Monday, February 15, 2021

Python Programming

OK, homeschool mom confession time!  Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew.  I know, I know, it is something I am working on.  BUT, in my defense there are just so many amazing curriculum out there and not enough time, or kids, in this house anymore to use them all.

In this case though, I bit off more than my child could choose!   CompuScholar Python Programming was just that tempting! 

And still is...when my 8th grader is a bit more ready for it!  (There is a reason we should heed age recommendations sometimes, ladies!)

Like all moms, I profess my kid is a genius.  And he is in many areas.  But while he loves all things computer, programming at this level was just a bit more than he was ready for.

Python is one of the most popular basic computer programming languages. Python Programming, a one semester course, is a great subscription that takes you through multiple, well designed lessons, to teach basic programming.  It requires no software installation to your computer and does not have your child running willy nilly through the vast internet world!  The student writes their coding on Python's online engine, something I greatly appreciate.  Each video lesson works through a specific learning objective and then there is a time for your child to take a quiz and complete a corresponding project.  Luckily for you, the projects and quizzes are auto graded!

My son began this as a new 8th grader and did well on his own for the first few lessons, really enjoying the activities.  Unfortunately for him, I am NOT a computer lover and was having him do the lessons on his own,  That worked well until he got stuck and needed my help.  um.....  nope, I had no clue!  We were able to push through with the help of a fellow homeschool mom (it takes a village, ya'll) but after that he was discouraged, not happy with my lack of knowledge, and finally asked if he and dad could just start over.

So...that is the plan!  Huge praise that as a homeschooling family we have the freedom to know when to stop and regroup and have the freedom to know what is best for our children.  I KNOW with a little age and maturity on him, Python Programming will be a great program for Colby and be a nice addition to his transcript for a Computer Science credit.

It is well organized, affordable, and let's face it, the wave of the future.  Computers are not going away, ya'll- time to learn to  better use them!  And yes, I am speaking to myself!

Topics Covered:

  • Printing and User Input
  • Data types and variables
  • Logical expressions and flow control
  • Debugging skills
  • Lists and Loops
  • Working with numbers, dates and strings
  • Writing and using functions
  • Simple Object-Oriented Programming
  • ...and more!
  • Python Programming is also a part of Timberdoodle's 11th grade curriculum kit.



    Saturday, February 13, 2021

    Medical Investigation 101

    Homeschooling for the most part has been fairly easy for us.  After all, I have been teaching our four kiddos for over 23 years!  I plug in reading, writing, math, science and history to our schedule and off we go!  

    The hard part?  Electives!  All our kids are quite different and therefore have quite different ideas of what an elective should look like.  Sometimes I let them chose and sometimes something catches my eye to try.


    Such was the case with Medical Investigation 101, given to us by Timberdoodle Co to review.  I mean, just the name sounds cool, right?



    Medical Investigation 101 is comprised of a 247 page Student book, student work text, and teacher's edition.  The subtitle- "A Book to Inspire Your Interest in Medicine and How Doctors Think" gives you a good idea of what this book is really about.


    The book begins discussing the medical field and introduces many vocabulary words by talking about various kinds of doctors.  It mentions some of the challenges of the medical profession (should be required reading for any current doctors) and encourages the reader to explore the world of medicine on their own.  It then turns to medical complaints by the presenting of "patients", giving patient backgrounds, symptoms and such, and encouraging problem solving skills using the background information they have provided to diagnose the patient.  As you proceed, more medical information is provided such as the role of blood, food-borne illnesses and common conditions including diabetes, respiratory illnesses and heart attacks.  You can think of it as a mini science lesson!


    The accompanying student workbook begins with a good amount of vocabulary review and then has corresponding pages to each medical case.  After taking notes on each patient, further activities include vocabulary, fill in the blanks and matching activities, and word puzzles.  Do not let the graphics fool you though, this is not fluff and will challenge a high schooler to use their brains a bit! 

    The teacher's edition is basically the workbook with the answers filled in (thank you!), but also has a short summary of each chapter to help you as a teacher keep up.

    OK, every mom wants their child to be a doctor, right? ;)  But this is not only a neat way to introduce the world of medicine to your student in a fun way, but also to challenge their problem solving.  We often tell our kids they need to think outside the box, and that, I believe, is most certainly true in the medical world! 

    So yes, if your child is even the bit interested in medicine you will want to grab this set!  It is also a great way to expose them to more areas in medicine than most of us are familiar with.  I am a firm believer in our kids would have more choices deciding their chosen career if they actually KNEW what choices were out there!  But even if you have a kiddo who does not long to be a doctor- this is a great elective offered in a fun, non threatening way that will challenge their problem solving skills.

    Medical Investigations 101 can be found in the 11th grade curriculum kit offered by Timberdoodle, or ordered separately.  I would recommend it for 8th grade and up.