• Curriculum

    Published on 01-08-2014 04:05 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Homeschooling with Technology,
    4. Homeschooling High School
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    by Chris Yust of Homeschool Programming

    The Myth of Outsourcing
    ďIs there any future in computer programming? Arenít all those jobs overseas now?Ē I smiled as an earnest young mother asked us this question at a recent convention. Iíve heard this question many times over the last few years and my answer is always a resounding ďNo!Ē Despite what most people believe, outsourcing has not killed the computer job market. Oh sure, some companies use overseas help in different areas, but a great many computer programming jobs are still around locally. Itís simply too difficult for most companies to manage the complex process of software creation over long distances.

    As a full-time software engineer, I have observed a lack of quality candidates at my own employer. Jobs often go unfilled for long periods of time because we simply canít interview enough people who qualify. I get calls every month from recruiters who still have my 10-year old resume in their database from the last time I was looking for a job. Anecdotes aside, the statistics show that roughly 50% of all software outsourcing projects are failures, and those that do succeed offer only modest 25% cost savings. Thatís a huge risk for minimal return!

    The Recession-Proof Job
    In this age of recession and a downturned economy, one of the booming job sectors is the computer industry! Where other companies are cutting staff or shrinking salaries, computer jobs have seen steady growth and salary increases. Is this trend expected to continue? You bet! ...
    Published on 12-27-2013 09:16 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. General Homeschooling
    brave-writer-sewing-jpg

    By Julie Bogart, Cincinnati, Ohio

    A fundamental confusion exists around how to teach writing. Iíve spent two decades looking for just the right metaphor to explain how a parent facilitates writing growth. Then the other day, on the phone, I stumbled upon a perfect one.

    Letís look at learning to sew using a sewing machine.

    A sewing machine makes it possible to create all kinds of sewing productsóanything from hemming a pair of pants, to constructing a crazy quilt, to producing an evening gown. The machine doesnít do it for you. You have to know how to use the machine, and you have to develop skills: how to sew straight seams or drop in a sleeve or gather a drape. You need to learn to create casings, and to use the zigzag, and what the tension dial does.

    When learning the skills needed for sewing, students start with scrap fabric. They donít pick a dress pattern and then sit down to the machine. First, they practice threading the needle and bobbin, they sew lots of straight lines and turn corners. Each seam is backstitched at the end so that it doesnít unravel.

    No one can learn all she needs to know in one sitting or even one year of sewing. There are levels of skill that are gained over time, as dexterity, comfort with the machinery, and familiarity with the properties of sewing are internalized and mastered. It is possible at each stage of development to introduce a little project that suits the skill level of the sewing student. At first, these might be things like bean bags (squares) or a string dress (no pattern, but the dress uses casings).

    As the student gets comfortable, making an A-line dress for a doll from a pattern becomes possible ...
    Published on 12-18-2013 11:39 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Homeschooling with Technology,
    4. General Homeschooling

    Looking for fresh teaching ideas and trusted materials? Consider JPASS. JPASS gives homeschoolers personal access to JSTOR, the same high-quality academic resource that millions of students and scholars depend on at colleges and universities. The new JPASS collection includes more than 1,500 academic journals from the JSTOR library, available to you anywhere, anytime.

    If you donít have access to JSTOR through a school or public library, JPASS might be a perfect fit. Here are a few examples of how JPASS helps homeschoolers create innovative lessons across disciplines and mediums:

    Supplement historical films with secondary reading

    Link JSTOR with the 2013 film, 12 Years a Slave. You can provide background articles on slavery and the Civil War, then assign a critical analysis of Solomon Northupís original narrative, published in the highly regarded literary journal Callaloo.

    Sam Worley, "Solomon Northup and the Sly Philosophy of the Slave Pen," Callaloo, Vol. 20, No. 1 (1997): 243Ė259.

    Keep your modern literature curriculum up-to-date

    Include works by author Alice Munro, the most recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. JPASS includes ...
    Published on 12-02-2013 08:28 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Curriculum,
    3. Secular Homeschooling

    by Keith Howe, Moving Beyond the Page


    When our daughter gets a perfect score on a spelling test, we praise her for it. When our son finishes a science test with all the right answers, we make a big deal out of it. Most structured school settings do the same thing. However, when we only praise children for getting the right answers, we send the message that knowing the right answers makes them smart. As any researcher in the field of gifted education will tell you, there is much more to giftedness than scoring well on a test. ...
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