Category Archives: Curriculum

You Are Your Child’s First Teacher–But If She’s Lucky, She’ll Have Lots More

Side note: wow, it’s been a while. So I guess that’s what a little walking pneumonia does to your hobbies.

Here we are in what would be the 7th- and 3rd-grade years of the girls homeschooled lives. Violet (the 7th grader) is at this point pretty fully a high schooler, academically, and our schedule shows it. Between her usual desire to do EVERYTHING and the higher level of both input and output expected, she’s having to step up her game. It’s not all unicorns and rainbows, but I’m pretty proud of how she’s making her best effort much of the time.

One thing newbie homeschoolers are frequently asked is: “What will you do when they need to study algebra/physics/some other thing you are obviously too stupid to understand yourself?” We heard this question first when our daughter was six; though she was indeed profoundly gifted, it was hard not to be insulted by the assumption behind the question. It seemed likely that we had a while to worry about that stuff.

The time has come, however: she’s surpassed what I can do without a few extra hours of study in my nonexistent spare time. Algebra is long behind her (she taught herself, and I was able to be reasonably useful through a good chunk of algebra II,.) She insisted on studying both chemistry *and* physics this year, largely because folks in our homeschool community have organized such fantastic opportunities that she couldn’t turn either one down.

I couldn’t be happier. Her chemistry class is run by a young man who supervises the labs at some local community colleges. He clearly loves what he is doing, and he also does a great job of getting the students to think about science as problem solving and not merely memorizing a lot of terminology and facts. Learning to do high quality lab reports may be some of the toughest writing she’s ever done, and from what I’ve heard the standards are pretty high.

Her physics teacher is a theoretical physicist who works in the research division of a multinational corporation; once a week, he meets with my daughter and two other kids to help them through Kinetic Books Principles of Physics, in addition to assigning and grading homework and coming up with some cool short- and long-term projects to try. For their chapter on vectors he brought them each a pirate map and assigned to figure out . . . well, a lot of stuff I am *not* too stupid to understand, but too busy. (Right? Right.)

Their teacher is having fun: he’s got three incredibly enthusiastic students who can’t wait to come talk physics with him. The kids are having fun: they get to learn at the high school level from someone who loves his field, and then they go out and play on the swingset for a while before we head home. Violet may never be a physicist, but she gets to have one for a mentor this year and understand that physics is not just a fixed body of knowledge you need to study to graduate, but a diverse and alive field populated by interesting real people.

Oh, and she’s taking an advertising class at our co-op taught by a former brand manager at another multinational, and a programming class taught by a software engineer for a major open source software company. (Of course that second one is her father.) And her former art teacher has offered her private lessons in oils.

Add to that another year of what I’ve started to consider her homeschool homeroom, Online G3, and she’s surrounded by amazing and generous adult mentors. I cannot believe how lucky we are. I know we could have put together other solutions for these classes if we had to, but I’m thrilled that

1) She’s in new surroundings where she has to push herself a little, not for a grade but to get what she came for, and

2) She’s learning that people–not just books and computers–are a great educational resource, and

3) I’m off the hook for motion in three dimensions, because two dimensions were already beyond me.

Will Victoria also homeschool for high school? The future’s unclear. But at least I don’t have to worry what I’ll do when she gets to algebra. Her interest in welding, on the other hand, worries me a little, but there’s time.

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Filed under Curriculum, Gifted Ed, Schoolday Doings, Why Homeschool?

What are the homeschoolers doing now?

We’re doing lots of things, but some get more enthusiasm than others. And a certain student seems strangely oblivious to our attempts to educate her.

Programming and NaNoWriMo: “I know! I’ll write a last name generator!”

Algebra II: “I’m really into it. It’s challenging!”

Shakespeare’s Comedy and Sonnets: “Oooh, Midsummer Night’s Dream! That’s a good one!”

Chinese: “[unintelligible to mother]”

History: “Look at this great doll house I made!”

Math: “I’m going outside to keep hammering oars onto my boat!”

English: “Look at the Christmas decorations I made!”

Spanish: “Mom, have you seen my safety goggles anywhere?”

Playgroup: “I’m going in the other room to work on my sewing project.”


Filed under Curriculum

Handwriting Practice

Just a quick note about something my almost 7yo is enjoying.

She’s going to be moving up to the next level of science class in our co-op next year, which will involve more writing. She’s very cheered about handwriting practice. Rather than buy a handwriting book for practice, I’ve found a place to print them out with any words we choose.

Recent examples of handwriting sheets:

“Proton Neutron Electron”

“Chemistry is cool for kids”

“Chemistry Biology Physics”

She seems to find this incredibly motivating, both for her handwriting and for her interest in general science. Today she wanted me to make a page with terms about a particular kind of very special cell, though she couldn’t remember what it was called. Eventually she found it in a biology book, so she has a page with

“Embyronic stem cells”

Now I need to get the 11yo some handwriting materials — she has actually requested them! She has done little to no handwriting practice, and it kind of shows. 😦 We’ve always let her keyboard because it is so much faster, and she can keep up with her thoughts. (Also, you have to pick your battles.) Now that she’s interested, I need to jump on it. The girl can draw like nobody’s business, but her thank you notes look like she hired her younger sister to write them!

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Filed under Curriculum

Creating Space

Several years ago, when we moved from an apartment to a house, we had an extra dishwasher. It was a good dishwasher — better than the one that came installed in the house — but it was a freestanding dishwasher and we had no use for it.

I tried and tried to sell it, but I could get no takers. Finally, I listed it on freecycle — which was new to me then — and a very grateful person came and carried it away to a cousin who had lots of baby bottles to wash or something. Finally, no portable dishwasher in the dining room.

Later that day we were driving through the neighborhood when I saw a yard sale. Someone was selling two very cool chairs that would fit perfectly in our living room, where we had a definite furniture shortage. I was pleased — move something out, and suddenly there’s space for something better to come in.

We had a similar experience this week. We agonized and argued, but finally determined that Violet won’t take science at our co-op anymore. It’s in part a financial decision, but partly an acknowledgment that the class served more of a social purpose than an academic one. We have much cheaper ways of meeting our social needs.

Still, I want her to be studying science regularly, so I knew I would have to come up with some alternative by next fall. Lo and behold, one possibility has presented itself to me already — one that will be much better academically, and one that she is extremely excited about. I don’t know if it will work out, but I’m so pleased. We made a space, and something better came along.

To cap it off, we found some Teaching Company biology DVDs that I had purchased used and then forgotten about during the busy fall and winter — just what she needs to shore up her biology foundation before doing a new science activity. Yay! We settled in to watch the first one, and in the first few minutes she was saying, “I’m not sure I’m gonna like this . . . ” Soon afterwards, however, the professor was explaining various theories of how organic matter could have arisen in a totally inorganic environment, and she was talking back to the screen and saying “Yeah, that’s good question,” and “That’s so cool!”

And what really warmed my heart was that my little preteen girl was wearing a cape and sitting a giant box she called her boat throughout the video, sharing a bag of Cheerios with Victoria, who had packed the provisions for their sailing journey in her own laundry basket/vessel. Sweet!

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Filed under Curriculum, Gifted Ed, Gifted Heart and Soul, Schoolday Doings, Why Homeschool?

Spring Review

What are the homeschoolers of our home doing lately?

Way too much. And now we are all sick to prove it! Just bad colds, if not because we’ve run our immune system down, then because we’ve spent too much time running around swapping germs with the public this week rather than staying home now and then.

We’ve (re)learned our overscheduling lesson quickly this time, at least.

A smattering of stuff, by subject:

Math — Violet continues with Life of Fred, slowly. This is an easy thing to drop when the schedule gets too full. I try to make sure she does at lest 2-3 lessons a week, just to avoid losing the thread. She likes the graphing, and she finds Life of Fred hilarious, not so much the story but the math problems that turn out to be logic problems and thus are way simpler than they look. Victoria continues even more slowly with EPGY.

Literature — Violet finished Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This was a stretch for her, but the rest of Lightning Lit 9, I think, will be a little more to her liking. I give her credit — I don’t much like early American lit either. And I give Online G3 credit for keeping her interested! Victoria has picked up the Little House series again, and we are slowly reading The Moorchild together. Violet just took the National Mythology Exam and finished her Greek and Norse mythology class with Online G3. She prefers the Norse myths, for now.

Language — We’ve dropped our Magic Lens/Word Within the Word temporarily, as there are too many other things happening. We’ll pick it up when we can, because Magic Lens is one of Violet’s favorites. She just keeps begging to sign up for various activities (as many as we have, there are more than I say no too!). Victoria doesn’t do anything formal at this point, though we’re going to get back to working on penmanship, to help her do the kinds of science she wants to, with lab reports and all. (Yes, yes, I can write for her. Do you think she likes that, or do you think she finds it patronizing? Have you met her?) Oh right, and Chinese for Violet and Spanish for Victoria. Violet has also dropped German for now.

Science — In addition to our regular co-op, in which both girls are focusing on life science/human body, we’re doing an extra class at our newer co-op. Violet is doing rocket science, which I am very excited about. It has a lot of applied math and science, and a lot of geeky-mathy boys to keep her on her toes. Can’t just sit back and dominate through verbal ability. Plus, building rockets! Victoria is in a Lego engineering class at the same time, and can’t wait to start making things move.

Music — We’re enjoying Discovering Music with Professor Carol, with the help of Online G3. Victoria drifts in and out of the room during the videos, but she listens to the CDs with Violet and me. Don’t know if it is related, but Violet is really alert to the music around her recently — just got her a new Debussy CD she wanted, and a cool contemporary piece called Blackberry Winter. Violet is insisting that she wants to keep up with voice lessons, but I sense they are going to go on hiatus. Piano is ever present with both girls, and this year Violet is back in the running for the MMTA honors concert — finals coming up in a couple of weeks! Both girls have also started learning guitar.

History — another thing that pops up on days that we’re actually home for a couple of hours. Mostly reading together, and finding things on the map. We’re still stuck in the BCs, creeping towards Rome. Already discussed Romulus and Remus. Wondering if I should just save Rome till we’ve done with some of this other stuff that is taking up all our time. Victoria is also doing a parent-led geography class at co-op — in part just because Violet is doing a drama class at the same time.

Other fun stuff:
Chess for Victoria.
Knitting class at a local Waldorf store for two more weeks with Victoria.
Art at co-op for both girls — lately there have been Sumi Ink paintings and Native American sandpainting.

In truth, we’ve lost a little of the flow and heart of homeschooling in this mix. Too much busyness, not enough daydreaming. But its all Good Stuff, and the flow is still there, calmly waiting for us to return.


Filed under Curriculum, Gifted Ed, Schoolday Doings

Roller Coaster Days

Ah, just as we are settling into our home and getting used to some new routines — BOOM! — the holidays hit and those tender shoots draw back until sometime after the first of the year.

Still, learning happens, and it’s interesting to observe what sticks even when I don’t seem to have the energy or mental focus to keep the full schedule going.

Chinese Pod remains a winner. One of these days I will need to get Violet into a real Chinese class, but for the last year this has sustained her interest in Chinese and allowed her to practice a bit. The new writing feature is especially cool.

Life of Fred is going pretty well. I have let that be mainly unsupervised, which means that my child who prefers to live in one of the several storylines surging along in her mind sometimes skips 3 or 4 lessons, and then backtracks, and then jumps ahead, because she’s not sure where she’s supposed to be. On the upside, as I tried to figure out which of the skipped things she should go back and finish, she drew me a diagram to prove the distributive property, and explained the reflexive property, or law, or something like that. So Fred stays.

Our love of John McWhorter and linguistics continues via our Teaching Company DVDs. Violet came to me today and asked that we watch the next lecture sooner than usual, because it sounded really interesting. And it was. Thank you God for giving me a child who hears the phrase “modal particle” and wants to know more. I don’t have that many people in my life who can summon more than 10 minutes of interest for the weird things I find interesting. (And in this case, Violet is the one getting me interested in the subject.)

Victoria sat next to us today as we watched, feeling very impatient to watch Word Girl when we finished. As the video started she said, “I smell the scent of grammar. Or is that just your coffee?” That was a keeper.

Victoria is really liking EPGY. It is not perfect for me, but she really gets something out of feeling like she get some online “school” just like Violet. And I think it helps to involve a neutral 3rd party. 😉

We are still reading Child’s History of the World, somewhat on the Sonlight schedule, but I have been adding here and there. We have been in Greece — which fit well with our current reading of Linnets and Valerians, thanks to Melissa Wiley — and will do a little Eastern detour before getting to Rome. With any luck I will prime them for learning Latin! My hope is that Victoria will want to learn, and I will be able to sneak a little into Violet. You would think that with her love of grammar I could hook her that way!

In any case, our history reading is spotty and slow, but always enjoyable. I wish so much that I could show the “Babylon News” video the girls made, with Violet as Nebuchadnezzer acting like a bull in the backyard and Victoria dressed up in cloth napkins, pretending to cry and saying “What is wrong with our king?” But I am not allowed to post it. Such are the mood changes of preteens.

And I have gushed so much about Online G3 I feel I hardly need say what that has added to our days. I swear my personal affection for Headmistress Guinevere is not the reason I say this! Can’t wait to add mythology and music next semester — I think Victoria will watch these with us as well.

With all that going on, German has fallen by the wayside temporarily, handwriting doesn’t happen, and we rely entirely on our co-op for things related to science. Magic Lens/Word Within the Word is still enjoyable, just a week or 10 days may go by before we remember to pick it up. As we are between parishes, please do not ask about faith formation. Right now the main thing we need to learn is how to get to Mass–any Mass–on time.

I have high hopes for the return of all those things — plus karate and dance! — but not until after Christmas. There are cookies to make, friends to cook for, family to see, ballets to attend, and — what you can’t see through your computer screen — lots and lots of boxes still to unpack.


Filed under Curriculum, Gifted Ed, Learning Styles, Schoolday Doings, Why Homeschool?

Today’s Thoughts on Gifted Ed and Homeschooling

We closed on old house this morning — phew! — and we were chatting with the buyers, talking about how we liked the house. My husband talked about why we unexpectedly outgrew it — couldn’t just buy a bigger house without really good reason! — and mentioned the homeschooling.

We hadn’t planned to homeschool, he mentioned, but our oldest daughter turned out to be — well, I don’t remember what he said. I remember closing my eyes, cringing, and putting my hand on his arm once I figured out where he was going. Of course he said nothing overly dramatic, said it in a very offhand way, but I was mortified to have it said in a roomful of strangers.

Mainly this incident demonstrates, yet again, that while I am far more outgoing than my husband, I am also a lot more private.

But it was also another reminder of (one reason) why we homeschool — not the bare fact that she is “profoundly gifted” or whatever, but because it is so much simpler just to deal with that on our own than to deal with the myriad reactions she and we get from others about giftedness.

Also today, I read a report on the No Child Left Behind progress of area schools. The “achievement gap” shows no sign of diminishing, and schools are turning more and more of their resources towards working on it. The reality is, school resources — personnel, money, books — are an ever-smaller pie, and as more attention goes to the lowest achieving students, less goes to kids like mine. Maybe that’s morally fair, maybe that’s good public policy at a macro level, but from a day-to-day educational perspective, it’s not going to work for us.

Of course our homeschooling lately is pretty weak! Thank goodness for Online G3, Life of Fred, and Chinese Pod! This keeps Violet going when nothing else is going on. And Victoria has started doing EPGY math. I started her on the 1st grade, but we’ll see. I am hoping the early lessons are more about establishing comfort with the program, because they are bizarrely simple. It is really nice to be able to give her some computer learning, as her sister gets so much. And it is not easy to make early elementary math very interesting!

We are clearly not going according to our early fall plans. Are you?


Filed under Curriculum, Gifted Ed, Our Philosophy (such as it is), Schoolday Doings

Plans Are Made For Changing

And yet I am making some plans.

I am not yet sure how much we’ll be homeschooling in September, beyond what we are doing now, but I think we will give it a go. I need to choose some things that we can do anywhere, so that when the hoardes come knocking down our door to see our house come Labor Day, we can comfortably sit at the library or coffeeshop for a few hours.

Violet’s schedule is filled to overflowing as usual — we’ll see what lasts til the end of the year.

History: Sonlight. I am having her go along with Victoria’s ancient cultures studies, with some additional books. Lots of Greek and Roman myths to start out. We will resume our Sonlight Eastern Hemisphere stuff later, working it into what Victoria is doing. The girls very much enjoy having something that we all do together, and so do I. I am thinking we will be listening to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series during our many car rides, too. Both girls love Greek myths.

Literature: Lightning Lit with Online G3. This is one I’m excited about, because she is so excited, and because it is something that we can be consistent with even when we are traveling around, moving house, etc. Violet is also delighted that the course includes The Hobbit (which she loved) and A Christmas Carol (which she is curious about).

English: Ongoing Michael Clay Thompson, Word Within the Word and Magic Lens. We are rather sporadic with this, much as we enjoy it. I think as we do more Greek and Roman history it will be fun to get back to the stems — we haven’t looked at MCT all summer.

Linguistics: Once we get the TV set up in the new house, we’ll get back to our friend John McWhorter and the linguistics lectures. We are missing them!

Math: Life of Fred Algebra. I haven’t actually gotten the books yet, but Violet really enjoyed looking through the earlier books (she just read them for the story, as the topics were a little old hat) and is excited to try this. I am all for it, and will let you know how long the honeymoon lasts before we are setting timers, confiscating doodles, and otherwise stressing over Violet’s tendency to daydream after about 15 minutes of doing math problems.

Science: co-op will be our main science source, though we will be watching more NOVA from now on. Can’t get enough of ScienceNow. This year should be interesting: They are doing some minor dissection in the spring.

World Languages: Chinese and German, as always.

Other outside classes: programming with Alice, art, creative writing, piano/music theory

I assume there will be something theatre-related in there too.

Victoria has a less frantic schedule, naturally.

History: Sonlight. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it. We are enjoying the Children’s History of the World. I know some people really don’t like it, but for a *children’s* history it’s effective. And I’ll tell you Victoria can find Egypt, the Tigris, and the Euphrates on a world map lickety-split!

Literature/English: I don’t plan anything formal. She is rather an inventive speller, but I’m just letting her go with that for now. Another year of strong reading under her belt and we’ll see where she is. Just lots of reading reading reading. The Sonlight 2 readers are way too easy for her now — not that you could pay me to get rid of Frog and Toad for any amount of money. When I am old and in the nursing home, they can come read Frog and Toad to me, and I will be very happy. For Victoria, lots of Beverly Cleary. We’ve also found the secret store of Magic Tree House/Secrets of Droon that I never gave away, so that occupies her, along with memorizing the entire Calvin and Hobbes corpus. I need to remember the early “chapter books” Violet was reading. She could probably re-read the Little House books on her own now, too.

Science: co-op and NOVA again. And Magic School Bus. And I am really going to try to do some kind of experiments at home after we get settled in. I mean it!

Math: We’ll be starting with Singapore. However, come January I may dump it and switch if it is not exciting Victoria a little more. I think it worked well with Violet because it seemed like we were rapidly filling in the concrete foundation for the abstract ideas she could already grasp. For Victoria, I don’t think it is working the same way. I will consider RightStart or Miquon, perhaps. But Lord, I can’t handle yet another study of math curricula, not now.

World Languages: Spanish at co-op

Other outside classes: art, karate, dance, piano/music, chess

I hope Victoria will like chess — it’s what was available for her age group at the G&T co-op while Violet is in programming class. I think she has the right mind for it — watching her put those gears together the last few weeks I could see her thinking several steps ahead. Me — I don’t do strategy games. Word games, yes. Trivia games, selectively OK. Chess, Go, Mancala — I am awful.

After Labor Day I think I will start adding the history/geography and the math most days — Violet will also be doing Lightning Lit, Chinese, and German — and see how that goes. Our usual co-op will start then too, though we will miss much of the first month.

Once we set up a base camp in the new house (early October) we’ll get the rest going. I suspect the rest of 2009 will be taken up with trying to find a new rhythm, new cozy spots and productive spots, not to mention new routes to the store, new parks, new church (argh!), new everything.

That means that I have these plans to start with, knowing full well that not all of it is going fit into our days for quite some time.


Filed under Curriculum, Schoolday Doings

Don’t Tempt Me!

I took some time tonight to go through some of the e-mails I’d been saving, adding them to my long list of “homeschool resources.”

Here is a site with some lovely old books:

Beautiful Feet

I am especially interested in the Genevieve Foster books.

And then there is this site, more oriented towards schools:

Tool Factory

There is more cool software on Tool Factory than I could use in a lifetime. And I can’t find any of it used.

I cannot, however, afford to buy anything right now, as we *really* want to buy a new house, so every dollar counts. (Also, we are on a very high-veg, low-starch diet right now, and it is much more expensive than it should be. I don’t know enough about farm subsidies to have a strong opinion, but it does seem to me we could subsidize healthier — er, more healthful — crops, at least.)

So here is something free.

Short videos on study skills and time management from McMaster University.

I have not had a chance to look at any videos, but the list is appealing, at least.

In other news:

I have a brand new niece — woo hoo! I am thinking that we will try to take many homeschool field trips to her house, and play with her and carry her around so her mama can catch a nap. Or at least, that is what I’d like to do.

The Folk of the Faraway Tree is killing me. My husband does the funniest voices — he should have done puppets on Mr. Rogers. I sit in my office and listen to him read to Victoria.

Violet’s bedtime reading has been Lord of the Rings. She tried it last summer but couldn’t quite get into it. But now . . . She’s Into It. They just finished the 1st volume, so we watched part of the first movie. Of course she is full of observations about what’s been left out, and she tries very had to tell us that the movie is Not That Scary. I wish I could take her to see it on the big screen — scared me half to death!

I am not reading anything — I read the last two Harry Potters and Wuthering Heights recently, and now I am stalled out again. But I don’t want to buy any books! (Oh, did I mention that I am avoiding the library for the fines?)


Filed under Curriculum, Family Fun

What Makes a Good Teacher, Ctd.

I had hoped to do a little series on good teachers, but my memory is not helping me much. I will give 50% of the blame to a limited number of memorable (memorably good) teachers, and 50% to my brain fog.

I was thinking of this topic again today while listening to the senate confirmation hearing of Sonia Sotomayor, an activity I cannot recommend highly, but I have a hard time making it through the day without my public radio fix.

Sotomayor and Sen. Jeff Sessions were having a bizarre conversation in which Sotomayor would explain something, and then Sessions would completely misunderstand it and ask again. What it came down to was Sotomayor saying that she had been up front in talking about how a person’s background shapes the way they think. Though she backed away from this a bit during the hearing, she had argued in the past that a person really can’t escape the background in which he or she was formed — it may be judicially desirable, but not possible. Acknowledging this, Sotomayor argued, is a necessary step in trying to achieve any kind of objectivity.

Sessions kept saying, “I understand that but,” and then launching into another quotation from her which he took to mean “a person ought to judge according to his or her background.” It got to a farcical point, and I had to turn the radio off.

Their conversation reminded me of something I have talked about a few times before: this idea that there is an essential person underneath and distinct from the cultural, gendered, ethnic trappings. I don’t believe people are built that way, mentally or physically. Place, class, race, gender — they aren’t like plastic parts you stick on a potato head doll.

But that idea is hard for some people to wrap their heads around, in my experience.

Likewise, I found it difficult to get some of my students to engage with the possibility that language is not transparent. Like a person, an idea or concept isn’t constructed with discrete blocks of stable meaning neatly symbolized by a particular arrangement of letters or sounds. Even a merely formal analysis of language — putting aside reader response, author intent, choice of media — demonstrates that while you can highlight a word, phrase, or sound, it comes firmly enmeshed in the whole. This is not a great analogy but I think of the line from Marvin’s Room: “My feelings for you are like a big bowl of fishhooks. I can’t just pick up one at a time — I pick one up and they all come.”

To get around to answering Cher Mere’s question in the comments, one thing that sometimes worked to get students’ minds going in the right direction was discussing advertising. Very prosaic, I know, but for some it seemed to work. Talking about advertising opened students’ minds to the possibility that language works, language can be used strategically, language can be powerful in ways that the speaker never intended.

I did have students who clung very strongly to the idea of transparent communication: advertisements were just “information.” They had no effect on the viewer or reader beyond name recognition — they had no power to arouse desire without the viewer’s consent or knowledge. But money talks, and only the most stubborn holdouts could explain why companies would spend so much money on advertising, when they could leaflet every man, woman, and child in the US for much less money, if their purpose were merely to share information.

Recognizing that advertisements were a form of language that worked in non-transparent ways opened the door. Film worked as a means of introducing the concept too — for whatever reason many students felt more comfortable analyzing visual rather than verbal communication. I remember grading papers for a class on film noir, as a TA, and watching some students suddenly grasp the concept of analyzing a scene. True, many would go overboard, looking for earth-shattering significance in every detail, but the important thing was that their minds were now open to this way of thinking — and they liked it!

For homeschooling, I have simply filed this info away. I am not pushing analysis very hard. Considering that some very bright 16yos have to struggle with it for a time (*wink wink*), I don’t think it is fair to expect it from a 10yo. That said, I notice that some things seem to hold true: advertising is a ready (if not subtle or profound) way into discussing how language works. Kids seem to love to feel in on the secret: “A-ha! Look at that close-up, the use of slow motion, to make it look more appealing.” And visual communication can be a leveler: you (the adult) may know a lot more words and use them more effectively, but that doesn’t matter so much when looking at images.


Filed under Curriculum, Learning Styles, Our Philosophy (such as it is), Schoolday Doings, Why Homeschool?