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Next in Series Published: From the Shire to Rivendell: Our Family's Academic Culture


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I didn't know if this might be helpful for anyone you know who is starting out.  Thought I'd share it here just in case.

Beyond Curriculum Selection: Behind the Scenes

ETA:  I have added 2 additional posts on Behind the Scenes.  (I need to spend time figuring out how to organize pages, but that is for another day.) 

The first is Prelude to Teaching

The second is Teacher Training (Part 1)

My next post is on the 4 hallmarks of a Jesuit education: : prelection, reflection, active learning, and repetition. Climbing Higher in Our Teacher Training

From the Shire to Rivendell: Our Family's Academic Culture

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
Fixed broken link
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Posted (edited)

Thanks for letting me know. 🙂 I fixed the link!

5 minutes ago, OKBud said:

"403 forbidden"

 

3 minutes ago, Everything Chocolate said:

The link doesn't seem to be working and there's an error message.

 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Thank you for writing that post. It is like watching The Making of Lord of the Rings movie. SO much work went in behind the scenes. I recently shared some resources with a friend who is planning on homeschooling and she said, "Wow, you must have spent hundreds of hours cultivating all this knowledge to be able to weed out what doesn't work from what does." It was so validating that she saw some of the behind the scenes work. And that isnt counting anything you mentioned in your blog.

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31 minutes ago, annegables said:

Thank you for writing that post. It is like watching The Making of Lord of the Rings movie. SO much work went in behind the scenes. I recently shared some resources with a friend who is planning on homeschooling and she said, "Wow, you must have spent hundreds of hours cultivating all this knowledge to be able to weed out what doesn't work from what does." It was so validating that she saw some of the behind the scenes work. And that isnt counting anything you mentioned in your blog.

The next in the series (which I have almost finished) is about teacher preparedness.  The third is about academic choices and lifestyle.

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

The next in the series (which I have almost finished) is about teacher preparedness.  The third is about academic choices and lifestyle.

Wonderful!!!

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"Far better for your meals to be open-and-go than your child’s education."

I'm only halfway through reading your post, but had to stop and say thank you for this thought!  We do use some open-and-go stuff here (phonics, Writing With Ease, Story of the World) but on reflection, the reason I'm confident in those choices is because I put the time in on the front end to read them thoroughly, understand the content and determine that they were a good fit for our family. Just like your "open and go meals" (love that!), the time has to go in somewhere - either at the time you make them, or beforehand when you prepare them.

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Thanks 8fill! I'm enjoying these posts!

I'm wondering if you could elaborate on what the prelection stage looks like, in practice, day to day? Is it a part of every lesson? 

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For me, prelection is part of my lesson planning process.  I spend part of my summer before the start of the school yr determining my big picture goals for each subject for each grade level I'm teaching.  (These are not deep, contemplative goals.  😉 They are simply more along the lines of what do I want to see accomplished.)  After I have determined those, I start working my way toward specific objectives.

For courses that I design, I start building the courses by selecting the resources to meet the big picture objectives.  As I work through each course's design, I am immersing myself in my "teacher prelection" bc I am having to decide where we are going step-by-step and why. As I evaluate each resource, I have to justify its use to myself and know why I chose for us to spend time using it. Do they meet specific objectives that connect to my big picture goals? Then, as I write the daily plans for the course,I write notes to myself as reminders or I have notebooks where I have been brainstorming during the course design and write lists/questions/possible rabbit trails/cross curriculum assignment possibilities, etc. ( (I have learned a lot about myself over my years of homeschooling......when I have used prepackaged curriculum, I become lazy and rely on the curriculum to do the teaching.  Those have been our worst yrs bc I am not as actively engaged. For me, I need the above process for me to have my own ownership over the daily assignments. This is similiar to why I want my kids to be involved in deciding what resources we use bc it gives them ownership over the course.)

With my kids, how it looks on a daily basis really depends on the child, the grade level, and the subject.  History, for example.  WIth my older kids, it probably isn't daily.  I work with them on the course design (so they are already engaged in the big picture objectives) and then I write their daily plans. I talk to them and highlight objectives within a unit ( for a specific resource, chpt, week, etc), but, no, I don't do it daily bc they are completing a lot of reading or watching GC lectures independently during the day.  With my younger kids who I am working with directly, yes, it is part of our daily  conversation as we go through what we are doing.  It isn't a formal, prepared type prelection.  It is more along the lines of, "Do you remember what happened yesterday?" or "Yesterday, we stopped at X.  What do you think is going to happen?" or  "What do you think _____ goes/does?" etc.  I try to tie previous days lessons into preparing them to engage them in today's, etc.

For courses where I am using textbooks like math or like my 9th grader's physics course, I still create the daily plans.  As I write their plans (I only write about 6 weeks at a time), I go through and identify main objectives that need to be mastered.   For example, with my dd's physics course, I am integrating a physics textbook with GPB's online videos.  I go through the daily video objectives in order to decide how to divide our days between the textbook and the video.  I do discuss the main goal for each day's lesson.  Again, this is a course where I sit with her while she is doing it and it is similarly interactive as the younger student's example above. 

FWIW, it doesn't always work out the way I anticipate.  We just finished our first 5 weeks of school and I am already having to revamp my dd's physics course.  The videos are math based and we were using Hewitt's COnceptual Physics text to accompany it.  She decided that bc he avoids discussing things in terms of math, that he is more confusing than the videos.  She likes the direct relationship between the math and the concepts, so I have ordered a new textbook that should be here in a couple of days.  (This is our week off and I will be writing our next set of plans.....more prelection for me as I have to figure out the new book!.)

Does that help?

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Posted (edited)

I was just working on the pond/freshwater study I am getting ready to do with my 5th grader and my 4th and 3rd grade grandkids.  I had checked out a few DVDs from the library and one of them had a teacher's guide in it.  I initially ignored it bc I don't particularly care for most teacher's guides, but while I was waiting for the DVD to load I skimmed the front page.  It made me smile, bc here in this little teacher's pamphlet the front page addressed the 1st premise of the 4 hallmarks (and contained within essentially all are presented in simplified form.)  It has a "before viewing" section which states: "Extensive research tells how important it is for the teacher to discover what the students know-- or think they know--about a topic before actually starting a new unit".   It goes on to give a pre-viewing discussion, focus questions for students for students to pay attention to during the video, follow up discussion,  and follow up activities.  Is it a perfect representation? No, but is a fairly decent one considering there is no way of knowing where else their study might be headed.   For a simple DVD couple page pamphlet to have so much right, it really surprised me.

Here is a link to the pamphlet.  Apparently all of the libraryvideo.com DVDs have accompanying teacher pamphlets available online (it is the first one I have ever checked out that actually had one.  I have 3 others checked out and none of them came with one.) Biomes of the World in Action: Freshwater Ecosystems  (It is a trifold pamphlet, so it doesn't read directly like presented online.)

Anyway, that is a good peak into how to approach this for a simple daily/couple of day lesson. 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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7 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

For me, prelection is part of my lesson planning process.  I spend part of my summer before the start of the school yr determining my big picture goals for each subject for each grade level I'm teaching.  (These are not deep, contemplative goals.  😉 They are simply more along the lines of what do I want to see accomplished.)  After I have determined those, I start working my way toward specific objectives.

For courses that I design, I start building the courses by selecting the resources to meet the big picture objectives.  As I work through each course's design, I am immersing myself in my "teacher prelection" bc I am having to decide where we are going step-by-step and why. As I evaluate each resource, I have to justify its use to myself and know why I chose for us to spend time using it. Do they meet specific objectives that connect to my big picture goals? Then, as I write the daily plans for the course,I write notes to myself as reminders or I have notebooks where I have been brainstorming during the course design and write lists/questions/possible rabbit trails/cross curriculum assignment possibilities, etc. ( (I have learned a lot about myself over my years of homeschooling......when I have used prepackaged curriculum, I become lazy and rely on the curriculum to do the teaching.  Those have been our worst yrs bc I am not as actively engaged. For me, I need the above process for me to have my own ownership over the daily assignments. This is similiar to why I want my kids to be involved in deciding what resources we use bc it gives them ownership over the course.)

With my kids, how it looks on a daily basis really depends on the child, the grade level, and the subject.  History, for example.  WIth my older kids, it probably isn't daily.  I work with them on the course design (so they are already engaged in the big picture objectives) and then I write their daily plans. I talk to them and highlight objectives within a unit ( for a specific resource, chpt, week, etc), but, no, I don't do it daily bc they are completing a lot of reading or watching GC lectures independently during the day.  With my younger kids who I am working with directly, yes, it is part of our daily  conversation as we go through what we are doing.  It isn't a formal, prepared type prelection.  It is more along the lines of, "Do you remember what happened yesterday?" or "Yesterday, we stopped at X.  What do you think is going to happen?" or  "What do you think _____ goes/does?" etc.  I try to tie previous days lessons into preparing them to engage them in today's, etc.

For courses where I am using textbooks like math or like my 9th grader's physics course, I still create the daily plans.  As I write their plans (I only write about 6 weeks at a time), I go through and identify main objectives that need to be mastered.   For example, with my dd's physics course, I am integrating a physics textbook with GPB's online videos.  I go through the daily video objectives in order to decide how to divide our days between the textbook and the video.  I do discuss the main goal for each day's lesson.  Again, this is a course where I sit with her while she is doing it and it is similarly interactive as the younger student's example above. 

FWIW, it doesn't always work out the way I anticipate.  We just finished our first 5 weeks of school and I am already having to revamp my dd's physics course.  The videos are math based and we were using Hewitt's COnceptual Physics text to accompany it.  She decided that bc he avoids discussing things in terms of math, that he is more confusing than the videos.  She likes the direct relationship between the math and the concepts, so I have ordered a new textbook that should be here in a couple of days.  (This is our week off and I will be writing our next set of plans.....more prelection for me as I have to figure out the new book!.)

Does that help?

Yes that does help, thank you for taking the time to write all that out!

Now I'm interested to know what the new physics textbook is 😄 

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1 hour ago, LMD said:

Yes that does help, thank you for taking the time to write all that out!

Now I'm interested to know what the new physics textbook is 😄 

LOL!  I ordered an old version of Physics: Principles with Applications (Giancoli) mainly bc I could find a solutions manual.  🙂 

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3 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

LOL!  I ordered an old version of Physics: Principles with Applications (Giancoli) mainly bc I could find a solutions manual.  🙂 

Thanks! I'm always curious to see what's out there! 

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I have added another to the series.  This one is on why CM's "“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life,” reflects all homeschools whether parents deliberately opt to consider that perspective or not.  The title is From Shire to Rivendell: Our Family's Academic Culture.  🙂  

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  • 8filltheheart changed the title to Next in Series Published: From the Shire to Rivendell: Our Family's Academic Culture
1 hour ago, Dobby's Sock said:

I think this is my favorite one yet, although it's quite far from what actually happens in our homeschool.  ETA: this is going on my hard drive in case DS decides to homeschool.  It's well worth preserving.

Wow.  😊 Glad you enjoyed it! 

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Your blog post is SO very good! Besides being very well written, it is always obvious the amount of time, energy, effort and experience that goes into your writing about homeschool. Most people will never get even half your experience homeschooling just because of the sheer number of kids you have done it with. Haha.

I have often felt we are very lucky you take the time to share that experience with us. It is an experience born out of a lot of thoughtful attention and intention toward educating your children well.

 

 

 

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Thank you! I copied into my OneNote. It's a keeper! 

I have been reflecting a lot as we work our way through Tolkien this year and this solidifies some thoughts.

I have been thinking of when they arrive in Rivendell in The Hobbit. That passage very much reminded me of my grandmother's house. She always had something interesting in her house, conversations were long and about random things. It was hard to leave. My hope is that one day when my kids and maybe even my grandkids look back on their childhood, they regard our house just as Bilbo did Rivendell. 

"They stayed on in that good house, fourteen days at least, and they found it hard to leave. Bilbo would gladly have stopped there for ever and ever - even supposing a wish would have taken him right back to his hobbit-hole without trouble. .... His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all."

I just shared this post with a nervous newbie of a K'er. If only I had more kids so I could do this all over again! 😊 

#homeschoolgoals

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4 hours ago, Plum said:

Thank you! I copied into my OneNote. It's a keeper! 

I have been reflecting a lot as we work our way through Tolkien this year and this solidifies some thoughts.

I have been thinking of when they arrive in Rivendell in The Hobbit. That passage very much reminded me of my grandmother's house. She always had something interesting in her house, conversations were long and about random things. It was hard to leave. My hope is that one day when my kids and maybe even my grandkids look back on their childhood, they regard our house just as Bilbo did Rivendell. 

"They stayed on in that good house, fourteen days at least, and they found it hard to leave. Bilbo would gladly have stopped there for ever and ever - even supposing a wish would have taken him right back to his hobbit-hole without trouble. .... His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all."

I just shared this post with a nervous newbie of a K'er. If only I had more kids so I could do this all over again! 😊 

#homeschoolgoals

I love that!  Yes, ultimate goal is long-term relationships.  So thankful I have the relationship with my kids that I do.  Way different from my family or dh's.

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That was a lovely post, thanks for continuing to write!

Personally, I'm a little discouraged at the moment, the idyllic image isn't matching up well with the teen who doesn't appreciate rivendell angst and I'm tired.

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9 hours ago, LMD said:

That was a lovely post, thanks for continuing to write!

Personally, I'm a little discouraged at the moment, the idyllic image isn't matching up well with the teen who doesn't appreciate rivendell angst and I'm tired.

Sorry you're tired and discouraged.  What is your teen's view of high school and why is there angst?  If you could both forget about the outside world and its expectations, what would learning look like?  What would be your objectives?  Your teens?  What would be the goal at the end?  Does your teen have any long-term goals?  Has your student expressed anything particular that he/she would like to explore/learn/master?

I'm just being 100% honest when I share that kids who have ownership over their futures are much easier students.  Internal motivation can overcome a lot of hurdles that external motivators attempt to accomplish with force.  Grades can be like carrots in front of a donkey.  Much easier to have a student who draws a map, packs his/her bag, and sets out on a journey bc he/she is eager to get to the destination.

ETA: It also helps if Rivendell does not resemble a high school classroom.  Sitting around reading and talking/discussing/sharing in a low stress environment is a different atmosphere than a classroom text/homework/test environment.  High school in our home is very low stress bc the focus is simply on learning and mastery, not pace/output/grades.  (Good thing bc I have some perfectionist/high anxiety personalities.  THey induce enough stress on themselves.)  I'm not sure how to share it in a way that makes sense, but there is no outside master dictating control or expectations, just ours. (There is the expectation that they accomplish what they are capable of achieving.)  I think that is what Plum's quote exemplifies about Bilbo and Rivendell.  There is time to stop and think.  Talk about thoughts.  It isn't an atmosphere of specified trajectory with check this off the list, move on, check off, move on.  It is about enjoying thoughts and wanting to learn bc the learning is interesting.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Thank you!

I probably shouldn't have posted, I didn't mean to make this thread into my own personal family therapy 😄. Why is there angst, million dollar question.

I agree with you, and our highschool so far is similar to your description. The discouragement comes because sometimes the internal motivation is difficult to see and hard to inspire.

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