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If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wordy Wednesday... Either/Or... And a Prodigy review...

It's that time of year again, when I start thinking "well, what if we did this?" or "we could do this...". So I've basically come up with an Option A and an Option B+.



For both options, regardless:
  • Math
  • Language Arts
  • Literature

Then, Option A would simply be to continue as is... basically unschooling all other subjects, following interests, etc.

Pros:
  • The kids get to figure out what they are interested in, and explore it
  • Flexibility
  • Empowerment
Cons:
  • They tend to jump around from subject to subject sometimes, which can make getting resources in a timely fashion hard
  • Lack of follow-through
  • Sometimes even they feel they're not "doing" or "learning" enough!

Option B is a little more "schooly". We would use The Big History Project for history*, and this awesome science book (biology) that I found, called Life on Earth**.

Pros:
  • More organized
  • Might get around to more projects in science, as they are part of the text
  • Would introduce The Boy to a good study of biology (he's always been the physics guy here), and would introduce The Girl to more biology than animals
  • Could develop a better understanding of history as a whole
Cons:
  • Having to follow through!
  • Less room for rabbit trails
*Other options for history that are under consideration would include Hakim's Story of Science series, OR K12's World History: Our Human Story, the latter of which we could read from just once a week, leaving room for rabbit trails the rest of the time.

**I think we're most likely to use the biology text mentioned if we do formal science, but I'm also considering science tied in with history, if we use The Big History Project or Hakim's Story of Science

Anyhow, I obviously need to think on this some more! In the meantime, let's talk about Prodigy, the free interactive math game I found through a message board recently. The Girl took the placement test a few days ago (which is within the framework of the game, so she didn't even realize it was a placement test!), and then she's worked with it twice since. For hours, literally. The first day after the placement test, she spent about two or three hours doing math, and yesterday, another 2 hours, roughly. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less....

She's worked on multiplication, division, mode, median, angles, addition, subtraction, perimeter, and more during those hours. Yesterday, I found I could give her assignments too, to focus on a skill area I think she needs help with! And, when I login, I can see how well she did on the assignment, and exactly which problems she struggled with. After she completes the assignment, she can move into free play, and that's where she's getting an intro to geometry, fraction work, and a lot more. She has to answer math questions to move ahead through the game, defeating various creatures with math, and collecting new "pets" along the way.

I think we'll finish out our year with her working on this, and she can play it over the summer. In the fall.. well, we'll see!

I feel like I'm on one of these!


1 comment :

  1. M15 is looking at the science courses on www.allinonehighschool.com for next term(they also have allinonehomeschool.com for the younger grades). She took a number of the classes there this year .....they're all free and include daily reference reading, assignments and video links. They do hit the Creationist side of things sometimes but the basic studies are secular-friendly, so they're good for either group in my opinion. I think I saw biology, physics, oceanography and chemistry options. Just a thought - all of your options look so good it must be hard to decide!

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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Emerson

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