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.

Aug 06 2006

In transition

Tag:Tag , , , , TechnoMom @ 14:02

Katie is going to high school in a few weeks, a 10th grader. The school is much larger than the one she attended last fall – approximately the same population as my own alma mater when I was there.

I, at least, will continue to write here, as I’ve been interested in homeschooling and education much longer than I’ve had a child at home officially being homeschooled. In fact, I first heard of homeschooling as a modern reality right after I graduated in the mid-1980s, and was immediately intrigued. I read everything I could find about it, and have kept up that connection since then.

Katie is all excited, of course. I’m excited for her. I fear she may be dampening that excitement down a little because she knows that I’ll miss her, but she shouldn’t. That’s just a normal part of being Mommy. Letting go is in the job description.Trying new things is in hers.

Aug 06 2006

Quote of the Day

Tag:Tag , , , , TechnoMom @ 13:52

“If you cannot write well, you cannot think well, and if you cannot think well, others will do your thinking for you.”

George Orwell

Jul 29 2006

Separation anxiety

Tag:Tag , , TechnoMom @ 12:09

And I don’t even know for sure if there’ll be a separation!

Katie may go to high school this year. We’ll know for sure very soon. I’ve done a transcript for her, all official and everything.

Just the thought makes me jealous of the time I have with her now, though. I’ve enjoyed these years together, and I don’t want them to end. I don’t want to clip her wings, of course, and I know my qualms are selfish.

It isn’t as if I’ll have trouble finding things to do. It’s that Katie won’t be with me to do them.


Jun 06 2006

Driving Lessons

Tag:ChatOmbre @ 11:06

So, for the past week or so, I’ve been taking driving lessons. First I had 30 hours (spread out over a week, of course) of in-class study, most of which was about the law. Then, yesterday I started on my 10 hours of behind-the-wheel lessons.

Both of my teachers (one in classroom, one in the car) have been very good. I think I’ve learned a lot already. I’ve finished all of my in-class hours, and 3 of my behind-the-wheel hours. Yesterday I went on the expressway! I was nervous when I started driving, but then by the time I’d gotten there I was calm, so it wasn’t that scary. I felt all zoomy afterwards.

Jun 06 2006

Busy week!

Tag:TechnoMom @ 7:49

Katie spent last week in school – an actual classroom. She was taking a week-long driver’s education course, partially to satisfy state requirements and improve our insurance rates, partially because we just thought it a good idea. This week she’s actually behind the wheel each day, on the road. She loves that part.

The instructor did love homework, though, so we didn’t have much time for our regular studies. Then I was in the hospital for a few days, and we’re not really back to “normal” yet from that.

She got some very good news, too, but I’ll let you read about that from her.

May 25 2006

Writing Wednesday

Tag:TechnoMom @ 0:24

Today was the rescheduled date for Katie’s writing group, so off we went to one of our favorite bookstores.

Unfortunately – due to the rescheduling, I think – Katie was the only “member” who showed up. The group is just for high school “womyn,” and the only other person to attend was the facilitator. As it turns out, other people (not high schoolers) wandered in and out throughout the scheduled time. I think the girl got a lot of attention, which isn’t a bad thing at all. She missed seeing her sister writers, though.

I hung out in the front of the store, stitching. I was insanely early for a Stitch ‘n Bitch session scheduled there for 7, but I got a good two hours of time in on the Fairy Tale Sampler, along with some good conversation.

The official SnB was the first they’ve hosted. I was a little uncertain about going, as the focus was clearly on knitting. I needn’t have worried, as people were doing a variety of needlework.

Katie wrapped up the little test piece she was knitting, but she ran out of yarn. She picked out her next piece, though, which will require a trip to Nease’s. Oh no! The horrors! 😉

We got to educate at least four different people about homeschooling, too, which was a bonus. Meeting Katie is the best answer there is to the “S question,” as she’s clearly not lacking in social skills. We definitely left people with good impressions.

I think I’ll go to their next adult women’s writer’s group, as well. It’s been so long since I’ve written anything but non-fiction that I feel a bit odd, but Katie is a good influence.

May 23 2006

Arguments against homeschooling – too sheltered?

Tag:TechnoMom @ 15:34

I’m not worried about Katie being “too sheltered,” although that’s one of the “dangers of homeschooling” according to its opponents. This study is something to remember the next time someone brings up that old argument.

People who have suffered life’s hard knocks while growing up tend to be more gullible than those who have been more sheltered, startling new findings from the University of Leicester reveal.

A six-month study in the University’s School of Psychology found that rather than ‘toughening up’ individuals, adverse experiences in childhood and adolescence meant that these people were vulnerable to being mislead.

The research analysing results from 60 participants suggest that such people could, for example, be more open to suggestion in police interrogations or to be influenced by the media or advertising campaigns.

The study found that while some people may indeed become more ‘hard-nosed’ through adversity, the majority become less trusting of their own judgement.

From Science Daily via OmniBrain.

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