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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Academics
Free Tool For Assessing and Achieving College Math Readiness
Category: Academics
Tags: college preparatory math ready for college college readiness standards math college math problems accuplacer practice test compass test

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of you may already be using or are familiar with NROC - the National Repository of Online Courses - which provides free access to online high school, AP, and college level courses. They recently launched a site, called EdReady.org, designed to help students measure college math readiness and prepare for placement exams, such as COMPASS, or the ACT and SAT, using NROC’s vast library of free, online video and interactive lessons. What’s especially interesting about EdReady: it highlights a student’s weak areas, proposes a personalized study plan complete with links to recommended lessons, and highlights target scores needed to meet the math proficiency requirements of particular schools, so that students can avoid dreaded math remediation courses.  And, like NROC, EdReady is free.

A recent, hour-long webinar, which can be viewed here, outlines how the site works: 

Get Started: To create a free account, a student just needs a name and valid email address. This enables the site to store the study plan a student is working on. Students can also sign up as guests without creating an account, but the system won’t store your data.

Explore schools. Students can select their schools of interest and view such information as basic stats, costs, and number of students. Direct links to school websites are also provided.

Prepare for the ACT/SAT and placement exams for specific schools. Students can get a better idea of how well they will do on COMPASS or Accuplacer assessments by taking an EdReady diagnostic test. The test assesses a student’s performance on a range of math topics that comprise “college readiness,” and highlights strengths and weaknesses. Students are provided with a breakdown of topics in which they are not readyneed review, or have mastered.

The site also generates a score that can be matched against an individual school’s specific proficiency requirements. For example, say a student scores a 50 on the EdReady diagnostic test. EdReady will show the student the schools where that score would be good enough to not require remediation. If the student wants to go to a school that requires a proficiency score of 80, the site will generate a study plan to help the student achieve that score.

EdReady has a database of proficiency scores that includes every accredited institution in the country – community colleges and four-year institutions – representing about 2,500 schools nationally. 

Follow a personalized study plan. The site shows the topics the student should focus on and gives an estimate of the hours of study required.

Students can click right into the recommended resources, provided through NROC. Every math topic has a video lesson, worked examples, chalkboard-style lessons on how to solve problems, and practice and review problems. Answers are provided as the student works. The system continues to update as the student progresses through and masters the material. Additional features include the ability to email study plans and print them for your records; and an online, printable textbook with more practice and review exercises. 

EdReady Scoring

How accurate are EdReady scores? According to the webinar, the scores generated should be accurate enough to predict a student’s success on college placement exams. As the system is used, if scores are not matching up with the ability to take credit-bearing courses, adjustments will be made where necessary.

Overall, EdReady seems like a great tool for students to explore their options and take a proactive approach to meeting math expectations at different schools -- before being faced with placement tests. 

 

Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus

 



Resource Roundup: High School Courses
Category: Academics
Tags: free high school homeschool high school

The following list highlights some of the free high school resources featured in my Homeschooling High School Newsletter. Included are full courses, or materials that, when combined, could make for a full high school course.

New links to high school resources can be found in the August Newsletter. Sign up to continue to receive monthly updates; and be sure to check out the newsletter archive for links to even more resources.

Math

              Algebra 1 - Full course in Algebra 1 from SAS Curriculum Pathways.

Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 complete courses feature warm-up exercises, lessons consisting of documents, videos and PowerPoints, additional worksheets, and quizzes.

Investigating Geometry Online  Presents 12 units in Geometry; includes video lessons, interactive examples to solve, worksheets, and online quizzes

Math TV  Short video lessons on math topics; includes basic math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus; you can also pull up videos that correspond to particular textbooks

Literature/Writing

English 10Complete course from Curriki includes units on grammar, essay writing, fiction and non-fiction reports, short stories, and specific literature titles, such as Julius Caesar, and Antigone.

High School Lit Roundup: List of sites with full courses, free books, and other resources. 

Science:

Exploring the Way Life Works  online textbook; eight downloadable chapters

Companion Website includes assignments and activities, Powerpoints, practice tests, and additional links

            Geology Labs Online: earthquake; dating rocks and artifacts; virtual river

History

             Bridging World History  Annenberg Learner site presents 26 units in world history; each unit has a 30-minute video and online text chapter; there's also a course guide with suggested activities and assignments

Electives:

             Personal Finance CoursePractical Money Skills is offering a new financial literacy curriculum for grades 9 - 12. The curriculum is comprised of 22 lesson plans and accompanying teachers guides that can be downloaded separately, or altogether as a zip file. The lessons are free, but registration at the site (also free) is required. Also available at the site are lesson plans for Pre-K through grade 8, college level, and special needs students

              Additional Financial Literacy Resources

Multiple Subjects:

            Free, At-Your-Own-Pace Courses: Offered by the University of Washington at their website, OpenUW.  Courses include: The American Civil War; Greek Mythology; HTML Basics; the History of Jazz, and others.



Self-Directed Animal Classification
Category: Academics
Tags: classification of animals animal classes animal types animals with vertebrates

I came across an article (10 Pairs of Commonly Confused Animalsthat reminded me of when my two youngest children (7 and 10) and I were learning about the five classes of vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish). We talked about classification in general, putting things into groups based on different criteria, and we learned about the characteristics that put animals into their respective groups. (Our study developed into a rather strange game we called the "Dharma Initiative," in which talking animals assist scientists in preserving the various species due to some impending, yet unknown cataclysm). 

Anyway, from that, my daughter decided she wanted to learn about animals that she classified in her own way as “kind of the same but different, like frogs and toads.” For the next few days, she would come up to me with a new pair of animals: alligators and crocodiles, hares and rabbits, octopuses and squids, etc. Each time, we would look them up, compare and contrast them, and she would make drawings of some of the animals. Voilà. Her own unit study. ("Dharma Initiative" is still one of her favorite games).

Here are some free resources on animal classification: 

 

Free Books:

Animal Classification Cards: 

 

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