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.

Cyn


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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