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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