For those in the NY area, remember that the Dwight School in Manhattan will be hosting an informational dinner Tonight about the pilot program. Scroll down to see details about the dinner. Children are welcome to attend with you. Equally important, there will be free food which means you can feed your entire family and you don’t have to cook dinner!
All the best,
Hello and Bonjour! (I’m attempting to learn French).
I hope this post finds you well and going strong in the teachings of your children. I didn’t think I’d find myself blogging again, but I just couldn’t not share this significant development that’s happening in the homeschooling world.
First, let me say I’m still as nutty as ever. Teaching, researching, taxi-driving, visiting NYC as often as I can and so forth. Side-note, I may need to live in that city with my family at some point. LOVE that place!
So here’s the news-
Are you familiar with the International Baccalaureate program? I’ve posted the below links in case you are not so you have a chance to read about this highly esteemed curriculum.
Well, over the past few months I’ve been corresponding with some of the leaders from the Dwight School in Manhattan. The skinny is the Dwight School is one of 7 schools around the globe involved in a pilot program that’s allowing students who can’t access an actual IB school the opportunity to take IB courses online.
Here’s a summary in an abbreviated form for easier digestion:
* The IB program leaders have been in discussion for years now about extending their curriculum access to non-IB students, but only now are we seeing the change. Homeschoolers have never before had access to the IB curriculum. Now they will, and this is what is so exciting because the IB program is highly regarded by top universities. Universities are very familiar with the IB rigor and college-level preparation.
* Presently, there are several students around the world already enrolled in the pilot program with less than a handful being homeschoolers.
* IB courses are not the equivalent of AP courses. They are an entirely different animal, and each class undergoes a rigorous development, screening, and editing process before it becomes available to a student.
* Pamoja Education is the company that is working with IB to make these classes available online.
* The IB program has been developed for the early years all the way through high school but only the DP program (grades 11/12) will be offered at present through the pilot program.
* There are 15 total online classes available. There is discussion going on to add more.
* The “diploma” is not currently available to an enrolling homeschooler because there are several note-worthy courses missing from the online class selection. You will see that sciences and the Core classes are not yet available. How to complete science labs through distant learning is one challenge. These classes are required for the diploma to be awarded. However, also note-worthy is that a “certificate” will be granted for each class taken and passed along with the exam. These certificates are seen very positively by universities.
*What that means for enrolling homeschoolers for this fall is that you’d be cherry-picking classes from the online class list versus enrolling in the full DP program, but that could even change before the fall term begins. Much discussion happening..
NOW LET ME FOCUS ON THE DWIGHT SCHOOL SPECIFICALLY TO CONTINUE AS THEY ARE ONE OF THE PILOT SCHOOLS AND THE ONE I’M MOST FAMILIAR WITH ON DETAILS:
** Dwight plans to offer a certificate with each class successfully completed along with a grade.
** Dwight is entertaining the possibility of offering a hybrid Diploma program to complete the core, language, and sciences if they have the numbers.
** Each individual class has its own exam at the end of two years. IB scale is 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest) with 3 being pass. The IB exam will be taken at Dwight or whatever IB school is near the student after the two years.
** The class fee is $1350 for one course for one year which means $2700 for 2 years. This includes the exam fee. HOWEVER….Dwight plans to discount these fees to homeschooolers. More details may be obtained by contacting Jaya Bhavnani at Dwight. Of note, the only online course that can be completed in one year is Economics Standard Level.
** Dwight recommends taking 2 classes maximum to show challenging IB courses for college applications.
I hope that helps shed a bit of light on what’s going on for our world and the IB program.
Let me now share some more news regarding specifically the Dwight School in NYC. They will be hosting an informational dinner for homeschoolers on Thursday, June 5 at the school. See the flyer below for further details. The dinner’s purpose is to provide an overview of the pilot program as well as to answer your specific questions. If you live within a decent driving distance to NY and are interested in attending the dinner, please R.S.V.P to Jaya Bhavnani (email@example.com). Jaya is Dwight’s online coordinator and will be at the dinner.
My absurd selfie.. I think my nose has gotten bigger!
Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you, but I recommend connecting with Jaya as I’m still learning the details myself and don’t want to provide inaccurate information. I just had to share what’s happening with this. Digital education is rapidly changing how our children are being taught, and I’m glad to see that the highly regarded IB program is on board with the movement. It’s a good time to be homeschooling your children!
Well, now I hope to sleep and am remembering why I had to stop blogging. It takes a great deal of time! But, it was wonderful to have connected with you again and as always I wish you all the best in the organized chaos of homeschooling.
***David from Taiwan-Did you see this update on IB?
I’ve posted before that I can relate to some of the lyrics in Kenny Roger’s song “The Gambler”…
You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
There are other great lyrics in there.
Now I don’t know Mr. Roger’s history of writing that song, but I’ve appreciated those words and have applied them to my life off and on because at times I do feel like the gambler.
I share that with you today because I have made the decision to discontinue writing on my site, Ivy League Homeschooling. Life has seasons as we all know, and I feel I have reached the end season of this blog.
I first want to extend my thanks to those of you I’ve connected with along the way and who have shared your thoughts and ideas through this blog. I’ve been writing now for over 2 years and have enjoyed every minute of our discussions regardless of the topic whether you were a random one-time reader or an actual part of this group. What a wonderful vehicle the internet can be.
I plan to keep the site up for a while should you desire to connect or have a question that I could possibly contribute an answer to, keeping in mind I’m just fumbling my way through it all.
Lord willing, I plan to stay on the homeschooling course. I know I’m staring at some upcoming intense years of academics with my kids but am looking forward to the challenge.
I wish you all of the best in this monumental job of child-rearing whether you’re a homeschooler or not. If you have been given the opportunity to be a parent, then I encourage you to take that role very seriously. The future is no doubt resting on your commitment to such.
All the best and thank you again.
It was an early morning for the circus. My husband was out of town so I was flying solo.
My oldest son competed in the next level of the science fair. In the midst of making sure he was settled for the day, I had to entertain the bottom three kids for several hours. We played the IPad version of Monopoly in the school cafe during breakfast. As the weather warmed up, we moved outside for bubbles and races. The kids held up pretty well all things considered. After I grew weary of playing ringmaster, I resorted to letting them play games on their Nooks so that I could observe the awards ceremony.
The afternoon and evening were spent outdoors with our neighborhood friends. I worked in the yard picking up sticks and blowing leaves. We’ve had such a long winter so it seemed that everyone was outside trying to soak up some sun before the next snow arrives. Ugh…
We had minimal academics today: math, French, vocabulary, reading. My son and I were in the city, so I had one of my sitters take care of the bottom three children while we were traveling. This weekend will be busy beginning with a very early morning for us tomorrow. With the interruptions we have had this week, I’ll need to squeeze in more academics in between activities, even if it is the weekend.
Long day of driving. I need sleep..
We had lots of math practice this morning. Our day was halted for a friend of mine who came over to shoot some new pictures for me. In between the photo shoot, skating, soccer, and lax we worked on other subjects. I believe I finished with my oldest son and his studies around 11:00 tonight. We really just have an odd schedule to our days. Glad to have gotten a run in tonight, even if it was at home with interruptions.
Staring at a crazy busy weekend..
It was a chilly and rainy day today where we live. I knew we had to drive into the city this afternoon, so the kids and I slept in a bit this morning after having had a late night. I was thinking to myself over breakfast how thankful I am that I get to dictate my children’s schedules including their sleep schedules. This fact doesn’t make homeschooling any easier, but it is certainly a nice perk.
My oldest son worked on his French vocabulary and science terms on the drive. We also discussed everything from pornography to puberty. I like to use our travels in the car to have some heavy-duty discussions.
I drove into the city today since we were running behind schedule. Upon leaving the city to return home, I spotted Giuliana Rancic getting into her car. What’s funny is I didn’t know it was her nor could I remember her name to tell my son who I saw. What I did notice at first were her shoes. She was wearing spiked heels, and they were a stark white color. Now being from the south I was raised that women never wear white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day. I honestly don’t know why, but that’s the rule. So when I saw her white shoes, my initial thought was who is wearing white shoes before Easter. As I drove closer to her, I realized it was Guiliana Rancic and then I saw Bill Rancic sitting in their car. I read later tonight while googling that they had been in the city speaking on the Today show. Now, I don’t know much about this couple, but I believe Guiliana is part of the fashion police on E? Does the fashion police not follow the southern rule of white shoes? I guess not..I shouldn’t comment though. I know nothing about fashion. My kitty fund is spent on tutors and books, not clothes or white pumps. And odds are, those white shoes she was wearing probably would pay for a few tutors. I’m guessing Jimmy Choo? Those shoes would be fashionable anytime of the year.
That has nothing to do with homeschooling. It’s just another odd piece of our day.
Off to prep for tomorrow..
Info shared from an email…
Exciting news: Khan Academy is partnering with the College Board so that all students who want to go to college can prepare for the SAT at their own pace, at no cost.
The College Board just announced that they’re redesigning the SAT for 2016, and we’re partnering with them to make free, world-class prep materials. Know anyone preparing for the SAT? Let them know:
or forward them this email
By spring 2015, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art, interactive learning tools that give you deep practice and help you diagnose your gaps. All of this will be created through a close collaboration with the College Board specifically for the redesigned SAT. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, if you are taking the SAT in 2014/15, you can start practicing today with hundreds of previously unreleased Math, Reading, and Writing questions from real SATs and more than 200 videos that show step-by-step solutions to each question:
My mental state and physical body are at times just racing. I’ve never met a homeschooling mother who doesn’t feel that way. Today was one of those days. I went from subject to activity to lesson to email to phone and then it all simply started over. I imagine if you sat in my home one day and watched the circus in action, well…. Truthfully, I don’t know what you would think. Maybe you’d think I’m nutty to do what I do. Maybe you’re right. But for now, I stay the course.
We did meet again today with our newly found French tutor. I’m appreciating that language acquisition will be a long journey requiring much dedication. I’m game. It’s a worthy cause. Many of our usual subjects were covered so by the end of the day my thoughts were spinning. I read poetry over dinner. Have you ever tried to read poetry to a circus? It’s not easy..
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you.
We awoke to 5 inches of newly fallen snow on the ground. Not a welcomed sight after the winter that we’ve had, but it is what it is.
Studies were started in the morning, then interrupted with a quick trip into the very cold NYC, then started again on the return home. We covered math, informal logic, vocabulary, French, grammar, composition, phonics, art history, history, piano, and reading. Still, I need more time. My oldest son ended the evening with researching Victor Hugo as part of his French studies. I hate that my husband and I missed visiting the Pantheon where he is buried, but that gives me another excuse to get us back to Paris.
Spring season soccer began for my two oldest sons today. Admittedly, I’m very competitive so I love to see my boys control the ball and score. My second son had a lovely shot in his game, and I did my little happy dance on the sideline.
I hate to lose. About the only good thing about losing is that you get to scrape your rear off of the ground and work harder the next time towards achieving your goal, whatever that may be.
Got my work-out and grocery shopping in as the kids were in choir practice. Man alive do I hate grocery shopping and cooking.
Thinking about those families of the Malaysian airliner as I prep for the week..
Our weekend brought a variety of activities. My oldest son and I met with his French tutor for the first time yesterday. I finally decided to get serious about the study of the French language and culture for my kids, so I’m excited to begin the journey with this lovely teacher. We also had a rather impromptu birthday celebration for my son in one of those loud places full of laser tag, bumper cars, and foam ball pits. The type of place that’s guaranteed to produce great people watching and dull headaches for the parents. I managed to sneak in some grammar, spelling, and phonics studies this morning before the birthday madness began. The night ended with pizza and basketball. Happy to finally stop and watch some SNL.
We had an early morning wake-up today for a field trip. Mornings are not my thing so I didn’t sleep well last night knowing we’d have to wake up early today and get moving.
My oldest son was in class until after lunch so I worked on math and reading with the bottom 3 kids in between bagels and a bookstore visit. They actually did very well studying in a foreign place that had many distractions.
The walk to and from the parking lot was unpleasant. The wind was so strong that it took your breath away in the cold temperature. That kind of scenario is less than fun to do alone much less with four young children and a heavy bag of school books. But I’ll stop my complaining as there are much worse things in life.
Calling it a night..I’ve found a tutor that I’m meeting with in the morning for my oldest. At least it’s not too early of a wake-up!
No idea, just sharing.
I’m wondering if all of these test prep centers who have been making a killing are all freaking out now with the latest news from the College Board.
I enjoyed a quiet morning of recovery with coffee and catch-up emails. The last 2 days have been unusually busy, so it was nice to have the time of stillness while the kids slept. I worked on everything from summer plans to private tutors to next year’s curriculum. If you’re not teaching, then you’re reading and researching. If you’re not reading and researching, then you’re teaching. If you’re not doing either, then you’re stressed out that you’re not doing anything. Nonstop.
We covered a mixture of academics and activities today once the day officially began. It was a long day. LAX didn’t end until 10:00 tonight. Unfortunately we have to rock-and-roll early in the morning with a field trip, and the organized chaos will continue into the late evening. I know I’m not alone in this fast-paced parenting world. And I’ll be going to bed with coding on the brain..
says Adam Enbar of the Flatiron School.
Good read in the WSJ on coding for kids and adults. Not something you can ignore. It’s here to stay.
Words from Code.org founder, Hadi Partovi
As a computer scientist, I know the coding languages we teach now may be out of date in 25 years. But the concepts are fundamental: conditionals, loops, abstraction, these concepts span all languages. I learned them 25 years ago, and they’re relevant today. That’s why our intro curriculum teaches these concepts with visual programming, without any language.
We have a birthday in our house this week, and then the next month, and then the next month. My kids have a way of turning a birth-day into a birth-week. I can’t say that I blame them. I milk my birthday for all it’s worth trying to get out of cooking and cleaning and laundry.
My son’s celebration was a bit abbreviated because of life happenings. We were in the city for the day for an audition, and my husband’s work had him busy with travels. So, I had prepped my son that we’d do a mini-celebration today followed by a more lively celebration this weekend (again with the birth-week).
I woke up early this morning and ran to the grocery store to gather his pre-ordered cake and goodies. My son opened a few presents from his siblings before breakfast. I convinced them to wait on the piñata. (Don’t you just love a piñata?) That was followed by scurrying out the door after breakfast leaving the bottom three kiddos with our third babysitter in 2 days. I left them their academic schedule to work on while we were gone along with school instructions for the sitter. Thankfully, we experienced some beautiful weather today so they spent some quality time outside drawing creations with sidewalk chalk. The birthday boy was exempt from all academics. Another perk to homeschooling, so he was very excited to learn that he could play video games on the drive. Of course, all that really means is we’ll be pulling double duty over the next few days in our studies because they don’t really get out of their schoolwork. But a pause is sometimes good. The night ended with relieving my sitter and making a mad rush to a soccer game.
Tomorrow I hope will bring very still and quiet studies at home, at least until our Vulcan storm arrives-seriously..
I was catching up on worldly news tonight after spending the day in the city. There’s an interesting read on CNN’s website about how China has recently changed their restrictions on having multiple children. What’s even more interesting is that many families are not embracing the new rules. I’m fascinated with the Asian culture.
It’s late, and tomorrow comes early..
We took a family road trip today and finally made it to the slopes just after noon. In our usual style, we shut the place down. For the most part, the kids skied well minus number four. He hated and loved it at the same time all the while talking non-stop.
There’s a high probability that my body will be screaming at me tomorrow. Number four skied with me for the day while hanging on to my arm. We wiped out a few times and the lift hit my right hip almost every time we exited because he was so slow to get out of the chair!
Little pains, big gains I’m hoping…
More academics and activities today.
Tonight, while at soccer practice, I was asked a variety of questions regarding homeschooling by a lovely couple. The usual questions really: why do I homeschool, how do I test them, do I homeschool for religious reasons, what curricula do I use, will I ever consider sending my children off to school, and so forth. I always enjoy these conversations, and I can usually tell right away by their questions whether they are open to the idea of homeschooling or not. I answered with my usual answers emphasizing individualized education was my driving motive. The wife seemed open to the idea. I’m not so sure about the husband. Here’s what I do believe about homeschooling at present.
-I don’t believe it’s for everybody, nor would I try to convince someone that they should homeschool their children. It’s a massive and at times consuming 24/7 job, and I’m not so sure everyone would want the responsibility. At times, I don’t want the responsibility, but I’m doing what I feel works for my specific family. Homeschooling is such a personal choice. The decision to do so affects so many areas of a family’s life. I’m sold on the benefits. If I didn’t believe in the entity, I wouldn’t be doing it. But the job comes with a price. I spend hours researching and planning and teaching, and I take it day by day. No one has a crystal ball and life brings many seasons with it. I used to feel that everyone should homeschool when I first began down this road. I don’t anymore, nor do I really care how another family chooses to educate their children. It’s not my business. Heck, I barely have time to wash my hair. At best, I’m treading water on many occasions, so I don’t really think about what other people are doing. Often, I’ve no idea what I’m doing and am filled with doubt. I do have my mini moments of validation along the way that speak things are going well, and those moments are heavily cherished. I’m assuming I’ll have a better idea of how I did at this monumental job in several years. Until then, it’s live in the present and try not to worry about tomorrow.
Sidenote-the natives are rebelling and demanding a day of snow skiing, so my planned day of academics for tomorrow may be delayed….
More studies today. I had set my alarm to wake up rather early for me this morning. We were scheduled to be at one of the local farms for a nature lesson, but when I checked the weather app on my cell phone and saw 19 degrees, I turned my alarm off and went back to bed! I had zero desire to haul the circus out to the frozen farm so we could all “enjoy” nature. No, I enjoyed my gray flannel sheets more than the goats and cow.
My daughter took an official ice-skating lesson this evening and really enjoyed herself. Much to my surprise, I was told that after her lesson I could go out on the ice and skate with her. Oh, they do not realize that they just opened up a can of worms. Right at that moment, I had a vision of me wearing skating tights and camel spinning like Dorothy Hamill. Now, I can’t stomach the bangs on me, but I can work on my salchow (whatever that is). I’ll be all over these lessons since they’re letting me get some work-outs in for free! Nothing like exercising with your kids. Look out.
Sidenote-I’ve been “liking” some of the sites on Facebook associated with the United Nations. I’m becoming more fascinated with this influential organization as time goes on. Maybe I can get a volunteer job with the UN that would allow me to travel more with my circus.
Oh, who am I kidding. I’ve got to prepare for the next winter Olympics.
I was thankful to make it to the gym this morning managing to get in a five-mile run, rowing, and a bit of pilates. Now, of course, my hip joints are screaming at me, but the pain is worth it. Something about those endorphins really help to change your mood. My selfish work-out however just meant that we started our academics later in the day, but I was willing for this to happen. I needed to exercise.
Our evening was spent at a soccer training facility, so I loaded up some school books and taught in the cafe. This was not an easy environment to teach in because of the many TV screens and noise. My oldest worked on his Latin studies on the long drive to the facility. We finally wrapped up at home around 11:00 tonight in the subjects of math and grammar.
Just in case you haven’t been in front of some media device today…
Just rereading this again so sharing..