February Unschooling Thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 02-02-2017, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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February Unschooling Thread

Here it is! Post away!

Miranda

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#2 of 51 Old 02-03-2017, 07:28 AM
 
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Hello there! Subbing first, posting later.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#3 of 51 Old 02-03-2017, 07:38 AM
 
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February

We are going to a little celebration for National Wear Red Day. A homeschooling mom is going to talk about eat healthy & about the heart.

Looking forward to a great month.
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#4 of 51 Old 02-03-2017, 05:14 PM
 
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Happy Birthday to me! And my youngest son! Starting off February with our birthdays is always so nice. My husband took the day off of work. We went to the local Iron Ore Heritage Museum because believe it or not that is where my 4 year old birthday boy wanted to go. I had never been and he has gone twice with this Dad and wanted to take us all there. They even let us use their little conference room table to have our cupcakes! Actually, we had the place totally to ourselves. Super fun!
Then afternoon tea with all of our family and finished up the night watching the birth video of my little guy's entrance into the world at the exact time he was born.

We've got a busy month planned with lots of home education group outings as well as participating in many community events like the U.P. 200 Sled Dog races. It's actually March that I'm worrying/trying not to worry about. We went away last year because I struggle during that month where we live. It's not winter. It's not spring. I get cranky. Blah. But this year we just can't swing it financially and with my husbands work. I need to come up with something brilliant to distract me....
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#5 of 51 Old 02-03-2017, 05:26 PM
 
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#6 of 51 Old 02-04-2017, 08:18 AM
 
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Happy Birthday @@healthy momma;!

We had a birthday here, too. My oldest is 12 now. Fairly uneventful. Pets and more pets. We have a homeschool skate event next Friday with our county homeschool Facebook group. I have not met any of these people, and I think they are generally Christian and traditional homeschoolers rather than unschoolers, but neither of those points seem to be the focus, it's just the general makeup of the people. We will see. I'll be driving into Aberdeen twice that day but it's worth it to get the girls to activities they've been asking about.

Saturday, a birthday party invitation.

I've been on the phone with our troop leader who is (THANK GOD!) handling cookies this year, and we are scheduling our cookie booths. It's going to be a crazy two weeks, and going into finals as well (though at least one of my classes doesn't have a cumulative final).

Tomorrow the girls and their dad are heading to Seattle to work and watch the Super Bowl.

Today, cleanup, studying, taxes and several financial aid forms to fill out. Yoga, hopefully a walk.
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#7 of 51 Old 02-04-2017, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Best wishes to all the birthday peoples!

The latest chapter in The Unschooler Goes to High School:

February 3rd: Three-Pointer at the Buzzer

in which the Fiona attends a high school sports game and has an epiphanic cultural experience

She enjoyed hanging out in the bleachers during her spare block at school yesterday during the Junior Boys game against their rivals from two towns over. She was genuinely impressed by the game and by the experience of watching it. Her school lost, but it was a close game.

She also regaled dh and me with descriptions of her Grade 10 English class (amongst a new, younger, less academically streamed crowd than she was with last semester in her senior sciences). The description was something like "Testosterone-ridden idiots shoving each other and grunting and calling each other dicks for the supposed benefit of preening girls... "

I'm not sure she's going to survive her Grade 10 courses, lol! She loves her history 10 teacher, at least, who is the brother of the star of one of her favourite comedy TV shows, Silicon Valley ... and whose subtle dry wit she enjoys noticing while most everyone else is oblivious (and he's taken to catching her eye and smirking when he slips a comment in).

Miranda
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#8 of 51 Old 02-05-2017, 10:20 AM
 
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...for the unschooler goes to college, part of a first draft of one of Zela's papers:

"When I was little, my mother would read to me all the time. This is a common activity between parents and children, but my mother is still reading to me. ... When I was young, she read picture books and Calvin and Hobbes; now she reads articles from October and Jeanette Winterson novels. My mother translates my inspirations."

...on the other hand, my 19 year old (as unfitted a child as any I've ever seen for sit-down instruction), has become convinced that she missed out on Socialization because she didn't go to school. (When I first heard this, I thought of a warm day "on the mountain" when she said "Come on Girls" (to her two small dogs) and then headed out the front door...later she invited me to hike along a trail she had made; she took little flags of an old green sheet and the opal-like stones that are found all over the ground there to mark the path. I made a GPS tracklog that's still around somewhere.) As a substitute teacher, I've noticed that her peers in school have almost NO time for just chatting amongst themselves. So I let them.

Zela's assessment of Yana's homeschool hindsight: "She's 19."

Deborah

p.s. Meanwhile, today husband and I are enjoying Lilah, who was dropped off by Dad on his way to work last night. (Even though he has a full time job, he still works Saturday nights on the same job he's had for years, even though he's dropped Tuesdays and Fridays.) Three of L's peers (of 18 in the first grade) have watches. So you can guess what the sole topic of conversation has been! (I liked a Hello Kitty face watch with a separate outer ring with the minutes noted by 5's, but I think it got vetoed. I don't mind paying for "branding" for a good cause! )
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#9 of 51 Old 02-05-2017, 10:44 AM
 
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I'm not sure she's going to survive her Grade 10 courses, lol!

Miranda

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#10 of 51 Old 02-05-2017, 10:52 AM
 
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SNOW!!!!

It's been snowing here, solid since 8am. Wet snow, so it's not accumulating as fast as the snowfall would suggest. Day home from work, as my daughter and her day have a stomach bug. Plus it's snowing. I'm planning on a walk this morning if I can get up off my ass. I didn't get to sleep until 2am, was woken up every hour. I had two dreams, the rest, if I slept at all, was that sort of black-out sleep that isn't necessarily restful but is better than nothing. Then up at around 7:15 to take care of animals and get ready for work, but then discovered their dad is sick, too.

BUT IT'S SNOWING!!!!
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#11 of 51 Old 02-05-2017, 10:54 AM
 
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Oh, and I think one of our chickens is egg bound. Treatment: hot bath. Middle of winter. Snowing. Which means heat lamp and box, and possibly placed indoors. More. Animals. Indoors. What a fiasco, but the poor girl needs help.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#12 of 51 Old 02-05-2017, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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the poor girl needs help.
Sending warm slippery vent vibes her way!

We're getting the snow too. Spent 3 hours yesterday clearing our driveway, mostly with a snowblower (it is 400 m long, so, yeah). Dh is handling it today, because tonight when I get back to town, I'll have to shovel there for at least a couple of hours to get the corner-lot sidewalks clear for all the kids walking to school in the morning.

Hope your sickies get better soon.

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#13 of 51 Old 02-06-2017, 09:01 AM
 
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Best snow day in YEARS. I'm staying home from school, as campus is across the county and my little car can't handle it well enough to justify the drive. I turned some homework in via email, which I really love so I don't get stressed. (The instructor was going to allow a weather delay, but I prefer to get it turned in.)

I was telling my 10yo about my chemistry homework because she asked and she said she was totally confused, so since she was half interested I showed her the periodic table from Theodore Gray's book (we have Elements and Molecules) and talked basically about elements. The nice thing about Gray's work is that there are photographs which made pointing out the ones she knows. We ended by talking about table salt. She had forgotten about the books and might just get to them.

In other "schooly" type stuff, my 12yo is going through an "English" book gifted to her by her aunt and uncle-- nice format (clearly, she's deep into it) and we are talking about interrogative, subjunctive, etc. When she was confused, I refrained from telling her that most people rarely if ever use this kind of "grammar-overthink" and we just talked through it.

Daphne, the chicken, didn't respond to the hot soak. I don't think it's egg-binding at this point. Her color is good in comb and legs, feathers are glossy, she's making happy chicken noises (I know chicken noises), eating and drinking, but she won't stand for more than a moment, her tail is down and she waddles if she walks at all. Some weird broodiness? Unlike any other I've known, but I have to consider it. Cross your fingers she doesn't die.

Everyone's feeling better, there is a fat 6+ inches of snow on the ground. I think today will be a better day.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#14 of 51 Old 02-06-2017, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Snow day indeed. The school district closed the schools here for the day. No one here can recall there ever having been a snow day, and we normally get a fair bit of snow, so this is quite something.

We had a fair bit of snow on Friday, Saturday and Sunday ... maybe a total of a 18" of fresh stuff on top of what was already 12-18" deep or so, and then last night, after everyone went to bed, we got another 18-24". So the pathway/tunnels are now a good 4 feet deep, and the snowbanks that we're shovelling onto are at least 6' high. There are kids downhill skiing the streets past our House-in-Town (and parents shouting "watch for cars!" and kids shouting back gleefully "there's no cars!!").

Miranda
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#15 of 51 Old 02-06-2017, 06:12 PM
 
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This is what I wrote in January as hopeful goals for 2017:

Im hoping to move away from 'unschooling' with kid this year and get more toward 'adult' functioning. He is going to call campus tomorrow (tuesday) and see what is involved with applying and interviewing for the math tutor jobs in the math center. He is more than qualified however; being 16 might be a hurdle. This is all 'real life skills' he will need much earlier than peers. He will need to explain 'homeschool to early enrollment to graduation' and how that means no real job experience but qualified and yeah I'm 16 but look about 14...

I'm leaving the driving up to him with the expectation that he is fully licensed by the time he is 17. He is aware of the 6 month time frame to get a license and the pathway to get that license. He has the permit and now needs the classes and supervised hours etc. Again this all ties into the graduation and transfer to the 4 yr university which I am NOT driving to. And also leads to his very real need to find some sort of income. (on campus or otherwise).

Uber is always an option but not something he can rely on 100% of the time. There is not useable public transportation where I live. (suburbs of major city).

I am turning more of the finances over to kid as well. Giving a bit of a larger allowance but making him responsible for lunch on campus or packing his lunch/snacks etc. He will be responsible for 'things' this year as well. He is also on board with our 'no buy' for the most part. I am not unwilling to give gifts for occasions such as easter, valentines, birthday, halloween etc. I love excuses for presents but they will be scaled down and could be viewed as 'practical' this year. (possibly money toward a video game instead of the entire cost of the game).

I am thinking about transferring the billing of his cellphone to his bank account as well. I think he can manage this. I would - of course- increase his allowance to cover this expense for now, until he has reliable employment. The cost is only $30/month but this would be another step toward 'adult'.

I guess this is a transition year. Transitioning from the 2 yr college to the 4 yr college and transitioning from the last year of 'kid' to the year of 'adult'. All we can do is try and see what happens.


He got the job, dealt with HR and payroll.
We are steadily working on driving. I called the drivers ed company and obtained the info. Looks like drivers training in May or June is the best option, then he will be fully licensed.
We contacted the 4yr university about transferring. Due to some class problems this term, he won't transfer until summer 2018. Thats fine but we have a solid plan going forward now. I also found out he can do the 4 yr degree on the satellite campus close to us and not need the full main campus across town. YEAH For small favors!
We discussed the finances. I am still paying for the cell phone and more things will sort themselves out after this semester and seeing how the job goes.

Phewy- that did NOT take a year, it took a month.
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#16 of 51 Old 02-06-2017, 07:31 PM
 
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Snow day indeed. The school district closed the schools here for the day. No one here can recall there ever having been a snow day, and we normally get a fair bit of snow, so this is quite something.

We had a fair bit of snow on Friday, Saturday and Sunday ... maybe a total of a 18" of fresh stuff on top of what was already 12-18" deep or so, and then last night, after everyone went to bed, we got another 18-24". So the pathway/tunnels are now a good 4 feet deep, and the snowbanks that we're shovelling onto are at least 6' high. There are kids downhill skiing the streets past our House-in-Town (and parents shouting "watch for cars!" and kids shouting back gleefully "there's no cars!!").

Miranda
hmmm...time to put the orange dyed tennis balls on the top of the car antennas, see if someone is coming down the cross street...when the streets are clear again...only with that much snow, maybe the plow banks will be too high for even that...

(we've had snow forecast three times and it hasn't happened yet. Next Monday we're scheduled for "ice pellets" and Tuesday "snow <1"... )
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#17 of 51 Old 02-07-2017, 06:31 AM
 
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Snow is falling here. We are way behind in snowfall totals for this year but at least it looks like winter out there right now. Unfortunately, we all do have the typical winter crud. Runny noses, sore throats, fever. Blargh. One kiddo is watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and one is playing Plants vs. Zombies. I'm sitting on my butt reading, surfing the web, and making plans for March. I'm saving my strength for making lunch. ;-)

I have been excited this last week that my newly turned 4 year old is letting me read him his first true chapter book - The Happy Hollisters. He's only a chapter a day kind of guy where his brother would have me read to him for hours on end but I'm good with that. I just LOVE reading to my kids!
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#18 of 51 Old 02-07-2017, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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time to put the orange dyed tennis balls on the top of the car antennas, see if someone is coming down the cross street
The kids were right ... there were no cars. The town was at a standstill. It wasn't so much how much snow we got as how quickly it fell. Two feet between bedtime and first light was a little stunning, on top of what we'd had over the weekend.

Things are gradually moving again but there's only one lane, if that, plowed down most streets so it's slow. They can't really plow anymore because the snowbanks are about as big/high as they can get; they have to physically haul it away and dump it in the lake, which is a much slower process and involves a lot more traffic congestion (loader plus dumptrucks working away). We're going to avoid using the car this week.

How's Daphne today, Sweetsilver?

Miranda

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#19 of 51 Old 02-07-2017, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I called the drivers ed company and obtained the info. Looks like drivers training in May or June is the best option, then he will be fully licensed.
As a rural parent I am so jealous of your speedy straightforward licensing system! (Although I understand the reasoning for our exhausting 3-year process, I wish there were a workaround in certain situations.)

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Due to some class problems this term, he won't transfer until summer 2018. Thats fine but we have a solid plan going forward now. I also found out he can do the 4 yr degree on the satellite campus close to us and not need the full main campus across town.
Ah, well, if he's going to continue living at home with a short commute in either case, then the timing isn't all that crucial. And hey, one of the advantages of starting college early is that you can stretch two years out to three and there's no stress or stigma about being "behind."

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#20 of 51 Old 02-08-2017, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Im hoping to move away from 'unschooling' with kid this year and get more toward 'adult' functioning.
I completely understand what you're saying here, and I'm not disagreeing with you at all. But this sentence jumped out at me today and I thought about it from a different perspective: there's a sense in which "adulting" is just fully-realizing unschooling.

The traditional models of child-rearing and education put almost all the power and control in the hands of authority figures, whether teachers or parents. And then gradually, as kids move forth into adulthood, the authority is relaxed. In high school kids are allowed to choose their academic options and have some say over their social lives and extra-curricular activities. When they move beyond high school they are finally given the choice of whether to pursue structured education and if so what type. They can finally spend their days somewhere that they don't have to ask to go to the bathroom. They can finally decide when to go to bed.

Unschooling (and even more so radical unschooling) gives children younger than 19 a lot more autonomy and subjects them to a lot less authority and control. They may not have legal authority or the income necessary for full self-determination, but on a practical level they have far more control over their lives and far more responsibility for their learning than most traditionally-educated people get prior to adulthood.

I see institutional schooling as promoting unnecessary and counter-productive infantilization of youth. I think unschooled kids enter and exit the teen years with a tremendous advantage: they have avoided this crippling lack of autonomy and have experienced responsibility, choice and self-determination, including the freedom to make mistakes, refuse help, stray from the straight and narrow path and learn from all that.

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#21 of 51 Old 02-09-2017, 07:04 AM
 
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RE: moominmamma's comment on unschooling:

The other day I was FB chatting with Zela, who graduates in May at 23 (without any stigma I believe, although she took a "gap" year!)

I can't remember exactly how she said it, but the gist was that she's going to be leaving school after having started four years ago, and that her fellow students are leaving school after having been in it 17 years and that they've basically never been out, don't remember life before school. "They don't seem to have retained whatever they learned there" she said.

(This reminds me of a comment she made a couple of years ago, that you can tell who the homeschoolers were because they always started their homework immediately.)

Deborah
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Deborah- exactly on the HW thing, Kid has no problem with balancing HW, classes and a small job. He is also side tutoring a couple friends in addition to the math lab job. He appears to have much better time management skills than traditional college students or adult learners on campus. For example he is taking a computer coding class which says '3-8 hrs' of outside per week- kid can get his stuff done in a couple hours max a week. He uses his class time wisely and submits work as soon as he is done.

As for the retaining information- the program he is in, material retention is important as classes build upon each other. (math and computers). If you cant pull info from last semester to this semester you are dead in the water. If you cant apply math info to computer or computers to math- forget it. Its highly stressed anyone who plans to transfer to the 4 yr uni or has plans of grad school- get their stuff together immediately and figure out what they are doing. LOL.

In other news, I just found out kid is actually 'teaching' a section of classes in math lab. Those students who are enrolled in remedial math (under 100 level) are required to take a section of tutoring in the math lab as well. Kid is assigned to teach that 'tutoring section' 2x a week for his shift. He has 3 classes of remedial math lab that he is instructing. Not to shabby for a 16 yr old LOL. Sadly he was teaching about the 'number line' yesterday.Oye!

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#23 of 51 Old 02-09-2017, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the homework thing might at least partly be due to lack of burnout. I mean, after 13 years of school if you head to college you've probably got a lot of baggage around schoolwork, and that's going to impede your interest in delving in early and efficiently. If you've only just started doing it recently, because you've headed off to school by choice, there's a lot less negativity around it.

All my kids have been pretty awesome about getting schoolwork done early or at least easily on time. But my eldest, who is now in her 6th year of full-time schooling, is starting to get cocky about her ability to knock off assignments the night before. I think she enjoys the challenge of performing under pressure, compressing a ton of work and learning into as little time as possible. She's just getting tired of the academic requirements of her school; they're minimal now that she's in a conservatory program and has tested out of some requirements but there is still a bit. And then there's my ds who actually doesn't have great time-management skills. He's not good at scheduling, or estimating time needed, or planning ahead, or transitioning between tasks to allocate time sensibly ... but he loves his program so much that he always digs into assignments right away and almost always finishes in plenty of time.

But whether it's great time management skills or high levels of motivation that are responsible, I agree it's a general trend in homeschoolers, at least in their first few years of school.

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#24 of 51 Old 02-10-2017, 05:51 AM
 
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How's Daphne today, Sweetsilver?

Miranda
Daphne died. I don't know what was wrong. She showed some symptoms of being egg bound, but not the most important ones. Egg perotinitis doesn't quite fit. It's not coccidiosis, for sure. I just don't know.

We have the remaining flock on electrolytes for now. I'm making sure we keep up on their calcium supplements and will start them on dewormer soon. It's an old flock, and needs some attention. Still baffled by what's happening though.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#25 of 51 Old 02-10-2017, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
Sadly he was teaching about the 'number line' yesterday.Oye!
This is the sort of tutoring I would find so satisfying!

He should pick up a book called "The Myth of Ability" by John Mighton. It's about a math tutoring charity that Mighton started. The approach he uses is based on the belief that most of the time when students are failing at math it's because they just missed one or two of the early concepts and the curriculum kept moving forward. When they were being taught stuff that built on those missing concepts they developed intellectual workarounds and emotional defenses that worked for a while, but eventually the coping skills weren't enough. Their natural intuitive ability to draw connections and infer concepts was severely hampered by their anxiety about the senselessness of math ... but if you help them go way back to the basic aspects of number sense that they do understand, and help them feel successful and confident using what they know and moving forward in -- at first -- microscopically small increments that they simply cannot fail to master, the anxiety and defeatism can be overcome. Often with great joy.

Mighton himself nearly failed first-year calculus and dropped math for almost a decade, figuring he just wasn't a math person. He became a playwright and film actor. But in his late 20s he rediscovered an interest in math, waded back in with a sense of joy, and went on to earn a PhD in Mathematics.

Your number-line reference reminded me of this, because often in tutoring the tendency is to take students back to the point at which mastery dropped below the C level, when in fact the crucial piece of the puzzle went missing years earlier. It was only because they were so smart that they managed to cope -- to a point -- for several years after that. The trick is to help the student fill in the understanding they missed way back in second grade or whatever while helping them feel like they're not being put back in second grade, and giving them the sense that they are making progress towards their goal of mastering (and thoroughly understanding, and fully enjoying) high school level material.

Anyway, the book is a great read as a testimonial to human potential. But the techniques Mighton describes that help his students unlock a feeling of success are pretty cool. He founded the JUMP Math non-profit and curriculum, and trained many volunteer tutors who have been able to replicate his success, so it's not just a spurious bit of magic he was able to generate. It's also, in my opinion, a great book for homeschooling parents who have math anxiety themselves, or are dealing with kids who are beginning to develop such issues.

Miranda
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#26 of 51 Old 02-10-2017, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Daphne died. I don't know what was wrong.
Aww, I'm sorry.

Hope no one else gets affected and the rest of the flock rallies. Mysterious indeed.

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#27 of 51 Old 02-10-2017, 10:38 AM
 
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Daphne died.
So sorry to hear that.
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#28 of 51 Old 02-10-2017, 05:41 PM
 
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Today was all about reading. We are all getting over "something". L (4) was not getting better. Waiting in the Dr office I did not want the kids playing with the toys. So I brought books books and more books. It was great, by the time we saw the Dr I had a little group of kids.
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#29 of 51 Old 02-11-2017, 04:46 PM
 
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we went to hear Rick Mikula speak today. He is the for most expert on butterflies. http://butterflyrick.com/ It was great.
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#30 of 51 Old 02-11-2017, 07:08 PM
 
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My oldest attended a birthday party at the bowling alley. I had their dad pick up a small Stablemates Breyer horse, but my daughter said she had painted rocks and made a rabbit hay toy for her, so now the packaged toy sits awaiting return. I love that my girls think it's the highest compliment to make gifts for people.

I started this morning cleaning my desk. I was inspired, I guess, by starting my ADHD medication today. It works fairly quickly, apparently. I don't know if it had anything to do with the meds, but time did not weigh so heavily on me and I'm surprised how much I got done and how little I stressed over not getting more done. This is med # 2 and I think it will be a good combination. I was skeptical at first, but while the first helped, it also made the ADHD-like symptoms more apparent (not stronger, but more obvious). I'm hopeful now.

Yesterday we went to a homeschool skate. We live at the edge of one county, so in between Aberdeen and Olympia. I've recenmtly hooked up somewhat with the homeschool group for Aberdeen and Grays Harbor (where we live). It's more religious, less unschool-y than the folks in Oly (not surprising). But we had fun. My oldest, though, made a fuss about being stopped for the games, etc etc and every few minutes kept demanding to go. I told her (felt bad about telling her) how we seem to try fun things out (she's been begging to go roller skating again for 3 years, we've never managed it) only to have her find some reason for hating it. I felt really, really bad saying that, but it's true! And I felt she was old enough to start examining her reactions and seeing what she can do. I'm afraid of her judging herself, but the option of not saying anything seemed equally bad.

In the end, she said she'd try it again. There was a mom letting her little boy run around without skates, and this chaos is just the thing to set her nerves off. I spoke with the mom, at least let her know how it made my daughter feel. So we're on for another event. It was really the perfect setting otherwise.

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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