at a 6th grade level which is a pretty tough ask)

 

Biochemistry and Neurobiology (3 months, could be split into 2 months for The Brain and 1 month for biochemistry, putting a different unit in between.  This unit is definitely the hardest in terms of the resources I could find and the actual material to study, so it might be better not to start with it. Don't want to turn her off right at the beginning.)

 

Text: The Way Life Works (easier than Exploring the Way Life Works, but still might be too hard. You may need to team read, not sure)

 

Curriculum: Ellen McHenry's Brain

 

Video: Coursera's Understanding the Brain. If nothing else, download the dissection videos for each week, they are with a human brain. This course will close, so make sure to download ASAP what she might like to view

 

Activities: included in The Brain curriculum: anatomy drawings, surveys, youtube clips. My son also drew cartoons of the processes he learned about in The Way Things Work (which is cartoon based)

 

Microbiology (2 months)

 

Text: The World of the Microscope

 

Internet resources: scale of a cell

Microworld has classification info

How to measure with a microscope

 

Activities:

Biology Corner – lots of labs

 

1) Go into a field where there is a ditch that typically has standing water in it, sample some from the bottom, come home and see what you can find. Draw, measure, and identify the litter critters. Get water from other sources and compare what you find between different bodies of water and different locations within the same water. Document your findings

 

2) Make slides of anything you want: hair, fiber from clothing, skin cell, plant cell, paper, food, etc. Have fun!

 

Astronomy (1 month, but certain the sun activities will continue for 6 months)

 

Text: Exploring the Night Sky Haven't used it, but heard good things.

The Way the Universe Works This is what we used. It is the best I have found at the reading level I think you are talking about

 

Activities:

1) Track the vertical movement of the sun in the sky with a shadow length at the same time each day. Record every 2 weeks

2) Track the setting location of the sun with a mark on your wall or something for 6 months (or even a year)

3) Make a scale model of the solar system using a old-fashioned adding-machine tape (so 6+ meters long) and a dot for the size of the planets

4) Document the location of the moon and the phase for a month

5) Identify constellations. Watch how they move throughout the night, and over the year

6) Track the movement of the planets with respect to the constellations

 

Anatomy (1- 2 months depending on how excited she gets about dissections

 

text: The Way We Work A basic (but fat) human anatomy book. I can't remember the exact reading level of this one so you should preview it.

internet resources Biology corner again with info on how to dissect a heart You can just google any dissections and get directions or a youtube video walking you through it

 

Activities: dissect a fish, a muscle or oyster; a liver, eye, heart, brain (from cow, pig, or sheep) See what else your butcher has. If it is food grade, then there are no disposal issues, just dump it in your garbage.

 

Chemistry (1-2 months)

 

I'm not clear on what she knows and doesn't know, so can't really recommend a text or curriculum

book: history of the periodic table

internet resources: Periodic Table of Videos

 

Activity: The best open ended activity I have ever found for chemistry is making silly putty (like I mentioned above). Just google a basic recipe, and get 2 types of glue (blue and elmers white), borax, and corn starch. Start with the basic recipe, make up the putty, put a touch of food dye in it to differentiate each batch, and wrap in plastic. Then change one ingredient at a time while keeping everything else constant. Help her set up a bounce height test and a stretch test, and a table to record her data, and start measuring which one is better at what. It can get as complicated as she wants as she can vary 3 different variables, so the graphing can be quite complex. Real science this one, and real chemistry. Change the inputs and get a different product. But make sure she knows that borax is a poison, so should be handled with care and she needs to wash her hands after she uses it. It is standard practice in chemistry lab not to touch your face during a lab either, so remind her of that also. This investigation took my son a full month of mucking around resulting in lots of pretty colored putties!

 

Electronics (during weekends with dad)

 

Well that is it!  I hope it works with some tweaking.  :001_smile:

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Ruth, you are absolutely brilliant with this stuff!!

 

I especially enjoyed reading the thread you linked from a couple years ago where you outlined the years science into more of a general science. (bio, chem, earth/astronomy, physics) A different topic each month......

 

I am trying to plan a more integrated approach with my 3rd, 6th, 8th (rather, transition year before 9th) graders for next school year. I want to use Elemental Science as my jumping off point b/c it is planned out already. You have given me some inspiration! I think my only trouble was deciding how to go about it: what topics mesh well together vs interest led (just choose topics that they have the most interest in first, which may lead to something else).

 

Anyways..... Just wanted to thank you.

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That is amazing. I'm going to print it out now (all of it), so that I can put it in my main binder and start loading my Amazon cart!

 

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Ruth! She's going to have a blast with it!

 

ETA: Should I just put an "A" on her report card for science, since I do NOT really want to evaluate any science this year? I *do* have to keep grades, somehow.

Well, here is my thoughts on a plan.  Obviously, you need to adapt it to work for your very lovely dd.  If you have any questions, please ask!
 
 
Goals
To rekindle the love of science. And that is it!
 
Plan:
 
Topics (each 1-2 months)
Biochemistry and Neurobiology
Microbiology
Astronomy
Anatomy
Chemistry
Electronics
 
Let her pick the order she wants to do them in, but I would suggest that she completes one unit before moving onto the next (exception is biochem/neurobio which can be split in 2).
 
Output
1) Awesome lab notebook separated into units. She would include her lovely drawings for the dissections and microscopic organisms, her diagrams and cartoons for biochem/neurobiology, her charts of the moon and sun for astronomy, and her documentation and graphing for the silly putty investigation.
 
2) Presentation: at the end of each unit she would spend the last week (or 2) bringing it all together. Making a poster showing off her work and preparing a presentation to give to mom and dad. This is a time for celebration rather than critique and evaluation.
 
Evaluation
None. However, you would have the notebook, posters, and recorded presentations for your records.
 
Schedule (I'm not super clear on this, so please adjust as needed)
 
Monday and Wednesday – reading textbooks, watching short internet clips when desired, doing diagrams from texts
 
Tuesday and Thursday – Activity days. Working through the models, investigations, drawings, microscope work that I list below. These are the days where she is likely to need about 20-30 minutes of your help to make sure things are going smoothly.
 
Friday - You said that you have more time on fridays to help. So I would schedule an hour to initiate her lab work, which I think will be the hardest part given that she is not just following directions. Then every Friday make sure to work with her to evaluate where she is at and what her goals are for the hands-on work for the following week. You can even write down the goals. This will be a very important time for both of you to make sure that she can mostly independently implement the activities during the week.
 
Weekends- for electronics with dad!
 
Last week (or two) of each unit - she works M-F on her poster and presentation. Your role here is to offer guidance as to what to focus on and how to present it.
 
Your role: facilitator. You need to:
 
1) buy what is required
 
2) make reading goals for each week (or day). Just take each book and break it up into the number of weeks she will work on things. You need to do this ahead of time. Don't get too stressed over finishing a book. So perhaps schedule only half of each book, and then put in some 'extra optional readings' for if she is motivated and has time. That way she has success by meeting reasonable deadlines, but has the option of a laid out plan if she has extra time and motivation.
 
3) Lab oversight. I think that she would need at least two 20-30-minute of oversight each week and 1 hour on fridays for lab work. She will definitely need  oversight to make sure that she knows how to do the activities I have laid out. I have not given extensive directions, so she will need some from you or she will just stumble in the dark.
 
4) Help with finding any internet resources needed to complete the activities
 
5)General encouragement and positive can-do attitude. These things are contagious
 
Units and Resources
 
(I found most of these books in my library, but they seem to be pretty cheap second hand on Amazon. I'm obviously not clear on her reading level, but I did the best I could to think up complex books written at a 6th grade level which is a pretty tough ask)
 
Biochemistry and Neurobiology (3 months, could be split into 2 months for The Brain and 1 month for biochemistry, putting a different unit in between.  This unit is definitely the hardest in terms of the resources I could find and the actual material to study, so it might be better not to start with it. Don't want to turn her off right at the beginning.)
 
Text: The Way Life Works (easier than Exploring the Way Life Works, but still might be too hard. You may need to team read, not sure)
 
Curriculum: Ellen McHenry's Brain
 
Video: Coursera's Understanding the Brain. If nothing else, download the dissection videos for each week, they are with a human brain. This course will close, so make sure to download ASAP what she might like to view
 
Activities: included in The Brain curriculum: anatomy drawings, surveys, youtube clips. My son also drew cartoons of the processes he learned about in The Way Things Work (which is cartoon based)
 
Microbiology (2 months)
 
Text: The World of the Microscope

Internet resources: scale of a cell
Microworld has classification info
How to measure with a microscope

Activities:
Biology Corner – lots of labs

1) Go into a field where there is a ditch that typically has standing water in it, sample some from the bottom, come home and see what you can find. Draw, measure, and identify the litter critters. Get water from other sources and compare what you find between different bodies of water and different locations within the same water. Document your findings
 
2) Make slides of anything you want: hair, fiber from clothing, skin cell, plant cell, paper, food, etc. Have fun!
 
Astronomy (1 month, but certain the sun activities will continue for 6 months)
 
Text: Exploring the Night Sky Haven't used it, but heard good things.
The Way the Universe Works This is what we used. It is the best I have found at the reading level I think you are talking about
 
Activities:
1) Track the vertical movement of the sun in the sky with a shadow length at the same time each day. Record every 2 weeks
2) Track the setting location of the sun with a mark on your wall or something for 6 months (or even a year)
3) Make a scale model of the solar system using a old-fashioned adding-machine tape (so 6+ meters long) and a dot for the size of the planets
4) Document the location of the moon and the phase for a month
5) Identify constellations. Watch how they move throughout the night, and over the year
6) Track the movement of the planets with respect to the constellations
 
Anatomy (1- 2 months depending on how excited she gets about dissections
 
text: The Way We Work A basic (but fat) human anatomy book. I can't remember the exact reading level of this one so you should preview it.
internet resources Biology corner again with info on how to dissect a heart You can just google any dissections and get directions or a youtube video walking you through it
 
Activities: dissect a fish, a muscle or oyster; a liver, eye, heart, brain (from cow, pig, or sheep) See what else your butcher has. If it is food grade, then there are no disposal issues, just dump it in your garbage.

Chemistry (1-2 months)
 
I'm not clear on what she knows and doesn't know, so can't really recommend a text or curriculum
book: history of the periodic table
internet resources: Periodic Table of Videos
 
Activity: The best open ended activity I have ever found for chemistry is making silly putty (like I mentioned above). Just google a basic recipe, and get 2 types of glue (blue and elmers white), borax, and corn starch. Start with the basic recipe, make up the putty, put a touch of food dye in it to differentiate each batch, and wrap in plastic. Then change one ingredient at a time while keeping everything else constant. Help her set up a bounce height test and a stretch test, and a table to record her data, and start measuring which one is better at what. It can get as complicated as she wants as she can vary 3 different variables, so the graphing can be quite complex. Real science this one, and real chemistry. Change the inputs and get a different product. But make sure she knows that borax is a poison, so should be handled with care and she needs to wash her hands after she uses it. It is standard practice in chemistry lab not to touch your face during a lab either, so remind her of that also. This investigation took my son a full month of mucking around resulting in lots of pretty colored putties!
 
Electronics (during weekends with dad)
 
Well that is it!  I hope it works with some tweaking.  :001_smile:

 

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That is amazing. I'm going to print it out now (all of it), so that I can put it in my main binder and start loading my Amazon cart!

 

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Ruth! She's going to have a blast with it!

 

ETA: Should I just put an "A" on her report card for science, since I do NOT really want to evaluate any science this year? I *do* have to keep grades, somehow.

 

I'm glad it looks good to you.  Make sure you check the reading levels of the books if you can, as I'm just not sure about her skill level.

 

As for her report card, sure, give her an A.  If she gets done even half of what I laid out, she will deserve it.

 

I'm going to x-post this plan in its own thread in case it helps someone else.  I think it is pretty well buried in this thread. :001_smile:

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:grouphug:

 

I would suggest at least 2 months but 3 to 6 would be better where she reads nothing but nonsense words, syllables and word lists, no outside reading. This is the only way to properly remediate word guessing habits.  For whatever time period you choose, read aloud to her, have her listen to audio books without following along, etc.  If you end up wanting to do a longer version, try to find books she can use from books for the dyslexic and blind.  

 

I would have her work through the things on my how to tutor page and also work through only the nonsense words in We All Can Read, 3rd grade and above.  No nonsense sentences or stories or regular words in this book, only the nonsense words.  I would write the simple words from Blend Phonics in all uppercase for her to sound out, it is harder to guess from word shape when you write in uppercase.  I may have a version of Blend Phonics and Webster in all uppercase if you are interested, although the broken up into syllables of Webster masks word shape to some degree for the 2+ syllable words and the syllables act as nonsense words, I can e-mail them to you if you want them.  (The things on my how to tutor page also add in spelling and syllable division and multi-syllable word work.)

 

http://weallcanread.com/phonics-program-core-book.html

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/howtotutor.html

 

Basically, you are retraining the brain to sound out everything from left to right.  Since 50% of any running text is Dolch sight words and 90% of any running text is the most common 1,000 words (which a smart student can easily learn as wholes), any reading of sentences and stories during remediation time will disrupt this retraining process as these words have been learned as wholes.  This is also most likely the reason she has plateaued at 5th to 6th grade reading level--the most frequent several thousand words are at the 4th to 6th grade level.

 

They have done brain studies showing the changes in dyslexic's brains after remediation, moving from the right to left side of the brain as their reading improved.  (Left side processes language, sounds, linear sequences.  Right side processes pictures, wholes.)

 

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041027144140.htm

 

This article about spelling and brain changes in dyslexic students is also interesting:

 

https://depts.washington.edu/nwst/issues/index.php?issueID=fall_2006&storyID=800

 

I would do the MWIA level 2, the the Quick Screen Reading test and my New Elizabethian test before and after remediation.  

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/readinggradeleve.html

 

With my dyslexic remedial students, they initially read much slower this way.  But, with time and practice, they end up reading both faster and more accurately and at a higher reading grade level once their brain has been retrained and switched over from whole word processing to L to R sounding out of words.

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