HCOS Newsletter October 17, 2016
Newsletter, October 17, 2016
Resources and Activities
October is half done! In this letter I'll let you know what's going on with me and then finish off with a few things I've learned over these last two weeks.
- All the Student Learning Plans should be done. If you haven't signed off or you were expecting a learning plan from me, better get hold of me, we're derelict in our duties!
- I'm processing your learning samples and getting to know more about where each learner is in their growth. I'm also learning about the pros and cons of scanners. CamScanner is quick but the images aren't so great if the light's not great. Thanks to Adon Wiebe I'm switching to Microsoft Lens for a while.
- SeeSaw for sharing with kids and families is still in the works. We've all had other priorities, but there's time to get this started. Please refer back to the previous post about SeeSaw.
- I'm working with families to get a two-way flow of information going. Each family is unique because some of great internet and some don't. Some want to be on computers and some don't, or don't have them. I could go on but you get the idea.
Suggestion for homeschooling
I've been reminded once again this year of the power of getting kids writing. I've been struck once again by how effective writing is to train the mind to reason clearly. We can easily talk like we know something, but try to write it down! Indulge me for a moment while I tell you a mystery. We learn in the beginning of the opening of Book of John that "In the beginning was the Logos" (or Word). We also get our word 'logic' from the same Greek word. The logos makes sense because it is the logic of the creator. Ultimately in John we learn that Jesus is the Logos, the underlying sense and object of the Christian faith. The universe is comprehensible to us, at least in part, because it is creative work of logos. The rules of grammar are how we make sense of creation. We also learn to make sense of our experience. Writing teaches us to keep our ideas together, to state them in the simplest possible terms, to support and expand on them. Whether you are a mechanic, an engineer, a poet or a scientist we need to let others know how we are making sense of what we know. There is little outside of pure mathematics that you cannot learn simply by attempting to write about it.
For this reason I recommend writing as a staple for home schooling. Some of the samples I see seem very promising even when there are clear learning needs.
Communication can be a challenge. One of the things I'm learning is that parents don't know what to report about. A good rule of thumb is student output, but there's always more to it. Some of you will be getting a communication planner, intended to make it easier for you to know what to send you. To make these I produce a simplified curriculum (based mostly on single words and very short phrases like 'Ohm's Law') and suggest some ways of how you could demonstrate learning. Once you catch on, you'll know more ways to do this than I do. If you would like a communication planner you'll be my next priority. Please let me know if that describes you.
May God Richly Bless you and your family. May your children find favour in his sight.
October 21: Last day to submit samples of student's work.
September 21 to 26: In obedience to the 5th commandment, I am away, making an emergency trip to Saskatoon to rescue him from Bethany Manor. He's had enough coddling and wants to live on his own again, but he's too old to move out on his own.
November 11: First Portfolios due.