Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Eye's Not On the Ivy League




The IVY LEAGUE! 

With having completed a BS and MS degree in Business Finance (BS) and Management Information Systems (MS) and attending private schools throughout most of my educational career, you would think I'd want to go to an Ivy League School. Or even make sure my kids (three of which who are already in college) to attend one.

Well...

For me, I AM NOT IMPRESSED.

WHY? Well Here it goes....

MY HISTORY ON THE SUBJECT

When I was planning my college career, I wanted to go to an IVY LEAGUE school because that was a place where you could show the world that you are 'smart' and you could 'network'.

Well, after a lot of college visits, those schools to me were missing a VERY IMPORTANT INGREDIENT.

The investment in my success!

As a non-traditional student who was paying her own way through school with scholarships, multiple part-time jobs, and grants, these schools seemed to offer everything but the one thing I needed. Support.

Many students of whom you NEVER HEAR about have started off at prestigious universities, only, to leave with a TON OF DEBT, DISCOURAGED and suicidal feelings as though they are a failure. Yes, it happens at many universities, but more so at these more 'competitive' places.

ARE YOU GETTING YOUR MONEY'S WORTH?

Nope. Not if you are not already connected or belong to a wealthy family.

Also, does going to an IVY LEAGUE guarantee wealth? status? a job? NOPE.

However, if you plan to have a career in politics, law, international affairs or business, then attending an IVY LEAGUE may gain you the NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES that can give you a BOOST.

CHECKS and BALANCES
Ask Your Student These Questions

1) Does this school offer a Major that your or your child CANNOT GET ANYWHERE ELSE for cheaper?

2) Does the intended course of study guarantee the COST VS BENEFITS of attending an IVY LEAGUE and paying those prices. Meaning if you pay $50K a year for a degree, will you be making $50K a year when you graduate?


3) What are the conditions of the FREE RIDE scholarships and ARE THEY OFFERING MEASURES for you to succeed. What are the ways you can LOSE that FREE RIDE via no longer playing sports, slipping grades, health status or change in major or goals.

4) Does the environment encourage you to be able to FIT IN SOCIALLY? (in my case HECK NO I am an African American and a FEMALE that came from a POOR family - that would've been a recipe for disaster for me).

5) Are the Faculty and staff supportive of students or get a kick out of UNNECESSARY RIGOR. Yep, you heard it. Just because a university has a 'Difficult Curriculum' it DOES NOT guarantee preparation for a JOB or CAREER. Real life career and College 'career' learning ARE TWO DIFFERENT things. Just because you have a degree - does not mean you will EVER use any of that information.

WHAT THE 'COLLEGE EXPERIENCE' SHOULD BE

1) Offer you an environment (for your cost) that makes sure that you are SUCCESSFUL in reaching your academic and career goals while providing a HEALTHY environment for doing so. The COLLEGE SHOULD SERVICE THE STUDENT. The student is their biggest customer base - don't ever forget it. You are buying a service from an institution that will gain you completion in a degree. If that school won't help you get there - don't waste your money.

2) A support team that is available and able to help you navigate through this environment.

3) A recovery option, to recover from any setbacks like bad grades, bad choices and yet still be able to retake a class, find support assistance, or be mentored.

IF YOU AREN'T GETTING THAT

Then you haven't gotten what you PAID FOR, now have you.

FAST-FORWARD with My kids

1) Made them research their field of study and chosen careers to see if the (a) Place where you get your degree matters (b) Cost of the degree equals the benefits of your salary and opportunities (c) Does the school have a great support system (d) Does the demographics compliment your race, sex, social interest (e) Is it safe, compare local crime rates with on campus offenses

2) Plan for 'Worst Case Scenario'. Like if you (a) lost scholarship and had to pay yourself - is it still affordable to you or your parents (b) got pregnant (yeah, many girls do their first 2 years) could you still attend or have a place to live or have support (c) changed your major - will you lose all your credits

3) Evaluation of Support Systems (a) tutoring for free (b) career services and internship relationships with well known companies

4) Research Professors by checking Rate My Professor.

5) Research student body by checking on review sites for colleges.

6) Research Credit Transfers so if it doesn't work out - you can still plan and move forward.

THEIR FINDINGS

Scenario with my oldest Son: 
(1) Wanted to go to Stevensons (29K-46K a YEAR!) - went to local Community College then Towson University and finished at University of MD, University College. Changed major 6 times

(2) got AA degree and CLEP credit and took 2 remedial Math classes after Accuplacer (college entry math and english exam)

(3) total cost of college for both AA and BS was $41,000 (scholarships, CLEPs) and lived on campus 1 year

(4) Finished both degrees in 4.5 yrs (took winter classes)

(5) Outcome: Both an Associates and Bachelors for the price of 1 year at an expensive college. And still has a great job.

Well my son had originally wanted to go to Stevenson (cost $38K a year). After doing his research he decided on Towson University. After going there for most of his Jr and Sr year, he had to transfer if he wanted to move with us to another state. He was able to easily transfer his credits to an online college. He now has a degree from University of Maryland, University College and is working for a well known medical insurance company as a Database Analyst.

Scenario with oldest Daughter: 
(1) Wanted to go to Johns Hopkins (50-65K) - went to local Community College then transferred to Towson University. Changed major 3 times.

(2) got AA degree using CLEP credit and an accelerated start (no remedial classes needed. Started in Pre-Calc and English Comp)

(3) Total Cost for both AA and BS was $27,000 (scholarships and CLEPs)

(4) Finished both degrees in 3.5 years (took summer and winter classes)

(5) Outcome: Both an Associates and Bachelors for the price of 1 year at an expensive college. And still has a great job.  Pursuing Master's Degree that is paid for by her new company.

My daughter originally wanted to be a Dermatologist, then changed her major several times until she found a major that combined all of her interest. However, after her research and interviewing some students that she knew that had got to John's Hopkins, she figured it wasn't diverse enough socially for her. That to her was a deciding factor along with the fact that her Dean at Towson University was very helpful and really offered a wonderful support system for students in her major. She was eligible for a scholarship, but it was still more expensive than the university she went to.

TAKE AWAY's

Make sure you are getting what you really want from the 'experience' of college. 
At the end of the day GOING TO COLLEGE = GETTING A DEGREE = LANDING A JOB

Friday, September 23, 2016

Successful Teamwork

THE FINISH LINE
For My Kiddos and Friends
HACKERTHON Contest


This is their video submission of their web application. The team of my 19 yr old Rose, my 15 year old Tiger Lilly and their friends 13 yr old and two 12 yr olds was a great success.

My 19 yr old Rose was the team lead, and they other kids were the front end developers while Rose worked on setting up the Web Server, the MySQL database and writing the code to do the logic for the webpage.

Two in a half weeks of work and they have an operational product.

EMPOWERED
Web Application for Disabled Citizens to create a Video Resume to share with their case workers.
The girls (Tiger Lilly and Rose) wore matching headbands the day of the final check-in.





The girls wore matching headbands since we had to go into the final check-in meeting. And ta da da...

THEIR TEAM MADE IT TO THE FINALS!!!





Speed Racer had a busy week also.

He got a new instrument that we have to hear him play all night. It's called a  Berimbau which is an instrument used in Capoiera.


Here, he is doing a handstand, which he does when he is in between online classes and wants to break up the time between his classes and get out all of his nervous energy.





This happened when I went for a bathroom break while he was supposed to be doing Chemistry!



SPEED RACER's WEEK
12 yrs
Overall: It's been hectic and we BAILED on some work during the week that we hope to finish by Sunday. NEWLY added: 5 lesson BODY LANGUAGE class on UDEMY (my child need to learn how to read people to determine when to engage and when not to engage)

CHALLENGES: We always have them. This week, I've had to increase the items I hold hostage in our family safe. I've added our school 'tablets', television 'remotes', and 'playstation DS'. Not to mention the TEST DVD from Saxon that a little boy got a hold of and decided to watch the DIVE dvd to the math problems for him (that was last week's challenge). So I moved Algebra to mom time.


(7am-8:30am) Online Live Class Independent
Landry Academy Classes

Writing ER: is live on Monday's.  His grade is a solid C+, mainly because at times he gets lazy and does subpar work when I'm not looking over his shoulder or he knows I don't plan to check his work.

Python Programming is live on Wednesday's: He is getting better at finishing the assignments without his sister helping. He hates reading though, so we are working on him slowing down and reading the chapter assignments.

(8:30am-9am) Snack Break

(9 am-11am) DAILY Independent
Study.com
Psychology, Sociology, Macro Econ, Physics and Information Systems takes him10 MINUTES per course. He's getting more proficient with finishing of the quizzes of 5 questions.

Body Language (Udemy) is 10 minutes a session and is only 5 sessions.

Online Classes takes 15 to 20 minutes
IXL (Language Arts) is on Monday and Wednesday and it takes him twenty minutes to finish. He doesn't like it, but realizes that it reinforces his grammar skills.

Prodigy (Math Game) Tuesday and Friday and he really likes it. He said sometimes he has to watch the time because he would stay on it for too long.

CTCMath (Algebra): on Monday and Friday. He does this before his Study.com work and says it helps him to understand or review anything that he didn't do well on with the Saxon/Dive lessons.It takes him about 30 minutes.


(11am-12:30am) Online Live Class Independent
Landry Academy Classes

Spanish live is on Thursday's: This teacher posted a Quizlet list for the kids to go over daily with homework. He started working through the list on Monday. He does a bit of the weekly homework a little each day.


(12:30-1:00pm) - lunch

(1pm-2pm) DAILY Independent

Membean we lowered this to 10 minutes of training a day.

Geometry (Teaching Textbooks) he is whizzing through this and I asked him if he wanted to put it aside, he said it helps him with understanding his Abeka Geometry, and gives him more practice.

Speed Reading & Comprehension with Ace Reader he is almost finish this tool. I will have to find him another Speed reading activity tool at this rate.


(2pm-2:30pm) DAILY Independent


Copy work is doing Great Writer's Quotes in cursive, he writes so well in cursive and to think he's a lefty! It takes him 10 minutes

Wordly Wise he finishes these pretty quick and have been making between 75% and 85% on his test.

(2:30pm-3pm) Snack Break

(3pm-4:45pm) DAILY with Mom / Dad or Sibling assistance.
Geometry AbekaAcademy is back on track. I let him do his current test 'open book' and he got a 98%. I think we may do if he needs it.

Sequential Spelling  He did just 'okay' on his test, so we are continuing on and see how he does on Test 2 next week.

Algebra 1 (Saxon with DIVE dvds):He tries to do the Lesson homework BEFORE he watches the  DIVE videos. Homework or Seatwork he does Problem set #1 evens or odds. He's being tested every week it seems. This works out for him as this is the 2nd time he's taking Algebra 1. He is really solidifying the topics better this year.

(5pm) Martial Arts  or Soccer
Soccer & Martial Arts: I am ready for Soccer to be over. It seems we overbooked and the getting him to games has become stressful on Saturdays.

PE Is done 6 days a week. He needs to be busy.

(6:15-6:30pm) 2 days a week with Mom / Dad or Sibling assistance.
3-minute devotional for guys is on Wednesday and Friday's. I am loving the discussions I have with him about it.

(7-7:30pm) Dinner

(7:30pm - 8:15pm) DAILY with Mom / Dad or Sibling assistance.
Chemistry his Abeka he did well on his open book quiz. I had to print out his formulas for him though.


(8:15pm-9:15pm) 3 or 2 days a week with Mom / Dad or Sibling assistance.
English Literature and American Literature These subjects are going well. We will reinforce with movies and plays.

Weekend Plans: Both CAP and YOUNG EAGLES programs were cancelled as was his SOCCER game.

Tiger Lilly's Week: High Schooler /Dual Enrolled 15 yrs old

All her classes are in full gear and we made some additions to her schedule.

CHALLENGES: The Hackathon work wasn't being well managed by Tiger Lilly. She started doing work that wasn't completed by another team member which caused her to neglect to turn in one of her COLLEGE assignments (Yikes!). When I found out, I contacted the team member's parent after talking to him and he got back on board (all be it with a bit of an arrogance I'm not used to seeing in a 14 yr old). Therefore, she had to contact her professor and beg him to allow her to turn in the assignment off sequence. He did, but she took a hit on the grade.

(9 am-10:30am) DAILY
Landry Academy
Network Pro she has class on TUESDAY . Her 'TESTOUT' interactive software used for this class she is getting 100% on her quizzes. The homework (Mon, Wed, Thu, and Fri) takes her about thirty minutes.
 
10:30am-11:30am - 2 days a week
[Hackathon work] Software Development class (Homeschool Class by mom) She is working on building a web application for the Hackathon - finishing up Wordpress, with JAVA and PHP to build their website and app.

See the Light Art Class 2 days a week and she shows off her Art and she's been getting more adventurous with it lately.

11:30am-12:30pm- 3 days a week
Calculus with Saxon & Dive and CTCMath She only worked on the CTCMath these last two weeks. She also has been resorting to Khan Academy to further understand some concepts.

1:30pm-4:30pm- 3 days a week [Dual Enrolled College Courses with UMUC.edu]
Nutrition This week she had a project, a quiz and discussion question.

Relational Database Design Now she downloaded Oracle SQL Developer. It's supposed to help her with designing her database and doing her queries to the Oracle database she has to connect to during class.

Technical Writing She has had to write technical documents for all types of industries. This week she wrote a manual. Although, she could've tested out of this with DSST, I'm glad she is still taking the course since she is learning a lot.

5pm-6:30pm - 3 days a week - PE
Soccer and Martial Arts . She is hating soccer.

7pm-8:30pm - 4 days a week
Japanese with 1.5 hr tutoring and I added some daily IMMERSION cds.

Build Video Game using Unity 3D she will be working with a tutor from IDTech to help her when she gets stuck creating her games.

Japanese with 1.5 hr tutoring and I added some daily IMMERSION cds.

8pm-9pm - 2 days a week
3-minute Devotional for Girls we are moving steadily through the devotional. However, she isn't asking as many questions as I'd like.


WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals Well, it's been a bad meal week. Hotdogs and french fries, Airfry to make steak and chicken (my husband had to make to side items) and Pizza from Dominos.

Cleaning. We are getting into a routine. I don't know how long it will last.

Work & Life Balance. Ugh, dropping off my two oldest kids to work on my way to work. I was so spoiled when I only had to wake up and get myself out the door.

Lesson Planning. Forever changing. Seems I can only do it on the last minute Sunday since my kids tend to be using the weekend to finish work they didn't want to do during the week.

Rest. I am slipping back to my 11:45pm bedtime which isn't good. Not that the kids are finishing later, but that I am watching my Fall lineup of TV shows which keep me up since I video tape them to watch later.

Marriage Check Up. For some reason, hubby's been cranky. Then I realized that he and I haven't had a 'date' night in 2 weeks. So... I am looking at some comedy clubs for us to check out.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Mishaps and Mayhem

I am the ANGRY BIRD

Yep, this week I won't go into the play by play (saving it up for next week). However, I will just list some of the mishaps of this week so that it is obvious that my household goes crazy quite often.

Someone purposelessly 'lost' their quiz.
Another kiddo procrastinated on finishing test by two days.
One young adult lost driving privileges because they turned off their cellphone
We had some team slippage in work on the Hackathon team (Tiger Lilly took on extra work)
Dinner wasn't planned and ended up short one night (McDonald's filled in - yuck)
No exercise was done for the Family Fitness challenge - by no one
Oh, and someone kept falling asleep in the living room, even though they have a TV in theirs.

And that sums up our week. Stay-tuned for the full picture next week.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Our First Hackathon and more adventures

PUSH the LIMITS
TRY Something NEW


These last two weeks were VERY hectic for us. I can't believe I was able to work a full-time job in between. I fell into bed on Sunday and didn't move til 10am, barely making it to church on time. And this past Sunday, we didn't make it at all as I completely forgot it was a holiday weekend.


HACKATHON
 The Team
 Talking to the Subject Matter Experts
 They really did a great job at asking questions and interviewing the customers with the different challenges. The team split up to do it and my girls decided to do their questioning together.

 The Team's 1st ONLINE MEETING using GOOGLE HANGOUTs
My 19 yr old is the Team Leader. Squeezing this in between working full-time and graduate school.
 RUBICs CUBE while attending the online meeting.
They had some challenges with their first online meeting, but now they have the hang of it it's become a good experience for all of them.

We signed up for this at the last minute. I asked my 19 yr old daughter Rose if she could lead a team so that her 15 yr old sister would feel more comfortable.

Rose jumped at the chance to do it. They have 1 month to create a solution. They decided to work on a web-application for the disabled.


DATE WITH HUBBY CRASHED BY DAUGHTER
Well hubby and I wanted to go to my favorite restaurant after dropping my daughter and her friend off at the Greek Festival. Right after I sat down, Rose texted me to pick them up.

They got to share some of the great Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory with us, after Hubs and I ate his Jambalaya Pasta. Yum!


DAVE & BUSTER's 1/2 WEDNESDAY and MEETUP with Homeschool Co op

The kids were so excited to be meeting up with other homeschoolers their age. We belong to two homeschool groups and we are just getting to know the folks on this one. This group stays busy and thankfully they do things in the afternoons, evenings and weekends sometimes. It has allowed me to be able to schedule them for over 8 events this year.





And... THEY DID AN OVERNIGHT GAMERs PLAY NIGHT

My wonderful hubby, partner in teaching, took the kids to the Gamer's overnight. His job is a bit more flexible at this time than mine is. The kids prefer him going to these types of activities anyway as he enjoys video gaming more than I do.

Last minute, I had to change their schedule and lighten their load when I realized all the activities they had this week.


SPEED RACER's WEEK
12 yrs
Changes! We had a SITUATION with our LANDRY ACADEMY Algebra 1 class. The teacher changed the book the week before class and we purchased the original book noted on the course signup. LANDRY IS WONDERFUL and gave us our 'generic' online course back, and allowed me to register him for another class. We elected to do the Algebra 1( which is SAXON Algebra 1 at home using the Dive disc) and to take a Logic course in the Spring.


(7am-8:30am) Online Live Class
Landry Academy Classes

Writing ER: is on Monday's.  He now is waking himself up for his morning classes! He does the homework on Saturday evenings since he said he didn't want to do the work on the Weekday's. We will see how this goes.

Python Programming is on Wednesday's: This class gave him a bit of a challenge, he doesn't like the reading homework, but I read it with him later in the day to get him engaged. He does a bit of the weekly homework a little each day.

(9 am-11am) DAILY Independent
Study.com
Psychology, Sociology, Macro Econ, Physics and Information Systems he now has these down to 10 MINUTES per course with finishing of the quizzes of 5 questions with 4 correct or more. He decided that if he didn't past the quiz after 2 tries, he would save this work for the WEEKEND (seems he doesn't mind weekend homework).

Algebra 1 (Saxon with DIVE dvds): He does a Lesson a day, watches the DIVE video, does Problem set #1 evens or odds. Then he gets a test every 10 lessons that mom or dad administers. He actually likes Saxon better than he liked Abeka's Algebra 1. He told me that he thinks Saxon gives you a slower start and more explainations than Abeka Algebra 1 did.


(11am-12:30am) Online Live Class
Landry Academy Classes

Spanish  is on Thursday's: This teacher posted a Quizlet list for the kids to go over daily with homework. He started working through the list on Monday. He does a bit of the weekly homework a little each day.

Online Classes
IXL (Language Arts) is on Monday and Wednesday and it takes him twenty minutes to finish. He doesn't like it, but realizes that it reinforces his grammar skills.

Prodigy (Math Game) Tuesday and Friday and he really likes it. He said sometimes he has to watch the time because he would stay on it for too long.

CTCMath (Algebra): on Monday and Friday. He does this before his Study.com work and says it helps him to understand or review anything that he didn't do well on with the Saxon/Dive lessons.It takes him about 30 minutes.

(12:30-1:00pm) - lunch

(1pm-2pm) DAILY Independent

Membean we lowered this to 10 minutes of training a day.

Geometry (Teaching Textbooks) he is whizzing through this and I asked him if he wanted to put it aside, he said it helps him with understanding his Abeka Geometry, and gives him more practice.

Speed Reading & Comprehension with Ace Reader he is almost finish this tool. I will have to find him another Speed reading activity tool at this rate.

(2pm-2:30pm) DAILY Independent


Copy work is doing Great Writer's Quotes in cursive, he writes so well in cursive and to think he's a lefty! It takes him 10 minutes

(2:30pm-3pm) Snack Break

(3pm-4:00pm) DAILY with Mom / Dad or Sibling assistance.
Geometry AbekaAcademy he finished his test and got a 78% but still had some concepts he needed help with. We called the student tutoring line which seemed to put him back on track.

Sequential Spelling  still seems a bit easy for him (I think membean is really helping). I am considering giving him the chapter test to see if I should just move him on. This takes about 10 minutes.


(5pm) Martial Arts  or Soccer
Soccer & Martial Arts: Which he loves having something to do everyday to break the school monotony.

PE Is done 6 days a week. He is in Civilian Airforce Program (or CAP), Young Eagles on Saturday's and now wants to add dance (not happening!)

(6:15-6:30pm) 2 days a week with Mom / Dad or Sibling assistance.
3-minute devotional for guys is on Wednesday and Friday's. He reads the lesson with his dad and now insist on saying the prayer.

(7-7:30pm) Dinner

(7:30pm - 8:15pm) DAILY with Mom / Dad or Sibling assistance.
Chemistry with Abeka he didn't do to well on a recent quiz, so I sent him to watch some CRASH COURSE videos to help him to better understand concepts. I give him the quizzes pretty much open book, but the test are closed book.

(8:15pm-8:30pm) DAILY with Mom / Dad or Sibling assistance.
Wordly Wise he finishes these pretty quick and have been making between 75% and 85% on his test.

(8:15pm-9:15pm) 3 or 2 days a week with Mom / Dad or Sibling assistance.
English Literature and American Literature he takes pretty good notes during these classes and seems to be somewhat interested in the literature. I am not making him do some of the required papers since he is taking the Landry course.

Weekend Plans: Both CAP and YOUNG EAGLES programs were cancelled as was his SOCCER game.

Tiger Lilly's Week: High Schooler /Dual Enrolled 15 yrs old

All her classes are in full gear and we made some additions to her schedule.

(9 am-10:30am) DAILY
Landry Academy
Network Pro she has class on TUESDAY and does her homework daily in this class. The homework (Mon, Wed, Thu, and Fri) takes her about thirty minutes.
 
10:30am-11:30am - 2 days a week
Software Development class (Homeschool Class by mom) She is working on building a web application for the Hackathon - mother assigned :-D They are working on Wordpress, with JAVA and PHP to build their website and app.

See the Light Art Class 2 days a week and she shows off her Art in our 'living room gallery'. weekly.

11:30am-12:30pm- 3 days a week
Calculus with Saxon & Dive and CTCMath She only worked on the CTCMath these last two weeks. She also has been resorting to Khan Academy to further understand some concepts.

1:30pm-4:30pm- 3 days a week [Dual Enrolled College Courses with UMUC.edu]
Nutrition she noted that the adult students aren't doing that great of a job on their Discussion questions. She was shocked considering how much work I made her put into hers. I explained to her that everyone shoots for a different grade and for her to keep shooting for the best. She had a discussion post of about 200 words to do and a paper. Then a quiz.

Relational Database Design This course she had another project and a discussion post due. The project I had to help her out by googling some stuff she couldn't seem to find. She emailed the teacher who further directed her.

Technical Writing This class required her to write two Discussion points that she had to give directions on how to use products. Then she had to watch an Ikea video of someone putting together a bed and then she had to create the written directions to the activity.

5pm-6:30pm - 3 days a week - PE
Soccer and Martial Arts (we got her to try a Friday class).


7pm-8pm - 4 days a week
Japanese with 1.5 hr tutoring and I added some daily IMMERSION cds.

8pm-9pm - 2 days a week
3-minute Devotional for Girls we are moving steadily through the devotional. However, she isn't asking as many questions as I'd like.


WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals I basically through something together for dinner the days I had to cook. My girls cooked a few days. My oldest son bailed on cooking.

Cleaning. Started a new routine that has the main rooms of the house clean (almost) daily. The bedrooms are wrecked until Saturday night when we clean up.

Work & Life Balance. I am still dropping off my two oldest kids to work on my way to work. It takes me 1 hour to do so and makes my work time erratic. So right now, my hubs has been taking over most of the evening teaching and coordination.

Lesson Planning. I believe I finally have our schedule settled. That will make it easier to get the lesson planning solidified.

Rest. Now it's easier to get to bed by 10:30pm. If my husband takes over I get in bed by 9pm. Now if I could just convince myself to go right to sleep.

Marriage Check Up. Well our date got crashed by two lovely ladies, my daughter and her friend. We still had a blast sharing cheesecake with them.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Accelerate Your Homeschool High School Math


WHAT DOES YOUR CHILD PLAN TO DO AFTER HIGH SCHOOL?
Depending on what field of interest they have, math can play a major part in their success in college.

If they are pursing a Bachelor's of Arts Degree that supports fields in Business, Economics, Socialogy, Psychology then they would only require MATH up to ALG 2 and TRIG

If they are pursuing a Bachelor's in Engineering, Computers, Technology then MATH up to CALCULUS is necessary.

No College (like decide to go in the Military, work a non-technical job) then I'd say at least take them through Geometry and Algebra 1 which are both math's that we use in everyday thinking.

FIRST STEP: Look at the local colleges or universities and see what they require for each type of degree program as far as Math goes and that will give you an idea of what to have your child complete.

PRE-CALCULUS and CALCULUS IS NOT A REQUIREMENT in most majors.
However, ALGEBRA 1 and 2, TRIGONOMETRY and GEOMETRY are the least amount of math that 'most' college majors require.

OUR DISCOVERY

After graduating a Homeschool student and now having one doing Dual Enrollment, I finally feel comfortable sharing their MATH PATH to college.

Each child seemed to gravitate towards the sciences. However, when we began homeschooling I found they all had the below challenges.

CHALLENGES WITH MATH:

1) Forget accuracy, recall and math rules from Basic Math taken up to 8th Grade.
2) Solidification of Algebra and Geometry Facts
3) Having to take College Accuplacer Exam which is a College Entry Exam that reviews students Basic Math, Geometry, Algebra and Trigonometry - which most students forget the Basic Math, Geometry and some Trig by the time they take the test

SOLUTION:

1) Build in a curriculum of review
2) Once student knows the information - test out of the College course or take the College Class for that subject

OUR FAMILY MATH PATH and Curriculum that WORKED BEST FOR US
The Trick:
*Teach Each Math Topic Area In a Different Method/Curriculum
*Keep Math Review Lessons under 20 minutes
*Separate each Math Course for the Day with 2 Other Courses
 Only Go Up To Math that is required for your child's desired area for College Study


Friday, August 26, 2016

Full Blast and Sputtered

ALL CURRICULUM for our FALL Has BEEN ADDED
Yikes!


Great Weekend Doing Martial Arts at the Beach

Actually held Speed Racer's Interest
And Even Tiger Lilly Grudgingly Participated


We went to the movies to see Kubo.
Enjoyable, Captivating yet a dark tale.


We also did a FAMILY FITNESS CHALLENGE
where Tiger Lilly and her Dad came in 1st Place




SPEED RACER's WEEK
12 yrs
Changes? We dropped the JAVA HOMESCHOOL PROGRAMMING for .... da da da ... Prodigy. My son, Speed Racer stated, "Mom two programming classes? Really? I'm smart, but not that smart". So I laughed and told him I would introduce another practice in Math.

If you've noticed, I am really working on building his Vocabulary, Math Skills and Writing skills in prep for his next year of CLEP/DSST and SAT testing planned for 2017-2018 *plans on how I will tackle that will be coming soon. I am contemplating using Dual Credit At Home (http://www.dualcreditathome.com/ ) or using this free CLEP Prep lesson plan for homeschoolers created by this awesome lady named Tricia (clepprep.tripod.com/cleplessonplans/) .

(7am-8:30am) Online Live Class
Landry Academy Classes

Had to make him go to sleep early - which he totally hated, but conceded in order to get his cellphone back. He is adjusting to the classes overall.

Writing ER: is on Monday's.  I woke him up and logged him in with no problem. His homework in this class isn't bad and the teacher is engaging. He does a bit of the weekly homework a little each day.

Algebra 1 (Saxon): is on Tuesday's and waking up, getting in gear for class worked out better. The class also can be done independent of the time since the teacher pre-recorded the video review of each lesson. He does a bit of the weekly homework a little each day.

Python Programming is on Wednesday's: This class gave him a bit of a challenge, he doesn't like the reading homework, but I read it with him later in the day to get him engaged. He does a bit of the weekly homework a little each day.

(9 am-11am) Daily Independent
Study.com
Psychology, Sociology, Macro Econ, Physics and Information Systems is going well and only takes him 10 minutes each to get through videos which also have the written transcripts to each and 5 question quizzes. He found a method and is doing well. What quizzes and test he doesn't pass, he saves to do with me in the evenings or weekends.

(11am-12:30am) Online Live Class
Landry Academy Classes

Spanish  is on Thursday's: This teacher posted a Quizlet list for the kids to go over daily with homework. He started working through the list on Monday. He does a bit of the weekly homework a little each day.

(12:30-1:00pm) - lunch

(1pm-2pm) Daily Independent

Membean he does this for 15 minutes a day and is on level 2 now.

Geometry (Teaching Textbooks) this takes 30 minutes and he thinks it's easier than Abeka Geometry.

Speed Reading & Comprehension with Ace Reader is a 10 minute online interactive reading comprehensive program that he's zooming through.

(2pm-2:30pm) Daily Independent

Prodigy (Math Game) he noted that the lessons are getting more difficult with not much instruction.

Copy work is doing Great Writer's Quotes in cursive, he writes so well in cursive and to think he's a lefty! It takes him 10 minutes

(2:30pm-3pm) Snack Break

(3pm-4:00pm) Daily


Geometry AbekaAcademy he finished his test and got a 78% but still had some concepts he needed help with. We called the student tutoring line which seemed to put him back on track.

Sequential Spelling  still seems a bit easy for him (I think membean is really helping). I am considering giving him the chapter test to see if I should just move him on. This takes about 10 minutes.


(5pm) Martial Arts  or Soccer
Soccer & Martial Arts: Which he loves having something to do everyday to break the school monotony.

PE Is done 6 days a week. He is in Civilian Airforce Program (or CAP), Young Eagles on Saturday's

(6:15-6:30pm) Does these 1 time each a week interchangeably

3-minute devotional for guys Bible Devotionals he actually loved spending the one on one time with his dad doing this.


(7-7:30pm) Dinner
Late Night doing Chemistry.

(7:30pm - 8:15pm) 5 days week
Chemistry with Abeka he passed all of his test so far with A's.

(8:15pm-8:30pm) 5 days week
Wordly Wise yes I added this and it takes him 10 to 15 minutes to do it.

(8:15pm-9:15pm) 3 or 2 days a week 
English Literature and American Literature this he says has a lot of overlap, so he happens to do well on test in both classes. He doesn't like reading the classical stuff though so I got movies.

Weekend Plans: He's going to a Homeschool Carnival at one of the homeschool parent's home. And hopefully surfing lessons.

Tiger Lilly's Week: High Schooler /Dual Enrolled 15 yrs old

Tiger Lilly is my complainer, but she eventually gives in to the fun to be had.

Tiger Lilly started her DUAL ENROLLED COLLEGE classes this week. Woot! (she didn't say that).

(9 am-10:30am) Daily Independent
Landry Academy

Network Pro cost us an additional $89 for the online cbt interactive lab membership with Testout.com that is used by the Teacher. He gave the wrong code and had to later make adjustments to our account, but all went well.
 
10:30am-11:30am - 3 days a week
Software Development class (Homeschool Class by mom) She is correcting her draft Trade Analysis paper on game development frameworks.


11:30am-12:30pm- 3 days a week
Calculus with Saxon & Dive and CTCMath The CTCMath is working out better for her, but she does extra practice with Saxon.

1:30pm-4:30pm- 3 days a week [Dual Enrolled College Course with UMUC.edu]
Nutrition is a class I am hoping will help her make healthy food choices. It's a required science that she could've CLEP out of, but decided she actually wanted to take a class. This week she wrote essay, on nutritional choices, did some discussion answers.

Relational Database Design This is a required course for her major and she will work with Oracle DB products, design her on database structure, build it using SQL and work on it with a group. This is mom's field of work, so I look forward to any questions she will ask. She had a Database Design project, discussion question, and diagram to create.

Technical Writing She hates technical writing but likes creative writing. I am hoping she will find a medium here. She had an essay, introduction of herself, and some discussion post to make.


5pm-6:30pm - 3 days a week - PE
Soccer, she is liking her team and is now looking forward to practice.

7pm-8pm - 1 day a week
Japanese with 1.5 hr tutoring is going well. I am looking for an in person training class though.

8pm-9pm - 2 days a week
3-minute Devotional for Girls she likes it and it gives her and I a reason to discuss tough issues.

9pm-10pm - 3 days a week / and 2 days a week
Homeschool Programming Android Programming has staggered to a halt. We are working with them to find out why the plug in's don't work.

See the Light Art Class is down to 2 days a week.


WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals We failed to do the Freezer meal prep this week. Sigh, so it was back to winging it. I went to Sam's Club and got bulk meat and just had to figure out what to cook each day. Not good.

Cleaning.Even though we have less space, it seems there is a lot of clutter building up than anything. However, this weekend we should be able to re-configure this weekend.

Work & Life Balance. Is crazy, crazy, crazy since my oldest daughter Rose lost her driver's license - yet again. That makes three times in 1 year. Yep, you heard me. Well now we have to drop off and pick her and her oldest brother up which is running myself and hubs ragged. Soon they will have their own cars and this shouldn't be a problem.

Lesson Planning. Had to be adjusted again. I seem to just keep waiting til the last minute to do this. I am aiming to do better this week.

Rest. I actually did pretty good this week. Making the 12 year old go to bed at 10pm (okay, at least by 11pm) allows me to unwind and get 6 to 7 hours of sleep a day - this week.

Marriage Check Up. We didn't get time alone this week to go out and eat or chat. Also, we were just so tired we couldn't move when we finally didn't have to drive anyone somewhere.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How Private Schools Groomed Me





PRIVATE SCHOOL BENEFITS
That I use in HOMESCHOOL

Even though I was the product of a teenage mom's single parent home, my mother scraped together enough money to send my brother and I to private school.

MY LOVE AND HATE WITH PRIVATE SCHOOL

I started private school when I was in Kindergarden. It was a small Catholic school across the street from my house.

I was an 'average' student that had a tendency to be talkative, social, and somewhat of a day dreamer.

In those days private school meant you worked harder, had discipline and you learned about God.

I loved my private school up through 8th grade. A lot of my cousins attended the school with me and it really felt like an extension of family. The nun's house was walking distance from the school.

I also believe that the Nuns were the only Caucasian people in my entire neighborhood, lol!

I LOVED being with other kids that were all being 'groomed' to do great things. To work harder than they thought possible, and to be kept in line from bullying or misbehaving by a tightly managed school environment - or - they got the 'boot' and were kicked out of the school.

I HATED that all the things above didn't work for my sons. Neither of my boys thrived in a PRIVATE SCHOOL environment.

WHAT I TOOK FROM MY TIME AT PRIVATE SCHOOL
and USED IN MY HOMESCHOOL

The rigor! Going to private school and being pushed beyond my boundaries with a lot of challenging work, and homework - MADE COLLEGE A BREEZE!

Even though by today's standards, I would have been pinned with possible attention and hyper problems, the fact that in Private School My Peers Worked Hard, it made me want to work hard.

Also, having so much work, I tended to be FORCED to FOCUS.

So, I started slowly grooming my kids in that manner.

Things I replicated from my private school experience:

1) We started homeschooling slowly with focus on remediation of skills
2) Each week I added more subjects, 'but noted to my kids to tell me if it was TOO MUCH'
3) Took away too much idle time. My youngest would destroy things, not on purpose, but because he was 'bored' he'd start to try to 'find' things to do.
4) I asked my kids what their interest was and filled their time with interest focused curriculums that they love.
5) Create an environment of learning and discovery.
6) Challenge them to 'THINK BIGGER' and research, plan, and create a PATH to their BIGGER
7) Practice the 'SKILL' of testing

PEER GROUPS are another strong area that homeschooling allows me to filter. They have friends that LIKE the same things they LIKE. But I also PUSH them to try things they never imagined. And you know what - 7 times out of 10, they end up loving the experience.

BENEFITS I HAVE WITNESSED

My kids adjusted EXTREMELY well to college material. They actually think that COLLEGE IS EASIER because they had a heavier course load and more deliverables during either HOMESCHOOL or their time at PRIVATE SCHOOL.

TIME MANAGEMENT and organization is a skill you learn when you have a LOT to accomplish. and my kids had many classes and projects to manage.

COMMUNICATION skills in writing and oral communication is much more advanced for their age because I make it easy for them to talk about their challenges with a subject, their schedule, or even challenge a grade I've given them. These are skills they needed when being a 'young' college student.

WRITING and COMPUTATION skills benefited since their curriculum always relied heavily on writing and computation.

THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX is something I instituted in my homeschool that WAS NOT in PRIVATE school. However, me being in a 'box' made me REALLY creative about how to get out and around the box, lol!  So, I always made my kids approach things in a scientific method approach to a plan A, plan B and plan C.