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Posts by Dar

Graph paper can be better than regular notebook paper for setting up arithmetic problems, because each number has it's own designated "box". You can print off graph paper with any size boxes, too. It seems like notebooks in nearly every other country are all graph (grid) paper, but in the US it's just lines...
Very cool story!And it's pretty easy for me to be zen and not worry about college prep, because my only child is already in college, and doing well there. I'm not sure if her college degree will get her a job or not, but it can't hurt, it's what she wants to do, and it's pretty close to free for us... so why not?
One more thing - a multiplication facts chart can be a great help for kids wanting to do algebra when they don't know their multiplication facts. It works in reverse, too - like, they can look for a number to see what its factors are. Eventually they'll probably memorize most of them anyway, if they use it enough, but in the meantime it can be a good tool... just like when Rain first started writing, I had a piece of paper where I wrote words that she asked me how to...
I wasn't addressing anyone in particular when I said 7 or 8 - it just feels sort of like a generic middle childhood age. Just to clarify. There is an email list about homeschooling to college for parents of high school age homeschoolers ... hs2college? Something like that. On yahoogroups. A friend of mine started it and moderated for a few years, but I think she's passed it on. It's a collection of all kinds of homeschoolers, from school-at-homers to unschoolers, and...
Also - have you tried Roddles? With cuisenaire rods? I know we had them, and I think they actually had some algebra-ish puzzles and games that were kind of fun... and we had another cuisenaire rod game book. Okay, admittedly I liked this stuff more than Rain did, but they got some use...
I think the key to algebra is understanding which operations undo other operations - which are opposites. I really think they should be learned together, in that way - exponents with roots, multiplication with division, addition with subtraction...etc. If I were designing a math curriculum I'd do that. I wonder if it might be fun to play around with doing and undoing things to numbers. Like, start with a number and do something to it - multiply by 5, for example - and...
I agree. I don't think unschooling turns into something different as kids get older. *Kids* get different. They get better at long-term planning, they become more independent. As unschooling parents, we still allow them to make their own educational decisions. We still advise, suggest, research, help - as we have been all along - but IMO it's not our place to "do something about" our kids being "behind" (or "ahead") at any point. It's theirs.
Ah. And to me these are entirely different things. Growing up, I had a lot of trouble distinguishing my academic goals for myself with my father's goals for me, so with Rain I've been very clear on her having ownership of her own goals. I wound up crashing and burning in 10th grade and it took me a long time to find my own goals, and I'm sure that skews my perceptions - obviously I wasn't unschooled.Goals change. A lot. I'm sure some kids know what they want at 6 and at 18...
I was once a special ed teacher, and now I'm the mother of a just-turned-19 year old college sophomore, who speaks three languages, has her own column and radio show, and is attending a selective school on an academic scholarship. She homeschooled through high school. She was also stubborn (and still is) and was years behind in some skills (handwriting, writing in general) when she was the OP's son's age. Schools, in general, need kids to start writing at fairly young...
Here in Missouri, you'd always see biscuits and gravy, and almost always eggs benedict... they're slightly fancy, so a real "greasy spoon" type diner might not have them.. I love me some biscuits and gravy!
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