Sunday, January 31, 2016

High school math OnTheRoad

C18 uses Math-U-See for Algebra2, but when we go on a road trip, he takes a break from Steve Demme's videos and workbook, and instead uses his free Khan Academy account to watch videos and do online math exercises.

Our road trips are usually 2-4 weeks in length. Homeschool continues on the road, though most subjects, like math, happen differently.

With four kids in the van, every cubic inch of space counts. Our family is more comfortable along the ride if we minimize the stuff we bring, so even three math books and a DVD usually get left at home. His iPad and my wireless hot spot are already coming with, so C17 doesn't need any extra supplies for math. 

For about 45-60 minutes each day of roadschooling, usually on a boring stretch of highway, he can get in some math practice and pick up where he left off with Math-U-See when we return home.

Last Fall he was still wrapping up Algebra 1 when the school year began, so he needed a new plan to cram Geometry into three months. In order to be ready for the SAT on May 4, we agreed he must begin Algebra 2 the first of January. With no time to waste, he used Khan Academy to complete Geometry, and I only added two "math lab" sessions at the kitchen table each week.

Our most recent week-long road schooling session was in DC, and he spent most of the van ride each way and the little kids' nap time each day to watch Geometry videos and answer online math problems on Khan Academy.

For our next road trip, he'll simply take a Math-U-See break and schedule 45-60 minutes each day on the road to continue reviewing Algebra 1 and 2 skills online. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Planning for a new TOG unit (Year 4 Unit 3)

We are wrapping up week 18 and I'm still trying to carve out quiet blocks of time for planning. Each unit of Tapestry of Grace gets easier to prepare, now that we have completed Year 1 (Ancient Times), Year 2 (Middle Ages), Year 3 (the 1800's) and soon the first half of Year 4 (1900-today). 

I'll post more about how I plan a unit of TOG later, but for now, here's my favorite way to print the Teacher's Guide. Since I also use my iPad to view Teacher's Notes each week, I only print the "Threads" pages and Reading Assignments pages. I print two pages on each sheet of paper and staple each Week separately. In this photograph I'm just getting started, highlighting items and making notes (about ways to involve A5 and R2, field trip ideas, resources that can be added).  

Tapestry of Grace, self-described as an educational "buffet," can seem daunting, with thorough Teacher's Notes and assignment suggestions for all four learning levels. I'm glad to discover this curriculum as a digital edition, without those 4" binders I've seen other moms use! Printing just the "threads" and reading assignment pages, and viewing the rest online or on the iPad, makes planning a little easier for me.