Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Our Assignment Blogs~
I started these after realizing I really needed a place for my boys to go to get their weekly assignments. ( a kind of syllabus if you will) I was trying to encourage more independence instead of the boys always feeling as though they have to come to me to see what they need to do for the day. My goal has always been to strive for them to be independent learners and this has helped my high school child the very most.
I had gotten the idea after seeing my oldest son ( now graduated from college) use something like this for all his studies at his college he attended. I noticed it had lots of information he needed and was a place where his teachers could easily communicate with him for assignments, class changes and resources.
I decided to mimic this same idea and scale it down to meet a high school child's needs. What I didn't realize is how powerful this actually would be and how it actually now has more than what my oldest even had on his own school site! I showed this to my oldest and he couldn't get over it and absolutely felt this was perfect for the ready, and independent learner, yay!
So I went to work further, I created a closed blog. I added things on it like "past assignments" ( this takes the place of the "blog archives" everyone has on their own blogs so he can go back and look at last weeks assignments to check on something. I added a safer more fine tuned search engine for him to use, he just clicks on Sweet Search and up pops his search engine when looking for something. I also added a Dictionary, Thesaurus, Scribble Maps and many other reference sites as well as link lists for Math, Literature, Composition, Videos, Audios and much more.
I also embedded study tools from Study Stacks for studying flash cards online for pronouns and other things he is studying. A place he can go and find all that he basically needs for his school ( for the most part)
I am constantly adding to these, since I find many more things all the time for them. It has worked out very well. I will admit my youngest (the 12yo) does not really use this too much yet, but uses more the sites he has on them instead. As he gets older more independence will come. I am not in any rush for him at this point but it is there for him when he needs it, wants it and is ready.
You will notice that the boys blogs look very different that is because it is designs they themselves chose - I think it shows their personalities pretty clearly~ :)
Our assignments surround a block schedule, which consists of a five day rotation.( the days usually fall with the days of the week- Monday being Day 1 etc.) Days 1, 2 and 3 are Core Days which are: Language Arts and all it sub skills ( reading/literature, spelling, grammar/usage, vocabulary, writing/composition) and Math and a foreign language daily. Day 4 is our Science Day which is Science ALL DAY, along with Math and then Art/Music Study. Day 5 is History Day which is all day along with Math and again Art/Music Study.
This schedule has worked quite well for us and there are many advantages to working in this way. There is no rushing with subjects and on the Science and History Days we can really sink our teeth into experiments, projects, videos etc.. without feeling like we have to rush onto something else to check something off. The learning is much more comprehensive and complete.
I hope this answers a few more questions others have emailed me about. If not be sure and let me know and I can try to explain further about our Assignment Blogs and Organization.
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