Friday, December 29, 2006

This is funny :)

Read this story for a laugh.

Teacher's Union President can't do 6th grade math

Talk about a high-stakes test.

The radio audience was live and the question for teachers union
president Randi Weingarten involved sixth-grade math: "What's 1/3rd plus
He couldn't do it. ::snicker:: But could you? Is this something you use in everyday life to be able to practice and remember it? I know I use this type of math in cooking. Maybe she doesn't cook. Maybe she needs more hands on learning so that she can remember. ::grin::

"I do it the old-fashioned way," she said. "You take your paper, your pen, you add it up and get the fractional whatever."

"And you show your work," Pesca offered.

"And you show your work," Weingarten agreed. "A good teacher will look at it and talk to you about what went right and what went wrong, like they do in Singapore."

I believe that they do more mental math in Singapore. That is one of the things Singapore Math is known for--and Singapore Math (the one we are using for elementary) is actually the program that was used in Singapore when they came first in the world in 1995, 1999, and 2003 for 4th and 8th grade Math and Science.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Snow day!

We woke up to 6 inches of snow this morning!

Shane going down the hill in our back yard.

He made it to the bottom.

Here's Daisy digging for something.

It was a stick. (Didn't know labs could smell sticks :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Comments about next year's plan

We had to change from A2 because it's history only goes up to 1900 and we wanted to study 20th Century History next year. I also wanted to have more discussion--helps to have more than one kid studying the same thing. So we are going to try studying the same history all at the same time using DK History of the 20th Century as our guide. The older kids will have to read whatever the younger kids are reading for history and something extra.

They are all studying the same science also, but totally different programs. We should have some discussion coming from this.

I will probably still require narrations for science and history and reports on reading, but will use Write Source handbooks for ideas and explanations on how to write in different ways.

Starting after the New Year, I am going to be studying the older kids literature and history for next year. I am going to use methods I am reading about in A Well Educated Mind so that I will be better prepared for discussions. The basis of what she says (in A Well Educated Mind) is to read a section of your book, write a narration, and your opinion of it in a journal. This helps to cement it in your mind and gives you something to refer to for discussions. I think I will start doing this for personal scripture study also.

Next Year's Plan

I've been planning next year's curriculum. I'm a little more worried about it this time--next year I will have two high schoolers. It will probably change again before next August, but here it is...

Joseph and Sarah:
Explode the Code (Joseph only)
Miquon Math
Singapore Math
Mcguffey readers
We will start from where we leave off this year.

DK Presidents
DK History of the 20th Century
The Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Book
Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
Singapore Math 4A/4B
Easy Grammar 3/4
Literature based on Tapestry of Grace 20th Century Upper Grammar reading list
Writing using Write on Track handbook as a guide

DK Presidents
DK History of the 20th Century
The Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Book
Apologia Biology
Science Roots
Finish Singapore Math 6B
Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1
Easy Grammar 4/5
Literature based on Tapestry of Grace 20th Century Dialectic reading list
Writing using Write Source 2000 handbook as a guide

DK Presidents
DK History of the 20th Century
The Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Book
A History of the American People (last half)
Apologia Biology
Science Roots
Finish Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1
Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2
Rosetta Stone Spanish 1 (first half)
Literature based on Tapestry of Grace 20th Century Rhetoric reading list
Writing using Writer's Inc handbook as a guide

DK Presidents
DK History of the 20th Century
The Story of the World Book 4 and Activity Book
A History of the American People (last half)
Apologia Biology
Science Roots
Teaching Textbooks Geometry
Rosetta Stone Spanish 1 (first half)
Literature based on Tapestry of Grace 20th Century Rhetoric reading list
Writing using Writer's Inc handbook as a guide

Twin Logic...

Joseph was in his room, in trouble yesterday for yelling at and hitting Sarah. She apparently was not playing Lego Star Wars right (in the world according to Joseph)--but she was playing it the way she wanted to play it.

While in his room, Joseph stuck his head out and said "Mom, me and Sarah are twins right? We are the same. That means that Sarah should be grounded too." : ) That's 6yo logic for you.

I told him that Sarah did not yell at him so they are not the same.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Graduate School!

Stan finally was accepted to graduate school! The letter came in the mail on Saturday, but we didn't pick up the mail until we were headed out to go caroling (on Sunday). He will be starting in January. He is starting with a 400 level Statistics class and a few Thesis credits.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's the day before the night before Christmas....

And we're busy, busy, busy being good : )

We are making pies and preparing Christmas dinner tonight. We will have the big dinner tomorrow after church, open presents (probably about 3:00), go caroling (6:00), read the Christmas story (7:30), and goto bed. Then Santa comes : )

I think starting next year, the older kids and either Stan or I will go help serve Christmas dinner to those in need at the Community Center. We talked about doing it this year, but with Stan working two jobs it just doesn't seem like the time to start it. It will be a good experience for them to serve others on Christmas Day.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Bible Classes in Public Schools?

Georgia is requiring their public schools to come up with Old and New Testament history and literature classes as electives (story here). They are not allowed to bring religion into it though (what?). They are to teach it as a history or literature study only. How can it be taught as a history unless it is accepted as true?
State Sen. Kasim Reed...was troubled that the department would not provide a list of suggested reading materials — other than the Bible, which the law states must be the "basic text" — and had not worked with legal scholars to develop the courses.

"We never believed that this was something ... that you could do easily because of the constitutional issues," Reed said. "But we believe at the end of the day that the value in exposing our young people to this was worth it.

So they are trying to teach religion in school--at least "exposing our young people" to it. But what about Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, and every other religion out there (or lack thereof). Doesn't that mean they have to teach classes on them also? Do we want just anyone teaching all these things? It might be better to teach these things in an atmosphere where we can oversee what our children are being taught and choose the teachers ourselves.

The Shopping Trip

We went shopping yesterday. We needed to buy Christmas dinner and the kids wanted to spend some money.

They all had $10 from Grandma and Grandpa Doan, Shane won a $20 gift card to Hastings at the department Christmas party, and Jacob was given a $10 gift card to Target in a gift exchange. The twins had already spent $5 on junk food when they went to the free movie last Saturday but everyone else still had theirs.

We went to Target first, where Jacob picked out some Yu-Gi-Oh cards.

Next, we went to Game Stop. Stephen and Shane together bought Lego Star Wars for X-Box. Joseph wanted to buy a game too, so we asked the guy working there what he could get for $5. He picked out a Dragon Ball Z game for PS2. He was so excited to have his own game that he bought with his own money :) Stephen and Shane immediately told him that it was not a good game. I told him that it was a good game for 6year olds, which made him happy.

We went to Costco, ate lunch, and bought a few things. After that we went to Hastings. 13yos bought a book he had been wanting. Then we went to the Library and Wal-mart.

We were in town 6 hours and went to 6 places...the kids did great considering they all came with me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

What curriculum we are using right now...

We are using A2 for history, literature, and economics (Stephen) right now. We are all studying American History and a variety of literature suggestions from the A2 cd.

Stephen is reading The Wealth of Nations for his economics study. He is also using Teaching Textbooks Algebra I and a Physics program that I put together.

Shane and Jessica are using the Usborne Science Encyclopedia for their science, and finishing up Singapore Math this year. (Shane 6 months before Jessica)

Jacob is using selections from the library for science, working on Singapore math, and finishing Explode the Code.

Joseph and Sarah are using Miquon and Singapore first grade math, and Explode the Code.

I incorporate writing into history, science, and literature. They have to write narrations for history and science, and some type of report in literature at the end of reading.

Stephen and Shane will be starting Science Roots in about a month in preparation for Apologia Biology next year.

The Beginning!

Today is the start of my Blogging journey : ) I am going to write my thoughts about homeschooling, family life, and publish some of the kids writings.