A neat friend of mine named Mary, teaches special ed. (Lucky class. Lucky school. Luckier than they know.) She follows this blog, and she asked for some ideas about setting up a learning-at-home program, should any parents of her autism students express interest. So, I am going to pretend that I have been hired by the CliffsNotes people to pare down my basic teaching philosophies:
- teach anything YOU (the parent) want to learn*
- read stories and poems that YOU should have read during your childhood*
- listen to music that YOU have been wanting to hear*
(* I find that when I brim with enthusiasm over a particular topic or book, my son catches the spirit and he brims with enthusiasm, too. I have an eager learner on my hands!)
- teach FAST! One or two pages is often PLENTY, then move on to a totally different topic
- be on the lookout for unfamiliar words, then STOP RIGHT THEN AND THERE and look the word up
- give lots of quizzes to check on YOUR ability to convey facts (and hopefully to give a lot of pretend “A+”s)
That’s it. That’s my CliffsNotes version.
For the practicalities, one might read my first two posts ( July 2014), “In Which We Introduce Ourselves” and “In Which We Explain Our “Stories and Studies” Nightly Agenda”. These can be found in “About”, on the blog title menu strip.
Here is what we’ve been doing this past week:
- Othello – we continue reading through the plots of Shakespeare’s plays…we are in the middle of “Othello” and we have had it up to here with that deceitful rat, Iago.
- To make up for the dreadfulness of Iago, we are reading a biography on the splendid John Muir. What a good guy.
- We continue to read “Schooled” by Gordon Kormon. Probably our 4th time through this novel. We love it.
- We are about a third of the way through “A Long Way from Chicago”, by Richard Peck. OH MY GOSH, this book is marvelous! (Two kids spend a week every summer with their “law-unto-herself” grandmother). This book is a keeper!
A story problem from Le Fictitious Local Diner – the diner is sponsoring “Barbershop Quartet Night” and plans to serve up root beer floats for the occasion. Tickets for this not-to-be-missed event will sell for $10, and will include a float. If each root beer float costs the diner $1.50 to make, and $200 is being spent on decorations, the speaker system, and prizes, how much profit will the diner realize if 200 tickets are sold?
Our music program last night: barbershop quartets to enhance the story problem –
- “Sincere”, from Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” (1957). Sung in the 1962 movie version by the peerless Buffalo Bills.
- “Mr. Sandman”, written by Pat Ballard in 1954. A barbershop quartet standard, performed by the Dapper Dans at Disneyland, using Deagan Organ Chimes (very interesting instrument!).
- And finally, for fun, and to support the endeavors of youth, we watched “The Barbershop Quartet, a How-To Guide”. The kids are just great (and their ill fitting costumes and hats are still making us laugh).
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH