Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Start of May

W went to a wonderful class at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island last week.  It was a 2-hour class for ages 11+ on Nanotechnology.  The idea is that materials at the nanoscale, measured in billionths of a meter, behave differently than at the macroscale.  Through several experiments, the kids could tell that nanotechnology is important in future products and technology.  One experiment involved exploding a film canister with alka-seltzer.  They also made a diamond molecule out of connectors and used a solar-panel and an LED to make light.  W really liked that class.  The instructor was great  - she kept his interest for the whole 2 hours.

J is looking so forward to summer.  The music video she is in is shooting next weekend (finally!) and she just got a 285 out of 300 at a dance competition last weekend.  She is competing again in a few weeks as an independent and will be choreographing yet another solo for it.  Over the next few weeks she will be figuring out studio practice time (she has several options for various studio to use) and costume.  Her Junior Project for school is also coming along nicely.  She finished the choreography and just needs to practice practice practice.  We get to view all of the junior class's routines in June.  I can't wait.

W and I are speeding through Saxon 76.  We love the book, but I can see how some families hate it.  There are a LOT of practice problems.  Each chapter has you do a 60-100 problem basic arithmetic drill, then about 10 problems they call "mental math", then you go over the 2-3-page new lesson, then do about 10 problems solidifying that new lesson, then 30 problems that are a mix of the last 10-15 lessons (the spiral).  Whew.  W and I are getting a bit worn out with all of that, so now we only do the new lesson, the 10 practice problems, and maybe 10-15 from the spiral.  It's because of that spiral that W has gotten so good at math and remembers everything, so I don't want to cut out too much of it.  I'll just pick and choose the examples he should do.  We'll move through the book much quicker this way and he'll still retain his love of math.  Any kind of busywork/tedium will kill a love of learning so quickly.  It has to be strategically planned to have the intended effect, but keep the kids engaged at the same time.  Thankfully, we are able to do that!

At theater class last week, W did a lot of cold readings.  He called me when the class was over and was so proud of himself.  He did it and wasn't even that nervous.  He said he hardly stumbled at all.  The other kids and the teachers complimented him on his delivery, too.  This is just what he needs to build his confidence and believe he is great reader.  He has come so far in only a few years - from even last summer!  He's like a different kid.  I am so grateful to be able to homeschool.

2 comments:

Sandeep said...

Nice

Carreen Schroeder said...

Hello there!

I have come across your blog before and have enjoyed your posts! I just had an 'idea'. I have three daughters - one who is in nursing school, one who is entering her senior year of high school and my youngest, about to turn 9 years old whom I homeschool. We are in Niagara Falls, NY and have always wanted to visit NYC but have never yet had the opportunity. Our homeschooling group here is very energetic and upbeat so here is what occurred to me: We could organize an event in which NYC comes to us for a 3-day homeschooling 'camp' and you could do the same in NYC in exchange? Do you work with a homeschooling group there who may be interested in this opportunity?

Let me know your thoughts and please visit us at: http://newyorkadventuresinhomeschooling.com OR exciting-adventures-in-homeschooling.blogspot.com