Friday, December 30, 2011

Home Schooling: Alex Loves Math


Song:  Caribbean Blue

Artist:  Enya




Alex relaxing between study sessions with a cup of Hot Cocoa a few days ago.

This Periodic Table Mug was his favorite for years.


 His new favorite mug is his Math Mug.




We rarely give him sweets... so an occasional mug of 
Hot Cocoa is a special treat for him.


This Geometry Mug is on his wish list.

He gets a special pleasure from looking at math formulas.


We had initially skipped over Geometry after he finished Algebra I
so he could progress through Algebra II without a break as is commonly done.

He wants to go to the highest level of Algebra on Alcumus before fully switching 
to Geometry.  However, as his SATs are coming up...
we allowed him to study both at the same time.

He just doubles up on his studies in Math.

He enjoys Math so much anyway.

He still wishes to be a Math Professor one day.

He is learning so much from Alcumus (and from Thinkwell)
and to a much higher level than what is taught in normal courses.

He is advancing quickly.
He is now solving complex Geometry problems.

I can't express how much this particular web site has
really helped inflame Alex's passion for Math.

It is a component of - The Art Of Problem Solving.


It is called Alcumus and it has separate categories of Math...
and it allows competition among the many thousands of participants.

It has multi-levels of difficulty (1-25) and has a ranking system in both...
levels achieved and accuracy percentage ranking.

It is also free!

Alex loves finishing up the night with a session of Alcumus.

It relaxes him before bedtime.

Alex recently corresponded with a 10 year old boy (one year younger than Alex) 
who also loves Math.

This particular boy is moving up the ranks on Alcumus in Pre-Algebra.

His mother had learned about Alex from my wife's blog (in Japanese). 


He loves Alcumus and he had deduced my son's profile name...
and his mother commented on my wife's blog and her son sent 
an E-mail to Alex.

Alex had just answered him yesterday.

Alex seems to have an E-Pal to share his love of math with...
and he gets to practice his composition skills at the same time  :)

By the time he has another year under his belt...
he could be serious competition for Alex.

Alex loves competition.

Alcumus provides a way for children to compete in a very valuable subject.

It is one of the reasons Alex wants to do Alcumus even more.
He wants to spend several hours a day on it... everyday.

Alcumus is a great way for children to develop a passion for Math.

In case you missed the link above  :)





Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Home Schooling: Alex's Holiday Study Schedule



Song:  Throne Of Divinity

Group:  City Of The Fallen



Alex working hard with Alcumus
(from The Art Of Problem Solving).

He has been solving the most difficult level of Algebra problems recently (lvl 25).  

He is rated at a lvl 23 right now.



It takes many, many correct problem solves, at or above his level, to advance a level.
He is steadily moving up.

Although he sometimes misses a problem...
he learns what he had done wrong on his missed one...
and comes back stronger.

The most points he can usually earn on any one problem (lvl 25) is 125 points.

Anytime he misses a problem...
he is given a much lower lvl problem (10 - 15 points each)...
and he has to work his way back up by solving many of the lower point 
problems until he reaches the uppermost levels once again.


We are ordering an English Composition course for him in a few days.

In the meantime he is working on his Expository Writing skills 
on a special writing program.  This is his area of greatest weakness.  
We will be having him work on this area every day.

As he is on a holiday schedule right now...
he is only studying 6 or so hours a day since we wanted him
to take it easy for a couple of weeks after his Academy exam.

We are still in the middle of our curriculum change.

Over the next few weeks, we will be getting our courses on-line...
and our set goals per course per day arranged.  

As Alex is Home Schooled...
we have to provide a curriculum of set courses that he must complete.

We are having him study most of his courses from grade 8 through grade 12.

His math is advanced...and so we use Thinkwell and Alcumus.

We are thinking of enrolling him in an online High School...
as soon as we get his Expository Writing skills to a higher level.

Besides this mandatory curriculum...
Alex also must prepare for his College Entrance Exams in a few months...
and we must work extra hours everyday on all of his weak points as discovered
through his Academy entrance exams.

On Christmas day...
we gave him a fun way to study...




He had never seen this film...
so afterwards, I had asked him to give me a synopsis of it.

He actually did very well.

His summary was concise and all inclusive.

He also worked on Alcumus 
(he enjoys it as it is a competition among others on-line).

I have also been researching some Martial Arts studios for him to train at.  
In a few weeks I will be signing him up at one.

I will also reinitiate his music practice in a few weeks
(no more than 1/2 an hour a day).

We wish to prioritize his academic schedule...
and then fit in his extracurricular activities.

I know with his upgraded level of study that we will have to cut down 
on the number of hours per day spent on non academic study...
but a little each day still does wonders.

We must get him used to University study standards if he is to flourish
in the highly competitive world in which we hope to have him engage in...
in the near future.

Our next major hurdle is his College Entrance Exams in a few months.

He must score at a high level if he is to be allowed to even apply for the 
Academy for the following year.

I will be explaining our program to ready him in a few weeks.

Should we fail with his SATs...
then at the very least...
he would be set back another year.

We still aim for the Academy...
however, should that not be possible within the next couple of years...
one of our contingency plans would then involve him finishing up High School on-line...
and getting into University at a young age.

As of now...
we sit on the outside...
looking in.

The Davidson Academy is our ultimate goal...
the Throne of Divinity...
for which we must first complete the requisite steps.


We are to remain perpetually adaptable...
forever hopeful...
forever vigilant...
 and propelled by guided effort.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Aftermath Analysis - Strengths And Weaknesses


Song:  Dream Chasers

Group:  Future World Music


As I had promised...
an after action report.

I shall only give this in general terms as I must honor 
the Davidson Academy's spirit of their examination process.

Alex was very strong in the Math portion.

However, as he is now a sixth grader...
we must prepare him for his College Entrance Exams in a few months.

The Davidson Academy requires a very high score in the SATs
for prospective students who will be in the 7th grade by the time the next
round of testing initiates late next year.

We must ensure Alex keeps up on his Math...
we will keep having him review his Algebra I and II
while we have him advance in Geometry and into Calculus.

We don't have much worry with Alex's Quantitative Reasoning capabilities...
Alex excels in this area.

The area which the Davidson Academy exam had shown Alex's 
area of weakness was in his Qualitative Reasoning.

In general...
he must be able to infer meanings...
whether expressed through direct or indirect implications...
 by its inclusion or by its exclusion.

He must master the hows and whys...
the base rationales behind the facts.


We had just started working with Alex on his Expository Writing
two weeks prior to his exam as we were given a general outline of
the exam expectations at that time.

In retrospect...we should have been working with him on this from long ago.

We were allowing him to work on some Persuasive and Creative Writing...
but we had not worked with him on his Expository Writing skills...
and we especially had not worked with him extensively on the
fluid reasoning necessary to have something to write about
in the first place.

However, what Alex needs most of all is... critical reading, thinking, writing...
and the fluid reasoning to fully dissect meaning and inferences as applied
to discourse on the text.

As gotten from a public Academy document:

Critical Reading, Critical Thinking and Academic Discussion

Interpret and discuss readings, avoiding invalid inferences...
redundancies, and statements of the obvious.

Build, sustain, and support controlling ideas that are arguable based
upon the logic of the text.

Demonstrate abstract thinking ability in independent responses to text.

Demonstrate ability to apply abstract reasoning to texts after instruction
including discussion.

My wife is researching short stories for him to analyze and report on.


In short...
we must get him highly skilled at English Composition.


His particular area of weakness was his effective usage of language
in Academic Discussions.

In short...
his ability to utilize a supportive or argumentative stance
in response to the presented text or discussion.

I'll be working on his analytical oral argumentative skills through formal debate.

I shall also work much more with his oral and written presentations of stories read...
a synopsis...
an actual analysis...
and a predictive analysis 
(possible outcomes with situational changes)...
as well as the hows and whys of human behavior...
the real reasons for the actions or inactions of the characters...
even that of the author.

One last area of weakness that Alex had demonstrated at the exam...
one which they observe closely throughout the day...
the ability to operate independently and with a high degree of receptivity
to his instructors.

His great weakness was his...
 inability to not get distracted from his tasks...
his level of engagement with his environment and with others around him
(ask for help if needed / engage in discussions)...
and to do it autonomously.

I, in no way, disagree with the expectations in this area.

Alex being on the Autistic Spectrum is no excuse to not have to meet
all standards as applied to everyone else.

Alex must learn to adapt to the world.

Our goal is for him is not to merely meet expectations.

Our goal for him is to exceed expectations...
in all aspects.

Sometime in the future...
when our lesson plan solidifies...
I will layout his programs and exercises in detail.

We are not mere dreamers...
someone with a goal without the drive or plan
to actually tread the necessary path.


We have a dream...
we are always ready to modify and to adapt...
we know the path necessary to reach our goal...
we shall steadily tread the path...
undeterred...
until our dream is fulfilled.

We are...
Dream Chasers.









A Clear Night - A New Beginning


Song:  A New Beginning

Group:  Future World Music


We sought out a neighborhood in Reno that had especially good 
Christmas light displays.





This particular house had 35,000 lights co-ordinated
by computer to a variety of music.

For video samples of the above house:


We stayed and watched the light and music show for quite a while.






A beautiful night out with my family.

Crisp clean air leads to...
 a clear head...
and a healed heart.


Soul cleansing completed.

A new beginning initiated.


My wife and I are looking at Alex's strengths and deficits as demonstrated by 
the results of his academy exam.

My wife is researching possible new avenues of teaching resources
and we are reformulating our lesson plans.

Now we have a greater idea of what is needed...
we now know which areas will demand greater focus.

In my next article, I shall go over the areas needing more attention...
and how we intend to achieve greater results through our modified lesson plans.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Dragon Lives - Alex Has Fallen


Song:  Tears Of Remorse

Artist:  Trevor Crookston


We just learned this morning that Alex will not be accepted to
the Davidson Academy next year.

He will have to take his SAT (College Entrance Exam)
and he will have to score very high to even be considered for next year's testing.

We will have to also work on all of his deficient areas...
areas I shall illuminate in general...
but not in specifics.

I know that there are many who wish to know the exact
areas tested for in the exam.

Please understand...
the implied trust between prospective parents
and the Davidson Academy is sacrosanct.

To reveal the exam process in detail would breach that sacred trust
and would, in part, nullify their efforts to truly gauge the children's
strengths and weaknesses.

The Davidson Academy is a great institution...
made great because of their great standards.

As promised, I may tell of general areas of Alex's weaknesses...
and most importantly, our plans to prepare Alex to once again...
challenge the Dragon in a year's time.

Also, as promised...
I shall offer no excuses...
just the identification of the areas of failure
and the general plans to correct them to ensure
greater results for the future.

Our time shall be one of...
 analysis...
planning...
adaptation...
follow through.

Alex is handling it well...as always.
He has always tried to put his brave face forward.

He knows that we are in no way disappointed in him...
however, he was so looking forward to going to the Academy next year.

We shall be going out to view some Christmas lights...
and to put life back into perspective.

The battle is done for now...
we are back in camp...
it is time to reflect...
to heal our wounds.

Tomorrow will not allow for sorrow...
but on this night...
I shall shed tears of remorse.

You see...
Alex's areas of weakness was my area of responsibility.

He had failed in his Critical, and Fluid Reasoning...
his Organizational Skills and his ability to shift from
detail orientation to global thinking.


Alex hadn't failed...
my wife hadn't failed...
I had failed my son.


I shall not leave you on a low note...
we at least have a schematic of areas tested and weaknesses discovered.

Even in failure...
we shall fall with weapon in hand...
facing the enemy...
a battle cry in our hearts.

We allow ourselves one night to soothe our souls by the campfire...
to stare at the stars...to gather as a family around our wounded.

This will serve to renew...
 our sense of purpose...
our sense of direction...
our depleted energy...
for on the morrow...
we march...
forever forward...
forever onward.

I shall detail our plans for correction and adaptation soon.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Davidson Academy Examination Day - The Intellectual Test Of Alex's Life



Song:  Guardians At The Gate

Group:  Audiomachine




A little after 0700 hrs. yesterday - Alex at the Davidson Academy.

He is relaxing for a few minutes in the car before the start of testing.





We are in the parent's question and orientation room just prior to the 
the testing.  We waited here for about 15 minutes until they called all
of the children to the exam room.

I was so proud of Alex.

This is to be his greatest battle...
yet, he seemed very calm.

This would be an 8 hour session of very advanced...
 Math, Science, English, and Critical Reasoning skills as demonstrated
through essay and verbal format.

Each subject is a guardian into the gates of the Academy.

All who enter must slay each guardian without fail...
before reaching the final Dragon...
the Psychological and Critical Reasoning (fluid reasoning) oral interview.

Of all the prospective Academy students who make it past the Final Guardian
(sounds like Final Fantasy X doesn't it?   :)  ...
only the very top performers will be accepted.



After Alex had gone into the exam room with all of this day's applicants
(multi testing days as there are many applicants)...
we had gone on a walk around the campus of the University.


We went back home and awaited the Academy's phone call to pick up Alex.

They said the testing concluded at 4:00 P.M. ...
although we could possibly be called at 3:30 or so as
sometimes the prospective students finish their exam early.

We received a call at 3:00 P.M. ...
OK...I was stunned...
What was the meaning of this?

The Academy representative said Alex had finished early and was ready
to be picked up.

On the way there, my wife and I were filling the van with all sorts of worried
speculations about why he had finished so early...
had he failed to defeat an earlier guardian and was asked to leave?

If so, was it the final essay that had stumped him?

Had he failed to defeat the final dragon?
 (oral fluid reasoning - our main worry over the past two weeks)

What was going on?

We arrived at the Academy.

I took in a deep breath of the chilled air...
steeled my will...
walked toward the entrance...
pulled at the mighty oaken and iron clad gates.

They slowly opened to reveal a great hall filled with
fallen warriors...
their armor scorched...
their lances broken...
their shields held wearily at their sides.

I slowly gazed from one end of the hall to the next...
my heart stilled by the sight of Alex, his back to us.

He was surrounded by three or four other children.

Was he being given comfort by the compassionate?

Would he turn slowly toward us with a forlorn gaze...
a tear streaked face?

We called out his name...
he turned...
raised his hand in an unexpectedly vigorous fashion and...

waved and smiled!


The other children called out to Alex and said they hoped to see him
at the start of the new school year next year.

The other children were some of the veterans of the Academy...
they were asking him how he had done on his exam and were wishing him well.

The formerly fallen warriors of my mind were just more of the veteran academy
students on a break between classes.

No longer were they looking defeated...
the great hall turned back into a bright tiled entry way...
the oppressive great oaken and iron clad doors
had dissolved from my vision and had reverted into the glass and aluminum
automatic doors of the Academy.



Alex said he thought he had done well.

He wasn't worried...he seemed happy.

He said he was really excited at the thought of possibly becoming a student
here at the Davidson Academy.

We, of course, attempted to question him on what the testing
had consisted of, as we only had a basic outline of the categories.

All the way home in the van...
my wife and I had asked him for specifics.

He replied in a typical fashion.
He just said nonchalantly...
that he doesn't remember.

OK...now...
there is no way I am going to be stressed over the next 2-3 weeks
until the results come out because a complete lack of details.

I then probed a little more.

I had asked him about his math (his forte)...he said he did well.
He said he didn't think that he had any problem with the Algebra...
however, he said that although he could answer some of the pre-Calculus questions...
that is where he finally got stumped.

This is ok...
he has never been formally taught Calculus.
He has only had some exposure to it.

I had asked him about the Science Exam.
I asked him to give me a sample question.

He said he remembers a problem involving two objects of differing
mass in a body of water.

Well...this, of course, could be a specific gravity problem if they were measuring
them separately and trying to determine the nature of the objects...
a predictive water displacement problem...
it could be setting the stage for a buoyancy problem...
I needed more specifics!

He said that he had given a specific answer and I thought...
Oh No...unless the weights were known and compared to the amount of water...
it wasn't a specific gravity problem...
then he said...
that maybe it wasn't how the problem was structured...that he didn't really remember....
Arrghhh!

I stopped asking him questions as his answers raised more questions
than they had answered.

I then realized that not only was I in the presence of an
Intellectual Knight coming fresh off the battlefield
after engaging in combat with the largest dragon in the land...
I realized that he had no worries...he had no regrets.

So... who am I to worry?

Alex had done his best...
what comes.. will come...
 regardless of our worrying.


My not knowing the details of the Davidson Academy examination
can only lead me to speculate as to what had happened.

OK...here goes...


Alex had...
aforetime... honed his battle skills...
defeated the guardians of the gate...one by one...
sought out and tracked the dragon to its lair...
spied the great beast filling his lungs
in preparation to deliver his great scorching breath of fire...
released the reigns of his great war horse...
lifted his shield, raised himself off his saddle...
leaned forward as he gave a great kick...
and launched forward.

He had merged with his warhorse into a single battle unit...
charging unwaveringly...
 a heart steeled by courage...
his weapons hardened by his unrelenting study habits.

Nearing the great billowing chest of the dragon...
Alex lowered his great lance...
Extinctor Draconis
 (Dragon Slayer)...
aligning it with the beast's heart.

Now in full gallop...
becoming one with his lance...
his war horse...
his sacred mission...
Alex raised his visor as he knew he had to
have an unobstructed view of his target...
the heart of the Dragon.

He watched the muscular contraction of the Dragon's chest
as it prepared to unleash the great conflagration
that would have consumed his very bones.

Knowing that in battle...
to fear is to hesitate...
and to hesitate is to die...
Alex... spurred his mount one final time.

His war horse, ever in synch with his rider...
lowered his head momentarily before snapping it upwards...
allowing him to gather the great power of his sinews
to release in a monumentous surge of power...
and launched them head long into the
heavily armored scaled chest of the Dragon.


Alex...

courageous of heart...
steadfast in delivery...
his lance firmly buttressed against his armor...
the point lowered to form an Isosceles Triangle of mass...
allowing the inertia of the battle unit to converge upon a single point...
the point of Extinctor Draconis...

watched, as if in slow motion, as his lance disappeared into the Dragon's chest.


The combined mass of Alex and his mount traveling at full gallop
had sent the Dragon reeling backwards and off a cliff into a black maw.

Had Alex not struck true...
had his lance not pierced the Dragon's heart...
it will merely lick its wounds...
make a full recovery...
and Alex will have to return in one year's time
to once again...
attempt to slay the Dragon.

If that turns out to be the case...
we, as his parents...
will fashion stronger weapons...
and have him study new battle techniques.

We must wait for 2 - 3 weeks to find out if the Dragon had survived.




Now...

I can't swear to the preceding events depicted... as I can only 
let my imagination fill in for the absence of specific information...

so...

that is, more or less, how I think the examination went  :)







Friday, December 16, 2011

Alex On The Eve Of Battle: Final Preparation And Polish


Song:  Serenata Immortale

Group:  Immediate Music





The past two weeks has been a very hectic time for Alex and his mother.

My part was limited to some oral presentation practice and some 
practice with critical reasoning in the synopsizing and analyzing of stories.  

Almost all of everything else, my wife had overseen.  

Alex studied without complaint.

As the focus was on Davidson Academy testing prep...
we had done nothing but that.

No exercise...music...any other subjects.

We had to limit him to 10 or so hours a day of formal study.
We didn't wish to burn him out. 




He is practicing his persuasive writing in the below pictures.
Part of his preparation was his expository and persuasive writing skills.





We were careful to allot some free time also.
He liked to relax on the sofa and free read
or play some of his video games.






He is enjoying this book at the moment.
It shows some of the fallacies committed by some... using bad science.
It is his favorite book right now.





He also enjoys reviewing an illustrated math dictionary.


There is this particular wild rabbit that keeps visiting our backyard in the morning hours.

Alex enjoys watching him eat and hop around.


We were careful to not push Alex beyond the limits of tolerance...
either in intensity or in the quantity of studying.

It was more of his mother merely guiding Alex in his studies...
and limiting him from pushing himself too far.

At the conclusion of this...
his last night of preparation...
I had gone lightly over his oral presentation skills...
and I had summed up the purpose of his prep time.

I had told him that the battle is won...
not on the battlefield...
but in all the time before it...
in preparation.

He understood.

I told him of how proud we were of his diligence in his studies.

I told him that should he not achieve his goal this time...
that it would not be his fault...
for he had put in his due effort.

It would be ours for not having adequately prepared him.

As we don't know exactly what the testing entails...
this will be our learning experience...
and our goal would be to fully prepare him for the following year's testing...
should he fall in battle.

He knows that we are not going to give up...
but that we would merely adapt and conquer at a later time.

Of course...
this may be thought of as psychological buffering.

Yes...however, it is also true.

What he is striving for is such a high goal...
just him having come this far is such a great achievement.

In a matter of hours...
Alex will be engaging in the intellectual battle of his life.

He has been prepared intellectually as well as psychologically.

It will be another two weeks or so before the results of the examination
will be announced.

Should he make it...
we will, of course, be ecstatic.

Should he not...
we will be a little disappointed...
but in ourselves as parents...
certainly not in Alex.

I will also offer no excuses...
but a listing of our failures...
and a new battle plan for the future.

Forever with eyes open and looking beyond the horizon...
Forever driving forth with a burning passion for learning and for life...
Forever striving...never giving in...never giving up
until all possibilities have been exhausted...
and then re-examining the options...
adapting...conquering once again.


There is no other way to truly live...
it is...
The Immortal Serenade.




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Concept 6 Of 6 - The Basic Philosophy Of Alex's Home Schooling



Song:  Life Goes On

Group:  Future World Music


Our 6th...and last major tenet:

A DAILY STUDY HABIT



Great inherent intelligence allows a child to learn more quickly...
but not necessarily learn more...
or to a greater depth.

A child of lesser inherent intelligence often times surpasses the 
naturally gifted student because of greater study habits...
leading to greater acquired and applied intelligence.

Studying allows the child to accumulate information...
to learn more efficient and effective ways of thinking...
 to have a great store of knowledge from which to draw...
to greatly increase his Acquired Intelligence through his greatly expanded
 knowledge base of concepts, and of the variables to consider 
in the building of his internal logic tree...
the schematic of the mind on which he shall add 
the appropriately placed branches and leaves as his tree grows.

Through this tree...
he will be able to focus on the salient points of new information.
He will be able to see the interconnections of concepts
allowing him to see the correct cause and effect scenarios in his mind
so necessary in rapidly and accurately assessing problems...
developing solutions...
and predicting the outcomes of unfolding situations.


To be able to work towards a goal, uninterrupted, leads to great rewards...
 both, direct immediate and long term ones...
as well as ancillary ones.

That which you do on a daily basis out of habit...
no longer takes effort...
no longer makes you feel uncomfortable.
To not do it daily would make you feel uncomfortable.


Learning becomes effortless as you no longer experience
frustration due to mental backsliding.

When you see steady progress through a daily habit...
it starts to take on a life of its own...
a happiness that comes just from seeing progress...
a feeling of a deep and great satisfaction in not only being able to mold yourself...
but your future.

Each day brings new progress...
and so, new happiness.


The most efficient and effective way of behavior modification...
or molding...is to start it from the beginning...
 to continue without pause...
and to have positive reinforcers throughout.


Alex has always studied every day (from age 3)...
every weekday - usually 6 - 8 hours...
every weekend - usually 4 - 5 hours a day...
and during summer break...everyday was a weekend schedule - 4 - 5 hours a day
(an additional 3 - 4 hours of reading, physical training and music daily).

He gets up and eats...
he then goes to the computer to start his studies.

We usually incorporate numerous breaks throughout the day...
putting in his physical training, music, and reading at either strategic...
or highly adaptable points, according to Alex's desires.

Whenever possible, we gave Alex control over what time he would cover
a particular subject to study on that particular day...
however...each subject would be covered on a daily basis.

When a subject is studied on a daily basis...
the chunks of information may be taken in smaller portions...
easier to bite, chew, and digest.


A daily study routine...
just as a daily exercise routine...
should be initiated well within the bounds of tolerance.

Too much at the beginning causes mental resistance due to discomfort.

The key is a tolerable amount each day.

With time...
tolerance is increased.

With increased tolerance...
progress is increased.

With increased progress...
enjoyment and satisfaction is increased.

With increased enjoyment and satisfaction...
a deep love of learning is instilled.

When a deep love of learning is instilled...
it becomes an insatiable inner drive to learn...
to progress...
to explore...
to master ones world.



A smart man knows how to work hard toward
his goals and how to eventually achieve them.
He knows how to suffer pain for great rewards later.

The smart man will die without regrets 
as he will have accomplished his goals.


A wise man knows how to make himself love
the path to the achievement of his goals...
so the chase is just as enjoyable as the acquisition.

The wise man will die well because he will have lived well...
 he will have enjoyed every moment of life... instead of just the end.
                     
                                                                                   - Shiroi Tora







Monday, December 12, 2011

Concept 5 Of 6 - The Basic Philosophy Of Alex's Home Schooling


Song:  Eternal Love

Group:  Future World Music


Our fifth major tenet:

CONSTANT AND UNLIMITED EXPLORATION



The use of positive stimuli greatly affects both...
the Heart and Soul (emotions)...
and... the Intellect.

By providing an enriched atmosphere of new positive stimuli for your child...
you are stimulating his drive to explore.

By stimulating his drive to explore...
you are setting the stage for his love of learning.

A child who loves to learn...
seeks out new experiences with a lustful heart and a keen eye.
He observes, categorizes, conceptualizes and learns to apply
because it becomes an inner drive.

A developed inner drive to learn keeps the heart yearning for more...
to wish to conquer new challenges.

The wish to conquer new challenges provides the drive to repeat
the actions necessary to master them.

By providing an enriched atmosphere for your child to explore...
you are also providing the stimuli to effect changes in the brain.

You are preventing the pruning of under stimulated neuro-pathways...
and you are strengthening and increasing the connections to stimulated ones.

Below are some examples of how we have enriched 
Alex's environment throughout his life:




I know I steadily harp on certain points.
I do it only because of the great importance of them
on the development of humans...especially children.

By opening new avenues of exploration for your child, you are...
igniting the fires of passion...
engendering the will to drive forth...
developing the lust for for ever larger and newer horizons.

By feeding the child a steady diet filled with positive stimuli...
 you are stimulating the fundamental drive to constantly explore and to learn.

By stimulating his curiosity, he will see the world as one big adventure.
He will become the adventurer...
the great discoverer...
the great explorer.

He will constantly seek to sail his ship to distant lands...
to wish to discover what lies beyond the horizon.

He will develop an...
Eternal Love...
for learning...
and for life.



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Concept 4 Of 6 - The Basic Philosophy Of Alex's Home Schooling


Song:  Voyage To Atlantis

Group:  Future World Music



Our forth major tenet:

STRONG CORE COURSES WITH VARIOUS SUPPLEMENTARY EXERCISES



For Alex's educational mainstay as of earlier this year
(he has finished most of what Plato had to give)...
and of his various supplementary programs:









These are just some of the courses we have Alex study.

He also does a lot of supplementary workbooks and reading...
Classic Literature, Subject Oriented and Leisure Reading.


We had found the Plato Learning System to have been one of the best
for core learning on every subject except math.

Although its math program was good...
Alex responded better to Thinkwell's math program.

-------------------

Just as the pairing of a strong core course with the various supplemental courses
is important...
the same is true for us...
his parents.

My wife is the strong central academic teacher...
the chief researcher into the best academic learning programs...
the chief guide and instructor of his studies.

I am the supplemental instructor.


My wife is highly intelligent...
academically driven...
an excellent teacher.

I, through basic Philosophical and Psychological concepts...
teach him the practical application of his knowledge to life.


My chief goal in his supplemental instruction is to teach him 
how to see from the perspective of the whole, and, for the long term...
to be able to adapt to new and ever changing variables...
to seek out and challenge life to fully experience it.

Although there is some overlap, at times, in our teaching...
there is no conflict.

That which is best for Alex...
is that which we do.

Together... 
we are a team...
specialized in areas of study...
undivided in purpose...
unified in action.

-----------------

Always remember that it is not about...
intent...
effort expended...
emotions.

The litmus test lies in the results.

Research...
Experiment...
Observe.

Always be ready to adapt to achieve a better result.

This is to become Alex's...
Voyage To Atlantis.


Through the combined studies of a strong core curriculum...
 through relevant supplementary courses...
and through a unified parental support system and our steady guidance...
his dream city and civilization...
his Atlantis...
 won't be a myth...
but a foregone conclusion.




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