Thursday, February 25, 2010

Forensic Science and Homeschool

When I went to graduate school I was lucky enough to choose a master's program in forensic science.  Forensic toxicology to be specific.  So after I graduated I was thinking to myself, what do I have to offer in the way of homeschool curriculum and of course, forensic science immediately came to mind.  Kids LOVE anything and everything to do with crime scene investigation.  It just perks up their interest when you start talking about solving a crime. 

Realistically, I knew that this type of course is not for all ages, and so that is why I wrote the Simple Schooling Forensic Science course for upper middle and high school.  This is an elective course.  They can take
it in addition to biology and another year of CORE science, but realistically they cannot take it in place of those important subjects.

I did decide to leave a few topics out, such as blood spatter and graphic details about body appearance after certain types of death (because in school I was forced to see these and I will say, I am not easily grossed out but burn and drowning victims, not very palatable.)

So the REALLY gory details are left out but included in the text are CSI, death investigation, solving a case study, ballistics, toolmarks, arson, poisoning, toxicology, DNA analysis, the autopsy, fingerprints, and much much more. 

It is a great course, one of our most popular in fact.  And that is why I added it to The Simple Schooling Classroom as part of the yearly subscription rate.  It comes with the full printable student textbook/workbook and 6 interactivities for each unit (20 separate units total).  If you are a Simple-Zine newsletter subscriber you will get a free sample of it in the upcoming weeks. ;)

Friday, February 12, 2010

What is it with Boys and Writing?

Just the title alone is enough to make homeschool moms with young boys cringe. Yes, I'd say 99% of us have the same problem.


And Writing.

I have tried several curriculums over the years, most recently Jump in Writing, which I love and am keeping for the future. But he's so resistant.

About two weeks ago we were finishing up the unit on the 13 colonies in Simple Schooling American History and the assignment (which I wrote, mind you) asks for a report on their favorite colony.

So he picks Georgia.

And sits there.

And moans.

And whines and complains and makes a nasty comment or two about how stupid this is and how he will NEVER ever need to write in HIS career and finally cries.

LOL. I was like, you've got to be kidding me? I asked for 500 words on the colony of Georgia not a dissertation with footnotes.

So I get it together and say, OK I'll help you. We brainstorm all the things we can say about Colonial Georgia. We've got it all on the board in bullet points. Alll he has to do is turn them into sentences.

He freaks out. Finally, after about 2 hours he manages 150 words.

I declare success and let him read.

This was an eye-opener for me. The kid shuts down when he has to write. So I did what all homeschool moms do - I go to the computer and search for the "perfect curriculum" to make it all better. I find Writing Strands and order it in a hurry. 2 day shipping even.

It arrived last week and we got started right away. By day 3 he says "I think this is actually helping me."

Praise the Lord and I'll give ya big Amen.

My son will write.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

President's Day Unit Study

The Simple-Zine Freebie newsletter is going out in - Oh, about 30 minutes - and I just wanted to put the freebie up for you Googlers! The President's Day Unit Study is the very first interactive/printable from Simple Schooling and is a glimpse of what is to come for many of our printable courses for next school year.

I know - is it too early to think about next year?
I was counting up the lessons left in our math book last week and I told my son we have to finish the book and he replied "Sheesh mom, I still have 4 months! Leave it alone!"

I was like - yeah, Ok. Point taken.

But us moms know that we start planning for the next year once Christmas is over and I bet many of you are making plans right now. So for your benefit (don't tell the kids!) here is what Simple Scholing will have for the 2010-2011 school year:
  • American History Part II - From Constitution to Civil War

  • Middle School Physics (Interactive)

  • Middle School Chemistry (Interactive & Printable)

  • K-3 Science full year course (120 lessons -includes mammals, bugs, amphibians, reptiles, sea mammals)

  • Ancient History (4-8th grade Egypt, Greece, and Rome)

  • Middle Ages and Reformation (4-8th grade)

  • Plus new interactive unit studies every week at The Classroom!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kick The Bums Out!

Ya know, I try to keep my blogs on track by making sure that I only write things relevant to homeschoolers, but today I am so unhappy with our government that I must make an exception. Senator Micahel Bennet's office in DC just lied to me and then threatened to call the Capitol Police on me if I continued to call and ask my question. I know what you're thinking - what kind of question warrants that reaction? It must have been a doosey.

Yes, it was. The question was how does Michael Bennet feel about the new spending bill.

Their reply - "What spending bill?"

I asked to speak to someone who knew what I was talking about and she said no. So I ask for her name and she hung up. That's great isn't it? She is sadly mistaken if she thinks I'm giving up that easy so I call back. She threatens to call the Capitol Police on me if I call one more time.

Now, it really isn't her fault that I am always up for a challenge, and obviously she's severely underestimated the American people's resolve, so I call back and she lets it ring for several minutes before doing the age old junior high trick of "pick up - hang up".

Nice one. I give it another try. She answers and says "Don't call here again!"

I'm sorry, what? Don't call MY SENATOR'S office so I can comment? I ask to speak to a supervisor, she replies there isn't one there and hangs up.

Boy, she's getting far fast isn't she?

I call again, the process repeats itself. Yet again, same thing. And one more time and guess who I get? A supervisor.

Oh, I thought there was no supervisor? Mike over at Michael Bennet's office in DC is pretty annoyed that I'm now asking why they condone threats to citizens in addition to why they are spending my money like its not their's?

The problem the people of Colorado have with Michael Bennet is that he was never elected. He was appointed by Governor Ritter to be his pet and act like a good in-the-pocket democrat. He doesn't care about the People because he's never been accountable to them. He never ran for Senator. He never had to LISTEN to us. And boy - that has never been more apparent than it was today.

I hope Michael Bennet and Bill Ritter stay good friends because they'll be seeing each other a lot next year when they are both out of a job. And Ritter can pretend it was for "family reasons" but we all know who Corey Voorhis is and we all know the lies they told about him.