Saturday, May 16, 2009

Homeschool Info & Groups

I was just reading a lot of very useful information about homeschooling for different states. I read about homeschooling in Alabama which it turns out, is not officially sanctioned unless the parents have a teaching degree. Homeschoolers need to join "cover" schools, essentially private schools set up to provide a framework for homeschoolers. In contrast, in Maryland, homeschoolers can declare that they are homeschooling and the state actually helps them by sending out a counselor to help them twice annually.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Homeschooling in Maryland

I'm from Maryland so it is with great interest that I've been reading the info on homeschooling in Maryland. The T4L state rep says that this is how she follows the rules for homeschooling in Maryland:

We follow what MD requires of us, no more and no less. In the state of Maryland we are required to meet with the board of education twice during the school year for a review. We provide documentation on what our children are being taught outside of the public school system. They like to see that we have samples of what our son is learning, mostly in the areas of English, health, math, science, and social studies. Art, music, physical education, and other activities that we do are extras and at our discretion. We keep all that the state needs in a binder and take that to the review. However, there are several umbrella homeschool groups that one can join to avoid meeting with the school board. We prefer to meet with the school board.

She's available to answer any Maryland homeschool questions.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Defending digital media for science study!

I read a little of Dan Meyer's blog about the nlos cannon challenge. He's an educator who writes a good blog. He had one post defending digital media as worthwhile and saying how inefficient it would be if the kids actually had to tinker.

Heresy, but I agree. I commented:

I'm working on a science curriculum K-8 which is ....digital. While I'll have lots of experiments that could be performed in the real world and there will be lots of explanations that will evoke real world prior knowledge, the program will not be a blend.
The program will be built so that the students "discover" knowledge and the scientific process through software, simulation, data, and video. No textbook, only supplementary experiments. More heretical than that, the curriculum will allow for teacher-led teaching. It will allow for online group discussion. But, at it's core, it'll be student-paced all digital learning.
Of course, much of the scientific establishment explains to me that this is a bad idea. It is suboptimal. It's WRONG.
I'm not much for explaining why but I think that I can make a curriculum that will do a great deal of good in teaching science and building enthusiasm for it, but since I come out of a decade of developing video games (I've gone platinum as a producer), I think I have a few insights into engaging kids in an interactive process of discovery.
So I enjoyed your post.
John
founder of SpellingCity.com, Time4Learning.com, Time4Writing.com(PS - don't get too excited. this is a self-funded activity. It'll take years!)

Did I mention that I'd probably launch it first as a homeschool curriculum?



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