Homeschool Co-ops, Historical Literature, Current Events, and More
From the Editor
Summer is upon us! As I write this, I am preparing for a 1500+ mile round trip to take my 16 year old to do a week long internship, visit my 93 year old grandmother, and detour through Georgia to do some family history research. When we return, I will be preparing to send my oldest away to college and planning out the junior year of high school for my 16 year old. I have a feeling that this next year is going to fly by just as quickly as the past year did. It hasn’t been that long since I believed that I would never have a moment to myself again, and now I’m wondering how often I’ll see my kids over the coming year. Time passes quickly…
Enjoy the newsletter!
Mary Ann Kelley
“Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.” Alice is targeted to high school but some middle school students will enjoy it. This post tells about some of the things that can be done with Alice, which is sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University.
Part of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, these literature resources list bibliographies of excellent books about American history for elementary and middle school students separated by 4 eras: colonial, revolutionary, 19th century, and 20th century. Also available is a download with suggestions of what to look for as you read a biography, how to determine an author’s point of view, and how to decide if a biography is an accurate account of a persons life.Â
CNN Student News is a ten-minute, commercial-free, daily news program designed for middle and high school classes that is produced by CNN. The award-winning show and its companion website are available free of charge throughout the school year. We used the show as a way to keep up with current events for high school this past year and will continue to do so next year. Transcripts and coordinating curriculum are available at the site if you wish to supplement with them, and you can subscribe to the podcast through their feed. The last episode for the 2013-2014 school year aired June 6, and the show will return in August for 2014-2015.
From NASA’s Photo of the Day site, this illustration with a slider gives perspective to the scale of the universe from molecules to galaxies. “What does the universe look like on small scales? On large scales? Humanity is discovering that the universe is a very different place on every proportion that has been explored. By moving the scroll bar across the bottom, you can explore a diversity of sizes, while clicking on different items will bring up descriptive information.”
Recent Blog Posts
What’s a Homeschool Co-op?
A homeschool co-op is a group of families who meet together and work cooperatively to achieve common goals. Co-ops can be organized around academics, social time, the arts, activities, crafts, service work, or projects — or some combination of these.
Activities and classes that are part of a co-op may be led by parents, or the parents may chip in to pay all or some of the teachers and activity leaders. There may be as few as three families in a small co-op or as many as several hundred children in the largest co-ops.
Co-ops may meet in homes, churches, libraries, or community centers. In the United States, homeschool co-ops commonly meet once a week from “after Labor Day” to “before Memorial Day” — but some meet twice monthly or once per month, year round. A co-op’s meeting frequency and yearly calendar is up to the co-op organizers.
More rarely, co-ops use what’s called a university model, meeting once, twice, or three days a week with a full slate of homework to completely cover typical academic credits. These co-ops and their assignments to be completed at home usually make up the bulk of a child’s education, and they work much the same way that accredited university model private schools work.
Other co-ops are more enrichment-oriented, with a focus on the arts, social time, or unique angles on traditional subjects…