by Maggie Dail, M.A.
We are excited to announce that we have a new website:
It joins our blog:
To celebrate we are offering our remaining printed books with FREE SHIPPING:
Rounding the Bases – Chris Learns to Read
All of our publishing will be digital – available in a variety of e-book formats.
Today, homeschoolers have many opportunities to learn a world language. First, a number of excellent curricula exist and online help abounds. While that may not have been true when homeschooling began, it certainly is true now. Many combine a great curriculum with conversational in person or online. Second, many homeschool co-ops and private extension schools such as www.academynorthwest.org provide site-based world language classes. After living in Spain for 17 years, teaching Spanish at Heritage Christian School for two years and then offering site-based classes to homeschoolers it only made sense to expand that to our online services. Http://maggiedail.wixsite.com/spanishanw Photos represent early Spanish classes. Website shows how we offer Spanish classes today. Thirdly, a homeschool high school can study their world language at a community college.
For a time we had a small school in our home using the Charlotte Mason approach with elements of classical education. Part of that time, we had an unlikely “class” of almost full time instruction. Our next door neighbor’s nephew lived with them while his father drove a truck for a living. Andrew was in Kindergarten. We had another student in the 6th grade – Drew. Other students formed part of our Charlotte Mason home school learning center. Many in that group grew up with us and later graduated from Academy Northwest. Once that happened, possibly because of a downturn in the economy, our groups were in middle and high school. Those were enjoyable days.
Over the years we did a number of field trips that helped us understand the Oregon Trail, Lewis and Clark’s Journey of Discovery and other Pacific Northwest History highlights. On one occasion we went to Oregon to see The Oregon Trail museum and Fort Clatsop. Further, on another occasion we stayed overnight at the Pioneer Farm closer to home. Each of these occasions provided time to bond with our families and, of course, to learn about our past. We can learn much by understanding how our home developed.
Many state home school laws require some sort of assessment either annually or during specific grades. Even if it is not required, it can provide you with additional helpful information. Most Teacher Consultants of Family Academy / Academy Northwest’s provide standardized assessments and / or non-test assessments because Washington State’s home school law requires home school students to have either a standardized test or a non-test assessment each year.
Standardized testing usually requires the student to fill in circles on an answer sheet. Scoring is according to norms (sample group of students) and produce grade equivalents, percentiles and stanines relative to that sample group of students. This requires that the test be given under specific guidelines prescribed by the test makers. Examples of these standardized tests include: California Achievement Test (CAT), Stanford Achievement Tests (SAT – not to be confused with the college entrance SAT of College Board) and Iowa Test of Basic Skills. These tests take 2-3 days of testing.
In the Washington homeschool, a non-test assessment must be administered by a certified teacher currently working in the field of education. However, the law does not define that assessment. Therefore, when looking for a test provider, be sure and ask what the process entails and what kind of information the parent will receive. These assessments usually are only one session.
Our learning center administered group testing of California Achievement Tests for many years. We also provided one-on-one settings for SAT and ITBS. Further, we offered non-test assessments in person for years and continue to provide non-test assessments via Skype.
Graduation, 2006 – Academy Northwest’s graduation program tells the story. All over Western Washington we have “learning centers” operated by Teacher Consultants. Our title, Teacher Consultants includes two of our functions. We teach classes to our students and we consult with their parents. Our model forms a triangle; each part has responsibilities and benefits. Visit our website to see the “Family Academy Way” which illustrates how our affiliate school, Academy Northwest, operates.
The Family Academy Way
Here is an excerpt from that page:
The Family Academy Way includes, but is not limited to:
- Learning within meaningful relationships
- Individualized learning plans
- Professional guidance
- Documentation of completed work (transcripts)
- High standards (raising the bar)
- Personalized help
- Academic and personal excellence
- Reinforcement of family values
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.
Working hard to assess individuals….now scheduling from August and beyond, 2017!
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.
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
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.
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.