Friday, October 4, 2013

Why Homeschoolers should care about Common Core

I will admit that, until a month ago, Common Core was just a sticker on our math workbooks.  I rolled my eyes at it - true- but I ignored it.  After all: I teach math the way I was taught, and these books give me the examples for my kids to work.  Why do I care what the (admittedly brief) explanations at the top of each page say?

A friend was kind enough to explain to me that there is FAR MORE to this issue than just more sad educational pedagogies.  And I started my research.

The results are awful, and impact ALL of us.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

How I teach science (or: How I really screw up when I teach it)

I won't lie to you. I teach science in the most horrible, convoluted way. I overload my kids- taking 37 years of knowledge on a topic, and raining it down on them in 30 minute segments. I use multimedia (documentaries, short video clips, or slideshows I've created). I am excited about the topic, I talk breathlessly.
Wikipedia image by Misc. CC BY SA 2.0
Oh, I'm not ALWAYS that bad. Occasionally I download a 'grade appropriate' topic or unit from somewhere. These are... slips, though. I rely on them when the topic is a bit too simplistic and I can't think of anything overly exciting to add to what's already out there. So what effect does this... total immersion in a topic have on my kids, you might be wondering? And how does that compare against my 'slip-ups' when I rely on much more age-appropriate material?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Let The Munchkins Lead!

Wikimedia by Scott Smith.  Public Domain.

Last year, the 2012-2013 school year, was an awful year for us.

We had a major change mid year (and to allay fears, no it WASN'T a tornado), and I have to admit that our 'strict' homeschooling came to a screeching halt.  It was my fault: I wasn't doing very well because of the change, and I had an incredibly hard time devising plans and carrying them out.  The little battles with our homeschool- the kid who really doesn't like to apply himself, no matter how bright he is, the child who loves to talk when she should be working- were just too exhausting for me to handle in a manner that my children deserve.  By spring, I felt like a complete failure.  Less than half of what I wanted to get done actually got there, two-day assignments stretched into a week and, sometimes, two.