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Building Plane Models

I purchased Planes: A complete history from the Pacific Air Museum yesterday. Ethan really enjoyed the visit since we try to go each year.

Planes Model Set

So far we constructed two out of the 50 models. This is not easy, I would say intermediate skills required, not for young children without assistance. Although the instructions are somewhat questionable, overall, it is doable. The numbers don’t always match up but if you’ve built models before, then your used to it by now.

The paper models turned out great! I have uploaded a photo in the book gallery section. We chose not to use Elmer’s glue and went with Titebond 3 ultimate wood glue so that it sets permanently. Although the paper is sturdier card stock, I would have preferred a laminate type finish for longer lifespan.

Overall, Planes: A complete history is a well written/drawn model history book that we will continue to build 3D models and collect them all.

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Do You Like to be Homeschooled?

I don’t know about other families but I am always reevaluating our homeschool choice to be open-minded to other education paths. One way we assess our decision is by asking our son if he wants to be homeschooled. Do you ask your child(ren) if that’s what makes them happy? I made a short Q&A vid asking him his opinion :) here’s his reply

 

Asking my son Ethan what he likes about being homeschooled.

I think it’s vital that your child wants to be homeschooled and not forced to be :) So ask your child(ren) whether they want to be homeschooled today!

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College Preparation

The Big Tests
I can’t recall where this article was originally posted but I wanted to hold on to it for future reference on my blog. Hope you also find this article interesting or useful.

A homeschooled student should be prepared for high performance on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and on the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Tests. With excellent performance on these tests, acceptance by a prestigious college or university is assured. Moreover, high performance on the AP Tests can markedly reduce the time that the student must spend at a university. Both of the oldest students in our home-school, Zachary and Noah, scored so highly on the SAT and AP Exams that they are skipping the first two years at the university. Zachary completed his degree in Chemistry at Oregon State University in 2 years. He is now a graduate student in chemistry at Iowa State University. Noah Robinson scored 1480 on his SAT (1400 on the PSAT) and also received 2 years of advanced placement in college. He has now graduated in Chemistry from Southern Oregon University with a 3.98 grade point average.

During the year preceding the SAT exam, the student should take about 10 practice SAT exams at home in order to familiarize himself with the form arid timing of these exams. During the two months prior to the AP Exams, the student should take one practice exam in each subject. He should plan to take 12 or more of these exams in different subjects, so that he will have an opportunity for maximum advanced placement.

All of these exams are given at local high schools. Typically, only two or three AP exams are given, since public school students are so poorly prepared. Arrangements for a greater number can be made with school administrators for a modest fee. The examination cost for proctors and tests for Zachary and Noah was about $700 each-a very inexpensive substitute for two years at college. Practice SATs can be obtained at local book stores, while practice AP Exams are available from the College Board organization. Ask the local high school for the College Board’s address and phone number when you register several months early for the exams. AP exams are given only once per year. Check this time with the high school.

These exams are the formality, and taking practice exams can improve performance by making the student familiar with the testing method. But the essential college preparatory work must be carried out during the 11 years preceding these tests, preferably beginning when the student is five or six years old. The tests are just ways of demonstrating that the student has learned good study habits in an excellent study environment and has applied himself with diligence to the acquisition of superior academic knowledge during those 11 years.

Early Preparation

If the student is taught good study habits in a proper study environment at an early age, he is likely to be very well prepared for college. He needs to be provided with an ordered framework of high quality, very well-selected books: this is an endless road that stretches out in front of him down which he may travel at his own pace in accordance with his own abilities. The average student should be so well prepared that he can skip at least one college year, while above average students can skip two years.

Strong links with family are a great help, too, so I advocate the choice of a college as geographically near home as possible.
I believe in extended families; having two, three, and four generations living near each other and working together when possible during their entire lives. College is an opportunity to gain knowledge and credentials – especially in science, engineering, and other specialties.

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Nurtured by Love

My notes on the book “Nurtured by Love” by author Shinichi Suzuki.

Man is born without talent. People are what they are as a result of their own specific environments.

1) We must study how to develop talent through education.

2) We must realize that talent, not only in music but in other fields as well, is not inherited.

It is important to guide our children all through early life. We must give much thought as to how children should be reared and trained, ho the development of their minds, sense, wisdom and conduct should be guided. It is a superior environment that has the greatest effect in creating superior abilities.

Generally speaking, we need only to look at the parents to guess what the children will be like.

Talent is not inborn, every child acquires ability through experience and repetition. For the sake of our children, let us educate them from the cradle to have a noble mind, a high sense of values, and splendid ability.

Earn love and respect of the musical world you need:
1) High Musical Sense
2) Superior musical performance
3) A fine Character
A true artist s a person with beautiful and fine feelings, thoughts, and actions.

A child played the violin. Whether or not he liked it or disliked it is not the question. Precisely as all Japanese children learn the Japanese language and learn it by heart, to like or dislike it had no bearing at all. The child was brought up listening to music everyday. It was no strain for him to practice really well. Good practicing is bound to produce fine results. More and more young students came to our house for lessons, and it was very lively. I took the greatest pleasure and delight in giving lesson to children, and all became my friends.

Ability Grows as it is Trained…

Mentors of high regard:
One has to educate oneself from within to benefit from the greatness of others. Only if one can do this can one fully realize the joy of being near someone who is great. Never lose your humility, for pride obscures the power to perceive truth and greatness.

Talent is not inborn, it has to be created.

Ease comes with training. We simply have to train and educate our ability, do the thing over and over again until it feels natural, simple, and easy. that is the secret.

My dreams are for the future of mankind. And I will keep on trying to fulfill them, plodding along patiently, earnestly, and with singleness of purpose. Almost anything is possible to achieve in this way.

Suzuki’s father taught him to never lend money or borrow money, it is better to share it. He also taught him an attitude of sociability and eagerness to learn from others. One should delight in every contact made by others, for the people we meet have been placed there by destiny. Therefore greet them. It may lead to a conversation so learn to be a good listener. The other person lives a quite different life than yours and knows something you dont and you are bound to learn something. Rather than talking yourself, learn to draw the other person out and above all listen. You will both enjoy it. Greetings, are an important part of life, you should greet each person you come in contact with face to face in regard to pleasant human relations, humanity, love, harmony, improvement of one’s fate, the grasping of opportunity…

In order to succeed one must first be a person of fine character.

Education rather than instruction

Schools instruct and train as hard as they can, without good results. There must be something wrong in their method. With the emphasis put only on informing and instructing, the actual growing life of the child is ignored. The word education implies two concepts: to educate, which means to “bring out, develop from latent or potential existence as well as to instruct. But the emphasis in schools is only on the instruction aspect and the real meaning of education is totally forgotten.

Even primary school beginners are merely instructed, or informed of certain things and then assailed by the test after test to see how much they remember. Grading can not be done by tests. Tests can only determine how much the children have understood. Should not the examination paper be used only a means of finding out which questions the child does not understand and which problems the child can not do? Actually these results would show the teachers ability rather than the childs.

The nine years of compulsory education ought to instill at least one superior skill in each child. It needn’t be a school subject. For instance, it it weere daily inculcated in a child to be kind to people in daily life, whether in school, in friendships, or at home, what a happy society that would create! There are many intellectuals in this world who are aware of that but who are, in fact, unhappy egoists.

Instead of just instruction but a real world-education that inculates, brings out, develops the human potential, based on the growing life of the child. My prayer is that all children on this globe become fine human beings, happy people of superior ability, and I am devoting all my energies to making this come about, for I am convinced ta=hat all children are born with this potential.

To merely want something is not good enough. One must be able to put things into practice. Even small tasks should bot be neglected but completed right away. This is very important. People who get a lot done manage it because they have the ability to get each necessary thing done right there and then. If you put a task off until sometime late, it may never get done because “some other time” has it’s own tasks. Time doesn’t wait. The habit of action is one of the most important thing we must acquire. Life’s success or failure actually depend on this. We should get so that is is second nature to put our thoughts into action. The more you do it, the more habit it will become.

How to develop new skills

Action cannot be separated from thought. People with fine judgment are people of ability. Reflective thought is part of judgement. Naturally, the finer the person, the greater his ability to think constructively. Develop a new skills to take place of the wrongly acquired one. One does not correct but develops a new skill. Thought, must immediately be followed by correct action, in order to acquire a new habit better than the habit that already existed. Progress cannot be made without the acquiring of new skills.Unless accompanied by action, no amount of thought or self examination will do any good. It is essential to acquire the habit of action, of putting things into practice. Any skill can be acquired by constant repetition. anything you think of doing, however insignificant, should be done immediately. If this becomes an ingrained habit, things you thought were impossible will become possible and closed doors will open, as you discover in many ways.

Memory Training is vital to talent education

Memory is essential, depending on training, your ability yo memorize gets better and better and the times it takes to memorize gets shorter and shorter. You get so that you memorize immediately. And after you have learned something, you do not forget it. Memory skill can be acquired by anybody.

Thank you Shinichi Suzuki, for all that you are and what you dedicated your life too.

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To Read or Not to Read…

A friend asked this question on a group post,”Any recommendations for good books at the 4th/5th grade level (additional ones, not in MBtP sets). My daughter loves the Magic Treehouse & Magic School Bus series, but they are now very easy for her.”

I replied,”I am really picky on books E should read, we basically stick with non-fiction, love biographies, child encyclopedia sets, children’s bible. I try to fill E’s mind with truth more than anything else. A good history book like E.H. Gombrich can’t be beat :) Perhaps even transition to Chronicles of Narnia but I haven’t decided yet.”

Reading with children is always an enjoyable activity for our family but are all books equal? I am personally displeased with the multitude of water downed versions of children’s stories at the library. Most authors have pretty illustrations while their books lack information, unlike great authors like Anna Milbourne, Eric Carle, Patricia Hubble, and others that managed to combine both.

Yes, my son loves to read comic books on every super heroe but I make effort to include lots of other “living books” as Charlotte Mason calls them.

Happy Reading!