Sep 17 2006

Learning by Doing

An awesome article by Seed magazine (my current favorite magazine!) about learning by doing. Apparently that’s how we learn best. When we learn by doing, we retain the information we’ve learned much better than if it’s presented to us in an abstract way.

How We Know: What do an algebra teacher, Toyota and a classical musician have in common?

Sep 13 2006

The Myth About Homework

Tag:Tag , Cyn @ 16:28

As the days go by, Katie’s time gets more and more precious. I’m not the only one who is missing lazy days of cuddling up to do our lessons together at our own pace, doing as much as is needed and no more, then going on to Girl Scouts or dance or friends.

Every night, every weekend is full of more and more homework. Some of it is very obviously work for the sake of assigning homework. She has four classes, and only two of the teachers assign homework. I can’t begin to imagine when she’d sleep if she were taking four “serious” courses, but we’ll know next semester, when she adds a third one.

So this article really hit home. It’s something we railed about when Sam’s children lived with us, and now it’s an issue for our family again.

Think hours of slogging are helping your child make the grade? Think again

Too much homework brings diminishing returns. Cooper’s analysis of dozens of studies found that kids who do some homework in middle and high school score somewhat better on standardized tests, but doing more than 60 to 90 min. a night in middle school and more than 2 hr. in high school is associated with, gulp, lower scores.

I suppose it’s time to start campaigning, which means first getting involved in other ways. You can’t walk in with a complaint and expect to be heard very well if you haven’t already established yourself as a positive asset.

Sep 04 2006

Quote of the day, happy half hour

“We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” – Stacia Tauscher, quoted in The Change Your Life Challenge by Brooke Noel.

One of Noel’s suggestions is to have a regular “happy half hour” with your family. Set up fresh fruit or other health snacks, pour cups of juice or some sort of drinks they like, and set apart that time for everyone, kids and adults, to connect in a positive way. No “must do” talk, no downers, no complaining – just good stuff. Encourage each other, express your gratitude for each other and the good things in your lives, share your joys, and catch up with each other.

Homeschooling families seldom need that as much as some others do, but it can’t hurt, can it? There’s never a bad time to share some happiness with our families.