Monday, June 15, 2015

BraveWriter Shares Helpful Tips

I've started following BraveWriter in Facebook and today's post is just fantastic! You can read it here:

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Semestered vs Year-Long Learning

I'm still thinking of my son's grade 10 (first year of high school here) year next year and how things will be organized. Even though I don't have resources picked out and more important things that need to be decided at this point, but it's on my mind. Although, the scheduling is part of figuring out how we'll actually go about things, what kind of time we'll have and what we'll be able to do with that time.

Technically, a semestered course should have just as many hours in it as a year-long course. So that's not really the kind of "time" I mean. It's more: How many hours per week are we going to have on a subject? How long are the individual sessions going to be? Then there's, Do I provide structure in terms of what we do on which day? Or do we just have our things to do for the week, the time is blocked out to pick those things? Or a mix: certain things, like reading and writing workshop time, are scheduled (or put on a certain day) and the rest just has a certain amount to work through?

The advantages to doing semestered is that you can be done with that course and move onto the next thing. The disadvantage is that you kind of have to plow through it and don't necessarily get to really absorb it. And if you don't have to kind of student who is prepared to plow through things...

I was originally thinking of doing some things semestered and some things all year, like perhaps social studies and science semestered and the rest all year. But now I'm second-guessing that. Is my son truly prepared to spend 5-7 hours a week on social studies for 4 months? It's doubtful. lol. It's just really not his style. And part of homeschooling him is to make this high school experience fit well with him, to approach things in an enjoyable way so that learning--even topics we wouldn't have chosen--is enjoyable. I'm also thinking retention. Now, I know the one online math teacher here recommends that students do the math course in a single semester because by the time the final exam rolls around, they've forgotten too much of the beginning stuff, but shouldn't that just mean that better review needs to be built in during the year so that it truly is retained? Yes, that's what I'm thinking.

What about you and your family? What do you do for your high school students? Do you use semesters or have you done it both ways and prefer one over another?

Friday, June 5, 2015

I Want Summer to Start

What to do when you want to officially declare it summertime for you and your kids but one of your kids has work still to finish--to hand into an online school by a certain date, so there's no, "Oh, it can be finished during the summer sometime)?

I am soooo ready for summer holidays. Just take a week and do nothing before the reality of doing nothing hits and I start feeling like I need to do something--but it can be whatever I want it to be (well, within reason--I am trying to get the French instructional website ready and definitely to have the first level ready by Sept. 1).

The sun is out, temperatures are rising and I'd like to just go out for hikes and picnics and get my kids together with friends (or just other people in my son's case).

I can't put additional pressure on this particular child, although I have backed off from the other one's work requirements a bit. In addition to not being able to put more pressure on getting the work done, we've been hit by a virus--possibly viral meningitis--day 12 of being sick for her.

But I know it'll get done and really, what's to stop me from doing my own thing even though I have one child who has work to do--which really doesn't involve me much in the first place? Just my own thinking getting in the way.

It'd still be nice for us to all be done and I can just swoop them away to outdoor places or field trips and such.

When do your summer holidays start?