Personal Reflections -2017 – 10 – What part do field trips and libraries play in homeschooling?

library-conservatory

If you ask the students, I would venture to say that field trips played a big part in their learning. Over the years we often visited the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum and then we would go across the street to see the Botanical Conservatory. The Karpeles had rotating exhibits on many topics – always interesting and sometimes they fit right in with what we were studying. Then a stop to see exotic plants at the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Wright’s Park in Tacoma topped off the day.

While our students needed to visit the public library for much of their research we did provide them with a lending library that grew over the years. When we moved to Oklahoma, much of our library found a new home in Arrow Academic Center, another Academy Northwest learning center in Bothell.

Some of our activities included a group of students and other included one-on-one studies.

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Using Assessments to Unlock Learning Potential

Working hard to assess individuals….now scheduling from August and beyond, 2017!

Gender and exploration (2)

At this time of the year home educators begin to think about annual assessments. Some state laws (including Washington’s) set that as a requirement to access a “second opinion” regarding your children’s academic progress. Keep in mind that this annual assessment does not look at other factors that you believe to be important.  (See www.AllAboutLearningPress.com for their graphic: Important things that tests can’t measure…)

Unlocking Learning Potential offers a number of options for getting

that “second opinion” via video conferencing:

1. Non-Test Assessment (one of the options given in the Washington State law, but helpful for any parent).  Read about this assessment.
2. Brain Training Assessment – some parents choose this assessment if a child has learning challenges. Using the neurodevelopmenal approach our learning specialist assesses the child and then designs an Individualized Neurodevelopmental Plan which the parent may do at home. Additionally, they may choose to add ongoing support with our Brain Trainer.  If a parent is not sure, they can choose the non-test assessment and then within a month may do an upgrade at a discount.
3. NEW – online assessments available as of February 1, 2017 – Structure of Intellect Assessment. Following the Assessment a Training Module(paper) with CD is compiled for the student. This would be an excellent follow on to the Brain Training Assessment.  

Schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation via Video Conferencing
to help you decide which option is best for you.
maggie@centerforneurodevelopment.com
Use code: MC1-2017

Introducing: Structure of Intellect

Background and History of Structure of Intellect

  • Dr. J. P. Guilford – During WWII given the task of determining why 35% of Air Corp pilot training candidates who were healthy and had an IQ of 120 or more were washing out.
  • Guilford used a set of job descriptions for pilots, navigators and bombardiers to construct a test.
  • Then he compared the scores of successful trainees with unsuccessful trainees. He kept those test items that were consistent with the outcome and threw out the rest. This new test was a better predictor of success.
  • The attrition rate dropped below 10%.
  • Dr. Mary Meeker and Dr. Robert Meeker have taken this “work place” model and developed an educational SOI.
Structure of Intellect Model –a different way to look at and measure intelligence.

Combination of Three Main Areas = 24 Learning Abilities
I.  Three Hemispheric (Dimensions) Learning Styles – Right, Left and Mid- sides of the brain.
A. Figural – concrete; can touch, see, and hear directly. (right)
B.  Symbolic – abstract; shorthand for concrete. (mid hemisphere)
C.   SeMantic —  concepts and ideas. (left)
II. 5 Ways of Thinking – (ReCognition, Memory, Evaluation, Convergent and Divergent Production)
III. 6 Units of Information (Units, Classes, Relations, Systems, Transformations, Implications)

Each ability takes one of each of the three main areas – using  a letter from each – get a subtest and an ability – MFU.

How does this differ from achievement tests?
  • Achievement tests – lack of success without a cause.
  • In medicine: Taking a temperature fever, but without a cause.
  • “A diagnostic-type test (blood panel) leads to a treatment plan (in medicine).”The SOI test is like a blood panel. Measures:
  • 24 abilities that relate to basic learning.
  • Analyzed and interpreted in light of the learning problems … leads to a treatment plan.”
  • SOI uses Training Modules (paper & / or CD).
  • p. 37 Inservice Manual
  • www.soisystems.com

Personal Reflections – 2017 – 9 – What happens when Monet, Copernicus, Newton, Bunyan, Boyle and Mozart to come to visit?

copernicus-1998

Our students learned about different historical figures through reading biographies.  Also, they gained public speaking / acting skills. You probably notice that we had a broad range of ages, 7th – 12th, in our learning center during those years. It is great to know that biographies are available at different reading levels so each student could work on his own level and participate with the class.  Some students could have a low reading level, but still presented well in class.

Personal Reflections 2017 – 8 – What about graduation?

graduation-1998

Yes, homeschoolers graduate.  In Washington, many do it with the Washington Homeschool Organization or their coops or churches. Family Academy has been in existence since 1981 and for those early years our graduates graduated with WHO.  In 1996 our group had grown enough to have our own graduation ceremony. Master Enterprises Learning Center began in 1994. By 1998 we had graduates so we participated in the Family Academy graduation ceremony. As our affiliate school, Academy Northwest, developed we went through the grueling accreditation process and continue to work to maintain that accreditation.  This allows our graduates to enter college with an accredited transcript and diploma with private school status.  We haven’t lost the “Family” part because the parents remain the primary teachers of their children. Our Teacher Consultants come alongside the parents to help them and we teach some classes to the students in part to fulfill the contact time required by the homeschool law of our home state, Washington    In recent years we have added online / distance learning through Family Academy Online which allows us to work with students from all over following any applicable laws from their states.

Personal Reflections 2017 – 7 -How did we adjust as our learning center grew?

melc-and-office

After a year of using our remodeled garage as our learning center, Master Enterprises Learning Center moved into the living / dining room area.  Ronnie’s office moved into a “bedroom”.

Except for two short times in the future that is where the students met for classes.  Early on the remodeled garage was our living room, but after some time we actually lost our living room. That room was our bedroom for a while and finally Ronnie’s office. My office eventually moved into the largest “bedroom” as well, so you can see we were trying to make the most of the space we had.

After the first few years, our learning center grew to about 20 students. Some may have been taking just one class, such as Spanish or they may have been full time Academy Northwest students.

Personal Reflections – 2017 – 6 – How do students learn about the past?

One way students learn about the past is visiting museums – some within five miles from their learning center and some fifty miles away. Interactive museums like the Steilacoom Tribal Museum in Steilacoom, Washington and Chehalis Museum in Chehalis, Washington formed a part of our students’ study of Pacific Northwest History which is a required course in Washington State.

We enjoyed taking our students to these places in those early days as well as the final days as a site-based learning center in Washington.  Many memories that we cherish!

steilacoom-and-chehalis-musuems

 

Personal Reflections – 2017 – 5 What can a small learning center do?

history-day-and-toastmasters

From experience we know that small learning centers can do many things that larger learning centers and schools can do. One thing we did somewhere along the line was a learning center “History Day” as part of our history studies. Our administrator, Candice Childs, came to judge the entries.  We had much to learn but we had made the first step.

On another occasion, we had a Toastmaster member come to teach us the art of speaking. Even this Teacher Consultant participated as a student. Sadly, this precious lady planned to retire so we could not get her to come for future students.

Such valuable experiences our students accessed!

Personal Reflections 2017 -4 – Do we sorrow as others do?

heart

Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

No, we do not sorrow as others do when a believer dies; our sorrowing is for ourselves, not for them.

On December 27, 2016 I video conferenced with two of my long time Family Academy colleagues.  We were brainstorming of how to continue to build Family Academy and Family Academy Online. As usual, these two men, my seniors by less than 10 years, were not content to go into retirement as many do at their age.

On Saturday evening, January 7, 2017 I received a text from another longtime colleague from Family Academy – John’s wife, Barbara. John had had a heart attack early that morning and was in the presence of his Lord.  I am praying for the Laxdal family as they adjust to their new normal and rest in their Lord for comfort that only He can give.

During my time with ANW/FA a number of my colleagues from Academy Northwest/Family Academy have either died or lost their spouse. That will continue until one day it will be my turn to leave this earth behind.  I do pray for these dear brothers and sisters who have been left behind and I pray that I will be found faithful when it is my turn.

Personal Reflections 2017 – 3 – In what ways do parents participate in the education of their children?

camping-and-state-capital

As our group began to grow we branched out with more activities. One memorable trip was to Olympia to see the State Capital, meeting with the late Michael Carrell then State Representative and later State Senator. Also, pictured is former State Representative, Gigi Talcott.  Further, we went camping with Claire.  Claire, a mom of one of our students, contributed greatly to our science program taking over much of the Biology lab work with the students. If I started listing all of the contributions of all of the parents, I would surely forget many.  One father of two students actually enclosed our one car garage so that it could be our “learning center” for about a year.  We outgrew it quickly. For a while it was our living room, for a while our bedroom and finally it was Ronnie’s office. At this time Family Academy and its affiliate school comprised one organization. Often we have said that the students preferred the Academy Northwest name because it represented the official private school status. At the same time the parents preferred the name Family Academy because the parents remain the primary teachers while the Teacher Consultants come along side to provide support for the students and their parents.

Deuteronomy 6:6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 

Follow this blog for the rest of the story.

Personal Reflections 2017 – 2 How does time fly so quickly?

During my last year at Heritage Christian School, I began my first year with Academy Northwest / Family Academy.  Master Enterprises Learning Center met in the evening, Tuesday evenings, if I remember correctly. I believe I also met with a couple of the students individually in their homes. You can see from the pictures that we enjoyed activities like a puppet show and trips to Point Defiance Zoo and Snake Lake Nature Center in Tacoma. Of course, these first students from the 1994-1995 school year are all adults by now. Unless I see them on Facebook, I still think of them as upper elementary through high school age. How does time fly so quickly?  Psalm 31 reminds us that our times are in God’s hands and we can safely trust him. Whether our way is rough or smooth – most of us have times of both – He protects and leads us.  While reading the context is best, you can see the particular verses in bold.

Follow this blog for the rest of the story…..

Psalm 31 – NKJV

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of refuge,
A fortress of defense to save me.

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

I have hated those who regard useless idols;
But I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
For You have considered my trouble;
You have known my soul in adversities,
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a wide place.

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble;
My eye wastes away with grief,
Yes, my soul and my body!
10 For my life is spent with grief,
And my years with sighing;
My strength fails because of my iniquity,
And my bones waste away.
11 I am a reproach among all my enemies,
But especially among my neighbors,
And am repulsive to my acquaintances;
Those who see me outside flee from me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the slander of many;
Fear is on every side;
While they take counsel together against me,
They scheme to take away my life.

1But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
17 Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
Let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence,
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
22 For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.

23 Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.