Monday, January 17, 2011

School Report, Winter 2011

Snow. Lots of snow. Weeks and weeks of snow, on the ground since sometime in the beginning of December.

We've been sledding several times since mid-December, usually with Elizabeth and once with Ken. Or rather, they've been sledding. Going down the hill on a sled makes me nauseated, which is really, really wimpy, I know. So I sit in the van at the bottom of the hill and read books on the Kobo reader that Evan gave me for Christmas. Can't get bored with 150+ books along!

Any suggestions for books to download?

As for our school report...

Ken as started studying Geographic Information Systems online with Columbus State. Basically, he'll be making sense of all the magnificent information that is available from satellites, Google, surveys, etc. He's been into geography since he was able to think about the world. I think that it started with this book:

It's a Big Big World

We recently got one for Brenna and Noah. Now they can plan their trips around the world, and start their own imaginary travel agency!

Neal and Alanna are studying Twentieth Century History together. We're using a wide variety of books, and a set of videos:

They're nice for giving an overview of time periods, and they help make mental pictures that stay in the mind. They're a bit graphic, though. I skipped through the parts about amputation in the Civil War. It was more than we needed to see!

I also looked up a list of interesting people, places and events that the kids should know, put them on slips of paper, and let them draw three or four a day. They look them up online and report back to us on what they've found. We discuss not only the subject matter at hand, but also the methods of research used and the reliability of various sources.

In the end, it's most important that they know how to learn and how to find out. Knowledge will grow, and many 'facts' they learn today will be disproved tomorrow, but the thrill of the chase of knowledge will still be there.

Neal is taking a break from Algebra to do some Geometry, as is Alanna.

I'm reviewing a Chemistry book from CK-12 that is online, excellent and entirely free! Open Source texts are awesome! I've also found a Conceptual Physics text that is also OS.

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