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.