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Great Article on Government & Schools

Excerpt: It’s time we embraced a new educational paradigm, one marked not so much by standardization and centralization, but by experimentation and innovation. Academic high-performers will gravitate to what ignites their minds. Non-academic students will discover activities that get them out of bed every day. Even the most disadvantaged children among us would benefit more from creative arrangements such as work-study, apprenticeships, and other alternative forms of education that allow them actually to participate in community.

http://fee.org/the_freeman/detail/26-without-government-schools-most-people-wouldnt-get-an-education

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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!

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My Curriculum(s)

I have been using a combination of different homeschooling resources with Ethan. We love a few things among each method: Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Doman, etc. Books I often refer back to & use are “The Well Trained Mind” by S. Bauer, “What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know” by E.D. Hirsch, Montessori books & more. Curriculum’s I enjoy include a combination of Prufrock Press Multi-age units, Moving Beyond the Page & Critical Thinking Co.

Ethan makes tons of things with "HouseHold Items" by K. Ross

Core Curriculum:

– Tweedlewink (this covers Art, Science, Cultures, Perfect pitch, Vocab., Word building & more!)

– Building Thinking Skills 1st Grade, Mazes/Logic

– Supplement w/ BrainQuest WK BK 2nd Grade, Making the Grade, etc.

– Lot’s of reading from various books & review phonic rules from Fleschcards (Daddude) &amp

Math: Mathematical Reasoning, Singapore Math, Jones Genius Math & homemade hands on math games

Writing: Printed worksheets, D’Nealian & montessori inspired writing. Future use?: Copywork: Lessons in Manners for Copywork, Math Facts for Copywork, Pictures in Cursive Primer by Queen H.S.S.

Language Arts: “First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind” by Jessie Wise, Primary Language Lessons, and “Language Smarts Level B”, Spelling use in future “Spelling Power”.

History: A combination of “The Story of the World” by Susan Bauer, “Little History for Child” EH Gombrich, “Draw and Write through History”  and maybe? “A Living History of our World” by Queen Homeschool Supplies.

Music:  Music classes, Live/taped clips of performances, Themes to Remember by Majorie Persons,  Music Ace Deluxe (not started yet), Soft Mozart piano lessons

Art: “Drawing with Children” by M. Brookes, “Discovering Great Artists” by M. Kohl, maybe “ARTistic Pursuits”, “The Usborne Art Treasury”, Future use: God and “The History of Art Package” from MyFathersWorld.

Geography: “Expedition Earth” by confessionsofahomeschooler.com, various books, nature walks, youtube, online websites.

Science: “Developing Critical Thinking through Science”, MBTP, Exploring Creation series, maybe “A Reason For Science”, and too many books to list because we LOVE SCIENCE.

Current Curriculum 2013

Current Curriculum 2013

**Natural learning happens throughout the day. We schedule “academics” 1 hour per day now and want to work up to 2 hours p/day. My motto is make it short, effective and simple!

Let us keep in mind the ultimate goal beyond “education” subjects. I would like to provide him with a lifetime of opportunities to thrive. Most importantly to be kind, to freely love others without expecting anything in return, to contribute to society & humanity, to leave our world better than it was before he arrived in it. That is my ultimate goal.

Your morals, values and character are more important than “academics”.

– What sort of individuals are we raising?

– What are we raising them for?

– What is the purpose of education?

These are the questions we must address.

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Awesome Parenting Books

Double click to watch in new youtube video!

These are my top five parenting books for ages 0-5 that I’ve found the most resourceful.

“How to give your baby encyclopedic knowledge” by Glenn Doman

“The Vaccine Book” by Robert Sears

“1-2-3 Magic” by Thomas Phelan

“How to raise an amazing child the montessori way” by Tim Seldon or “Teach me to do it myself” by Maja Pitamic

“The complete resource book for preschoolers” by Pam Schiller or “Gymboree play & learn”

Feel free to post below some of your favorite parenting books!

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Our Human body is Perfect

The body is perfect in its natural state. It can resist foreign invaders with ease if given the internal terrain to heal, meaning proper nutrition, clean water and sunlight. It doesn’t really need anything else, besides maybe some love. So love your body naturally, because no vaccine injection into your body is a safe one.

http://preventdisease.com/news/13/020713_If-You-Believe-In-Vaccines-You-Dont-Believe-In-The-Perfection-of-The-Human-Body.shtml

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Sharing Futuristic Education

Here is an excerpt from an article written by MMM. This whole “free learning online” thing has been going strong for years:

Coursera: actual courses from various universities, made available mostly free

Khan Academy: a smart and personable guy just started making some YouTube tutorial videos to teach his family and friends, and it took off, eventually getting the attention and backing of Bill Gates. Nowadays they’ve got a video library with over 3900 videos in various topics and over 225 million lessons delivered.

Harvard Open Learning Initiative: Harvard courses, made available for free – with options to pay a discounted fee to receive actual course credits.

creativeLIVE: A selection of neat-sounding courses in the Artsy arena (photography, business, design, photoshop, video&film). To complete the circle of this new online world, you’ll find Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi on there as instructors, teaching their stuff even as they continue to run their own businesses based on the idea of learning stuff online.

It’s an interesting world out there these days: knowledge is virtually free, and there has never been a better time to ditch your TV and Playstation completely – and dig in to some more enriching entertainment!

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Charlotte Mason Style Language Arts

Excellent Article written by Suz in Frogpond.

HANDWRITING – Best taught through copywork. I start my dc on the basics. Whatever scheme or style you decide on, start with the basics – the foundation strokes, shapes, etc. Then, we move on to the letters and numbers. By the time 1st grade comes around, we’re ready for short sentences. I use Bible verses, nursery rhymes, lines from FIAR stories, whatever. A good rule of thumb is one sentence per grade, so by the time they are 4th or 5th grade age, they should be up to copying paragraphs. When learning letter formation/cursive connections/spacing, I use a yellow highlighter and write out the selection for them. Once they get a good “hand” on it, I just let them copy from the book, the Bible, whatever.

SPELLING – take the words straight from their own writings. Make them learn the correct spellings of the words they’ve misspelled. We keep a list of words each student needs to work on. On Monday, I pretest. Any word spelled correctly isn’t studied that week. (Why bore them with something they already know. Plus, we all occasionally misspell something, right? Leave some room for the casual or careless mistake.) I write each word on an index card or on their white board “slates.” They study the words, reviewing each day. (We use our slates, word searches, Scrabble tiles, magnetic letters, funky colored markers, you name it, so daily review isn’t boring or tiresome.) On Friday, we test on that week’s words. Any missed words go back on the list, but NOT the next week’s list. This prevents burn-out for poor spellers. We review occasionally, especially words that might be unusual or uncommon. Using their own misspellings makes the work more meaningful, less drudgery. Also, they learn the importance and the difference correct spelling can make in their own writing. As they age and read/write more, they will encounter most, if not all, of the spelling “rules.” If they have a difficulty with words that follow any specific rule, I try to make sure that their handwriting selections and/or reading selections contain words that follow that rule, so they gain more practice with it. (HINT: a good source for lots of varied rules is poetry, as often the rhyme scheme calls for many words with similar letter patterns.) Charlotte used dictation to test for spelling, but I’ve found from experience that my dc didn’t retain the spelling. It was kind of that old “learn it for the test” thing with them.

VOCABULARY – Have the dc keep a notebook handy while reading, both independently and with you. Any word they don’t know the meaning to, they have to write it down, find the definition (either from a dictionary, or from context clues) and write that down in their own words. This really helps them to cement the meaning of the word in their minds. Once they have 10 to 15 words on their list, you may want to review or test them in whatever way works best for you. I like to have them write sentences or paragraphs using the words, as that way I know for certain whether or not they’ve mastered the definitions.

GRAMMAR – Charlotte Mason’s students DID use a text for grammar. However, I believe that the text was used with her older students, high school aged. Her younger students used their reading, written narrations and copywork, along with their foreign language work, to learn the basics. It’s very easy to use a Bible passage/verse, nursery rhyme, a favorite story or poem or their own writings to point out things like parts of speech, punctuation marks, capitalization, and the like.

If you truly want to go text-book free, you’ll need a scope and sequence (list of topics to teach when) and a good resource or reference book, so you know you are teaching them correctly. My favorite is “Grammatically Correct.” However, it is a reference more for writers, so I don’t know if it would work for everyone. My oldest dd likes WriteSource’s “Writer’s Inc.” I’ve found the best way to test their knowledge of grammar is through their writings – essays, stories, compositions and poems. In a way, learning to write and learning good grammar go hand in hand.

COMPOSITION – I don’t believe ALL students can learn to write simply by reading and being exposed to good writing. However, I CAN say it doesn’t hurt the cause, either. One thing that I like to do is to have the student study a particular passage in a particular style, say a passage of really good dialogue or a very well-done descriptive scene. (Dickens and O. Henry are great for both of these, btw.) Then, after they’ve read and studied it, paying attention to the way it’s written, not just what is written, I’ll ask them to write a passage or two of their own, in a similar style. Then, we compare their writing to the original, to see how well they’ve done. A practical example – A wonderful example of foreshadowing is found in the opening scenes of “A Christmas Carol.” Have your junior high age-student spend a 3 or 4 days studying these passages. Then, read them the rest of the first Stave, so they can see what all this was building up to. Then, ask them to write their own passage of foreshadowing, only make it a mystery or a birthday party or something other than a Victorian ghost story. Again, if you don’t have a good resource book on how to write, you might want to invest in one, or get your student an age appropriate writing guide, like WriteSource, Writing Strands or “Igniting Your Writing” sells. (I have several published by Writer’s Digest – for adults, on both fiction and non-fiction writing, that I find very helpful.) Written narrations can serve as a good basis for how much about writing your student knows, and a way to test their newly-developed skills.

COMPREHENSION & NARRATION The best way to test your dc’s comprehension skills is through narration, either oral, written or “active.” Here’s are the narration “starters” that have made more than one appearance on these boards, for those of you who may wonder just how to “do” narration while keeping it fresh or relevant. In the next post, you will find a list of “narration starters.” These are the things you ask your dc to get them started narrating. (Please note anywhere there is a ____ or a “him/her” or “setting/time period” you would fill in with particulars from your reading.) They are arranged somewhat in order of the complexity of thought needed to adequately “answer” them. In the post below that list is the list of “active narration ideas.” I use these with my younger dc, and sometimes with older ones as a break from oral/written narration. They accomplish the same task of finding out how much the dc knows from the reading, while taking some of the “work” out of narrating. Now, how do I use these? With starters, I typically write them at the top of the page. The dc then writes/dictates her answer to me below. For the active narrations, I have a jar. In the jar are a number of slips of paper. Each slip has one of the activities written on it. There is more than one of each kind, but not the same number of each. Also, I’ve thrown in a couple slips that say “skip narration today” just to keep it interesting. Then, once or twice a week, instead of dictating/writing a narration, we pick a slip from the jar and do what it says. We typically do one narration a day, per dc. I’ve found narrating for every reading with every dc to be tedious for me and them, so one a day is adequate for me. (Only you know what you and your dc will tolerate.) Anyway, I’ve found using these starters and activities makes narration easy and fun and certainly less tedious or boring. Oh, as to how much to expect – when it comes to written narrations, I like to start around 3rd or 4th grade with a paragraph or so. By the time they reach middle school age, they should be able to produce a page-front or so. When dictating, I ask for at least 4 or 5 sentences from my 6yo. In reality, though, it doesn’t matter much how much they narrate (written or orally) as long as they can exhibit enough knowledge of the reading to let you know they were listening and retaining. I DO NOT correct written narrations for grammar. I WILL point out misspelled words, if there are any, simply because my dc use their own spelling errors as their spelling words. The narrations should not be treated as essays or compositions, IMO. They are the dc’s “proof” of attention to and comprehension of their readings. We date each one and add the title of the book (with chapter, if applicable) and put them in their own section of our notebooks. We narrate on every kind of reading we do, too. Just because it’s science or history doesn’t mean a child can’t produce a narration on it. I never tell which readings we’ll be narrating on. That way, the dc pay close attention to ALL their work. Here are the narration starters. Somewhere on the web, I found a list of “exam questions” taken directly from the PNEU schools founded and operated by Charlotte. I copied out as many of the “generic” ones I could, and from some other readings on narration, put together this list of starters:
1.) Tell what you remember about_____________
2.) Tell me the story in your own words.
3.) Wasn’t it funny/sad/strange when_________? Tell me what else you remember about that.
4.) Explain how ___________happens/happened. 5.) Describe _______________.
6.) Tell me who we met today. Describe him/her.
7.) Tell me all you can about (a particular setting.)
8.) Tell me all you can about (the reading’s time period.)
9.) Tell me everything that happened after ________.
10.) Tell all you know about how ___________ happens.
11.) Tell about a problem in the story and how it was solved/fixed.
12.) Tell everything you would see (in a particular setting.)
13.) Tell me all you know about (a particular character or person)
14.) Who said, “———-” Tell me the story about it.
15.) Why did he/she do _________?”
16.) List the story’s events in the order that they happened.
17.) Describe the clues that lead up to ___________.
18.) From the passage/story we read, tell me how to ______.
19.) Tell me how he/she felt after _________ 20.) Describe the narrator.
21.) Describe everything that happened because of________
22.) Tell me all the ways two characters/people/settings from the same story compare.
23.) Tell me all the ways two characters/people/settings from two different stories compare.
24.) Compare this book/story to another of the same style.
25.) Compare this book/story to another by the same author.
26.) Explain how _________ came to be.
27.) Did he/she make the right decision? Tell me why or why not.
28.) Tell me all you know about (time period/character traits/sequence of events.) [This involves a higher level of thinking than the earlier questions similar in nature. The information you are asking for here is to be implied or inferred, not directly stated in the reading. In other words, I might ask, “Tell me all you know about what is happening before the story begins” or “Tell me all you know about Aunt Lucy” even though in the story the only time we “meet” Aunt Lucy is through her letters to the main character.)
29.) Who/what had the most influence on the outcome of the story? Why? How?
30.) Would you want him/her as a friend? Why or why not?

Now, my youngest dd often includes characters from her stories into her make-believe play, so she finds #30 easier than I think it was intended to be…. However, remember that they are supposed to be in order of easiest to do to more difficult.

Active Narrations
1.) Draw a picture of a setting/character in the story.
2.) Set up a scene from the story with your blocks/doll house.
3.) Make a playdough ________ (character or setting)
4.) Narrate into a tape recorder/video camera. (This makes a GREAT addition to a portfolio OR grandparents’ present.)
5.) Act out a scene/event from the story. 6.) Ask Mama 3 questions about the story. (This is another great one for checking how much they are retaining, because they can’t ask questions if they don’t know the answers. I also do NOT allow vague questions like “Tell the story in your own words.” They have to be specific questions about a character or setting.
7.) Pretend you are a friend of his/hers. What is your part in the story? Act it out.
You may want to wait on some of these if you are new to narration, especially #6. Also, remember to substitute info specific to your story for setting/event/character.

Now, to show you how this works in real life, here is 6yo dd’s narration of “Paul Revere’s Ride” from this past school year. I’d asked her to tell me everything she could remember after his friend hung the two lanterns in the church tower. “Paul Revere rode on his horse to the towns where the British were going. The men there got up and POW POW went their guns and the Redcoats ran away or died. Paul was impatient and wanted to get it over with in a hurry so he rode really fast.”

(I thought this was an excellent narration and told her so. ) She also got to act out the part of Paul Revere on her stick pony with her 3yo brother placing two paper lanterns on the railing of the porch over and over again.

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Classical Conversations

I have been researching Classical Conversations and think I will soon be taking a leap and even buy the foundations guide! Perhaps even start a small CC group with friends. One drawback…I have never personally experienced it or seen it first hand. Oh well, a leap of faith and hopefully other parents will join to start this little CC group who have had experiences.

This post will continually be updated with ideas & blogs that are helpful. Please share below if you know of any good one!

Useful CC Websites:

http://www.halfahundredacrewood.com/2011/03/classical-conversations-at-home.html

http://www.myhomeschoolstyle.com/?p=213

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HOW CHILDREN LEARN

I obtained this information while researching Montessori schools and I wanted to keep this section to reference back: The young child’s mind is like a sponge. It literally absorbs information from the environment. The young child retains this ability to learn by absorbing until he is almost seven years old. Young children can learn to read, write and calculate in the same natural way that they learn to walk and talk.

The hand is the chief teacher of the young child. He or she learns by doing. In order to learn there must be concentration, and the best way for a child to learn to concentrate is by doing something with his hands. That is why you will see so many hands-on activities in our classrooms.

Children also learn by imitating the adults closest to them. Just watch them playing house or school.

Why the Early Years Are So Important

From conception to age 4, the individual develops 50% of his mature intelligence; from ages to to 8 he develops another 30%…..This would suggest the very rapid growth of intelligence in the early years and the possible great influence of the early environment on this development. Since eighty percent of the child’s development takes place before he is eight years old, we cannot over emphasize the need for an environment that is loving and stimulating with consistency and order.