Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Project Based Learning

Do I have a great resource for you! The Buck Institute for Education has a free online self-paced workshop on PBL. I intend to take the workshop myself this summer and incorporate what I learn into my teaching this fall. If you want to join me, I would love to begin a forum for idea sharing. Let me know and enjoy the resource!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Star Gazing

For SF Bay Area homeschoolers, here is the latest email from Pt.Reyes NPS. If you have star gazing, nature loving children then this is a good list to subscribe to. Enjoy! This summer is packed with celestial events!  Keep those annular eclipse glasses handy for the Transit of Venus on June 5th beginning around 3:05 pm PDT and lasting until 8: 24 am - the planet Venus will appear as a speck against the sun.  A partial lunar eclipse of the full moon occurs early Monday morning, June 4 in the wee hours between 4:12 and 5:06 am. Fire season has begun across the park and Marin County. Fire danger ratings are posted at park visitor centers.  Use extra precaution with fires; extinguish with plenty of water.  Check power equipment for spark arresters and inspect cars parked in dry gas areas to insure no catalytic converters come into contact with grasses. In extreme fire danger - Mount Vision Road is closed. All park visitor centers will be open on Monday, Memorial Day May 28. A special Memorial Day commemoration is scheduled for 2:00 pm on Monday at the Coast Guard/Claussen Family cemetery off Sir Francis Drake Highway.  Four surfmen are buried there and a Coast Guard honor Guard will conduct a short ceremony along with park staff.  The Historic Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock will be open from 4-5 pm. Bear Valley Visitor Center just received the new "military" annual pass for active duty military personnel and their dependents.  The one year pass allows free entrance to national parks and is available with appropriate military identification.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Curriculum Crazy

Any veteran homeschool parent will tell you that searching for the right curriculum can drive you crazy. It might be easier for you, if you follow a particular educational philosophy, such as Montessori or Charlotte Mason, in your homeschool. But if you are like me, an eclectic homeschool teacher, you are on the dangerous road to insanity. There are hundreds of choices and countless websites devoted to helping you choose, implement, and purchase the right curriculum for your child. It can take up hours of your day and wake you up at night. What's even worse is that after spending countless hours and a hefty investment, the publisher may stop producing the curriculum. If this happens with a math curriculum, for example, you may have to reteach certain topics in order to be in sync with a new scope and sequence or different methodology. You may end up starting all over for each child, in order to teach to their unique learning style. You get the point. I do have some suggestions. For really thorough and helpful reviews, check out both Cathy Duffy's website and the Rainbow Resource online catalogue. Rainbow's prices are pretty good, and they carry almost everything you are looking for, including manipulatives and educational games. Frankly, I don't know how they do it, but I'm glad they do. Happy searching!