I wrote before about co-operative schools being sort of a bridge for families who like the idea of homeschooling but for various reasons want a more traditional classroom environment for their kids. Closer to the the homeschooling side of that continuium are homeschooling co-ops like The Mt. Airy Homeschooling Co-op. Whereas a co-operative school allows (expects) parents to get involved in school and curriculum management, homeschool co-ops are designed to provide opportunities for broader social engagement and collaborative learning for homeschooling families.
Registration for School District of Philadelphia’s Regional Talent Center programs is now open. This free afterschool and Saturday program provided by the district offers learning experiences in music, theater, dance and the visual arts and emphasize skills like critical thinking, creativity and problem solving. The District’s Regional Talent Centers are located at Charles Y. Audenried in South Philly, and Martin Luther King High Schools in West Oak Lane. The program is held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-6:30PM and on Saturdays from 9:00AM-Noon. The program is open to public, private, or charter school students in Philadelphia grades 6-12. Philadelphia residency is required. Philadelphia students who are home-schooled or cyber-schooled are also eligible. For more information about the registration process and specific program offerings, please visit www.philasd.org/talentcenters, or call 215-400-5902. You can see the parent handbook and application online.
I’m a big fan of Infographics. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words–When an Infographic is done well, it conveys a million words–in an effective and entertaining way. I read the website Daily Infographic well….almost daily, and yesterday they posted this “Homeschooling By the Numbers” Infographic. Given the interest from Phillyschoolsearch readership and contributors in home schooling, I thought that it was worth sharing. If you are considering homeschooling or are simply interested in such things, it is worth taking a look at this informative infographic covering the performance and prevalence of homeschooling. Click the image for a zoomed in view.
When I started this blog, I had hoped only to share my experiences so that other parents in Philadelphia might benefit. I never realized how much that I would learn as a result. The latest example is a totally unexpected email from a parent in Seattle.
On the advice of blogging experts, I am making an effort to make the blog more vibrant by including an image or video (or both) to every post. I dabble in photography and often use my own images, but I refer to some stock photo sites for images as well. Since I have no budget for this, I choose only photos licensed for free distribution. As a courtesy, I email the photographer to let them know when I use an image and say thank you. I usually get a response “Thanks for letting me know! Cool blog.” and that is about it. I did the same thing for my post of December 9, documenting the fact that my son was not selected in the Wissahickon Charter lottery.
The response that I got back was amazing.
The photographer, Kristine Kisky, is a Seattle parent who started her son (whose image was featured in my blog post) in Kindergarten at a Seattle Public School and then pulled him out and began homeschooling. It sounds like her experience is similar to many Philadelphia parents who are conflicted about sending their kids to city public schools. Unfortunately, Washington State doesn’t have a charter school program, so there are fewer options for her than we have here. Anyway, she is documenting her adventures on her own blog, Magnolia Preparatory Academy which is well worth reading.
That was all just a way too long introduction to this great video that she shared with me. It is an insightful lecture which would make this video compelling to watch in and of itself. However, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (RSA) that produced the video, takes audio from lectures and adds highly entertaining animations that actually contribute to the lecture’s impact. This particular video is on the topic of education reform was adapted from a talk given in the UK at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award. This video is well worth the ten minute investment, if only to put our current educational system in its proper historical context. Thanks for sharing Kristine!
Forgive the nerdy Trek reference. So it turns out that there is this guy, Salman Khan, who created a bunch of You Tube videos to help tutor his cousin in math from across the country. From this humble beginning blossomed the Khan Academy, a non-profit organization that hosts thousands of videos covering a huge range of topics at all skill levels. They have won awards from Microsoft and Google, among others. Check out the Wikipedia article on the Khan Academy if you want to hear more about their mission, history, and awards.
Khan Academy can be a great resource if you are considering homeschooling, obviously, but it can also be a great resource to supplement a kid’s education when a little extra help is needed. I really could have used Khan’s help in high school chemistry.