Thursday, August 23, 2007

Getting excited about school!

I'm getting excited about starting the new school year. I'm feeling rather rested today, so that undoubtedly helps. ;) However, plans are just coming into place nicely, I LOVE that I have specifics laid out for the year so that I don't have to think and decide--it's already there if needed. I also love that there's nothing requiring me to follow the plans exactly--if, when studying North America, they get really caught up in the Spanish and Aztec and it takes longer, so be it! We don't have to do it all. We don't have to rush to get it all done.

Related to excited about the new school year, I was looking at the 13yo's TLE (The Learning Equation) for Math 8 and it looks really good. He may need supplementation here and there or certain lessons BEFORE being able to do some of it since he really hasn't completed his gr. 7 math, but I think the lesson format will be great for him. He's supposed to be getting a laptop for school stuff, which means he can have TLE loaded into his laptop and can sit wherever he wishes to do the lessons. MathPower is an excellent program, but in terms of helping him become more independent, I think TLE will be great. What's so great about it? The visuals, the information read out loud to him, activities where you click on and move numbers and words to the correct spots--if it's not correct, it won't stick, giving you immediate feedback and another change to get it right--and when you have to type numbers in, if it's wrong, it'll say "Try again"; get it wrong again, it gives you a clue; get it wrong again, it'll tell you what the answer is. Basically, it's a bit like playing a video game--if you get things wrong, you've got other chances. This doesn't come across the same on paper as you don't get the immediate feedback.

One thing I have to be SUPER specific about with him and will need to monitor is that he actually pays attention to the lessons and sets about learning and understanding the information, NOT just getting through the lesson! There are self-checks at the end of lessons which do NOT give immediate feedback but tell you afterwards, so I guess it'll show whether he's learning the information or just 'getting the work done'.

I haven't looked yet at TLE for the 16yo, although we have it here. I'm not sure if she'll prefer that or to just stick with the textbook.

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