Monthly Archives: July 2014

Are You Making Your Child Use a Curriculum You Don’t Even Like?

Moms often admit to me, “I am so glad I’m not my child and have to use this curriculum!”

Many parents use materials they don’t like—or the child doesn’t like—for all sorts of crazy reasons. Maybe Mom spent hundreds of dollars on some prepackaged curriculum or maybe she was told how wonderful it worked for someone else’s child (perhaps another of her own children). Regardless, she makes her child slug through it day by day and the child is resisting.

Here is a story from a homeschool conference where I spoke about these issues:

A mother came to me and stated, “Now I understand why my child is resisting: The materials we are using are so boring! We only have three months left in the school year so after this year we will never use that curriculum again.”

I asked the Mom, “Why wait until the end of the year? What would your daughter do if you went home tonight and told her, ‘Put that away. I don’t ever want to see that curriculum again!'”

Mom looked at me curiously. “Can I do that? My daughter would probably hug me and tell me what a wonderful Mom she has.”

I told her, “If you are looking for my permission, you have it.”

Mom turned and fairly skipped down the aisle as she left the meeting room.

Is your child resisting being homeschooled because you are using awful curriculum? Or perhaps curriculum not suited to that particular child? Why are you doing something to your child you wouldn’t appreciate being done to you? A particular curriculum might be like manna from heaven for one child, yet be tantamount to child abuse to another.

The above is excerpted from Chris Davis’ new book Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally which is available from Amazon.com in both paperback and as an e-book.

Please take a look at my new website where I offer my personal recommendations for some of the best in homeschooling materials by age/grade. Click here to go to the website (www.ChrisDavisRecommends.com).

Teenagers and High School

There are two ideas which are relatively new in the world. They are the concept we call Teenager and the concept we call High School. Think for a moment what it might be like if neither of these existed (as they once did not).

Never a teenager; just moving from child to young adult to adult. Never in high school; just moving through the natural process of having age-appropriate experiences, as listed above, where the child learns what he needs to know to progress into the world of work or on to college to gain detailed training in a specific skillset.

Teenagerism has created a separate class of humans with their own, separate culture. Did it ever occur to you that your children never have to be teenagers and that you are allowed to avoid buying into the idea of a teenage culture?

High School has not only created its own culture but as John Gatto states,

Due to its emphasis on competition, institutional education leaves a large population of losers, damned to the self-image that they cannot succeed no matter what they have a heart to do.

This competition allows adults to separate the able from the unable quite early on and helps adults determine how far a young person will go in life.

Yes, I am actually suggesting that you do not treat your children as teenagers and that you do not become subject to the universal rule of high school unless there is a practical reason for them to attend public high school.

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The above is excerpted from Chris Davis’ new book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally available from Amazon in paperback and as an E-book.

Preparing Your Child for High School Math

Many public schooled students come to high school-level math lacking the foundational math concepts they need to succeed. This is largely due to the fact that public schooled students are encouraged to use calculators from an early age yet the student may never understand the meaning of important math concepts.

As homeschool parents, it is critical that our students have learned these foundational math concepts until they are able to work with them easily.

The concepts of which I am speaking are addition & multiplication facts; percentages, fractions, & decimals; and what math function to substitute for words in a word problem such as “and”, “more than”, “more”, “is”, etc. The time to make sure these facts are firmly impressed on your child’s mind is the Middle School grades. During these grades, you will fill in any gaps your child has in these areas. Fortunately, lots of materials exist to help you (see below).

Here is an example of the simplest of Algebra word problems: “Three of the same number and six is twenty more than that number. What is the number?”

Now, I will rewrite the question and underline each word that represents a command to perform a particular math operation: “Three of the same number and six is twenty more than that number. What is the number?”

Would your child know what to do with those underlined words? “Of” means multiply; “and” means add; “is” means equals; “more than” means add. So the equation would look like this (if we call “number” N): 3 x N (or 3N) +6 = N + 20. The answer is 7.

On my website, wwwChrisDavisRecommends.com (under the drop-down menu for ages 11-13) I have placed some good, and inexpensive, materials to help you determine if your Middle School child has grasped the math concepts necessary for entering higher level (high school) math. If not, these materials will get him ready. As for math problem words, simply google “math clue words” for a long list of freebies you can use to help your child get “inside” the vocabulary of word problems.

Chris Davis

 

For extra credit, here is a little brain-teaser for you and/or your student:

The following is written as a simple addition problem. Rewrite it as an algebraic equation and solve for ABC if A, B, & C are different numbers each being less than 10 and greater than 0. Don’t put your answer in the Comments box, below (so you won’t give it away to others). Instead, send me an email with your answer and how you solved the problem. Send it to ChrisDavis@PioneerHomeschooler.com

 

Here is the problem. Solve for ABC:

ABC

ABC

+ABC

BBB

Now, visit my website www.ChrisDavisRecommends.com to see what I recommend for every grade in every subject (with an additional list of books especially for boys).

Harvard Understands

When Harvard University decides to offer its courses online, you know a “new day” has dawned in higher education!

With a $30,000,000,000 (yes, that’s $30 billion dollar) endowment, Harvard could easily afford to stay aloof in its Ivory Tower of educational institutions. But, Harvard has decided it makes both financial and cultural sense to join 3rd tier colleges that have been offering its courses online for years.

Until now, those 3rd tier colleges have given online education a reputation that has not exactly been sterling (although the world’s largest online university, Liberty University, has done much to enhance that image in recent years).

Harvard’s entry into online education has changed everything. No longer can any college resist offering its courses online or dismiss online education as substandard.

Congressman Ron Paul recently wrote, “Online education can be sold profitably for a tenth the cost of an Ivy League university. From now on, what the colleges sell is a myth: overpriced, brick-and-mortar education that is no better than online education.”

 

Paul goes on to say, “Don’t be hypnotized by bricks and mortar. They are not worth the money at the undergraduate level, except possibly in a few natural sciences. Not in the liberal arts. There is no good reason to attend traditional schools in the first two (overpriced) years.”

 

A college makes most of its income from its lower division courses (the first two years) which courses are often no more than repeats of the last two years of high school. For the student who actually knows why he is going to college, these “required courses” are often a huge waste of a student’s time. Instead, let your student take CLEP exams and, if done right, he can enter college as a Junior the day he graduates from high school and begin taking classes that actually matter!

 

All this information is included in my new book, available now at Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle.